39 days in Japan Itinerary

39 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan tour itinerary builder

Make it your trip
Fly to Komatsu Airport / JASDF Komatsu Air Base, Drive to Kanazawa
1
Kanazawa
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Kyoto
— 4 nights
Fly
3
Matsue
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Hiroshima
— 4 nights
Train to Hakata, Fly to Yakushima-cho
5
Yakushima-cho
— 4 nights
Fly to Ishigaki, Ferry to Iriomote-jima
6
Iriomote-jima
— 4 nights
Ferry
7
Ishigaki
— 3 nights
Fly
8
Miyakojima
— 4 nights
Fly
9
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Fly

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Kanazawa

— 4 nights
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Visit Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple and Oyama Shrine for their historical value. Get some cultural insight at Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum and Ogimachi Castle Old Site Observatory. Get out of town with these interesting Kanazawa side-trips: Hataya Memorial Hall Yumeole Katsuyama (in Katsuyama), Shirakawa-mura (Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, Wada House, &more) and Nanto (Suganuma Gassho Community & Gokayama). The adventure continues: enjoy the sand and surf at Chirihama Nagisa Driveway, admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, see the interesting displays at D. T. Suzuki Museum, and contemplate the long history of Nomura Family Samurai House.

For where to stay, maps, photos, and more tourist information, read Kanazawa trip itinerary planning tool.

Newark, USA to Kanazawa is an approximately 20.5-hour combination of flight and car. You'll lose 14 hours traveling from Newark to Kanazawa due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Newark in November, Kanazawa is a bit warmer at night with lows of 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sun) so you can drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Find places to stay Nov 27 — Dec 1:

Kyoto

— 4 nights
The national capital for over a thousand years, Kyoto retains much of the charm of old Japan, boasting numerous temples and shrines that seem completely untouched by the modern world.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Tofuku-ji Temple and Walking tours. Visit Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Eikando Zenrinji Temple for their historical value. There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kinkaku-ji, take in the pleasant sights at Gion, steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Kyoto trip website.

Traveling by car from Kanazawa to Kyoto takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Expect a daytime high around 52°F in December, and nighttime lows around 39°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) so you can catch the flight to Matsue.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Tours · Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 5:

Matsue

— 4 nights
Matsue sits on the banks of the Ohashi-gawa river, channeling its waters through a series of canals and rivers that add much to the scenic aspect of the urban area.
Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse and Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Visit Former Taisha Station and Hinomisaki Shrine for their historical value. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Matsue: Takuhi Shrine (in Nishinoshima-cho), Adachi Museum of Art (in Yasugi) and Oki Chibu Red Cliff (in Chibu-mura). Next up on the itinerary: take in the spiritual surroundings of Miho Shrine, contemplate the waterfront views at Shinji Lake, explore the historical opulence of Matsue Castle, and admire the masterpieces at Shimane Art Museum.

For reviews, maps, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Matsue travel tool.

Traveling by flight from Kyoto to Matsue takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 49°F in December, and nighttime lows around 39°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Matsue

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Museums

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 5 — 9:

Hiroshima

— 4 nights

City of Peace

Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Popular historic sites such as Daishoin Temple and Miyajima are in your itinerary. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims and Senkoji & Senkoji Park. Explore Hiroshima's surroundings by going to Mt. Misen (in Miyajima), Kure (JMSDF Kure Museum & Yamato Museum) and Itsukushima Shrine (in Hatsukaichi). There's lots more to do: see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, explore the world behind art at Hiroshima Museum of Art, and make a trip to Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima.

To find maps, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, read Hiroshima visit app.

Getting from Matsue to Hiroshima by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. December in Hiroshima sees daily highs of 52°F and lows of 39°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) so you can travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 9 — 13:

Yakushima-cho

— 4 nights
A popular destination for Japanese tourists, Kumage-gun Yakushima-cho is a true paradise for nature lovers, with over 1,900 species and subspecies of plants.
Step out of the city life by going to Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley and Yakusugi Land. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Oko no Taki Fall and The Yakushima World Heritage Conservation Center. It doesn't end there: trek along Seibu Trail and don't miss a visit to Taikoiwa.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Yakushima-cho trip planner.

You can do a combination of train and flight from Hiroshima to Yakushima-cho in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train, bus, and flight; or do a combination of train and ferry. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Hiroshima in December, with highs in Yakushima-cho at 60°F and lows at 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Parks · Nature · Trails · Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 17:

Iriomote-jima

— 4 nights
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Canyoning & Rappelling Tours and Pinaisara Falls. Take a break from the city and head to Iriomote Island and Ida no Hama Beach. There's lots more to do: add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, stroll through Funauki Village, admire the sheer force of Kanpiree Waterfall, and go for a walk through Ruins of Amitory Village.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Iriomote-jima planner.

Traveling by combination of flight and ferry from Yakushima-cho to Iriomote-jima takes 10 hours. Traveling from Yakushima-cho in December, expect Iriomote-jima to be a bit warmer, temps between 72°F and 64°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) early enough to catch the ferry to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Tours
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 22:

Ishigaki

— 3 nights
Ishigaki, the most populous island in the chain, features the country's southernmost city and acts as a transport hub for exploring the landmasses that surround.
Get outdoors at Cape Hirakubozaki and Kayaking & Canoeing. Relax by the water at Kondoi Beach and Yonehara Beach. And it doesn't end there: find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, enjoy breathtaking views from Tamatorizaki Observatory, and explore the gorgeous colors at Kabira Ishizaki Manta Scramble.

To find maps, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, use the Ishigaki travel route builder tool.

Ride a ferry from Iriomote-jima to Ishigaki in 1.5 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 72°F, and evening lows to 64°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to fly to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors · Parks · Adventure · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 22 — 25:

Miyakojima

— 4 nights
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Toguchi no Hama and Aragusuku Beach. Visit Sunayama Beach and Yonaha Maehama Beach for some beach relaxation. There's still lots to do: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, take in the views from Irabu Ohashi, explore the gorgeous colors at Yabiji, and don't miss a visit to Boraga Limestone Cave.

To see photos and tourist information, go to the Miyakojima trip planner.

You can fly from Ishigaki to Miyakojima in 2.5 hours. December in Miyakojima sees daily highs of 71°F and lows of 64°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) to allow enough time to fly to Tokyo.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 29:

Tokyo

— 5 nights
Tokyo holds the status of most populous metropolitan area in the world--a fact you'll find tangible as you walk the bustling streets and explore its diverse neighborhoods and cultures.
Let the collections at Samurai Museum and Tokyo National Museum capture your imagination. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Edo-Tokyo Museum and Odaiba District. Step out of Tokyo with an excursion to Ghibli Museum Mitaka in Mitaka--about 40 minutes away. There's much more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Senso-ji Temple, ponder the world of politics at Imperial Palace, engage your brain at National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation Miraikan, and don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine.

To see reviews, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Tokyo road trip website.

Fly from Miyakojima to Tokyo in 4.5 hours. When traveling from Miyakojima in December, plan for a bit cooler days in Tokyo, with highs around 54°F, while nights are much colder with lows around 39°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can catch the flight back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums · Neighborhoods · Historic Sites · Childrens Museums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 3:

Japan travel guide

4.3
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Parks
Land of the Rising Sun
Part of a volcanic archipelago that encompasses over 6,800 islands, Japan remains one of Asia's most fascinating tourist destinations, where a blend of modernity and tradition creates a look and feel completely different from any other place in the world. A tour of Japan lets you discover big cities filled with ancient temples and innovative skyscrapers, as well as quiet country landscapes dotted with castles, perfectly manicured gardens, cherry orchards, and primeval forests seemingly untouched by the hand of mass tourism. Many tourists on vacation in Japan devote lots of time to the country's unique cuisine, prepared with painstaking attention to detail and a genius for simple yet effective presentation.