42 days in Japan Itinerary

42 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip maker

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Route & dates

42 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
Fly:  14​h 30​min
1
Miyakojima
— 5 nights
Fly:  2​h
2
Ishigaki
— 4 nights
+2
Fly + subway + train:  5​h 15​min
3
Hiroshima
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
4
Kotohira-cho
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
5
Toyooka
— 2 nights
train:  2​h 15​min
6
Kyoto
— 6 nights
7
Nachikatsura-cho
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
8
Ise
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
9
Kanazawa
— 5 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
10
Tokyo
— 7 nights
Fly:  14​h 30​min
End: San Francisco

5
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima ©
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Yonaha Maehama Beach and Sunayama Beach. There's lots more to do: kick back and relax at Toguchi no Hama, don't miss a visit to East Henna Cape, head off the coast to Ikema-jima Island, and take in the views from Kurima Bridge.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Miyakojima road trip planning site .

San Francisco, USA to Miyakojima is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 17 hours traveling from San Francisco to Miyakojima. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from San Francisco in February: high temperatures in Miyakojima hover around 69°F and lows are around 61°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Mon) to allow time to travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Feb 24 — Mar 1:
Highlights from your plan
Yonaha Maehama Beach ©
Yonaha Maehama Beach
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach
Aragusuku Beach ©
Aragusuku Beach

4
nights
Ishigaki

Ishigaki ©
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Cape Hirakubozaki and Island Countryside Settlement. Take a break from Ishigaki with a short trip to Canyoning & Rappelling Tours in Iriomote-jima, about 1h 50 min away. Next up on the itinerary: enjoy the sand and surf at Kondoi Beach, walk around Banna Park, tour the pleasant surroundings at Yonehara Beach, and enjoy breathtaking views from Tamatorizaki Observatory.

To find reviews, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, read Ishigaki journey site .

You can fly from Miyakojima to Ishigaki in 2 hours. In March, plan for daily highs up to 73°F, and evening lows to 65°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Fri) early enough to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Taketomi-jima, Canyoning & Rappelling Tours
Find places to stay Mar 1 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach

4
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Daishoin Temple and Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Your inner history buff will appreciate Itsukushima Shrine Torii and Senkoji & Senkoji Park. Venture out of the city with trips to Hatsukaichi (Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima, & more). There's still lots to do: steep yourself in history at Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, explore the historical opulence of Hiroshima Castle, examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and admire the natural beauty at Shukkei-en Garden.

For ratings, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, read our Hiroshima online itinerary planner .

You can do a combination of flight and train from Ishigaki to Hiroshima in 5.5 hours. Another option is to fly. When traveling from Ishigaki in March, plan for little chillier days in Hiroshima, with highs around 57°F, while nights are cooler with lows around 42°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Tue) early enough to travel to Kotohira-cho.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Senkoji & Senkoji Park
Find places to stay Mar 5 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Daishoin Temple ©
Daishoin Temple
Itsukushima Shrine Torii ©
Itsukushima Shrine Torii

2
nights
Kotohira-cho

Kotohira-cho ©
Known only for being the home of the Kompirasan Shrine Complex, the tiny town of Kotohira-cho remains a popular day trip destination from larger nearby cities.
On the 10th (Wed), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ubushina Shrine, step into the grandiose world of Marugame Castle, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Zentsu-ji Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Kotohira-gu Shrine. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: admire the striking features of Kyu Zentsujikaikosya, take an in-depth tour of Nogi Museum, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Iyadani-ji Temple, and finally steep yourself in history at Izutama Shrine.

To see traveler tips, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Kotohira-cho day trip app .

You can drive from Hiroshima to Kotohira-cho in 3 hours. In March in Kotohira-cho, expect temperatures between 55°F during the day and 40°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Toyooka.

Things to do in Kotohira-cho

Historic Sites Museums

Side Trips

Zentsuji, Iyadani-ji Temple, Ubushina Shrine, Marugame Castle
Find places to stay Mar 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Kotohira-gu Shrine ©
Kotohira-gu Shrine
Marugame Castle ©
Marugame Castle
Izutama Shrine ©
Izutama Shrine

2
nights
Toyooka

Toyooka ©
A vacation in Toyooka lets you explore the UNESCO Global Geopark that completely surrounds the small town, notable for its scenic islands, rock formations, caves, and sand dunes.
On the 12th (Fri), examine the collection at Toyooka City Konotori Bunkakan, contemplate the long history of Takeda Castle Ruins, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Onitakeinari Shrine. Here are some ideas for day two: observe the fascinating underwater world at Kinosaki Marine World, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Street of Kinosaki Onsen, and then indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at some of the top local onsens.

To find reviews, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Toyooka route planner .

Drive from Kotohira-cho to Toyooka in 4 hours. In March in Toyooka, expect temperatures between 52°F during the day and 41°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Toyooka

Historic Sites Parks Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Onitakeinari Shrine, Takeda Castle Ruins
Find places to stay Mar 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Street of Kinosaki Onsen ©
Street of Kinosaki Onsen
Takeda Castle Ruins ©
Takeda Castle Ruins
Onsen Resorts

6
nights
Kyoto

Kyoto ©
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.
Visit Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Kinkaku-ji for their historical value. Discover out-of-the-way places like Tofuku-ji Temple and Chion-in Temple. Get out of town with these interesting Kyoto side-trips: Himeji Castle (in Himeji), Osaka (Hōzen-ji Temple & Osaka Castle) and Kofuku-ji Temple (in Nara). The adventure continues: stroll the grounds of Koyasan Okunoin, contemplate the long history of Sanjusangendo Temple, wander the streets of Gion, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ryoanji Temple.

Plan my day in Kyoto using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

Take a train from Toyooka to Kyoto in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly. Expect a daytime high around 57°F in March, and nighttime lows around 40°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Nachikatsura-cho.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Osaka, Koya-cho, Kofuku-ji Temple, Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple, Himeji Castle
Find places to stay Mar 13 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Tofuku-ji Temple ©
Tofuku-ji Temple

2
nights
Nachikatsura-cho

Nachikatsura-cho ©
The town of Nachikatsuura-cho wows visitors with its superlative landscape and impressive cultural attractions.
On the 20th (Sat), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kumano Hayatama Taisha, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Kamikura Shrine, and then take in the dramatic natural features at Hashigui Rock. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the sheer force of Nachi Mitaki Falls, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kumano Nachi Taisha, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Seigantoji Temple.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Nachikatsura-cho trip planner.

Getting from Kyoto to Nachikatsura-cho by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Nachikatsura-cho when traveling from Kyoto in March, with lows around 49°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Sun) early enough to go by car to Ise.

Things to do in Nachikatsura-cho

Historic Sites Nature Parks

Side Trips

Shingu, Hashigui Rock
Find places to stay Mar 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Kumano Nachi Taisha ©
Kumano Nachi Taisha
Kamikura Shrine ©
Kamikura Shrine
Kumano Hayatama Taisha ©
Kumano Hayatama Taisha

3
nights
Ise

Ise ©
A spiritual center of Shintoism, Ise stands as a traditional city where visitors can see the roots of Japanese culture in a number of well-preserved natural and historic sites.
Popular historic sites such as Ise Shrine Geku and Ise Grand Shrine are in your itinerary. Do some cultural sightseeing at Oharai-machi and Tsukiyominomiya. When in Ise, make a side trip to see Mt. Yokoyama Observation Deck in Shima, approximately 38 minutes away. The adventure continues: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sarutahiko Shrine, make a trip to Hinjitsukan, get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Toba Aquarium, and see the interesting displays at Okageza.

To find maps, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Ise trip planner .

You can drive from Nachikatsura-cho to Ise in 2 hours. Another option is to take a train. Traveling from Nachikatsura-cho in March, you will find days in Ise are a bit cooler (52°F), and nights are about the same (49°F). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Wed) so you can go by car to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Ise

Historic Sites Parks Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Toba Aquarium, Mt. Yokoyama Observation Deck
Find places to stay Mar 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Ise Shrine Geku ©
Ise Shrine Geku
Oharai-machi ©
Oharai-machi
Sarutahiko Shrine ©
Sarutahiko Shrine

5
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Step off the beaten path and head to Daihonzan Eiheiji Temple and Ainokura Gassho Community. Visit Kanda house and Maruoka Castle for their historical value. Get out of town with these interesting Kanazawa side-trips: Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum (in Katsuyama), Takayama (Higashiyama Walking Course, Takayama Jinya, & more) and Shirakawa-mura (Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, Wada House, & more). There's still lots to do: take a stroll through Gokayama, take in nature's colorful creations at Kenrokuen Garden, take a memorable drive along Chirihama Nagisa Driveway, and examine the collection at D. T. Suzuki Museum.

Plan my Kanazawa trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Traveling by car from Ise to Kanazawa takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Ise in March, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit cooler in Kanazawa, with lows of 37°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Mon) so you can catch the train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Takayama, Nanto, Maruoka Castle, Chirihama Nagisa Driveway
Find places to stay Mar 24 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Daihonzan Eiheiji Temple ©
Daihonzan Eiheiji Temple
Ainokura Gassho Community ©
Ainokura Gassho Community
Higashiyama Walking Course ©
Higashiyama Walking Course

7
nights
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple and Kinomiya Shrine. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Nezu Shrine and Sensō-ji. Get out of town with these interesting Tokyo side-trips: Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu (in Hakone-machi) and Kamakura (Hase-dera Temple, Kōtoku-in, & more). There's much more to do: take a stroll through Odaiba, ponder the world of politics at Imperial Palace, explore the world behind art at Tokyo National Museum, and take in the architecture and design of University of Tokyo.

To find reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Tokyo online day trip planner .

You can take a train from Kanazawa to Tokyo in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Kanazawa in March, with highs in Tokyo at 58°F and lows at 43°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Mon) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trips

Kamakura, Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu, Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple, Kinomiya Shrine
Find places to stay Mar 29 — Apr 5:
Highlights from your plan
Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple ©
Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple
Hase-dera Temple ©
Hase-dera Temple
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine

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