21 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip planner
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Sapporo
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Nakafurano-cho
— 3 nights
Drive to New Chitose Airport, Fly to Ishigaki
3
Ishigaki
— 2 nights
Fly to Fukuoka, Train to Hiroshima
4
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
Train
5
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Kanazawa
— 2 nights
Fly
7
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Fly

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Sapporo — 2 nights

CIty of Ramen

A modern, bustling city known for its beer brewery, Sapporo attracts millions of visitors with its Snow Festival, during which elaborate ice and snow sculptures are exhibited all over town.
Change things up with these side-trips from Sapporo: Leksand Memorial Park (in Tobetsu-cho), Otaru Canal (in Otaru) and Asadaen Farm (in Yoichi-cho). There's still lots to do: walk around Odori Park, take in nature's colorful creations at Hakkogakuen Hanashobupark, get into the urban bustle at Sapporo Underground Shopping Centre Aurora Town, and wander the streets of Susukino.

To see more things to do, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Sapporo trip itinerary builder.

Milan, Italy to Sapporo is an approximately 17-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 8 hours traveling from Milan to Sapporo. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from Milan in December; daily highs in Sapporo reach 0°C and lows reach -2°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Mon) so you can drive to Nakafurano-cho.
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Parks · Historic Sites · Nature · Museums
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 2 — 5:

Nakafurano-cho — 3 nights

Flower-viewing tourism draws flocks of visitors to Nakafurano-cho, a Hokkaido town famed for its many lavander fields.
Change things up with these side-trips from Nakafurano-cho: Daisetsuzan (in Kamikawa-cho), Biei-cho (Shikisai no Oka & Shirogane Blue Pond) and Asahi-dake (in Higashikawa-cho). And it doesn't end there: take in nature's colorful creations at Farm Tomita, make a trip to Panorama Road, relax in the rural setting at Saika no sato, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Kurodake.

For maps, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Nakafurano-cho trip planner.

Traveling by car from Sapporo to Nakafurano-cho takes 2.5 hours. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from Sapporo in December since evenings lows in Nakafurano-cho dip to -8°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 8th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Ishigaki.
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Parks · Nature · Wildlife
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 8:

Ishigaki — 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Fri): kick back and relax at Yonehara Beach, contemplate the waterfront views at Kabira Bay, enjoy breathtaking views from Maesedake Observation Site, then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, then stop by Yurateiku Market, and finally stop by Ishigaki Port Ritoh Terminal. On the next day, head into the lower depths with Prime Scuba Ishigaki Diving Center - Day Tour.

For reviews, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Ishigaki trip itinerary planning site.

Explore your travel options from Nakafurano-cho to Ishigaki with the Route module. In December, Ishigaki is much hotter than Nakafurano-cho - with highs of 26°C and lows of 20°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) so you can travel to Hiroshima.
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Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 8 — 10:

Hiroshima — 2 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.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Sun): take in nature's colorful creations at Shukkei-en Garden, explore the historical opulence of Hiroshima Castle, pause for some photo ops at Children's Peace Monument, then contemplate the long history of Atomic Bomb Dome, then take an in-depth tour of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and finally contemplate the long history of Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima. On your second day here, head off the coast to Miyajima and then steep yourself in history at Itsukushima Shrine.

For maps, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Hiroshima road trip planning website.

You can do a combination of flight and train from Ishigaki to Hiroshima in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of flight, bus, and train. Traveling from Ishigaki in December, things will get colder in Hiroshima: highs are around 13°C and lows about 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Mon) early enough to take a train to Kyoto.
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Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Museums
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 12:

Kyoto — 3 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.
Take a break from Kyoto with a short trip to Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, about 1h 15 min away. There's lots more to do: steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, stop by Gion, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Sanjusangendo Temple.

For reviews, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, read Kyoto trip website.

You can take a train from Hiroshima to Kyoto in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. December in Kyoto sees daily highs of 13°C and lows of 4°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Thu) early enough to drive to Kanazawa.
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Historic Sites · Theme Parks · Neighborhoods · Museums
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 15:

Kanazawa — 2 nights

An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Fri): contemplate the long history of Nomura Family Samurai House, see the interesting displays at Dolls Museum, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ninja Temple, then contemplate the waterfront views at Kenrokuen Kasumiga-ike Pond, then walk around Kenrokuen Garden, and finally don't miss a visit to Neagarimatsu. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: sample the tasty concoctions at Yachiya Sake Brewery, admire the landmark architecture of Kanazawa Station, make a trip to Omicho Market, take in the spiritual surroundings of Oyama Shrine, then contemplate the long history of Kanazawa Castle, and finally explore the world behind art at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa.

To find ratings, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Kanazawa travel route planner.

Getting from Kyoto to Kanazawa by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train. Expect a daytime high around 11°C in December, and nighttime lows around 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sat) early enough to fly to Tokyo.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 17:

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.
Change things up with a short trip to Tokyo DisneySea in Maihama (about 30 minutes away). There's still lots to do: don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senso-ji Temple, enjoy breathtaking views from Tokyo Skytree, and get a sense of history and politics at Imperial Palace.

For maps, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Tokyo trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Kanazawa to Tokyo takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. In December, daytime highs in Tokyo are 14°C, while nighttime lows are 4°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Thu) early enough to catch the flight back home.
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Museums · Neighborhoods · Historic Sites · Childrens Museums
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 22:

Japan travel guide

4.3
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Historic Sites
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.
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