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 Ogimachi Castle Old Site Observatory for their historical value. Get some cultural insight at Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum and Nomura Family Samurai House. Get out of town with these interesting Kanazawa side-trips: Nanto (Suganuma Gassho Community & Gokayama), Shirakawa-mura (Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, Wada House, &more) and Hataya Memorial Hall Yumeole Katsuyama (in Katsuyama). And it doesn't end there: cruise along Chirihama Nagisa Driveway, admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, see the interesting displays at D. T. Suzuki Museum, and steep yourself in history at Oyama Shrine.

To find photos, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Kanazawa trip planner.

Newark, USA to Kanazawa is an approximately 19.5-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Japan Standard Time (JST) is 14 hours. Traveling from Newark in November, Kanazawa is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 45°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sun) early enough to drive to Kyoto.
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Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Outdoors
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 Eikando Zenrinji Temple. Visit Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Kiyomizu-dera Temple for their historical value. There's much more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kinkaku-ji, stop by Gion, get the lay of the land with Walking tours, and steep yourself in history at Sanjusangendo Temple.

To find maps, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Kyoto trip maker website.

Drive from Kanazawa to Kyoto in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. In December in Kyoto, expect temperatures between 52°F during the day and 39°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) to allow enough time to fly to Matsue.
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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.
Adachi Museum of Art and Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Visit Former Taisha Station and Yaegaki Shrine for their historical value. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Matsue: Oki Chibu Red Cliff (in Chibu-mura), Takuhi Shrine (in Nishinoshima-cho) and Izumo (Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo, Hinomisaki Shrine, &more). Next up on the itinerary: take in the spiritual surroundings of Miho Shrine, explore the historical opulence of Matsue Castle, explore the world behind art at Shimane Art Museum, and explore the activities along Shinji Lake.

For ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Matsue online trip builder.

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. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Mon) so you can drive to Hiroshima.
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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 Yamato Museum. Explore Hiroshima's surroundings by going to Mt. Misen (in Miyajima), Itsukushima Shrine (in Hatsukaichi) and Senkoji & Senkoji Park (in Onomichi). There's lots more to do: take an in-depth tour of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, explore the world behind art at Hiroshima Museum of Art, examine the collection at JMSDF Kure Museum, and steep yourself in history at Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima.

To see other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Hiroshima trip planner.

Drive from Matsue to Hiroshima in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In December, daytime highs in Hiroshima are 52°F, while nighttime lows are 39°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) early enough to travel to Yakushima-cho.
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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 Oko no Taki Fall. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Yakusugi Land 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.
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Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails
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 Kayaking & Canoeing. Take a break from the city and head to Pinaisara Falls and Iriomote Island. There's lots more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Funauki Village, kick back and relax at Ida no Hama Beach, 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.
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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.
Take a break from the city and head to Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Kabira Ishizaki Manta Scramble. Relax by the water at Kondoi Beach and Yonehara Beach. There's lots more to do: visit a coastal fixture at Cape Hirakubozaki, add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, and take in panoramic vistas at Tamatorizaki Observatory.

For photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Ishigaki sightseeing planner.

You can ride a ferry from Iriomote-jima to Ishigaki in 1.5 hours. In December, daytime highs in Ishigaki are 72°F, while nighttime lows are 64°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) to allow time to fly to Miyakojima.
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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 Sunayama Beach. Visit Aragusuku Beach and Tomori Imugya 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.
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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 Edo-Tokyo Museum capture your imagination. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Senso-ji Temple and Odaiba District. Step out of Tokyo with an excursion to Ghibli Museum Mitaka in Mitaka--about 40 minutes away. There's lots more to do: make a trip to Tokyo National Museum, take in the spiritual surroundings of Asakusa Shrine, engage your brain at National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation Miraikan, and admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower.

For reviews, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read our Tokyo driving holiday tool.

Traveling by flight from Miyakojima to Tokyo takes 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 colder with lows around 39°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) to allow enough time to fly back home.
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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 · 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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