43 days in Japan Itinerary

43 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan journey planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours

Route & dates

1
Ishigaki
— 4 nights
2
Takachiho-cho
— 4 nights
3
Nikko
— 4 nights
4
Kanazawa
— 4 nights
5
Kyoto
— 5 nights
6
Toyooka
— 3 nights
7
Izumo
— 3 nights
8
Hiroshima
— 4 nights
9
Yakushima-cho
— 2 nights
10
Onna-son
— 4 nights
11
Miyakojima
— 3 nights

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.
Get some historical perspective at Cape Hirakubozaki and Island Countryside Settlement. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Kondoi Beach and Yonehara Beach. Explore Ishigaki's surroundings by going to Iriomote-jima (Nakama-river Protected Region, Stand-Up Paddleboarding, &more). The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Kaiji Beach, take in panoramic vistas at Tamatorizaki Observatory, take a leisurely stroll along Nishi Pier, and stroll around Kabira Park.

For more things to do, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Ishigaki online holiday maker.

Durban, South Africa to Ishigaki is an approximately 22-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Durban to Ishigaki is 7 hours. In November, plan for daily highs up to 31°C, and evening lows to 25°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Sun) early enough to travel to Takachiho-cho.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors · Parks · Tours

Side Trips

Iriomote-jima, Taketomi-cho, Island Countryside Settlement
Find places to stay Nov 24 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach

4
nights
Takachiho-cho

Takachiho-cho ©
The mountain town of Takachiho-cho remains a place of great importance to Japan's spiritual and natural heritage, and the point where these two things intersect.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Amano Iwato Shrine and Oka Castle Ruins. Get in touch with nature at Takachiho Gorge and Kusasenrigahama. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Takachiho-cho: Tsujun Bridge (in Yamato-cho), Nabegataki Falls (in Oguni-machi) and Daikanbo (in Aso). There's lots more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Takachiho Shrine, contemplate the geological forces at Mt. Aso, go for a walk through Amano Yasugawara, and don't miss a visit to Shirakawa Springs.

For photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Takachiho-cho online driving holiday planner.

Fly from Ishigaki to Takachiho-cho in 7.5 hours. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Ishigaki in November: highs in Takachiho-cho hover around 19°C, while lows dip to 10°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Nikko.

Things to do in Takachiho-cho

Nature · Parks · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Taketa, Aso, Tsujun Bridge, Mt. Aso, Nabegataki Falls
Find places to stay Nov 28 — Dec 2:
Highlights from your plan
Takachiho Gorge ©
Takachiho Gorge
Takachiho Shrine ©
Takachiho Shrine
Amano Iwato Shrine ©
Amano Iwato Shrine

4
nights
Nikko

Nikko ©
A gateway to a sprawling and diverse national park, a center of Shinto spiritualism and place of Buddhist worship, an emblem of the riches and dominance of the Tokugawa shogunate: Nikko means many things to many people.
Popular historic sites such as Taiyuimbyo Shrine and Yakushido are in your itinerary. Get some cultural insight at Ryuokyo Canyon and Yomeimon (Main Gate). Spend the 5th (Sun) exploring nature at Nikko National Park. And it doesn't end there: admire the sheer force of Ryuzu Waterfall, don't miss a visit to Nikko Station, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Chuzenji, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nikko Tosho-gu.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Nikko day trip tool.

Traveling by combination of bus and flight from Takachiho-cho to Nikko takes 9 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train; or drive. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Nikko when traveling from Takachiho-cho in December, with lows around 8°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) to allow time to take a train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Nikko

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Nikko National Park
Find places to stay Dec 2 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Ryuokyo Canyon ©
Ryuokyo Canyon
Yomeimon (Main Gate) ©
Yomeimon (Main Gate)
Taiyuimbyo Shrine ©
Taiyuimbyo Shrine

4
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple and Maruoka Castle. Discover out-of-the-way places like Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum and Wine Tours & Tastings. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Kanazawa: Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen (in Shirakawa-mura), Chirihama Nagisa Driveway (in Hakui) and Takayama (Takayama Jinya & Higashiyama Walking Course). There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Natadera Temple, make a trip to Suganuma Gassho Community, see the interesting displays at D. T. Suzuki Museum, and contemplate the long history of Nomura Family Samurai House.

For more things to do, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Kanazawa planner.

Traveling by train from Nikko to Kanazawa takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly. Traveling from Nikko in December, expect a bit cooler with lows of 3°C in Kanazawa. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) so you can drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites · Parks · Museums

Side Trips

Takayama, Maruoka Castle, Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, Suganuma Gassho Community, Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum ©
Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum
Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple ©
Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple
Chirihama Nagisa Driveway ©
Chirihama Nagisa Driveway

5
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Nanzen-ji Temple and Kodai-ji Temple. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Arashiyama. Go for a jaunt from Kyoto to Dotombori to see Dotombori District about 1h 10 min away. And it doesn't end there: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Toji, wander the streets of Gion, make a trip to Eikando Zenrinji Temple, and contemplate the long history of Osaka Castle.

For maps, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Kyoto trip planner.

Traveling by car from Kanazawa to Kyoto takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. December in Kyoto sees daily highs of 13°C and lows of 4°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) early enough to take a train to Toyooka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Shopping

Side Trip

Osaka
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Nanzen-ji Temple ©
Nanzen-ji Temple
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine

3
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.
Popular historic sites such as Takeda Castle Ruins and Izushi Castle Town are in your itinerary. Museum-lovers will get to explore The Sand Museum and Naomi Uemura Bokenkan. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Toyooka: Mikobata Senkojo Mine (in Asago), Shirahara Kamogaiso Rocky Shore (in Iwami-cho) and Onitakeinari Shrine (in Fukuchiyama). The adventure continues: contemplate the long history of Ine no Funaya, admire the striking features of Chion-ji Temple Tahoto, contemplate the waterfront views at Amanohashidate, and get to know the fascinating history of Street of Kinosaki Onsen.

For reviews, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, read Toyooka trip itinerary planning tool.

Getting from Kyoto to Toyooka by train takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive; or fly. While traveling from Kyoto, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Toyooka, ranging from highs of 9°C to lows of 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) so you can drive to Izumo.

Things to do in Toyooka

Historic Sites · Museums · Nature

Side Trips

Asago, Miyazu, Ine no Funaya, Shirahara Kamogaiso Rocky Shore, Onitakeinari Shrine
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Takeda Castle Ruins ©
Takeda Castle Ruins
Ine no Funaya ©
Ine no Funaya
Street of Kinosaki Onsen ©
Street of Kinosaki Onsen

3
nights
Izumo

Izumo
Nestled in the shadows of the Chugoku Mountains, historic Izumo boasts one of Japan's oldest Shinto shrines.
You'll explore and learn at Adachi Museum of Art and Shimane Art Museum. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse and Hinomisaki Shrine. Explore Izumo's surroundings by going to Matsue (Boat Tours & Water Sports, Matsue Castle, &more). Next up on the itinerary: get engrossed in the history at Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo, head outdoors with Inasa Beach, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Izumo Taisha Shrine, and don't miss a visit to Former Taisha Station.

To see more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Izumo trip itinerary planner.

Getting from Toyooka to Izumo by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or do a combination of train and flight. In December in Izumo, expect temperatures between 11°C during the day and 4°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) so you can go by car to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Izumo

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks

Side Trips

Matsue, Shinji Lake, Adachi Museum of Art
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo
Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo
Adachi Museum of Art ©
Adachi Museum of Art
Yaegaki Shrine ©
Yaegaki Shrine

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Daishoin Temple and Yamato Museum. Get some historical perspective at Mitaki Temple and Miyajima. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Hiroshima: JMSDF Kure Museum (in Kure) and Hatsukaichi (Itsukushima Shrine & Senjokaku). Next up on the itinerary: take an in-depth tour of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome, make a trip to Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, and explore the world behind art at Hiroshima Museum of Art.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Hiroshima trip itinerary maker app.

Traveling by car from Izumo to Hiroshima takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. December in Hiroshima sees daily highs of 13°C and lows of 4°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) early enough to travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Kure
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Daishoin Temple ©
Daishoin Temple
Yamato Museum ©
Yamato Museum
JMSDF Kure Museum ©
JMSDF Kure Museum

2
nights
Yakushima-cho

Yakushima-cho ©
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.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Sun): make a trip to Taikoiwa, then don't miss a visit to Jōmon Sugi, then explore the stunning scenery at Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley, and finally don't miss a visit to Wilson Stump. On the 27th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: hike along Yakusugi Land.

For traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Yakushima-cho trip maker.

You can do a combination of train and flight from Hiroshima to Yakushima-cho in 5.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train, bus, and flight; or do a combination of train and ferry. In December, Yakushima-cho is a bit warmer than Hiroshima - with highs of 18°C and lows of 12°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) so you can travel to Onna-son.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Nature · Parks · Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley ©
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley
Yakusugi Land ©
Yakusugi Land
Jōmon Sugi ©
Jōmon Sugi

4
nights
Onna-son

Located on the coast in the middle of the island, Onna-son has become known for its beaches and seaside economy.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Nakagusuku Castle Ruins and St. Clara Church. Escape the urban bustle at Scuba & Snorkeling and Daisekirinzan. Get out of town with these interesting Onna-son side-trips: AEONMALL OKINAWA RYCOM (in Kitanakagusuku-son), Kunigami-son (Cape Hedo & Okuma Beach) and Sefa-Utaki (in Nanjo). And it doesn't end there: kick back and relax at Kouri Beach, stroll around Okinawa Memorial Park Ocean Expo Park, get outside with Manza Beach, and get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Okichan Theater.

To find photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Onna-son trip planner.

You can fly from Yakushima-cho to Onna-son in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus. Traveling from Yakushima-cho in December, expect nights in Onna-son to be about the same, around 15°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) to allow time to travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Onna-son

Parks · Outdoors · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Kunigami-son, Nakijin-son, Motobu-cho, Nakagusuku Castle Ruins, AEONMALL OKINAWA RYCOM
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Nakagusuku Castle Ruins ©
Nakagusuku Castle Ruins
Okuma Beach ©
Okuma Beach

3
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Toguchi no Hama and Shimojiiima Island. We've included these beaches for you: Aragusuku Beach and Sunayama Beach. There's much more to do: take a memorable tour with Tours, snap pictures at Irabu Ohashi, enjoy the sand and surf at Yonaha Maehama Beach, and don't miss a visit to Ikema Ohashi Bridge.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Miyakojima trip planner.

Getting from Onna-son to Miyakojima by flight takes about 5 hours. Traveling from Onna-son in December, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 20°C in Miyakojima. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Mon) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Toguchi no Hama
Toguchi no Hama
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach
Aragusuku Beach ©
Aragusuku Beach

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