42 days in Helsinki & Japan Itinerary

42 days in Helsinki & Japan Itinerary

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Helsinki, Finland
— 7 nights
Fly
2
Ishigaki, Japan
— 4 nights
Ferry
3
Iriomote-jima, Japan
— 2 nights
Ferry to 石垣港離島ターミナル, Fly to Miyakojima
4
Miyakojima, Japan
— 5 nights
Fly to Okinawa, Bus to Onna-son
5
Onna-son, Japan
— 5 nights
Bus to Okinawa, Fly to Takachiho-cho
6
Takachiho-cho, Japan
— 3 nights
+2
Drive to Kumamoto, Train to Kagoshima Chuo Station, Ferry to Yakushima-cho
7
Yakushima-cho, Japan
— 3 nights
Fly
8
Matsue, Japan
— 3 nights
Fly
9
Ise, Japan
— 3 nights
Drive
10
Nachikatsura-cho, Japan
— 2 nights
Drive
11
Takayama, Japan
— 2 nights
Train to Chūbu Centrair, Fly to Hakodate
12
Hakodate, Japan
— 2 nights
Fly

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Helsinki, Finland — 7 nights

Finland's largest and most populated metropolis, the maritime town of Helsinki boasts varied architecture, a lively cafe culture, and plethora of picturesque natural delights.
Get in touch with nature at Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Bike Rental - by Carfield. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Seurasaari Island and Open-Air Museum and Forum Marinum Maritime Centre. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Helsinki: Turku Castle (in Turku) and Lahti ( Directions Lahden historiallinen Museo & Motorcycle Museum of Finland). And it doesn't end there: don't miss a visit to Hakaniemi Market, admire the masterpieces at EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art, steep yourself in history at Mannerheim Museum, and stop by Katajanokka.

For maps and tourist information, read our Helsinki driving holiday website.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands to Helsinki is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train, bus, and ferry. The time zone difference when traveling from Amsterdam to Helsinki is 1 hour. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from Amsterdam in May since evenings lows in Helsinki dip to 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can fly to Ishigaki.
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Museums · Historic Sites · Tours · Outdoors
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 20 — 27:

Ishigaki, Japan — 4 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.
Visit Kondoi Beach and Kaiji Beach for some beach relaxation. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Cape Hirakubozaki and Yonehara Beach. Spend 28th (Sat) immersed in the deep blue with Prime Scuba Ishigaki Diving Center - Day Tour. There's lots more to do: enjoy breathtaking views from Tamatorizaki Observatory, take a leisurely stroll along Nishi Pier, go for a walk through Cape Ongazaki, and stroll around Kabira Park.

To see where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Ishigaki attractions app.

Traveling by flight from Helsinki to Ishigaki takes 17.5 hours. The time zone difference when traveling from Helsinki to Ishigaki is 7 hours. In May, Ishigaki is much warmer than Helsinki - with highs of 34°C and lows of 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Tue) to allow time to ride a ferry to Iriomote-jima.
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Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Wildlife
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 27 — 31:

Iriomote-jima, Japan — 2 nights

Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
On the 1st (Wed), scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour and then head off the coast to Iriomote Island. Keep things going the next day: admire the sheer force of Pinaisara Falls and then get outside with Ida no Hama Beach.

To see more things to do, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Iriomote-jima trip itinerary planning tool.

You can ride a ferry from Ishigaki to Iriomote-jima in 1.5 hours. May in Iriomote-jima sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 28°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) so you can travel to Miyakojima.
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Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Nature
Find places to stay May 31 — Jun 2:

Miyakojima, Japan — 5 nights

A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Visit Yonaha Maehama Beach and Aragusuku Beach for some beach relaxation. Take a break from the city and head to Sunayama Beach and Sawada no hama Beach. The adventure continues: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, don't miss a visit to East Henna Cape, step off the mainland to explore Shimojishima Island, and take in the views from Irabu Ohashi.

For ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Miyakojima trip itinerary planning app.

Traveling by combination of ferry and flight from Iriomote-jima to Miyakojima takes 4 hours. In June in Miyakojima, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 30°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Onna-son.
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Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature
Find places to stay Jun 2 — 7:

Onna-son, Japan — 5 nights

Located on the coast in the middle of the island, Onna-son has become known for its beaches and seaside economy.
We've included these beaches for you: Nirai Beach and Kouri Beach. Take a break from the city and head to Scuba & Snorkeling and Valley of Gangala. Change things up with these side-trips from Onna-son: Sefa-Utaki (in Nanjo), Motobu-cho (Okichan Theater & Emerald Beach) and Okuma Beach (in Kunigami-son). There's lots more to do: step into the grandiose world of Nakagusuku Castle Ruins, don't miss a visit to Kouri Ohashi, contemplate the long history of Nakijin Castle Ruins, and look for gifts at Onna Station Nakayukui Market.

To see photos, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Onna-son trip itinerary planner.

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Miyakojima to Onna-son in 4 hours. In June, daytime highs in Onna-son are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 29°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Takachiho-cho.
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Parks · Outdoors · Historic Sites · Beaches
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jun 7 — 12:

Takachiho-cho, Japan — 3 nights

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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Takachiho Shrine and Amano Iwato Shrine. Step off the beaten path and head to Takachiho Gorge and Amano Yasugawara. When in Takachiho-cho, make a side trip to see Kusasenrigahama in Aso, approximately Aso away. The adventure continues: admire the sheer force of Manai Falls and contemplate the geological forces at Mt. Aso.

Plan a Takachiho-cho trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Do a combination of bus and flight from Onna-son to Takachiho-cho in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of bus, flight, and train. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Onna-son in June; daily highs in Takachiho-cho reach 30°C and lows reach 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Wed) so you can travel to Yakushima-cho.
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Parks · Historic Sites · Nature · Scenic Drive
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jun 12 — 15:

Yakushima-cho, Japan — 3 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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley and Oko no Taki Fall. Step out of the city life by going to Yakusugi Land and Nagata Inakahama. There's more to do: don't miss a visit to Wilson Stump.

For where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Yakushima-cho trip planner.

Traveling by combination of car, train, and ferry from Takachiho-cho to Yakushima-cho takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and flight. In June, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 24°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) so you can catch the flight to Matsue.
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Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails
Find places to stay Jun 15 — 18:

Matsue, Japan — 3 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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Matsue Castle and Former Taisha Station. Adachi Museum of Art and Shimane Art Museum will appeal to museum buffs. Explore Matsue's surroundings by going to Izumo (Inasa Beach, Susa Shrine, &more). Next up on the itinerary: take in the spiritual surroundings of Yaegaki Shrine.

To see maps, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Matsue online tour planner.

Traveling by flight from Yakushima-cho to Matsue takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and train; or do a combination of ferry, train, and bus. In June in Matsue, expect temperatures between 30°C during the day and 22°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) so you can catch the flight to Ise.
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Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Beaches
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jun 18 — 21:

Ise, Japan — 3 nights

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.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Ise Shrine Geku and Oharai-machi. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Sarutahiko Shrine and Shinmei Shrine. Next up on the itinerary: take in the spiritual surroundings of Tsukiyominomiya, get engrossed in the history at Sengukan, and don't miss a visit to Okage Yokocho.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Ise online journey planner.

Getting from Matsue to Ise by flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a train. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Matsue in June since evenings lows in Ise dip to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) early enough to drive to Nachikatsura-cho.
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Historic Sites · Museums
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jun 21 — 24:

Nachikatsura-cho, Japan — 2 nights

The town of Nachikatsuura-cho wows visitors with its superlative landscape and impressive cultural attractions.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Sat): take in the dramatic scenery at Nachi Mitaki Falls, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kumano Hayatama Taisha, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kamikura Shrine. Keep things going the next day: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Seiganto-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kumano Nachi Taisha, and then make a trip to Daimonzaka.

For other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Nachikatsura-cho online sightseeing planner.

You can drive from Ise to Nachikatsura-cho in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. In June, daily temperatures in Nachikatsura-cho can reach 29°C, while at night they dip to 25°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) so you can go by car to Takayama.
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Historic Sites · Parks · Nature
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jun 24 — 26:

Takayama, Japan — 2 nights

Hidden high up in the Japanese Alps, Takayama remained largely cut off from the rest of Japan for centuries, allowing the local culture to grow in relative isolation.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Mon): visit Sanmachi Suji, admire the striking features of Takayama Jinya, then get a new perspective on nature at Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato), and finally indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 28th (Tue): get engrossed in the history at Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen and then take some stellar pictures from Ogimachi Castle Old Site Observatory.

For traveler tips, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, read Takayama trip itinerary website.

Drive from Nachikatsura-cho to Takayama in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Nachikatsura-cho in June, plan for a bit cooler nights in Takayama, with lows around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Tue) early enough to travel to Hakodate.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Tours
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jun 26 — 28:

Hakodate, Japan — 2 nights

A gateway to the island, Hakodate has gained a reputation for its waterfront attractions, its proximity to some of the island's most popular natural sites, and its seafood.
On the 29th (Wed), admire the landmark architecture of Goryokaku Park, make a trip to Hachimanzaka, and then take a stroll through Motomachi.

For photos, ratings, maps, and tourist information, read Hakodate tour itinerary planner.

Getting from Takayama to Hakodate by combination of train and flight takes about 7 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train, bus, and ferry. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Takayama in June; daily highs in Hakodate reach 21°C and lows reach 16°C. You will leave for home on the 30th (Thu).
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Historic Sites · Parks · Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Jun 28 — 30:

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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