12 days in Japan Itinerary

12 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

12 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  12​h 30​min
1
Tokyo
— 2 nights
train:  2​h 45​min
2
Kyoto
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
3
Ise
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
4
Nachikatsura-cho
— 1 night
train + Fly:  8​h
5
Ishigaki
— 1 night
Fly:  2​h
6
Miyakojima
— 3 nights
Fly:  15​h 15​min
End: Sydney

2
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.
On the 24th (Tue), ponder the world of politics at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Sensō-ji, then take a stroll through Ginza, and finally take a stroll through Minato Mirai 21. On the next day, wander the streets of Asakusa, then get a taste of the local shopping with Takeshita Street, and then make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine.

To find photos, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Tokyo tour planner.

Sydney, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 12.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. Traveling from Sydney to Tokyo, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Plan for cooler temperatures traveling from Sydney in December, with highs in Tokyo at 14°C and lows at 4°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) so you can travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Shopping Neighborhoods Historic Sites

Side Trip

Minato Mirai 21
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Ginza ©
Ginza
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple
Minato Mirai 21 ©
Minato Mirai 21

2
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.
On the 26th (Thu), take in the spiritual surroundings of Eikando Zenrinji Temple, then contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, and then steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Keep things going the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of Sanjusangendo Temple, step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kinkaku-ji, then make a trip to Nishiki Market Shopping District, and finally pick up a one of a kind souvenir at Maiko Antiques Kyoto.

To see more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Kyoto trip itinerary planner .

Take a train from Tokyo to Kyoto in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In December, daily temperatures in Kyoto can reach 13°C, while at night they dip to 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Ise.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Eikando Zenrinji Temple ©
Eikando Zenrinji Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sat): take in the spiritual surroundings of Sarutahiko Shrine, steep yourself in history at Oharai-machi, get engrossed in the history at Sengukan, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ise Grand Shrine, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tsukiyominomiya, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Ise Shrine Geku.

For where to stay, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Ise road trip tool .

Getting from Kyoto to Ise by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Kyoto in December, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Ise, with lows around 9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) so you can drive to Nachikatsura-cho.

Things to do in Ise

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Oharai-machi ©
Oharai-machi
Ise Shrine Geku ©
Ise Shrine Geku
Sarutahiko Shrine ©
Sarutahiko Shrine

1
night
Nachikatsura-cho

Nachikatsura-cho ©
The town of Nachikatsuura-cho wows visitors with its superlative landscape and impressive cultural attractions.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Sun): admire the sheer force of Nachi Mitaki Falls, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hirou Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kumano Nachi Taisha, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Seigantoji Temple, and finally don't miss a visit to Daimonzaka.

Plan a trip to Nachikatsura-cho easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

You can drive from Ise to Nachikatsura-cho in 2 hours. Another option is to take a train. In December, daytime highs in Nachikatsura-cho are 14°C, while nighttime lows are 8°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) so you can travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Nachikatsura-cho

Historic Sites Nature Parks
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Kumano Nachi Taisha ©
Kumano Nachi Taisha
Seigantoji Temple ©
Seigantoji Temple
Hirou Shrine ©
Hirou Shrine

1
night
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.
On the 30th (Mon), tour the pleasant surroundings at Yonehara Beach and then enjoy the sea views from Cape Hirakubozaki. Here are some ideas for day two: head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, stroll through Kondoi Beach, and then take a leisurely stroll along Nishi Pier.

To see more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, read our Ishigaki holiday planning website .

Do a combination of train and flight from Nachikatsura-cho to Ishigaki in 8 hours. Traveling from Nachikatsura-cho in December, things will get somewhat warmer in Ishigaki: highs are around 26°C and lows about 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Tue) to allow time to travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trip

Taketomi-cho
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach

3
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima ©
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
On the 1st (Wed), enjoy the sand and surf at Sunayama Beach, take in the views from Irabu Ohashi, then enjoy the sand and surf at Yonaha Maehama Beach, and finally snap pictures at Kurima Bridge. On your second day here, enjoy the sand and surf at Aragusuku Beach and then head outdoors with Outdoor Activities.

To see maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Miyakojima vacation builder app .

Getting from Ishigaki to Miyakojima by flight takes about 2 hours. In December, daily temperatures in Miyakojima can reach 25°C, while at night they dip to 20°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Yonaha Maehama Beach ©
Yonaha Maehama Beach
Scuba & Snorkeling
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach

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