16 days in Japan Itinerary

16 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

16 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Dubai
Fly:  14​h 30​min
1
Ishigaki
— 1 night
Fly:  2​h
2
Miyakojima
— 2 nights
+2
Fly + subway + train:  4​h 30​min
3
Hiroshima
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
4
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
5
Nachikatsura-cho
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
6
Ise
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
7
Kanazawa
— 3 nights
+2
train + tram + Fly:  15​h 45​min
End: Dubai

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 31st (Tue), explore the fascinating underground world of Ishigaki Island Limestone Cave and then enjoy the sand and surf at Kondoi Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: enjoy breathtaking views from Tamatorizaki Observatory, visit a coastal fixture at Cape Hirakubozaki, and then kick back and relax at Yonehara Beach.

For other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Ishigaki tour itinerary maker site .

Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Ishigaki is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from Gulf Standard Time (GST) to Japan Standard Time (JST), which is usually a 5 hour difference. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Dubai in December: highs in Ishigaki hover around 26°C, while lows dip to 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) to allow time to travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Kondoi Beach
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach

2
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima ©
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
On the 2nd (Thu), take in the views from Kurima Bridge, enjoy the sand and surf at Yonaha Maehama Beach, then snap pictures at Irabu Ohashi, and finally kick back and relax at Toguchi no Hama. On the 3rd (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: enjoy the sand and surf at Sunayama Beach, stroll through Aragusuku Beach, and then visit a coastal fixture at Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse.

For ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Miyakojima trip website .

You can fly from Ishigaki to Miyakojima in 2 hours. Expect a daytime high around 24°C in January, and nighttime lows around 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Yonaha Maehama Beach ©
Yonaha Maehama Beach
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach
Aragusuku Beach ©
Aragusuku Beach

3
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Appreciate the collections at Yamato Museum and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Daishoin Temple and Atomic Bomb Dome. Get out of town with these interesting Hiroshima side-trips: Hatsukaichi (Itsukushima Shrine Torii & Itsukushima Shrine) and JMSDF Kure Museum (in Kure). There's lots more to do: take an in-depth tour of Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, examine the collection at Mazda Museum, and steep yourself in history at Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima.

To find traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Hiroshima trip itinerary maker website .

Getting from Miyakojima to Hiroshima by combination of flight and train takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: fly. In January, Hiroshima is much colder than Miyakojima - with highs of 11°C and lows of 2°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) to allow time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Kure, Mazda Museum
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Yamato Museum ©
Yamato Museum
JMSDF Kure Museum ©
JMSDF Kure Museum

3
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.
Visit Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Eikando Zenrinji Temple for their historical value. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Sanjusangendo Temple. When in Kyoto, make a side trip to see Osaka Castle in Osaka, approximately 1h 10 min away. There's still lots to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kinkaku-ji, make a trip to Gion, and explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Kyoto trip itinerary planning website .

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Kyoto takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 10°C, and evening lows to 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) so you can drive to Nachikatsura-cho.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Osaka Castle
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 9:
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
Nachikatsura-cho

Nachikatsura-cho ©
The town of Nachikatsuura-cho wows visitors with its superlative landscape and impressive cultural attractions.
On the 10th (Fri), take in the dramatic scenery at Nachi Mitaki Falls, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kumano Nachi Taisha, take in the spiritual surroundings of Seigantoji Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Hirou Shrine, and finally don't miss a visit to Daimonzaka.

For ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Nachikatsura-cho road trip app .

Getting from Kyoto to Nachikatsura-cho by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Kyoto in January since evenings lows in Nachikatsura-cho dip to 5°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Fri) early enough to drive to Ise.

Things to do in Nachikatsura-cho

Historic Sites Parks Nature
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Kumano Nachi Taisha ©
Kumano Nachi Taisha
Seigantoji Temple ©
Seigantoji Temple
Hirou Shrine ©
Hirou Shrine

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.
On the 11th (Sat), take in the spiritual surroundings of Sarutahiko Shrine, make a trip to 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 get to know the fascinating history of Ise Shrine Geku.

For traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, read our Ise planner .

You can drive from Nachikatsura-cho to Ise in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Expect a daytime high around 9°C in January, and nighttime lows around 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Ise

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Oharai-machi ©
Oharai-machi
Ise Shrine Geku ©
Ise Shrine Geku
Sarutahiko Shrine ©
Sarutahiko Shrine

3
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
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 12th (Sun): take a memorable drive along Chirihama Nagisa Driveway, then examine the collection at Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Daihonzan Eiheiji Temple. On the 13th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: appreciate the extensive heritage of The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses, then get engrossed in the history at Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, and then contemplate the long history of Ainokura Gassho Community.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Kanazawa road trip planner .

Drive from Ise to Kanazawa in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Ise in January, expect a bit cooler with lows of 0°C in Kanazawa. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 14th (Tue) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple, Chirihama Nagisa Driveway, Ainokura Gassho Community, Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum ©
Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum
Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple ©
Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple
Ainokura Gassho Community ©
Ainokura Gassho Community

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