19 days in Japan Itinerary

19 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

19 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  12​h 30​min
1
Tokyo
— 3 nights
train + bus:  3​h 30​min
2
Hakuba-mura
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h
3
Ise
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
4
Kyoto
— 4 nights
train + Fly:  6​h
5
Ishigaki
— 2 nights
ferry:  1​h
6
Iriomote-jima
— 2 nights
ferry:  4​h
7
Miyakojima
— 4 nights
Fly:  15​h 15​min
End: Sydney

3
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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Minato Mirai 21 and Sensō-ji. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Ginza and Asakusa. There's lots more to do: take a stroll through Odaiba, don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine, shop like a local with Takeshita Street, and admire the masterpieces at Tokyo National Museum.

To see photos, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Tokyo travel planner .

Sydney, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 12.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time (New South Wales) to Japan Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Expect colder temperatures when traveling from Sydney in January; daily highs in Tokyo reach 11°C and lows reach 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Hakuba-mura.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trip

Minato Mirai 21
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Odaiba ©
Odaiba
Sensō-ji ©
Sensō-ji
Minato Mirai 21 ©
Minato Mirai 21

2
nights
Hakuba-mura

Hakuba-mura ©
Skiing enthusiasts traveling in Japan should consider a trip to Hakuba-mura: tucked away in the Northern Alps, this village hosted several competitions during the Nagano 1998 Winter Olympics.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Fri): fly down the slopes at Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort, steep yourself in history at Ushikata Inn, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Togakushi Shrine Okusha. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the natural beauty at Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort / Alpine Garden and then cruise along Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.

To find where to stay, photos, maps, and more tourist information, use the Hakuba-mura route builder app .

Do a combination of train and bus from Tokyo to Hakuba-mura in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. In January, Hakuba-mura is little chillier than Tokyo - with highs of 3°C and lows of -3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Ise.

Things to do in Hakuba-mura

Outdoors Winter Sports Parks

Side Trips

Ushikata Inn, Togakushi Shrine Okusha, Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort ©
Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort
Togakushi Shrine Okusha ©
Togakushi Shrine Okusha
Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort / Alpine Garden ©

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 12th (Sun): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tsukiyominomiya, get to know the fascinating history of Ise Shrine Geku, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sarutahiko Shrine, steep yourself in history at Oharai-machi, then get engrossed in the history at Sengukan, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Ise Grand Shrine.

For traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Ise vacation builder app .

You can drive from Hakuba-mura to Ise in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from Hakuba-mura in January, expect Ise to be somewhat warmer, temps between 9°C and 7°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can go by car to Kyoto.

Things to do in Ise

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Tsukiyominomiya ©
Tsukiyominomiya
Ise Shrine Geku ©
Ise Shrine Geku
Oharai-machi ©
Oharai-machi

4
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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Toji and Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Eikando Zenrinji Temple and Chion-in Temple. Explore Kyoto's surroundings by going to Osaka (Osaka Castle & Dotonbori). The adventure continues: contemplate the long history of Tofuku-ji Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ginkaku-ji Temple, explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, and wander the streets of Gion.

To find ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Kyoto day trip site .

You can drive from Ise to Kyoto in 2 hours. Other options are to take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Ise in January, expect little chillier with lows of 1°C in Kyoto. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trip

Osaka
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Tofuku-ji Temple ©
Tofuku-ji Temple
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine

2
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.
On the 17th (Fri), enjoy breathtaking views from Tamatorizaki Observatory, enjoy the sea views from Cape Hirakubozaki, and then find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area. Keep things going the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Yonehara Beach, stop by Yurateiku Market, and then kick back and relax at Kondoi Beach.

To find photos, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Ishigaki travel planner .

You can do a combination of train and flight from Kyoto to Ishigaki in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. Plan for much warmer temperatures traveling from Kyoto in January, with highs in Ishigaki at 24°C and lows at 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) so you can ride a ferry to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Kondoi Beach
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach

2
nights
Iriomote-jima

Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Sun): head off the coast to Iriomote Island, stroll through Ida no Hama Beach, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Funauki Village. On the 20th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour and then paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Iriomote-jima trip planner.

Traveling by ferry from Ishigaki to Iriomote-jima takes an hour. January in Iriomote-jima sees daily highs of 24°C and lows of 19°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) early enough to ride a ferry to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Kayaking & Canoeing
Iriomote Island ©
Iriomote Island
Funauki Village ©
Funauki Village

4
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 Scuba & Snorkeling. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Sunayama Beach and Yonaha Maehama Beach. There's lots more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Aragusuku Beach, visit a coastal fixture at Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse, step off the mainland to explore Shimojiiima Island, and snap pictures at Kurima Bridge.

To find ratings, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Miyakojima trip planning tool .

Ride a ferry from Iriomote-jima to Miyakojima in 4 hours. Expect a daytime high around 24°C in January, and nighttime lows around 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Jan 20 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach
Aragusuku Beach ©
Aragusuku Beach
Toguchi no Hama
Toguchi no Hama

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