20 days in Japan Itinerary

20 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan holiday planner

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Route & dates

20 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: London
Fly:  14​h 45​min
1
Tokyo
— 2 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
2
Kyoto
— 2 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
3
Hiroshima
— 3 nights
+3
train + subway + Fly + taxi:  4​h 30​min
4
Yakushima-cho
— 2 nights
+3
taxi + Fly + bus + train:  7​h 15​min
5
Takachiho-cho
— 1 night
Fly:  7​h
6
Ishigaki
— 2 nights
ferry:  1​h
7
Iriomote-jima
— 2 nights
ferry:  4​h
8
Miyakojima
— 3 nights
Fly:  18​h 15​min
End: London

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.
Visit Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple and Kōtoku-in for their historical value. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Hase-dera Temple and Imperial Palace. And it doesn't end there: explore the world behind art at Tokyo National Museum, take a stroll through Odaiba, have some family-friendly fun at Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou, and get a sense of history and politics at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings.

To find photos, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Tokyo route planner.

London, UK to Tokyo is an approximately 15-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. Traveling from London to Tokyo, you'll lose 9 hours due to the time zone difference. In November, Tokyo is a bit warmer than London - with highs of 19°C and lows of 11°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Fri) early enough to catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trips

Kamakura, Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple
Find places to stay Nov 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple ©
Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple
Hase-dera Temple ©
Hase-dera Temple
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum

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 30th (Sat), don't miss a visit to Kiyomizu-dera Temple, then make a trip to Gion, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ryoanji Temple. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 1st (Sun): contemplate the long history of Tofuku-ji Temple, steep yourself in history at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, then explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Eikando Zenrinji Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Ginkakuji Temple.

For reviews, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Kyoto trip builder .

Getting from Tokyo to Kyoto by train takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: fly; or drive. In November, plan for daily highs up to 19°C, and evening lows to 10°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sun) to allow time to take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Nov 29 — Dec 1:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Eikando Zenrinji Temple ©
Eikando Zenrinji Temple

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.
Visit Mitaki Temple and Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima for their historical value. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Itsukushima Shrine Torii and Yamato Museum. Change things up with these side-trips from Hiroshima: Hatsukaichi (Miyajima, Itsukushima Shrine, & more), JMSDF Kure Museum (in Kure) and Senkoji & Senkoji Park (in Onomichi). There's lots more to do: take an in-depth tour of Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, step into the grandiose world of Hiroshima Castle, and steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome.

For other places to visit, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Hiroshima visit planner.

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Hiroshima takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December in Hiroshima, expect temperatures between 13°C during the day and 4°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Kure, Senkoji & Senkoji Park
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Mitaki Temple ©
Mitaki Temple
Itsukushima Shrine Torii ©
Itsukushima Shrine Torii
Senjokaku ©
Senjokaku

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.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Thu): explore the striking landscape of Yakusugi Land and then don't miss a visit to Jōmon Sugi. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the dramatic scenery at Oko no Taki Fall, then head outdoors with Seibu Trail, then take in breathtaking views at Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley, and finally make a trip to Wilson Stump.

To find out how to plan a trip to Yakushima-cho, use our trip itinerary maker.

Do a combination of train, flight, and taxi from Hiroshima to Yakushima-cho in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, ferry, and taxi; or do a combination of car and ferry. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Hiroshima in December: high temperatures in Yakushima-cho hover around 18°C and lows are around 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Takachiho-cho.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Yakusugi Land ©
Yakusugi Land
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley ©
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley
Oko no Taki Fall
Oko no Taki Fall

1
night
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.
On the 7th (Sat), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Takachiho Shrine, take in breathtaking views at Takachiho Gorge, take in the dramatic scenery at Manai Falls, then take in the pleasant sights at Amano Yasugawara, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Amano Iwato Shrine. On your second day here, delve into the distant past at Nanatsumori Ancient Tumulus, don't miss a visit to Shirakawa Springs, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kamishikimi Kumanoimasu Shrine, and finally take in the awesome beauty at Kunimigaoka.

To find traveler tips, photos, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Takachiho-cho journey planning website .

Traveling by combination of taxi, flight, and train from Yakushima-cho to Takachiho-cho takes 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus. In December, Takachiho-cho is little chillier than Yakushima-cho - with highs of 12°C and lows of 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sun) early enough to travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Takachiho-cho

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Nanatsumori Ancient Tumulus, Kamishikimi Kumanoimasu Shrine, Shirakawa Springs
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Takachiho Shrine ©
Takachiho Shrine
Amano Iwato Shrine ©
Amano Iwato Shrine
Takachiho Gorge ©
Takachiho Gorge

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.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Mon): take in panoramic vistas at Tamatorizaki Observatory, visit a coastal fixture at Cape Hirakubozaki, stroll around Banna Park, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Island Countryside Settlement, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Kondoi Beach. On the next day, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, then kick back and relax at Yonehara Beach, then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and finally discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To find traveler tips, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Ishigaki road trip planning site .

Traveling by flight from Takachiho-cho to Ishigaki takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight. Traveling from Takachiho-cho in December, things will get warmer in Ishigaki: highs are around 26°C and lows about 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) early enough to ride a ferry to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trips

Island Countryside Settlement, Kondoi Beach
Find places to stay Dec 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach
Scuba & Snorkeling

2
nights
Iriomote-jima

Iriomote-jima ©
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
On the 11th (Wed), take in the dramatic scenery at Pinaisara Falls, then get interesting insight from Tours, and then take a memorable tour with Tours. Here are some ideas for day two: look for all kinds of wild species at Amitori Asaba, then enjoy the sand and surf at Ida no Hama Beach, then enjoy the sand and surf at Hoshisuna Beach, and finally step off the mainland to explore Barasu Island.

To see traveler tips, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read our Iriomote-jima trip itinerary planner.

Getting from Ishigaki to Iriomote-jima by ferry takes about an hour. Expect a daytime high around 26°C in December, and nighttime lows around 20°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can catch the ferry to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Outdoors Parks Tours
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Hoshisuna Beach ©
Hoshisuna Beach
Pinaisara Falls ©
Pinaisara Falls
Barasu Island ©
Barasu Island

3
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima ©
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Yonaha Maehama Beach and Sunayama Beach. Step out of the city life by going to Yabiji and Kayaking & Canoeing. The adventure continues: take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, don't miss a visit to East Henna Cape, snap pictures at Irabu Ohashi, and head off the coast to Irabu-jima Island.

For more things to do, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Miyakojima route builder website .

Ride a ferry from Iriomote-jima to Miyakojima in 4 hours. In December, daytime highs in Miyakojima are 25°C, while nighttime lows are 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 15th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Yonaha Maehama Beach ©
Yonaha Maehama Beach
Yabiji
Yabiji
Scuba & Snorkeling

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