21 days in Japan Itinerary

21 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

21 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
Fly:  14​h 30​min
1
Miyakojima
— 4 nights
ferry:  4​h
2
Iriomote-jima
— 3 nights
ferry:  1​h
3
Ishigaki
— 3 nights
Fly:  7​h
4
Takachiho-cho
— 2 nights
+3
train + bus + Fly + taxi:  7​h 15​min
5
Yakushima-cho
— 2 nights
+3
taxi + Fly + bus + train:  8​h
6
Takayama
— 2 nights
train + Fly:  16​h 45​min
End: San Francisco

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 Aragusuku Beach and Scuba & Snorkeling. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse and Nakasone Toyumya Tomb. There's much more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Toguchi no Hama, take in the views from Irabu Bridge, make a trip to East Henna Cape, and take in panoramic vistas at Ryugujo Observatory.

To find reviews, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Miyakojima online day trip planner .

San Francisco, USA to Miyakojima is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. Traveling from San Francisco to Miyakojima, you'll lose 17 hours due to the time zone difference. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from San Francisco in December: high temperatures in Miyakojima hover around 71°F and lows are around 64°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) to allow enough time to ride a ferry to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach
Aragusuku Beach ©
Aragusuku Beach
Scuba & Snorkeling

3
nights
Iriomote-jima

Iriomote-jima ©
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
Escape the urban bustle at Ida no Hama Beach and Kanpiree Waterfall. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Iriomote Island and Pinaisara Falls. The adventure continues: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports and scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

For ratings, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Iriomote-jima itinerary builder app .

You can ride a ferry from Miyakojima to Iriomote-jima in 4 hours. Expect a daytime high around 72°F in December, and nighttime lows around 64°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) early enough to ride a ferry to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Outdoors Parks Tours
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Iriomote Island ©
Iriomote Island
Pinaisara Falls ©
Pinaisara Falls
Kayaking & Canoeing

3
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Kabira Park. Escape the urban bustle at Kondoi Beach and Ishigaki Island Limestone Cave. There's still lots to do: take in the waterfront at Nishi Pier, enjoy breathtaking views from Tamatorizaki Observatory, stroll through Yonehara Beach, and head outdoors with Cape Hirakubozaki.

For ratings, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Ishigaki trip site .

Ride a ferry from Iriomote-jima to Ishigaki in an hour. In December, daily temperatures in Ishigaki can reach 72°F, while at night they dip to 64°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) early enough to travel to Takachiho-cho.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Taketomi-jima
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach

2
nights
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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Takachiho Shrine and Kushifuru Shrine. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Onsen Resorts and Daikanbo. Go for a jaunt from Takachiho-cho to Aso to see Suzuran Jikiji about 1 hour away. There's still lots to do: get impressive views of Mt. Aso, take in the pleasant sights at Amano Yasugawara, take in breathtaking views at Takachiho Gorge, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Amano Iwato Shrine.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Takachiho-cho day trip planner .

You can fly from Ishigaki to Takachiho-cho in 7 hours. Another option is to do a combination of flight and bus. Plan for colder temperatures traveling from Ishigaki in December, with highs in Takachiho-cho at 51°F and lows at 37°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) so you can travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Takachiho-cho

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Aso, Onsen Resorts, Mt. Aso
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Takachiho Gorge ©
Takachiho Gorge
Daikanbo ©
Daikanbo
Mt. Aso ©
Mt. Aso

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.
Visiting Yakusugi Land and Oko no Taki Fall will get you outdoors. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Taikoiwa and Onsen Resorts. The adventure continues: don't miss a visit to Wilson Stump and explore the stunning scenery at Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley.

For more things to do, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Yakushima-cho attractions tool .

Getting from Takachiho-cho to Yakushima-cho by combination of train, flight, and taxi takes about 7.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Takachiho-cho in December: high temperatures in Yakushima-cho hover around 60°F and lows are around 51°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) so you can travel to Takayama.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Nature Parks Trails
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Yakusugi Land ©
Yakusugi Land
Oko no Taki Fall
Oko no Taki Fall
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley ©
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley

2
nights
Takayama

Takayama ©
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Norikura Kogen and Ainokura Gassho Community. Gokayama and Suganuma Gassho Community are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore Takayama's surroundings by going to Shirakawa-mura (Ogimachi Castle Old Site Observatory, Wada House, & more). It doesn't end there: appreciate the extensive heritage of Higashiyama Walking Course and contemplate the long history of Takayama Jinya.

Planning Takayama trip won't be overwheling when you use's Insprock itinerary maker.

Traveling by combination of taxi, flight, and train from Yakushima-cho to Takayama takes 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, ferry, and train; or do a combination of car and ferry. In December, Takayama is little chillier than Yakushima-cho - with highs of 46°F and lows of 37°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Takayama

Outdoors Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Nanto, Shirakawa-mura, Norikura Kogen (Highland)
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Norikura Kogen (Highland) ©
Norikura Kogen (Highland)
Gokayama ©
Gokayama
Higashiyama Walking Course ©
Higashiyama Walking Course

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