21 days in Japan Itinerary

21 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly + train:  15​h 30​min
1
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
2
Takayama
— 2 nights
+3
train + bus + Fly + taxi:  8​h
3
Yakushima-cho
— 2 nights
+3
taxi + Fly + bus + train:  7​h 15​min
4
Takachiho-cho
— 1 night
Fly:  7​h
5
Ishigaki
— 2 nights
ferry:  1​h
6
Iriomote-jima
— 2 nights
ferry:  4​h
7
Miyakojima
— 6 nights
Fly:  15​h 30​min
End: Melbourne

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.
Kennin-ji Temple and Ninna-ji Temple will appeal to history buffs. Kodai-ji Temple and Nanzen-ji Temple are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Venture out of the city with trips to Nara (Kasuga Grand Shrine & Kofuku-ji Temple) and Byodoin (in Uji). Next up on the itinerary: take in the spiritual surroundings of Tenryuji Temple, make a trip to Eikando Zenrinji Temple, and steep yourself in history at Heian Shrine.

For traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Kyoto online visit planner .

Melbourne, Australia to Kyoto is an approximately 15.5-hour combination of flight and train. You can also fly. The time zone difference when traveling from Melbourne to Kyoto is minus 1 hour. Prepare for warmer weather when traveling from Melbourne in June: high temperatures in Kyoto hover around 32°C and lows are around 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sat) so you can go by car to Takayama.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Nara, Byodoin
Find places to stay Jun 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Toji ©
Toji
Eikando Zenrinji Temple ©
Eikando Zenrinji Temple
Tofuku-ji Temple ©
Tofuku-ji Temple

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.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Sun): get to know the fascinating history of Higashiyama Walking Course, steep yourself in history at Takayama Jinya, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hida Kokubun-ji Temple, then soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens, and finally Head underground at Hida Great Limestone Cave and Ohashi Collection Kan Museum. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 1st (Mon): take in panoramic vistas at Tenshukakau Observatory, steep yourself in history at Ogimachi Castle Old Site Observatory, get engrossed in the history at Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, then steep yourself in history at Wada House, and finally steep yourself in history at Kanda house.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Takayama trip app .

Traveling by car from Kyoto to Takayama takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In June, daytime highs in Takayama are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Mon) early enough to travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites Spas Baths

Side Trip

Shirakawa-mura
Find places to stay Jun 29 — Jul 1:
Highlights from your plan
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya
Higashiyama Walking Course ©
Higashiyama Walking Course
Kanda house ©
Kanda house

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.
Escape the urban bustle at Oko no Taki Fall and Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley. Explore hidden gems such as Yakusugi Land and Onsen Resorts.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Yakushima-cho trip itinerary tool .

Getting from Takayama to Yakushima-cho by combination of train, flight, and taxi takes about 8 hours. Other options: do a combination of train, ferry, and taxi; or do a combination of car and ferry. July in Yakushima-cho sees daily highs of 35°C and lows of 28°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Thu) early enough to travel to Takachiho-cho.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Nature Parks Trails
Find places to stay Jul 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley ©
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley
Yakusugi Land ©
Yakusugi Land
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.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Fri): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Amano Yasugawara, take in the spiritual surroundings of Amano Iwato Shrine, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Takachiho Shrine, and finally contemplate the long history of Kushifuru Shrine. Keep things going the next day: admire the sheer force of Manai Falls and then explore the stunning scenery at Takachiho Gorge.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, use the Takachiho-cho online trip itinerary planner .

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. Expect a daytime high around 35°C in July, and nighttime lows around 27°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sat) so you can travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Takachiho-cho

Nature Parks Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jul 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Takachiho Gorge ©
Takachiho Gorge
Takachiho Shrine ©
Takachiho Shrine
Amano Iwato Shrine ©
Amano Iwato 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.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Sun): stroll through Kondoi Beach and then head outdoors with Outdoor Activities. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at Yonehara Beach, take in panoramic vistas at Tamatorizaki Observatory, and then head outdoors with Cape Hirakubozaki.

To see where to stay, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Ishigaki online trip itinerary planner .

You can fly from Takachiho-cho to Ishigaki in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Takachiho-cho in July since evenings lows in Ishigaki dip to 32°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Mon) to allow enough time to ride a ferry to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trip

Kondoi Beach
Find places to stay Jul 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach

2
nights
Iriomote-jima

Iriomote-jima ©
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Tue): take in the dramatic scenery at Pinaisara Falls and then get outside with Outdoor Activities. On the next day, enjoy the sand and surf at Ida no Hama Beach and then step off the mainland to explore Iriomote Island.

For ratings, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Iriomote-jima planner .

Getting from Ishigaki to Iriomote-jima by ferry takes about an hour. In July, plan for daily highs up to 38°C, and evening lows to 32°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) early enough to catch the ferry to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Parks Outdoors Nature
Find places to stay Jul 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Pinaisara Falls ©
Pinaisara Falls
Iriomote Island ©
Iriomote Island

6
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Get in touch with nature at Kayaking & Canoeing and Scuba & Snorkeling. Popular historic sites such as Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse and Tomori no Amai are in your itinerary. And it doesn't end there: enjoy the sand and surf at Aragusuku Beach, take in the views from Irabu Bridge, don't miss a visit to Ikema Ohashi Bridge, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Toguchi no Hama.

To find more things to do, reviews, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Miyakojima tour itinerary maker .

You can ride a ferry from Iriomote-jima to Miyakojima in 4 hours. In July, plan for daily highs up to 37°C, and evening lows to 31°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Jul 10 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Toguchi no Hama
Toguchi no Hama
Yabiji
Yabiji
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach

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