22 days in Japan Itinerary

22 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan sightseeing planner

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Route & dates

22 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Johannesburg
Fly:  21​h 45​min
1
Tokyo
— 5 nights
2
Matsumoto
— 1 night
Fly:  2​h 30​min
3
Dazaifu
— 1 night
Fly:  2​h 30​min
4
Nanjo
— 4 nights
+2
Drive + ferry + Drive:  4​h 45​min
5
Hatsukaichi
— 2 nights
train:  2​h
6
Himeji
— Few hours
train:  45​min
7
Kyoto
— 6 nights
train + Fly:  22​h
End: Johannesburg

5
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.
Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Ginza and Tsukiji Market. Asakusa and Tokyo National Museum are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Venture out of the city with trips to Kotoku-in (Great Buddha of Kamakura) (in Kamakura) and Yokohama Chinatown (in Yokohama). And it doesn't end there: take in the spiritual surroundings of Senso-ji Temple, take a stroll through Odaiba, examine the collection at Edo-Tokyo Museum, and don't miss a visit to The Tsukiji Market.

For maps, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Tokyo online itinerary planner .

Johannesburg, South Africa to Tokyo is an approximately 22-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight, taxi, and train. The time zone changes from South Africa Standard Time to Japan Standard Time, which is usually a 7 hour difference. Prepare for colder weather when traveling from Johannesburg in December: high temperatures in Tokyo hover around 14°C and lows are around 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Fri) to allow time to take a train to Matsumoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trips

Kōtoku-in, Yokohama Chinatown
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Ginza ©
Ginza
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple
Odaiba ©
Odaiba

1
night
Matsumoto

Matsumoto ©
A castle town, Matsumoto possesses one of the best-preserved feudal structures in the country, and maintains its historical attractions and traditions while simultaneously exuding a modern, cosmopolitan charm.
On the 22nd (Sat), steep yourself in history at Kaichi Gakko Primary School, step into the grandiose world of Matsumoto Castle, then take a stroll through Nakamachi Street, and finally contemplate the long history of Yohashira Shrine.

To see maps, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Matsumoto tour itinerary planning website .

Traveling by train from Tokyo to Matsumoto takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Tokyo in December, with highs in Matsumoto at 7°C and lows at 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sat) to allow time to travel to Dazaifu.

Things to do in Matsumoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Matsumoto Castle ©
Matsumoto Castle
Kaichi Gakko Primary School ©
Kaichi Gakko Primary School
Yohashira Shrine ©
Yohashira Shrine

1
night
Dazaifu

Dazaifu ©
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Sun): browse the different shops at Tenjin Underground Shopping Center, then buy something for everyone on your list at JR Hakata City Amu Plaza Hakata, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Dazaifu Temman-gu.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Dazaifu tour builder tool .

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Matsumoto to Dazaifu takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Traveling from Matsumoto in December, expect Dazaifu to be a bit warmer, temps between 13°C and 5°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun) early enough to travel to Nanjo.

Things to do in Dazaifu

Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trip

Fukuoka
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Tenjin Underground Shopping Center ©
Tenjin Underground Shopping Center
Dazaifu Tenman-gu
Dazaifu Tenman-gu
JR Hakata City Amu Plaza Hakata ©
JR Hakata City Amu Plaza Hakata

4
nights
Nanjo

Nanjo ©
With a long Pacific coastline, Nanjo offers fantastic views of the ocean from high cliffs covered with lush greenery, as well as from its long sandy beaches.
Get some cultural insight at Shurijo Castle and Okinawa Peace Memorial Park. Do your shopping at AEONMALL OKINAWA RYCOM and Onna Station Nakayukui Market. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Nanjo: Naha (Naminoue Beach & Kokusaidori), Tropical Beach (in Ginowan) and Nirai Beach (in Yomitan-son).

For where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Nanjo itinerary planning site .

Traveling by combination of bus, flight, and taxi from Dazaifu to Nanjo takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, flight, and taxi; or do a combination of bus, taxi, and flight. Traveling from Dazaifu in December, expect nights in Nanjo to be much hotter, around 19°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Thu) early enough to travel to Hatsukaichi.

Things to do in Nanjo

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Naha, Okinawa Peace Memorial Park, Onna Station Nakayukui Market, AEONMALL OKINAWA RYCOM, Tropical Beach
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Tropical Beach ©
Tropical Beach
Shurijo Castle ©
Shurijo Castle
Okinawa Peace Memorial Park ©
Okinawa Peace Memorial Park

2
nights
Hatsukaichi

Hatsukaichi ©
The city of Hatsukaichi developed from a small market town, frequented by passing samurais during the Edo period.
On the 27th (Thu), head off the coast to Miyajima. On your second day here, don't miss a visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, appreciate the history behind Atomic Bomb Dome, then step into the grandiose world of Hiroshima Castle, and finally examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Hatsukaichi trip planner .

You can do a combination of taxi, flight, and train from Nanjo to Hatsukaichi in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of taxi, ferry, and train. Traveling from Nanjo in December, expect nights in Hatsukaichi to be cooler, around 4°C, while days are a bit cooler, around 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sat) to allow time to take a train to Himeji.

Things to do in Hatsukaichi

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Hiroshima
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima
Atomic Bomb Dome ©
Atomic Bomb Dome

few
hours
Himeji

Himeji ©
The castle around which the city of Himeji has developed represents one of the best preserved in the country, and has been designated as a national treasure and a World Heritage Site.
On the 29th (Sat), explore the historical opulence of Himeji Castle, then take in nature's colorful creations at Kokoen Garden, and then make a trip to Otemae Street.

To find ratings, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Himeji online trip builder .

You can take a train from Hatsukaichi to Himeji in 2 hours. Another option is to drive. In December, daily temperatures in Himeji can reach 13°C, while at night they dip to 6°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Himeji

Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Koko-en Garden ©
Koko-en Garden
Otemae Street ©
Otemae Street

6
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.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Sanjusangendo Temple. Gion and Nijo-jo Castle are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore Kyoto's surroundings by going to Nara (Kofuku-ji Temple, Todaiji Temple Cultural Center, & more) and Osaka (Dotonbori & Osaka Castle). There's much more to do: steep yourself in history at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ginkaku-ji Temple, don't miss a visit to Eikando Zenrinji Temple, and browse the different shops at Kyoto Station Building.

For maps, reviews, and tourist information, use the Kyoto online sightseeing planner .

Traveling by train from Himeji to Kyoto takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive. In December, daily temperatures in Kyoto can reach 13°C, while at night they dip to 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trips

Nara, Osaka
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 4:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kinkaku-ji ©
Kinkaku-ji

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