22 days in Tokyo, Kyoto & Okinawa Prefecture Itinerary

22 days in Tokyo, Kyoto & Okinawa Prefecture Itinerary

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Route & dates

22 days in Tokyo, Kyoto & Okinawa Prefecture Itinerary

Start: Houston
Fly:  18​h 30​min
1
Tokyo
— 4 nights
train:  2​h 45​min
2
Kyoto
— 4 nights
+3
bus + Fly + train + bus:  8​h 30​min
3
Motobu-cho
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Nanjo
— 1 night
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  3​h 15​min
5
Iriomote-jima
— 2 nights
ferry:  1​h
6
Ishigaki
— 3 nights
Fly:  45​min
7
Miyakojima
— 3 nights
Fly:  19​h
End: Houston

4
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.
Tokyo is known for historic sites, parks, museums, shopping, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine, admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower, see the interesting displays at Edo-Tokyo Museum, and take a stroll through Odaiba.

To find reviews, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Tokyo sightseeing tool .

Houston, USA to Tokyo is an approximately 18.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of flight and train. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time (CST) to Japan Standard Time (JST), which is usually a 15 hour difference. Traveling from Houston in December, expect Tokyo to be a bit cooler, temps between 54°F and 39°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Mon) to allow time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Museums Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower
Edo-Tokyo Museum ©
Edo-Tokyo Museum

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Tofuku-ji Temple and Togetsukyo Bridge. There's still lots to do: get great views at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan, step into the grandiose world of Nijo-jo Castle, and make a trip to Arashiyama.

To see photos, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Kyoto tour planner.

Traveling by train from Tokyo to Kyoto takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or drive. In December, plan for daily highs up to 52°F, and evening lows to 39°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Fri) early enough to travel to Motobu-cho.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Theme Parks Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Universal Studios Japan
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Tofuku-ji Temple ©
Tofuku-ji Temple

2
nights
Motobu-cho

Motobu-cho ©
Formed by the gradual merging of several old fishing villages, today the island town of Motobu-cho boasts paradisal beaches of white sand, clear waters, and a rich array of wildlife.
Explore hidden gems such as Kouri-jima Island and Nakijin Castle Remains. There's much more to do: meet the residents at Okichan Theater, head off the coast to Sesoko-jima Island, tour the pleasant surroundings at Okinawa Memorial Park Ocean Expo Park, and kick back and relax at Emerald Beach.

For maps, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Motobu-cho online trip builder .

Do a combination of train, flight, and ferry from Kyoto to Motobu-cho in 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, bus, flight, taxi, and ferry; or do a combination of train and ferry. Traveling from Kyoto in December, expect Motobu-cho to be somewhat warmer, temps between 69°F and 56°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Mon) early enough to go by car to Nanjo.

Things to do in Motobu-cho

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Nature

Side Trip

Nakijin Castle Ruins
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Okichan Theater ©
Okichan Theater
Nakijin Castle Ruins ©
Nakijin Castle Ruins
Bise no Fukugi Tree Road ©
Bise no Fukugi Tree Road

1
night
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.
On the 1st (Tue), contemplate the long history of Sefa-Utaki, pause for some photo ops at Tomori no Ishibori Ufujishi, then steep yourself in history at The Tower of Himeyuri, then steep yourself in history at Okinawa Peace Memorial Park, and finally admire the verdant scenery at Valley of Gangala.

To see traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, read our Nanjo online attractions planner .

You can drive from Motobu-cho to Nanjo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and taxi. Traveling from Motobu-cho in December, expect a bit warmer with lows of 62°F in Nanjo. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) to allow time to travel to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Nanjo

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Itoman, Tomori no Ishibori Ufujishi
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Sefa-Utaki ©
Sefa-Utaki
Okinawa Peace Memorial Park ©
Okinawa Peace Memorial Park
Valley of Gangala ©
Valley of Gangala

2
nights
Iriomote-jima

Iriomote-jima ©
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Wed): step off the mainland to explore Iriomote Island and then paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, then take in the dramatic scenery at Pinaisara Falls, and then steep yourself in history at Wasurenaishi.

For traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Iriomote-jima trip website .

You can do a combination of taxi, flight, and ferry from Nanjo to Iriomote-jima in 3.5 hours. In January, daily temperatures in Iriomote-jima can reach 70°F, while at night they dip to 62°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) so you can ride a ferry to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Tours Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Iriomote Island ©
Iriomote Island
Pinaisara Falls ©
Pinaisara Falls
Wasurenaishi ©
Wasurenaishi

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Cape Hirakubozaki and Kondoi Beach. There's much more to do: enjoy breathtaking views from Tamatorizaki Observatory, contemplate the long history of Ishigaki Yaima Village, take some stellar pictures from Nagomi Tower, and kick back and relax at Kaiji Beach.

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

You can ride a ferry from Iriomote-jima to Ishigaki in an hour. In January, plan for daily highs up to 70°F, and evening lows to 62°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sun) so you can travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Taketomi-cho, Nagomi Tower
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Tamatorizaki Observatory ©
Tamatorizaki Observatory

3
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima ©
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Explore hidden gems such as Yonaha Maehama Beach and Ikema Ohashi Bridge. There's still lots to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Sunayama Beach, take in the views from Irabu Bridge, take in the pleasant sights at Nishihenna Cape, and see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Miyakojima tour itinerary planner .

Fly from Ishigaki to Miyakojima in an hour. In January, daily temperatures in Miyakojima can reach 69°F, while at night they dip to 61°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Yonaha Maehama Beach ©
Yonaha Maehama Beach
East Henna Cape ©
East Henna Cape
Ikema Ohashi Bridge ©
Ikema Ohashi Bridge

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