24 days in Japan Itinerary

24 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

24 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly + Bus:  13​h 15​min
1
Onna-son
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Kumejima-cho
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h 30​min
3
Miyakojima
— 3 nights
Ferry:  4​h
4
Iriomote-jima
— 2 nights
Ferry:  1​h
5
Ishigaki
— 2 nights
Fly:  7​h
6
Takachiho-cho
— 1 night
+3
Train + Bus + Fly + Taxi:  7​h 15​min
7
Yakushima-cho
— 1 night
+2
Taxi + Fly + Taxi:  7​h 30​min
8
Matsue
— 1 night
+2
Taxi + Fly + Taxi:  6​h 45​min
9
Shari-cho
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h 15​min
10
Kutchan-cho
— 1 night
+3
Train + Fly + Taxi + Train:  8​h
11
Hakuba-mura
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  17​h 15​min
End: Sydney

1
night
Onna-son

Located on the coast in the middle of the island, Onna-son has become known for its beaches and seaside economy.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Fri): get outside with Outdoor Activities, stop by Onna Station Nakayukui Market, then kick back and relax at Manza Beach, and finally explore the striking landscape at Tobera Rock. Here are some ideas for day two: step into the grandiose world of Katsuren Castle Ruins, browse the different shops at AEONMALL OKINAWA RYCOM, and then pause for some photo ops at Okinawa Peace Memorial Park.

For traveler tips, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read Onna-son sightseeing planner .

Sydney, Australia to Onna-son is an approximately 13.5-hour flight. Traveling from Sydney to Onna-son, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Sydney in December, with highs in Onna-son at 24°C and lows at 15°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Sat) early enough to travel to Kumejima-cho.

Things to do in Onna-son

Outdoors Shopping Parks

Side Trips

Katsuren Castle Ruins, Okinawa Peace Memorial Park, AEONMALL OKINAWA RYCOM
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Manza Beach ©
Manza Beach
AEONMALL OKINAWA RYCOM ©
AEONMALL OKINAWA RYCOM

1
night
Kumejima-cho

Kumejima-cho ©
The town of Kumejima-cho spans several islands, including the main island of the same name.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Sun): take a memorable drive along Tsumugi Bridge, step off the mainland to explore Hatenohama, snap pictures at Shirugachi Bridge, then play a few rounds at Kumejima Seaside Park Golf Club, and finally see the interesting displays at Kumejima Hotaru Kan.

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

Getting from Onna-son to Kumejima-cho by combination of taxi and flight takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and ferry. Traveling from Onna-son in December, Kumejima-cho is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 19°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sun) so you can travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Kumejima-cho

Outdoors Golf Nature
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Hatenohama ©
Hatenohama
Shirugachi Bridge ©
Shirugachi Bridge

3
nights
Miyakojima

A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Step off the beaten path and head to Aragusuku Beach and Shimojiiima Island. Visiting Toguchi no Hama and Scuba & Snorkeling will get you outdoors. The adventure continues: head off the coast to Irabu-jima Island, take in the views from Irabu Bridge, make a trip to Boraga Limestone Cave, and kick back and relax at Yonaha Maehama Beach.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Miyakojima trip itinerary maker website .

Traveling by flight from Kumejima-cho to Miyakojima takes 3.5 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 25°C, and evening lows to 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) to allow time to ride a ferry to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Toguchi no Hama
Toguchi no Hama
Aragusuku Beach ©
Aragusuku Beach

2
nights
Iriomote-jima

Iriomote-jima ©
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Thu): scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, then take in the dramatic scenery at Pinaisara Falls, and then head off the coast to Iriomote Island. Keep things going the next day: identify plant and animal life at Funauki Village, kick back and relax at Ida no Hama Beach, and then add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Iriomote-jima trip planner .

Getting from Miyakojima to Iriomote-jima by ferry takes about 4 hours. Expect a daytime high around 26°C in December, and nighttime lows around 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) early enough to ride a ferry to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Outdoors Parks Tours
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Pinaisara Falls ©
Pinaisara Falls
Funauki Village ©
Funauki Village
Kayaking & Canoeing

2
nights
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 21st (Sat): get outside with Outdoor Activities, tour the pleasant surroundings at Yonehara Beach, and then visit a coastal fixture at Cape Hirakubozaki. On your second day here, take in panoramic vistas at Tamatorizaki Observatory, then add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, then enjoy the sand and surf at Kondoi Beach, and finally look for gifts at Pinion Direct Shop.

To find photos, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Ishigaki road trip planning site .

You can ride a ferry from Iriomote-jima to Ishigaki in an hour. December in Ishigaki sees daily highs of 26°C and lows of 20°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can travel to Takachiho-cho.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Parks Adventure

Side Trip

Kondoi Beach
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Kayaking & Canoeing
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach

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.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Mon): go for a walk through Amano Yasugawara, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Amano Iwato Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kaguraden, take in the dramatic scenery at Manai Falls, then take in breathtaking views at Takachiho Gorge, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Amanomanai. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the spiritual surroundings of Takachiho Shrine, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Takachiho Shrine, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Kunimigaoka, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at Tokubetsuto Rice Terraces.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, go to the Takachiho-cho trip builder tool .

Traveling by flight from Ishigaki to Takachiho-cho takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from Ishigaki in December, things will get colder in Takachiho-cho: highs are around 12°C and lows about 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Tue) so you can travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Takachiho-cho

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Tokyotakachiho Shrine
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Manai Falls ©
Manai Falls
Kunimigaoka ©
Kunimigaoka
Kaguraden ©
Kaguraden

1
night
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 25th (Wed): look for all kinds of wild species at Anbo River and then explore the stunning scenery at Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley. Here are some ideas for day two: tour the pleasant surroundings at Yakusugi Land.

To find photos, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Yakushima-cho trip maker site .

Traveling by combination of train, flight, and taxi from Takachiho-cho to Yakushima-cho takes 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi. In December, Yakushima-cho is a bit warmer than Takachiho-cho - with highs of 18°C and lows of 12°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) so you can travel to Matsue.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Parks Wildlife Nature
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Anbo River ©
Anbo River
Yakusugi Land ©
Yakusugi Land
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley ©
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley

1
night
Matsue

Matsue ©
Matsue sits on the banks of the Ohashi-gawa river, channeling its waters through a series of canals and rivers that add much to the scenic aspect of the urban area.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Fri): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kamosu Shrine, browse the exhibits of Adachi Museum of Art, then delve into the distant past at Kojindani Ruin, then contemplate the long history of Former Taisha Station, and finally get answers to all your questions at Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo. On the 28th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the activities along Shinji Lake, take in the spiritual surroundings of Tamatsukuriyu Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yaegaki Shrine, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Miho Shrine, and finally look for gifts at Rihaku Shuzo.

To see where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, read our Matsue online travel route planner .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Yakushima-cho to Matsue in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, flight, and train; or do a combination of taxi, ferry, and train. In December, Matsue is little chillier than Yakushima-cho - with highs of 11°C and lows of 4°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) early enough to travel to Shari-cho.

Things to do in Matsue

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trips

Izumo, Shinji Lake, Adachi Museum of Art
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Miho Shrine ©
Miho Shrine
Kamosu Shrine ©
Kamosu Shrine
Kojindani Ruin ©
Kojindani Ruin

1
night
Shari-cho

Shari-cho ©
Tourism in Shari-cho, a small town situated on Hokkaido's eastern tip, flourishes mainly because of its immediate proximity to the Shiretoko World Heritage Site.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Sun): take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Io, take in the dramatic scenery at Kamuiwakka Hot Waterfall, then contemplate the waterfront views at Shiretoko Goko Lake, and finally cruise along Shiretoko Pass. Keep things going the next day: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Rausu and then don't miss a visit to Shiretoko Misaki.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Shari-cho journey maker website .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Matsue to Shari-cho in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, flight, and taxi; or take a train. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from Matsue in December, with highs in Shari-cho at 0°C and lows at -5°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) early enough to travel to Kutchan-cho.

Things to do in Shari-cho

Nature Parks Scenic Drive

Side Trip

Hokkaido
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Shiretoko Misaki ©
Shiretoko Misaki
Mt. Rausu ©
Mt. Rausu
Shiretoko Pass
Shiretoko Pass

1
night
Kutchan-cho

Kutchan-cho ©
Kutchan-cho's reputation rests on two things: skiing and potatoes.
On the 31st (Tue), hit the slopes at Niseko Outdoor Center, hit the slopes at Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu Ski Place, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas. On your second day here, take an in-depth tour of Arishima Memorial Center, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Rusutsu Resort Ski, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Toya.

For photos, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Kutchan-cho tour planner.

Traveling by combination of taxi, flight, and train from Shari-cho to Kutchan-cho takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. In December, daily temperatures in Kutchan-cho can reach 0°C, while at night they dip to -2°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) to allow time to travel to Hakuba-mura.

Things to do in Kutchan-cho

Parks Winter Sports Outdoors

Side Trips

Niseko-cho, Rusutsu Resort Ski, Lake Toya
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Rusutsu Resort Ski ©
Rusutsu Resort Ski
Lake Toya ©
Lake Toya

1
night
Hakuba-mura

Hakuba-mura ©
Skiing enthusiasts traveling in Japan should consider a trip to Hakuba-mura: tucked away in the Northern Alps, this village hosted several competitions during the Nagano 1998 Winter Olympics.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at Hakuba, fly down the slopes at Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Wadano no Mori Church. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri): fly down the slopes at Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park, then admire the natural beauty at Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort / Alpine Garden, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

For ratings, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Hakuba-mura road trip tool .

You can do a combination of train and flight from Kutchan-cho to Hakuba-mura in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, flight, and shuttle; or do a combination of car and ferry. Traveling from Kutchan-cho in January, expect nights in Hakuba-mura to be about the same, around -3°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Hakuba-mura

Winter Sports Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort ©
Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort
Hakuba ©
Hakuba
Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park ©
Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park

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