28 days in Japan Itinerary

28 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

28 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Philadelphia
+2
train + Fly + train:  21​h
1
Kyoto
— 3 nights
+3
train + taxi + Fly + taxi:  3​h 30​min
2
Matsue
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
3
Kochi
— 3 nights
+2
Fly + subway + train:  6​h 30​min
4
Ibusuki
— 1 night
bus + Fly:  4​h 45​min
5
Naha
— 3 nights
Fly:  2​h 30​min
6
Ishigaki
— 3 nights
Fly:  45​min
7
Miyakojima
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h 30​min
8
Tokyo
— 6 nights
Fly + train:  18​h 45​min
End: Philadelphia

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.
Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Dotonbori and Kon's Cycle, Takoyakushi. Do some cultural sightseeing at Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Nijo Castle. There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ryoanji Temple, buy something for everyone on your list at Kyoto Station Building, and wander the streets of Gion.

To see reviews, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read Kyoto trip planner .

Philadelphia, USA to Kyoto is an approximately 21-hour combination of train and flight. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and bus; or do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Philadelphia to Kyoto is 14 hours. In January, Kyoto is somewhat warmer than Philadelphia - with highs of 48°F and lows of 34°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Matsue.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trip

Dotonbori
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 9:
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
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.
On the 10th (Thu), step into the grandiose world of Matsue Castle, stop by Rihaku Shuzo, then admire the masterpieces at Adachi Museum of Art, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tateiwa Shrine, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Yaegaki Shrine. On the 11th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take an in-depth tour of Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo, steep yourself in history at Former Taisha Station, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Miho Shrine, and finally wander the streets of Mihonoseki.

For traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Matsue sightseeing planner .

Traveling by combination of train, flight, and taxi from Kyoto to Matsue takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. In January in Matsue, expect temperatures between 45°F during the day and 35°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Fri) so you can go by car to Kochi.

Things to do in Matsue

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Izumo, Adachi Museum of Art
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Yaegaki Shrine ©
Yaegaki Shrine
Adachi Museum of Art ©
Adachi Museum of Art
Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo
Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo

3
nights
Kochi

Kochi ©
The port city of Kochi has a rich and varied history that has left its mark on the look and feel of the urban area.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Kochi Castle and Konomineji Temple. Head to Sunday Market and Nishioka Breweryfor plenty of shopping. Venture out of the city with trips to Old Samurai Residence of Rojyu Doi (in Aki), Konan (Noichi Ryoma History Museam & Ekingura) and Shoryuji Temple (in Tosa). There's still lots to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Zenshibuji Temple, see the interesting displays at Torahiko Terada Museum, and have fun and explore at Takashi Yanase Kinenkan Anpanman Museum.

To see other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Kochi itinerary planning site .

You can drive from Matsue to Kochi in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight; or take a bus. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Matsue in January: highs in Kochi hover around 52°F, while lows dip to 36°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Mon) early enough to travel to Ibusuki.

Things to do in Kochi

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trips

Konan, Nishioka Brewery, Konomineji Temple, Old Samurai Residence of Rojyu Doi, Zenshibuji Temple
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Kochi Castle ©
Kochi Castle
Sunday Market
Sunday Market

1
night
Ibusuki

Ibusuki ©
A coastal place of relaxation, Ibusuki stands as a hot spring resort on the southern tip of the peninsula.
On the 15th (Tue), indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at some of the top local onsens, take a memorable drive along JR Southernmost Nishioyama Station, then enjoy the sand and surf at Fushime Coast, and finally stop by Michi-no-Eki Iokaido. On the 16th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: learn about all things military at Chiran Peace Museum, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Kaimondake, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kawakami Shrine.

For ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Ibusuki road trip planner.

Do a combination of flight and train from Kochi to Ibusuki in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a train. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Ibusuki when traveling from Kochi in January, with lows around 45°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Wed) so you can travel to Naha.

Things to do in Ibusuki

Nature Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Chiran Peace Museum
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Mt. Kaimondake ©
Mt. Kaimondake
Chiran Peace Museum ©
Chiran Peace Museum
Onsen Resorts

3
nights
Naha

Naha ©
Naha, the capital of Okinawa, has deep roots: Stone Age relics have been found in the city, and through the Middle Ages it rose in importance in the Ryukyu Kingdom.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Onna Station Nakayukui Market and Okinawa Peace Memorial Park. Head to AEONMALL OKINAWA RYCOM and Keiben Station Kariyushi Marketfor plenty of shopping. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Naha: Itoman (Himeyuri Peace Museum & The Tower of Himeyuri), Zakimi Castle Ruins (in Yomitan-son) and Sefa-Utaki (in Nanjo). Next up on the itinerary: step into the grandiose world of Katsuren Castle Ruins, steep yourself in history at Former Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters, appreciate the extensive heritage of Shurijo Castle, and explore the world behind art at Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum.

To find ratings, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Naha trip maker site .

Do a combination of bus and flight from Ibusuki to Naha in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and ferry; or do a combination of train and ferry. Traveling from Ibusuki in January, things will get a bit warmer in Naha: highs are around 67°F and lows about 59°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Naha

Historic Sites Shopping Museums

Side Trips

Itoman, Nanjo, Katsuren Castle Ruins, Onna Station Nakayukui Market, AEONMALL OKINAWA RYCOM
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Sefa-Utaki ©
Sefa-Utaki
Okinawa Peace Memorial Park ©
Okinawa Peace Memorial Park
Himeyuri Peace Museum ©
Himeyuri Peace Museum

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 Kondoi Beach and Pinion Direct Shop. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Cape Hirakubozaki and Nei Museum of Art. There's lots more to do: kick back and relax at Yonehara Beach, take in the waterfront at Nishi Pier, tour the pleasant surroundings at Banna Park, and appreciate the extensive heritage of Island Countryside Settlement.

For maps, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Ishigaki trip planner .

Fly from Naha to Ishigaki in 2.5 hours. In January, daily temperatures in Ishigaki can reach 70°F, while at night they dip to 62°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Tue) to allow time to travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Taketomi-jima
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach

3
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima ©
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Sunayama Beach and Ikema Ohashi Bridge. There's lots more to do: take in the views from Irabu Bridge, don't miss a visit to East Henna Cape, enjoy the sand and surf at Aragusuku Beach, and step off the mainland to explore Shimojiiima Island.

For where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Miyakojima itinerary planner .

Traveling by combination of flight and taxi from Ishigaki to Miyakojima takes an hour. January in Miyakojima sees daily highs of 69°F and lows of 61°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Jan 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Yonaha Maehama Beach ©
Yonaha Maehama Beach
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach
Aragusuku Beach ©
Aragusuku Beach

6
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes The Railway Museum as well as Kamaasa Knife Shop. Do your shopping at Minato Mirai 21 and Art Jeunesse Akihabara. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Odaiba and Senso-ji Temple. Go for a jaunt from Tokyo to Naka to see Yokohama Chinatown about 48 minutes away. There's much more to do: get a taste of the local shopping with Ginza, admire the masterpieces at Tokyo National Museum, admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower, and make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine.

For maps, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Tokyo trip maker .

Do a combination of taxi and flight from Miyakojima to Tokyo in 4.5 hours. While traveling from Miyakojima, expect little chillier days and much colder nights in Tokyo, ranging from highs of 50°F to lows of 35°F. On the 31st (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Shopping Museums

Side Trips

Yokohama, The Railway Museum
Find places to stay Jan 25 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Odaiba ©
Odaiba
Minato Mirai 21 ©
Minato Mirai 21
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum

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