29 days in Japan & Taiwan Itinerary

29 days in Japan & Taiwan Itinerary

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Route & dates

29 days in Japan & Taiwan Itinerary

Start: Wellington, New Zealand
Fly:  17 h
1
Taipei, Taiwan
— 3 nights
Train:  2 h 45 min
2
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
— 2 nights
Fly:  4 h 15 min
3
Naha, Japan
— 3 nights
Fly:  3 h 30 min
4
Kagoshima, Japan
— 2 nights
Train:  1 h 45 min
5
Fukuoka, Japan
— 2 nights
+2
Fly + Taxi + Train:  3 h 45 min
6
Hamamatsu, Japan
— 1 night
Train:  2 h
7
Ito, Japan
— 1 night
Train:  4 h
8
Sendai, Japan
— 4 nights
Train:  4 h 15 min
9
Hakodate, Japan
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 45 min
10
Niseko-cho, Japan
— 4 nights
Drive:  2 h
11
Sapporo, Japan
— 3 nights
Fly:  22 h 45 min
End: Wellington, New Zealand

3
nights
Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei
Situated in a basin between two mountain ranges, Taipei appeals to tourists with its blend of Asian cultures, living side by side amidst Japanese-era mansions and Taoist temples.
Museum-lovers will get to explore National Palace Museum and Museum 207. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Chiufen (Jiufen Old Street) and National Revolutionary Martyrs' Shrine. Get out of town with these interesting Taipei side-trips: Pingxi (Shifen Waterfall Walk Area & Shifen Waterfall), Wufengchi Waterfall (in Jiaoxi) and Ruifang (Lao Zhen Xiang Bakery & Keelung Mountain). Next up on the itinerary: browse the different shops at Taipei 101, see the interesting displays at Lanyang Museum, admire the landmark architecture of U-mkt, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Lungshan Temple.

For other places to visit, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read Taipei online travel route planner .

Wellington, New Zealand to Taipei is an approximately 17-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train, taxi, and flight; or do a combination of bus and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 4 hours traveling from Wellington to Taipei. In December, daily temperatures in Taipei can reach 23°C, while at night they dip to 18°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Tue) so you can travel to Kaohsiung.

Things to do in Taipei

Museums Parks Shopping

Side Trips

New Taipei, Wufengchi Waterfall, Lanyang Museum
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
National Palace Museum
National Palace Museum
Lanyang Museum ©
Lanyang Museum
Chiufen (Jiufen Old Street) ©
Chiufen (Jiufen Old Street)

2
nights
Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Kaohsiung ©
A small trading town in the 17th century, Kaohsiung now stands as a sprawling metropolis, its harbor representing the largest on the island.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Wed): browse the collection at Kaohsiung Port Warehouse No. 2, see the interesting displays at Hamasen Museum Of Taiwan Railway, shop like a local with The Pier-2 Art Centre, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Caishan Natural Park, then explore the world behind art at Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, and finally head outdoors with Ai He (Love River). Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 31st (Thu): see the interesting displays at National Museum of Taiwan History, admire the striking features of Chihkan Tower (Fort Provintia), then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ji Dian Wu Miao, then admire the striking features of Pujidian, and finally examine the collection at Chimei Museum.

To find photos, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Kaohsiung travel planner.

You can take a train from Taipei to Kaohsiung in 3 hours. Other options are to fly; or drive. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Taipei in December: highs in Kaohsiung hover around 29°C, while lows dip to 20°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Thu) early enough to travel to Naha.

Things to do in Kaohsiung

Museums Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trip

Tainan
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
The Pier-2 Art Centre ©
The Pier-2 Art Centre
National Museum of Taiwan History ©
National Museum of Taiwan History
Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts ©
Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts

3
nights
Naha, Japan

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Scuba & Snorkeling and Furuzamami Beach. Do your shopping at AEONMALL OKINAWA RYCOM and Aeon Naha Shopping Center. Venture out of the city with trips to Aharen Beach (in Tokashiki-son), Itoman (Okinawa Peace Memorial Park & The Tower of Himeyuri) and Onna-son (Sun Marina Beach & Onna Station Nakayukui Market). There's lots more to do: get a new perspective on nature at Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum, kick back and relax at Nishibama Beach, head outdoors with Aka Beach, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yomochi Shrine.

Plan a Naha trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

You can fly from Kaohsiung to Naha in 4.5 hours. The time zone difference when traveling from Kaohsiung to Naha is 1 hour. When traveling from Kaohsiung in December, plan for slightly colder days in Naha, with highs around 24°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Kagoshima.

Things to do in Naha

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Zamami-son, Itoman, Onna-son, Aharen Beach, AEONMALL OKINAWA RYCOM
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Aharen Beach ©
Aharen Beach
Okinawa Peace Memorial Park ©
Okinawa Peace Memorial Park

2
nights
Kagoshima, Japan

Kagoshima ©
Kagoshima sits across the bay from Sakurajima, an active volcano that serves as a symbol of the city and works its way into many aspects of life here.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Mon): take in the pleasant sights at Sengan-en, see the interesting displays at Sora Stage, brush up on your knowledge of spirits at Kirishima Distillery, look for gifts at Tokunagaya Honten, then explore the world behind art at Nagashima Museum, and finally boost your wellbeing at a local thermal spa. Here are some ideas for day two: appreciate the history behind Tokoshieni, Tokkoyushi Statue, appreciate the extensive heritage of Chiran Heiwa Park, brush up on your military savvy at Chiran Peace Museum, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Chirancho Gokoku Shrine, then see the interesting displays at Hotarukan Tomiyashokudo, and finally contemplate the long history of Chiran Samurai Residence Garden.

For other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Kagoshima trip itinerary planning app .

You can fly from Naha to Kagoshima in 3.5 hours. Another option is to ride a ferry. Traveling from Naha in January, you will find days in Kagoshima are slightly colder (11°C), and nights are cooler (1°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Tue) to allow time to take a train to Fukuoka.

Things to do in Kagoshima

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Minamikyushu, Kirishima
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Chiran Peace Museum ©
Chiran Peace Museum
Chiran Samurai Residence Garden ©
Chiran Samurai Residence Garden
Senganen ©
Senganen

2
nights
Fukuoka, Japan

Fukuoka ©
The largest city on the island, Fukuoka formed through the merger of two former cities that had grown up either side of the Naka River.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Wed): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hakozaki Shrine, look for gifts at Marinoa City Fukuoka, take an in-depth tour of Fukuoka City Museum, see the interesting displays at Fukuoka Citizen’s Disaster Prevention Center, then see the interesting displays at OH Sadaharu Baseball Museum, and finally view the masterpieces at ARTIUM. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kamado Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Dazaifu Tenman-gu, sample the tasty concoctions at Asahi Breweries Hakata Brewery, then have fun at Aburayama Shimin no Mori, then have some family-friendly fun at Fukuro no Mise, Hakata, and finally let the kids burn off some steam at Ohori Park.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Fukuoka route planner.

You can take a train from Kagoshima to Fukuoka in 2 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. In January in Fukuoka, expect temperatures between 11°C during the day and 2°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Thu) so you can take a train to Nagasaki.

Things to do in Fukuoka

Museums Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trip

Dazaifu
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Fukuoka City Museum ©
Fukuoka City Museum
Kamado Shrine ©
Kamado Shrine
Hakozaki Shrine ©
Hakozaki Shrine

1
night
Hamamatsu, Japan

Hamamatsu ©
An important industrial hub with a sizable immigrant population from South America, Hamamatsu has developed a taste for international cuisine and arts.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Fri): appreciate the extensive heritage of Saigagake Museum, admire the masterpieces at Ryoun-ji Temple, look for gifts at Maruhan Horie Shoten, head outdoors with Nagisaen, then head outdoors with Bentenjima Beach, and finally kick back and relax at Nakatajima Beach.

Plan trip to Hamamatsu with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Traveling by combination of flight and train from Fukuoka to Hamamatsu takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. January in Hamamatsu sees daily highs of 10°C and lows of 5°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Fri) so you can catch the train to Ito.

Things to do in Hamamatsu

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Nagisaen ©
Nagisaen
Saigagake Museum ©
Saigagake Museum
Nakatajima Beach ©
Nakatajima Beach

1
night
Ito, Japan

Ito ©
Not too far from the capital, Ito has developed a reputation as a resort town, with a fair portion of its area lying within a national park.
On the 9th (Sat), hike along Jogasaki Beach Picnical Course, examine the collection at Nosaka Automata Museum, explore the striking landscape at Omuro Highlands, then play a few rounds at Kawana Hotel, then see the interesting displays at Izu Highland Stained Glass Museum, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Jingi Taisha Shrine.

To see other places to visit, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Ito journey planning website .

Getting from Hamamatsu to Ito by train takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive. In January in Ito, expect temperatures between 11°C during the day and 7°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sat) so you can take a train to Sendai.

Things to do in Ito

Outdoors Parks Museums
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Kawana Hotel ©
Kawana Hotel
Nosaka Automata Museum ©
Nosaka Automata Museum
Izu Highland Stained Glass Museum ©
Izu Highland Stained Glass Museum

4
nights
Sendai, Japan

Sendai ©
Human history and nature combine seamlessly in Sendai, with the influence of each never far away in this green and storied city.
Sendai City Museum and The Miyagi Museum of Art will appeal to museum buffs. Take a break from the city and head to Shiroishigawa Embankment Hitome Sembonzakura and Rairaikyo Gorge. Get out of town with these interesting Sendai side-trips: Shiogama Seafood Market (in Shiogama), Toyoma Education Museum (Old Toyoma Elementary School) (in Tome) and Minamisanriku Sansan Market (in Minamisanriku-cho). There's much more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Chuson-ji Temple, step into the grandiose world of Sendaijo Ato, see the interesting displays at Tanabata Museum, and contemplate the long history of Kanjizaioin Ruins.

For more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Sendai trip planner.

You can take a train from Ito to Sendai in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Traveling from Ito in January, things will get a bit cooler in Sendai: highs are around 5°C and lows about 2°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) to allow time to take a train to Hakodate.

Things to do in Sendai

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trips

Hiraizumi-cho, Suenomatsuyama, Shiroishigawa Embankment Hitome Sembonzakura, Shiogama Seafood Market, Toyoma Education Museum (Old Toyoma Elementary School)
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Chuson-ji Temple ©
Chuson-ji Temple
Takkoku no Iwaya ©
Takkoku no Iwaya
Sendaijo Ato ©
Sendaijo Ato

2
nights
Hakodate, Japan

Hakodate ©
A gateway to the island, Hakodate has gained a reputation for its waterfront attractions, its proximity to some of the island's most popular natural sites, and its seafood.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Thu): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yafurai Tenmangu, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Trappist Monasteries, steep yourself in history at Hakodate Gokoku Shrine, then take in the awesome beauty at Mount Hakodate, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Maria Church Hakodate, and finally steep yourself in history at Kyu Soma-tei. On the 15th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get engrossed in the history at Hakodate City Northern Pacific Fishery's Document Museum, try to win big at Hakodate Horse Racetrack, take in the architecture and atmosphere at St.John's Church Hakodate, look for gifts at Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse, then take an in-depth tour of Hakodate Museum of Northern Peoples, and finally take an in-depth tour of Kitajima Saburo Memorial Museum.

To find traveler tips, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, read Hakodate day trip planning site .

You can take a train from Sendai to Hakodate in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of flight and train. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Sendai in January: high temperatures in Hakodate hover around 0°C and lows are around -6°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Niseko-cho.

Things to do in Hakodate

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trip

Hokuto
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Motomachi ©
Motomachi
Trappist Monasteries ©
Trappist Monasteries
Kyu Soma-tei ©
Kyu Soma-tei

4
nights
Niseko-cho, Japan

Niseko-cho ©
Ranking as the most popular ski resort in Hokkaido, mountaintop Niseko-cho boasts great slopes and surprisingly vibrant nightlife.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Arishima Memorial Center and Gla Gla. For shopping fun, head to Boot Solutions Niseko or Kakizaki Shoten. Explore Niseko-cho's surroundings by going to Mimatsu Masao Memorial Hall (in Sobetsu-cho), Toyako-cho (Toyako Volcano Science Museum, Toyako Visitor Center, &more) and Muroran (Denshin Beach, Muroran Hachimangu Shrine, &more). And it doesn't end there: get outside with Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area, hit the slopes at Niseko Village Pure, identify plant and animal life at Kagaminuma, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For traveler tips, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Niseko-cho online holiday planner .

Traveling by car from Hakodate to Niseko-cho takes 3 hours. In January, daytime highs in Niseko-cho are 0°C, while nighttime lows are -4°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Tue) so you can go by car to Sapporo.

Things to do in Niseko-cho

Parks Outdoors Museums

Side Trips

Toyako-cho, Kutchan-cho, Muroran, Yoichi-cho, Makkarimura Arboretum
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Niseko Village Ski Resort ©
Niseko Village Ski Resort
Zenkoji Temple ©
Zenkoji Temple
Hokkaido Backcountry Club ©
Hokkaido Backcountry Club

3
nights
Sapporo, Japan

Sapporo ©
A modern, bustling city known for its beer brewery, Sapporo attracts millions of visitors with its Snow Festival, during which elaborate ice and snow sculptures are exhibited all over town.
Museum-lovers will appreciate Royce' Chocolate World and Sapporo Art Museum. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Fushimi Inari Shrine and Historical Village of Hokkaido (Kaitaku-no Mura). You'll find plenty of places to visit near Sapporo: Otaru (Otaru City Meeting Hall & The Site of Temiya Line) and Sky Museum, New Chitose Airport (in Chitose). There's much more to do: fly down the slopes at Sapporo Teine, soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens, examine the collection at Hokkaido Museum Morino Charenga, and browse the different shops at Sapporo Factory.

For reviews, maps, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Sapporo journey builder tool .

Traveling by car from Niseko-cho to Sapporo takes 2 hours. While traveling from Niseko-cho, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Sapporo, ranging from highs of -3°C to lows of -6°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Sapporo

Museums Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Otaru, Chitose
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Sapporo Teine ©
Sapporo Teine
Royce' Chocolate World ©
Royce' Chocolate World

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