31 days in Japan Itinerary

31 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

31 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: New York City
Fly:  16​h 15​min
1
Tokyo
— 4 nights
Fly:  5​h 15​min
2
Ishigaki
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h
3
Naha
— 4 nights
+2
Fly + subway + train:  4​h
4
Hiroshima
— 3 nights
train:  1​h
5
Himeji
— 3 nights
train:  45​min
6
Kyoto
— 5 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
7
Kanazawa
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h 30​min
8
Sapporo
— 3 nights
Fly + bus:  20​h 30​min
End: New York City

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.
Have a day of magic on the 6th (Mon) at Tokyo Disneyland. Next up on the itinerary: don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine, enjoy breathtaking views from Tokyo Skytree, explore the world behind art at Tokyo National Museum, and take a stroll through Odaiba.

To find reviews, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Tokyo road trip planning website .

New York City, USA to Tokyo is an approximately 16.5-hour flight. You can also fly; or do a combination of train, bus, and flight. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Japan Standard Time (JST), which is usually a 14 hour difference. Traveling from New York City in January, things will get somewhat warmer in Tokyo: highs are around 50°F and lows about 35°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Tokyo

Theme Parks Neighborhoods Historic Sites

Side Trip

Tokyo Disneyland
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

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.
Ishigaki is known for nature, beaches, adventure, historic sites, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the waterfront views at Kabira Bay, enjoy breathtaking views from Maesedake Observation Site, get outside with Sky Adventure Woomacoo, and take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, read our Ishigaki itinerary maker app .

You can fly from Tokyo to Ishigaki in 5.5 hours. When traveling from Tokyo in January, plan for a bit warmer days in Ishigaki, with highs around 70°F, while nights are warmer with lows around 62°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) so you can travel to Naha.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Parks Adventure
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Kabira Bay ©
Kabira Bay
Tamatorizaki Observatory ©
Tamatorizaki Observatory

4
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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Motobu-cho (Tropical Dream Center & Tropical Dream Center), Toma (in Zamami-son) and Onna-son (Cape Manzamo & Nature Service Mahae). And it doesn't end there: explore the historical opulence of Shurijo Castle, appreciate the history behind Tomori no Ishibori Ufujishi, make a trip to Makishi Public Market, and stroll through Okinawa World Culture Kingdom Gyokusendo.

For more things to do, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Naha road trip website .

Traveling by flight from Ishigaki to Naha takes 3 hours. Expect a daytime high around 67°F in January, and nighttime lows around 59°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) early enough to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Naha

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Onna-son, Tomori no Ishibori Ufujishi, Toma, Tropical Dream Center, Okinawa World Culture Kingdom Gyokusendo
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Manzamo ©
Cape Manzamo
Shurijo Castle ©
Shurijo Castle
Kokusaidori ©
Kokusaidori

3
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Explore Hiroshima's surroundings by going to Hatsukaichi (Itsukushima Gekijyo, Miyajima, & more). There's still lots to do: examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, pause for some photo ops at Children's Peace Monument, get engrossed in the history at Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, and take in nature's colorful creations at Shukkei-en Garden.

To see more things to do, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Hiroshima online visit planner .

Do a combination of flight and train from Naha to Hiroshima in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of ferry and train. Traveling from Naha in January, you will find days in Hiroshima are slightly colder (49°F), and nights are colder (36°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Fri) so you can take a train to Himeji.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Hatsukaichi
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine
Atomic Bomb Dome ©
Atomic Bomb Dome

3
nights
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.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Himeji: Chinatown (Nankinmachi) (in Chuo), Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum (in Higashinada) and Kobe (Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution & Ishoan). The adventure continues: take in the pleasant sights at Himeji Castle, hike along Mt Shosha hiking, steep yourself in history at Nishi no Maru, and make a trip to Shoshazan Engyoji.

To see photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Himeji online day trip planner .

You can take a train from Hiroshima to Himeji in an hour. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus and train. January in Himeji sees daily highs of 48°F and lows of 38°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) to allow time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Himeji

Parks Historic Sites Outdoors

Side Trips

Kobe, Mt. Takamikura
Find places to stay Jan 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Koko-en ©
Koko-en
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle

5
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.
Kyoto is known for historic sites, shopping, classes, parks, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, wander the streets of Gion, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ryoanji Temple, and find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Kyoto trip planner .

Traveling by train from Himeji to Kyoto takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January in Kyoto, expect temperatures between 48°F during the day and 34°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Theme Parks Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Osaka, Jishu Shrine
Find places to stay Jan 20 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan

3
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Change things up with these side-trips from Kanazawa: Shirakawa-mura (Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen & The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses). There's still lots to do: take in nature's colorful creations at Kenrokuen Garden, don't miss a visit to Omicho Market, see the interesting displays at Ishikawa Prefectural Museum for Traditional Products and Crafts, and step into the grandiose world of Kanazawa Castle.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Kanazawa vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Kanazawa takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 44°F, and evening lows to 33°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can travel to Sapporo.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Outdoors Museums

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Shishiku Park
Find places to stay Jan 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen ©
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen

3
nights
Sapporo

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.
When in Sapporo, make a side trip to see Otaru Canal in Otaru, approximately 46 minutes away. There's still lots to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Odori Park, take a stroll through Susukino, fly down the slopes at Mt. Okura Observatory, and ponder the world of politics at Former Hokkaido Government Office Building.

To find maps, photos, ratings, and tourist information, read our Sapporo trip builder app .

Do a combination of train, bus, and flight from Kanazawa to Sapporo in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of car and ferry. Traveling from Kanazawa in January, expect Sapporo to be little chillier, temps between 27°F and 22°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Sapporo

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports

Side Trip

Otaru Canal
Find places to stay Jan 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Okurayama Lookout ©
Okurayama Lookout
Odori Park ©
Odori Park
Otaru Canal ©
Otaru Canal

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