31 days in Japan Itinerary

31 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

31 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: George Town, Penang Island
Fly:  14​h 30​min
1
Ishigaki
— 2 nights
ferry:  1​h
2
Iriomote-jima
— 2 nights
ferry:  4​h
3
Miyakojima
— 3 nights
+2
Fly + subway + train:  4​h 30​min
4
Hiroshima
— 3 nights
+3
train + subway + Fly + taxi:  4​h 30​min
5
Yakushima-cho
— 2 nights
+2
taxi + Fly + taxi:  8​h 45​min
6
Shari-cho
— 2 nights
taxi + Fly:  4​h 45​min
7
Tokyo
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 30​min
8
Nagano
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 15​min
9
Kanazawa
— 2 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
10
Kyoto
— 6 nights
train + Fly:  12​h 30​min
End: George Town, Penang Island

2
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.
Get some historical perspective at Cape Hirakubozaki and Island Countryside Settlement. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Kondoi Beach and Nakamoto Beach. Explore Ishigaki's surroundings by going to Kohama-jima (Hairumubushi Beach & Kubazaki Beach). There's still lots to do: stop by Yurateiku Market, head outdoors with Shiraho Beach, take a stroll through Misaki Town, and explore the gorgeous colors at Kabira Ishizaki Manta Scramble.

For reviews, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, read our Ishigaki trip itinerary app .

George Town, Malaysia to Ishigaki is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of ferry and flight. You'll lose 2 hours traveling from George Town to Ishigaki due to the time zone difference. In December, Ishigaki is slightly colder than George Town - with highs of 26°C and lows of 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Tue) to allow enough time to ride a ferry to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Kohama-jima, Island Countryside Settlement, Nakamoto Beach, Kondoi Beach
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach
Island Countryside Settlement ©
Island Countryside Settlement

2
nights
Iriomote-jima

Iriomote-jima ©
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Wed): take a memorable tour with Tours, then enjoy the sand and surf at Todomari Beach, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Kanpiree Waterfall. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 10th (Thu): take in the dramatic scenery at Nara no Taki Falls, admire the sheer force of Mizuochi Falls, stroll through Funauki Village, then identify plant and animal life at Iriomote Wildlife Conservation Center, and finally identify plant and animal life at Nakama-river Protected Region.

To find photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Iriomote-jima online tour planner .

You can ride a ferry from Ishigaki to Iriomote-jima in an hour. December in Iriomote-jima sees daily highs of 26°C and lows of 20°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Thu) early enough to ride a ferry to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Wildlife Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Funauki Village ©
Funauki Village
Todomari Beach ©
Todomari Beach
Iriomote Wildlife Conservation Center ©

3
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima ©
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Step out of the city life by going to Yonaha Maehama Beach and Sunayama Beach. Relax by the water at Nagamahama Beach Coast and Painagama Beach. The adventure continues: explore the gorgeous colors at Yabiji, kick back and relax at Sawada no hama Beach, get outside with Marine Leisure Sports of Shigira Beach House, and hunt for treasures at Atarasu Ichiba.

For traveler tips, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, read Miyakojima trip planner .

Getting from Iriomote-jima to Miyakojima by ferry takes about 4 hours. December in Miyakojima sees daily highs of 25°C and lows of 20°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Sun) early enough to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Yonaha Maehama Beach ©
Yonaha Maehama Beach
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach
Yabiji
Yabiji

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.
Visit Mitaki Temple and Itsukushima Shrine Torii for their historical value. Take a break from the city and head to Miyajima and Mikasahama Beach. Get out of town with these interesting Hiroshima side-trips: Hatsukaichi (Itsukushima Shrine & Senjokaku), Former Naval Academy (in Etajima) and Miyajima Omotesando Shopping Street (in Miyajima). Next up on the itinerary: appreciate the history behind Peace Flame, contemplate the long history of Atomic Bomb Dome, and make a trip to Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima.

To see more things to do, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Hiroshima driving holiday planner .

You can do a combination of flight and train from Miyakojima to Hiroshima in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. When traveling from Miyakojima in December, plan for little chillier days and cooler nights in Hiroshima: temperatures range from 13°C by day to 4°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Wed) early enough to travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Parks Shopping

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Former Naval Academy
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Itsukushima Shrine Torii ©
Itsukushima Shrine Torii
Mitaki Temple ©
Mitaki Temple
Senjokaku ©
Senjokaku

2
nights
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 17th (Thu): take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Tachudake, then see the interesting displays at The Yakushima World Heritage Conservation Center, and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Yakusugi Land. Here are some ideas for day two: don't miss a visit to Yahazu Cape, then kick back and relax at Isso Beach, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Janokuchinotaki Falls.

Discover how to plan a Yakushima-cho trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Getting from Hiroshima to Yakushima-cho by combination of train, flight, and taxi takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train, ferry, and taxi; or do a combination of car and ferry. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Hiroshima in December: high temperatures in Yakushima-cho hover around 18°C and lows are around 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Shari-cho.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Parks Outdoors Nature
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Yakusugi Land ©
Yakusugi Land
Isso Beach ©
Isso Beach

2
nights
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.
Utoro Onsen and Raiun Shrine are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Take a break from the city and head to Shiretoko National Park and Shiretoko Goko Lake. And it doesn't end there: admire the sheer force of Kamuiwakka Hot Waterfall, explore the activities along Onnebetsu River, explore the striking landscape at Oronko Rock, and look for all kinds of wild species at Shiretoko Peninsula.

To plan Shari-cho vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Yakushima-cho to Shari-cho in 9 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, flight, and train; or do a combination of taxi, flight, and car. In December, Shari-cho is cooler than Yakushima-cho - with highs of 0°C and lows of -5°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Mon) so you can travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Shari-cho

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Hokkaido
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Shiretoko Goko Lake ©
Shiretoko Goko Lake
Shiretoko National Park ©
Shiretoko National Park
Kamuiwakka Hot Waterfall ©
Kamuiwakka Hot Waterfall

3
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.
Get some historical perspective at Kencho-ji Temple and Nezu Shrine. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple) and Odaiba. Step out of Tokyo to go to Isehara and see Oyama Afuri Shrine, which is approximately 1h 25 min away. The adventure continues: wander the streets of Yanaka, take in the spiritual surroundings of Senso-ji Temple, and kick back and relax at Odaiba Kaihin Koen (Odaiba Seaside Park).

To see reviews, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, use the Tokyo vacation planner .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Shari-cho to Tokyo takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight; or take a train. Traveling from Shari-cho in December, you will find days in Tokyo are much hotter (14°C), and nights are somewhat warmer (4°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Thu) to allow enough time to take a train to Nagano.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Beaches

Side Trips

Kamakura, Oyama Afuri Shrine
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Odaiba ©
Odaiba
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Kencho-ji Temple
Kencho-ji Temple

3
nights
Nagano

Nagano ©
Near the confluence of the Chikuma and Sai rivers, Nagano combines historic sites with nearby forested alps dotted with shrines.
Step out of the city life by going to Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort and Nozawaonsen Sotoyu Nakao Hot Spring. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Togakushi Shrine Okusha and Ganshoin Temple. The adventure continues: take in the spiritual surroundings of Togakushi Jinja Hokosha, don't miss a visit to Sanada House, see the interesting displays at Mizuno Museum, and look for gifts at Yawataya Isogoro Honten.

Plan a trip to Nagano easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

You can take a train from Tokyo to Nagano in 1.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In December, Nagano is slightly colder than Tokyo - with highs of 7°C and lows of 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) to allow time to take a train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Nagano

Historic Sites Parks Shopping

Side Trips

Nozawaonsen-mura, Ganshoin Temple
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort ©
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort
Togakushi Shrine Okusha ©
Togakushi Shrine Okusha
Zenko-ji Temple ©
Zenko-ji Temple

2
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
On the 28th (Mon), look for gifts at Sakuda Honten, then buy something for everyone on your list at Kanazawa Hyakubangai Shopping Center, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Natadera Temple, and finally wander the streets of Gokayama. Keep things going the next day: take a memorable drive along Chirihama Nagisa Driveway, then enjoy the sand and surf at Amaharashi Coast, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Inami Betsuin Zuisen-ji Temple, and finally wander the streets of Higashichaya Old Town.

To see more things to do, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Kanazawa itinerary planner .

Getting from Nagano to Kanazawa by train takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and bus; or drive. While traveling from Nagano, expect somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Kanazawa, ranging from highs of 11°C to lows of 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Tue) early enough to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Shopping Beaches

Side Trips

Nanto, Amaharashi Coast, Natadera Temple, Chirihama Nagisa Driveway
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Chirihama Nagisa Driveway ©
Chirihama Nagisa Driveway
Gokayama ©
Gokayama
Amaharashi Coast ©
Amaharashi Coast

6
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.
Get some historical perspective at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Nanzen-ji Temple. Explore hidden gems such as Tenryuji Temple and Tofuku-ji Temple. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Kyoto: Hikone Castle (in Hikone), Dotonbori (in Osaka) and Nara (Toshodai-ji Temple & Nigatsu-do Temple). There's much more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kodai-ji Temple, steep yourself in history at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, and don't miss a visit to Eikando Zenrinji Temple.

To see reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Kyoto trip planner .

You can take a train from Kanazawa to Kyoto in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. December in Kyoto sees daily highs of 13°C and lows of 4°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 4th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Nara, Hikone Castle, Atsuta Jingu Shrine, Dotonbori
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 4:
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Eikando Zenrinji Temple ©
Eikando Zenrinji Temple

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