31 days in Japan Itinerary

31 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip itinerary planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Tokyo
— 6 nights
Drive
2
Nikko
— 2 nights
Train to Nagoya, Train to Ise
3
Ise
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Kyoto
— 5 nights
Drive
5
Osaka
— 4 nights
Drive
6
Koya-cho
— 1 night
Drive
7
Izumo
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
Train to Hakata, Fly to Miyako Jima
9
Miyakojima
— 2 nights
Fly
10
Ishigaki
— 4 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
28
29
30
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1

Tokyo

— 6 nights
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.
Appreciate the collections at Edo-Tokyo Museum and The Hakone Open-Air Museum. Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu and Senso-ji Temple are good opportunities to explore the local culture. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Tokyo: Kamakura (Kōtoku-in, Hase-dera Temple, &more) and Hakone Sekisho and Hakone Sekisho Museum (in Hakone-machi). There's much more to do: take an in-depth tour of Tokyo National Museum, get a taste of the local shopping with Ginza, wander the streets of Odaiba District, and stop by Akihabara.

To see reviews, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read our Tokyo trip itinerary builder website.

Brisbane, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 13-hour flight. Traveling from Brisbane to Tokyo, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Expect colder temperatures when traveling from Brisbane in December; daily highs in Tokyo reach 14°C and lows reach 4°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can go by car to Nikko.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods · Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 1 — 7:

Nikko

— 2 nights
A gateway to a sprawling and diverse national park, a center of Shinto spiritualism and place of Buddhist worship, an emblem of the riches and dominance of the Tokugawa shogunate: Nikko means many things to many people.
On the 8th (Wed), explore the stunning scenery at Ryuokyo Canyon, take in the dramatic natural features at Kammangafuchi Gorge, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nikko Tosho-gu, steep yourself in history at Taiyuimbyo Shrine, then contemplate the long history of Yomeimon (Main Gate), and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Yakushido. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: admire the sheer force of Yudaki Falls, take in the pleasant sights at Senjogahara Field, admire the sheer force of Ryuzu Waterfall, then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Chuzenji, and finally contemplate the long history of Hongu Shrine.

To find maps, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Nikko travel route builder.

Getting from Tokyo to Nikko by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. While traveling from Tokyo, expect slightly colder days and somewhat warmer nights in Nikko, ranging from highs of 11°C to lows of 8°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) so you can travel to Ise.

Things to do in Nikko

Historic Sites · Nature · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 9:

Ise

— 2 nights
A spiritual center of Shintoism, Ise stands as a traditional city where visitors can see the roots of Japanese culture in a number of well-preserved natural and historic sites.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Fri): make a trip to Meotoiwa, take in the spiritual surroundings of Futami Okitama Shrine, get engrossed in the history at Sengukan, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Ise Grand Shrine, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tsukiyominomiya, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Ise Shrine Geku. Here are some ideas for day two: take an in-depth tour of Jingu Chokokan Museum, enjoy breathtaking views from Mt. Yokoyama Observation Deck, don't miss a visit to Okage Yokocho, then contemplate the long history of Oharai-machi, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Sarutahiko Shrine.

Find out how to plan Ise trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

Take a train from Nikko to Ise in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and flight. In December, plan for daily highs up to 11°C, and evening lows to 9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) so you can drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Ise

Historic Sites · Museums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 9 — 11:

Kyoto

— 5 nights
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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Head to Nishiki Market Shopping District and Hayakawa Hamonotenfor plenty of shopping. Next up on the itinerary: take a stroll through Arashiyama, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kodai-ji Temple, don't miss a visit to Eikando Zenrinji Temple, and steep yourself in history at Tofuku-ji Temple.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Kyoto trip itinerary builder tool.

You can drive from Ise to Kyoto in 2 hours. Other options are to take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Ise in December, expect slightly colder with lows of 4°C in Kyoto. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can drive to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Shopping · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 11 — 16:

Osaka

— 4 nights
Proud of their hometown's distinct culture and dialect, many natives of Osaka describe their city as "Japan's anti-capital." An antidote to Tokyo's hectic energy, Osaka marches to the beat of its own drum, serving as the country's longtime commercial and industrial hub.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Otsuka Museum of Art and Kofuku-ji Temple. Do your shopping at Dotombori District and Naniwa Meibutsu Ichibirian Dotombori. Venture out of the city with trips to Himeji (Shoshazan Engyoji, Himeji Castle, &more), Izanagi Shrine (in Awaji) and Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum (in Kobe). And it doesn't end there: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kasuga Grand Shrine, don't miss a visit to Kofuku-ji Temple 5 Stories Pagoda, explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, and identify plant and animal life at Nara Park.

To find traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Osaka online holiday planner.

Getting from Kyoto to Osaka by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. December in Osaka sees daily highs of 13°C and lows of 4°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) early enough to drive to Koya-cho.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 16 — 20:

Koya-cho

— 1 night
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Tue): take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Koya, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Koyasan Danjo Garan, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kongobu-ji Temple, then explore the different monuments and memorials at Koyasan Okunoin, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kodai-in Temple.

For ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Koya-cho online trip planner.

You can drive from Osaka to Koya-cho in 2 hours. Another option is to take a train. In December in Koya-cho, expect temperatures between 13°C during the day and 7°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) so you can drive to Izumo.

Things to do in Koya-cho

Historic Sites · Nature · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 21:

Izumo

— 2 nights
Nestled in the shadows of the Chugoku Mountains, historic Izumo boasts one of Japan's oldest Shinto shrines.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): don't miss a visit to Matsue Castle, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yaegaki Shrine, then browse the exhibits of Adachi Museum of Art, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kamosu Shrine. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Inasa Beach, contemplate the long history of Former Taisha Station, get engrossed in the history at Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo, take in the spiritual surroundings of Hinomisaki Shrine, then visit a coastal fixture at Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Izumo Taisha Shrine.

Before you visit Izumo, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Traveling by car from Koya-cho to Izumo takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a train. Traveling from Koya-cho in December, Izumo is little chillier at night with lows of 4°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Thu) so you can go by car to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Izumo

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 21 — 23:

Hiroshima

— 2 nights

City of Peace

Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Fri): explore the historical opulence of Hiroshima Castle, steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome, then examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and finally contemplate the long history of Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate the long history of Itsukushima Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senjokaku, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Miyama Shrine.

For more things to do and more tourist information, refer to the Hiroshima trip planner.

You can drive from Izumo to Hiroshima in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. December in Hiroshima sees daily highs of 13°C and lows of 4°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) early enough to travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites · Museums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 23 — 25:

Miyakojima

— 2 nights
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
On the 26th (Sun), see the vivid underwater world at Yabiji, take in the views from Irabu Ohashi, kick back and relax at Toguchi no Hama, then take a memorable tour with Tours, and finally head outdoors with Sunayama Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 27th (Mon): don't miss a visit to East Henna Cape, visit a coastal fixture at Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse, enjoy the sand and surf at Aragusuku Beach, then step off the mainland to explore Shimojiiima Island, and finally snap pictures at Ikema Ohashi Bridge.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Miyakojima holiday planning site.

Traveling by combination of train and flight from Hiroshima to Miyakojima takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Hiroshima in December: highs in Miyakojima hover around 25°C, while lows dip to 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) so you can travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 27:

Ishigaki

— 4 nights
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 cultural insight at Cape Hirakubozaki and Island Countryside Settlement. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Prime Scuba Ishigaki Diving Center - Day Tour and Nishi Pier. There's much more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Kondoi Beach, stroll around Kabira Park, get outside with Yonehara Beach, and make a trip to Rhizophoraceae Plant Community of Fukidogawa River.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Ishigaki online trip builder.

Traveling by flight from Miyakojima to Ishigaki takes 2.5 hours. In December, daytime highs in Ishigaki are 26°C, while nighttime lows are 20°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 27 — 31:

Japan travel guide

4.3
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Historic Sites
Land of the Rising Sun
Part of a volcanic archipelago that encompasses over 6,800 islands, Japan remains one of Asia's most fascinating tourist destinations, where a blend of modernity and tradition creates a look and feel completely different from any other place in the world. A tour of Japan lets you discover big cities filled with ancient temples and innovative skyscrapers, as well as quiet country landscapes dotted with castles, perfectly manicured gardens, cherry orchards, and primeval forests seemingly untouched by the hand of mass tourism. Many tourists on vacation in Japan devote lots of time to the country's unique cuisine, prepared with painstaking attention to detail and a genius for simple yet effective presentation.