32 days in Japan Itinerary

32 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

32 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Launceston
Fly:  17​h 30​min
1
Tokyo
— 4 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
2
Kanazawa
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
Takayama
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Kyoto
— 4 nights
train:  45​min
5
Himeji
— 3 nights
train:  1​h
6
Hiroshima
— 3 nights
train:  3​h 30​min
7
Nagasaki
— 3 nights
+2
train + subway + Fly:  6​h
8
Ishigaki
— 4 nights
Fly:  22​h 45​min
End: Launceston

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.
Take a break from Tokyo with a short trip to Tokyo DisneySea in Urayasu, about 30 minutes away. Have a day of magic on the 1st (Wed) at Tokyo Disneyland. Next up on the itinerary: make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, take in the spiritual surroundings of Senso-ji Temple, wander the streets of Odaiba, and get your game on at Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou.

For photos, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Tokyo trip planner .

Launceston, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 17.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time (Tasmania) (AEST) to Japan Standard Time (JST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Traveling from Launceston in December, expect Tokyo to be slightly colder, temps between 14°C and 4°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Thu) early enough to catch the train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Tokyo

Theme Parks Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trip

Urayasu
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine

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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Kanazawa: Hakusan (Ishikawa Jumoku Park & Tedori Canyon) and Aratama Valley (in Komatsu). There's lots more to do: take in nature's colorful creations at Kenrokuen Garden, make a trip to Seisonkaku Villa, take in the spiritual surroundings of Ninja Temple, and see the interesting displays at Ishikawa Prefectural Museum for Traditional Products and Crafts.

For maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Kanazawa online vacation planner .

You can take a train from Tokyo to Kanazawa in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, bus, and train; or drive. When traveling from Tokyo in January, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Kanazawa: temperatures range from 7°C by day to 0°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Hakusan, Aratama Valley
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden
Omicho Market ©
Omicho Market
Higashichaya Old Town ©
Higashichaya Old Town

4
nights
Takayama

Takayama ©
Hidden high up in the Japanese Alps, Takayama remained largely cut off from the rest of Japan for centuries, allowing the local culture to grow in relative isolation.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Takayama: Shirakawa-mura (Ogimachi Castle Old Site Observatory, Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, & more), Kisofukushima Ski Resort (in Kiso-machi) and Matsumoto Castle (in Matsumoto). Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the long history of Takayama Jinya, see the interesting displays at Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato), tour the pleasant surroundings at Ryokufu Resort Hida Nagareha, and take an in-depth tour of Hida Folk Archeological Museum (Hida Minzoku Kokokan).

To see more things to do, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Takayama travel route builder .

Getting from Kanazawa to Takayama by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. In January, plan for daily highs up to 5°C, and evening lows to 0°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Kyoto.

Things to do in Takayama

Winter Sports Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Matsumoto Castle, Kiso Fukushima Ski Resort, Ryokufu Resort Hida Nagareha
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Matsumoto Castle ©
Matsumoto Castle
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya

4
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, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sanjusangendo Temple, admire the striking features of Jishu Shrine, and don't miss a visit to Arashiyama.

For more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Kyoto trip planner .

Drive from Takayama to Kyoto in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. When traveling from Takayama in January, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Kyoto: temperatures range from 10°C by day to 1°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Mon) early enough to catch the train to Himeji.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Theme Parks Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Universal Studios Japan, Jishu Shrine
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 13:
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
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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Himeji: Chuo (Chinatown (Nankinmachi) & Kitanocho Hiroba), Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum (in Higashinada) and Kirin Beer Kobe Factory (in Kita). There's much more to do: step into the grandiose world of Himeji Castle, take in panoramic vistas at Kobe City Hall (Observation Deck), take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Takamikura, and explore and take pictures at Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read our Himeji trip itinerary planning website .

You can take a train from Kyoto to Himeji in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, daytime highs in Himeji are 10°C, while nighttime lows are 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Thu) to allow time to take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Himeji

Parks Breweries & Distilleries Nature

Side Trips

Kobe, Mt. Takamikura
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Koko-en ©
Koko-en
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle

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.
Get out of town with these interesting Hiroshima side-trips: Hatsukaichi (Itsukushima Gekijyo, Miyajima, & more). There's still lots to do: examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, don't miss a visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, pause for some photo ops at The Cenotaph, and explore the historical opulence of Hiroshima Castle.

For ratings, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Hiroshima trip itinerary planner .

You can take a train from Himeji to Hiroshima in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. In January, daytime highs in Hiroshima are 11°C, while nighttime lows are 2°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) to allow enough time to take a train to Nagasaki.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Hatsukaichi
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima

3
nights
Nagasaki

Nagasaki ©
The hilly port city of Nagasaki has become known internationally as one of the two Japanese cities to be destroyed by an atomic bomb towards the close of World War II.
Change things up with a short trip to Huis Ten Bosch in Sasebo (about 1h 15 min away). And it doesn't end there: get engrossed in the history at Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, see the interesting displays at Kyugosho Memorial Exhibit, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Catholic Church Hongouchi, and contemplate the long history of Glover Garden.

To find photos, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Nagasaki travel route planner.

You can take a train from Hiroshima to Nagasaki in 3.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Nagasaki can reach 11°C, while at night they dip to 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) so you can travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Nagasaki

Theme Parks Parks Museums

Side Trip

Huis Ten Bosch
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Huis Ten Bosch ©
Huis Ten Bosch
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum ©
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum
Glover Garden ©
Glover Garden

4
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 the sea views from Cape Hirakubozaki, tour the pleasant surroundings at Banna Park, and head outdoors with Yarabudake.

To see reviews, ratings, photos, and tourist information, use the Ishigaki trip itinerary maker app .

Traveling by combination of train and flight from Nagasaki to Ishigaki takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. When traveling from Nagasaki in January, plan for a bit warmer days in Ishigaki, with highs around 24°C, while nights are much hotter with lows around 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 27th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Parks Adventure
Find places to stay Jan 22 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Kabira Bay ©
Kabira Bay
Tamatorizaki Observatory ©
Tamatorizaki Observatory

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