34 days in Japan Itinerary

34 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

34 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  12​h 30​min
1
Tokyo
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 30​min
2
Sendai
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h
3
Sapporo
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
4
Abashiri
— 3 nights
+2
foot + Fly + bus:  8​h 30​min
5
Takachiho-cho
— 3 nights
taxi + train:  2​h
6
Miyazaki
— 3 nights
+2
Fly + subway + train:  3​h 30​min
7
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
train:  2​h
8
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
9
Nachikatsura-cho
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
10
Ise
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h
11
Kanazawa
— 2 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
12
Tokyo
— 1 night
Fly:  12​h 30​min
End: Sydney

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Mt. Takao and Carnivorous plant habitat in Togane, Naruto. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Ueno and Yokohama Nature Sanctuary. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tokyo: Kiyose Sunflower Farm (in Kiyose), Karakida Trail (in Tama) and Pola Museum of Art (in Hakone-machi). There's much more to do: wander the streets of Yanaka, take in the spiritual surroundings of Sensō-ji, and delve into the lush surroundings at Koajiro Forest.

To see traveler tips, ratings, photos, and tourist information, read our Tokyo trip itinerary maker site .

Sydney, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 12.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. Traveling from Sydney to Tokyo, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Expect colder temperatures when traveling from Sydney in December; daily highs in Tokyo reach 14°C and lows reach 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) to allow time to take a train to Sendai.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

Pola Museum of Art, Koajiro Forest, Carnivorous plant habitat in Togane, Naruto, Yokohama Nature Sanctuary, Karakida Trail
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Mt. Takao ©
Mt. Takao
Yanaka ©
Yanaka
Ueno ©
Ueno

3
nights
Sendai

Sendai ©
Human history and nature combine seamlessly in Sendai, with the influence of each never far away in this green and storied city.
On the 22nd (Sun), take in the pleasant sights at Shiroishigawa Embankment Hitome Sembonzakura, admire the verdant scenery at Rairaikyo Gorge, then get a new perspective on nature at Tohoku University of Natural History, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Atago Jinja Shrine, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kosho-ji Temple. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the galleries of Aoba Castle Museum, then explore the historical opulence of Sendai Castle (Aoba Castle), then see the sky in a new way at Sendai Astronomical Observatory, and finally go for a walk through Miyagi Zao Eboshi Resort.

To find more things to do, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read our Sendai road trip site .

Take a train from Tokyo to Sendai in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. When traveling from Tokyo in December, plan for slightly colder days in Sendai, with highs around 8°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 5°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) early enough to travel to Sapporo.

Things to do in Sendai

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trips

Miyagi Zao Eboshi Resort, Shiroishigawa Embankment Hitome Sembonzakura
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Miyagi Zao Eboshi Resort ©
Miyagi Zao Eboshi Resort
Sendaijo Ato ©
Sendaijo Ato
Aoba Castle Museum ©
Aoba Castle Museum

4
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Niseko Hanazono Resort and Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area. Take a break from the city and head to Sapporo Teine and Niseko Village Pure. When in Sapporo, make a side trip to see Kutchan Natural History Museum in Kutchan-cho, approximately 1h 30 min away. There's lots more to do: admire the masterpieces at Sapporo Art Museum, make a trip to The Site of Kairakuen Park, take an in-depth tour of Historical Village of Hokkaido (Kaitaku-no Mura), and examine the collection at Hokkaido Museum Morino Charenga.

To see traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Sapporo day trip site .

Traveling by flight from Sendai to Sapporo takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or take a train. Traveling from Sendai in December, things will get little chillier in Sapporo: highs are around 0°C and lows about -2°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Abashiri.

Things to do in Sapporo

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trips

Niseko-cho, Kutchan-cho
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Sapporo Teine ©
Sapporo Teine
Niseko Hanazono Resort ©
Niseko Hanazono Resort
The Hokkaido University Museum ©
The Hokkaido University Museum

3
nights
Abashiri

Abashiri ©
A coastal town with a smattering of things to do, Abashiri has an interesting history and arresting natural scenery.
You've now added Abashiri Sightseeing Icebreaker Aurora to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 29th (Sun): kick back and relax at Abashiri Coast, take an in-depth tour of Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples, examine the collection at Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Museum, then make a trip to Abashiri Prison Museum, and finally get great views at Cape Notoro. Here are some ideas for day two: get outside with Abashiri Lakeside, get outside with Abashiri Sightseeing Icebreaker Aurora, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Eisen-ji Temple, and finally get engrossed in the history at Moyoro Kaizuka-kan.

For maps, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Abashiri trip planner.

Drive from Sapporo to Abashiri in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of flight and train. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Abashiri when traveling from Sapporo in December, with lows around -8°C. On the 31st (Tue), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Takachiho-cho.

Things to do in Abashiri

Museums Outdoors Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples ©
Cape Notoro ©
Cape Notoro
Abashiri Coast ©
Abashiri Coast

3
nights
Takachiho-cho

Takachiho-cho ©
The mountain town of Takachiho-cho remains a place of great importance to Japan's spiritual and natural heritage, and the point where these two things intersect.
Step out of the city life by going to Takachiho Gorge and Aso Panorama Line. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Onsen Resorts and Takachiho Shrine. Venture out of the city with trips to Heitate Shrine (in Yamato-cho), Aso Mizuki Meguri (in Aso) and Kamishikimi Kumanoimasu Shrine (in Takamori-machi). There's much more to do: take in the dramatic scenery at Manai Falls, look for all kinds of wild species at Tokubetsuto Rice Terraces, take in the pleasant sights at Amano Yasugawara, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kaguraden.

Planning Takachiho-cho trip won't be overwheling when you use's Insprock itinerary maker.

Traveling by flight from Abashiri to Takachiho-cho takes 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or take a train. In December, Takachiho-cho is somewhat warmer than Abashiri - with highs of 12°C and lows of 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Miyazaki.

Things to do in Takachiho-cho

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Aso, Kamishikimi Kumanoimasu Shrine, Onsen Resorts, Heitate Shrine
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Amano Yasugawara ©
Amano Yasugawara
Takachiho Gorge ©
Takachiho Gorge
Manai Falls ©
Manai Falls

3
nights
Miyazaki

Miyazaki ©
Enjoying some of the warmest weather on Japan's main islands, Miyazaki thrived as a resort town in the 1980s, with hotels, beaches, and seafood restaurants galore.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Sat): engage your brain at Miyzaki Science Center, explore the galleries of Miyazaki Prefectural Museum of Nature and History, play a few rounds at Phoenix Country Club, then take an in-depth tour of Sadowara Castle History Museum Kakushokan, and finally do a tasting at Tsuno Winery. Keep things going the next day: soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Aoshima Shrine, take in the spiritual surroundings of Udo Shrine, then take a stroll through Obi, and finally contemplate the long history of Saitobaru Tomb.

To find other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Miyazaki travel route planner.

Do a combination of taxi and train from Takachiho-cho to Miyazaki in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Takachiho-cho in January: highs in Miyazaki hover around 14°C, while lows dip to 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Miyazaki

Historic Sites Museums Outdoors

Side Trips

Nichinan, Saitobaru Tomb, Tsuno Winery
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Aoshima Shrine ©
Aoshima Shrine
Udo Shrine ©
Udo Shrine
Obi ©
Obi

2
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 a sense of the local culture at JMSDF Kure Museum and Mitaki Temple. Step off the beaten path and head to Daishoin Temple and Itsukushima Shrine Torii. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Hiroshima: Ini Rice Terraces (in Akiota-cho), Hatsukaichi (Itsukushima Shrine, Mikasahama Beach, & more) and Yamaguchi Flower Land (in Yanai). There's lots more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Yawata Wetlands, contemplate the long history of Atomic Bomb Dome, and don't miss a visit to Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima.

For ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Hiroshima trip builder website .

Do a combination of flight and train from Miyazaki to Hiroshima in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or drive. When traveling from Miyazaki in January, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Hiroshima: temperatures range from 11°C by day to 2°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) to allow time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Ini Rice Terraces, Yamaguchi Flower Land, JMSDF Kure Museum, Yawata Wetlands
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima
JMSDF Kure Museum ©
JMSDF Kure Museum
Itsukushima Shrine Torii ©
Itsukushima Shrine Torii

3
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.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Thu): wander the streets of Pontocho, steep yourself in history at Tofuku-ji Temple, then steep yourself in history at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, then steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Mii-dera Temple (Onjo-ji Temple). On your second day here, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Eikando Zenrinji Temple, take in nature's colorful creations at Nanzen-ji Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kodai-ji Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Toji, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Tenryuji Temple, and finally contemplate the long history of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.

To find where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Kyoto trip planner.

You can take a train from Hiroshima to Kyoto in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, daytime highs in Kyoto are 10°C, while nighttime lows are 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Nachikatsura-cho.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Otsu
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Eikando Zenrinji Temple ©
Eikando Zenrinji Temple

3
nights
Nachikatsura-cho

Nachikatsura-cho ©
The town of Nachikatsuura-cho wows visitors with its superlative landscape and impressive cultural attractions.
Get in touch with nature at Nachi Mitaki Falls and Yakiyama Pass. Kumano Nachi Taisha and Seigantoji Temple are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Venture out of the city with trips to Ichimai-iwa (in Kozagawa-cho), Umikongo (in Kushimoto-cho) and Shingu Inosawa Ukijima Plant Community (in Shingu). There's much more to do: make a trip to Daimonzaka, explore the activities along Nachi Forest, step off the mainland to explore Kinomatsushima Island, and soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Nachikatsura-cho holiday planner.

Drive from Kyoto to Nachikatsura-cho in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of bus and car. Traveling from Kyoto in January, Nachikatsura-cho is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 5°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) early enough to drive to Ise.

Things to do in Nachikatsura-cho

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Shingu Inosawa Ukijima Plant Community, Yakiyama Pass, Daiuma Shrine, Ichimai-iwa, Umikongo
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Nachi Mitaki Falls ©
Nachi Mitaki Falls
Kumano Nachi Taisha ©
Kumano Nachi Taisha
Seigantoji Temple ©
Seigantoji Temple

1
night
Ise

Ise ©
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.
On the 14th (Tue), take in the spiritual surroundings of Yamato-hime Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tsukiyomi-no-miya Shrine, contemplate the long history of Aramatsurinomiya, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Izawanomiya, then take a stroll through Uramuracho, and finally soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens. On the next day, appreciate the extensive heritage of Ise Shrine Geku, take in the spiritual surroundings of Ise Grand Shrine, see the interesting displays at Okageza, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Takinomiya, then take an in-depth tour of Saiku Histrical Museum, and finally steep yourself in history at Hinjitsukan.

To find photos, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Ise vacation maker tool .

Traveling by car from Nachikatsura-cho to Ise takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. In January in Ise, expect temperatures between 9°C during the day and 7°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Wed) so you can go by car to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Ise

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Takinomiya, Uramuracho, Onsen Resorts, Saiku Histrical Museum, Izawanomiya
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Tsukiyomi-no-miya Shrine ©
Tsukiyomi-no-miya Shrine
Ise Shrine Geku ©
Ise Shrine Geku
Ise Grand Shrine ©
Ise Grand Shrine

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Gokayama and Natadera Temple. Step out of the city life by going to Kamoike Observation Center and Ski Jam Katsuyama. Change things up with these side-trips from Kanazawa: Motorcar Museum of Japan (in Komatsu) and Nanto (Ainokura Gassho Community & Suganuma Gassho Community). There's much more to do: admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Encho-ji Temple, step into the grandiose world of Kanazawa Castle, and explore the world behind art at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa.

To see maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Kanazawa itinerary maker website .

Traveling by car from Ise to Kanazawa takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Kanazawa when traveling from Ise in January, with lows around 0°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) early enough to catch the train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Parks Historic Sites Outdoors

Side Trips

Nanto, Komatsu, Ski Jam Katsuyama, Kamoike Observation Center
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Gokayama ©
Gokayama
Ainokura Gassho Community ©
Ainokura Gassho Community
Suganuma Gassho Community ©
Suganuma Gassho Community

1
night
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
On the 19th (Sun), take a stroll through Kabukicho, look for all kinds of wild species at Tokyo Port Wildbird Park, wander the streets of Kitchen Town (Kappabashi), then admire the masterpieces at Tokyo National Museum The Heiseikan, and finally wander the streets of Kagurazaka.

To see ratings, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, read our Tokyo tour itinerary maker app .

Take a train from Kanazawa to Tokyo in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Traveling from Kanazawa in January, you will find days in Tokyo are somewhat warmer (11°C), and nights are about the same (1°C). Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks Wildlife Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Tokyo Port Wildbird Park ©
Tokyo Port Wildbird Park
Kagurazaka ©
Kagurazaka
Tokyo National Museum The Heiseikan ©

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