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:  3​h 45​min
3
Sapporo
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
4
Abashiri
— 3 nights
+2
foot + Fly + bus:  8​h 15​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:  1​h 45​min
8
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
9
Nachikatsura-cho
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
10
Ise
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Samukawa Shrine and Ueno. Visit Asakusa Shrine and Nezu Shrine for their historical value. Venture out of the city with trips to Mt. Takao (in Hachioji) and Yokohama Nature Sanctuary (in Sakae). And it doesn't end there: wander the streets of Yanaka, take in the spiritual surroundings of Sensō-ji, and steep yourself in history at Hie Jinjya.

For photos, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Tokyo route maker site .

Sydney, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 12.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Sydney to Tokyo due to the time zone difference. In December, Tokyo is cooler than Sydney - with highs of 14°C and lows of 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) to allow enough time to take a train to Sendai.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Parks Nature

Side Trips

Mt. Takao, Samukawa Shrine, Yokohama Nature Sanctuary
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Odaiba ©
Odaiba
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Yanaka ©
Yanaka

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.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): take in the spiritual surroundings of Atago Jinja Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kosho-ji Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Rinnoji Temple, then identify plant and animal life at Shiroishigawa Embankment Hitome Sembonzakura, and finally contemplate the long history of Funaoka Castle Ruins. On your second day here, contemplate the long history of Sendai Castle (Aoba Castle), take an in-depth tour of Aoba Castle Museum, and then fly down the slopes at Miyagi Zao Eboshi Resort.

For more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Sendai vacation maker app .

You can take a train from Tokyo to Sendai in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Tokyo in December: highs in Sendai hover around 8°C, while lows dip to 5°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Sapporo.

Things to do in Sendai

Parks Historic Sites Winter Sports

Side Trips

Funaoka Castle Ruins, 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
Rinnoji Temple ©
Rinnoji Temple

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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Fushimi Inari Shrine and Arte Piazza Bibai. Step off the beaten path and head to Niseko Hanazono Resort and Sapporo Teine. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Sapporo: Niseko-cho (Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area & Niseko Village Pure). It doesn't end there: steep yourself in history at Sapporo Clock Tower and don't miss a visit to The Site of Kairakuen Park.

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

Getting from Sendai to Sapporo by flight takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and flight; or take a train. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from Sendai in December, with highs in Sapporo at 0°C and lows at -2°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Abashiri.

Things to do in Sapporo

Parks Winter Sports Outdoors

Side Trips

Niseko-cho, Arte Piazza Bibai, Niseko Hanazono Resort
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Sapporo Teine ©
Sapporo Teine
Niseko Hanazono Resort ©
Niseko Hanazono Resort
Sapporo Clock Tower ©
Sapporo Clock Tower

3
nights
Abashiri

Abashiri ©
A coastal town with a smattering of things to do, Abashiri has an interesting history and arresting natural scenery.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Sun): identify plant and animal life at Ubaranai Sango-so Colony, hit the slopes at Abashiri Lakeview Ski Resort, then take an in-depth tour of Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples, and finally take an in-depth tour of Moyoro Kaizuka-kan. On the next day, make a trip to Abashiri Prison Museum, get outside with Abashiri Lakeside, then examine the collection at Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Museum, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Eisen-ji Temple.

To see ratings, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Abashiri vacation website .

Traveling by car from Sapporo to Abashiri takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of flight and train. Expect little chillier evenings in Abashiri when traveling from Sapporo in December, with lows around -8°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 31st (Tue) to allow time for travel to Takachiho-cho.

Things to do in Abashiri

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Abashiri Coast ©
Abashiri Coast
Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples ©
Abashiri Shrine ©
Abashiri Shrine

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.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Amano Iwato Shrine and Amano Yasugawara. Step out of the city life by going to Takachiho Gorge and Manai Falls. Get out of town with these interesting Takachiho-cho side-trips: Onsen Resorts (in Minamioguni-machi), Heitate Shrine (in Yamato-cho) and Takamori-machi (Takamori Tree House & Kamishikimi Kumanoimasu Shrine). The adventure continues: take in the spiritual surroundings of Takachiho Shrine, explore the striking landscape at Tokubetsuto Rice Terraces, and contemplate the long history of Kushifuru Shrine.

To see ratings and more tourist information, you can read our Takachiho-cho trip planner.

You can fly from Abashiri to Takachiho-cho in 8.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train and flight; or take a train. In December, Takachiho-cho is a bit warmer than Abashiri - with highs of 12°C and lows of 3°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can travel to Miyazaki.

Things to do in Takachiho-cho

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Takamori-machi, Onsen Resorts, Heitate Shrine
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Amano Yasugawara ©
Amano Yasugawara
Takachiho Shrine ©
Takachiho Shrine
Amano Iwato Shrine ©
Amano Iwato Shrine

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.
On the 4th (Sat), play a few rounds at Phoenix Country Club, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Aoshima Shrine, and then indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at some of the top local onsens. On the next day, learn about winemaking at Tsuno Winery, then steep yourself in history at Saitobaru Tomb, and then wander the streets of Obi.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Miyazaki tour itinerary site .

Traveling by combination of taxi and train from Takachiho-cho to Miyazaki takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. While traveling from Takachiho-cho, expect somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Miyazaki, ranging from highs of 14°C to lows of 4°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Miyazaki

Golf Outdoors Historic Sites

Side Trips

Obi, Tsuno Winery, Saitobaru Tomb
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Phoenix Country Club ©
Phoenix Country Club
Aoshima Shrine ©
Aoshima 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.
Step out of the city life by going to Miyajima and Ini Rice Terraces. Visit Daishoin Temple and Senjokaku for their historical value. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Hiroshima: Hatsukaichi (Mikasahama Beach, Itsukushima Shrine Torii, & more) and Former Naval Academy (in Etajima). The adventure continues: take in the spiritual surroundings of Mitaki Temple, contemplate the long history of Atomic Bomb Dome, appreciate the history behind Memorial Tower to the Mobilized Students, and make a trip to Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima.

For photos, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Hiroshima trip itinerary tool .

You can 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 in Hiroshima, with highs around 11°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 2°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) so you can catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Former Naval Academy, Ini Rice Terraces
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Mitaki Temple ©
Mitaki Temple
Itsukushima Shrine Torii ©
Itsukushima Shrine Torii
Senjokaku ©
Senjokaku

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): admire the natural beauty at Nanzen-ji Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Eikando Zenrinji Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Tofuku-ji Temple, and finally contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine. On the 10th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ninna-ji Temple, contemplate the long history of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Shimogamo Jinja, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kennin-ji Temple, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kodai-ji Temple.

For where to stay, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Kyoto trip itinerary planning site .

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Kyoto takes 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. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) early enough to drive to Nachikatsura-cho.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Nanzen-ji Temple ©
Nanzen-ji 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.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Kumano Nachi Taisha and Hirou Shrine. Step off the beaten path and head to Seigantoji Temple and Nachi Mitaki Falls. Change things up with these side-trips from Nachikatsura-cho: Kozagawa-cho (Ichimai-iwa & Taki no Hai) and Daiuma Shrine (in Kumano). The adventure continues: don't miss a visit to Daimonzaka, take in the spiritual surroundings of Fudarakusanji Temple, stroll through Kinomatsushima Island, and soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Nachikatsura-cho travel route tool .

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, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Nachikatsura-cho, with lows of 5°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) so you can go by car to Ise.

Things to do in Nachikatsura-cho

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Kozagawa-cho, Daiuma Shrine
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Kumano Nachi Taisha ©
Kumano Nachi Taisha
Seigantoji Temple ©
Seigantoji Temple
Hirou Shrine ©
Hirou Shrine

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), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yamato-hime Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tsukiyomi-no-miya Shrine, then steep yourself in history at Hinjitsukan, then steep yourself in history at Izawanomiya, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Takinomiya. Here are some ideas for day two: soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens, contemplate the long history of Oharai-machi, take in the spiritual surroundings of Ise Grand Shrine, then steep yourself in history at Aramatsurinomiya, then take an in-depth tour of Sengukan, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ise Shrine Geku.

For maps, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Ise trip itinerary planning site .

Getting from Nachikatsura-cho to Ise by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a train. In January in Ise, expect temperatures between 9°C during the day and 7°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Ise

Historic Sites Spas Baths

Side Trips

Izawanomiya, Onsen Resorts, Takinomiya
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Oharai-machi ©
Oharai-machi
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Ainokura Gassho Community and Gokayama. Get a sense of the local culture at Natadera Temple and Higashichaya Old Town. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Kanazawa: Ski Jam Katsuyama (in Katsuyama) and Shirakawa-mura (The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses & Kanda house). There's still lots to do: explore the historical opulence of Kanazawa Castle, take in the spiritual surroundings of Ishiura Shrine, pause for some serene contemplation at Kanazawa Catholic Church, and admire the masterpieces at Kanazawa Yuwaku Yumeji-kan Museum.

To find where to stay, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Kanazawa trip planner .

Traveling by car from Ise to Kanazawa takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Ise in January, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Kanazawa, with lows of 0°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Parks Winter Sports

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Nanto, Ski Jam Katsuyama, Natadera Temple
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Gokayama ©
Gokayama
Ainokura Gassho Community ©
Ainokura Gassho Community
Kanda house ©
Kanda house

1
night
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
On the 19th (Sun), wander the streets of Kabukicho, get a taste of the local shopping with Kitchen Town (Kappabashi), go for a walk through Hozomon, then take in the architecture and design of University of Tokyo, and finally wander the streets of Kagurazaka.

For other places to visit, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read our Tokyo travel planning website .

Take a train from Kanazawa to Tokyo in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. While traveling from Kanazawa, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Tokyo, ranging from highs of 11°C to lows of 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Kagurazaka ©
Kagurazaka
Hozomon ©
Hozomon
Kabukicho ©
Kabukicho

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