36 days in Japan Itinerary

36 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

36 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Calgary
Fly + bus:  15​h 30​min
1
Kyoto
— 4 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
2
Kanazawa
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
Takayama
— 3 nights
+2
train + taxi + Fly:  5​h 15​min
4
Kochi
— 1 night
Fly:  5​h 15​min
5
Takachiho-cho
— 3 nights
+3
Fly + foot + bus + ferry:  6​h 15​min
6
Iriomote-jima
— 3 nights
+3
ferry + bus + foot + Fly:  3​h 15​min
7
Itoman
— 4 nights
Fly:  5​h 15​min
8
Hakodate
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
9
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Fly:  14​h 30​min
End: Calgary

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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Nijo-jo Castle and Kiyomizu-dera Temple. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Minami (Namba) and Toji. Venture out of the city with trips to Todai-ji Temple (in Nara) and Osaka (Dotonbori & Osaka Castle). There's much more to do: steep yourself in history at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, take in the spiritual surroundings of Sanjusangendo Temple, and take a stroll through Gion.

To see reviews, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Kyoto trip app .

Calgary, Canada to Kyoto is an approximately 15.5-hour combination of flight and train. You can also do a combination of bus, flight, and train. The time zone changes from Mountain Standard Time (MST) to Japan Standard Time (JST), which is usually a 16 hour difference. When traveling from Calgary in May, plan for somewhat warmer days and warmer nights in Kyoto: temperatures range from 29°C by day to 17°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) so you can take a train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trips

Osaka, Todai-ji Temple
Find places to stay May 2 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Tofuku-ji Temple ©
Tofuku-ji Temple

4
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Get some historical perspective at Daihonzan Eiheiji Temple and Ainokura Gassho Community. Head to Kanazawa Hyakubangai Shopping Center and Koshiyama Kanseido Hontenfor plenty of shopping. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Kanazawa: Chirihama Nagisa Driveway (in Hakui), Fukui Dinosaur Museum (in Katsuyama) and Aeon Mall Kahoku (in Kahoku). The adventure continues: take a stroll through Nagamachi District, contemplate the long history of Oyama Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ninja Temple, and look for gifts at Sakuda Gold and Silver Leaf Shop.

For traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Kanazawa tour builder tool .

Getting from Kyoto to Kanazawa by train takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive. Traveling from Kyoto in May, you will find days in Kanazawa are little chillier (26°C), and nights are about the same (15°C). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) so you can go by car to Takayama.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Shopping Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Nanto, Chirihama Nagisa Driveway, Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple, Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, Aeon Mall Kahoku
Find places to stay May 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple ©
Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple
Ainokura Gassho Community ©
Ainokura Gassho Community
Oyama Shrine ©
Oyama Shrine

3
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.
Do your shopping at Hida-Takayama Miyagawa Morning Market and Harada Sake Brewery. Explore hidden gems such as Takayama Jinya and Okuhida Fukuji Onsen Asaichi. Get out of town with these interesting Takayama side-trips: Shirakawa-mura (Shirakawago Shiroyama Observatory Deck, Wada House, & more). And it doesn't end there: get to know the fascinating history of Higashiyama Walking Course, steep yourself in history at Kusakabe Folk Museum, look for gifts at Hida Bussankan, and admire the striking features of Yoshijima Heritage House.

For maps, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Takayama travel planning site .

Traveling by car from Kanazawa to Takayama takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In May in Takayama, expect temperatures between 27°C during the day and 17°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Mon) early enough to travel to Kochi.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites Shopping Breweries & Distilleries

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Shirakabe Dozogai
Find places to stay May 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya
Kanda house ©
Kanda house
Higashiyama Walking Course ©
Higashiyama Walking Course

1
night
Kochi

Kochi ©
The port city of Kochi has a rich and varied history that has left its mark on the look and feel of the urban area.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Tue): step into the grandiose world of Kochi Castle, then hunt for treasures at Sunday Market, then stop by Tosa Select Shop Tencosu, and finally browse the fresh offerings at Hirome Ichiba. On the 15th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: look for gifts at Imoya Kinjiro Hidaka Honten, look for gifts at Kure Taisho-machi Market, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Chikurinji Temple, and finally go for a stroll along the water at Katsurahama Beach.

To find other places to visit, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Kochi attractions website .

You can do a combination of train and flight from Takayama to Kochi in 5.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train, bus, and flight; or drive. In May, daily temperatures in Kochi can reach 26°C, while at night they dip to 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) early enough to travel to Takachiho-cho.

Things to do in Kochi

Shopping Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Kure Taisho-machi Market, Imoya Kinjiro Hidaka Honten
Find places to stay May 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Kochi Castle ©
Kochi Castle
Chikurinji Temple ©
Chikurinji Temple
Katsura Hama ©
Katsura Hama

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 cultural itinerary includes sights like Takachiho Shrine and Amano Iwato Shrine. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Yufuin Area and Amanoyasu Kawara. Venture out of the city with trips to Angel Kimono Rental Beppu (in Beppu), JR Oita City (in Oita) and Yufu (Saigoku Dosan Kagiya, Cheese Factory Yufuin, & more). There's lots more to do: take in breathtaking views at Takachiho Gorge, indulge your taste buds at Michi-no-Eki Kitakata Yotchimiroya, enjoy the sand and surf at Okuragahama Beach, and pick up some local products at Aya Tezukuri Hommono Center.

For maps, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, read Takachiho-cho trip app .

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Kochi to Takachiho-cho in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train and taxi. In May, daily temperatures in Takachiho-cho can reach 29°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) so you can travel to Taketomicho Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Takachiho-cho

Shopping Outdoors Historic Sites

Side Trips

Yufu, Aya Tezukuri Hommono Center, Michi-no-Eki Kitakata Yotchimiroya, JR Oita City, Angel Kimono Rental Beppu
Find places to stay May 15 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
JR Oita City ©
JR Oita City
Takachiho Shrine ©
Takachiho Shrine
Amano Iwato Shrine ©
Amano Iwato Shrine

3
nights
Iriomote-jima

Iriomote-jima ©
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
Get a sense of the local culture at Ishigaki Yaima Village and Wasurenaishi. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Yonehara Beach and Yurateiku Market. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Taketomicho Iriomote-jima: Kubazaki Beach (in Kohama-jima Taketomi-cho) and Tamatorizaki Observatory (in Ishigaki). And it doesn't end there: stroll through Hoshisuna Beach, take in the dramatic scenery at Pinaisara Falls, scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and head off the coast to Iriomote Island.

To find ratings, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Taketomicho Iriomote-jima tour planner.

Traveling by combination of taxi, flight, and ferry from Takachiho-cho to Taketomicho Iriomote-jima takes 6.5 hours. Traveling from Takachiho-cho in May, expect Taketomicho Iriomote-jima to be somewhat warmer, temps between 34°C and 28°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) early enough to travel to Itoman.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Ishigaki, Kubazaki Beach
Find places to stay May 19 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach
Hoshisuna Beach ©
Hoshisuna Beach
Yurateiku Market ©
Yurateiku Market

4
nights
Itoman

Itoman ©
Itoman is a city located in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Aharen Beach and Furuzamami Beach. Head to Onna Station Nakayukui Market and Kaboten no Mise Nakasonefor plenty of shopping. Change things up with these side-trips from Itoman: Diamond Beach (in Onna-son), Sefa-Utaki (in Nanjo) and AEONMALL OKINAWA RYCOM (in Kitanakagusuku-son). And it doesn't end there: browse the different shops at Ashibina Outlet Mall, pause for some photo ops at Okinawa Peace Memorial Park, contemplate the long history of The Tower of Himeyuri, and explore the historical opulence of Shurijo Castle.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Itoman trip planner .

Do a combination of ferry, flight, and taxi from Taketomicho Iriomote-jima to Itoman in 3.5 hours. Traveling from Taketomicho Iriomote-jima in May, expect nights in Itoman to be about the same, around 26°C, while days are a bit cooler, around 30°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) so you can travel to Hakodate.

Things to do in Itoman

Shopping Historic Sites Beaches

Side Trips

Onna-son, Katsuren Castle Ruins, Yachimun no Sato, Shurijo Castle, Ashibina Outlet Mall
Find places to stay May 23 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Aharen Beach ©
Aharen Beach
Furuzamami Beach ©
Furuzamami Beach
Okinawa Peace Memorial Park ©
Okinawa Peace Memorial Park

3
nights
Hakodate

Hakodate ©
A gateway to the island, Hakodate has gained a reputation for its waterfront attractions, its proximity to some of the island's most popular natural sites, and its seafood.
Motomachi and Onuma Park Walking Path are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Your inner history buff will appreciate The Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward and Motomachi Catholic Church. Get out of town with these interesting Hakodate side-trips: Muroran (Cape Chikyu & Bolta Kobo). There's lots more to do: stop by Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse, admire the landmark architecture of Goryokaku Park, make a trip to Hachimanzaka, and browse the eclectic array of goods at Hakodate Morning Market.

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

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Itoman to Hakodate takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, ferry, and train. When traveling from Itoman in May, plan for little chillier days in Hakodate, with highs around 18°C, while nights are much colder with lows around 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Hakodate

Historic Sites Shopping Casinos

Side Trips

Muroran, Onuma Park Walking Path
Find places to stay May 27 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
The Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward ©
Motomachi ©
Motomachi
Onuma Park Walking Path ©
Onuma Park Walking Path

5
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 Tokyo National Museum and Imperial Palace. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Minato Mirai 21 and Tsukiji Market. There's lots more to do: wander the streets of Ginza, get a taste of the local shopping with Harajuku Takeshita-dori, admire the natural beauty at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, and make a trip to Omotesando.

For reviews, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Tokyo trip planner .

Fly from Hakodate to Tokyo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or take a train. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Hakodate in May: high temperatures in Tokyo hover around 28°C and lows are around 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 5th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Shopping Neighborhoods Historic Sites

Side Trip

Minato Mirai 21
Find places to stay May 31 — Jun 5:
Highlights from your plan
Minato Mirai 21 ©
Minato Mirai 21
Zojo-ji Temple ©
Zojo-ji Temple
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum

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