37 days in Japan Itinerary

37 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

37 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  12​h 30​min
1
Tokyo
— 3 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
2
Kanazawa
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
Takayama
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
4
Nachikatsura-cho
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
5
Kyoto
— 4 nights
+3
train + taxi + Fly + taxi:  3​h 45​min
6
Matsue
— 4 nights
7
Hiroshima
— 3 nights
+3
train + subway + Fly + taxi:  4​h 30​min
8
Yakushima-cho
— 3 nights
Fly + Drive:  16​h 30​min
9
Iriomote-jima
— 3 nights
ferry:  1​h
10
Ishigaki
— 2 nights
Fly:  2​h
11
Miyakojima
— 4 nights
Fly:  15​h 15​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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Sensō-ji and Odaiba. Step off the beaten path and head to Pola Museum of Art and Asakusa Shrine. Next up on the itinerary: take a stroll through Ginza, examine the collection at Samurai Museum, take in nature's colorful creations at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, and ponder the world of politics at Imperial Palace.

To find more things to do, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Tokyo trip itinerary planning website .

Sydney, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 12.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. The time zone difference when traveling from Sydney to Tokyo is minus 1 hour. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Sydney in April; daily highs in Tokyo reach 22°C and lows reach 12°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sun) to allow enough time to take a train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Shopping Museums

Side Trip

Pola Museum of Art
Find places to stay Apr 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Asakusa Shrine ©
Asakusa Shrine
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Sensō-ji ©
Sensō-ji

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Daihonzan Eiheiji Temple and D. T. Suzuki Museum. Your inner history buff will appreciate Ainokura Gassho Community and Nomura Family Samurai House. Get out of town with these interesting Kanazawa side-trips: Chirihama Nagisa Driveway (in Hakui), Nagase house (in Shirakawa-mura) and Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum (in Katsuyama). There's still lots to do: take in nature's colorful creations at Kenrokuen Garden, take a stroll through Gokayama, admire the masterpieces at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, and savor the flavors at Fukumitsuya Sake Brewery, Kanazawa.

For photos, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Kanazawa road trip planning site .

Traveling by train from Tokyo to Kanazawa takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Expect slightly colder evenings in Kanazawa when traveling from Tokyo in April, with lows around 8°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Nanto, Daihonzan Eiheiji Temple, Nagase house, Chirihama Nagisa Driveway, Kinkengu Shrine
Find places to stay Apr 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Chirihama Nagisa Driveway ©
Chirihama Nagisa Driveway
Daihonzan Eiheiji Temple ©
Daihonzan Eiheiji Temple
Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum ©
Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Thu): enjoy breathtaking views from Ogimachi Castle Old Site Observatory, look for gifts at Curnontue, steep yourself in history at Takayama Jinya, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Daio-ji Temple, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Higashiyama Walking Course. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 26th (Fri): take an in-depth tour of Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, then steep yourself in history at Wada House, then appreciate the extensive heritage of The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses, and finally contemplate the long history of Kanda house.

To find where to stay, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Takayama road trip site .

Drive from Kanazawa to Takayama in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In April, plan for daily highs up to 20°C, and evening lows to 9°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Nachikatsura-cho.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites Shopping Museums

Side Trip

Shirakawa-mura
Find places to stay Apr 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya
Higashiyama Walking Course ©
Higashiyama Walking Course
Kanda house ©
Kanda house

2
nights
Nachikatsura-cho

Nachikatsura-cho ©
The town of Nachikatsuura-cho wows visitors with its superlative landscape and impressive cultural attractions.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Sat): take in the dramatic scenery at Nachi Mitaki Falls, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hirou Shrine, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Seigantoji Temple, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kumano Nachi Taisha. Here are some ideas for day two: don't miss a visit to Daimonzaka, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kumano Hayatama Taisha, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Kamikura Shrine, and finally explore the striking landscape at Hashigui Rock.

For where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Nachikatsura-cho online route planner .

You can drive from Takayama to Nachikatsura-cho in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from Takayama in April, plan for a bit warmer nights in Nachikatsura-cho, with lows around 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sun) so you can drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Nachikatsura-cho

Historic Sites Nature Parks

Side Trips

Shingu, Hashigui Rock
Find places to stay Apr 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Kumano Nachi Taisha ©
Kumano Nachi Taisha
Kamikura Shrine ©
Kamikura Shrine
Kumano Hayatama Taisha ©
Kumano Hayatama Taisha

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.
Get some cultural insight at Nijo Castle and Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Toji and Yasaka Shrine. Change things up with these side-trips from Kyoto: Osaka (Dotonbori & Osaka Castle). There's still lots to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kinkaku-ji, tour the pleasant surroundings at Shugakuin Imperial Villa, steep yourself in history at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, and don't miss a visit to Gion.

To see where to stay, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, read Kyoto road trip planning website .

You can drive from Nachikatsura-cho to Kyoto in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of car and bus. Traveling from Nachikatsura-cho in April, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit cooler in Kyoto, with lows of 11°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) so you can travel to Matsue.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Parks

Side Trip

Osaka
Find places to stay Apr 28 — May 2:
Highlights from your plan
Kinkaku-ji ©
Kinkaku-ji
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine

4
nights
Matsue

Matsue ©
Matsue sits on the banks of the Ohashi-gawa river, channeling its waters through a series of canals and rivers that add much to the scenic aspect of the urban area.
Explore hidden gems such as Adachi Museum of Art and Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse. Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo and Hinomisaki Shrine are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Venture out of the city with trips to Takuhi Shrine - Takubi Shrine (in Nishinoshima-cho), Jokyu Sea Way Kinnyamonya Center (in Ama-cho) and Izumo (Karakama Shrine, Izumo Taisha Shrine, & more). Next up on the itinerary: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yaegaki Shrine, contemplate the waterfront views at Shinji Lake, take in the dramatic natural features at Oki Chibu Red Cliff, and explore the historical opulence of Matsue Castle.

To see ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, read Matsue day trip website .

Getting from Kyoto to Matsue by combination of train, flight, and taxi takes about 4 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of flight and taxi. In May, plan for daily highs up to 27°C, and evening lows to 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to drive to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Matsue

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Izumo, Oki Chibu Red Cliff, Adachi Museum of Art, Takuhi Shrine - Takubi Shrine, Shinji Lake
Find places to stay May 2 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Adachi Museum of Art ©
Adachi Museum of Art
Yaegaki Shrine ©
Yaegaki Shrine
Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo
Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo

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.
You'll explore and learn at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Yamato Museum. Get some cultural insight at Itsukushima Shrine and Daishoin Temple. Explore Hiroshima's surroundings by going to JMSDF Kure Museum (in Kure) and Hatsukaichi (Senjokaku, Itsukushima Shrine Torii, & more). It doesn't end there: take an in-depth tour of Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims and steep yourself in history at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

For more things to do, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, use the Hiroshima vacation planner.

Traveling by car from Matsue to Hiroshima takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In May in Hiroshima, expect temperatures between 28°C during the day and 18°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Nature

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Kure
Find places to stay May 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Yamato Museum ©
Yamato Museum
Daishoin Temple ©
Daishoin Temple

3
nights
Yakushima-cho

Yakushima-cho ©
A popular destination for Japanese tourists, Kumage-gun Yakushima-cho is a true paradise for nature lovers, with over 1,900 species and subspecies of plants.
Get outdoors at Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley and Anbo River. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Yakusugi Land and Oko no Taki Fall. It doesn't end there: take in the awesome beauty at Tachudake.

For maps, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Yakushima-cho tour app .

Do a combination of train, flight, and taxi from Hiroshima to Yakushima-cho in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, ferry, and taxi; or do a combination of car and ferry. Expect a daytime high around 28°C in May, and nighttime lows around 20°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can travel to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Parks Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay May 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley ©
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley
Yakusugi Land ©
Yakusugi Land
Oko no Taki Fall
Oko no Taki Fall

3
nights
Iriomote-jima

Iriomote-jima ©
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
Get outdoors at Canyoning & Rappelling Tours and Kayaking & Canoeing. Discover out-of-the-way places like Scuba & Snorkeling and Ida no Hama Beach. And it doesn't end there: head off the coast to Iriomote Island, take in the dramatic scenery at Kanpiree Waterfall, and make a trip to Funauki Village.

To find maps, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Iriomote-jima trip planning site .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Yakushima-cho to Iriomote-jima. Traveling from Yakushima-cho in May, things will get somewhat warmer in Iriomote-jima: highs are around 34°C and lows about 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can ride a ferry to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Parks Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay May 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Iriomote Island ©
Iriomote Island
Pinaisara Falls ©
Pinaisara Falls
Kayaking & Canoeing

2
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.
On the 17th (Fri), kick back and relax at Yonehara Beach, then visit a coastal fixture at Cape Hirakubozaki, and then take in panoramic vistas at Tamatorizaki Observatory. Keep things going the next day: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, then look for gifts at Pinion Direct Shop, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Kondoi Beach.

To find more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Ishigaki tour builder tool .

Ride a ferry from Iriomote-jima to Ishigaki in an hour. In May, daytime highs in Ishigaki are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) early enough to travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trip

Kondoi Beach
Find places to stay May 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach

4
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Explore hidden gems such as Sunayama Beach and Scuba & Snorkeling. Visiting Yonaha Maehama Beach and Aragusuku Beach will get you outdoors. There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at Toguchi no Hama, stroll through Tomori Imugya Beach, don't miss a visit to East Henna Cape, and visit a coastal fixture at Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Miyakojima trip itinerary website .

Traveling by flight from Ishigaki to Miyakojima takes 2 hours. In May, daytime highs in Miyakojima are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay May 18 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Yabiji
Yabiji
Yonaha Maehama Beach ©
Yonaha Maehama Beach
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach

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