40 days in Japan Itinerary

40 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan holiday planner

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Route & dates

40 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: George Town, Penang Island
Fly:  14​h 30​min
1
Ishigaki
— 3 nights
ferry:  1​h
2
Iriomote-jima
— 2 nights
ferry:  4​h
3
Miyakojima
— 3 nights
Fly + bus:  7​h
4
Takachiho-cho
— 3 nights
+3
train + bus + Fly + taxi:  7​h 15​min
5
Yakushima-cho
— 2 nights
+2
taxi + Fly + taxi:  8​h 45​min
6
Shari-cho
— 3 nights
taxi + Fly:  4​h 45​min
7
Tokyo
— 4 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
8
Nikko
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
9
Matsumoto
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
10
Takayama
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
11
Kyoto
— 5 nights
train + Fly:  12​h 30​min
End: George Town, Penang Island

3
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.
Do your shopping at Yurateiku Market and Nei Museum of Art. You'll get in some beach time at Kondoi Beach and Nakamoto Beach. There's lots more to do: enjoy the sea views from Cape Hirakubozaki, glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, walk around Kabira Park, and go for a walk through Cape Ongazaki.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Ishigaki trip planner .

George Town, Malaysia to Ishigaki is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of ferry and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from George Town to Ishigaki is 2 hours. In October, daily temperatures in Ishigaki can reach 34°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sat) so you can ride a ferry to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Taketomi-cho, Nakamoto Beach
Find places to stay Oct 27 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach

2
nights
Iriomote-jima

Iriomote-jima ©
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Sun): skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, enjoy the sand and surf at Ida no Hama Beach, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Funauki Village. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 2nd (Mon): find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, then head outdoors with Hoshisuna Beach, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Pinaisara Falls.

For reviews, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Iriomote-jima trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by ferry from Ishigaki to Iriomote-jima takes an hour. In October, daytime highs in Iriomote-jima are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Mon) so you can ride a ferry to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Oct 31 — Nov 2:
Highlights from your plan
Hoshisuna Beach ©
Hoshisuna Beach
Pinaisara Falls ©
Pinaisara Falls
Funauki Village ©
Funauki Village

3
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
You'll get in some beach time at Sunayama Beach and Aragusuku Beach. Visiting Toguchi no Hama and Scuba & Snorkeling will get you outdoors. The adventure continues: explore the gorgeous colors at Yabiji, enjoy breathtaking views from Makiyama Observatory, head outdoors with Yonaha Maehama Beach, and head off the coast to Shimojiiima Island.

To find maps, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Miyakojima planning website .

Traveling by ferry from Iriomote-jima to Miyakojima takes 4 hours. In November, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) so you can travel to Takachiho-cho.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Nov 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Toguchi no Hama
Toguchi no Hama
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach
Aragusuku Beach ©
Aragusuku Beach

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 Geopark. Get some cultural insight at Amano Iwato Shrine and Amano Yasugawara. Explore Takachiho-cho's surroundings by going to Shirakawa Springs (in Minamiaso-mura) and Daikanbo (in Aso). There's much more to do: take in the dramatic scenery at Manai Falls, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Kunimigaoka, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Takachiho Shrine, and contemplate the geological forces at Mt. Aso.

For reviews, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Takachiho-cho trip itinerary builder site .

Getting from Miyakojima to Takachiho-cho by combination of flight and bus takes about 7 hours. Other options: fly. When traveling from Miyakojima in November, plan for slightly colder days and cooler nights in Takachiho-cho: temperatures range from 19°C by day to 10°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Takachiho-cho

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Aso, Shirakawa Springs, Mt. Aso
Find places to stay Nov 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Takachiho Gorge ©
Takachiho Gorge
Daikanbo ©
Daikanbo
Manai Falls ©
Manai Falls

2
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley and Oko no Taki Fall. Step out of the city life by going to Yakusugi Land and Seibu Trail. And it doesn't end there: examine the collection at The Yakushima World Heritage Conservation Center, make a trip to Taikoiwa, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Tachudake.

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

You can do a combination of train, flight, and taxi from Takachiho-cho to Yakushima-cho in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi. Traveling from Takachiho-cho in November, expect Yakushima-cho to be a bit warmer, temps between 24°C and 18°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) so you can travel to Shari-cho.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Parks Nature Trails
Find places to stay Nov 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley ©
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley
Yakusugi Land ©
Yakusugi Land
Oko no Taki Fall
Oko no Taki Fall

3
nights
Shari-cho

Shari-cho ©
Tourism in Shari-cho, a small town situated on Hokkaido's eastern tip, flourishes mainly because of its immediate proximity to the Shiretoko World Heritage Site.
Take a break from the city and head to Shiretoko Goko Lake and Shiretoko Misaki. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Kaminoko Pond and Kamuiwakka Hot Waterfall. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Shari-cho: Lake Kussharo (in Teshikaga-cho), Abashiri Prison Museum (in Abashiri) and Bihorotoge Lookout (in Bihoro-cho). Next up on the itinerary: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Shiretoko National Park, admire the masterpieces at Kita no Alp Art Museum, admire the sheer force of Oshin Koshin Falls, and take a memorable drive along Shiretoko Pass.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, use the Shari-cho online tour planner .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Yakushima-cho to Shari-cho in 9 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, flight, and train; or do a combination of taxi, flight, and car. Expect cooler temperatures when traveling from Yakushima-cho in November; daily highs in Shari-cho reach 7°C and lows reach 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) early enough to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Shari-cho

Nature Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Hokkaido, Lake Kussharo, Bihorotoge Lookout, Abashiri Prison Museum, Kaminoko Pond
Find places to stay Nov 11 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Shiretoko Goko Lake ©
Shiretoko Goko Lake
Shiretoko National Park ©
Shiretoko National Park
Kaminoko Pond ©
Kaminoko Pond

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Pola Museum of Art and Kimono Me. Museum-lovers will appreciate Tokyo National Museum and Samurai Museum. Next up on the itinerary: examine the collection at Edo-Tokyo Museum, admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower, wander the streets of Ginza, and get a taste of the local shopping with Asakusa.

For photos, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Tokyo day trip planning site .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Shari-cho to Tokyo takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight; or take a train. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Shari-cho in November: high temperatures in Tokyo hover around 19°C and lows are around 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) to allow time to take a train to Nikko.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Shopping Museums

Side Trip

Pola Museum of Art
Find places to stay Nov 15 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Pola Museum of Art ©
Pola Museum of Art
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Edo-Tokyo Museum ©
Edo-Tokyo Museum

4
nights
Nikko

Nikko ©
A gateway to a sprawling and diverse national park, a center of Shinto spiritualism and place of Buddhist worship, an emblem of the riches and dominance of the Tokugawa shogunate: Nikko means many things to many people.
Get outdoors at Yudaki Falls and Yunoko Lake. Do some cultural sightseeing at Ryuzu Waterfall and Lake Chuzenji. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Nikko: Fukuroda Falls (in Daigo-machi), Mt. Nasu (in Nasu-machi) and River Rafting & Tubing (in Minakami-machi). Next up on the itinerary: explore the striking landscape of Nikko National Park, make a trip to Okumiya, go for a walk through Senjogahara Field, and contemplate the long history of Taiyuimbyo Shrine.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Nikko trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

Getting from Tokyo to Nikko by train takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive. While traveling from Tokyo, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Nikko, ranging from highs of 15°C to lows of 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Matsumoto.

Things to do in Nikko

Nature Parks Adventure

Side Trips

Mt. Nasu, Fukuroda Falls, Nikko National Park, River Rafting & Tubing
Find places to stay Nov 19 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Yudaki Falls ©
Yudaki Falls
Ryuzu Waterfall ©
Ryuzu Waterfall
River Rafting & Tubing

4
nights
Matsumoto

Matsumoto
A castle town, Matsumoto possesses one of the best-preserved feudal structures in the country, and maintains its historical attractions and traditions while simultaneously exuding a modern, cosmopolitan charm.
Chihiro Art Museum Azumino and Matsumoto City Art Museum are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Senjojiki Cirque and Happoone. Explore Matsumoto's surroundings by going to Togakushi Shrine Okusha (in Nagano), Suwa Shrine (in Suwa) and Hokusai-kan (in Obuse-machi). And it doesn't end there: look for all kinds of wild species at Norikura Kogen (Highland), fly down the slopes at Kurumayama Highland, take an in-depth tour of Jinchokan Moriya Archives, and explore the historical opulence of Matsumoto Castle.

To find reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Matsumoto trip site .

Traveling by car from Nikko to Matsumoto takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Nikko in November, expect slightly colder with lows of 6°C in Matsumoto. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Matsumoto

Parks Winter Sports Outdoors

Side Trips

Chino, Happoone, Hokusai-kan, Chihiro Art Museum Azumino, Senjojiki Cirque
Find places to stay Nov 23 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Chihiro Art Museum Azumino
Chihiro Art Museum Azumino
Norikura Kogen ©
Norikura Kogen
Kurumayama Highland ©
Kurumayama Highland

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.
Get some cultural insight at Gokayama and Takayama Showa Museum. Step off the beaten path and head to Higashiyama Walking Course and Takayama Jinya. Venture out of the city with trips to Shirakawa-mura (Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, Tenshukakau Observatory, & more) and Nanto (Ainokura Gassho Community & Suganuma Gassho Community). There's much more to do: indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area, examine the collection at Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine.

For where to stay, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Takayama trip planner .

You can drive from Matsumoto to Takayama in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In November, daily temperatures in Takayama can reach 17°C, while at night they dip to 9°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Kyoto.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Nanto
Find places to stay Nov 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya
Gokayama ©
Gokayama
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen ©
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen

5
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Eikando Zenrinji Temple and Spas. Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Gion are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Venture out of the city with trips to Amanohashidate (in Miyazu), Dotonbori (in Osaka) and Todai-ji Temple (in Nara). There's lots more to do: steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, get a taste of the local shopping with Nishiki Market Shopping District, go for a walk through Arashiyama, and stop by Horando, Togetsukyo Honten.

For other places to visit, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Kyoto sightseeing planner.

Traveling by car from Takayama to Kyoto takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In November in Kyoto, expect temperatures between 19°C during the day and 10°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 5th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trips

Dotonbori, Amanohashidate, Todai-ji Temple
Find places to stay Nov 30 — Dec 5:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Gion
Gion

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