44 days in Japan Itinerary

44 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

44 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  15 h 15 min
1
Miyakojima
— 3 nights
Fly:  45 min
2
Ishigaki
— 4 nights
Ferry:  1 h
3
Iriomote-jima
— 4 nights
+4
Ferry + Bus + Foot + Fly + Taxi:  10 h 45 min
4
Yakushima-cho
— 3 nights
Drive:  7 h 45 min
5
Setouchi-cho
— 2 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  8 h 30 min
6
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Train:  2 h 30 min
7
Kanazawa
— 4 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
8
Takayama
— 2 nights
+3
Train + Taxi + Fly + Taxi:  5 h 30 min
9
Matsue
— 2 nights
+2
Taxi + Fly + Taxi:  7 h
10
Shari-cho
— 2 nights
+2
Taxi + Fly + Train:  6 h 45 min
11
Hakodate
— 1 night
Fly:  3 h 30 min
12
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Fly:  12 h 30 min
End: Sydney

3
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima ©
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Visit Aragusuku Beach and Toguchi no Hama for some beach relaxation. Explore hidden gems such as Sunayama Beach and Hora Gyoko no Hama Beach. Next up on the itinerary: kick back and relax at Yonaha Maehama Beach, step off the mainland to explore Shimojiiima Island, take in the views from Kurima Bridge, and stroll through Nagamahama Beach Coast.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Miyakojima trip planner .

Sydney, Australia to Miyakojima is an approximately 15.5-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Sydney to Miyakojima. Traveling from Sydney in October, expect Miyakojima to be somewhat warmer, temps between 33°C and 28°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Fri) early enough to travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Oct 30 — Nov 2:
Highlights from your plan
Aragusuku Beach ©
Aragusuku Beach
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach
Toguchi no Hama
Toguchi no Hama

4
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.
Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Yurateiku Market and Nanapito Hompo. Get in touch with nature at Yonehara Beach and Fusaki Beach. There's much more to do: kick back and relax at Kondoi Beach, take in panoramic vistas at Tamatorizaki Observatory, look for gifts at Pinion Direct Shop, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Kaiji Beach.

For photos, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Ishigaki attractions planning app .

You can fly from Miyakojima to Ishigaki in an hour. In November, daily temperatures in Ishigaki can reach 31°C, while at night they dip to 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Tue) to allow enough time to ride a ferry to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Taketomi-cho
Find places to stay Nov 2 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki

4
nights
Iriomote-jima

Iriomote-jima ©
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Canyoning & Rappelling Tours and Ida no Hama Beach. Get in touch with nature at Hoshisuna Beach and Kayaking & Canoeing. There's lots more to do: step off the mainland to explore Iriomote Island, enjoy the sand and surf at Todomari Beach, take in the dramatic scenery at Mizuochi Falls, and steep yourself in history at Wasurenaishi.

For traveler tips, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Iriomote-jima road trip app .

Traveling by ferry from Ishigaki to Iriomote-jima takes an hour. Expect a daytime high around 31°C in November, and nighttime lows around 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Nov 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Hoshisuna Beach ©
Hoshisuna Beach
Pinaisara Falls ©
Pinaisara Falls
Kayaking & Canoeing

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Yakusugi Land and Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley. Visiting Oko no Taki Fall and Isso Beach will get you outdoors. There's still lots to do: wander the streets of Wilson Stump, don't miss a visit to Taikoiwa, take in the dramatic scenery at Janokuchinotaki Falls, and delve into the lush surroundings at Shakunagenomori Park.

For other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, use the Yakushima-cho online road trip planner .

You can do a combination of ferry, flight, and taxi from Iriomote-jima to Yakushima-cho in 11 hours. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Iriomote-jima in November, with highs in Yakushima-cho at 24°C and lows at 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Wed) early enough to travel to Setouchi-cho.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Nov 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley ©
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley
Yakusugi Land ©
Yakusugi Land
Oko no Taki Fall
Oko no Taki Fall

2
nights
Setouchi-cho

Setouchi-cho ©
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Shirahama Beach and Honohoshi Beach. Visit Dokuhama Beach and Surihama for some beach relaxation. Step out of Setouchi-cho with an excursion to Mangrove Forested Area in Amami--about 1h 15 min away.

For where to stay, ratings, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Setouchi-cho online holiday maker .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Yakushima-cho to Setouchi-cho. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Yakushima-cho in November since evenings lows in Setouchi-cho dip to 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Sat) early enough to travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Setouchi-cho

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Mangrove Primeval Forest
Find places to stay Nov 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Mangrove Primeval Forest ©
Mangrove Primeval Forest

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.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Nijo-jo Castle and Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Dotonbori and Sanjusangendo Temple. Next up on the itinerary: steep yourself in history at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, go for a walk through Arashiyama, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, and don't miss a visit to Gion.

To find maps, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Kyoto tour planner .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Setouchi-cho to Kyoto. In November, Kyoto is slightly colder than Setouchi-cho - with highs of 19°C and lows of 10°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Wed) early enough to take a train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trip

Osaka
Find places to stay Nov 17 — 21:
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Fukui Dinosaur Museum and Daihonzan Eiheiji Temple. Do some cultural sightseeing at Gokayama and Suganuma Gassho Community. Get out of town with these interesting Kanazawa side-trips: Tojinbo Cliff (in Sakai), Chirihama Nagisa Driveway (in Hakui) and Tateyama-machi (Mikurigaike Pond & Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route). Next up on the itinerary: admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, steep yourself in history at Nomura Family Samurai House, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ninja Temple, and explore the galleries of Shima.

To find other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read Kanazawa trip website .

Take a train from Kyoto to Kanazawa in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. November in Kanazawa sees daily highs of 17°C and lows of 8°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Takayama.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Parks Outdoors Historic Sites

Side Trips

Nanto, Tateyama-machi, Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, Tojinbo Cliff, Chirihama Nagisa Driveway
Find places to stay Nov 21 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Chirihama Nagisa Driveway ©
Chirihama Nagisa Driveway
Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple ©
Daihonzan Eihei-ji 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 26th (Mon): browse the fresh offerings at Okuhida Fukuji Onsen Asaichi, steep yourself in history at Takayama Jinya, then sample the tasty concoctions at Harada Sake Brewery, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Higashiyama Walking Course, and finally see the interesting displays at Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: browse the eclectic array of goods at Hida-Takayama Miyagawa Morning Market, steep yourself in history at Wada House, then get to know the fascinating history of The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses, and finally get engrossed in the history at Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen.

For more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Takayama trip itinerary planning tool .

You can drive from Kanazawa to Takayama in 2 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a train. In November in Takayama, expect temperatures between 17°C during the day and 9°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Tue) early enough to travel to Matsue.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites Shopping Museums

Side Trip

Shirakawa-mura
Find places to stay Nov 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya
Higashiyama Walking Course ©
Higashiyama Walking Course
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen ©
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen

2
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Inasa Beach and Shinji Lake. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Adachi Museum of Art and Former Taisha Station. Venture out of the city with trips to The Mizuki Shigeru Road (in Sakaiminato) and Izumo (Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse, Hinomisaki Shrine, & more). And it doesn't end there: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yaegaki Shrine, step into the grandiose world of Matsue Castle, and explore the world behind art at Shimane Art Museum.

To find where to stay, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Matsue road trip planning app .

Getting from Takayama to Matsue by combination of train, flight, and taxi takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train, bus, flight, and taxi; or drive. In November, plan for daily highs up to 18°C, and evening lows to 9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Fri) early enough to travel to Shari-cho.

Things to do in Matsue

Parks Historic Sites Museums

Side Trips

Izumo, Adachi Museum of Art, Shinji Lake, The Mizuki Shigeru Road
Find places to stay Nov 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Yaegaki Shrine ©
Yaegaki Shrine
Adachi Museum of Art ©
Adachi Museum of Art
Hinomisaki Shrine ©
Hinomisaki Shrine

2
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Shiretoko Goko Lake and Shiretoko Beach. Get in touch with nature at Lake Mashu and Oshin Koshin Falls. There's lots more to do: take in the dramatic scenery at Kamuiwakka Hot Waterfall, see the interesting displays at Shiretoko Museum, wander the streets of Utoro Onsen, and explore the striking landscape at Oronko Rock.

To find ratings, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Shari-cho travel route planning app .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Matsue to Shari-cho in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, flight, and taxi; or do a combination of taxi, flight, and train. Traveling from Matsue in December, things will get a bit cooler in Shari-cho: highs are around 0°C and lows about -5°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Hakodate.

Things to do in Shari-cho

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Lake Mashu
Find places to stay Nov 30 — Dec 3:
Highlights from your plan
Shiretoko Goko Lake ©
Shiretoko Goko Lake
Kamuiwakka Hot Waterfall ©
Kamuiwakka Hot Waterfall
Lake Mashu ©
Lake Mashu

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Tue): get to know the fascinating history of Onuma Park Walking Path, stop by Hakodate Tsutaya Books, then stop by Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse, and finally take a stroll around Hakodate Community Design Center. Keep things going the next day: hunt for treasures at Hakodate Morning Market, take in the spiritual surroundings of Hakodate Orthodox Church, then don't miss a visit to Hachimanzaka, then steep yourself in history at The Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward, and finally wander the streets of Motomachi.

To find maps, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Hakodate travel app .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Shari-cho to Hakodate in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 3°C in December, and nighttime lows around -3°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Wed) early enough to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Hakodate

Shopping Historic Sites Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Onuma Park Walking Path
Find places to stay Dec 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Motomachi ©
Motomachi
Onuma Park Walking Path ©
Onuma Park Walking Path
The Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward ©

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 a sense of the local culture at Tokyo National Museum and Ginza. Head to Minato Mirai 21 and Omotesandofor plenty of shopping. Get out of town with these interesting Tokyo side-trips: Ghibli Museum (in Mitaka) and Ikspiari (in Urayasu). There's lots more to do: take a stroll through Harajuku Takeshita-dori, admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower, view the masterpieces at Art Jeunesse Akihabara, and get a taste of the local shopping with Asakusa.

For where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Tokyo online vacation planner .

Traveling by flight from Hakodate to Tokyo takes 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 December: high temperatures in Tokyo hover around 14°C and lows are around 4°C. On the 10th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Shopping Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trips

Minato Mirai 21, Ikspiari, Ghibli Museum Mitaka
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Ghibli Museum Mitaka ©
Ghibli Museum Mitaka
Minato Mirai 21 ©
Minato Mirai 21

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