48 days in Japan Itinerary

48 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

48 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Vancouver
Fly:  15​h 30​min
1
Hakone-machi
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
2
Hakuba-mura
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Takayama
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
4
Nachikatsura-cho
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
5
Ise
— 2 nights
+4
train + foot + bus + Fly + taxi:  6​h 30​min
6
Yakushima-cho
— 3 nights
taxi + Fly:  6​h 15​min
7
Onna-son
— 4 nights
bus + Fly:  3​h 30​min
8
Miyakojima
— 4 nights
ferry:  4​h
9
Iriomote-jima
— 3 nights
ferry:  1​h
10
Ishigaki
— 4 nights
Fly:  7​h
11
Takachiho-cho
— 4 nights
+2
bus + Fly + train:  10​h 15​min
12
Kutchan-cho
— 4 nights
+2
train + Fly + bus:  8​h
13
Kyoto
— 2 nights
train + Fly:  13​h 15​min
End: Vancouver

4
nights
Hakone-machi

Hakone-machi ©
Sitting at the foot of Mount Fuji, Hakone-machi has become a popular retreat from Tokyo for locals and tourists alike.
Explore hidden gems such as Iritahama Beach and Shirahama Jinja Shrine. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Sugimotodera Temple and Tamamura Toyoo Life Art Museum. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Hakone-machi: Jogasaki Beach Picnical Course (in Ito), Sasuke Inari Shrine (in Kamakura) and Ogiso Shoten Honten (in Shimoda). There's still lots to do: see the interesting displays at Hakone Museum of Photography, steep yourself in history at Daiyuzan Saijoji Temple (Doryoson), play a few rounds at Daihakone Country Club, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kintoki Shrine.

To find reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Hakone-machi trip planning app .

Vancouver, Canada to Hakone-machi is an approximately 15.5-hour flight. You'll lose 17 hours traveling from Vancouver to Hakone-machi due to the time zone difference. In March, daily temperatures in Hakone-machi can reach 9°C, while at night they dip to 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Fri) early enough to drive to Hakuba-mura.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Outdoors Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Shimoda, Kamakura, Daiyuzan Saijoji Temple (Doryoson), Jogasaki Beach Picnical Course
Find places to stay Mar 2 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Daihakone Country Club ©
Daihakone Country Club
Sasuke Inari Shrine ©
Sasuke Inari Shrine
Daiyuzan Saijoji Temple (Doryoson) ©

4
nights
Hakuba-mura

Hakuba-mura ©
Skiing enthusiasts traveling in Japan should consider a trip to Hakuba-mura: tucked away in the Northern Alps, this village hosted several competitions during the Nagano 1998 Winter Olympics.
Togakushi Shrine Okusha and Old Battlefield of Kawanakajima will appeal to history buffs. Discover out-of-the-way places like Shigakogen Sun Valley Ski Area and Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort. Venture out of the city with trips to Nozawaonsen-mura (Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort & Thermal Spas), Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route (in Tateyama-machi) and Hokusai-kan (in Obuse-machi). There's more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Togakushi Shrine Hinomikosya.

To find more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read Hakuba-mura trip maker website .

You can drive from Hakone-machi to Hakuba-mura in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train and bus; or take a train. Traveling from Hakone-machi in March, plan for little chillier nights in Hakuba-mura, with lows around 3°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Takayama.

Things to do in Hakuba-mura

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports

Side Trips

Nagano, Nozawaonsen-mura, Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, Shigakogen Sun Valley Ski Area, Hokusai-kan
Find places to stay Mar 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort ©
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort
Hokusai-kan ©
Hokusai-kan
Thermal Spas

4
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Takayama Showa Museum and Lion Dance Ceremony Exhibition Hall (Shishi-Kaikan). Get a sense of the local culture at Shirakawago and Mukashibanashi no Sato. Explore Takayama's surroundings by going to Kiso-machi (Kisofukushima & Kisofukushima Ski Resort), Hakusan Shrine (Heisenji-Hakusan Shrine) (in Katsuyama) and Rail - MTB Gattan Go!! (in Hida). Next up on the itinerary: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hida Ichinomiya Mizunashi Shrine, take in the views from Nakabashi Bridge, see the interesting displays at Hikaru Museum, and indulge your thirst for a good beer at Funasaka Shuzo Brewery.

To see photos, ratings, and tourist information, read Takayama trip itinerary site .

You can drive from Hakuba-mura to Takayama in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. In March, daytime highs in Takayama are 13°C, while nighttime lows are 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sat) early enough to drive to Nachikatsura-cho.

Things to do in Takayama

Outdoors Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Kiso-machi, Rail Mountain Bike Gattan Go!!, Shirakawago, Hakusan Shrine (Heisenji-Hakusan Shrine)
Find places to stay Mar 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Shirakawago ©
Shirakawago
Hikaru Museum ©
Hikaru Museum

2
nights
Nachikatsura-cho

Nachikatsura-cho ©
The town of Nachikatsuura-cho wows visitors with its superlative landscape and impressive cultural attractions.
On the 15th (Sun), examine the collection at Hiromitsu Ochiai Baseball Hall, stop by Katsuura Nigiwai Market, then indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at some of the top local onsens, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hirou Shrine, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fudarakusanji Temple. Keep things going the next day: take a peaceful walk through Nachi Primeval Forest, then contemplate the waterfront views at Nachi Forest, and then step off the mainland to explore Kinomatsushima Island.

For photos, reviews, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Nachikatsura-cho trip planning app .

Traveling by car from Takayama to Nachikatsura-cho takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from Takayama in March, things will get a bit warmer in Nachikatsura-cho: highs are around 17°C and lows about 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Ise.

Things to do in Nachikatsura-cho

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Hiromitsu Ochiai Baseball Hall
Find places to stay Mar 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Nachi Forest ©
Nachi Forest
Hiromitsu Ochiai Baseball Hall ©
Hiromitsu Ochiai Baseball Hall
Fudarakusanji Temple ©
Fudarakusanji Temple

2
nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Tue): steep yourself in history at Saiku Heian no Mori, take an in-depth tour of Itsukinomiya Hall for Historical Experience, get engrossed in the history at Saiku Histrical Museum, then contemplate the long history of Watarai Prefectural Office Former Site, then look for gifts at Hakutaka Miyake Shoten, and finally steep yourself in history at Furuichi Kaido. Here are some ideas for day two: steep yourself in history at Sarume Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Matsuo Kanonji Temple, and then kick back and relax at Ichigo Beach.

To see photos, reviews, and tourist information, read Ise driving holiday planner .

You can drive from Nachikatsura-cho to Ise in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. When traveling from Nachikatsura-cho in March, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Ise: temperatures range from 13°C by day to 11°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) so you can travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Ise

Historic Sites Beaches Museums

Side Trips

Meiwa-cho, Ichigo Beach
Find places to stay Mar 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Sarume Shrine ©
Sarume Shrine
Saiku Histrical Museum ©
Saiku Histrical Museum

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Yakusugi Land and Oko no Taki Fall. There's much more to do: take in breathtaking views at Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley, stop by Sugisho, and make a trip to Wilson Stump.

To see other places to visit, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Yakushima-cho road trip planning site .

You can do a combination of train, flight, and taxi from Ise to Yakushima-cho in 6.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train, ferry, and taxi; or do a combination of car and ferry. When traveling from Ise in March, plan for somewhat warmer days in Yakushima-cho, with highs around 20°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can travel to Onna-son.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Nature Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay Mar 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Yakusugi Land ©
Yakusugi Land
Oko no Taki Fall
Oko no Taki Fall
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley ©
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley

4
nights
Onna-son

Onna-son ©
Located on the coast in the middle of the island, Onna-son has become known for its beaches and seaside economy.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Nakijin Castle Ruins and Okinawa Peace Memorial Park. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Katsuren Castle Ruins and Sefa-Utaki. Venture out of the city with trips to Daisekirinzan (in Kunigami-son), AEONMALL OKINAWA RYCOM (in Kitanakagusuku-son) and Gallery Kiya (in Yomitan-son). There's lots more to do: see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, stroll through Bise no Warumi, head off the coast to Kouri-jima Island, and get a taste of the local shopping with Onna Station Nakayukui Market.

To see ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Onna-son day trip planning app .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Yakushima-cho to Onna-son takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and ferry; or do a combination of taxi, ferry, and bus. Traveling from Yakushima-cho in March, you will find days in Onna-son are a bit warmer (24°C), and nights are about the same (16°C). Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Onna-son

Shopping Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trips

Motobu-cho, Katsuren Castle Ruins, Okinawa Peace Memorial Park, AEONMALL OKINAWA RYCOM, Daisekirinzan
Find places to stay Mar 21 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
AEONMALL OKINAWA RYCOM ©
AEONMALL OKINAWA RYCOM
Daisekirinzan ©
Daisekirinzan
Okinawa Peace Memorial Park ©
Okinawa Peace Memorial Park

4
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Toguchi no Hama and Scuba & Snorkeling. Escape the urban bustle at Aragusuku Beach and Yonaha Maehama Beach. Next up on the itinerary: kick back and relax at Sunayama Beach, don't miss a visit to East Henna Cape, look for gifts at Furusato, and take in the pleasant sights at Imugya Marine Garden.

For maps, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Miyakojima online road trip planner .

Traveling by combination of bus and flight from Onna-son to Miyakojima takes 3.5 hours. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Miyakojima when traveling from Onna-son in March, with lows around 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) early enough to ride a ferry to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Mar 25 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Toguchi no Hama
Toguchi no Hama
Yabiji
Yabiji
Scuba & Snorkeling

3
nights
Iriomote-jima

Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Ida no Hama Beach and Pinaisara Falls. Step out of the city life by going to Canyoning & Rappelling Tours and Barasu Island. There's lots more to do: step off the mainland to explore Iriomote Island, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, take in the dramatic scenery at Kanpiree Waterfall, and contemplate the long history of Residence of Niimori.

For traveler tips, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Iriomote-jima route planner .

You can ride a ferry from Miyakojima to Iriomote-jima in 4 hours. In March, daily temperatures in Iriomote-jima can reach 26°C, while at night they dip to 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) to allow enough time to ride a ferry to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Parks Outdoors Nature
Find places to stay Mar 29 — Apr 1:
Highlights from your plan
Kayaking & Canoeing
Pinaisara Falls ©
Pinaisara Falls
Barasu Island ©
Barasu Island

4
nights
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.
Visiting Kondoi Beach and Stand-Up Paddleboarding will get you outdoors. Visit Cape Hirakubozaki and Island Countryside Settlement for their historical value. There's still lots to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Yonehara Beach, walk around Banna Park, enjoy breathtaking views from Tamatorizaki Observatory, and paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, read our Ishigaki trip planner.

Traveling by ferry from Iriomote-jima to Ishigaki takes an hour. In April, daytime highs in Ishigaki are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Takachiho-cho.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Parks Adventure

Side Trip

Taketomi-jima
Find places to stay Apr 1 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Kayaking & Canoeing
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach

4
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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Takachiho Shrine and Amano Iwato Shrine. Discover out-of-the-way places like Amano Yasugawara and Daikanbo. Get out of town with these interesting Takachiho-cho side-trips: Onsen Resorts (in Minamioguni-machi), Kusasenri (in Aso) and Shirakawa Springs (in Minamiaso-mura). Next up on the itinerary: admire the sheer force of Manai Falls, contemplate the geological forces at Mt. Aso, take in breathtaking views at Takachiho Gorge, and stop by Michi-no-Eki Takachiho.

To find other places to visit, photos, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Takachiho-cho trip planner .

Fly from Ishigaki to Takachiho-cho in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Ishigaki in April; daily highs in Takachiho-cho reach 23°C and lows reach 12°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) so you can travel to Kutchan-cho.

Things to do in Takachiho-cho

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Aso, Shirakawa Springs, Onsen Resorts, Oka Castle Ruins, Mt. Aso
Find places to stay Apr 5 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Amano Iwato Shrine ©
Amano Iwato Shrine
Amano Yasugawara ©
Amano Yasugawara
Oka Castle Ruins ©
Oka Castle Ruins

4
nights
Kutchan-cho

Kutchan-cho ©
Kutchan-cho's reputation rests on two things: skiing and potatoes.
Escape the urban bustle at Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area and Rusutsu Resort Ski. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Niseko Hanazono Resort and Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu Ski Place. Get out of town with these interesting Kutchan-cho side-trips: Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery (in Yoichi-cho) and Shakotan-cho (Shakotan Peninsula & Cape Kamui). There's more to do: walk around Fukidashi Park.

To see more things to do, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Kutchan-cho itinerary site .

Traveling by combination of flight and train from Takachiho-cho to Kutchan-cho takes 10.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of bus, flight, and train. When traveling from Takachiho-cho in April, plan for colder days and a bit cooler nights in Kutchan-cho: temperatures range from 9°C by day to 7°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Kutchan-cho

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trips

Shakotan-cho, Rusutsu Resort Ski, Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area, Fukidashi Park, Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Find places to stay Apr 9 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Niseko Hanazono Resort ©
Niseko Hanazono Resort
Shakotan Peninsula ©
Shakotan Peninsula

2
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 cultural itinerary includes sights like Kyoto Gyoen National Garden and Myoshinji Temple. Explore hidden gems such as Mii-dera Temple (Onjo-ji Temple) and Honen-in. Go for a jaunt from Kyoto to Otsu to see Ishiyamadera Temple about 36 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: take in the spiritual surroundings of Jojakkoji Temple, pick up a one of a kind souvenir at Maiko Antiques Kyoto, appreciate the extensive heritage of Kiyamachi Street, and contemplate the long history of Keage Incline.

To find out how to plan a trip to Kyoto, use our trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by combination of train and flight from Kutchan-cho to Kyoto takes 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or take a train. In April, Kyoto is a bit warmer than Kutchan-cho - with highs of 22°C and lows of 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks Spas

Side Trip

Otsu
Find places to stay Apr 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Kyoto Gyoen National Garden ©
Kyoto Gyoen National Garden
Jojakkoji Temple ©
Jojakkoji Temple
Ishiyamadera Temple ©
Ishiyamadera Temple

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