50 days in Japan Itinerary

50 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan travel route planner

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Route & dates

50 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Johannesburg
Fly:  21​h 45​min
1
Ishigaki
— 4 nights
+2
Fly + train + bus:  5​h 15​min
2
Motobu-cho
— 5 nights
+2
bus + train + Fly:  6​h 15​min
3
Sasebo
— 4 nights
4
Hiroshima
— 4 nights
train:  1​h
5
Himeji
— 4 nights
train:  45​min
6
Kyoto
— 5 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
7
Kanazawa
— 4 nights
train + taxi:  2​h
8
Yamanouchi-machi
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
9
Fujikawaguchiko-machi
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h
10
Tokyo
— 10 nights
Fly:  22​h
End: Johannesburg

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.
You've now added Scuba & Snorkeling to your itinerary. Next up on the itinerary: explore the activities along Kabira Bay, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, head outdoors with Yarabudake, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Yonehara Beach.

To find photos, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read Ishigaki trip builder .

Johannesburg, South Africa to Ishigaki is an approximately 22-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 7 hours traveling from Johannesburg to Ishigaki. When traveling from Johannesburg in December, plan for little chillier days and about the same nights in Ishigaki: temperatures range from 26°C by day to 20°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can travel to Motobu-cho.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trip

Kondoi Beach
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Kabira Bay ©
Kabira Bay
Stand-Up Paddleboarding

5
nights
Motobu-cho

Motobu-cho ©
Formed by the gradual merging of several old fishing villages, today the island town of Motobu-cho boasts paradisal beaches of white sand, clear waters, and a rich array of wildlife.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Motobu-cho: Neo Park (in Nago), Onna-son (Scuba & Snorkeling, Cape Manzamo, & more) and Kunigami-son (Okuma Beach & Daisekirinzan). Next up on the itinerary: get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, meet the residents at Okichan Theater, tour the pleasant surroundings at Okinawa Memorial Park Ocean Expo Park, and take in the dramatic natural features at Cape Zampa.

To find where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Motobu-cho journey planner .

Do a combination of flight and bus from Ishigaki to Motobu-cho in 5.5 hours. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from Ishigaki in December since evenings lows in Motobu-cho dip to 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) so you can travel to Sasebo.

Things to do in Motobu-cho

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Onna-son, Nakijin-son, Kunigami-son, Neo Park, Iejima Beach Side Horse Park
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium ©
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
Scuba & Snorkeling
Cape Manzamo ©
Cape Manzamo

4
nights
Sasebo

Sasebo ©
With its U.S.
Venture out of the city with trips to Nagasaki (Nagasaki Peace Park, Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, & more), Chimachibo Park (in Takeo) and Shimanoyakata (in Hirado). There's much more to do: get in on the family fun at Huis Ten Bosch, head off the coast to Kujuku Island, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ohashikannonji, and take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Yumihari.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Sasebo trip itinerary maker .

Getting from Motobu-cho to Sasebo by combination of bus and flight takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus, flight, and train; or do a combination of ferry and car. Traveling from Motobu-cho in December, things will get little chillier in Sasebo: highs are around 13°C and lows about 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) so you can take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Sasebo

Parks Nature Theme Parks

Side Trips

Nagasaki, Chimachibo Park, Shimanoyakata, Mt. Kurokami
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Nagasaki Peace Park ©
Nagasaki Peace Park
Huis Ten Bosch ©
Huis Ten Bosch
Mt. Inasa ©
Mt. Inasa

4
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Venture out of the city with trips to Matsuyama Castle (in Matsuyama) and Hatsukaichi (Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima, & more). And it doesn't end there: examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, pause for some photo ops at The Cenotaph, admire the natural beauty at Shukkei-en Garden, and steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome.

To see ratings, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, go to the Hiroshima tour itinerary planning website .

You can take a train from Sasebo to Hiroshima in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December in Hiroshima, expect temperatures between 13°C during the day and 4°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) to allow enough time to take a train to Himeji.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Outdoors

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Matsuyama Castle, Tobishima Kaido
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Miyajima ©
Miyajima
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine

4
nights
Himeji

Himeji ©
The castle around which the city of Himeji has developed represents one of the best preserved in the country, and has been designated as a national treasure and a World Heritage Site.
Venture out of the city with trips to Okayama Korakuen Garden (in Okayama), Daisen Outlook (in Mimasaka) and Shikoku Mura Village (in Takamatsu). There's lots more to do: step into the grandiose world of Himeji Castle, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Takamikura, admire the natural beauty at Koko-en Garden, and fly down the slopes at Wakasu Kogen Oya Ski Area.

To find traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Himeji trip itinerary builder site .

Getting from Hiroshima to Himeji by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and train. In January, daytime highs in Himeji are 10°C, while nighttime lows are 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Himeji

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Shikoku Mura Village, Mt. Kuma, Mt. Takamikura, Daisen Outlook, Yoneda Taishiji Temple
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Okayama Korakuen Garden ©
Okayama Korakuen Garden
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Koko-en Garden ©
Koko-en Garden

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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Kyoto: Osaka (Universal Studios Japan, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, & more). Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the long history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, take in the pleasant sights at Arashiyama, and stop by Fuuka-Kimono.

For more things to do, photos, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Kyoto day trip site .

Take a train from Himeji to Kyoto in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. January in Kyoto sees daily highs of 10°C and lows of 1°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sun) early enough to take a train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Theme Parks Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Osaka
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan ©
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Fuuka-Kimono ©
Fuuka-Kimono

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.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Kanazawa: Shirakawa-mura (Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen & The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses), Ryokufu Resort Hida Nagareha (in Hida) and Takayama Jinya (in Takayama). And it doesn't end there: admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, don't miss a visit to Omicho Market, steep yourself in history at Nomura Family Samurai House, and admire the landmark architecture of Kanazawa Station.

To see maps, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, read Kanazawa tour itinerary builder website .

You can take a train from Kyoto to Kanazawa in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In January, daytime highs in Kanazawa are 7°C, while nighttime lows are 0°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can travel to Yamanouchi-machi.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Ski Jam Katsuyama, Ryokufu Resort Hida Nagareha, Takayama Jinya
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden
Ski Jam Katsuyama ©
Ski Jam Katsuyama

4
nights
Yamanouchi-machi

Yamanouchi-machi ©
The resort town of Yamanouchi-machi has plenty of contrasting, but complementary things going for it.
Venture out of the city with trips to Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort (in Nozawaonsen-mura), Zenko-ji Temple (in Nagano) and Amidado (in Iiyama). The adventure continues: look for all kinds of wild species at Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, hit the slopes at Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort, tour the pleasant surroundings at Shigakogen Yakebitaiyama Ski Area, and test the waters at a local thermal spa.

To see where to stay, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Yamanouchi-machi road trip website .

Getting from Kanazawa to Yamanouchi-machi by combination of train and taxi takes about 2 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and bus; or drive. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from Kanazawa in January; daily highs in Yamanouchi-machi reach 3°C and lows reach -3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) early enough to drive to Fujikawaguchiko-machi.

Things to do in Yamanouchi-machi

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trips

Thermal Spas, Zenko-ji Temple, Amidado, Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort, Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park ©
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort ©
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort
Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort ©
Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort

4
nights
Fujikawaguchiko-machi

Fujikawaguchiko-machi ©
A resort town located in the foothills of Mount Fuji, Fujikawaguchiko-machi acts as a base for many who plan to take one of the trails up the iconic volcano.
Venture out of the city with trips to Fujiyoshida (Onshirin Garden & Mt. Shakushi), Oshino Omiya Bridge (in Oshino-mura) and Mt. Mano (in Shizuoka). And it doesn't end there: get impressive views of Mount Fuji, get great views at Panoramic Viewing Platform, admire the sheer force of Haha no Shirataki Waterfall, and get in on the family fun at Fuji-Q Highland.

For where to stay, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, read Fujikawaguchiko-machi road trip planning tool .

Drive from Yamanouchi-machi to Fujikawaguchiko-machi in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or do a combination of taxi and train. Traveling from Yamanouchi-machi in January, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Fujikawaguchiko-machi, with lows of 3°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) so you can go by car to Tokyo.

Things to do in Fujikawaguchiko-machi

Parks Nature Theme Parks

Side Trips

Fujiyoshida, Mt. Mano, Oshino Omiya Bridge, Mount Fuji, Lake Yamanaka Panorama Deck
Find places to stay Jan 20 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Mount Fuji ©
Mount Fuji
Lake Kawaguchi ©
Lake Kawaguchi
Fuji-Q Highland ©
Fuji-Q Highland

10
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.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tokyo: Katabira-gawa Shinsui Ryokudo (in Yokohama), Tokyo DisneySea (in Maihama) and Ghibli Museum Mitaka (in Mitaka). There's still lots to do: discover the magic at Tokyo Disneyland, see the interesting displays at Edo-Tokyo Museum, take in panoramic vistas at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Sensō-ji.

For photos, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Tokyo attractions planner .

Getting from Fujikawaguchiko-machi to Tokyo by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. Traveling from Fujikawaguchiko-machi in January, you will find days in Tokyo are a bit warmer (11°C), and nights are about the same (1°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Mon) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums Historic Sites Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Kamakura, Urayasu, Ghibli Museum Mitaka, Katabira-gawa Shinsui Ryokudo
Find places to stay Jan 24 — Feb 3:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Tokyo Disneyland ©
Tokyo Disneyland
Tokyo DisneySea ©
Tokyo DisneySea

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