52 days in Japan Itinerary

52 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan holiday maker

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Route & dates

52 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Auckland
Fly:  17​h 45​min
1
Miyakojima
— 4 nights
ferry:  4​h
2
Iriomote-jima
— 2 nights
ferry:  1​h
3
Ishigaki
— 5 nights
Fly:  7​h
4
Takachiho-cho
— 4 nights
+3
train + bus + Fly + taxi:  7​h 15​min
5
Yakushima-cho
— 1 night
+3
taxi + Fly + subway + train:  4​h 30​min
6
Hiroshima
— 5 nights
7
Kyoto
— 5 nights
8
Nachikatsura-cho
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
9
Toyooka
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
10
Kanazawa
— 5 nights
train:  1​h 15​min
11
Nagano
— 4 nights
+3
train + tram + Fly + taxi:  6​h
12
Shari-cho
— 5 nights
taxi + Fly:  4​h 30​min
13
Tokyo
— 6 nights
Fly:  14​h 45​min
End: Auckland

4
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima ©
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Take a break from the city and head to Yonaha Maehama Beach and Yabiji. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Sunayama Beach and Kayaking & Canoeing. Next up on the itinerary: enjoy the sand and surf at Aragusuku Beach, enjoy the sea views from Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse, take in the views from Irabu Ohashi, and don't miss a visit to East Henna Cape.

To see photos, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, go to the Miyakojima day trip planning tool .

Auckland, New Zealand to Miyakojima is an approximately 18-hour flight. Traveling from Auckland to Miyakojima, you'll gain 3 hours due to the time zone difference. In November, Miyakojima is somewhat warmer than Auckland - with highs of 30°C and lows of 24°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Fri) so you can catch the ferry to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors Parks Tours
Find places to stay Nov 11 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach
Yonaha Maehama Beach ©
Yonaha Maehama Beach
Yabiji
Yabiji

2
nights
Iriomote-jima

Iriomote-jima ©
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
On the 16th (Sat), admire the sheer force of Mizuochi Falls, admire the sheer force of Pinaisara Falls, and then scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour. Here are some ideas for day two: glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, then step off the mainland to explore Iriomote Island, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Ida no Hama Beach.

For reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Iriomote-jima road trip tool .

Traveling by ferry from Miyakojima to Iriomote-jima takes 4 hours. In November in Iriomote-jima, expect temperatures between 31°C during the day and 25°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sun) early enough to ride a ferry to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Find places to stay Nov 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Iriomote Island ©
Iriomote Island
Pinaisara Falls ©
Pinaisara Falls
Mizuochi Falls ©
Mizuochi Falls

5
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Cape Hirakubozaki and Stand-Up Paddleboarding. Island Countryside Settlement and Nei Museum of Art are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Step out of Ishigaki with an excursion to Nakamoto Beach in Kuro-shima--about 1h 25 min away. There's much more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Kondoi Beach, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, stop by Yurateiku Market, and take in the waterfront at Nishi Pier.

To see more things to do, reviews, photos, and tourist information, read Ishigaki trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by ferry from Iriomote-jima to Ishigaki takes an hour. In November, plan for daily highs up to 31°C, and evening lows to 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Fri) to allow time to travel to Takachiho-cho.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Taketomi-cho, Nakamoto Beach, Island Countryside Settlement
Find places to stay Nov 17 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara 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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Takachiho Gorge and Aso Geopark. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Takachiho Shrine and Nanatsumori Ancient Tumulus. Explore Takachiho-cho's surroundings by going to Nabegataki Falls (in Oguni-machi), Ogi Rice Terraces (in Ubuyama-mura) and Aso (Daikanbo, Kusasenri, & more). And it doesn't end there: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Amano Iwato Shrine, admire the sheer force of Manai Falls, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Kunimigaoka, and go for a walk through Amano Yasugawara.

For where to stay, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Takachiho-cho sightseeing planner .

Traveling by flight from Ishigaki to Takachiho-cho takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from Ishigaki in November, you will find days in Takachiho-cho are little chillier (19°C), and nights are much colder (10°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Tue) so you can travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Takachiho-cho

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Aso, Taketa, Mt. Aso, Harajiri Falls, Nabegataki Falls
Find places to stay Nov 22 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Takachiho Gorge ©
Takachiho Gorge
Takachiho Shrine ©
Takachiho Shrine
Amano Iwato Shrine ©
Amano Iwato Shrine

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Wed): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Yakusugi Land. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the dramatic scenery at Oko no Taki Fall, then hike along Seibu Trail, and then explore the stunning scenery at Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley.

To find reviews, photos, maps, and tourist information, read our Yakushima-cho trip itinerary maker site .

Traveling by combination of train, flight, and taxi from Takachiho-cho to Yakushima-cho takes 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Takachiho-cho in November: high temperatures in Yakushima-cho hover around 24°C and lows are around 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Thu) so you can travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Parks Nature Trails
Find places to stay Nov 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Yakusugi Land ©
Yakusugi Land
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley ©
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley
Oko no Taki Fall
Oko no Taki Fall

5
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 Yamato Museum and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Step off the beaten path and head to Daishoin Temple and JMSDF Kure Museum. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Hiroshima: Tomo no Ura (in Fukuyama), Hatsukaichi (Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima, & more) and Senkoji & Senkoji Park (in Onomichi). Next up on the itinerary: take an in-depth tour of Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, explore the historical opulence of Hiroshima Castle, steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome, and make a trip to Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima.

To see traveler tips, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Hiroshima trip itinerary planning app .

You can do a combination of taxi, flight, and train from Yakushima-cho to Hiroshima in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi, ferry, and train; or do a combination of car and ferry. Traveling from Yakushima-cho in November, things will get slightly colder in Hiroshima: highs are around 20°C and lows about 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Tue) early enough to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Kure, Tomo no Ura, Ohara Museum of Art, Senkoji & Senkoji Park
Find places to stay Nov 28 — Dec 3:
Highlights from your plan
Daishoin Temple ©
Daishoin Temple
Yamato Museum ©
Yamato Museum

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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Koyasan Okunoin. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Eikando Zenrinji Temple and Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple. Get out of town with these interesting Kyoto side-trips: Himeji Castle (in Himeji), Ise (Oharai-machi, Ise Shrine Geku, & more) and Osaka (Dotonbori & Daimaru Museum Umeda). And it doesn't end there: contemplate the long history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Sanjusangendo Temple, explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, and don't miss a visit to Gion.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Kyoto vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

You can take a train from Hiroshima to Kyoto in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 13°C, and evening lows to 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) so you can drive to Nachikatsura-cho.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trips

Ise, Osaka, Himeji Castle, Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple, Koyasan Okunoin
Find places to stay Dec 3 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Eikando Zenrinji Temple ©
Eikando Zenrinji Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple

2
nights
Nachikatsura-cho

Nachikatsura-cho ©
The town of Nachikatsuura-cho wows visitors with its superlative landscape and impressive cultural attractions.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Mon): take in the spiritual surroundings of Hirou Shrine, take in the dramatic scenery at Nachi Mitaki Falls, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Kumano Nachi Taisha, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Seigantoji Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Kamikura Shrine. Here are some ideas for day two: make a trip to Daimonzaka, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kumano Hayatama Taisha, and then take in the dramatic natural features at Hashigui Rock.

To see more things to do, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Nachikatsura-cho online trip itinerary planner .

Drive from Kyoto to Nachikatsura-cho in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Kyoto in December, expect a bit warmer with lows of 8°C in Nachikatsura-cho. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Toyooka.

Things to do in Nachikatsura-cho

Historic Sites Nature Parks

Side Trips

Shingu, Hashigui Rock
Find places to stay Dec 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Kamikura Shrine ©
Kamikura Shrine
Kumano Nachi Taisha ©
Kumano Nachi Taisha
Kumano Hayatama Taisha ©
Kumano Hayatama Taisha

2
nights
Toyooka

Toyooka ©
A vacation in Toyooka lets you explore the UNESCO Global Geopark that completely surrounds the small town, notable for its scenic islands, rock formations, caves, and sand dunes.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Wed): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Onitakeinari Shrine, then observe the fascinating underwater world at Kinosaki Marine World, then get to know the fascinating history of Street of Kinosaki Onsen, and finally test the waters at a local thermal spa. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: don't miss a visit to Amarube Railroad Bridge, Sorano Eki, examine the collection at Toyooka City Konotori Bunkakan, then contemplate the long history of Takeda Castle Ruins, and finally browse the fresh offerings at Toyooka Sanchoku Magokoro Market.

To see reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Toyooka road trip planner.

Drive from Nachikatsura-cho to Toyooka in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or take a train. In December, Toyooka is slightly colder than Nachikatsura-cho - with highs of 9°C and lows of 3°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can go by car to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Toyooka

Historic Sites Parks Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Amarube Railroad Bridge, Sorano Eki, Takeda Castle Ruins, Onitakeinari Shrine
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Takeda Castle Ruins ©
Takeda Castle Ruins
Street of Kinosaki Onsen ©
Street of Kinosaki Onsen
Thermal Spas

5
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum and D. T. Suzuki Museum will appeal to museum buffs. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple and Chirihama Nagisa Driveway. Explore Kanazawa's surroundings by going to Maruoka Castle (in Sakai), Shirakawa-mura (Wada House, Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, & more) and Takayama (Takayama Jinya & Higashiyama Walking Course). The adventure continues: contemplate the long history of Ainokura Gassho Community, take in the spiritual surroundings of Oyama Shrine, buy something for everyone on your list at Kanazawa Hyakubangai Shopping Center, and wander the streets of Gokayama.

To see maps, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Kanazawa trip itinerary maker .

Traveling by car from Toyooka to Kanazawa takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 11°C in December, and nighttime lows around 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) to allow enough time to take a train to Nagano.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Nanto, Takayama, Maruoka Castle, Chirihama Nagisa Driveway
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple ©
Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple
Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum ©
Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum
Chirihama Nagisa Driveway ©
Chirihama Nagisa Driveway

4
nights
Nagano

Nagano ©
Near the confluence of the Chikuma and Sai rivers, Nagano combines historic sites with nearby forested alps dotted with shrines.
Get a sense of the local culture at Togakushi Shrine Okusha and Haruna Shrine. Visit Ganshoin Temple and Stone Church for their historical value. Get out of town with these interesting Nagano side-trips: Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort (in Nozawaonsen-mura), Onsen Resorts (in Kusatsu-machi) and Hokusai-kan (in Obuse-machi). There's lots more to do: fly down the slopes at Kurumayama Highland, take in the spiritual surroundings of Zenko-ji Temple, pause for some serene contemplation at Karuizawa Kogen Church, and look for all kinds of wild species at Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park.

For more things to do, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Nagano trip itinerary planning tool .

You can take a train from Kanazawa to Nagano in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or drive. Traveling from Kanazawa in December, things will get slightly colder in Nagano: highs are around 7°C and lows about 0°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can travel to Shari-cho.

Things to do in Nagano

Historic Sites Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Yamanouchi-machi, Karuizawa-machi, Obuse-machi, Kurumayama Highland, Onsen Resorts
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Togakushi Shrine Okusha ©
Togakushi Shrine Okusha
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort ©
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort
Haruna Shrine ©
Haruna Shrine

5
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Shiretoko National Park and Lake Mashu. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Shiretoko Goko Lake and Notsuke Peninsula. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Shari-cho: Kiyosato-cho (Ippon no Michi & Kaminoko Pond), Teshikaga-cho (Lake Mashu 3rd Observatory & Lake Kussharo) and Abashiri Prison Museum (in Abashiri). There's still lots to do: admire the sheer force of Kamuiwakka Hot Waterfall, look for all kinds of wild species at Shiretoko Peninsula, take a memorable tour with Tours, and admire the masterpieces at Kita no Alp Art Museum.

For reviews, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Shari-cho route maker app .

Do a combination of train, flight, and taxi from Nagano to Shari-cho in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of car and ferry. Traveling from Nagano in December, expect Shari-cho to be little chillier, temps between 0°C and -5°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Shari-cho

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Teshikaga-cho, Kiyosato-cho, Hokkaido, Notsuke Peninsula, Abashiri Prison Museum
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Shiretoko National Park ©
Shiretoko National Park
Kamuiwakka Hot Waterfall ©
Kamuiwakka Hot Waterfall
Shiretoko Goko Lake ©
Shiretoko Goko Lake

6
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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Pola Museum of Art and Senso-ji Temple. Do your shopping at Minato Mirai 21 and Asakusa. Get out of town with these interesting Tokyo side-trips: Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu (in Hakone-machi) and Gotemba Premium Outlets (in Gotemba). The adventure continues: explore the world behind art at Tokyo National Museum, take a stroll through Ueno, get a taste of the local shopping with Ginza, and have some family-friendly fun at Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou.

For photos and more tourist information, refer to the Tokyo road trip app .

Getting from Shari-cho to Tokyo by combination of taxi and flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or do a combination of car, bus, and train. While traveling from Shari-cho, expect much hotter days and somewhat warmer nights in Tokyo, ranging from highs of 14°C to lows of 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Shopping Museums

Side Trips

Hakone-machi, Gotemba Premium Outlets, Minato Mirai 21
Find places to stay Dec 26 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Odaiba ©
Odaiba
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Pola Museum of Art ©
Pola Museum of Art

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