51 days in Japan Itinerary

51 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip planner
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Tokyo
— 6 nights
Fly
2
Sapporo
— 5 nights
Fly
3
Kanazawa
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Kyoto
— 6 nights
Drive
5
Osaka
— 6 nights
Train
6
Hiroshima
— 4 nights
Train
7
Nagasaki
— 4 nights
Fly
8
Ishigaki
— 6 nights
Fly
9
Motobu-cho
— 9 nights
Fly

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Tokyo — 6 nights

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 teamLab☆Planets and Ugafuku Shrine ( Goddess of Money Washing). Get some historical perspective at Hozomon and Kencho-ji Temple. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Tokyo: Kamakura (Kamakura Hiking Trails, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, &more), Fujiyoshida (Arakura Fuji Sengen Jinja, Chureito Pagoda, &more) and Fujikawaguchiko-machi (Sankodai, Aokigahara Forest Nature Guide Tour, &more). There's lots more to do: stroll through Odaiba Kaihin Koen (Odaiba Seaside Park), admire the masterpieces at Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, examine the collection at Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum, and wander the streets of Kichijoji.

To find more things to do, maps, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Tokyo road trip app.

Adelaide, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 15.5-hour flight. You'll gain 0.5 hours traveling from Adelaide to Tokyo due to the time zone difference. Expect cooler weather when traveling from Adelaide in December: highs in Tokyo hover around 14°C, while lows dip to 4°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Fri) so you can catch the flight to Sapporo.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping · Parks
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 9 — 15:

Sapporo — 5 nights

A modern, bustling city known for its beer brewery, Sapporo attracts millions of visitors with its Snow Festival, during which elaborate ice and snow sculptures are exhibited all over town.
Get a sense of the local culture at Royce' Chocolate World and Historical Village of Hokkaido (Kaitaku-no Mura). Your inner history buff will appreciate Fushimi Inari Shrine and Sapporo Christ Church. Explore Sapporo's surroundings by going to Niseko-cho (Niseko Outdoor Center, Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area, &more), Kutchan-cho (Kutchan Catholic Church, White Isle Niseko, &more) and Tomakomai (Nidom Classic Course & Lake Utonai Sanctuary). There's much more to do: hit the slopes at Sapporo Teine, see the interesting displays at The Hokkaido University Museum, browse the different shops at Mitsui Outlet Park, Sapporo Kitahiroshima, and steep yourself in history at The Site of Temiya Line.

For traveler tips, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read Sapporo trip itinerary planning tool.

Traveling by flight from Tokyo to Sapporo takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. While traveling from Tokyo, expect cooler days and a bit cooler nights in Sapporo, ranging from highs of 0°C to lows of -2°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Wed) early enough to fly to Kanazawa.
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Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 20:

Kanazawa — 3 nights

An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Museum-lovers will get to explore Ishikawa Aviation Plaza and Dolls Museum. Shirakawago and Natadera Temple will appeal to history buffs. Get out of town with these interesting Kanazawa side-trips: Kaga (Kakusenkei Gorge & Nakaya Ukichiro Museum of Snow and Ice), Nanto (Inami Betsuin Zuisen-ji Temple, Ainokura Gassho Community, &more) and Shirakawa-mura (The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses & Wada House). And it doesn't end there: don't miss a visit to Maruoka Castle, examine the collection at Kanazawa Phonograph Museum, stop by Nagamachi Neighborhood, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ozaki Shrine.

To see more things to do, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Kanazawa road trip tool.

Fly from Sapporo to Kanazawa in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train and ferry. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Sapporo in December, with highs in Kanazawa at 11°C and lows at 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sat) so you can drive to Kyoto.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Shopping
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 23:

Kyoto — 6 nights

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.
Attractions like Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Jojakkoji Temple make great kid-friendly stops. Step off the beaten path and head to Kurama-dera and Katsura Imperial Villa. Get out of town with these interesting Kyoto side-trips: Otsu (Hiyoshi-Taisha Shrine & Nango Suisan Center) and Obakusan Manpuku - ji Temple (in Uji). There's much more to do: steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sanzen-in Temple, get to know the fascinating history of Kyoto Gyoen National Garden, and step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read Kyoto visit planner.

Drive from Kanazawa to Kyoto in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. In December, plan for daily highs up to 13°C, and evening lows to 4°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Fri) so you can catch the train to Osaka.
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Historic Sites · Parks · Neighborhoods · Nature
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 29:

Osaka — 6 nights

Proud of their hometown's distinct culture and dialect, many natives of Osaka describe their city as "Japan's anti-capital." An antidote to Tokyo's hectic energy, Osaka marches to the beat of its own drum, serving as the country's longtime commercial and industrial hub.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Horyu-ji Temple and Omiwa Shrine. Discover out-of-the-way places like Toshodai-ji Temple and Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda. Venture out of the city with trips to Kobe (Onsen Resorts & Nunobiki Falls (Nunobiki-No-Taki)), Nara (Nara Park, Nigatsu-do Temple, &more) and Koya-cho (Zofukuin Temple, Kongobu-ji Temple, &more). There's still lots to do: stop by Dotombori District, ponder the world of politics at Mint Museum, steep yourself in history at Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, and shop like a local with Hankyu Umeda Honten.

For reviews, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read Osaka road trip planning website.

You can drive from Kyoto to Osaka in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 13°C in December, and nighttime lows around 4°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Thu) early enough to catch the train to Hiroshima.
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Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Shopping
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 4:

Hiroshima — 4 nights

Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Head to Miyajima Omotesando Shopping Street and AEON MALL Mall Okayamafor some retail therapy. Discover out-of-the-way places like Mazda Museum and Ohara Museum of Art. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Hiroshima: Kurashiki (Kurashiki City Geibun-kan & Mitsui Outlet Park Kurashiki), Hatsukaichi (Shiraito River, Daishoin Temple, &more) and Okayama (Sun Station Terrace Okayama & Yakushi-in Temple). There's still lots to do: see the interesting displays at JMSDF Kure Museum, explore the activities along Motoyasu River, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mitaki Temple, and pause for some photo ops at Peace Flame.

For photos, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Hiroshima trip planner.

You can take a train from Osaka to Hiroshima in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or drive. January in Hiroshima sees daily highs of 11°C and lows of 2°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Mon) so you can take a train to Nagasaki.
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Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 8:

Nagasaki — 4 nights

The hilly port city of Nagasaki has become known internationally as one of the two Japanese cities to be destroyed by an atomic bomb towards the close of World War II. This history, of course, remains important to the city, its inhabitants, and to the wider world, and should not be forgotten.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Yutoku Inari Shrine and Urakami Cathedral. Bring the kids along to Nagasaki Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims and Kujukushima Aquarium Umikirara. Change things up with these side-trips from Nagasaki: Sasebo (Huis Ten Bosch, Miuracho Catholic Church, &more) and Tozan Shrine (in Arita-cho). There's still lots to do: take an in-depth tour of 26 Martyrs Museum, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Catholic Nakamachi Church, enjoy breathtaking views from Inasayama Observation Deck, and admire the natural beauty at Glover Garden.

For reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read Nagasaki trip maker site.

You can take a train from Hiroshima to Nagasaki in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or do a combination of train and bus; or drive. In January, plan for daily highs up to 11°C, and evening lows to 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Fri) to allow enough time to fly to Ishigaki.
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Historic Sites · Theme Parks · Museums · Parks
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 12:

Ishigaki — 6 nights

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 Kondoi Beach and MInsah Kogei Museum. Ishigaki Yaima Village and Nei Museum of Art will appeal to museum buffs. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Ishigaki: Kohama-jima (Ubutaki Lookouts, Kohama Island Information Center, &more), Iriomote-jima (Kayaking & Canoeing & Nakama-river Protected Region) and Kuro-shima (Miyazato Beach, Nishinohama, &more). There's still lots to do: enjoy the sea views from Cape Hirakubozaki, examine the collection at Ishigaki City Yaeyama Museum, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Torinji Temple, and get outside with Kaiji Beach.

For maps, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Ishigaki sightseeing app.

You can fly from Nagasaki to Ishigaki in 5.5 hours. Traveling from Nagasaki in January, expect nights in Ishigaki to be much hotter, around 19°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Motobu-cho.
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Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Historic Sites
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 18:

Motobu-cho — 9 nights

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.
Get some cultural insight at Nakijin Castle Ruins and Oceanic Culture Museum. Family-friendly places like Emerald Beach and Okinawa Memorial Park Ocean Expo Park will thrill your kids. Venture out of the city with trips to Nago (Oura Bay, Nago Castle Historical Park, &more), Ta Waterfall (in Ogimi-son) and Kunigami-son (Hiji Waterfall, Aha's Heritiera Littoralis, &more). There's still lots to do: get close to the beloved marine mammals with Motobu Genki Village, enjoy the sand and surf at Kouri Beach, get outside with Sun Marina Beach, and try out the rides at Okinawa Zoo & Museum.

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

You can fly from Ishigaki to Motobu-cho in 5.5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of flight and ferry. Traveling from Ishigaki in January, plan for a bit cooler nights in Motobu-cho, with lows around 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.
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Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 27:

Japan travel guide

4.3
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Historic Sites
Land of the Rising Sun
Part of a volcanic archipelago that encompasses over 6,800 islands, Japan remains one of Asia's most fascinating tourist destinations, where a blend of modernity and tradition creates a look and feel completely different from any other place in the world. A tour of Japan lets you discover big cities filled with ancient temples and innovative skyscrapers, as well as quiet country landscapes dotted with castles, perfectly manicured gardens, cherry orchards, and primeval forests seemingly untouched by the hand of mass tourism. Many tourists on vacation in Japan devote lots of time to the country's unique cuisine, prepared with painstaking attention to detail and a genius for simple yet effective presentation.
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