16 days in Japan Itinerary

16 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan sightseeing planner

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Route & dates

16 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  14 h 45 min
1
Miyakojima
— 2 nights
Fly:  2 h
2
Ishigaki
— 2 nights
Fly:  7 h
3
Takachiho-cho
— 2 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  7 h
4
Eiheiji-cho
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 30 min
5
Ise
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h 45 min
6
Nachikatsura-cho
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h
7
Kyoto
— 2 nights
+3
Train + Taxi + Fly + Taxi:  3 h 45 min
8
Matsue
— 3 nights
Taxi + Fly:  14 h 45 min
End: Sydney

2
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima ©
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Tue): visit a coastal fixture at Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse, don't miss a visit to East Henna Cape, then head outdoors with Aragusuku Beach, then take in the views from Ikema Ohashi Bridge, and finally snap pictures at Irabu Ohashi. Here are some ideas for day two: head outdoors with Sunayama Beach, take in the views from Kurima Bridge, get outside with Yonaha Maehama Beach, then enjoy the sand and surf at Toguchi no Hama, and finally step off the mainland to explore Shimojiiima Island.

To see where to stay, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Miyakojima vacation builder site .

Sydney, Australia to Miyakojima is an approximately 15-hour flight. Traveling from Sydney to Miyakojima, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Sydney in December, plan for a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Miyakojima: temperatures range from 25°C by day to 20°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) so you can travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Yonaha Maehama Beach ©
Yonaha Maehama Beach
Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse ©
Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse
Shimojiiima Island ©
Shimojiiima Island

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Thu): stroll around Banna Park, take in panoramic vistas at Tamatorizaki Observatory, head outdoors with Cape Hirakubozaki, then kick back and relax at Yonehara Beach, and finally walk around Kabira Park. On the 27th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get to know the fascinating history of Island Countryside Settlement, kick back and relax at Kondoi Beach, and then take in the waterfront at Nishi Pier.

To find maps, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Ishigaki trip planning tool .

Traveling by flight from Miyakojima to Ishigaki takes 2 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 26°C, and evening lows to 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Takachiho-cho.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Parks Historic Sites Outdoors

Side Trips

Taketomi-cho, Island Countryside Settlement
Highlights from your plan
Island Countryside Settlement ©
Island Countryside Settlement
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Nishi Pier ©
Nishi Pier

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sat): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Amano Iwato Shrine, take in the pleasant sights at Amano Yasugawara, admire the sheer force of Manai Falls, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Takachiho Shrine, then explore the stunning scenery at Takachiho Gorge, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Amanomanai. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 29th (Sun): take in the awesome beauty at Kunimigaoka and then make a trip to Shirakawa Springs.

For photos, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Takachiho-cho trip planning tool .

You can fly from Ishigaki to Takachiho-cho in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus. Prepare for much colder weather when traveling from Ishigaki in December: high temperatures in Takachiho-cho hover around 12°C and lows are around 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 29th (Sun) to allow time for travel to Eiheiji-cho.

Things to do in Takachiho-cho

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trip

Shirakawa Springs
Highlights from your plan
Takachiho Gorge ©
Takachiho Gorge
Amano Iwato Shrine ©
Amano Iwato Shrine
Takachiho Shrine ©
Takachiho Shrine

1
night
Eiheiji-cho

Eiheiji-cho ©
Start off your visit on the 30th (Mon): take in nature's colorful creations at Yokokan Garden, then make a trip to Maruoka Castle, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple.

To see traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Eiheiji-cho trip builder app .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Takachiho-cho to Eiheiji-cho. December in Eiheiji-cho sees daily highs of 11°C and lows of 3°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) so you can travel to Ise.

Things to do in Eiheiji-cho

Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Maruoka Castle, Yokokan Garden
Highlights from your plan
Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple ©
Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple
Maruoka Castle ©
Maruoka Castle
Yokokan Garden
Yokokan Garden

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Tue): take in the spiritual surroundings of Sarutahiko Shrine, contemplate the long history of Oharai-machi, then take an in-depth tour of Sengukan, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tsukiyominomiya, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Ise Shrine Geku.

For reviews, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, go to the Ise road trip planning website .

Drive from Eiheiji-cho to Ise in 3.5 hours. Traveling from Eiheiji-cho in December, Ise is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) so you can drive to Nachikatsura-cho.

Things to do in Ise

Historic Sites Museums
Highlights from your plan
Tsukiyominomiya ©
Tsukiyominomiya
Sarutahiko Shrine ©
Sarutahiko Shrine
Ise Shrine Geku ©
Ise Shrine Geku

1
night
Nachikatsura-cho

Nachikatsura-cho ©
The town of Nachikatsuura-cho wows visitors with its superlative landscape and impressive cultural attractions.
On the 1st (Wed), take in the spiritual surroundings of Fudarakusanji Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Seigantoji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kumano Nachi Taisha, then admire the sheer force of Nachi Mitaki Falls, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hirou Shrine, and finally don't miss a visit to Daimonzaka.

To find photos, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Nachikatsura-cho trip app .

Getting from Ise to Nachikatsura-cho by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a train. December in Nachikatsura-cho sees daily highs of 14°C and lows of 8°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) so you can drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Nachikatsura-cho

Historic Sites Parks Nature
Highlights from your plan
Kumano Nachi Taisha ©
Kumano Nachi Taisha
Hirou Shrine ©
Hirou Shrine
Fudarakusanji Temple ©
Fudarakusanji Temple

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.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): take in the spiritual surroundings of Tenryuji Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Byodoin, then admire the natural beauty at Nanzen-ji Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Eikando Zenrinji Temple. Keep things going the next day: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Shimogamo Jinja, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, take in the spiritual surroundings of Toji, then contemplate the long history of Tofuku-ji Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kodai-ji Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Chion-in Temple.

To find traveler tips, maps, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Kyoto online travel planner .

Traveling by car from Nachikatsura-cho to Kyoto takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Nachikatsura-cho in January, expect little chillier with lows of 1°C in Kyoto. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to travel to Matsue.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Byodoin
Highlights from your plan
Eikando Zenrinji Temple ©
Eikando Zenrinji Temple
Tofuku-ji Temple ©
Tofuku-ji Temple
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine ©
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

3
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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Yaegaki Shrine and Kamosu Shrine. Explore hidden gems such as Miho Shrine and Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Matsue: Adachi Museum of Art (in Yasugi), Izumo (Former Taisha Station, Hinomisaki Shrine, & more) and Sakaiminato (The Mizuki Shigeru Road & Mizuki Shigeru Museum). There's still lots to do: admire the masterpieces at Shimane Art Museum, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Daisen, contemplate the waterfront views at Shinji Lake, and admire the natural beauty at Matsue Vogel Park.

Make your Matsue itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

Do a combination of train, flight, and taxi from Kyoto to Matsue in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and taxi. In January, daytime highs in Matsue are 8°C, while nighttime lows are 1°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Matsue

Museums Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Izumo, Sakaiminato, Adachi Museum of Art, Shinji Lake, Daisen
Highlights from your plan
Miho Shrine ©
Miho Shrine
Kamosu Shrine ©
Kamosu Shrine
Hinomisaki Shrine ©
Hinomisaki Shrine

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