20 days in Japan Itinerary

20 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

20 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly:  14​h 30​min
1
Tokyo
— 3 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
2
Kanazawa
— 2 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
3
Kyoto
— 4 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
4
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
+2
Fly + train + bus:  6​h 45​min
5
Motobu-cho
— 2 nights
+2
bus + train + Fly:  5​h 15​min
6
Ishigaki
— 2 nights
Fly:  17​h 15​min
End: Melbourne

3
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.
Take a break from Tokyo with a short trip to Tokyo DisneySea in Maihama, about 30 minutes away. Have a day of magic on the 2nd (Sat) at Tokyo Disneyland. There's lots more to do: take in panoramic vistas at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, wander the streets of Odaiba, don't miss a visit to Tokyo Tower, and appreciate the extensive heritage of Imperial Palace.

To see more things to do, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Tokyo planner .

Melbourne, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (Victoria) to Japan Standard Time is minus 1 hour. In January, Tokyo is colder than Melbourne - with highs of 11°C and lows of 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Tue) to allow enough time to take a train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Tokyo

Theme Parks Neighborhoods Historic Sites

Side Trip

Urayasu
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Tokyo Disneyland ©
Tokyo Disneyland
Tokyo DisneySea ©
Tokyo DisneySea

2
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Wed): explore the world behind art at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, wander the streets of Higashichaya Old Town, then examine the collection at Ishikawa Prefectural Museum for Traditional Products and Crafts, then explore the historical opulence of Kanazawa Castle, and finally take in nature's colorful creations at Kenrokuen Garden. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: make a trip to Seisonkaku Villa, make a trip to Omicho Market, get the lay of the land with Walking tours, then admire the landmark architecture of Kanazawa Station, and finally steep yourself in history at Nomura Family Samurai House.

To see photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Kanazawa attractions app .

Getting from Tokyo to Kanazawa by train takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: fly; or drive. While traveling from Tokyo, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Kanazawa, ranging from highs of 7°C to lows of 0°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Thu) early enough to catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Museums Parks
Highlights from your plan
Higashichaya Old Town ©
Higashichaya Old Town
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden
Omicho Market ©
Omicho Market

4
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.
Get out of town with these interesting Kyoto side-trips: Osaka (Universal Studios Japan & Osaka Castle). Next up on the itinerary: steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sanjusangendo Temple, step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle, and go for a walk through Arashiyama.

To find where to stay, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Kyoto trip tool .

You can take a train from Kanazawa to Kyoto in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Kyoto can reach 10°C, while at night they dip to 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Mon) so you can take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Theme Parks

Side Trip

Osaka
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine

2
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
On the 12th (Tue), see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, then don't miss a visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, and then step into the grandiose world of Hiroshima Castle. Here are some ideas for day two: look for gifts at Itsukushima Gekijyo, stroll through Miyajima, and then steep yourself in history at Itsukushima Shrine.

For more things to do, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Hiroshima trip planner .

You can take a train from Kyoto to Hiroshima in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Hiroshima can reach 11°C, while at night they dip to 2°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) early enough to travel to Motobu-cho.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Hatsukaichi
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Miyajima ©
Miyajima
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine

2
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 Motobu-cho's surroundings by going to Kouri Island (in Miyakojima), Onna-son (Stand-Up Paddleboarding & Scuba & Snorkeling) and Nakijin-son (Kouri Bridge & Kouri-jima Island). And it doesn't end there: meet the residents at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, explore by horseback at Iejima Beach Side Horse Park, observe the fascinating underwater world at Okichan Theater, and stroll through Okinawa Memorial Park Ocean Expo Park.

To see other places to visit, ratings, photos, and tourist information, go to the Motobu-cho online road trip planner .

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Hiroshima to Motobu-cho takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, flight, and bus; or do a combination of train and ferry. In January, Motobu-cho is a bit warmer than Hiroshima - with highs of 22°C and lows of 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Sat) early enough to travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Motobu-cho

Parks Tours Outdoors

Side Trips

Onna-son, Kouri Ohashi, Iejima Beach Side Horse Park, Kouri Island
Highlights from your plan
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium ©
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
Scuba & Snorkeling
Kouri Island ©
Kouri 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.
On the 19th (Tue), spend an adventurous day with a kayaking and canoeing tour. There's still lots to do: explore the activities along Kabira Bay, enjoy the sea views from Cape Hirakubozaki, enjoy breathtaking views from Tamatorizaki Observatory, and glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area.

To find more things to do, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, read Ishigaki trip itinerary maker site .

Getting from Motobu-cho to Ishigaki by combination of bus and flight takes about 5.5 hours. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Motobu-cho in January since evenings lows in Ishigaki dip to 19°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Kabira Bay ©
Kabira Bay
Kayaking & Canoeing

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