20 days in Tokyo, Kyoto & Kyushu Itinerary

20 days in Tokyo, Kyoto & Kyushu Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan journey planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Tokyo
— 4 nights
Train
2
Kyoto
— 4 nights
Fly
3
Nagasaki
— 2 nights
Fly
4
Yakushima-cho
— 3 nights
Fly
5
Kagoshima
— 2 nights
Train
6
Kumamoto
— 1 night
Train
7
Fukuoka
— 2 nights
Fly

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Tokyo

— 4 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.
Visiting Hayama Sangaokayama Ryokuchi and Yokohama Nature Sanctuary will get you outdoors. Get a sense of the local culture at Senso-ji Temple and Tokyo National Museum. And it doesn't end there: make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, take in nature's colorful creations at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, wander the streets of Odaiba District, and admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower.

To find ratings, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Tokyo tour itinerary app.

Auckland, New Zealand to Tokyo is an approximately 14-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from New Zealand Standard Time (NZST) to Japan Standard Time (JST) is minus 3 hours. Traveling from Auckland in December, you will find days in Tokyo are a bit cooler (14°C), and nights are much colder (4°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) to allow time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks · Neighborhoods · Wildlife · Nature

Side Trips

Kyoto

— 4 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.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Nijo Castle. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Gion. Explore Kyoto's surroundings by going to Himeji Castle (in Himeji) and Nara (Nara Park & Nigatsu-do Temple). There's lots more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, tour the pleasant surroundings at Kyoto Isshu Trail, Higahiyama Fuahimi Inari Course, and contemplate the long history of Sanjusangendo Temple.

To see reviews, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Kyoto trip itinerary maker app.

Getting from Tokyo to Kyoto by train takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: fly; or drive. In December, plan for daily highs up to 13°C, and evening lows to 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to fly to Nagasaki.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Parks · Neighborhoods · Wildlife

Side Trips

Nagasaki

— 2 nights

City of Peace

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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Glover Garden and Nagasaki Peace Park. Get outdoors at Mt. Inasa and Hashima Island. Step out of Nagasaki with an excursion to Huis Ten Bosch in Sasebo--about 1h 15 min away. The adventure continues: take an in-depth tour of Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, pause for some photo ops at Mountain of the Cross, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hongouchi Lourdes, and snap pictures at Megane Bridge.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Nagasaki trip itinerary planner.

Fly from Kyoto to Nagasaki in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. In January, plan for daily highs up to 11°C, and evening lows to 4°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to catch the flight to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Nagasaki

Theme Parks · Historic Sites · Parks · Nature

Side Trip

Yakushima-cho

— 3 nights
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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at The Yakushima World Heritage Conservation Center and Yakusugi Museum. Get in touch with nature at Seibu Trail and Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley. And it doesn't end there: take in the awesome beauty at Tachudake, explore the striking landscape of Yakusugi Land, visit a coastal fixture at Yakushima Lighthouse (Nagata Lighthouse), and admire the sheer force of Oko no Taki Fall.

To see maps, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Yakushima-cho trip itinerary app.

Fly from Nagasaki to Yakushima-cho in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and ferry; or do a combination of car and ferry. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Nagasaki in January; daily highs in Yakushima-cho reach 17°C and lows reach 10°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) to allow enough time to fly to Kagoshima.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Parks · Nature · Trails · Outdoors

Kagoshima

— 2 nights

Naples of the East

Kagoshima sits across the bay from Sakurajima, an active volcano that serves as a symbol of the city and works its way into many aspects of life here.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Thu): take in the pleasant sights at Sengan-en, explore the activities along Sekiyoshi Sluice Gate of Yoshino Leat, then get impressive views of Sakurajima, then admire the landmark architecture of Tsukiyomi Shrine, and finally enjoy breathtaking views from Shiroyama Observatory. Keep things going the next day: admire the masterpieces at Nagashima Museum, take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Shiroyama, steep yourself in history at Chiran Samurai Residence Garden, then brush up on your military savvy at Chiran Peace Museum, and finally pause for some photo ops at Saigo Takamori Statue.

For where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, use the Kagoshima day trip app.

Traveling by flight from Yakushima-cho to Kagoshima takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry. Traveling from Yakushima-cho in January, expect Kagoshima to be slightly colder, temps between 11°C and 1°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Fri) early enough to catch the train to Kumamoto.

Things to do in Kagoshima

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Museums

Side Trip

Kumamoto

— 1 night
Centered around its castle, Kumamoto stands as a historic city with plenty of modern-day appeal to add to the mix.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sat): explore the historical opulence of Kumamoto Castle, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kato Shrine, explore the world behind art at Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto, take an in-depth tour of Sakuranobaba Johsaien, then walk around Suizenji Jojuen Garden, and finally take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt.Kinpozan Ichinotake.

To find traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Kumamoto trip itinerary planning tool.

You can take a train from Kagoshima to Kumamoto in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. January in Kumamoto sees daily highs of 10°C and lows of 1°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) so you can take a train to Fukuoka.

Things to do in Kumamoto

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Nature

Side Trip

Fukuoka

— 2 nights

City of Yatai

The largest city on the island, Fukuoka formed through the merger of two former cities that had grown up either side of the Naka River.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Sun): admire the striking features of Hakata Station, take in the spiritual surroundings of Tenkai Inari Shrine, take in the spiritual surroundings of Dazaifu Tenman-gu, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kushida Shrine, and finally take in the pleasant sights at Ohori Park. Keep things going the next day: browse the different shops at Tenjin Underground Shopping Center, admire the masterpieces at Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, then take in panoramic vistas at Komenoyama Obsevatory, then admire the natural beauty at Komyozen-ji Temple, and finally kick back and relax at Nijino Matsubara.

For maps, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Fukuoka trip itinerary website.

Traveling by train from Kumamoto to Fukuoka takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. January in Fukuoka sees daily highs of 11°C and lows of 2°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) so you can fly back home.

Things to do in Fukuoka

Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Beaches

Side Trips

Kyushu travel guide

3.9
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Historic Sites
Enthusiastic shutterbugs and lovers of all things picturesque often choose to tour Kyushu-Okinawa on one of the island's epic train trips, leading through a landscape shaped by thousands of years of volcanic activity. With mild winters, warm summers, and plenty of developed beaches, the region offers a wealth of marine sports and recreation. Those with relaxation on their mind take a vacation in Kyushu-Okinawa for a chance to explore some of Japan's finest onsens, in which pristine nature meets modern amenities for an unforgettable tourist experience.