21 days in Japan Itinerary

21 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Brussels
Train + Fly:  20​h
1
Miyakojima
— 4 nights
Ferry:  4​h
2
Iriomote-jima
— 3 nights
Ferry:  1​h
3
Ishigaki
— 2 nights
Fly + Train:  8​h
4
Nachikatsura-cho
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
5
Takayama
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
6
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Train:  2​h 45​min
7
Tokyo
— 3 nights
Fly:  16​h
End: Brussels

4
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Get a sense of the local culture at Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse and Miyako Shrine. Kids will enjoy Kayaking & Canoeing and Sunayama Beach. The adventure continues: explore the gorgeous colors at Yabiji, tour the pleasant surroundings at Tomori Imugya Beach, explore the ancient world of Ninto zeiseki, and enjoy the sand and surf at Ikizu Beach.

To find maps, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Miyakojima attractions planner .

Brussels, Belgium to Miyakojima is an approximately 20-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference moving from Central European Time to Japan Standard Time is 8 hours. Traveling from Brussels in July, expect nights in Miyakojima to be much hotter, around 31°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 37°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Wed) early enough to catch the ferry to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Yabiji
Yabiji
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach
Kayaking & Canoeing

3
nights
Iriomote-jima

Iriomote-jima ©
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
Get outdoors at Pinaisara Falls and Canyoning & Rappelling Tours. Step off the beaten path and head to Shirahama Port and Kura Falls. And it doesn't end there: look for all kinds of wild species at Funauki Village, take in the dramatic scenery at Kanpiree Waterfall, and contemplate the long history of Wasurenaishi.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Iriomote-jima road trip planner.

Getting from Miyakojima to Iriomote-jima by ferry takes about 4 hours. In July in Iriomote-jima, expect temperatures between 38°C during the day and 32°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sat) so you can catch the ferry to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Pinaisara Falls ©
Pinaisara Falls
Funauki Village ©
Funauki Village
Shirahama Port ©
Shirahama Port

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.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Sun): kick back and relax at Sunset Beach, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Yonehara Beach, and then steep yourself in history at Tojinbaka. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 5th (Mon): Head underground at Ishigaki Island Limestone Cave, then explore the gorgeous colors at Kabira Ishizaki Manta Scramble, and then cruise along Nagurao Bridge.

For photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Ishigaki trip maker tool .

Ride a ferry from Iriomote-jima to Ishigaki in an hour. In August in Ishigaki, expect temperatures between 38°C during the day and 32°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Mon) early enough to travel to Nachikatsura-cho.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach
Kabira Ishizaki Manta Scramble ©
Kabira Ishizaki Manta Scramble
Sunset Beach ©
Sunset Beach

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 6th (Tue): take in the dramatic scenery at Nachi Mitaki Falls, take in the spiritual surroundings of Hirou Shrine, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Seigantoji Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kumano Nachi Taisha, and finally don't miss a visit to Daimonzaka. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of Fudarakusanji Temple, make a trip to Ruins of Shingu Castle, then step off the mainland to explore Kinomatsushima Island, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Kujirahama Beach.

To see traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Nachikatsura-cho itinerary planner .

Getting from Ishigaki to Nachikatsura-cho by combination of flight and train takes about 8 hours. In August, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 31°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Nachikatsura-cho

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

Kujirahama Beach, Ruins of Shingu Castle
Highlights from your plan
Nachi Mitaki Falls ©
Nachi Mitaki Falls
Kumano Nachi Taisha ©
Kumano Nachi Taisha
Seigantoji Temple ©
Seigantoji Temple

2
nights
Takayama

Takayama ©
Hidden high up in the Japanese Alps, Takayama remained largely cut off from the rest of Japan for centuries, allowing the local culture to grow in relative isolation.
On the 8th (Thu), take in the dramatic scenery at Osakacho Waterfalls, Head underground at Hida Great Limestone Cave and Ohashi Collection Kan Museum, then steep yourself in history at Takayama Jinya, and finally wander the streets of Sanmachi Suji. On the 9th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the spiritual surroundings of Hida Ichinomiya Mizunashi Shrine, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Daiouji Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hie Shrine Otabisho, and finally head outdoors with Rail - MTB Gattan Go!!.

For photos, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Takayama tour app .

Getting from Nachikatsura-cho to Takayama by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Nachikatsura-cho in August, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit cooler in Takayama, with lows of 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Takayama

Outdoors Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

Rail Mountain Bike Gattan Go!!, Osakacho Waterfalls
Highlights from your plan
Rail Mountain Bike Gattan Go!! ©
Rail Mountain Bike Gattan Go!!
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya

3
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 a sense of the local culture at Mimurotoji Temple and Nijo Castle. Visit Toshodaiji Temple and Eikando Zenrinji Temple for their historical value. Go for a jaunt from Kyoto to Nara to see Nigatsu-do Temple about 1h 10 min away. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kennin-ji Temple, wander the streets of Gion, steep yourself in history at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, and don't miss a visit to Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

For photos, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, use the Kyoto sightseeing website .

Getting from Takayama to Kyoto by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. In August, daily temperatures in Kyoto can reach 39°C, while at night they dip to 29°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) so you can travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Nara, Mimurotoji Temple
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Eikando Zenrinji Temple ©
Eikando Zenrinji Temple

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.
On the 13th (Tue), wander the streets of Ueno, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Asakusa Shrine, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Sensō-ji, and finally stroll through Odaiba Kaihin Koen (Odaiba Seaside Park). Keep things going the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at Kamakura Hiking Trails, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Meigetsuin (Hydrangea Temple), and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kencho-ji Temple.

To find photos, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Tokyo travel planner .

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Tokyo takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In August, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 15th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Kamakura
Highlights from your plan
Meigetsuin (Hydrangea Temple) ©
Meigetsuin (Hydrangea Temple)
Kencho-ji Temple
Kencho-ji Temple
Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple) ©
Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple)

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