31 days in East Asia Itinerary

31 days in East Asia Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan holiday maker

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Make it your trip
Fly
1
Naha
— 2 nights
Fly
2
Ishigaki
— 2 nights
Fly
3
Fukuoka
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Nagasaki
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Beppu
— 1 night
Fly
6
Kobe
— 3 nights
Drive
7
Nara
— 2 nights
Train
8
Nagoya
— 2 nights
Drive
9
Kanazawa
— 2 nights
Drive
10
Shirakawa-mura
— 2 nights
Drive
11
Takayama
— 2 nights
Drive
12
Matsumoto
— 2 nights
Drive
13
Nikko
— 2 nights
Drive
14
Nasu-machi
— 1 night
Train
15
Sendai
— 3 nights
+2
Train to Hamamatsucho, Tram to Tokyo Haneda, Fly to Sydney

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Naha

— 2 nights

Capital of the Ryukyu Kingdom

Naha, the capital of Okinawa, has deep roots: Stone Age relics have been found in the city, and through the Middle Ages it rose in importance in the Ryukyu Kingdom.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Sat): make a trip to Tomari Iyumachi, explore the historical opulence of Shurijo Castle, don't miss a visit to Shrikinjocho Stone-Path Road, then get a new perspective on nature at Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum, and finally don't miss a visit to Makishi Public Market. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 27th (Sun): don't miss a visit to Kokusaidori, see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, then explore the striking landscape at Cape Manzamo, and finally explore the historical opulence of Katsuren Castle Ruins.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Naha online tour itinerary planner.

Sydney, Australia to Naha is an approximately 16-hour flight. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time to Japan Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Traveling from Sydney in December, expect nights in Naha to be about the same, around 19°C, while days are slightly colder, around 24°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sun) so you can catch the flight to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Naha

Historic Sites · Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trips

Ishigaki

— 2 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.
On the 28th (Mon), walk around Kabira Park, explore the activities along Kabira Bay, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Nosoko Mape, then take in panoramic vistas at Tamatorizaki Observatory, and finally enjoy the sea views from Cape Hirakubozaki. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Yonehara Beach, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Island Countryside Settlement, then enjoy the sand and surf at Kondoi Beach, and finally stop by Ishigaki Port Ritoh Terminal.

To find ratings, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Ishigaki trip builder.

Traveling by flight from Naha to Ishigaki takes 2.5 hours. In December in Ishigaki, expect temperatures between 26°C during the day and 20°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Tue) to allow enough time to fly to Fukuoka.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Parks · Historic Sites · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trips

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 30th (Wed): take in the pleasant sights at Ohori Park, take in nature's colorful creations at Ohorikoen Japanese Garden, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hakozaki Shrine, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kushida Shrine, and finally admire the striking features of Hakata Station. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 31st (Thu): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Dazaifu Tenman-gu, browse the collection at Fukuoka City Public Library, take in panoramic vistas at Fukuoka Tower, then see the interesting displays at OH Sadaharu Baseball Museum, then walk around Maizuru Park, and finally buy something for everyone on your list at Tenjin Underground Shopping Center.

To see where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Fukuoka travel itinerary planner.

Fly from Ishigaki to Fukuoka in 4 hours. Traveling from Ishigaki in December, expect nights in Fukuoka to be colder, around 5°C, while days are slightly colder, around 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Thu) early enough to drive to Nagasaki.

Things to do in Fukuoka

Parks · Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping

Side Trip

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.
On the 1st (Fri), get engrossed in the history at Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, examine the collection at Nagasaki Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, enjoy breathtaking views from Inasayama Observation Deck, then see the interesting displays at Nagasaki Shipyard Museum, then take in nature's colorful creations at Glover Garden, and finally don't miss a visit to Glover Sky Road. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 2nd (Sat): pause for some serene contemplation at Catholic Nakamachi Church, get engrossed in the history at 26 Martyrs Museum, contemplate the long history of Suwa Shrine, then contemplate the long history of Nyokodo, Nagai Takashi Museum, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Shitsu Church.

For ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Nagasaki trip planning tool.

Getting from Fukuoka to Nagasaki by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Nagasaki can reach 13°C, while at night they dip to 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sat) early enough to drive to Beppu.

Things to do in Nagasaki

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks

Beppu

— 1 night
The resort town of Beppu puts the geothermal nature of the region to good use.
On the 3rd (Sun), take in the natural beauty of Kamado Jigoku, take in the natural beauty of Hells of Beppu, take in the natural beauty of Umi Jigoku, soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens, then head outdoors with Angel Kimono Rental Beppu, and finally enjoy breathtaking views from Jumonjibaru Observation Deck.

To find more things to do, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Beppu day trip planner.

Getting from Nagasaki to Beppu by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. In January, plan for daily highs up to 11°C, and evening lows to 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sun) to allow time to fly to Kobe.

Things to do in Beppu

Shopping · Outdoors · Nature · Parks

Kobe

— 3 nights
Walkable, small, and aesthetically charming, Kobe has served as Japan's first and premier international trading outpost since opening to trade with China in the mid-19th century.
Step off the beaten path and head to Nunobiki Falls (Nunobiki-No-Taki) and UCC Coffee Museum. There's much more to do: admire the landmark architecture of Minatogawa Shrine, take in the views from Maiko Marine Promenade, indulge your taste buds at Kirin Beer Kobe Factory, and explore the striking landscape of Kobe Municipal Arboretum.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Kobe trip builder app.

Getting from Beppu to Kobe by flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 10°C in January, and nighttime lows around 3°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Nara.

Things to do in Kobe

Parks · Historic Sites · Nature · Museums

Nara

— 2 nights

Ancient City

The country's first established capital, Nara houses some of the most storied buildings and natural attractions in Japan, with eight World Heritage Sites in total.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Thu): look for all kinds of wild species at Nara Park, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nigatsu-do Temple, take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Wakakusa, appreciate the history behind Todai-ji Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Yakushi-ji Temple, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Toshodai-ji Temple. Keep things going the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of Hase-dera Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Horyu-ji Temple, then admire the striking features of Nara National Museum, and finally see the interesting displays at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center.

For photos, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, read Nara trip itinerary builder site.

Drive from Kobe to Nara in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. January in Nara sees daily highs of 9°C and lows of 3°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Fri) so you can catch the train to Nagoya.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites · Parks · Wildlife · Museums

Side Trips

Nagoya

— 2 nights
Known nationally as an industrial heartland, Nagoya boasts a far more cosmopolitan and cultural core than its reputation would lead you to believe.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Sat): contemplate the long history of Nagoya Castle, then see the interesting displays at Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, then don't miss a visit to Osu Shopping Street, and finally let the kids burn off some steam at Todagawa Kodomo Land. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 10th (Sun): take in panoramic vistas at Nagoya TV Tower, stroll around Higashiyama Park, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Yamazaki River, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Atsuta Jingu Shrine, and finally get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium.

To see ratings, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Nagoya day trip planner.

Getting from Nara to Nagoya by train takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 7°C in January, and nighttime lows around 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sun) so you can drive to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Nagoya

Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Fun & Games · Museums

Kanazawa

— 2 nights
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 11th (Mon): don't miss a visit to Zuiryuji Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Inami Betsuin Zuisen-ji Temple, then explore the historical opulence of Kanazawa Castle, and finally take in nature's colorful creations at Kenrokuen Garden. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the spiritual surroundings of Natadera Temple, make a trip to Kanazawa Higashi Chayagai Kaikaro, visit Higashichaya Old Town, examine the collection at Kanazawa Phonograph Museum, then don't miss a visit to Omicho Market, and finally admire the masterpieces at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Kanazawa trip itinerary builder tool.

Getting from Nagoya to Kanazawa by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 7°C in January, and nighttime lows around 0°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Shirakawa-mura.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura

— 2 nights
Set amid quintessentially Japanese landscape, Shirakawa-mura consists of 16 quaint villages, including a historic village of farm houses, now designated a World Heritage Site.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Wed): wander the streets of Ogimachi, get engrossed in the history at Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, then take in the views from Deai Bridge, and finally take in panoramic vistas at Tenshukakau Observatory. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Thu): get to know the fascinating history of The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses, stop by Gokayama, contemplate the long history of Iwase Family, then steep yourself in history at Wada House, and finally make a trip to Hakusan Super Rindo Forest Road.

For reviews, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Shirakawa-mura trip maker website.

Traveling by car from Kanazawa to Shirakawa-mura takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Shirakawa-mura can reach 7°C, while at night they dip to 0°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Shirakawa-mura

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Museums

Side Trips

Takayama

— 2 nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Fri): steep yourself in history at Takayama Jinya and then fly down the slopes at Meiho Ski Resort. Here are some ideas for day two: indulge your thirst for a good beer at Watanabe Sake Brewery, hit the slopes at Ryokufu Resort Hida Nagareha, then see the interesting displays at Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, then wander the streets of Sanmachi Suji, and finally have fun and explore at Hida Takayama Retro Museum.

For where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Takayama trip planner.

Drive from Shirakawa-mura to Takayama in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 5°C, and evening lows to 0°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sat) so you can drive to Matsumoto.

Things to do in Takayama

Parks · Winter Sports · Outdoors · Museums

Side Trips

Matsumoto

— 2 nights
A castle town, Matsumoto possesses one of the best-preserved feudal structures in the country, and maintains its historical attractions and traditions while simultaneously exuding a modern, cosmopolitan charm.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Sun): hit the slopes at Mt. Norikura Snow Resort, then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Matsumoto Alps Park, then step into the grandiose world of Matsumoto Castle, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fukashi Shrine. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 18th (Mon): explore the activities along Pond Tashiro, snap pictures at Myojin Bridge, head outdoors with Karasawa Carl, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Yarigatake, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Okamiya Shrine.

To see ratings, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Matsumoto road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Takayama to Matsumoto takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from Takayama in January since evenings lows in Matsumoto dip to -3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Nikko.

Things to do in Matsumoto

Parks · Historic Sites · Nature · Outdoors

Nikko

— 2 nights
A gateway to a sprawling and diverse national park, a center of Shinto spiritualism and place of Buddhist worship, an emblem of the riches and dominance of the Tokugawa shogunate: Nikko means many things to many people.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Tue): take an in-depth tour of Kanaya Hotel History House, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Chuzenji, take in the dramatic scenery at Kegon Falls, then contemplate the long history of Taiyuimbyo Shrine, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nikko Tosho-gu, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Cryptomeria Avenue. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of Rinno-ji Temple, take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Nantai, then stroll through Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park, then snap pictures at Shinkyo Bridge, and finally contemplate the long history of Nikko Futarasan Jinja Chugushi Shrine.

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

Getting from Matsumoto to Nikko by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Nikko when traveling from Matsumoto in January, with lows around 3°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Nasu-machi.

Things to do in Nikko

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Museums

Nasu-machi

— 1 night
The highland resort town of Nasu-machi brings in visitors with its natural sights and thoughtfully developed tourism infrastructure.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Thu): examine the collection at Fujishiro Seiji Museum, go for a walk through Yahata Park, hike along Nasu Nature Study Paths, then take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Nasu, and finally don't miss a visit to Nasu Kogen Lookout.

For more things to do, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Nasu-machi trip planning tool.

Traveling by car from Nikko to Nasu-machi takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from Nikko in January, with highs in Nasu-machi at 3°C and lows at -2°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Thu) so you can catch the train to Sendai.

Things to do in Nasu-machi

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Museums

Sendai

— 3 nights
Human history and nature combine seamlessly in Sendai, with the influence of each never far away in this green and storied city.
On the 22nd (Fri), make a trip to Jozenji-dori Avenue, don't miss a visit to Sendai Station, take in the spiritual surroundings of Rinnoji Temple, then don't miss a visit to Ruins of the Great East Japan Earthquake Sedai Arahama Elementary School, then explore the historical opulence of Sendaijo Ato, and finally admire the verdant scenery at Rairaikyo Gorge. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get engrossed in the history at Zuihoden, learn more about the world around you at Tohoku University of Natural History, and then hit the slopes at Miyagi Zao Eboshi Resort.

To find where to stay, maps, photos, and tourist information, read our Sendai holiday tool.

Traveling by train from Nasu-machi to Sendai takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Nasu-machi in January since evenings lows in Sendai dip to 2°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Sendai

Parks · Winter Sports · Outdoors · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Okinawa Prefecture travel guide

3.9
Landmarks · Beaches · Aquariums
Okinawa Prefecture is the southernmost prefecture of Japan. It comprises hundreds of the Ryukyu Islands in a chain over long. The Ryukyus extend southwest from Kyushu (the southwesternmost of Japan's four main islands) to Taiwan. The Okinawa Prefecture encompasses the southern two thirds of that chain. Naha, Okinawa's capital, is located in the southern part of Okinawa Island.Although Okinawa comprises just 0.6 percent of Japan's total land mass, about 75 percent of all U.S. military installations stationed in Japan are assigned in Okinawa. Currently about 26,000 of the U.S. troops deployed in Japan are based in the prefecture.

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Fukuoka Prefecture travel guide

3.7
Sacred & Religious Sites · Shopping Malls · Landmarks
Fukuoka Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan on Kyūshū Island. The capital is the city of Fukuoka.HistoryFukuoka Prefecture includes the former provinces of Chikugo, Chikuzen, and Buzen.Shrines and templesKōra taisha, Sumiyoshi-jinja, and Hakosagi-gū are the chief Shinto shrines in the prefecture.GeographyFukuoka Prefecture faces the sea on three sides, bordering Saga, Ōita, and Kumamoto prefectures and facing Yamaguchi Prefecture across the Kanmon Straits.As of 1 April 2012, 18% of the land area of the prefecture was designated as natural parks: Setonaikai National Park, Genkai, Kitakyūshū, and Yaba-Hita-Hikosan quasi-national parks, and Chikugogawa, Chikuhō, Dazaifu, Sefuri Raizan, and Yabegawa Prefectural Natural Parks.

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Oita Prefecture travel guide

3.7
Hot Springs · Historic Sites · Landmarks
Ōita Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan on Kyūshū Island. The prefectural capital is the city of Ōita.HistoryAround the 6th century Kyushu consisted of four regions: Tsukushi Province, Hi Province, Kumaso Province and Toyo Province.Toyo Province was later divided into two regions, upper and lower Toyo Province, called Bungo Province and Buzen Province.After the Meiji Restoration, districts from Bungo and Buzen provinces were combined to form Ōita Prefecture. These provinces were divided among many local daimyōs and thus a large castle town never formed in Ōita. From this time that whole area became known as "Toyo-no-kuni", which means "Land of Abundance".The origins of the name Ōita are documented in a report from the early 8th century called the Chronicles of Bungo. According to the document, when Emperor Keikō visited the Kyushu region, stopping first in Toyo-no-kuni, he exclaimed that 'This is a vast land, indeed. It shall be known as Okita-Kuni!' Okita-Kuni, meaning "Land of the Great Fields", later came to be written as "Ōita". Present day interpretations based on Ōita's topography state that Oita's name comes from "Okita", meaning "many fields", rather than "vast" or "great" field, because of Ōita's complex terrain.

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Gifu Prefecture travel guide

4
Historic Walking Areas · Specialty Museums · Sacred & Religious Sites
Gifu Prefecture is a prefecture in the Chūbu region of central Japan. Its capital is the city of Gifu.Located in the center of Japan, it has long played an important part as the crossroads of Japan, connecting the east to the west through such routes as the Nakasendō. During the Sengoku period, many people referred to Gifu by saying, "control Gifu and you control Japan."HistoryThe land area that makes up modern-day Gifu became part of the Yamato Court around the middle of the fourth century. Because it is in the middle of the island of Honshū, it has been the site of many decisive battles throughout Japan's history, the oldest major one being the Jinshin War in 672, which led to the establishment of Emperor Tenmu as the 40th emperor of Japan.The area of Gifu Prefecture consists of the old provinces of Hida and Mino, as well as smaller parts of Echizen and Shinano. The name of the prefecture derives from its capital city, Gifu, which was named by Oda Nobunaga during his campaign to unify all of Japan in 1567. The first character used comes from Qishan (岐山), a legendary mountain from which most of China was unified, whereas the second character comes from Qufu (曲阜), the birthplace of Confucius. Nobunaga chose those characters because he wanted to unify all of Japan and he wanted to be viewed as a great mind.

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Nagano Prefecture travel guide

3.9
Ski Areas · Sacred & Religious Sites · Castles
Nagano Prefecture is a landlocked prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Nagano. Due to the abundance of mountain ranges in this area, the land available for inhabitance is relatively limited.Nagano has impressive highland areas, including most of the Kita-Alps, Chūō-Alps, and Minami-Alps, which extend into the neighbouring prefectures. In addition to its natural scenic beauty and rich history, Nagano was host to the 1998 Winter Olympics, which gained the prefecture international recognition as a world-class winter sport destination, and a Shinkansen line to Tokyo.HistorySee Shinano Province.

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Tochigi Prefecture travel guide

4
Sacred & Religious Sites · Waterfalls · Theme Parks
Tochigi Prefecture is a prefecture located in the Kantō region on the island of Honshu, Japan. The capital is the city of Utsunomiya.Nikkō, whose ancient Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples UNESCO has recognized by naming them a World Heritage Site, is in this prefecture.Other famous parts of Tochigi include a region called Nasu known for onsen and local sake and ski resorts. The Imperial Family has a villa in Nasu. is a major Shinkansen station.Prefectural overviewSituated among the inland prefectures of the northern part of the Kantō region, Tochigi is contiguous with Ibaraki, Gunma, Saitama, and Fukushima Prefectures.The climate of Tochigi may be classified as a humid temperate zone with broad variations in temperature. Winters are arid with dry winds, while summers are humid with frequent thunderstorms.The population of Tochigi as of November 2010 is approximately 2,005,096.Located in the center of the prefecture is the largest open plain in the Kantō region. Shirane (2,578 m), Nantai (2,484 m) and Nasudake (1,917 m) mountain are in the northern part of the area. Kinugawa, Nakagawa, and Watarase River originate in this region, which flow across the Kanto plain before emptying into the Pacific Ocean. Tochigi is the 20th largest prefecture in Japan with a total area of 6,408 square km.

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