31 days in Japan Itinerary

31 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan planner

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Make it your trip
Fly
1
Takayama
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Tateyama-machi
— 2 nights
Fly to Fukuoka, Bus to Takachiho-cho
3
Takachiho-cho
— 2 nights
+2
Drive to Kumamoto, Train to Kagoshima Chuo Station, Ferry to Yakushima-cho
4
Yakushima-cho
— 3 nights
Fly
5
Onna-son
— 3 nights
Fly
6
Miyakojima
— 3 nights
Fly
7
Ishigaki
— 4 nights
Ferry
8
Iriomote-jima
— 2 nights
Ferry to Ishigaki, Fly to Tanabe
9
Tanabe
— 2 nights
Drive
10
Nachikatsura-cho
— 2 nights
Drive
11
Ise
— 2 nights
Train to Yamatoyagi, Taxi to Koya-cho
12
Koya-cho
— 1 night
+2
Drive to Kansai International Airport, Fly to Sendai Airport, Drive to Hiraizumi-cho
13
Hiraizumi-cho
— 1 night
Drive to Sendai Airport, Fly to Vancouver

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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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen and Kanda house. Ainokura Gassho Community and Ogimachi Castle Old Site Observatory will appeal to history buffs. Change things up with these side-trips from Takayama: Shirakawago (in Shirakawa-mura) and Gokayama (in Nanto). There's still lots to do: indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area, see the interesting displays at Takayama Showa Museum, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, and steep yourself in history at Takayama Jinya.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, read Takayama trip planner.

Vancouver, Canada to Takayama is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 17 hours traveling from Vancouver to Takayama. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Vancouver in May, with highs in Takayama at 27°C and lows at 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Wed) so you can drive to Tateyama-machi.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Tours

Side Trips

Tateyama-machi

— 2 nights
The small town of Tateyama-machi, nestled in the hills of Mount Tate, remains most notable as the gateway to the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Thu): take in the pleasant sights at Yuki no Otani (Snow Wall), take a memorable drive along Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, and then admire the sheer force of Shomyo Falls. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll through Kurobe Dam, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Tateyama, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Mikurigaike Pond.

To find where to stay, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Tateyama-machi travel itinerary planner.

You can drive from Takayama to Tateyama-machi in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a train. In May in Tateyama-machi, expect temperatures between 26°C during the day and 18°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Fri) so you can travel to Takachiho-cho.

Things to do in Tateyama-machi

Parks · Nature · Scenic Drive · Outdoors

Takachiho-cho

— 2 nights
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 7th (Sat): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Amanomanai, explore the stunning scenery at Takachiho Gorge, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Takachiho Shrine, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Amano Iwato Shrine, and finally go for a walk through Amano Yasugawara. On the next day, make a trip to Shirakawa Springs, then get impressive views of Mt. Aso, and then admire the sheer force of Manai Falls.

To find where to stay, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Takachiho-cho itinerary planner.

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Tateyama-machi to Takachiho-cho takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and taxi; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 29°C in May, and nighttime lows around 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Takachiho-cho

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature

Side Trips

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley and Yakusugi Land. Step out of the city life by going to Oko no Taki Fall and Seibu Trail. There's still lots to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Nagata Inakahama, make a trip to Wilson Stump, and take a peaceful walk through Shakunagenomori Park.

To find out how to plan a trip to Yakushima-cho, use our trip itinerary maker.

You can do a combination of car, train, and ferry from Takachiho-cho to Yakushima-cho in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and flight. In May, plan for daily highs up to 28°C, and evening lows to 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Wed) to allow time to fly to Onna-son.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Onna-son

— 3 nights
Located on the coast in the middle of the island, Onna-son has become known for its beaches and seaside economy.
Himeyuri Peace Museum and Sefa-Utaki are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Take a break from the city and head to Blue Cave and Scuba & Snorkeling. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Onna-son: Nakijin-son (Kouri Beach & Nakijin Castle Ruins), Nirai Beach (in Yomitan-son) and Motobu-cho (Okichan Theater & Emerald Beach). The adventure continues: look for gifts at Onna Station Nakayukui Market, get to know the fascinating history of Okinawa Peace Memorial Park, and admire the verdant scenery at Valley of Gangala.

To see where to stay, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Onna-son tour itinerary planner.

Getting from Yakushima-cho to Onna-son by flight takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and car. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Yakushima-cho in May since evenings lows in Onna-son dip to 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) so you can fly to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Onna-son

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Miyakojima

— 3 nights
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Aragusuku Beach and Yabiji. Take a break from the city and head to Toguchi no Hama and Shimojishima Island. There's lots more to do: head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, don't miss a visit to Ikema Ohashi Bridge, snap pictures at Irabu Ohashi, and enjoy the sand and surf at Sunayama Beach.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, read Miyakojima trip planner.

Getting from Onna-son to Miyakojima by flight takes about 2.5 hours. In May, daily temperatures in Miyakojima can reach 32°C, while at night they dip to 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) to allow enough time to fly to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Ishigaki

— 4 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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Island Countryside Settlement and Cape Hirakubozaki. Visit Kondoi Beach and Yonehara Beach for some beach relaxation. Spend 18th (Wed) immersed in the deep blue with Prime Scuba Ishigaki Diving Center - Day Tour. There's still lots to do: look for gifts at Yurateiku Market, enjoy breathtaking views from Tamatorizaki Observatory, take some stellar pictures from Cape Ongazaki, and take in the awesome beauty at Nosoko Mape.

To find traveler tips, photos, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Ishigaki tour itinerary planner.

You can fly from Miyakojima to Ishigaki in 2.5 hours. May in Ishigaki sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 28°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) to allow time to ride a ferry to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks

Side Trips

Iriomote-jima

— 2 nights
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
On the 22nd (Sun), enjoy the sand and surf at Ida no Hama Beach, then get outside with Outdoor Activities, and then step off the mainland to explore Iriomote Island. On the next day, stroll through Hoshisuna Beach and then take in the dramatic scenery at Pinaisara Falls.

To see reviews, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Iriomote-jima online sightseeing planner.

You can ride a ferry from Ishigaki to Iriomote-jima in 1.5 hours. In May, daytime highs in Iriomote-jima are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) so you can travel to Tanabe.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Tanabe

— 2 nights
Considered a holy space where the gods once lived, the city of Tanabe teems with spiritual, cultural, and natural beauty.
On the 24th (Tue), hike along Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Routes, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine, and then contemplate the long history of Oyunohara - Original Kumano Hongu Taisha Site. Keep things going the next day: head off the coast to Engetsuto, enjoy the sand and surf at Shirarahama Beach, then indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at some of the top local onsens, and finally don't miss a visit to Kumano Kodo Trail.

To see reviews, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, use the Tanabe driving holiday planner.

You can do a combination of ferry and flight from Iriomote-jima to Tanabe in 5.5 hours. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Iriomote-jima in May, with highs in Tanabe at 27°C and lows at 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Nachikatsura-cho.

Things to do in Tanabe

Historic Sites · Parks · Outdoors · Spas

Side Trips

Nachikatsura-cho

— 2 nights
The town of Nachikatsuura-cho wows visitors with its superlative landscape and impressive cultural attractions.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Thu): don't miss a visit to Daimonzaka, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Kumano Hayatama Taisha, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kamikura Shrine, and finally explore the striking landscape at Hashigui Rock. On the 27th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the spiritual surroundings of Seiganto-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kumano Nachi Taisha, then take in the dramatic scenery at Nachi Mitaki Falls, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hirou Shrine.

To see reviews, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read our Nachikatsura-cho online travel route planner.

You can drive from Tanabe to Nachikatsura-cho in 2 hours. Another option is to take a train. May in Nachikatsura-cho sees daily highs of 27°C and lows of 22°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Ise.

Things to do in Nachikatsura-cho

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature

Side Trips

Ise

— 2 nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sat): get engrossed in the history at Sengukan, observe the fascinating underwater world at Toba Aquarium, then meet the residents at Ise Meotoiwa Interactive Aquarium (Ise Sea Paradise), then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Futami Okitama Shrine, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Meotoiwa Rocks. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sarutahiko Shrine, contemplate the long history of Oharai-machi, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Tsukiyominomiya, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ise Shrine Geku.

For traveler tips, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, read Ise travel route planner.

You can drive from Nachikatsura-cho to Ise in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of bus and train. In May, plan for daily highs up to 25°C, and evening lows to 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Koya-cho.

Things to do in Ise

Historic Sites · Zoos & Aquariums · Parks · Shopping

Side Trip

Koya-cho

— 1 night
On the 30th (Mon), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kongobu-ji Temple, explore the different monuments and memorials at Koyasan Okunoin, then take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Koya, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Koyasan Danjo Garan.

To see more things to do, ratings, maps, and tourist information, go to the Koya-cho trip planner.

Traveling by combination of train and taxi from Ise to Koya-cho takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Traveling from Ise in May, expect a bit cooler with lows of 19°C in Koya-cho. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) early enough to travel to Hiraizumi-cho.

Things to do in Koya-cho

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature

Hiraizumi-cho

— 1 night
Start off your visit on the 31st (Tue): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Motsu-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Takkoku no Iwaya, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Chuson-ji Konjiki-do, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Chuson-ji Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Kyu Oi-do.

For ratings, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Hiraizumi-cho online visit planner.

Explore your travel options from Koya-cho to Hiraizumi-cho with the Route module. Expect a daytime high around 25°C in May, and nighttime lows around 16°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Hiraizumi-cho

Historic Sites

Japan travel guide

4.3
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Parks
Land of the Rising Sun
Part of a volcanic archipelago that encompasses over 6,800 islands, Japan remains one of Asia's most fascinating tourist destinations, where a blend of modernity and tradition creates a look and feel completely different from any other place in the world. A tour of Japan lets you discover big cities filled with ancient temples and innovative skyscrapers, as well as quiet country landscapes dotted with castles, perfectly manicured gardens, cherry orchards, and primeval forests seemingly untouched by the hand of mass tourism. Many tourists on vacation in Japan devote lots of time to the country's unique cuisine, prepared with painstaking attention to detail and a genius for simple yet effective presentation.