36 days in Japan Itinerary

36 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

36 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Canberra
Fly:  15 h
1
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Train:  2 h 30 min
2
Kanazawa
— 4 nights
Train:  2 h 30 min
3
Kyoto
— 5 nights
Train:  45 min
4
Himeji
— 3 nights
Train:  1 h
5
Hiroshima
— 4 nights
Train:  3 h 30 min
6
Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture
— 3 nights
Fly:  3 h 30 min
7
Naha
— 4 nights
Fly:  3 h
8
Ishigaki
— 7 nights
Fly:  19 h 15 min
End: Canberra

5
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.
Change things up with a short trip to The Hakone Open-Air Museum in Hakone-machi (about 1h 40 min away). There's still lots to do: admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower, get great views at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senso-ji Temple, and take a stroll through Odaiba.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, use the Tokyo journey maker website .

Canberra, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 15-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight. Traveling from Canberra to Tokyo, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Canberra in December, plan for colder days and a bit cooler nights in Tokyo: temperatures range from 14°C by day to 4°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Wed) to allow enough time to take a train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Museums Theme Parks

Side Trips

The Hakone Open-Air Museum, Tokyo Disneyland
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

4
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Explore Kanazawa's surroundings by going to Ryokufu Resort Hida Nagareha (in Hida), Takayama (Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato), Takayama Jinya, &more) and Shirakawa-mura (The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses & Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen). There's still lots to do: admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, take in the spiritual surroundings of Ninja Temple, steep yourself in history at Nomura Family Samurai House, and see the interesting displays at Ishikawa Prefectural Museum for Traditional Products and Crafts.

To find other places to visit, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Kanazawa road trip planning tool .

Take a train from Tokyo to Kanazawa in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. When traveling from Tokyo in December, plan for little chillier days in Kanazawa, with highs around 11°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 3°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sun) early enough to catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Takayama, Shirakawa-mura, Ryokufu Resort Hida Nagareha
Highlights from your plan
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya

5
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Kyoto: Universal Studios Japan (in Konohana) and Osaka (Osaka Castle & Dotonbori). There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, and make a trip to Gion.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Kyoto day trip planning website .

You can take a train from Kanazawa to Kyoto in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 10°C, and evening lows to 1°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Fri) early enough to catch the train to Himeji.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Theme Parks Neighborhoods

Side Trip

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

3
nights
Himeji

Himeji ©
The castle around which the city of Himeji has developed represents one of the best preserved in the country, and has been designated as a national treasure and a World Heritage Site.
Change things up with these side-trips from Himeji: Okayama Korakuen Garden (in Okayama), Daisen Outlook (in Mimasaka) and Mt. Kuma (in Bizen). The adventure continues: explore the historical opulence of Himeji Castle, make a trip to Shoshazan Engyoji, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Takamikura, and steep yourself in history at Yoneda Taishiji Temple.

To find reviews and tourist information, refer to the Himeji travel planner.

Take a train from Kyoto to Himeji in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 10°C, and evening lows to 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Mon) so you can take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Himeji

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Kunimi no Mori Park, Yoneda Taishiji Temple, Daisen Outlook, Okayama Korakuen Garden, Mt. Takamikura
Highlights from your plan
Okayama Korakuen Garden ©
Okayama Korakuen Garden
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Koko-en ©
Koko-en

4
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Hiroshima: Hatsukaichi (Itsukushima Shrine & Miyajima), Mt. Misen (in Miyajima) and Kurashiki (Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter, Ohara Museum of Art, &more). Next up on the itinerary: see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, appreciate the history behind Children's Peace Monument, steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome, and don't miss a visit to Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima.

To find maps, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Hiroshima trip planning site .

You can take a train from Himeji to Hiroshima in an hour. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Expect a daytime high around 11°C in January, and nighttime lows around 2°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) to allow time to take a train to Nagasaki.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Nature

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Kurashiki
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima

3
nights
Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture

Nagasaki ©
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Nagasaki: Sasebo (Huis Ten Bosch & Mt. Yumihari). There's much more to do: take an in-depth tour of Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, admire the natural beauty at Glover Garden, get a sense of history and politics at Nagasaki Prefectural Government Observation Deck, and take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Inasa.

To find topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, maps, photos, and more tourist information, read Nagasaki sightseeing planner.

Take a train from Hiroshima to Nagasaki in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, daytime highs in Nagasaki are 11°C, while nighttime lows are 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Mon) so you can travel to Naha.

Things to do in Nagasaki

Theme Parks Parks Nature

Side Trip

Sasebo
Highlights from your plan
Huis Ten Bosch ©
Huis Ten Bosch
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum ©
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum
Glover Garden ©
Glover Garden

4
nights
Naha

Naha ©
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.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Naha: Nakijin-son (Nakijin Castle Ruins, Aiai Farm, &more), Onna-son (Scuba & Snorkeling & Cape Manzamo) and Motobu-cho (Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium & Okinawa Memorial Park Ocean Expo Park). There's much more to do: get to know the fascinating history of Shurijo Castle, appreciate the history behind Heiwa no Ishiji, make a trip to Kokusaidori, and get your game on at Ryuso Studio Chura Bijin.

To find topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Naha day trip planning tool .

Traveling by flight from Nagasaki to Naha takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of train and ferry. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Nagasaki in January; daily highs in Naha reach 22°C and lows reach 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Fri) so you can travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Naha

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trips

Nakijin-son, Onna-son, Motobu-cho, Heiwa no Ishiji, Toma
Highlights from your plan
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium ©
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
Shurijo Castle ©
Shurijo Castle
Scuba & Snorkeling

7
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.
Ishigaki is known for nature, beaches, and historic sites. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the waterfront views at Kabira Bay, take in panoramic vistas at Tamatorizaki Observatory, get outside with Cape Hirakubozaki, and glide peacefully along the water with categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_best_stand_up_paddleboarding_in_the_area.

To find reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Ishigaki tour itinerary maker site .

Traveling by flight from Naha to Ishigaki takes 3 hours. In January, daytime highs in Ishigaki are 24°C, while nighttime lows are 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Parks Adventure

Side Trip

Kondoi Beach
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Kabira Bay ©
Kabira Bay
Tamatorizaki Observatory ©
Tamatorizaki Observatory

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