36 days in Japan Itinerary

36 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

36 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: London
Fly:  19​h 30​min
1
Ishigaki
— 3 nights
Fly:  2​h
2
Miyakojima
— 4 nights
Fly + Bus:  3​h 30​min
3
Onna-son
— 3 nights
Fly + Taxi:  6​h 15​min
4
Yakushima-cho
— 2 nights
+3
Taxi + Fly + Subway + Train:  4​h 30​min
5
Hiroshima
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h
6
Matsue
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h
7
Nachikatsura-cho
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
8
Kyoto
— 4 nights
Train:  2​h 30​min
9
Kanazawa
— 4 nights
Train:  2​h 30​min
10
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Fly:  14​h 45​min
End: London

3
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.
Visit Yonehara Beach and Nakamoto Beach for some beach relaxation. Explore hidden gems such as Barasu Island and Yurateiku Market. The adventure continues: get to know the fascinating history of Island Countryside Settlement, take an in-depth tour of Ishigaki Yaima Village, see the interesting displays at Ishigaki City Yaeyama Museum, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Torinji Temple.

To find ratings, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read our Ishigaki travel route planner .

London, UK to Ishigaki is an approximately 18.5-hour flight. Traveling from London to Ishigaki, you'll lose 9 hours due to the time zone difference. When traveling from London in July, plan for a bit warmer days in Ishigaki, with highs around 38°C, while nights are warmer with lows around 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Barasu Island, Island Countryside Settlement, Nakamoto Beach
Highlights from your plan
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach
Island Countryside Settlement ©
Island Countryside Settlement
Barasu Island ©
Barasu Island

4
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Sunayama Beach and Nagamahama Beach Coast. Take a break from the city and head to Kayaking & Canoeing and Ikizu Beach. And it doesn't end there: enjoy the sand and surf at Yonaha Maehama Beach, examine the collection at Underground Dam Museum, stroll through Tomori Imugya Beach, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Miyako Shrine.

To see where to stay, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Miyakojima road trip planning site .

Traveling by flight from Ishigaki to Miyakojima takes 2 hours. July in Miyakojima sees daily highs of 37°C and lows of 31°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Wed) so you can travel to Onna-son.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Yabiji
Yabiji
Yonaha Maehama Beach ©
Yonaha Maehama Beach
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach

3
nights
Onna-son

Located on the coast in the middle of the island, Onna-son has become known for its beaches and seaside economy.
We've included these beaches for you: Manza Beach and Diamond Beach. Get a sense of the local culture at Onna-son Museum and Shirumichu. Next up on the itinerary: look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, kick back and relax at Kariyushi Beach, Head underground at Blue Cave, and explore the striking landscape at Cape Manzamo.

To see photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Onna-son journey planner .

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Miyakojima to Onna-son takes 3.5 hours. July in Onna-son sees daily highs of 37°C and lows of 30°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sat) early enough to travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Onna-son

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Shirumichu
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Manza Beach ©
Manza Beach
Onna Station Nakayukui Market ©
Onna Station Nakayukui Market

2
nights
Yakushima-cho

Yakushima-cho ©
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 Yakusugi Land and The Yakushima World Heritage Conservation Center. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Isso Beach and Tashiro Beach. There's more to do: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yaku Shrine.

For reviews, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Yakushima-cho trip planner .

Traveling by combination of flight and taxi from Onna-son to Yakushima-cho takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and taxi; or do a combination of bus, ferry, and taxi. Expect a daytime high around 36°C in August, and nighttime lows around 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Outdoors Wildlife Parks
Highlights from your plan
Yakusugi Land ©
Yakusugi Land
Isso Beach ©
Isso Beach

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.
JMSDF Kure Museum and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum will appeal to museum buffs. Get a sense of the local culture at Daishoin Temple and Itsukushima Shrine Torii. Change things up with these side-trips from Hiroshima: Hatsukaichi (Itsukushima Shrine, Senjokaku, & more) and Former Naval Academy (in Etajima). There's much more to do: contemplate the long history of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, view the masterpieces at Schmoe House, browse the different shops at Asse, and wander the streets of Kamiyacho.

For where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Hiroshima trip itinerary site .

Getting from Yakushima-cho to Hiroshima by combination of taxi, flight, and train takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi, ferry, and train; or do a combination of car and ferry. August in Hiroshima sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 29°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Matsue.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Former Naval Academy, JMSDF Kure Museum
Highlights from your plan
Daishoin Temple ©
Daishoin Temple
JMSDF Kure Museum ©
JMSDF Kure Museum
Itsukushima Shrine Torii ©
Itsukushima Shrine Torii

2
nights
Matsue

Matsue ©
Matsue sits on the banks of the Ohashi-gawa river, channeling its waters through a series of canals and rivers that add much to the scenic aspect of the urban area.
On the 11th (Sun), take in the spiritual surroundings of Sada Shrine, explore the historical opulence of Matsue Castle, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Iya Shrine, then explore the world behind art at Adachi Museum of Art, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the ancient world of Kojindani Ruin, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yaegaki Shrine, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Seiganji Temple, and finally look for gifts at Rihaku Shuzo.

To find more things to do, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, read our Matsue trip maker site .

Traveling by car from Hiroshima to Matsue takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In August, daytime highs in Matsue are 36°C, while nighttime lows are 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) so you can go by car to Nachikatsura-cho.

Things to do in Matsue

Historic Sites Parks Shopping

Side Trips

Yasugi, Kojindani Ruin
Highlights from your plan
Yaegaki Shrine ©
Yaegaki Shrine
Adachi Museum of Art ©
Adachi Museum of Art
Matsue Castle ©
Matsue Castle

1
night
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 13th (Tue): see the interesting displays at Taiji Whale Museum, take in the dramatic scenery at Nachi Mitaki Falls, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kumano Nachi Taisha, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Seigantoji Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Fudarakusanji Temple. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at Kujirahama Beach, head off the coast to Kinomatsushima Island, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Hirou Shrine.

For traveler tips, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Nachikatsura-cho tour itinerary maker site .

You can drive from Matsue to Nachikatsura-cho in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, flight, and train; or take a train. In August in Nachikatsura-cho, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 31°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Wed) early enough to drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Nachikatsura-cho

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trip

Taiji-cho
Highlights from your plan
Kumano Nachi Taisha ©
Kumano Nachi Taisha
Seigantoji Temple ©
Seigantoji Temple
Hirou Shrine ©
Hirou Shrine

4
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.
Kennin-ji Temple and Nijo Castle are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Discover out-of-the-way places like Shimogamo Jinja and Tofuku-ji Temple. Change things up with these side-trips from Kyoto: Nara (Nara Park & Nigatsu-do Temple) and Dotonbori (in Osaka). And it doesn't end there: steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, appreciate the extensive heritage of Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kinkaku-ji, and wander the streets of Pontocho.

To see ratings, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Kyoto route maker tool .

You can drive from Nachikatsura-cho to Kyoto in 3 hours. Other options are to take a train; or do a combination of car and bus. Expect a daytime high around 39°C in August, and nighttime lows around 29°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sun) so you can take a train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Parks

Side Trips

Nara, Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple, Dotonbori
Highlights from your plan
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple

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.
For shopping fun, head to Kanazawa Hyakubangai Shopping Center or Amanatto Kawamura. Ainokura Gassho Community and Gokayama are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Venture out of the city with trips to Rail - MTB Gattan Go!! (in Hida), Nanto (Suganuma Gassho Community & Ainokura Kaiyu Hodo) and Kotogahama Beach (in Wajima). There's much more to do: examine the collection at D. T. Suzuki Museum, wander the streets of Higashichaya Old Town, pause for some serene contemplation at Kanazawa Catholic Church, and steep yourself in history at Kanazawa Castle.

To find photos, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Kanazawa road trip planning app .

Take a train from Kyoto to Kanazawa in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. When traveling from Kyoto in August, plan for a bit cooler days in Kanazawa, with highs around 35°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 27°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Thu) to allow time to take a train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Outdoors Historic Sites Museums

Side Trips

Nanto, Kotogahama Beach, Rail Mountain Bike Gattan Go!!
Highlights from your plan
Rail Mountain Bike Gattan Go!! ©
Rail Mountain Bike Gattan Go!!
Ainokura Gassho Community ©
Ainokura Gassho Community
Suganuma Gassho Community ©
Suganuma Gassho Community

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Meigetsuin (Hydrangea Temple) and Pola Museum of Art. You'll explore and learn at The Railway Museum and Nezu Museum. Get out of town with these interesting Tokyo side-trips: Kamakura (Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple), Kencho-ji Temple, & more). The adventure continues: take in the spiritual surroundings of Asakusa Shrine, take a stroll through Ueno, enjoy the sand and surf at Odaiba Kaihin Koen (Odaiba Seaside Park), and make a trip to Nezu Shrine.

For photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Tokyo day trip planner .

Getting from Kanazawa to Tokyo by train takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: fly; or drive. In August in Tokyo, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 28°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Kamakura, The Railway Museum, Pola Museum of Art
Highlights from your plan
Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple) ©
Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple)
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Kencho-ji Temple
Kencho-ji Temple

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