36 days in Japan Itinerary

36 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan route builder

Make it your trip
Fly to Ishigaki, Ferry to Iriomote
1
Iriomote-jima
— 2 nights
Ferry
2
Ishigaki
— 4 nights
Fly
3
Miyakojima
— 3 nights
Fly
4
Onna-son
— 3 nights
Fly
5
Yakushima-cho
— 2 nights
Fly to Fukuoka, Train to Hiroshima
6
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
Train
7
Osaka
— 4 nights
Drive
8
Kyoto
— 5 nights
Drive
9
Takayama
— 1 night
Drive
10
Nikko
— 3 nights
Drive
11
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
26
27
28
29
30
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6

Iriomote-jima

— 2 nights
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
On the 4th (Mon), admire the sheer force of Nara no Taki Falls, then skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, then take in the dramatic scenery at Pinaisara Falls, and finally admire the sheer force of Mariudo Fall. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, enjoy the sand and surf at Hoshisuna Beach, then head off the coast to Iriomote Island, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Ida no Hama Beach.

For maps, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Iriomote-jima trip builder app.

Boston, USA to Iriomote-jima is an approximately 25-hour combination of flight and ferry. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 14 hours traveling from Boston to Iriomote-jima. Prepare for much hotter weather when traveling from Boston in October: high temperatures in Iriomote-jima hover around 85°F and lows are around 76°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Tue) early enough to travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · 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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Cape Hirakubozaki and Nei Museum of Art. Discover out-of-the-way places like Prime Scuba Ishigaki Diving Center - Day Tour and Tamatorizaki Observatory. Next up on the itinerary: head outdoors with Yonehara Beach, explore the fascinating underground world of Ishigaki Island Limestone Cave, enjoy the sand and surf at Kondoi Beach, and take a leisurely stroll along Nishi Pier.

For maps, where to stay, and tourist information, read Ishigaki trip itinerary builder.

You can ride a ferry from Iriomote-jima to Ishigaki in 2 hours. In October in Ishigaki, expect temperatures between 85°F during the day and 76°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Sat) early enough to travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks

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 Sunayama Beach. Escape the urban bustle at Yabiji and Toguchi no Hama. There's much more to do: get outside with Nakanoshima Beach, stroll through Imugya Marine Garden, step off the mainland to explore Shimojiiima Island, and take in the views from Irabu Ohashi.

To find where to stay, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Miyakojima online sightseeing planner.

Fly from Ishigaki to Miyakojima in 2.5 hours. In October, plan for daily highs up to 83°F, and evening lows to 75°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Tue) so you can travel to Onna-son.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife

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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Katsuren Castle Ruins and Nakagusuku Castle Ruins. Discover out-of-the-way places like Scuba & Snorkeling and The Tower of Himeyuri. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Onna-son: Nanjo (Sefa-Utaki & Valley of Gangala), Naha (Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum & Shurijo Castle) and Okinawa Peace Memorial Park (in Itoman). There's lots more to do: step into the grandiose world of Zakimi Castle Ruins, explore the striking landscape at Cape Manzamo, and look for gifts at Onna Station Nakayukui Market.

For where to stay, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Onna-son day trip planning website.

You can fly from Miyakojima to Onna-son in 4.5 hours. October in Onna-son sees daily highs of 83°F and lows of 72°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Onna-son

Historic Sites · Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife

Side Trips

Yakushima-cho

— 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Sat): take in the dramatic scenery at Oko no Taki Fall, then don't miss a visit to Jōmon Sugi, then explore the stunning scenery at Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley, and finally make a trip to Wilson Stump. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the striking landscape of Yakusugi Land.

To find other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Yakushima-cho travel itinerary planner.

Fly from Onna-son to Yakushima-cho in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry. While traveling from Onna-son, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Yakushima-cho, ranging from highs of 78°F to lows of 68°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Nature · Parks · Outdoors · Trails

Hiroshima

— 2 nights

City of Peace

Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Mon): take in nature's colorful creations at Shukkei-en Garden, contemplate the long history of Atomic Bomb Dome, then appreciate the history behind Peace Bell, then get engrossed in the history at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and finally contemplate the long history of Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima. Keep things going the next day: contemplate the long history of Itsukushima Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senjokaku, and then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see reviews, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Hiroshima trip itinerary planner.

You can do a combination of flight and train from Yakushima-cho to Hiroshima in 5.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight, bus, and train; or do a combination of ferry and train. In October, Hiroshima is a bit cooler than Yakushima-cho - with highs of 73°F and lows of 61°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Tue) so you can travel to Osaka.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites · Museums · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

Osaka

— 4 nights
Proud of their hometown's distinct culture and dialect, many natives of Osaka describe their city as "Japan's anti-capital." An antidote to Tokyo's hectic energy, Osaka marches to the beat of its own drum, serving as the country's longtime commercial and industrial hub.
Explore hidden gems such as Koyasan Okunoin and Kongobu-ji Temple. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Himeji Castle and Osaka Castle. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Osaka: Himeji (Nishi no Maru & Koko-en) and Koya-cho (Torodo Temple, Kodai-in Temple, &more). And it doesn't end there: wander the streets of Dotombori District, get a taste of the local shopping with Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street, examine the collection at Osaka Shiritsu Toyo Toji Museum, and find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan.

To find photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Osaka holiday maker app.

You can take a train from Hiroshima to Osaka in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and flight. In October, plan for daily highs up to 73°F, and evening lows to 59°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sat) early enough to drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites · Theme Parks · Shopping · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Kyoto

— 5 nights
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.
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Nijo Castle are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Your inner history buff will appreciate Kinkaku-ji and Kiyomizu-dera Temple. There's much more to do: contemplate the long history of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, stroll through Nanzen-ji Temple, wander the streets of Gion, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Eikando Zenrinji Temple.

For traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Kyoto itinerary site.

You can drive from Osaka to Kyoto in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In October, daytime highs in Kyoto are 74°F, while nighttime lows are 60°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Shopping · Parks

Takayama

— 1 night
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 29th (Fri): admire the landmark architecture of Takayama Jinya, see the interesting displays at Takayama Showa Museum, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Higashiyama Walking Course, and finally indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area.

For maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Takayama online trip itinerary maker.

Drive from Kyoto to Takayama in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. When traveling from Kyoto in October, plan for a bit cooler days in Takayama, with highs around 69°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 57°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Nikko.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites · Wineries · Tours · Museums

Nikko

— 3 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.
Get some cultural insight at Lake Chuzenji and Yudaki Falls. Get in touch with nature at Ryuzu Waterfall and Nikko National Park. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the long history of Yomeimon (Main Gate), explore the striking landscape at Kammangafuchi Gorge, take in the spiritual surroundings of Taiyuimbyo Shrine, and go for a walk through Senjogahara Field.

Plan my day in Nikko using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

You can drive from Takayama to Nikko in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of bus and train. October in Nikko sees daily highs of 67°F and lows of 62°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Mon) to allow time to drive to Tokyo.

Things to do in Nikko

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Tokyo

— 5 nights
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Tokyo National Museum and Ghibli Museum Mitaka. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Asakusa Shrine and Jindai-ji Temple. And it doesn't end there: examine the collection at Samurai Museum, take in the spiritual surroundings of Senso-ji Temple, admire the masterpieces at The National Art Center, Tokyo, and admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower.

To find traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Tokyo online visit planner.

Getting from Nikko to Tokyo by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. When traveling from Nikko in November, plan for somewhat warmer days in Tokyo, with highs around 62°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 49°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods · Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping

Side Trips

Japan travel guide

4.3
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Historic Sites
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.