43 days in Japan Itinerary

43 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip itinerary planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
Fly
1
Miyakojima
— 4 nights
Fly
2
Motobu-cho
— 4 nights
Fly
3
Yakushima-cho
— 3 nights
+2
Ferry to Kagoshima, Train to Kumamoto, Drive to Takachiho-cho
4
Takachiho-cho
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Matsue
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Koya-cho
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Nachikatsura-cho
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Kyoto
— 6 nights
Train
9
Nikko
— 6 nights
Fly
10
Ishigaki
— 6 nights
Ferry
11
Iriomote-jima
— 3 nights
Drive to New Ishigaki Airport, Fly to O R Tambo International

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4
nights
Miyakojima

A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Shimojiiima Island and Toguchi no Hama. There's still lots to do: head off the coast to Irabu-jima Island, take in the views from Irabu Ohashi, enjoy breathtaking views from Makiyama Observatory, and visit a coastal fixture at Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse.

For maps, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Miyakojima vacation builder website.

Johannesburg, South Africa to Miyakojima is an approximately 21.5-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Johannesburg to Miyakojima is 7 hours. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Miyakojima when traveling from Johannesburg in November, with lows around 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Motobu-cho.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Beaches

4
nights
Motobu-cho

Formed by the gradual merging of several old fishing villages, today the island town of Motobu-cho boasts paradisal beaches of white sand, clear waters, and a rich array of wildlife.
Step off the beaten path and head to Scuba & Snorkeling and Bise no Fukugi Tree Road. Venture out of the city with trips to Onna Station Nakayukui Market (in Onna-son), Kunigami-son (Daisekirinzan, Cape Hedo, &more) and Kouri Beach (in Nakijin-son). Next up on the itinerary: steep yourself in history at Nakijin Castle Ruins, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Manatee Center, walk around Okinawa Memorial Park Ocean Expo Park, and observe the fascinating underwater world at Okichan Theater.

For traveler tips, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Motobu-cho day trip site.

Fly from Miyakojima to Motobu-cho in 5.5 hours. Traveling from Miyakojima in November, Motobu-cho is little chillier at night with lows of 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) so you can travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Motobu-cho

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours

Side Trips

3
nights
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Yakusugi Land and Wilson Stump. There's still lots to do: explore the stunning scenery at Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley, take a peaceful walk through Shakunagenomori Park, admire the sheer force of Oko no Taki Fall, and soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens.

For maps, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Yakushima-cho day trip planning app.

You can fly from Motobu-cho to Yakushima-cho in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry. Traveling from Motobu-cho in November, expect nights in Yakushima-cho to be about the same, around 18°C, while days are little chillier, around 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Takachiho-cho.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

2
nights
Takachiho-cho

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.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Wed): go for a walk through Amano Yasugawara, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Amano Iwato Shrine, then explore the stunning scenery at Takachiho Gorge, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Takachiho Shrine. On the next day, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Kunimigaoka and then make a trip to Shirakawa Springs.

For more things to do, ratings, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Takachiho-cho online route planner.

Getting from Yakushima-cho to Takachiho-cho by combination of ferry, train, and car takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of flight and bus. In December, Takachiho-cho is a bit cooler than Yakushima-cho - with highs of 12°C and lows of 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) so you can drive to Matsue.

Things to do in Takachiho-cho

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature

Side Trip

3
nights
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo and Hinomisaki Shrine. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Matsue: Adachi Museum of Art (in Yasugi) and Izumo (Jukusha (East / West), Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse, &more). And it doesn't end there: explore the activities along Shinji Lake, take in the spiritual surroundings of Yaegaki Shrine, take in nature's colorful creations at Yuushien Garden, and walk around Matsue Vogel Park.

To find more things to do, maps, photos, and tourist information, read Matsue day trip planning app.

Getting from Takachiho-cho to Matsue by car takes about 7 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of taxi and train. In December in Matsue, expect temperatures between 11°C during the day and 4°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Koya-cho.

Things to do in Matsue

Parks · Museums · Historic Sites · Nature

Side Trips

2
nights
Koya-cho

Kick off your visit on the 7th (Mon): take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Koya, then explore the different monuments and memorials at Koyasan Okunoin, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Kongobu-ji Temple. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: don't miss a visit to Tanizeno Tsuribashi, then examine the collection at Koyasan Reihokan Museum, and then contemplate the long history of Koyasan Danjo Garan.

To find maps, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Koya-cho attractions planner.

Getting from Matsue to Koya-cho by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: fly; or take a train. In December, daytime highs in Koya-cho are 13°C, while nighttime lows are 7°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Tue) so you can go by car to Nachikatsura-cho.

Things to do in Koya-cho

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Museums

Side Trip

2
nights
Nachikatsura-cho

The town of Nachikatsuura-cho wows visitors with its superlative landscape and impressive cultural attractions.
On the 9th (Wed), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kamikura Shrine, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kumano Hayatama Taisha, then take in the dramatic scenery at Nachi Mitaki Falls, and finally don't miss a visit to Daimonzaka. Here are some ideas for day two: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Seigantoji Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kumano Nachi Taisha, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hirou Shrine.

For traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Nachikatsura-cho trip planning app.

You can drive from Koya-cho to Nachikatsura-cho in 3 hours. December in Nachikatsura-cho sees daily highs of 14°C and lows of 8°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Nachikatsura-cho

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature

Side Trip

6
nights
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Tofuku-ji Temple and Sanzen-in Temple. Get out of town with these interesting Kyoto side-trips: Hikone (Genkyuen Garden & Hikone Castle) and Miyazu (Amanohashidate View Land, Amanohashidate, &more). Next up on the itinerary: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Eikando Zenrinji Temple, steep yourself in history at Kifune Shrine, get the lay of the land with Walking tours, and admire the natural beauty at Nanzen-ji Temple.

To find reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, read Kyoto online trip itinerary maker.

Drive from Nachikatsura-cho to Kyoto in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Nachikatsura-cho in December, Kyoto is slightly colder at night with lows of 4°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Wed) so you can catch the train to Nikko.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Parks · Tours · Nature

Side Trips

6
nights
Nikko

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Fukuroda Falls and Lake Chuzenji. Spend the 19th (Sat) exploring nature at Nikko National Park. Pack the 20th (Sun) with family-friendly diversions at Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura. There's much more to do: take in breathtaking views at Ryuokyo Canyon, make a trip to Nikko Station, steep yourself in history at Taiyuimbyo Shrine, and explore the activities along Yunoko Lake.

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

You can take a train from Kyoto to Nikko in 4.5 hours. Other options are to fly; or drive. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Nikko when traveling from Kyoto in December, with lows around 8°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) so you can travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Nikko

Parks · Nature · Theme Parks · Historic Sites

Side Trips

6
nights
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Prime Scuba Ishigaki Diving Center - Day Tour and Cape Hirakubozaki. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Ishigaki: Kuro-shima (Nakamoto Beach, Iko Pier, &more). The adventure continues: enjoy breathtaking views from Tamatorizaki Observatory, kick back and relax at Kondoi Beach, head outdoors with Kaiji Beach, and stroll around Kabira Park.

To find photos, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read Ishigaki online route builder.

Fly from Nikko to Ishigaki in 7 hours. Traveling from Nikko in December, you will find days in Ishigaki are much hotter (26°C), and nights are a bit warmer (20°C). Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Mon) early enough to travel to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Wildlife

Side Trips

3
nights
Iriomote-jima

Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Tue): take in the dramatic scenery at Pinaisara Falls and then scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour. Keep things going the next day: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, then head off the coast to Iriomote Island, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Mizuochi Falls.

To find reviews and other tourist information, use the Iriomote-jima trip tool.

You can ride a ferry from Ishigaki to Iriomote-jima in 2 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 26°C, and evening lows to 20°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Outdoors · Tours · Adventure · Parks

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.