49 days in Japan Itinerary

49 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

49 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Brussels
+3
Fly + train + foot + train:  18​h 15​min
1
Ise
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
2
Takayama
— 7 nights
Drive:  8​h 45​min
3
Hiraizumi-cho
— 1 night
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  5​h 30​min
4
Kyoto
— 7 nights
train:  2​h 15​min
5
Toyooka
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
6
Izumo
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
7
Hatsukaichi
— 2 nights
+2
Drive + ferry + Drive:  5​h 30​min
8
Takachiho-cho
— 5 nights
Fly:  6​h 15​min
9
Onna-son
— 5 nights
bus + Fly:  4​h 45​min
10
Ishigaki
— 5 nights
Fly:  2​h
11
Miyakojima
— 6 nights
Fly + train:  20​h
End: Brussels

2
nights
Ise

Ise ©
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.
Ise Shrine Geku and Sarutahiko Shrine will appeal to history buffs. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Oharai-machi and Sengukan. When in Ise, make a side trip to see Mt. Yokoyama Observation Deck in Shima, approximately 38 minutes away. There's much more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Tsukiyominomiya, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Toba Aquarium, make a trip to Meotoiwa, and pick up some local products at Toba Marche.

To find maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Ise road trip planning tool .

Brussels, Belgium to Ise is an approximately 18.5-hour combination of flight and train. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference moving from Central European Time (CET) to Japan Standard Time (JST) is 8 hours. In October, Ise is somewhat warmer than Brussels - with highs of 24°C and lows of 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Takayama.

Things to do in Ise

Historic Sites Parks Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Toba, Mt. Yokoyama Observation Deck
Highlights from your plan
Sarutahiko Shrine ©
Sarutahiko Shrine
Tsukiyominomiya ©
Tsukiyominomiya
Oharai-machi ©
Oharai-machi

7
nights
Takayama

Takayama ©
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.
Naraijuku and Takayama Jinya will appeal to history buffs. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Higashiyama Walking Course and D. T. Suzuki Museum. Change things up with these side-trips from Takayama: Ainokura Gassho Community (in Nanto), Matsumoto City Museum of Art (in Matsumoto) and Nakasendo Magome Walking Trail (in Nakatsugawa). There's still lots to do: see the interesting displays at Takayama Showa Museum, trek along Nakasendo Walking Trail, Tsumagojuku, stop by Onoya Brewery, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Kurobe Dam.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Takayama road trip planner .

Traveling by car from Ise to Takayama takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Ise in October, Takayama is slightly colder at night with lows of 16°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Hiraizumi-cho.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Tateyama-machi, Kanazawa, Nakasendo Magome Walking Trail, Ainokura Gassho Community
Highlights from your plan
Ainokura Gassho Community ©
Ainokura Gassho Community
Naraijuku ©
Naraijuku
Matsumoto City Art Museum ©
Matsumoto City Art Museum

1
night
Hiraizumi-cho

Hiraizumi-cho ©
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Sun): walk around Tenshochi. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Takkoku no Iwaya, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Motsuji Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Chuson-ji Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Konjiki-do.

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

Traveling by car from Takayama to Hiraizumi-cho takes 9 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight. In November, Hiraizumi-cho is a bit cooler than Takayama - with highs of 12°C and lows of 4°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Mon) so you can travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Hiraizumi-cho

Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Tenshochi
Highlights from your plan
Takkoku no Iwaya ©
Takkoku no Iwaya
Chuson-ji Konjiki-do ©
Chuson-ji Konjiki-do
Chuson-ji Temple ©
Chuson-ji Temple

7
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.
Tenryuji Temple and Tofuku-ji Temple will appeal to history buffs. Explore hidden gems such as Nanzen-ji Temple and Ninna-ji Temple. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Kyoto: Izanagi Shrine (in Awaji), Koya-cho (Kongobu-ji Temple, Koyasan Danjo Garan, & more) and Nara (Nara National Museum, Kofuku-ji Temple, & more). Next up on the itinerary: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kennin-ji Temple, make a trip to Eikando Zenrinji Temple, steep yourself in history at Inuyama Castle, and explore the historical opulence of Hikone Castle.

To see ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Kyoto travel itinerary planner .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Hiraizumi-cho to Kyoto. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Hiraizumi-cho in November, with highs in Kyoto at 19°C and lows at 10°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Mon) early enough to catch the train to Toyooka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trips

Nara, Koya-cho, Otsu, Hikone, Izanagi Shrine
Highlights from your plan
Chion-in Temple ©
Chion-in Temple
Koyasan Danjo Garan ©
Koyasan Danjo Garan
Daigo-ji Temple ©
Daigo-ji Temple

4
nights
Toyooka

Toyooka ©
A vacation in Toyooka lets you explore the UNESCO Global Geopark that completely surrounds the small town, notable for its scenic islands, rock formations, caves, and sand dunes.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Takeda Castle Ruins and Ine no Funaya. Head to Tofu Chikuwa no Sato Chimura and Aityfor plenty of shopping. Change things up with these side-trips from Toyooka: Miyazu (Amanohashidate & Kasamatsu Park), The Sand Museum (in Tottori) and Arayu (in Shinonsen-cho). The adventure continues: appreciate the extensive heritage of Street of Kinosaki Onsen and make a trip to Shoshazan Engyoji.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Toyooka trip planner .

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Toyooka takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly. November in Toyooka sees daily highs of 17°C and lows of 10°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Izumo.

Things to do in Toyooka

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

Miyazu, Tottori, Shoshazan Engyoji, Ine no Funaya, Arayu
Highlights from your plan
Ine no Funaya ©
Ine no Funaya
Arayu ©
Arayu
Takeda Castle Ruins ©
Takeda Castle Ruins

2
nights
Izumo

Izumo ©
Nestled in the shadows of the Chugoku Mountains, historic Izumo boasts one of Japan's oldest Shinto shrines.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Sat): contemplate the long history of Former Taisha Station, then visit a coastal fixture at Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse, then explore the world behind art at Adachi Museum of Art, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yaegaki Shrine. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the masterpieces at Shimane Art Museum, take in the spiritual surroundings of Hinomisaki Shrine, and then take an in-depth tour of Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo.

For other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Izumo online tour itinerary builder .

Getting from Toyooka to Izumo by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or do a combination of train, flight, and taxi. Expect a daytime high around 18°C in November, and nighttime lows around 9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) so you can drive to Hatsukaichi.

Things to do in Izumo

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Matsue, Adachi Museum of Art
Highlights from your plan
Former Taisha Station ©
Former Taisha Station
Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse ©
Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse
Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo
Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo

2
nights
Hatsukaichi

Hatsukaichi ©
The city of Hatsukaichi developed from a small market town, frequented by passing samurais during the Edo period.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Mon): take in the spiritual surroundings of Senjokaku, steep yourself in history at Itsukushima Shrine Torii, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Daishoin Temple, and finally walk around Momijidani Park. Here are some ideas for day two: look for gifts at Miyajima Omotesando Shopping Street and then go for a walk through Kintaikyo Bridge.

To find reviews, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Hatsukaichi itinerary planning tool .

You can drive from Izumo to Hatsukaichi in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. November in Hatsukaichi sees daily highs of 20°C and lows of 11°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Tue) early enough to travel to Takachiho-cho.

Things to do in Hatsukaichi

Historic Sites Shopping Parks

Side Trip

Kintaikyo Bridge
Highlights from your plan
Daishoin Temple ©
Daishoin Temple
Senjokaku ©
Senjokaku
Itsukushima Shrine Torii ©
Itsukushima Shrine Torii

5
nights
Takachiho-cho

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Amano Iwato Shrine and Oka Castle Ruins. Do some cultural sightseeing at Takachiho Shrine and Amano Yasugawara. Venture out of the city with trips to Onsen Resorts (in Minamioguni-machi), Aso (Daikanbo & Kusasenri) and Shirakawa Springs (in Minamiaso-mura). There's much more to do: take in the views from Tsujunkyo Bridge, look for gifts at Michi-no-Eki Takachiho, explore the stunning scenery at Takachiho Gorge, and contemplate the geological forces at Mt. Aso.

To find reviews, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Takachiho-cho visit planning website .

You can do a combination of car and ferry from Hatsukaichi to Takachiho-cho in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. In November, plan for daily highs up to 19°C, and evening lows to 10°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Onna-son.

Things to do in Takachiho-cho

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Aso, Shirakawa Springs, Oka Castle Ruins, Mt. Aso, Onsen Resorts
Highlights from your plan
Amano Iwato Shrine ©
Amano Iwato Shrine
Amano Yasugawara ©
Amano Yasugawara
Oka Castle Ruins ©
Oka Castle Ruins

5
nights
Onna-son

Onna-son ©
Located on the coast in the middle of the island, Onna-son has become known for its beaches and seaside economy.
Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at AEONMALL OKINAWA RYCOM and Onna Station Nakayukui Market. Get some cultural insight at Okinawa Peace Memorial Park and Nakijin Castle Ruins. Venture out of the city with trips to Sefa-Utaki (in Nanjo), Nakagusuku Castle Ruins (in Kitanakagusuku-son) and Motobu-cho (Okinawa Memorial Park Ocean Expo Park, Bise no Fukugi Tree Road, & more). And it doesn't end there: explore the historical opulence of Katsuren Castle Ruins, identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, appreciate the extensive heritage of Zakimi Castle Ruins, and take in the exciting artwork at Gallery Kiya.

To find reviews, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, read Onna-son trip planner .

You can fly from Takachiho-cho to Onna-son in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of car and ferry. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Takachiho-cho in November: high temperatures in Onna-son hover around 28°C and lows are around 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Fri) early enough to travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Onna-son

Historic Sites Shopping Wildlife

Side Trips

Motobu-cho, Yomitan-son, Kitanakagusuku-son, Katsuren Castle Ruins, Nakijin Castle Ruins
Highlights from your plan
Nakagusuku Castle Ruins ©
Nakagusuku Castle Ruins
AEONMALL OKINAWA RYCOM ©
AEONMALL OKINAWA RYCOM
Okinawa Peace Memorial Park ©
Okinawa Peace Memorial Park

5
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Cape Hirakubozaki and Yonehara Beach. Step out of Ishigaki with an excursion to Canyoning & Rappelling Tours in Iriomote-jima--about 1h 50 min away. The adventure continues: tour the pleasant surroundings at Kondoi Beach, glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, explore the fascinating underground world of Ishigaki Island Limestone Cave, and walk around Banna Park.

To see ratings, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read Ishigaki travel route planning website .

You can do a combination of bus and flight from Onna-son to Ishigaki in 5 hours. Traveling from Onna-son in November, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Ishigaki, with lows of 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Wed) so you can travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Taketomi-cho, Canyoning & Rappelling Tours, Island Countryside Settlement
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Island Countryside Settlement ©
Island Countryside Settlement
Yurateiku Market ©
Yurateiku Market

6
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima ©
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Step off the beaten path and head to Sunayama Beach and Yabiji. The adventure continues: enjoy the sand and surf at Aragusuku Beach, stroll through Toguchi no Hama, head off the coast to Ikema-jima Island, and take in the views from Irabu Ohashi.

For other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Miyakojima trip maker .

You can fly from Ishigaki to Miyakojima in 2 hours. Expect a daytime high around 25°C in December, and nighttime lows around 20°C. You will have some time to spend on the 10th (Tue) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse ©
Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse
Toguchi no Hama
Toguchi no Hama
Aragusuku Beach ©
Aragusuku Beach

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