51 days in Japan Itinerary

51 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Tokyo
— 6 nights
Fly
2
Sapporo
— 5 nights
Fly
3
Kanazawa
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Kyoto
— 6 nights
Drive
5
Osaka
— 6 nights
Train
6
Hiroshima
— 4 nights
Train
7
Nagasaki
— 4 nights
Fly
8
Ishigaki
— 6 nights
Fly
9
Motobu-cho
— 9 nights
Fly

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Tokyo

— 6 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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like teamLab☆Planets and Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple). Get some historical perspective at Hozomon and Arakura Fuji Sengen Jinja. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Tokyo: Fujikawaguchiko-machi (Sankodai, Aokigahara Forest Nature Guide Tour, &more), Kamakura (Kamakura Hiking Trails, Ugafuku Shrine ( Goddess of Money Washing), &more) and Fujiyoshida (Chureito Pagoda & Arakurayama Sengen Park). And it doesn't end there: relax and rejuvenate at Waho-An NATURE Tokyo, stop by Kagurazaka, admire the masterpieces at Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, and wander the streets of Kichijoji.

To see traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Tokyo trip planner.

Adelaide, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 16-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Australian Central Standard Time to Japan Standard Time is minus 0.5 hours. Expect cooler weather when traveling from Adelaide in December: highs in Tokyo hover around 14°C, while lows dip to 4°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Fri) so you can travel to Sapporo.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping · Parks

Side Trips

Sapporo

— 5 nights

CIty of Ramen

A modern, bustling city known for its beer brewery, Sapporo attracts millions of visitors with its Snow Festival, during which elaborate ice and snow sculptures are exhibited all over town.
Get a sense of the local culture at Royce' Chocolate World and The Hokkaido University Museum. Your inner history buff will appreciate Fushimi Inari Shrine and The Site of Temiya Line. Explore Sapporo's surroundings by going to Niseko-cho (Niseko Outdoor Center, Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area, &more), Tomakomai (Nidom Classic Course & Lake Utonai Sanctuary) and Kutchan-cho (Kutchan Catholic Church, White Isle Niseko, &more). There's much more to do: hit the slopes at Sapporo Teine, take an in-depth tour of Historical Village of Hokkaido (Kaitaku-no Mura), browse the different shops at Mitsui Outlet Park, Sapporo Kitahiroshima, and take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Teine.

For traveler tips, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read Sapporo trip itinerary planning tool.

Traveling by flight from Tokyo to Sapporo takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. While traveling from Tokyo, expect cooler days and a bit cooler nights in Sapporo, ranging from highs of 0°C to lows of -2°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Wed) early enough to travel to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Sapporo

Parks · Outdoors · Winter Sports · Shopping

Side Trips

Kanazawa

— 3 nights
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Museum-lovers will get to explore Ishikawa Aviation Plaza and Motorcar Museum of Japan. Shirakawago and Ainokura Gassho Community will appeal to history buffs. Get out of town with these interesting Kanazawa side-trips: Kaga (Kakusenkei Gorge & Nakaya Ukichiro Museum of Snow and Ice), Shirakawa-mura (The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses & Wada House) and Nanto (Inami Betsuin Zuisen-ji Temple & Gokayama). The adventure continues: take in the spiritual surroundings of Natadera Temple, browse the different shops at Kanazawa Hyakubangai Shopping Center, admire the masterpieces at Kanazawa Noh Museum, and contemplate the long history of Ozaki Shrine.

To find photos, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Kanazawa day trip tool.

Fly from Sapporo to Kanazawa in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Sapporo in December, with highs in Kanazawa at 11°C and lows at 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sat) so you can drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Shopping

Side Trips

Kyoto

— 6 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.
Attractions like Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Kiyomizu-dera Temple make great kid-friendly stops. Step off the beaten path and head to Kurama-dera and Jojakkoji Temple. Get out of town with these interesting Kyoto side-trips: Otsu (Hiyoshi-Taisha Shrine & Nango Suisan Center) and Obakusan Manpuku - ji Temple (in Uji). There's much more to do: get to know the fascinating history of Kyoto Gyoen National Garden, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sanzen-in Temple, take in nature's colorful creations at Katsura Imperial Villa, and step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read Kyoto visit planner.

Drive from Kanazawa to Kyoto in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 13°C, and evening lows to 4°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Fri) so you can go by car to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Parks · Neighborhoods · Nature

Side Trips

Osaka

— 6 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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Horyu-ji Temple and Toshodai-ji Temple. Discover out-of-the-way places like Kongobu-ji Temple and Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine. Venture out of the city with trips to Nara (Nara Park, Nigatsu-do Temple, &more), Kobe (Onsen Resorts & Nunobiki Falls (Nunobiki-No-Taki)) and Koya-cho (Zofukuin Temple, Mt. Koya, &more). There's still lots to do: stop by Dotombori District, have fun and explore at Kids Plaza Osaka, get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan, and get a sense of history and politics at Mint Museum.

For reviews, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read Osaka road trip planning website.

You can drive from Kyoto to Osaka in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 13°C in December, and nighttime lows around 4°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Thu) early enough to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Nature

Side Trips

Hiroshima

— 4 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.
Head to Miyajima Omotesando Shopping Street and Kurashiki City Geibun-kanfor some retail therapy. Discover out-of-the-way places like Mazda Museum and Ohara Museum of Art. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Hiroshima: Mitsui Outlet Park Kurashiki (in Kurashiki), Okayama (AEON MALL Mall Okayama, Sun Station Terrace Okayama, &more) and Hatsukaichi (Shiraito River, Daishoin Temple, &more). There's still lots to do: see the interesting displays at JMSDF Kure Museum, explore the activities along Motoyasu River, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mitaki Temple, and pause for some photo ops at Peace Flame.

For photos, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Hiroshima trip planner.

You can take a train from Osaka to Hiroshima in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and train. January in Hiroshima sees daily highs of 11°C and lows of 2°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Mon) so you can take a train to Nagasaki.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites · Shopping · Museums · Parks

Side Trips

Nagasaki

— 4 nights

City of Peace

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.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Yutoku Inari Shrine and Nagasaki Kameyama Shachu. Bring the kids along to Nagasaki Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims and Suwa Shrine. Change things up with these side-trips from Nagasaki: Sasebo (Huis Ten Bosch, Miuracho Catholic Church, &more) and Tozan Shrine (in Arita-cho). There's much more to do: get engrossed in the history at 26 Martyrs Museum, steep yourself in history at Nyokodo, Nagai Takashi Museum, admire the natural beauty at Glover Garden, and admire the masterpieces at Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum.

To find more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Nagasaki itinerary tool.

You can 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. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Nagasaki

Historic Sites · Theme Parks · Museums · Parks

Side Trips

Ishigaki

— 6 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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Kondoi Beach and Kayaking & Canoeing. MInsah Kogei Museum and Nawa Insect Museum Haimurubushi will appeal to museum buffs. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Ishigaki: Kohama-jima (Ubutaki Lookouts, Kohama Island Information Center, &more), Kuro-shima (Miyazato Beach, Nishinohama, &more) and Nakama-river Protected Region (in Iriomote-jima). Next up on the itinerary: visit a coastal fixture at Cape Hirakubozaki, enjoy breathtaking views from Tamatorizaki Observatory, get outside with Yonehara Beach, and see the interesting displays at Ishigaki City Yaeyama Museum.

To find ratings, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Ishigaki travel planning website.

You can fly from Nagasaki to Ishigaki in 6 hours. When traveling from Nagasaki in January, plan for somewhat warmer days in Ishigaki, with highs around 24°C, while nights are much hotter with lows around 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Thu) early enough to travel to Motobu-cho.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Motobu-cho

— 9 nights
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.
Get some cultural insight at Nakijin Castle Ruins and Native Okinawan Villege. Family-friendly places like Emerald Beach and Okinawa Memorial Park Ocean Expo Park will thrill your kids. Venture out of the city with trips to Ta Waterfall (in Ogimi-son), Nago (Oura Bay, Nago Castle Historical Park, &more) and Kunigami-son (Hiji Waterfall, Aha's Heritiera Littoralis, &more). There's still lots to do: get close to the beloved marine mammals with Motobu Genki Village, enjoy the sand and surf at Sun Marina Beach, examine the collection at Oceanic Culture Museum, and meet the residents at Okinawa Zoo & Museum.

For maps, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Motobu-cho trip itinerary planner.

You can fly from Ishigaki to Motobu-cho in 5.5 hours. Traveling from Ishigaki in January, plan for a bit cooler nights in Motobu-cho, with lows around 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Motobu-cho

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife

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.