52 days in Japan Itinerary

52 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip maker

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Naha
— 5 nights
Drive
2
Motobu-cho
— 4 nights
Fly
3
Ishigaki
— 6 nights
Fly
4
Nagasaki
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Sasebo
— 3 nights
Train
6
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
Train
7
Osaka
— 5 nights
Drive
8
Kyoto
— 6 nights
Train
9
Nagoya
— 4 nights
Drive
10
Kanazawa
— 2 nights
Fly
11
Sapporo
— 4 nights
Fly
12
Tokyo
— 8 nights
Fly

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Naha

— 5 nights

Capital of the Ryukyu Kingdom

Naha, the capital of Okinawa, has deep roots: Stone Age relics have been found in the city, and through the Middle Ages it rose in importance in the Ryukyu Kingdom.
To see other places to visit, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, read Naha tour itinerary planner.

Adelaide, Australia to Naha is an approximately 17-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Adelaide to Naha is minus 0.5 hours. When traveling from Adelaide in December, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Naha: temperatures range from 24°C by day to 19°C at night. On the 13th (Wed), you'll travel to Motobu-cho.

Things to do in Naha

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Shopping

Motobu-cho

— 4 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.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Okuma Beach and Vegetation of Tanagagumui. Explore hidden gems such as Emerald Beach and Oceanic Culture Museum. Get out of town with these interesting Motobu-cho side-trips: Kunigami-son (Fungawa Dam, Gallirallus Okinawae Learning Center, &more) and Tokei Beach (in Nakijin-son). There's lots more to do: go for a walk through Bise no Fukugi Tree Road, kick back and relax at Minna Beach, take an in-depth tour of Native Okinawan Villege, and head outdoors with Mt. Yaedake.

To find photos, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Motobu-cho holiday planner.

You can drive from Naha to Motobu-cho in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or ride a ferry. Traveling from Naha in December, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Motobu-cho, with lows of 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) so you can travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Motobu-cho

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Museums

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.
Get some cultural insight at Cape Hirakubozaki and Island Countryside Settlement. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Kondoi Beach and Nakama-river Protected Region. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Ishigaki: Kohama-jima (Kubazaki Beach, Hama-jima Island (The Phantom Island), &more), Kuro-shima (Iko Pier, Nakamoto Beach, &more) and Iriomote-jima (Kayaking & Canoeing, Kanpiree Waterfall, &more). The adventure continues: Head underground at Ishigaki Island Limestone Cave, don't miss a visit to Rhizophoraceae Plant Community of Fukidogawa River, enjoy breathtaking views from Tamatorizaki Observatory, and see the interesting displays at MInsah Kogei Museum.

To find maps, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, read Ishigaki road trip website.

Getting from Motobu-cho to Ishigaki by flight takes about 5.5 hours. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Motobu-cho in December since evenings lows in Ishigaki dip to 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sat) early enough to travel to Nagasaki.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Nagasaki

— 2 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.
On the 24th (Sun), contemplate the long history of Suwa Shrine, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Catholic Nakamachi Church, take an in-depth tour of 26 Martyrs Museum, then steep yourself in history at Nagasaki Peace Park, then contemplate the long history of Nyokodo, Nagai Takashi Museum, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Urakami Cathedral. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 25th (Mon): stroll around Nabekanmuriyama Park, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Inasa, enjoy breathtaking views from Inasayama Observation Deck, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Ono Church, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Shitsu Church, and finally see the interesting displays at Endo Shusaku Literary Museum.

To find reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, read Nagasaki tour itinerary app.

Fly from Ishigaki to Nagasaki in 6 hours. When traveling from Ishigaki in December, plan for little chillier days and colder nights in Nagasaki: temperatures range from 13°C by day to 7°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Sasebo.

Things to do in Nagasaki

Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Wildlife

Sasebo

— 3 nights
With its U.S.
Get a sense of the local culture at Francisco de Xavier Memorial Church and Temple and the Church Scenery. Step off the beaten path and head to Nijino Matsubara and Himosashi Church. Get out of town with these interesting Sasebo side-trips: Hirado (Hitotsuku Beach, Neshiko Beach, &more), Hasami-cho (Onigitanada & Togo Nakaoyama) and Arita Townscape (in Arita-cho). The adventure continues: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kōden-ji Temple, admire the landmark architecture of Sagajo Park, contemplate the long history of Former Sasebo Chinjufugaisen Memorial Hall, and Head underground at Mukyudo.

To see photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Sasebo attractions planner.

Drive from Nagasaki to Sasebo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In December, plan for daily highs up to 13°C, and evening lows to 7°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Thu) early enough to catch the train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Sasebo

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

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.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Fri): appreciate the history behind Peace Bell, steep yourself in history at Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, pause for some photo ops at Peace Flame, contemplate the waterfront views at Motoyasu River, then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and finally contemplate the long history of Atomic Bomb Dome. On the next day, take in the spiritual surroundings of Saiwai Shrine, contemplate the long history of Itsukushima Shrine, take a peaceful walk through Misen Wild Woods, take in the spiritual surroundings of Senjokaku, then look for all kinds of wild species at Shiraito River, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Imaise Shrine.

Plan my Hiroshima trip by asking Inspirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Traveling by train from Sasebo to Hiroshima takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. December in Hiroshima sees daily highs of 13°C and lows of 4°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sat) so you can travel to Osaka.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites · Wildlife · Adventure · Tours

Side Trip

Osaka

— 5 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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Horyu-ji Temple and Toshodai-ji Temple. Visit Kongobu-ji Temple and Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine for their historical value. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Osaka: Nara (Nigatsu-do Temple, Nara Park, &more), Mino (Minoo Park & Waterfall of Mino) and Koya-cho (Rokuji-no Kane, Mt. Koya, &more). Next up on the itinerary: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Omiwa Shrine, find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan, admire the sheer force of Nunobiki Falls (Nunobiki-No-Taki), and visit Dotombori District.

For traveler tips, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Osaka trip planner.

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Osaka takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and flight. Expect a daytime high around 13°C in December, and nighttime lows around 4°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Thu) so you can go by car to Kyoto.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Neighborhoods

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.
Escape the urban bustle at Mt. Kurama and Hero Tour Japan. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Kyoto Gyoen National Garden and Shimogamo Jinja. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Kyoto: Otsu (Nango Suisan Center & Hiyoshi-Taisha Shrine), Uji (Byodo-in Temple Museum Hoshokan, Mimurotoji Temple, &more) and Iwashimizu Hachimangu (in Yawata). There's still lots to do: don't miss a visit to Kiyomizu-dera Temple, take a stroll through Gion, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, and steep yourself in history at Kifune Shrine.

To find reviews, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Kyoto trip planning tool.

Getting from Osaka to Kyoto by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. In January, daytime highs in Kyoto are 10°C, while nighttime lows are 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Wed) so you can take a train to Nagoya.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Nagoya

— 4 nights
Known nationally as an industrial heartland, Nagoya boasts a far more cosmopolitan and cultural core than its reputation would lead you to believe.
Ise Shrine Geku and Tsukiyominomiya are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Atsuta Jingu Shrine and Yamato-hime Shrine. Change things up with these side-trips from Nagoya: Inuyama (Daisyoji Temple & Oagata Shrine) and Ise (Kazahinominomiya, Ise Grand Shrine, &more). There's much more to do: see the interesting displays at Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, take a stroll through Sakae, engage your brain at Nagoya City Science Museum, and make a trip to Osu Shopping Street.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Nagoya holiday planner.

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Nagoya takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Kyoto in January, expect nights in Nagoya to be about the same, around 1°C, while days are slightly colder, around 7°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sun) so you can go by car to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Nagoya

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Kanazawa

— 2 nights
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Mon): take in the spiritual surroundings of Oyama Shrine, step into the grandiose world of Kanazawa Castle, take in the spiritual surroundings of Fudosonkorin Temple, then examine the collection at Dolls Museum, then explore the world behind art at Kanazawa Noh Museum, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Shirayama Hime Shrine. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of Myosho-ji Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Honko-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Encho-ji Temple, wander the streets of Higashichaya Old Town, then steep yourself in history at Shima, and finally examine the collection at Kanazawa Phonograph Museum.

To see more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read our Kanazawa attractions planner.

You can drive from Nagoya to Kanazawa in 3 hours. Other options are to take a train; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 7°C in January, and nighttime lows around 0°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Sapporo.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Wildlife

Side Trips

Sapporo

— 4 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.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Rusutsu Resort Ski and Fushimi Inari Shrine. Get some cultural insight at Hokkaido Jingu and Susukino. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Sapporo: Tarumae Garo (in Tomakomai), Rusutsu Resort Amusement Park (in Rusutsu-mura) and Kagaminuma (in Kutchan-cho). Next up on the itinerary: fly down the slopes at Sapporo Teine, get outside with Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort, boost your wellbeing at a local thermal spa, and contemplate the long history of Sapporo Clock Tower.

For where to stay, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Sapporo trip itinerary planner.

You can fly from Kanazawa to Sapporo in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. In January, Sapporo is a bit cooler than Kanazawa - with highs of -3°C and lows of -6°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sat) so you can travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Sapporo

Parks · Winter Sports · Outdoors · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Tokyo

— 8 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.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Kiunkaku and Senso-ji Temple. You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Hozomon and Arakura Fuji Sengen Jinja. Explore Tokyo's surroundings by going to Kashima Jingu (in Kashima), Katori (Katori Jingu Shrine & Yasaka Shrine) and Naritasan Omote Sando (in Narita). There's still lots to do: indulge in some personalized pampering at Waho-An NATURE Tokyo, enjoy the sea views from Enoshima Sea Candle, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Jinja Shrine, and contemplate the long history of Kencho-ji Temple.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Tokyo trip itinerary builder tool.

You can fly from Sapporo to Tokyo in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. When traveling from Sapporo in January, plan for much warmer days and somewhat warmer nights in Tokyo: temperatures range from 11°C by day to 1°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · 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.