56 days in Japan Itinerary

56 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan tour planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Tokyo
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Fukushima
— 2 nights
Drive to Sendai Airport, Fly to Nakashibetsu Airport
3
Shari-cho
— 3 nights
Fly
4
Sapporo
— 2 nights
Fly
5
Nagano
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Ise
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Nachikatsura-cho
— 3 nights
Drive
8
Koya-cho
— 3 nights
Drive
9
Kyoto
— 5 nights
Drive
10
Osaka
— 5 nights
Fly to Kumamoto, Bus to Takachiho-cho
11
Takachiho-cho
— 2 nights
+2
Drive to Kumamoto, Train to Kagoshima Chuo Station, Ferry to Yakushima-cho
12
Yakushima-cho
— 3 nights
Fly
13
Okinawa City
— 3 nights
Fly
14
Ishigaki
— 2 nights
Fly
15
Miyakojima
— 13 nights
Fly

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Tokyo

— 4 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 explore the less-touristy side of things at Katori Jingu Shrine and Fujiko F Fujio Museum. Get some cultural insight at Naritasan Omote Sando and Senso-ji Temple. Explore Tokyo's surroundings by going to Kamakura (Kencho-ji Temple, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, &more), Historic Old Town area in Sawara, Katori (in Katori) and Enoshima Island (in Fujisawa). And it doesn't end there: make a trip to Nezu Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Asakusa Shrine, explore the world behind art at Tokyo National Museum The Heiseikan, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Kyu Iwasakitei Teien.

For where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Tokyo online route planner.

Christchurch, New Zealand to Tokyo is an approximately 17-hour flight. The time zone changes from New Zealand Standard Time (NZST) to Japan Standard Time (JST), which is usually a -3 hour difference. Traveling from Christchurch in August, things will get much warmer in Tokyo: highs are around 36°C and lows about 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) so you can travel to Fukushima.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Spas

Side Trips

Fukushima

— 2 nights
Fukushima is the capital city of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. Kick off your visit on the 1st (Wed): steep yourself in history at Fukushima Inari Shrine. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: admire the natural beauty at Rien no Rose Garden, see the interesting displays at Nishida Memorial Museum, explore the activities along Bikki Numa, appreciate the views at Numajiri Kogen, then take in the awesome beauty at Azuma Mountain Range, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Kasugasan Rinsenji Temple.

For traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Fukushima tour website.

You can drive from Tokyo to Fukushima in 4 hours. Traveling from Tokyo in September, things will get little chillier in Fukushima: highs are around 27°C and lows about 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can travel to Shari-cho.

Things to do in Fukushima

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Museums

Side Trips

Shari-cho

— 3 nights
Tourism in Shari-cho, a small town situated on Hokkaido's eastern tip, flourishes mainly because of its immediate proximity to the Shiretoko World Heritage Site.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Raiun Shrine and Rusa Field House. Discover out-of-the-way places like Shiretoko Goko Lake and Oshin Koshin Falls. Explore Shari-cho's surroundings by going to Teshikaga-cho (Lake Mashu, Mt. Mashu, &more) and Shiretoko Tourist (in Kiyosato-cho). There's much more to do: take in the dramatic scenery at Kamuiwakka Hot Waterfall, take in the dramatic natural features at Godzilla Rock, contemplate the waterfront views at Onnebetsu River, and identify plant and animal life at Shiretoko Peninsula.

To see reviews, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Shari-cho trip planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Fukushima to Shari-cho. While traveling from Fukushima, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Shari-cho, ranging from highs of 22°C to lows of 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to travel to Sapporo.

Things to do in Shari-cho

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trips

Sapporo

— 2 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.
On the 6th (Mon), make a trip to Hokkaido University Former Sapporo Agricultural School and Library. Here are some ideas for day two: steep yourself in history at Sapporo Suwa Shrine, don't miss a visit to Sapporo Clock Tower, take in the spiritual surroundings of Fushimi Inari Shrine, appreciate the extensive heritage of Edwin Dun Memorial Hall, then admire the masterpieces at Sapporo Art Museum, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Sapporo Orthodox Church.

To see traveler tips, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Sapporo online journey builder.

You can fly from Shari-cho to Sapporo in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. September in Sapporo sees daily highs of 23°C and lows of 20°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) early enough to travel to Nagano.

Things to do in Sapporo

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Nature

Side Trip

Nagano

— 2 nights
Near the confluence of the Chikuma and Sai rivers, Nagano combines historic sites with nearby forested alps dotted with shrines.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Thu): take in the dramatic scenery at Kaminaridaki Falls, appreciate the extensive heritage of Kurino Komichi, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Joko-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Togakushi Shrine Hinomikosya, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Togakushi Jinja Hokosha, and finally take an in-depth tour of Togakushi Folk Museum Togakushi Ninja Museum. On the next day, witness the site of a historic battle at Old Battlefield of Kawanakajima, contemplate the long history of Matsushiro, gain insight with Snow Monkey Resorts, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kankeiji Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Zenko-ji Temple, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Zenkoji Sesonin Shakado Temple.

For traveler tips, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Nagano trip tool.

Fly from Sapporo to Nagano in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. While traveling from Sapporo, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Nagano, ranging from highs of 28°C to lows of 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Ise.

Things to do in Nagano

Historic Sites · Tours · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trips

Ise

— 2 nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sat): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Takanomiya, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kazahinominomiya, get engrossed in the history at Jingu Chokokan Museum, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ise Grand Shrine, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Aramatsurinomiya, and finally make a trip to Hinjitsukan. Keep things going the next day: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Asama, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Takinomiya, then examine the collection at Okageza, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Tsukiyomi-no-miya Shrine, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Yamato-hime Shrine.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, use the Ise journey planner.

You can drive from Nagano to Ise in 5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or do a combination of train, tram, and flight. Traveling from Nagano in September, plan for a bit warmer nights in Ise, with lows around 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Nachikatsura-cho.

Things to do in Ise

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Museums

Side Trips

Nachikatsura-cho

— 3 nights
The town of Nachikatsuura-cho wows visitors with its superlative landscape and impressive cultural attractions.
Get outdoors at Nachi Mitaki Falls and Mushikui-iwa. Seigantoji Temple and Kamikura Shrine are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Venture out of the city with trips to Asuka Shrine (in Owase), Kumano (Ubuta Shrine & Daiuma Shrine) and Shingu (Ruins of Shingu Castle, Kamikura Shrine Temizuhachi, &more). There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Hirou Shrine, make a trip to Daimonzaka, take a peaceful walk through Nachi Primeval Forest, and take in the dramatic natural features at Umikongo.

For reviews, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Nachikatsura-cho trip planner.

Traveling by car from Ise to Nachikatsura-cho takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. In September in Nachikatsura-cho, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 27°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Koya-cho.

Things to do in Nachikatsura-cho

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Spas

Side Trips

Koya-cho

— 3 nights
On the 16th (Thu), don't miss a visit to Sanko no Matsu, take in the spiritual surroundings of Saito, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Rokkaku Kyozo, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Jokiin, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Kongobu-ji Temple, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fukuchi-in Temple. On your second day here, explore the different monuments and memorials at Koyasan Okunoin, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Torodo Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Shojoshin-in Temple, and finally take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Koya.

For photos, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, read our Koya-cho trip maker tool.

Drive from Nachikatsura-cho to Koya-cho in 3 hours. September in Koya-cho sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 25°C at night. You will leave for Kyoto on the 18th (Sat).

Things to do in Koya-cho

Historic Sites · Nature · Parks

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 Shimogamo Jinja are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. Get out of town with these interesting Kyoto side-trips: Otsu (Hiyoshi-Taisha Shrine & Enjo-ji Temple). And it doesn't end there: step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, steep yourself in history at Daikaku-ji, and make a trip to Sannenzaka Ninenzaka.

To find traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Kyoto vacation maker.

Traveling by car from Koya-cho to Kyoto takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a train. In September, daytime highs in Kyoto are 33°C, while nighttime lows are 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Thu) so you can drive to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Nature

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Mt. Wakakusa and Nunobiki Falls (Nunobiki-No-Taki). Do some cultural sightseeing at Horyu-ji Temple and Kofuku-ji Temple. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Osaka: Nara (Naramachi Koshino Ie, Toshodai-ji Temple, &more), Tanzan Shrine (in Sakurai) and Asuka-dera Temple (in Asuka-mura). There's lots more to do: step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle, contemplate the long history of Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, explore the galleries of Mint Museum, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Kashihara Jingu.

To find where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, read Osaka trip itinerary maker tool.

Traveling by car from Kyoto to Osaka takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In September in Osaka, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 24°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can travel to Takachiho-cho.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites · Parks · Theme Parks · Nature

Side Trips

Takachiho-cho

— 2 nights
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 29th (Wed): take in the dramatic scenery at Manai Falls, identify plant and animal life at Tokubetsuto Rice Terraces, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kaguraden, then steep yourself in history at Kushifuru Shrine, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Aratate Shrine, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Takachiho Shrine. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 30th (Thu): admire the sheer force of Shiramizu Falls, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kamishikimi Kumanoimasu Shrine, then take in the dramatic scenery at Unokono-taki, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Heitate Shrine, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tosui Shrine.

For where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Takachiho-cho tour planner.

Getting from Osaka to Takachiho-cho by combination of flight and bus takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and taxi; or drive. September in Takachiho-cho sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 23°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Takachiho-cho

Historic Sites · Nature · Parks · Wildlife

Side Trips

Yakushima-cho

— 3 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.
On the 1st (Fri), take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Tachudake, examine the collection at The Yakushima World Heritage Conservation Center, kick back and relax at Isso Beach, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yaku Shrine, then take in breathtaking views at Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Yakushima Shrine. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Mocchomudake, admire the sheer force of Janokuchinotaki Falls, admire the sheer force of Oko no Taki Fall, see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, then explore the ancient world of Ruins of Kosugidani Village, and finally snap pictures at Kosugidani Bridge.

To find photos, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Yakushima-cho trip planner.

You can do a combination of car, train, and ferry from Takachiho-cho to Yakushima-cho in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and flight. Expect a daytime high around 33°C in September, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sun) to allow time to travel to Okinawa City.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Historic Sites

Okinawa City

— 3 nights
Okinawa is the second-largest city in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, following Naha, the capital city. Visit Katsuren Castle Ruins and Amamichu Tomb for their historical value. Explore hidden gems such as Bisezaki and Sefa-Utaki. Explore Okinawa City's surroundings by going to Urasoe (Urasoe Castle Ruins & Minatogawa Stateside Town), Uchima Udun (in Nishihara-cho) and Motobu-cho (Minna Beach & Oceanic Culture Museum). There's still lots to do: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, contemplate the long history of Tomb of Lord Gosamaru, enjoy the sand and surf at Akabaka Beach, and see the vivid underwater world at Sunabe No.1.

For reviews, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Okinawa City day trip planning site.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Yakushima-cho to Okinawa City. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Wed) so you can travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Okinawa City

Outdoors · Historic Sites · Wildlife · Parks

Side Trips

Ishigaki

— 2 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.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Thu): enjoy breathtaking views from Tamatorizaki Observatory, visit a coastal fixture at Cape Hirakubozaki, head outdoors with Nosoko Forest Road, enjoy the sand and surf at Yonehara Beach, then explore the gorgeous colors at Kabira Ishizaki Manta Scramble, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Island Countryside Settlement. Here are some ideas for day two: head into the lower depths with Prime Scuba Ishigaki Diving Center - Day Tour and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Torinji Temple.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Ishigaki trip planner.

Explore your travel options from Okinawa City to Ishigaki with the Route module. In October, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Miyakojima

— 13 nights
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 Yabiji and Aragusuku Beach. Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse and Miyako Shrine will appeal to history buffs. The adventure continues: add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, kick back and relax at Nakanoshima Beach, snap pictures at Irabu Ohashi, and head outdoors with Sunayama Beach.

To find photos, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Miyakojima trip itinerary maker.

You can fly from Ishigaki to Miyakojima in 2.5 hours. In October in Miyakojima, expect temperatures between 33°C during the day and 28°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

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.