17 days in Japan Itinerary

17 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Auckland
Fly:  17 h 45 min
1
Miyakojima
— 2 nights
Fly:  2 h
2
Ishigaki
— 2 nights
Ferry:  1 h
3
Iriomote-jima
— 2 nights
+4
Ferry + Bus + Foot + Fly + Bus:  8 h 45 min
4
Takachiho-cho
— 1 night
+3
Train + Bus + Fly + Taxi:  7 h 15 min
5
Yakushima-cho
— 1 night
+4
Taxi + Fly + Bus + Foot + Train:  6 h 30 min
6
Ise
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
7
Nachikatsura-cho
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  17 h 15 min
End: Auckland

2
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Take a break from the city and head to Yabiji and Scuba & Snorkeling. There's much more to do: take in the pleasant sights at Imugya Marine Garden, kick back and relax at Sunayama Beach, enjoy the sea views from Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse, and get outside with Aragusuku Beach.

To find where to stay, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Miyakojima road trip website.

Auckland, New Zealand to Miyakojima is an approximately 18-hour flight. The time zone changes from New Zealand Standard Time to Japan Standard Time, which is usually a -3 hour difference. Traveling from Auckland in April, expect nights in Miyakojima to be about the same, around 23°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 29°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) early enough to travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Apr 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Yabiji
Yabiji
Scuba & Snorkeling
Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse ©
Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse

2
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.
On the 27th (Mon), kick back and relax at Kondoi Beach, stroll around Banna Park, then enjoy the sand and surf at Yonehara Beach, then visit a coastal fixture at Cape Hirakubozaki, and finally take in panoramic vistas at Tamatorizaki Observatory. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 28th (Tue): take in the pleasant sights at Cape Ongazaki, then walk around Kabira Park, and then see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

Before you visit Ishigaki, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Fly from Miyakojima to Ishigaki in 2 hours. In April, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Tue) early enough to catch the ferry to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Kondoi Beach
Find places to stay Apr 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Scuba & Snorkeling
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach

2
nights
Iriomote-jima

Iriomote-jima ©
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Wed): get outside with Ida no Hama Beach, then head off the coast to Iriomote Island, and then get interesting insight from Tours. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 30th (Thu): add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, kick back and relax at Hoshisuna Beach, then take in the dramatic scenery at Pinaisara Falls, and finally admire the sheer force of Kanpiree Waterfall.

For reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Iriomote-jima travel route tool.

Getting from Ishigaki to Iriomote-jima by ferry takes about an hour. Expect a daytime high around 30°C in April, and nighttime lows around 24°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Thu) so you can travel to Takachiho-cho.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Apr 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Pinaisara Falls ©
Pinaisara Falls
Hoshisuna Beach ©
Hoshisuna Beach
Iriomote Island ©
Iriomote Island

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Fri): take in the dramatic scenery at Manai Falls, then explore the stunning scenery at Takachiho Gorge, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Takachiho Shrine. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: make a trip to Shirakawa Springs, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Kunimigaoka, then take in the pleasant sights at Amano Yasugawara, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Amano Iwato Shrine.

To find photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Takachiho-cho trip planning app.

You can do a combination of ferry and flight from Iriomote-jima to Takachiho-cho in 9 hours. Other options are to do a combination of ferry, flight, and bus; or do a combination of ferry, flight, and train. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Iriomote-jima in May, with highs in Takachiho-cho at 29°C and lows at 17°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sat) early enough to travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Takachiho-cho

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trip

Shirakawa Springs
Find places to stay Apr 30 — May 2:
Highlights from your plan
Takachiho Gorge ©
Takachiho Gorge
Manai Falls ©
Manai Falls
Kunimigaoka ©
Kunimigaoka

1
night
Yakushima-cho

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.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Sun): make a trip to Wilson Stump, then take in breathtaking views at Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley, and then don't miss a visit to Taikoiwa. On the next day, hike along Yakusugi Land.

For reviews, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Yakushima-cho trip planner.

You can do a combination of train, flight, and taxi from Takachiho-cho to Yakushima-cho in 7.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi. In May, daily temperatures in Yakushima-cho can reach 28°C, while at night they dip to 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Mon) so you can travel to Ise.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Parks Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay May 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley ©
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley
Yakusugi Land ©
Yakusugi Land
Taikoiwa ©
Taikoiwa

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.
On the 5th (Tue), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Meotoiwa, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Futami Okitama Shrine, steep yourself in history at Oharai-machi, take in the spiritual surroundings of Sarutahiko Shrine, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Ise Shrine Geku, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Tsukiyominomiya. Keep things going the next day: get engrossed in the history at Sengukan, then observe the fascinating underwater world at Toba Aquarium, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Shinmei Shrine, and finally enjoy breathtaking views from Mt. Yokoyama Observation Deck.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Ise trip planner.

You can do a combination of taxi, flight, and train from Yakushima-cho to Ise in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, ferry, flight, and train; or do a combination of taxi, ferry, and train. In May in Ise, expect temperatures between 25°C during the day and 22°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Wed) early enough to drive to Nachikatsura-cho.

Things to do in Ise

Historic Sites Parks Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Toba, Mt. Yokoyama Observation Deck
Find places to stay May 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Tsukiyominomiya ©
Tsukiyominomiya
Sarutahiko Shrine ©
Sarutahiko Shrine
Futami Okitama Shrine ©
Futami Okitama Shrine

3
nights
Nachikatsura-cho

Nachikatsura-cho ©
The town of Nachikatsuura-cho wows visitors with its superlative landscape and impressive cultural attractions.
On the 7th (Thu), take in the spiritual surroundings of Hirou Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kumano Nachi Taisha, take in the dramatic scenery at Nachi Mitaki Falls, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kumano Hayatama Taisha, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kamikura Shrine. Keep things going the next day: look for all kinds of wild species at Kushima-Suzushima, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Seigantoji Temple, then don't miss a visit to Daimonzaka, and finally explore the striking landscape at Hashigui Rock.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Nachikatsura-cho trip planning site.

Traveling by car from Ise to Nachikatsura-cho takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. May in Nachikatsura-cho sees daily highs of 27°C and lows of 22°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Nachikatsura-cho

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Shingu, Hashigui Rock
Find places to stay May 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Kamikura Shrine ©
Kamikura Shrine
Hirou Shrine ©
Hirou Shrine
Kumano Hayatama Taisha ©
Kumano Hayatama Taisha

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