19 days in Japan & Hong Kong Itinerary

19 days in Japan & Hong Kong Itinerary

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Route & dates

Start: Chicago, United States
Fly + Train:  17 h 30 min
1
Kyoto, Japan
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
2
Takayama, Japan
— 2 nights
Train:  5 h 30 min
3
Matsue, Japan
— 1 night
Fly:  7 h 30 min
4
Miyakojima, Japan
— 2 nights
Ferry:  4 h
5
Iriomote-jima, Japan
— 2 nights
Ferry:  1 h
6
Ishigaki, Japan
— 2 nights
Fly:  5 h 30 min
7
Hong Kong, China
— 1 night
Fly:  7 h 15 min
8
Tokyo, Japan
— 2 nights
Fly:  15 h 15 min
End: Chicago, United States

2
nights
Kyoto, Japan

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.
On the 22nd (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: examine the collection at Kyoto Railway Museum, thensee the interesting displays at Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda, and then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Kurama.

For more things to do, maps, reviews, and tourist information, read Kyoto day trip site.

Chicago, USA to Kyoto is an approximately 17.5-hour combination of flight and train. You can also fly. Traveling from Chicago to Kyoto, you'll lose 15 hours due to the time zone difference. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Chicago in November; daily highs in Kyoto reach 62°F and lows reach 48°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sat) early enough to drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Kyoto

Museums Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Nantan, Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda, Wakasa History Museum
Find places to stay Nov 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda ©
Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda
Kyoto Railway Museum ©
Kyoto Railway Museum
Mt. Kurama ©
Mt. Kurama

2
nights
Takayama, Japan

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.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Sun): take a stroll through Sanmachi Suji, thensteep yourself in history at Takayama Jinya, thenbrowse the exhibits of Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato), and finally take an in-depth tour of Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the masterpieces at Hineno Museum & Cafe, appreciate the extensive heritage of Higashiyama Walking Course, thenindulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area, and finally admire the masterpieces at Furui Machinami Museum Kiyoshi Yamashita Gengaten.

To find more things to do, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Takayama road trip planning site.

Traveling by car from Kyoto to Takayama takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In November in Takayama, expect temperatures between 58°F during the day and 46°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Matsue.

Things to do in Takayama

Museums Wineries Tours

Side Trips

Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, Hineno Museum & Cafe
Find places to stay Nov 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato) ©
Higashiyama Walking Course ©
Higashiyama Walking Course
Sanmachi Suji ©
Sanmachi Suji

1
night
Matsue, Japan

Matsue ©
Matsue sits on the banks of the Ohashi-gawa river, channeling its waters through a series of canals and rivers that add much to the scenic aspect of the urban area.
On the 26th (Tue), step into the grandiose world of Matsue Castle, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, explore the world behind art at Adachi Museum of Art, thentake in the spiritual surroundings of Kamosu Shrine, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yaegaki Shrine. On the 27th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: steep yourself in history at Former Taisha Station, thencontemplate in the serene atmosphere at Izumo Taisha Shrine, thenkick back and relax at Inasa Beach, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Tamatsukuriyu Shrine.

To see other places to visit, photos, maps, and other tourist information, read our Matsue tour planner.

You can take a train from Takayama to Matsue in 6 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train, bus, and flight; or drive. November in Matsue sees daily highs of 60°F and lows of 47°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Matsue

Historic Sites Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Izumo, Yasugi
Find places to stay Nov 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Matsue Castle ©
Matsue Castle
Adachi Museum of Art ©
Adachi Museum of Art
Yaegaki Shrine ©
Yaegaki Shrine

2
nights
Miyakojima, Japan

Miyakojima ©
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Yonaha Maehama Beach and Sunayama Beach. Get in touch with nature at Scuba & Snorkeling and Yabiji. There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at Aragusuku Beach, get outside with Hora Gyoko no Hama Beach, take in the views from Kurima Bridge, and make a trip to Boraga Limestone Cave.

For ratings, photos, and tourist information, read our Miyakojima trip planner.

Getting from Matsue to Miyakojima by flight takes about 9 hours. Traveling from Matsue in November, you will find days in Miyakojima are a bit warmer (78°F), and nights are warmer (70°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sat) so you can ride a ferry to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Nov 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Yonaha Maehama Beach ©
Yonaha Maehama Beach
Yabiji
Yabiji
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach

2
nights
Iriomote-jima, Japan

Iriomote-jima ©
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
On the 1st (Sun), scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, thenadmire the sheer force of Nara no Taki Falls, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Mizuochi Falls. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: step off the mainland to explore Iriomote Island and then identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas.

To see other places to visit and more tourist information, go to the Iriomote-jima online sightseeing planner.

You can ride a ferry from Miyakojima to Iriomote-jima in 5 hours. In November, daily temperatures in Iriomote-jima can reach 80°F, while at night they dip to 71°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Mon) to allow enough time to ride a ferry to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Tours Outdoors Nature
Find places to stay Nov 30 — Dec 2:
Highlights from your plan
Iriomote Island ©
Iriomote Island
Mizuochi Falls ©
Mizuochi Falls

2
nights
Ishigaki, Japan

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.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Tue): get outside with Yonehara Beach, thenget outside with Cape Hirakubozaki, and then take in panoramic vistas at Tamatorizaki Observatory. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 4th (Wed): find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, thenget outside with Kondoi Beach, and then take in the waterfront at Nishi Pier.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Ishigaki trip planner.

Traveling by ferry from Iriomote-jima to Ishigaki takes 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 72°F in December, and nighttime lows around 64°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) early enough to travel to Hong Kong.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trip

Taketomi-cho
Find places to stay Dec 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach

1
night
Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong ©
Witness the vibrant skyline of Hong Kong, an impressive urban territory on the southern coast of China.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Thu): take in panoramic vistas at Victoria Peak (The Peak), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple, thenget engrossed in the history at Hong Kong Museum of History, and finally don't miss a visit to Hong Kong Skyline.

To find ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Hong Kong tour app.

You can fly from Ishigaki to Hong Kong in 5 hours. The time zone changes from Japan Standard Time (JST) to Hong Kong Standard Time (HKT), which is usually a -1 hour difference. In December, daytime highs in Hong Kong are 70°F, while nighttime lows are 61°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Thu) early enough to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Hong Kong

Museums Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Victoria Peak (The Peak) ©
Victoria Peak (The Peak)
Hong Kong Museum of History ©
Hong Kong Museum of History
Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple ©
Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple

2
nights
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo ©
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.
On the 6th (Fri), take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Takao and then take a stroll through Ueno District. Here are some ideas for day two: kick back and relax at Odaiba Kaihin Koen (Odaiba Seaside Park), thenhead off the coast to Enoshima Island, and then see the interesting displays at Samurai Museum.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Tokyo trip website.

You can fly from Hong Kong to Tokyo in 7 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train, ferry, and bus; or do a combination of train and ferry. The time zone difference moving from Hong Kong Standard Time to Japan Standard Time is 1 hour. Traveling from Hong Kong in December, you will find days in Tokyo are slightly colder (54°F), and nights are colder (39°F). Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 8th (Sun) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks Nature Beaches

Side Trips

Mt. Takao, Enoshima Island
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Mt. Takao ©
Mt. Takao
Samurai Museum ©
Samurai Museum
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple

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