34 days in Japan Itinerary

34 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Asia route maker

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Osaka
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Tottori
— 4 nights
Drive
3
Kyoto
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Kanazawa
— 4 nights
Train
5
Tokyo
— 4 nights
Fly
6
Furano
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Niseko-cho
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Otaru
— 3 nights
Drive
9
Sapporo
— 5 nights
Fly to Naha Airport, Drive to Okinawa City
10
Okinawa City
— 4 nights
+2
Drive to Naha Airport, Fly to Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport, Drive to Hong Kong

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Osaka

— 3 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.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Sun): examine the collection at Osaka Shiritsu Toyo Toji Museum and then find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan. On the 18th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, then wander the streets of Dotombori District, and finally make a trip to Kuromon Market.

To find where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Osaka trip itinerary planner.

Hong Kong, China to Osaka is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and ferry; or do a combination of car and ferry. The time zone difference moving from Hong Kong Standard Time (HKT) to Japan Standard Time (JST) is 1 hour. When traveling from Hong Kong in December, plan for a bit cooler days and cooler nights in Osaka: temperatures range from 13°C by day to 4°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Tottori.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks · Historic Sites · Parks · Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 19:

Tottori

— 4 nights
A highlight of the west of the country, Tottori sits along the coast of the Sea of Japan.
Kids will enjoy Matsue Castle and Uradome Seacoast Marine Park. Venture out of the city with trips to Yasugi (Gassan Toda castle & Adachi Museum of Art), Matsue (Former Yakumo Koizumi Residence & Buke Yashiki) and Onsen Resorts (in Yonago). Next up on the itinerary: take in the dramatic natural features at Tottori Sand Dunes, make a trip to Ube Shrine, examine the collection at Tottori Karo Kanikkokan, and explore the world behind art at The Sand Museum.

To see ratings, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Tottori trip planner.

Traveling by car from Osaka to Tottori takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 11°C in December, and nighttime lows around 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Tottori

Historic Sites · Parks · Outdoors · Museums

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 19 — 23:

Kyoto

— 2 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.
On the 24th (Sun), steep yourself in history at Sanjusangendo Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, and then steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple. On the 25th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stop by Gion, then explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Kinkaku-ji, and finally stop by Horando, Togetsukyo Honten.

For reviews, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Kyoto driving holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Tottori to Kyoto takes 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 25th (Mon) so you can go by car to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 25:

Kanazawa

— 4 nights
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Explore Kanazawa's surroundings by going to Shirakawa-mura (Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, Wada House, &more). Next up on the itinerary: admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, make a trip to Kanazawa Station, step into the grandiose world of Kanazawa Castle, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Ninja Temple.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Kanazawa using our trip planner.

You can drive from Kyoto to Kanazawa in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Kanazawa can reach 11°C, while at night they dip to 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Fri) so you can travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 25 — 29:

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.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Tower. Change things up with these side-trips from Tokyo: Maihama (Tokyo DisneySea & Ikspiari). There's lots more to do: don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine, walk around Ueno Park, have some family-friendly fun at Owl Cafe Akiba Fukurou, and get engrossed in the history at Edo-Tokyo Museum.

To find where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, read Tokyo trip planner.

Traveling by train from Kanazawa to Tokyo takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In December, daily temperatures in Tokyo can reach 14°C, while at night they dip to 4°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Tue) early enough to travel to Furano.

Things to do in Tokyo

Theme Parks · Parks · Museums · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 2:

Furano

— 2 nights
Situated in the center of the island, Furano has become known for its idyllic rural landscape, and the drastic changes it experiences as seasons shift.
On the 3rd (Wed), stop by Furano Marche, don't miss a visit to Ningle Terrace, then hit the slopes at Furano Ski Resort, then soak in some Japanese tradition at Furano Onsen Shisainoyu, and finally examine the collection at Furabi. On your second day here, visit Seven Stars Tree, head outdoors with Patchwork no Michi, take in nature's colorful creations at Shikisai no Oka, then admire the sheer force of Shirahige Falls, and finally identify plant and animal life at Shirogane Blue Pond.

To see ratings, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read our Furano travel route planner.

Fly from Tokyo to Furano in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Traveling from Tokyo in January, things will get much colder in Furano: highs are around -5°C and lows about -13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Thu) early enough to travel to Niseko-cho.

Things to do in Furano

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Shopping

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 2 — 4:

Niseko-cho

— 2 nights

Mt. Fuji of Hokkaido

Ranking as the most popular ski resort in Hokkaido, mountaintop Niseko-cho boasts great slopes and surprisingly vibrant nightlife.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Fri): trot along with a tour on horseback, hit the slopes at Niseko Village Ski Resort, get outside with Niseko Annupuri, then fly down the slopes at Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area, then indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at Niseko Goshiki Onsenkyo, and finally explore the ancient world of Soga Hokuei Stone Circle. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 6th (Sat): head outdoors with Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu Ski Place and then get outside with Hokkaido Backcountry Club.

To see where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Niseko-cho route planning tool.

Traveling by car from Furano to Niseko-cho takes 4 hours. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Furano in January: high temperatures in Niseko-cho hover around 0°C and lows are around -4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Otaru.

Things to do in Niseko-cho

Outdoors · Parks · Winter Sports · Baths

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 4 — 6:

Otaru

— 3 nights

Town of Hills

The port city of Otaru has long attracted domestic visitors, drawn in by the city's many historic buildings, and has started to garner international attention, too.
Family-friendly places like Otaru Canal and Kiroro Snow World will thrill your kids. There's lots more to do: observe the fascinating underwater world at Otaru Aquarium, contemplate the long history of The Site of Temiya Line, don't miss a visit to JR Otaru Station, and examine the collection at Otaru Museum, Bank of Japan.

To find photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Otaru journey builder app.

You can drive from Niseko-cho to Otaru in 1.5 hours. When traveling from Niseko-cho in January, plan for slightly colder days in Otaru, with highs around -3°C, while nights are about the same with lows around -6°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Sapporo.

Things to do in Otaru

Parks · Outdoors · Winter Sports · Shopping

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 6 — 9:

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.
Kids will enjoy Odori Park and Shiroi Koibito Park. Next up on the itinerary: get engrossed in the history at Historical Village of Hokkaido (Kaitaku-no Mura), see the interesting displays at Sapporo Beer Museum, get great views at Mt. Moiwa, and get to know the resident critters at Maruyama Zoo.

To see reviews, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Sapporo trip itinerary builder tool.

Traveling by car from Otaru to Sapporo takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In January, daytime highs in Sapporo are -3°C, while nighttime lows are -6°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Okinawa City.

Things to do in Sapporo

Parks · Museums · Historic Sites · Theme Parks
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 14:

Okinawa City

— 4 nights
Okinawa is the second-largest city in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, following Naha, the capital city. Family-friendly places like Cape Manzamo and American Village will thrill your kids. Change things up with these side-trips from Okinawa City: Nanjo (Cape Chinen Park, Sefa-Utaki, &more) and Onna-son (Manza Beach & Scuba & Snorkeling). There's much more to do: learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Okinawa Zoo & Museum, shop like a local with Gallery Kiya, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Awase Shrine, and take in panoramic vistas at Okinawa City Hall Observation Decks.

To see ratings, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Okinawa City vacation planner.

Explore your travel options from Sapporo to Okinawa City with the Route module. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 18th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Okinawa City

Parks · Historic Sites · Outdoors · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 14 — 18:

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.

Hokkaido travel guide

4
Bodies of Water · Landmarks · Parks
The northernmost of Japan's big four islands, Hokkaido seems a world apart from the rest of the country, with nearly a quarter of its total land area and only five percent of the population. To the Japanese, this island is synonymous with photogenic mountains and abundant wildlife. To most foreign visitors, a vacation in Hokkaido means exploring an area reminiscent of northern Europe, abundant in waterfalls, hot springs, volcanoes, mossy canyons, and peaceful lakes. Hokkaido also boasts the world's longest railway tunnel, the only land connection between this and Japan's main island Honshu.