21 days in Japan Itinerary

21 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan tour planner
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Make it your trip
Fly to Kansai International Airport, Drive to Nachikatsura-cho
1
Nachikatsura-cho
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Hakuba-mura
— 3 nights
Fly
3
Ibusuki
— 2 nights
Fly to Ishigaki, Ferry to Iriomote-jima
4
Iriomote-jima
— 2 nights
Ferry
5
Ishigaki
— 3 nights
Fly
6
Miyakojima
— 3 nights
Fly to Okinawa, Bus to Nanjo
7
Nanjo
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Kunigami-son
— 1 night
Drive
9
Motobu-cho
— 2 nights
Bus to Furujima Station, Fly to Auckland

S M T W T F S
25
26
27
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29
30
31
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10
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12
13
14

Nachikatsura-cho — 2 nights

The town of Nachikatsuura-cho wows visitors with its superlative landscape and impressive cultural attractions.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Mon): admire the landmark architecture of Seiganto-ji Temple Sammon, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kumano Nachi Taisha, take in the spiritual surroundings of Seiganto-ji Temple, then take an in-depth tour of Ota Town Ishigaki Memorial Hall, then see the interesting displays at Taiji Whale Museum, and finally examine the collection at Hiromitsu Ochiai Baseball Hall. On the next day, see the interesting displays at Sato Haruo Memoria Museum, make a trip to Kumano Hayatama Taisha Oshimboku Nagi, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Kumano Hayatama Taisha, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fudarakusanji Temple.

For ratings, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Nachikatsura-cho trip planning tool.

Auckland, New Zealand to Nachikatsura-cho is an approximately 17.5-hour combination of flight and car. You'll gain 3 hours traveling from Auckland to Nachikatsura-cho due to the time zone difference. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Auckland in December: high temperatures in Nachikatsura-cho hover around 14°C and lows are around 8°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Tue) so you can go by car to Hakuba-mura.
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Historic Sites · Museums
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 27:

Hakuba-mura — 3 nights

Skiing enthusiasts traveling in Japan should consider a trip to Hakuba-mura: tucked away in the Northern Alps, this village hosted several competitions during the Nagano 1998 Winter Olympics.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Hakuba and Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum Higashiyama Kaii Gallery. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Yawataya Isogoro Honten and Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort / Alpine Garden. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Hakuba-mura: Nagano (Zenko-ji Temple & Daihonzan Daihongan). The adventure continues: hit the slopes at Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park, get great views at Hakuba Mountain Harbor, get outside with Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort, and soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

For where to stay, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Hakuba-mura trip builder site.

You can drive from Nachikatsura-cho to Hakuba-mura in 6.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or do a combination of train, bus, flight, tram, and shuttle. Traveling from Nachikatsura-cho in December, expect Hakuba-mura to be slightly colder, temps between 7°C and 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Fri) early enough to fly to Ibusuki.
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Parks · Winter Sports · Outdoors · Spas
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 30:

Ibusuki — 2 nights

A coastal place of relaxation, Ibusuki stands as a hot spring resort on the southern tip of the peninsula.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Sat): examine the collection at Hotarukan Tomiyashokudo, get to know the fascinating history of Chiran Heiwa Park, then learn about all things military at Chiran Peace Museum, then stop by Michi-no-Eki Iokaido, and finally see the interesting displays at Satsuma Denshokan. Here are some ideas for day two: contemplate the long history of Chiran Samurai Residence Garden, then make a trip to Former Takaki Family Residence, and then see the interesting displays at Satsuma Eikokukan.

To see more things to do, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Ibusuki road trip app.

Traveling by flight from Hakuba-mura to Ibusuki takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, train, tram, and flight; or drive. In December, Ibusuki is somewhat warmer than Hakuba-mura - with highs of 14°C and lows of 10°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sun) so you can travel to Iriomote-jima.
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Museums · Historic Sites · Parks · Shopping
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 1:

Iriomote-jima — 2 nights

Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
On the 2nd (Mon), admire the sheer force of Nara no Taki Falls, go deep underground at Utara Tanko, enjoy the sand and surf at Ida no Hama Beach, then look for all kinds of wild species at Amitori Asaba, and finally take in the pleasant sights at Ruins of Amitory Village. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: step off the mainland to explore Iriomote Island, scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, look for all kinds of wild species at Nakama-river Protected Region, then steep yourself in history at Wasurenaishi, and finally get outside with Iriomotejima Kaigetsu.

For where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, read Iriomote-jima trip itinerary planning website.

Getting from Ibusuki to Iriomote-jima by combination of flight and ferry takes about 6.5 hours. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Ibusuki in January; daily highs in Iriomote-jima reach 24°C and lows reach 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Tue) to allow enough time to ride a ferry to Ishigaki.
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Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 3:

Ishigaki — 3 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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Island Countryside Settlement and Tojinbaka. Your inner history buff will appreciate Torinji Temple and Gongen-do Temple. Explore Ishigaki's surroundings by going to Kohama-jima (Nawa Insect Museum Haimurubushi, Ubutaki Lookouts, &more). And it doesn't end there: take an in-depth tour of Ishigaki Yaima Village, make a trip to Rhizophoraceae Plant Community of Fukidogawa River, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Nosoko Mape, and enjoy the sea views from Cape Hirakubozaki.

To find reviews and other tourist information, you can read our Ishigaki trip planner.

Getting from Iriomote-jima to Ishigaki by ferry takes about 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 24°C in January, and nighttime lows around 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Fri) early enough to fly to Miyakojima.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Shopping
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 6:

Miyakojima — 3 nights

A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Yukishio Museum and Sabaoki Park Observatory Facility. Museum-lovers will get to explore Underground Dam Museum and Miyakojima Sea Treasure Museum. And it doesn't end there: browse the eclectic array of goods at Atarasu Ichiba, take in the spiritual surroundings of Ammama Utaki, contemplate the long history of Uibya Mountain Site, and explore the different monuments and memorials at Nakasone Toyumya Tomb.

For reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Miyakojima trip planner.

Getting from Ishigaki to Miyakojima by flight takes about 2.5 hours. In January, plan for daily highs up to 24°C, and evening lows to 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to travel to Nanjo.
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Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 9:

Nanjo — 2 nights

With a long Pacific coastline, Nanjo offers fantastic views of the ocean from high cliffs covered with lush greenery, as well as from its long sandy beaches.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Tue): admire the verdant scenery at Valley of Gangala, witness the site of a historic battle at Mabuni Hill, appreciate the extensive heritage of Okinawa Peace Memorial Park, hunt for treasures at Ojima Imaiyu Market, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Okannundo Temple, and finally steep yourself in history at Tamagusuku Castle Ruin. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 11th (Wed): take in the spiritual surroundings of Chuohana, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kudakajima Yohaijo, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sangui, see the interesting displays at Okinawa Prefecture Karate Museum, then steep yourself in history at Urasoe Castle Ruins, and finally see the interesting displays at Haebaru Town Museum.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Nanjo trip planner.

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Miyakojima to Nanjo in 3.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in January, and nighttime lows around 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) so you can go by car to Kunigami-son.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Shopping
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 11:

Kunigami-son — 1 night

Although the village of Kunigami-son spreads across a large area, it remains sparsely populated, with lots of wild land protected from development.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Thu): look for all kinds of wild species at Vegetation of Tanagagumui, admire the engineering at Fungawa Dam, stop by Hiro Coffee Farm, then see the interesting displays at Yambaru Wildlife Center Ufugi Nature Museum, then get great views at Cape Hedo, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Okushuraku.

To see ratings, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Kunigami-son road trip site.

You can drive from Nanjo to Kunigami-son in 2 hours. Traveling from Nanjo in January, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Kunigami-son, with lows of 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Motobu-cho.
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Parks · Shopping · Wildlife · Museums
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 12:

Motobu-cho — 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Fri): take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Yaedake, get engrossed in the history at Native Okinawan Villege, examine the collection at Oceanic Culture Museum, contemplate the long history of Nakijin Castle Ruins, then experience the excitement of Nago Pineapple Park, and finally browse the different shops at Aeon Nago Shopping Center.

To find where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Motobu-cho trip planner.

You can drive from Kunigami-son to Motobu-cho in 1.5 hours. January in Motobu-cho sees daily highs of 22°C and lows of 13°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) so you can travel back home.
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Shopping · Museums · Parks · Fun & Games
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 14:

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.
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