29 days in Japan Itinerary

29 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

29 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Townsville
Fly:  16​h 45​min
1
Naha
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
2
Nagasaki
— 3 nights
train:  3​h 30​min
3
Hiroshima
— 3 nights
Fly:  5​h 15​min
4
Sapporo
— 1 night
Fly:  4​h
5
Tokyo
— 5 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
6
Kanazawa
— 3 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
7
Kyoto
— 8 nights
train + Fly:  13​h 15​min
End: Townsville

2
nights
Naha

Naha ©
Naha, the capital of Okinawa, has deep roots: Stone Age relics have been found in the city, and through the Middle Ages it rose in importance in the Ryukyu Kingdom.
Explore Naha's surroundings by going to Nanjo (Kudakajima Island, Sefa-Utaki, & more), Uruma (Kafu Banta & Katsuren Castle Ruins) and Onna-son (Cape Manzamo & Scuba & Snorkeling). Next up on the itinerary: explore the historical opulence of Shurijo Castle, take in the spiritual surroundings of Naminoue-gu Shrine, take in nature's colorful creations at Fukushu-en Garden, and don't miss a visit to Makishi Public Market.

To see other places to visit, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read Naha trip planner .

Townsville, Australia to Naha is an approximately 17-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Townsville to Naha due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Townsville in December, things will get a bit cooler in Naha: highs are around 24°C and lows about 19°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can travel to Nagasaki.

Things to do in Naha

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Nanjo, Uruma, Onna-son
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Cape Manzamo ©
Cape Manzamo
Shurijo Castle ©
Shurijo Castle
Makishi Public Market ©
Makishi Public Market

3
nights
Nagasaki

Nagasaki ©
The hilly port city of Nagasaki has become known internationally as one of the two Japanese cities to be destroyed by an atomic bomb towards the close of World War II.
Change things up with a short trip to Huis Ten Bosch in Sasebo (about 1h 15 min away). The adventure continues: get engrossed in the history at Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, take in panoramic vistas at Inasayama Observation Deck, take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Inasa, and take in the views from Megane Bridge.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, use the Nagasaki online trip builder .

You can fly from Naha to Nagasaki in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of ferry and train. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Naha in December: high temperatures in Nagasaki hover around 13°C and lows are around 7°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to catch the train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Nagasaki

Theme Parks Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Huis Ten Bosch
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Huis Ten Bosch ©
Huis Ten Bosch
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum ©
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum
Glover Garden ©
Glover Garden

3
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Venture out of the city with trips to Hatsukaichi (Miyajima, Itsukushima Shrine, & more) and Kintaikyo Bridge (in Iwakuni). Next up on the itinerary: see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, step into the grandiose world of Hiroshima Castle, steep yourself in history at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, and appreciate the history behind Atomic Bomb Dome.

To see ratings, photos, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Hiroshima visit planning tool .

Getting from Nagasaki to Hiroshima by train takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Hiroshima are 13°C, while nighttime lows are 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) so you can travel to Sapporo.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Kintaikyo Bridge
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

1
night
Sapporo

Sapporo ©
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 29th (Sun), take an in-depth tour of Historical Village of Hokkaido (Kaitaku-no Mura), then contemplate the long history of Clock Tower (Tokei-dai), then stroll around Odori Park, and finally make a trip to Former Hokkaido Government Office Building. On the 30th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take a stroll around Sapporo Underground Pedestrian Space, then enjoy the scholastic atmosphere at Hokkaido University Sapporo Campus, then stroll through Otaru Canal, and finally take in panoramic vistas at Sapporo TV Tower.

To see ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Sapporo itinerary planner.

You can fly from Hiroshima to Sapporo in 5.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of train, bus, and flight. Traveling from Hiroshima in December, expect nights in Sapporo to be a bit cooler, around -2°C, while days are colder, around 0°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) so you can travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Sapporo

Parks Museums Nature

Side Trip

Otaru Canal
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Odori Park ©
Odori Park
Otaru Canal ©
Otaru Canal

5
nights
Tokyo

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.
Have a day of magic on the 2nd (Thu) at Tokyo Disneyland. There's lots more to do: make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, take in panoramic vistas at Tokyo Skytree, wander the streets of Odaiba, and have some family-friendly fun at Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou.

For other places to visit, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, read Tokyo day trip planner.

You can fly from Sapporo to Tokyo in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight, taxi, and train; or do a combination of train and flight. Traveling from Sapporo in December, you will find days in Tokyo are warmer (14°C), and nights are a bit warmer (4°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Theme Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Tokyo Disneyland
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 4:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

3
nights
Kanazawa

Kanazawa ©
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Kanazawa: Shirakawa-mura (Wada House, Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, & more). There's lots more to do: walk around Kenrokuen Garden, contemplate the long history of Nomura Family Samurai House, don't miss a visit to Kanazawa Higashi Chayagai Kaikaro, and step into the grandiose world of Kanazawa Castle.

To see maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Kanazawa tour website .

Traveling by train from Tokyo to Kanazawa takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Traveling from Tokyo in January, expect nights in Kanazawa to be about the same, around 0°C, while days are little chillier, around 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) to allow time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Shirakawa-mura
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan

8
nights
Kyoto

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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Osaka (Dotonbori, Osaka Castle, & more) and Nara (Nigatsu-do Temple, Todai-ji Temple, & more). And it doesn't end there: contemplate the long history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, don't miss a visit to Nishiki Market, take in the pleasant sights at Arashiyama, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine.

To see ratings, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Kyoto online road trip planner .

Take a train from Kanazawa to Kyoto in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January in Kyoto, expect temperatures between 10°C during the day and 1°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 15th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Theme Parks Shopping

Side Trips

Osaka, Nara
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan

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