36 days in Japan Itinerary

36 days in Japan Itinerary

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36 days in Japan Itinerary

Vancouver
Fly + bus + train:  20​h 15​min
Hakodate
— 2 nights
Fly + taxi + ferry:  6​h
Taketomi-jima Taketomi-cho
— 2 nights
ferry:  15​min
Ishigaki
— 4 nights
Fly:  45​min
Miyakojima
— 4 nights
Fly + taxi:  1​h 15​min
Naha
— 4 nights
+3
train + subway + Fly + taxi:  4​h
Hiroshima
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
Kyoto
— 5 nights
train:  1​h 30​min
Himeji
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
Toyooka
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
Kanazawa
— 4 nights
train + taxi + Fly:  2​h 30​min
Tokyo
— 4 nights
Fly:  13​h 15​min
Vancouver

2
days
Hakodate

A gateway to the island, Hakodate has gained a reputation for its waterfront attractions, its proximity to some of the island's most popular natural sites, and its seafood.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Sat): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Catholic Motomachi Church and then get outside with Onuma Park Walking Path. On the 24th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: appreciate the extensive heritage of Motomachi, don't miss a visit to Hachimanzaka, then pause for some serene contemplation at Hakodate Orthodox Church, then contemplate the long history of 函館 観光スポット 旧函館区公会堂 Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward, and finally look for gifts at Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse.

To see more things to do, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Hakodate itinerary maker.

Vancouver, Canada to Hakodate is an approximately 20.5-hour combination of car and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 17 hours traveling from Vancouver to Hakodate. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Hakodate when traveling from Vancouver in September, with lows around 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 25th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Taketomi-jima Taketomi-cho.

Things to do in Hakodate

Historic Sites Shopping Outdoors

Side Trip

Onuma Park Walking Path
Accommodations
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Onuma Park Walking Path
Motomachi

2
days
Taketomi-jima Taketomi-cho

A tiny island in the Yae-yama archipelago, Taketomi-jima enjoys popularity as a beach getaway, best known for its stretches of "star sand"--sand made up of tiny star-shaped exoskeletons of ancient fossils.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Tue): kick back and relax at Kaiji Beach, then take in the waterfront at Nishi Pier, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Kondoi Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: take some stellar pictures from Nagomi Tower, appreciate the extensive heritage of Island Countryside Settlement, then get engrossed in the history at Taketomi Folk Art Museum, and finally kick back and relax at Kubazaki Beach.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read Taketomi-jima Taketomi-cho sightseeing planner.

Traveling by combination of taxi, flight, and ferry from Hakodate to Taketomi-jima Taketomi-cho takes 6 hours. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Hakodate in September, with highs in Taketomi-jima Taketomi-cho at 36°C and lows at 30°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Wed) early enough to ride a ferry to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Taketomi-jima Taketomi-cho

Beaches Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Kubazaki Beach
Accommodations
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Kondoi Beach
Kaiji Beach
Nishi Pier

4
days
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Tamatorizaki Observatory and Hoshisuna Beach. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Cape Hirakubozaki and Ishigaki Yaima Village. Change things up with a short trip to Pinaisara Falls in Taketomicho Iriomote-jima (about 2 hours away). There's lots more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Yonehara Beach, stroll through Kabira Park, stop by Yurateiku Market, and see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To find maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Ishigaki trip planner.

Ishigaki is just a stone's throw from Taketomi-jima Taketomi-cho. Expect a daytime high around 36°C in September, and nighttime lows around 30°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sun) so you can travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trip

Taketomicho Iriomote-jima
Accommodations
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Cape Hirakubozaki
Tamatorizaki Observatory
Yonehara Beach

4
days
Miyakojima

A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Explore hidden gems such as Sunayama Beach and Irabu Bridge. Head to Atarasu Ichiba and Furusatofor some retail therapy. The adventure continues: enjoy the sand and surf at Aragusuku Beach, take in the views from Kurima Bridge, stroll through Toguchinohama, and enjoy the sea views from Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse.

To find maps, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Miyakojima trip generator.

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Ishigaki to Miyakojima takes an hour. In October in Miyakojima, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 27°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) so you can travel to Naha.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Beaches Outdoors Parks
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Sunayama Beach
Yonaha Maehama Beach
Aragusuku Beach

4
days
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.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Sefa-Utaki and The Tower of Himeyuri. Shop till you drop at Nakayukui Market Onna Station and OKINAWA OUTLET MALL ASHIBINAA. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Naha: Okinawa Peace Memorial Park (in Itoman), Cape Manza (in Onna-son), Furuzamami Beach (in Zamami-son), Aharen Beach (in Tokashiki-son) and Katsuren Castle Ruins (in Uruma). There's still lots to do: step into the grandiose world of Shurijo Castle and expand your understanding of the military at Former Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters.

To see more things to do, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Naha trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Miyakojima to Naha takes 1.5 hours. In October, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 27°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 9th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Naha

Historic Sites Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Itoman, Onna-son, Tomigusuku, Aharen Beach, Sefa-Utaki
Accommodations
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Shurijo Castle
Sefa-Utaki
Okinawa Peace Memorial Park

3
days
Hiroshima

Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Miyajima are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Museum-lovers will appreciate Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims and Yamato Museum. Get out of town with these interesting Hiroshima side-trips: JMSDF Kure Museum (in Kure) and Mount Misen (in Hatsukaichi). The adventure continues: make a trip to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, explore and take pictures at Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium Hiroshima, and appreciate the history behind The Cenotaph.

To see ratings, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Hiroshima trip planner.

You can do a combination of train, subway, flight, and taxi from Naha to Hiroshima in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and ferry. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Naha in October, with highs in Hiroshima at 26°C and lows at 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) to allow enough time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Museums Nature Parks

Side Trips

Kure, Hatsukaichi
Accommodations
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Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Yamato Museum

4
days
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.
Nijo Castle and Kiyomizu-dera will appeal to history buffs. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Dotonbori and Osaka Castle. Next up on the itinerary: steep yourself in history at Fushimi Inari Taisha, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Toji, head outdoors with Arashiyama, and don't miss a visit to Gion.

To see other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Kyoto trip itinerary planner.

You can take a train from Hiroshima to Kyoto in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of ferry, taxi, flight, bus, and train. October in Kyoto sees daily highs of 27°C and lows of 17°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) early enough to travel to Himeji.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Outdoors Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Osaka
Accommodations
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Kiyomizu-dera
Fushimi Inari Taisha
Nijo Castle

1
day
Himeji

The castle around which the city of Himeji has developed represents one of the best preserved in the country, and has been designated as a national treasure and a World Heritage Site.
On the 17th (Tue), don't miss a visit to Shoshazan Engyoji, then take in nature's colorful creations at Kokoen Garden, and then explore the historical opulence of Himeji Castle.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Himeji vacation planner.

You can take a train from Kyoto to Himeji in 1.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In October, daytime highs in Himeji are 26°C, while nighttime lows are 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Toyooka.

Things to do in Himeji

Historic Sites Parks
Accommodations
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Himeji Castle
Kokoen Garden
Shoshazan Engyoji

2
days
Toyooka

A vacation in Toyooka lets you explore the UNESCO Global Geopark that completely surrounds the small town, notable for its scenic islands, rock formations, caves, and sand dunes.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Wed): don't miss a visit to Izushi Castle Town, enjoy the sand and surf at Hacchohama Kobama Beach, and then kick back and relax at Hamazume Beach. On your second day here, boost your wellbeing at a local thermal spa and then take some stellar pictures from Street of Kinosaki Onsen.

To see other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Toyooka travel planner.

You can drive from Himeji to Toyooka in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a train. In October, Toyooka is little chillier than Himeji - with highs of 23°C and lows of 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 19th (Thu) to allow time for the car ride to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Toyooka

Beaches Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Kyotango
Accommodations
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Street of Kinosaki Onsen
Izushi Castle Town

4
days
Kanazawa

An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum and Gassho Zukuri Minka-en will appeal to museum buffs. Ainokura Gassho Community and Nomura Samurai House are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Venture out of the city with trips to Chirihama Nagisa Driveway (in Hakui) and Sakai (Maruoka Castle & Tojinbo Cliff). The adventure continues: admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, take in the spiritual surroundings of Ninja Temple, browse the different shops at Kanazawa Hyakubangai Shopping Center, and contemplate the long history of Oyama Shrine.

To find reviews, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Kanazawa trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from Toyooka to Kanazawa takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Expect a daytime high around 25°C in October, and nighttime lows around 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough to take a train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Sakai, Chirihama Nagisa Driveway, Gassho Zukuri Minka-en, Ainokura Gassho Community, Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum
Accommodations
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Ainokura Gassho Community
Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum
Ninja Temple

4
days
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.
Tokyo National Museum and Tokyo Central Railway Station will appeal to history buffs. Do your shopping at Tsukiji Market and Roppongi Hills. Step out of Tokyo to go to Yokohama and see Yokohama Chinatown, which is approximately 46 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: take a stroll through Ginza, appreciate the extensive heritage of Imperial Palace, shop like a local with Asakusa, and make a trip to Tokyo Tower.

To see maps, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Tokyo travel planner.

Take a train from Kanazawa to Tokyo in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, taxi, flight, and bus; or drive. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Kanazawa in October since evenings lows in Tokyo dip to 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trip

Yokohama Chinatown
Accommodations
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Ginza
Tokyo National Museum
Edo-Tokyo Museum

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