21 days in Japan Itinerary

21 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Fly + train:  23​h 45​min
1
Kyoto
— 3 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
2
Kanazawa
— 3 nights
+2
Fly + subway + train:  4​h 30​min
3
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
+2
train + subway + Fly:  4​h 30​min
4
Miyakojima
— 2 nights
ferry:  4​h
5
Iriomote-jima
— 2 nights
ferry:  1​h
6
Ishigaki
— 2 nights
Fly:  5​h 15​min
7
Tokyo
— 4 nights
Fly:  20​h 15​min
End: San Juan, Puerto Rico

3
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.
Visit Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Tofuku-ji Temple for their historical value. Step off the beaten path and head to Nanzen-ji Temple and Eikando Zenrinji Temple. When in Kyoto, make a side trip to see CUPNOODLES MUSEUM OSAKA IKEDA in Ikeda, approximately 1h 10 min away. There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kodai-ji Temple, take in nature's colorful creations at Shosei-en Garden, make a trip to Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and contemplate the long history of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.

To see where to stay, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Kyoto trip itinerary maker app .

San Juan, Puerto Rico to Kyoto is an approximately 24-hour combination of flight and train. You can also fly; or do a combination of car, flight, and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 13 hours traveling from San Juan to Kyoto. Expect much colder temperatures when traveling from San Juan in December; daily highs in Kyoto reach 13°C and lows reach 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) to allow enough time to take a train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trips

CUPNOODLES MUSEUM OSAKA IKEDA, Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Eikando Zenrinji Temple ©
Eikando Zenrinji Temple

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.
Get some cultural insight at Ainokura Gassho Community and The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Toyama Glass Art Museum and Kanazawa Noh Museum. Venture out of the city with trips to Amaharashi Coast (in Takaoka) and Motorcar Museum of Japan (in Komatsu). There's lots more to do: steep yourself in history at Kanazawa Castle, explore the world behind art at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, and examine the collection at Kanazawa Phonograph Museum.

To find reviews, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Kanazawa online travel planner .

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Kanazawa takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. December in Kanazawa sees daily highs of 11°C and lows of 3°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) to allow time to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Amaharashi Coast, Motorcar Museum of Japan, The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses, Toyama Glass Art Museum, Ainokura Gassho Community
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Kanazawa Phonograph Museum ©
Kanazawa Phonograph Museum
Ainokura Gassho Community ©
Ainokura Gassho Community
Toyama Glass Art Museum ©
Toyama Glass Art Museum

2
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Sat): see the interesting displays at Mazda Museum, examine the collection at JMSDF Kure Museum, then steep yourself in history at Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Mitaki Temple. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: step off the mainland to explore Miyajima, enjoy the sand and surf at Mikasahama Beach, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Itsukushima Shrine, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Itsukushima Shrine.

To find maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Hiroshima tour planner.

You can do a combination of flight and train from Kanazawa to Hiroshima in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. In January, plan for daily highs up to 11°C, and evening lows to 2°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Mazda Museum, JMSDF Kure Museum, Motomachi Itsukushima Jinja
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Miyajima ©
Miyajima
JMSDF Kure Museum ©
JMSDF Kure Museum
Mitaki Temple ©
Mitaki Temple

2
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima ©
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Mon): kick back and relax at Nagamahama Beach Coast, enjoy the sand and surf at Yonaha Maehama Beach, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Miyako Shrine, and finally explore the different monuments and memorials at Nakasone Toyumya Tomb. On the 7th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ammama Utaki, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Painagama Beach, then see the interesting displays at Miyakojima City Museum, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Sunayama Beach.

To see reviews, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read Miyakojima online holiday maker .

You can do a combination of train and flight from Hiroshima to Miyakojima in 4.5 hours. Another option is to fly. Traveling from Hiroshima in January, you will find days in Miyakojima are somewhat warmer (24°C), and nights are warmer (19°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can ride a ferry to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Yonaha Maehama Beach ©
Yonaha Maehama Beach
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach
Painagama Beach ©
Painagama Beach

2
nights
Iriomote-jima

Iriomote-jima ©
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Wed): stroll through Shirahama Port, tour the pleasant surroundings at Funauki Village, then take in the dramatic scenery at Mizuochi Falls, and finally admire the sheer force of Nara no Taki Falls. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the sheer force of Kanpiree Waterfall, enjoy the sand and surf at Hoshisuna Beach, and then steep yourself in history at Wasurenaishi.

To see more things to do, maps, reviews, and tourist information, use the Iriomote-jima trip app .

Ride a ferry from Miyakojima to Iriomote-jima in 4 hours. In January in Iriomote-jima, expect temperatures between 24°C during the day and 19°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) so you can ride a ferry to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Funauki Village ©
Funauki Village
Hoshisuna Beach ©
Hoshisuna Beach
Shirahama Port ©
Shirahama Port

2
nights
Ishigaki

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.
On the 10th (Fri), take in the awesome beauty at Nosoko Mape, enjoy the sand and surf at Kondoi Beach, and then see the interesting displays at MInsah Kogei Museum. On the 11th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: appreciate the extensive heritage of Island Countryside Settlement, take an in-depth tour of Ishigaki Yaima Village, and then enjoy the sea views from Cape Hirakubozaki.

To find maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Ishigaki travel route planner.

You can ride a ferry from Iriomote-jima to Ishigaki in an hour. In January in Ishigaki, expect temperatures between 24°C during the day and 19°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) early enough to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Parks Historic Sites Outdoors

Side Trips

Island Countryside Settlement, Kondoi Beach
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Island Countryside Settlement ©
Island Countryside Settlement

4
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Pola Museum of Art and Mt. Takao. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Samukawa Shrine and Nezu Shrine. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Tokyo: Oyama Afuri Shrine (in Isehara) and Hikawa Shrine (in Omiya). There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Asakusa Shrine, see the interesting displays at Fire Museum, get engrossed in the history at Tokyo National Museum The Heiseikan, and don't miss a visit to University of Tokyo.

To find reviews, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Tokyo visit planner.

You can fly from Ishigaki to Tokyo in 5.5 hours. Plan for much colder temperatures traveling from Ishigaki in January, with highs in Tokyo at 11°C and lows at 1°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine, Mt. Takao, Pola Museum of Art, Oyama Afuri Shrine, Samukawa Shrine
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Pola Museum of Art ©
Pola Museum of Art
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Fire Museum ©
Fire Museum

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