21 days in Japan Itinerary

21 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan itinerary planner

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Route & dates

Start: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Fly + Train:  23 h 45 min
1
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Train:  2 h 30 min
2
Kanazawa
— 3 nights
+4
Train + Bus + 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
Train + 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.
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Eikando Zenrinji Temple will appeal to history buffs. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Tofuku-ji Temple and Jojakkoji Temple. Go for a jaunt from Kyoto to Ikeda to see Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda about 1h 05 min away. There's lots more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Toji, appreciate the extensive heritage of Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple, admire the natural beauty at Shosei-en Garden, and steep yourself in history at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.

To find reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Kyoto trip itinerary planning tool.

San Juan, Puerto Rico to Kyoto is an approximately 22.5- hour combination of flight and train. You can also fly; or do a combination of flight, taxi, bus, and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 13 hours traveling from San Juan to Kyoto. Traveling from San Juan in December, expect Kyoto to be cooler, temps between 13°C and 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Tue) to allow time to take a train to Kanazawa.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trips

Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple, Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda
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 a sense of the local culture at Ainokura Gassho Community and The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses. Appreciate the collections at Toyama Glass Art Museum and Kanazawa Phonograph Museum. Get out of town with these interesting Kanazawa side-trips: Motorcar Museum of Japan (in Komatsu) and Amaharashi Coast (in Takaoka). There's more to do: admire the masterpieces at Kanazawa Noh Museum and step into the grandiose world of Kanazawa Castle.

To find where to stay, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Kanazawa holiday planner.

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Kanazawa takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 11°C, and evening lows to 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Museums Historic Sites Beaches

Side Trips

Ainokura Gassho Community, Toyama Glass Art Museum, Motorcar Museum of Japan, Amaharashi Coast, The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses
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, then examine the collection at JMSDF Kure Museum, then don't miss a visit to Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Mitaki Temple. Keep things going the next day: head off the coast to Miyajima, head outdoors with Mikasahama Beach, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Itsukushima Shrine, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Motomachi Itsukushima Jinja.

To find reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Hiroshima road trip planning website.

Traveling by combination of train, bus, and flight from Kanazawa to Hiroshima takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. January in Hiroshima sees daily highs of 11°C and lows of 2°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) so you can travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Motomachi Itsukushima Jinja, Mazda Museum, JMSDF Kure Museum
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.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Mon): head outdoors with Nagamahama Beach Coast, kick back and relax at Yonaha Maehama Beach, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Miyako Shrine, and finally steep yourself in history at Nakasone Toyumya Tomb. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the spiritual surroundings of Ammama Utaki, kick back and relax at Painagama Beach, then examine the collection at Miyakojima City Museum, and finally head outdoors with Sunayama Beach.

To see photos, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Miyakojima day trip planning app.

Do a combination of train and flight from Hiroshima to Miyakojima in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of train, bus, and flight. Traveling from Hiroshima in January, expect nights in Miyakojima to be warmer, around 19°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) early enough to catch the ferry to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Beaches Parks Outdoors
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.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Wed): kick back and relax at Shirahama Port, look for all kinds of wild species at Funauki Village, then admire the sheer force of Mizuochi Falls, and finally admire the sheer force of Nara no Taki Falls. Keep things going the next day: admire the sheer force of Kanpiree Waterfall, enjoy the sand and surf at Hoshisuna Beach, and then steep yourself in history at Wasurenaishi.

For other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, read our Iriomote-jima online itinerary planner.

Getting from Miyakojima to Iriomote-jima by ferry takes about 4 hours. January in Iriomote-jima sees daily highs of 24°C and lows of 19°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) to allow enough time to ride a ferry to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Parks Beaches Outdoors
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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Fri): take in the awesome beauty at Nosoko Mape, then enjoy the sand and surf at Kondoi Beach, and then examine the collection at MInsah Kogei Museum. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: appreciate the extensive heritage of Island Countryside Settlement, then take an in-depth tour of Ishigaki Yaima Village, and then enjoy the sea views from Cape Hirakubozaki.

To see traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, read our Ishigaki trip planner.

Traveling by ferry from Iriomote-jima to Ishigaki takes an hour. Expect a daytime high around 24°C in January, and nighttime lows around 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) to allow enough time 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.
Get in touch with nature at Mt. Takao and Odaiba Kaihin Koen (Odaiba Seaside Park). Appreciate the collections at Fire Museum and Tokyo National Museum The Heiseikan. Explore Tokyo's surroundings by going to Oyama Afuri Shrine (in Isehara), Pola Museum of Art (in Hakone-machi) and Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine (in Saitama). Next up on the itinerary: appreciate the extensive heritage of University of Tokyo, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senso-ji Temple, contemplate the long history of Hie Jinjya, and don't miss a visit to Nezu Shrine.

To find photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Tokyo trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Ishigaki to Tokyo takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train. Expect colder temperatures when traveling from Ishigaki in January; daily highs in Tokyo reach 11°C and lows reach 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

Oyama Afuri Shrine, Pola Museum of Art, Mt. Takao, Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa 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
Asakusa Shrine ©
Asakusa Shrine

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