23 days in Japan Itinerary

23 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip itinerary builder

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Route & dates

Start: Austin
+3
Fly + Train + Foot + Train:  22 h
1
Ise
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
2
Nachikatsura-cho
— 2 nights
Drive:  6 h 15 min
3
Hakuba-mura
— 4 nights
+3
Shuttle + Train + Tram + Fly:  7 h
4
Miyakojima
— 4 nights
Ferry:  4 h
5
Iriomote-jima
— 3 nights
Ferry:  1 h
6
Ishigaki
— 3 nights
Fly:  7 h
7
Takachiho-cho
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  23 h 15 min
End: Austin

2
nights
Ise

Ise ©
A spiritual center of Shintoism, Ise stands as a traditional city where visitors can see the roots of Japanese culture in a number of well-preserved natural and historic sites.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Sun): explore the activities along Futami-ura, steep yourself in history at Oharai-machi, get engrossed in the history at Sengukan, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ise Grand Shrine, thenget to know the fascinating history of Ise Shrine Geku, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Tsukiyominomiya. On the next day, take in the spiritual surroundings of Sarutahiko Shrine, examine the collection at Okageza, look for gifts at Kutsurogiya, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Futami Okitama Shrine, thentake in the spiritual surroundings of Meotoiwa, and finally explore the historical opulence of Ise Ninja Kingdom.

To find maps, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Ise online trip maker.

Austin, USA to Ise is an approximately 21.5-hour combination of flight and train. You can also fly. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time to Japan Standard Time, which is usually a 15 hour difference. When traveling from Austin in December, plan for slightly colder days in Ise, with highs around 49°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 47°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Nachikatsura-cho.

Things to do in Ise

Historic Sites Parks Nature
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Ise Grand Shrine ©
Ise Grand Shrine
Oharai-machi ©
Oharai-machi
Sarutahiko Shrine ©
Sarutahiko Shrine

2
nights
Nachikatsura-cho

Nachikatsura-cho ©
The town of Nachikatsuura-cho wows visitors with its superlative landscape and impressive cultural attractions.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Tue): take in the spiritual surroundings of Kumano Nachi Taisha, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Seigantoji Temple, thenadmire the sheer force of Nachi Mitaki Falls, thentake in the spiritual surroundings of Hirou Shrine, and finally make a trip to Daimonzaka. Keep things going the next day: see the interesting displays at Taiji Whale Museum, thenexplore the striking landscape at Hashigui Rock, thencontemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kumano Hayatama Taisha, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Fudarakusanji Temple.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Nachikatsura-cho online travel planner.

Getting from Ise to Nachikatsura-cho by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. In December, daytime highs in Nachikatsura-cho are 54°F, while nighttime lows are 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) so you can drive to Hakuba-mura.

Things to do in Nachikatsura-cho

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Taiji Whale Museum, Hashigui Rock, Kumano Hayatama Taisha
Find places to stay Dec 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Kumano Nachi Taisha ©
Kumano Nachi Taisha
Nachi Mitaki Falls ©
Nachi Mitaki Falls
Kumano Hayatama Taisha ©
Kumano Hayatama Taisha

4
nights
Hakuba-mura

Hakuba-mura ©
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort and Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park. Popular historic sites such as Wadano no Mori Church and Himegawa Headwaters Natural Garden are in your itinerary. There's still lots to do: hit the slopes at Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort / Alpine Garden, visit Hakuba Jump Arena, learn from the experts at Hakuba Snow Sports School, and trek along Hakuba Iwatake Mountain Resort.

To see where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read Hakuba-mura trip itinerary maker app.

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 flight, train, and shuttle. In December, Hakuba-mura is slightly colder than Nachikatsura-cho - with highs of 43°F and lows of 32°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Hakuba-mura

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports
Find places to stay Dec 11 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park ©
Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park
Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort ©
Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort
Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort / Alpine Garden ©
Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort / Alpine Garden

4
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima ©
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse and Tomori no Amai will appeal to history buffs. Yukishio Museum and Miyakojima City Museum will appeal to museum buffs. There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at Sunayama Beach, get outside with Aragusuku Beach, head off the coast to Shimojiiima Island, and take in the views from Irabu Ohashi.

For reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, use the Miyakojima trip maker app.

You can do a combination of shuttle, train, and flight from Hakuba-mura to Miyakojima in 8.5 hours. Prepare for much hotter weather when traveling from Hakuba-mura in December: high temperatures in Miyakojima hover around 71°F and lows are around 64°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) early enough to catch the ferry to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Yonaha Maehama Beach ©
Yonaha Maehama Beach
Yabiji
Yabiji
Scuba & Snorkeling

3
nights
Iriomote-jima

Iriomote-jima ©
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
Get in touch with nature at Canyoning & Rappelling Tours and Nakama-river Protected Region. There's still lots to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Funauki Village, step off the mainland to explore Iriomote Island, steep yourself in history at Wasurenaishi, and take in the dramatic scenery at Pinaisara Falls.

For photos, maps, and other tourist information, read Iriomote-jima tour itinerary builder site.

Getting from Miyakojima to Iriomote-jima by ferry takes about 5 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 72°F, and evening lows to 64°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can catch the ferry to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Parks Tours Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Iriomote Island ©
Iriomote Island
Funauki Village ©
Funauki Village
Pinaisara Falls ©
Pinaisara Falls

3
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.
Museum-lovers will appreciate MInsah Kogei Museum and Ishigaki Yaima Village. Take a break from the city and head to Kabira Bay and Ishigaki Island Limestone Cave. There's still lots to do: take in the exciting artwork at Nei Museum of Art, enjoy the sand and surf at Yonehara Beach, visit Ishigaki Port Ritoh Terminal, and head outdoors with Cape Hirakubozaki.

To find reviews, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Ishigaki trip itinerary maker app.

Traveling by ferry from Iriomote-jima to Ishigaki takes 1.5 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 72°F, and evening lows to 64°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to travel to Takachiho-cho.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trip

Kondoi Beach
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Kabira Bay ©
Kabira Bay
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Scuba & Snorkeling

3
nights
Takachiho-cho

Takachiho-cho ©
The mountain town of Takachiho-cho remains a place of great importance to Japan's spiritual and natural heritage, and the point where these two things intersect.
Step out of the city life by going to Takachiho Gorge and Ogi Rice Terraces. Your inner history buff will appreciate Takachiho Shrine and Amano Iwato Shrine. Go for a jaunt from Takachiho-cho to Aso to see Daikanbo about 1h 15 min away. There's much more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Aratate Shrine, take in the pleasant sights at Amano Yasugawara, admire the sheer force of Manai Falls, and take in the awesome beauty at Kunimigaoka.

To find other places to visit, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Takachiho-cho trip app.

You can fly from Ishigaki to Takachiho-cho in 7.5 hours. Plan for cooler temperatures traveling from Ishigaki in December, with highs in Takachiho-cho at 51°F and lows at 37°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 28th (Sat) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Takachiho-cho

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Ogi Rice Terraces, Daikanbo
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Takachiho Gorge ©
Takachiho Gorge
Takachiho Shrine ©
Takachiho Shrine
Amano Iwato Shrine ©
Amano Iwato Shrine

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