39 days in Japan Itinerary

39 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan sightseeing planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours

Route & dates

1
Tokyo
— 8 nights
2
Kyoto
— 5 nights
3
Wakayama
— 2 nights
4
Himeji
— 3 nights
5
Seki
— 2 nights
6
Kiso-machi
— 2 nights
7
Takayama
— 2 nights
8
Matsumoto
— 2 nights
9
Nakanojo-machi
— 2 nights
10
Niigata
— 1 night
11
Oga
— 1 night
12
Hakodate
— 1 night
13
Sapporo
— 2 nights
14
Tokyo
— 2 nights

8
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.
You've now added Robot Restaurant to your itinerary. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Senso-ji Temple and Kōtoku-in. Appreciate the collections at Edo-Tokyo Museum and Tokyo National Museum. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Tokyo: Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine (in Kamakura), Yokohama Chinatown (in Yokohama) and Hakone-machi (Hakone Shisseikaen & Lake Ashi (Ashinoko)). There's much more to do: take a stroll through Odaiba District, get a taste of the local shopping with Ginza, stop by Asakusa, and enjoy the sand and surf at Odaiba Kaihin Koen (Odaiba Seaside Park).

For more things to do, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Tokyo road trip planner.

Polokwane, South Africa to Tokyo is an approximately 30-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 7 hours traveling from Polokwane to Tokyo. Plan for much colder temperatures traveling from Polokwane in December, with highs in Tokyo at °C and lows at °C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Sun) to allow time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Parks Shopping

Side Trips

Kamakura, Hakone-machi, Yokohama Chinatown
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Edo-Tokyo Museum ©
Edo-Tokyo Museum
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple
Odaiba District ©
Odaiba District

5
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.
Kyoto International Manga Museum and Kyoto National Museum will appeal to museum buffs. Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Arashiyama are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Change things up with a short trip to Hikone Castle in Hikone (about 1h 25 min away). There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kinkaku-ji, wander the streets of Gion, and hunt for treasures at Nishiki Market Shopping District.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Kyoto trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

Take a train from Tokyo to Kyoto in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. December in Kyoto sees daily highs of °C and lows of °C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Wakayama.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trip

Hikone Castle
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

2
nights
Wakayama

Wakayama ©
Split into two parts by the Kinokawa River, the city of Wakayama stands nestled in the eponymous plain, overlooked by a historic hilltop castle that was rebuilt after World War II.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Fri): step into the grandiose world of Wakayama Castle, stop by Kanku Observation Hall Sky View, thenget some fabulous bargains at Rinku Premium Outlets, and finally get answers to all your questions at Kinokawa Service Area Outbound. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 30th (Sat): indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at some of the top local onsens, thencontemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kimiidera Temple, thenhead off the coast to Tomogashima Island, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Awashima Shrine.

To find photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Wakayama trip planner.

Drive from Kyoto to Wakayama in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around °C in December, and nighttime lows around °C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Himeji.

Things to do in Wakayama

Historic Sites Shopping Parks

Side Trip

Izumisano
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Wakayama Castle ©
Wakayama Castle
Kimiidera Temple ©
Kimiidera Temple
Awashima Shrine ©
Awashima Shrine

3
nights
Himeji

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.
Get in touch with nature at Ritsuun Gorge and Hinase Islands. Explore Himeji's surroundings by going to Amore Beach (in Akashi), Awaji Highway Oasis (in Awaji) and Takeda Castle Ruins (in Asago). There's more to do: take in nature's colorful creations at Koko-en and take in the views from Akashi Kaikyo Bridge.

To see other places to visit, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Himeji travel planner.

Traveling by car from Wakayama to Himeji takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Himeji can reach °C, while at night they dip to °C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Wed) early enough to travel to Seki.

Things to do in Himeji

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Asago, Amore Beach, Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, Awaji Highway Oasis, Hinase Islands
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Hinase Islands ©
Hinase Islands
Takeda Castle Ruins ©
Takeda Castle Ruins
Koko-en ©
Koko-en

2
nights
Seki

Seki ©
Seki is a city located in Gifu Prefecture, Japan. On the 3rd (Wed), get some fabulous bargains at Toki Premium Outlets, admire the landmark architecture of The Museum Meijimura, thenstep into the grandiose world of Inuyama Castle, thentake in the spiritual surroundings of Kasuga Shrine, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Miroku-ji Temple Kangaisekigun. Keep things going the next day: contemplate the waterfront views at Kiso River, get engrossed in the history at Little World, thenget to know the fascinating history of Inuyama Jokamachi, and finally enjoy breathtaking views from Sarubami Castle Observatory.

For traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Seki trip planner.

Drive from Himeji to Seki in 4 hours. While traveling from Himeji, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Seki, ranging from highs of °C to lows of °C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Kiso-machi.

Things to do in Seki

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Inuyama, Toki Premium Outlets, Sarubami Castle Observatory
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
The Museum Meijimura ©
The Museum Meijimura
Inuyama Castle ©
Inuyama Castle
Little World ©
Little World

2
nights
Kiso-machi

Kiso-machi ©
On the 5th (Fri), identify plant and animal life at Akasawa Natural Recreational Forest and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Naraijuku. On the next day, get behind the scenes at Mars Shinshu Distillery Hombo Shuzo, thenfly down the slopes at Senjojiki Cirque, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Kozen-ji Temple.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Kiso-machi trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

You can drive from Seki to Kiso-machi in 2.5 hours. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Seki in January: high temperatures in Kiso-machi hover around °C and lows are around °C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Takayama.

Things to do in Kiso-machi

Parks Winter Sports Historic Sites

Side Trips

Naraijuku, Senjojiki Cirque, Mars Shinshu Distillery Hombo Shuzo, Akasawa Natural Recreational Forest
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Senjojiki Cirque ©
Senjojiki Cirque
Naraijuku ©
Naraijuku
Mars Shinshu Distillery Hombo Shuzo ©
Mars Shinshu Distillery Hombo Shuzo

2
nights
Takayama

Takayama ©
Hidden high up in the Japanese Alps, Takayama remained largely cut off from the rest of Japan for centuries, allowing the local culture to grow in relative isolation.
On the 7th (Sun), hunt for treasures at Hida-Takayama Miyagawa Morning Market, get engrossed in the history at Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, thenget to know the fascinating history of The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses, and finally contemplate the long history of Wada House. On the 8th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: admire the masterpieces at Hida Takayama Museum of Art, see the interesting displays at Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, thenadmire the sheer force of Hirayu Fall, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Higashiyama Walking Course.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, read Takayama tour itinerary planner.

Drive from Kiso-machi to Takayama in 2 hours. Traveling from Kiso-machi in January, Takayama is somewhat warmer at night with lows of °C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Matsumoto.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Shirakawa-mura
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen ©
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen
Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall ©
Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall

2
nights
Matsumoto

Matsumoto ©
A castle town, Matsumoto possesses one of the best-preserved feudal structures in the country, and maintains its historical attractions and traditions while simultaneously exuding a modern, cosmopolitan charm.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Tue): admire the masterpieces at Matsumoto City Art Museum, explore the historical opulence of Matsumoto Castle, thenrelax in the rural setting at Daio Wasabi Farm, thenvisit Nawate Shopping District, and finally take a stroll through Nakamachi Street. On your second day here, hit the slopes at Norikura Kogen.

To find ratings, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Matsumoto road trip planning tool.

Traveling by car from Takayama to Matsumoto takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Takayama in January, plan for little chillier nights in Matsumoto, with lows around °C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Thu) early enough to drive to Nakanojo-machi.

Things to do in Matsumoto

Parks Winter Sports Nature

Side Trip

Daio Wasabi Farm
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Norikura Kogen ©
Norikura Kogen
Matsumoto Castle ©
Matsumoto Castle
Matsumoto City Art Museum ©
Matsumoto City Art Museum

2
nights
Nakanojo-machi

Nakanojo-machi ©
Start off your visit on the 11th (Thu): hit the slopes at Kusatsu International Ski Place, thenpause for some photo ops at Oni No Sumoba Monument, and then make a trip to Netsunoyu. Keep things going the next day: take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Kusatsu-Shirane, thenexplore the world behind art at Kusatsu Tsurutaro Kataoka Art Museum, and then indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at some of the top local onsens.

For ratings, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Nakanojo-machi trip planner.

Traveling by car from Matsumoto to Nakanojo-machi takes 3 hours. In January, daytime highs in Nakanojo-machi are °C, while nighttime lows are °C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sat) so you can travel to Niigata.

Things to do in Nakanojo-machi

Parks Winter Sports Outdoors

Side Trip

Kusatsu-machi
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Mt. Kusatsu-Shirane ©
Mt. Kusatsu-Shirane
Onsen Resorts
Kusatsu Tsurutaro Kataoka Art Museum ©
Kusatsu Tsurutaro Kataoka Art Museum

1
night
Niigata

Niigata ©
The port city of Niigata has an association with tourism, but not really one to do with the city itself.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Sat): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hakusan Shrine, thensample the tasty concoctions at Imayo Tsukasa Sake Brewery, thensoak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens, and finally learn about winemaking at Cave D'occi Winery. Here are some ideas for day two: stop by Niigata Furusatomura, get engrossed in the history at Northern Culture Museum, thenexplore the activities along Fukushima-gata, and finally examine the collection at Niigtata Rice Cracker Museum.

To see traveler tips, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Niigata travel planner.

Drive from Nakanojo-machi to Niigata in 4 hours. Traveling from Nakanojo-machi in January, Niigata is somewhat warmer at night with lows of °C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sun) so you can travel to Oga.

Things to do in Niigata

Museums Parks Spas
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Northern Culture Museum ©
Northern Culture Museum
Hakusan Shrine ©
Hakusan Shrine
Imayo Tsukasa Sake Brewery ©
Imayo Tsukasa Sake Brewery

1
night
Oga

Oga
Oga is a city located in Akita Prefecture, Japan.As of May 2015, the city has an estimated population of 29,318, and a population density of 122 persons per km2. To find maps, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, use the Oga day trip planning website.

You can drive from Niigata to Oga in 5 hours. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Niigata in January: high temperatures in Oga hover around °C and lows are around °C. On the 15th (Mon), you'll travel to Hakodate.

Things to do in Oga

Parks Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 15:

1
night
Hakodate

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.
On the 15th (Mon), take a stroll through Motomachi, thencontemplate the long history of The Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward, and then look for gifts at Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse.

You can plan Hakodate trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

You can drive from Oga to Hakodate in 7.5 hours. January in Hakodate sees daily highs of °C and lows of °C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Tue) so you can travel to Sapporo.

Things to do in Hakodate

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trip

Mount Hakodate
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Motomachi ©
Motomachi
The Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward ©
The Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward
Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse ©
Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse

2
nights
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 16th (Tue), contemplate the long history of Sapporo Clock Tower, explore the activities along Otaru Canal, and then look for gifts at Otaru Music Box Museum Main Building. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: ponder the world of politics at Former Hokkaido Government Office Building, walk around Odori Park, thentake a stroll through Susukino, and finally shop like a local with Tanukikoji Shopping Street.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Sapporo online route planner.

You can fly from Hakodate to Sapporo in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Traveling from Hakodate in January, expect nights in Sapporo to be about the same, around °C, while days are slightly colder, around °C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Thu) early enough to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Sapporo

Parks Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trip

Otaru
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Otaru Canal ©
Otaru Canal
Sapporo Clock Tower ©
Sapporo Clock Tower
Former Hokkaido Government Office Building ©
Former Hokkaido Government Office Building

2
nights
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Thu): explore the world behind art at The National Art Center, Tokyo, get curious at National Museum of Nature and Science, thenadmire the masterpieces at National Museum of Western Art, and finally make a trip to Yokohama Chinatown. Keep things going the next day: make an unforgettable trip to Tokyo Disneyland.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Tokyo trip itinerary planner.

Fly from Sapporo to Tokyo in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect much warmer weather when traveling from Sapporo in January: highs in Tokyo hover around °C, while lows dip to °C. On the 20th (Sat), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Theme Parks Museums Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Yokohama Chinatown, Tokyo Disneyland
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Tokyo Disneyland ©
Tokyo Disneyland
The National Art Center, Tokyo ©
The National Art Center, Tokyo
National Museum of Western Art ©
National Museum of Western Art

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