15 days in Japan Itinerary

15 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan travel planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Kyoto
— 5 nights
Drive
2
Koya-cho
— 1 night
Drive
3
Izumo
— 2 nights
Fly
4
Miyakojima
— 2 nights
Fly
5
Ishigaki
— 3 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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Kyoto

— 5 nights
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.
Get some cultural insight at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Toji. Your inner history buff will appreciate Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Nijo Castle. Explore Kyoto's surroundings by going to Dotombori (Dotombori District & Naniwa Meibutsu Ichibirian Dotombori). And it doesn't end there: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, take in the pleasant sights at Arashiyama, steep yourself in history at Osaka Castle, and don't miss a visit to Eikando Zenrinji Temple.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Kyoto trip planning site.

Johannesburg, South Africa to Kyoto is an approximately 22.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from South Africa Standard Time (SAST) to Japan Standard Time (JST), which is usually a 7 hour difference. Plan for much colder temperatures traveling from Johannesburg in January, with highs in Kyoto at 10°C and lows at 1°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Koya-cho.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Shopping · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 8 — 13:

Koya-cho

— 1 night
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Thu): take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Koya, contemplate the long history of Koyasan Danjo Garan, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kongobu-ji Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Koyasan Okunoin, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Kodai-in Temple.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Koya-cho online journey planner.

Getting from Kyoto to Koya-cho by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 10°C in January, and nighttime lows around 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Thu) so you can drive to Izumo.

Things to do in Koya-cho

Historic Sites · Nature · Parks
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 14:

Izumo

— 2 nights
Nestled in the shadows of the Chugoku Mountains, historic Izumo boasts one of Japan's oldest Shinto shrines.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Fri): take in the spiritual surroundings of Kamosu Shrine, admire the natural beauty at Adachi Museum of Art, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yaegaki Shrine, and finally step into the grandiose world of Matsue Castle. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get engrossed in the history at Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo, contemplate the long history of Former Taisha Station, take in the spiritual surroundings of Hinomisaki Shrine, then visit a coastal fixture at Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Izumo Taisha Shrine.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Izumo road trip planner.

Drive from Koya-cho to Izumo in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 8°C in January, and nighttime lows around 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Izumo

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 14 — 16:

Miyakojima

— 2 nights
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Sun): step off the mainland to explore Irabu-jima Island, kick back and relax at Toguchi no Hama, then step off the mainland to explore Shimojiiima Island, then snap pictures at Ikema Ohashi Bridge, and finally take in the views from Irabu Ohashi. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, then head outdoors with Sunayama Beach, then enjoy the sea views from Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Aragusuku Beach.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Miyakojima day trip site.

You can fly from Izumo to Miyakojima in 6.5 hours. In January, Miyakojima is warmer than Izumo - with highs of 24°C and lows of 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 18:

Ishigaki

— 3 nights
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 19th (Tue), head outdoors with Kondoi Beach, walk around Banna Park, get outside with Yonehara Beach, then get outside with Cape Hirakubozaki, and finally enjoy breathtaking views from Tamatorizaki Observatory. On the 20th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: see what's hidden on the seafloor at Prime Scuba Ishigaki Diving Center - Day Tour.

To see more things to do, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Ishigaki day trip planner.

Getting from Miyakojima to Ishigaki by flight takes about 2.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 24°C in January, and nighttime lows around 19°C. On the 21st (Thu), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 18 — 21:

Japan travel guide

4.3
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Historic Sites
Land of the Rising Sun
Part of a volcanic archipelago that encompasses over 6,800 islands, Japan remains one of Asia's most fascinating tourist destinations, where a blend of modernity and tradition creates a look and feel completely different from any other place in the world. A tour of Japan lets you discover big cities filled with ancient temples and innovative skyscrapers, as well as quiet country landscapes dotted with castles, perfectly manicured gardens, cherry orchards, and primeval forests seemingly untouched by the hand of mass tourism. Many tourists on vacation in Japan devote lots of time to the country's unique cuisine, prepared with painstaking attention to detail and a genius for simple yet effective presentation.