17 days in Brisbane & Japan Itinerary

17 days in Brisbane & Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Brisbane & Japan Itinerary

Start: Townsville, Australia
1
Brisbane, Australia
— 3 nights
+2
Fly + bus + train:  19​h
2
Takayama, Japan
— 1 night
+3
train + bus + Fly + taxi:  8​h
3
Yakushima-cho, Japan
— 1 night
+3
taxi + Fly + subway + train:  5​h 15​min
4
Hatsukaichi, Japan
— 1 day
+2
train + subway + Fly:  5​h
5
Miyakojima, Japan
— 2 nights
ferry:  4​h
6
Iriomote-jima, Japan
— 3 nights
ferry:  1​h
7
Ishigaki, Japan
— 2 nights
Fly:  19​h
End: Townsville, Australia

3
nights
Brisbane, Australia

Brisbane ©
Queensland’s biggest town and state capital, Brisbane has an attractive, manicured image based around its riverside aesthetic as well as the contrast between its high-rise center and extensive urban greenery.
Step off the beaten path and head to Burleigh Head National Park and Robina Town Shopping Centre. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre and Harbour Town Outlet Shopping Centre. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Brisbane: Coolangatta Beach (in Coolangatta), Pelican Feeding (in Labrador) and Anthea Polson Art (in Main Beach). Next up on the itinerary: see the interesting displays at Museum of Brisbane, enjoy the sand and surf at Burleigh Heads Beach, explore the world behind art at The Henderson Gallery, and play a few rounds at Surfers Paradise Golf Club.

For maps, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, read Brisbane route planning app .

Townsville to Brisbane is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also take a train; or drive. Traveling from Townsville in December, things will get little chillier in Brisbane: highs are around 32°C and lows about 23°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) so you can travel to Takayama.

Things to do in Brisbane

Outdoors Beaches Shopping

Side Trips

Gold Coast, Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Museum of Brisbane ©
Museum of Brisbane
Burleigh Head National Park ©
Burleigh Head National Park

1
night
Takayama, Japan

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 26th (Thu), contemplate the long history of Takayama Jinya, explore the engaging exhibits at Hida Takayama Retro Museum, then stop by Shofuen Matsuno Chaho, and finally see the interesting displays at Takayama Showa Museum. Keep things going the next day: examine the collection at Hikaru Museum, get a new perspective on nature at Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato), see the interesting displays at Lion Dance Ceremony Exhibition Hall (Shishi-Kaikan), take in the spiritual surroundings of Daio-ji Temple, then get to know the fascinating history of Higashiyama Walking Course, and finally take a stroll through Sanmachi Suji.

For traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Takayama tour site .

Explore your travel options from Brisbane to Takayama with the Route module. Traveling from Brisbane to Takayama, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Brisbane in December, things will get colder in Takayama: highs are around 9°C and lows about 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) early enough to travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Takayama

Museums Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Takayama Showa Museum ©
Takayama Showa Museum
Higashiyama Walking Course ©
Higashiyama Walking Course

1
night
Yakushima-cho, Japan

Yakushima-cho ©
A popular destination for Japanese tourists, Kumage-gun Yakushima-cho is a true paradise for nature lovers, with over 1,900 species and subspecies of plants.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sat): take in the awesome beauty at Tachudake and then take in breathtaking views at Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Yakusugi Land.

To see maps, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Yakushima-cho online tour planner .

Do a combination of train, flight, and taxi from Takayama to Yakushima-cho in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, ferry, and taxi; or do a combination of car and ferry. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Takayama in December, with highs in Yakushima-cho at 18°C and lows at 12°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) so you can travel to Hatsukaichi.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Nature Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley ©
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley
Yakusugi Land ©
Yakusugi Land

1
day
Hatsukaichi, Japan

Hatsukaichi ©
The city of Hatsukaichi developed from a small market town, frequented by passing samurais during the Edo period.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Mon): take in the spiritual surroundings of Senjokaku, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Daishoin Temple, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Misen, then contemplate the long history of Itsukushima Shrine Torii, and finally look for gifts at Itsukushima Gekijyo.

For photos, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Hatsukaichi vacation website .

Traveling by combination of taxi, flight, and train from Yakushima-cho to Hatsukaichi takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, ferry, and train; or do a combination of car and ferry. Traveling from Yakushima-cho in December, expect Hatsukaichi to be a bit cooler, temps between 13°C and 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) so you can travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Hatsukaichi

Historic Sites Nature Parks
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Daishoin Temple ©
Daishoin Temple
Itsukushima Shrine Torii ©
Itsukushima Shrine Torii
Senjokaku ©
Senjokaku

2
nights
Miyakojima, Japan

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 31st (Tue): snap pictures at Ikema Ohashi Bridge, stroll through Sunayama Beach, and then stroll through Yonaha Maehama Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: head off the coast to Shimojiiima Island, snap pictures at Irabu Bridge, and then get outside with Outdoor Activities.

To find ratings, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Miyakojima online tour itinerary planner .

Getting from Hatsukaichi to Miyakojima by combination of train and flight takes about 5 hours. Other options: fly. While traveling from Hatsukaichi, expect somewhat warmer days and much warmer nights in Miyakojima, ranging from highs of 25°C to lows of 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) early enough to ride a ferry to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach
Scuba & Snorkeling
Shimojiiima Island ©
Shimojiiima Island

3
nights
Iriomote-jima, Japan

Iriomote-jima ©
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
Get outdoors at Canyoning & Rappelling Tours and Iriomote Island. Explore hidden gems such as Kayaking & Canoeing and Nara no Taki Falls. There's lots more to do: admire the sheer force of Pinaisara Falls, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and identify plant and animal life at Funauki Village.

To find more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Iriomote-jima road trip planning tool .

You can ride a ferry from Miyakojima to Iriomote-jima in 4 hours. Expect a daytime high around 24°C in January, and nighttime lows around 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) early enough to ride a ferry to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Tours Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Iriomote Island ©
Iriomote Island
Pinaisara Falls ©
Pinaisara Falls
Kayaking & Canoeing

2
nights
Ishigaki, Japan

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.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Sun): kick back and relax at Yonehara Beach, enjoy the sea views from Cape Hirakubozaki, and then take in panoramic vistas at Tamatorizaki Observatory. On the next day, glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, then enjoy the sand and surf at Kondoi Beach, and then stop by Inafuku Shuhan Honten.

To see maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Ishigaki online visit planner .

Getting from Iriomote-jima to Ishigaki by ferry takes about an hour. Expect a daytime high around 24°C in January, and nighttime lows around 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trip

Kondoi Beach
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach
Stand-Up Paddleboarding

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