12 days in Japan Itinerary

12 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  12 h 30 min
1
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Train:  2 h 45 min
2
Kyoto
— 2 nights
Train:  30 min
3
Osaka
— 3 nights
Fly:  13 h 15 min
End: Sydney

5
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Odaiba Kaihin Koen (Odaiba Seaside Park) and Pola Museum of Art. Get some cultural insight at Meigetsuin (Hydrangea Temple) and The Railway Museum. Explore Tokyo's surroundings by going to Oyama Rice Terraces (in Kamogawa) and Kamakura (Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple) & Kencho-ji Temple). Next up on the itinerary: take in the spiritual surroundings of Asakusa Shrine, take a stroll through Yanaka, and contemplate the long history of Nezu Shrine.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Tokyo tour planner.

Sydney, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 12.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. The time zone difference when traveling from Sydney to Tokyo is minus 1 hour. Plan for warmer temperatures traveling from Sydney in July, with highs in Tokyo at 36°C and lows at 27°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Wed) early enough to travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Kamakura, Pola Museum of Art, Oyama Rice Terraces, The Railway Museum
Find places to stay Jul 19 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple) ©
Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple)
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Kencho-ji Temple
Kencho-ji Temple

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Thu): contemplate the long history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kennin-ji Temple, and then take a stroll through Gion. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, steep yourself in history at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sanjusangendo Temple, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mii-dera Temple (Onjo-ji Temple).

For where to stay, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Kyoto trip planner .

Traveling by train from Tokyo to Kyoto takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In July, plan for daily highs up to 37°C, and evening lows to 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Fri) to allow time to take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Mii-dera Temple (Onjo-ji Temple)
Find places to stay Jul 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Kennin-ji Temple ©
Kennin-ji Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple

3
nights
Osaka

Osaka ©
Proud of their hometown's distinct culture and dialect, many natives of Osaka describe their city as "Japan's anti-capital." An antidote to Tokyo's hectic energy, Osaka marches to the beat of its own drum, serving as the country's longtime commercial and industrial hub.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Sat): take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Wakakusa, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nigatsu-do Temple, then identify plant and animal life at Nara Park, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Toshodaiji Temple, and finally look for gifts at Kimono Photo Studio Wasabi Osaka. On your second day here, get to know the fascinating history of Hozenji Yokocho, then see the interesting displays at Osaka Museum of Housing and Living, then get a taste of the local shopping with Dotonbori, and finally get a taste of the local shopping with Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street.

To find other places to visit, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Osaka trip itinerary builder tool .

Osaka is very close to Kyoto. July in Osaka sees daily highs of 37°C and lows of 28°C at night. On the 29th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Osaka

Shopping Neighborhoods Historic Sites

Side Trips

Nara, Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda
Find places to stay Jul 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Toshodai-ji Temple ©
Toshodai-ji Temple
Nigatsu-do Temple ©
Nigatsu-do Temple
Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda ©
Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda

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