12 days in Japan Itinerary

12 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip itinerary maker

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Route & dates

Start: Honolulu, Oahu
Fly:  11 h 45 min
1
Osaka
— 1 night
Train:  30 min
2
Kobe
— 1 day
Train:  30 min
3
Kyoto
— 1 night
Train:  2 h 45 min
4
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Fly:  9 h 45 min
End: Honolulu, Oahu

1
night
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.
On the 28th (Tue), view the masterpieces at Hankyu Umeda Gallery, see the interesting displays at Osaka Shiritsu Toyo Toji Museum, contemplate the long history of Osaka Castle, then take an in-depth tour of Peace Osaka, then shop like a local with Minami (Namba), and finally take a stroll through Dotombori. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 29th (Wed): take a stroll through Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street, see the interesting displays at Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda, see the interesting displays at Osaka Museum of Housing and Living, then get a sense of history and politics at Mint Museum, then appreciate the history behind Todai-ji Temple, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Nara Park.

For photos, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, read our Osaka online itinerary planner.

Honolulu, USA to Osaka is an approximately 11- hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Honolulu to Osaka is 19 hours. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Honolulu in May, with highs in Osaka at 77°F and lows at 60°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) to allow enough time to take a train to Kobe.

Things to do in Osaka

Shopping Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Nara, Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda
Find places to stay May 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Dotombori ©
Dotombori
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle

1
day
Kobe

Kobe ©
Walkable, small, and aesthetically charming, Kobe has served as Japan's first and premier international trading outpost since opening to trade with China in the mid-19th century.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Thu): see the interesting displays at Kawasaki Good Times World, examine the collection at Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at Arima Onsen, then steep yourself in history at Kobe Kitano Museum (Ijinkan-gai), then take in the spiritual surroundings of Ikuta Shrine, and finally wander the streets of Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown).

To see other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Kobe trip itinerary planning site.

Kobe is just a short distance from Osaka. Traveling from Osaka in May, you will find days in Kobe are slightly colder (71°F), and nights are about the same (63°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) to allow time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kobe

Shopping Neighborhoods Historic Sites
Find places to stay May 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown) ©
Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown)
Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum ©
Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum
Kobe Harborland ©
Kobe Harborland

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Fri): take an in-depth tour of Namikawa Yasuyuki Sippo Memorial Museum, don't miss a visit to Nijo Castle, hunt for treasures at Nishiki Market Shopping District, then don't miss a visit to Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and finally wander the streets of Gion.

For maps, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Kyoto driving holiday planning site.

Kyoto is just a stone's throw from Kobe. Traveling from Kobe in May, you will find days in Kyoto are somewhat warmer (77°F), and nights are about the same (59°F). On the 1st (Sat), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums
Find places to stay May 30 — Jun 1:
Highlights from your plan
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Sanjusangendo Temple ©
Sanjusangendo Temple

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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Tokyo National Museum and Odaiba. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Senso-ji Temple and Hase-dera Temple. Explore Tokyo's surroundings by going to Ghibli Museum Mitaka (in Mitaka), The Hakone Open-Air Museum (in Hakone-machi) and Yokohama Nature Sanctuary (in Yokohama). There's lots more to do: see the interesting displays at Edo-Tokyo Museum, make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower, and ponder the world of politics at Imperial Palace.

To find more things to do, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Tokyo trip builder tool.

Take a train from Kyoto to Tokyo in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 79°F in June, and nighttime lows around 67°F. On the 6th (Thu), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Parks Museums

Side Trips

Ghibli Museum Mitaka, Hayama Sangaokayama Ryokuchi, The Hakone Open-Air Museum, Yokohama Nature Sanctuary, Hase-dera Temple
Find places to stay Jun 1 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple
Odaiba ©
Odaiba

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