26 days in Japan Itinerary

26 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

26 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Cape Town
Fly:  26​h
1
Tokyo
— 9 nights
train:  4​h
2
Kita
— 7 nights
train:  1​h 30​min
3
Kyoto
— 6 nights
train + Fly:  27​h
End: Cape Town

9
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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Ginza and Odaiba. Shop till you drop at Harajuku Takeshita-dori and Asakusa. Venture out of the city with trips to Yokohama Chinatown (in Yokohama), Kotoku-in (Great Buddha of Kamakura) (in Kamakura) and Ghibli Museum (in Mitaka). Have a day of magic on the 3rd (Thu) at Tokyo Disneyland. The adventure continues: explore the world behind art at Tokyo National Museum, ponder the world of politics at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, make a trip to Imperial Palace, and examine the collection at Edo-Tokyo Museum.

For reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Tokyo attractions planner .

Cape Town, South Africa to Tokyo is an approximately 26-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from South Africa Standard Time (SAST) to Japan Standard Time (JST) is 7 hours. Prepare for much colder weather when traveling from Cape Town in December: high temperatures in Tokyo hover around 14°C and lows are around 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Fri) so you can travel to Kita.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Museums Theme Parks

Side Trips

Urayasu, Kōtoku-in, Yokohama Chinatown, The Hakone Open-Air Museum, Ghibli Museum Mitaka
Find places to stay Dec 26 — Jan 4:
Highlights from your plan
Odaiba ©
Odaiba
Sensō-ji ©
Sensō-ji
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum

7
nights
Kita

Kita ©
A Kita holiday offers a great deal of varied attractions that cater to all kinds of modern urban explorers.
Get a sense of the local culture at Midosuji Street and Osaka City Central Hall. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Tenjimbashisuji Shopping Street and Kanku Observation Hall Sky View. Get out of town with these interesting Kita side-trips: Koya-cho (Kongobu-ji Temple, Mt. Koya, & more), Rinku Premium Outlets (in Izumisano) and Horyu-ji Temple (in Ikaruga-cho).

For photos, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, use the Kita trip planner .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Tokyo to Kita. January in Kita sees daily highs of 10°C and lows of 1°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kita

Shopping Historic Sites Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Osaka, Koya-cho, Izumisano, Nishinomiya, Wakayama
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Tenjimbashisuji Shopping Street ©
Tenjimbashisuji Shopping Street
Kongobu-ji Temple ©
Kongobu-ji Temple
Horyu-ji Temple ©
Horyu-ji Temple

6
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.
Head to Kyoto Station Building and Teramachi Streetfor plenty of shopping. Do some cultural sightseeing at Gion and Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine. Change things up with these side-trips from Kyoto: Byodoin (in Uji) and Todai-ji Temple (in Nara). There's lots more to do: take some stellar pictures from Kiyomizu-dera Temple, make a trip to Nishiki Market, contemplate the long history of Kyoto Imperial Palace, and explore the historical opulence of Nijo-jo Castle.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, read Kyoto online trip itinerary planner .

Getting from Kita to Kyoto by car takes about 1.5 hours. In January, daytime highs in Kyoto are 10°C, while nighttime lows are 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Shopping Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Todai-ji Temple, Byodoin
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Gion
Gion
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine

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