8 days in Japan Itinerary

8 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

8 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Des Moines
Fly:  17 h 30 min
1
Tokyo
— 4 nights
Train:  3 h 15 min
2
Osaka
— 2 nights
Fly:  19 h 30 min
End: Des Moines

4
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Ueno and KidZania Tokyo. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Asakusa Shrine and Samukawa Shrine. Change things up with these side-trips from Tokyo: Oyama Afuri Shrine (in Isehara), Pola Museum of Art (in Hakone-machi) and Naritasan Omote Sando (in Narita). There's much more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Sensō-ji, steep yourself in history at Nezu Shrine, and get engrossed in the history at Tokyo National Museum The Heiseikan.

To find maps, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Tokyo vacation planning site .

Des Moines, USA to Tokyo is an approximately 17.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight. Traveling from Des Moines to Tokyo, you'll lose 15 hours due to the time zone difference. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Des Moines in December: high temperatures in Tokyo hover around 54°F and lows are around 39°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Osaka.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Museums Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Kashima Jingu, Oyama Afuri Shrine, Samukawa Shrine, Naritasan Omote Sando, Katori Jingu Shrine
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Ueno ©
Ueno
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Kashima Jingu ©
Kashima Jingu

2
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 31st (Tue): take a stroll through Minami (Namba), take in the spiritual surroundings of Toji, and then contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get a taste of the local shopping with Hankyu Umeda Main Store, steep yourself in history at Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, then examine the collection at CUPNOODLES MUSEUM OSAKA IKEDA, then see the interesting displays at Glico Museum, and finally get a taste of the local shopping with Dotonbori.

For maps, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Osaka route maker .

You can take a train from Tokyo to Osaka in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In December in Osaka, expect temperatures between 52°F during the day and 39°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Shopping Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Kyoto, Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Toji ©
Toji
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda ©
Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda

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