12 days in Japan Itinerary

12 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: London
Fly + Train:  12​h
1
Kyoto
— 2 nights
Train:  30​min
2
Nara
— 1 night
Train:  30​min
3
Osaka
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 45​min
4
Hakone-machi
— 1 night
Bus + Train:  1​h 30​min
5
Tokyo
— 4 nights
Fly:  14​h 45​min
End: London

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.
On the 9th (Tue), take a stroll through Gion. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 10th (Wed): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ryoanji Temple, then don't miss a visit to Kiyomizu-Zaka Street, and finally get great views at Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

For traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Kyoto trip tool .

London, UK to Kyoto is an approximately 17-hour combination of flight and train. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of flight, bus, and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 9 hours traveling from London to Kyoto. Traveling from London in April, things will get a bit warmer in Kyoto: highs are around 22°C and lows about 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Thu) to allow enough time to take a train to Nara.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping
Find places to stay Apr 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle
Kinkaku-ji ©
Kinkaku-ji

1
night
Nara

Nara ©
The country's first established capital, Nara houses some of the most storied buildings and natural attractions in Japan, with eight World Heritage Sites in total.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Fri): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kofuku-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kasuga Grand Shrine, then identify plant and animal life at Nara Park, then examine the collection at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center, and finally appreciate the history behind Todai-ji Temple.

To find traveler tips and other tourist information, refer to the Nara vacation builder site .

Nara is just a short distance from Kyoto. Traveling from Kyoto in April, Nara is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Fri) so you can go by car to Osaka.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay Apr 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Todai-ji Temple ©
Todai-ji Temple
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Kasuga Grand Shrine ©
Kasuga Grand Shrine

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.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Sat): see the interesting displays at Museum of Oriental Ceramics and then get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: snap pictures at Oe Bridge, then step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle, then admire nature's wide array of creatures at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, and finally shop like a local with Dotonbori.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, read Osaka day trip planner .

Osaka is very close to Nara. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Nara in April since evenings lows in Osaka dip to 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Apr 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan ©
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle

1
night
Hakone-machi

Hakone-machi ©
Sitting at the foot of Mount Fuji, Hakone-machi has become a popular retreat from Tokyo for locals and tourists alike.
On the 15th (Mon), explore the world behind art at The Hakone Open-Air Museum, then explore the activities along Lake Ashi (Ashinoko), then take some stellar pictures from Hakone Ropeway, and finally identify plant and animal life at Hakone Shisseikaen.

To find photos, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Hakone-machi journey planner .

You can do a combination of subway and train from Osaka to Hakone-machi in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Traveling from Osaka in April, expect nights in Hakone-machi to be about the same, around 13°C, while days are slightly colder, around 15°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Tokyo.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Parks Nature Museums
Find places to stay Apr 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Ashi (Ashinoko) ©
Lake Ashi (Ashinoko)
Hakone Shisseikaen ©
Hakone Shisseikaen
The Hakone Open-Air Museum ©
The Hakone Open-Air Museum

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.
Kids will enjoy Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and Edo-Tokyo Museum. Step out of Tokyo with an excursion to Tokyo DisneySea in Urayasu--about 30 minutes away. Have a day of magic on the 17th (Wed) at Tokyo Disneyland. There's much more to do: get great views at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower, admire the masterpieces at Tokyo National Museum, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Senso-ji Temple.

For maps, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Tokyo route planning app .

Getting from Hakone-machi to Tokyo by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Hakone-machi in April, expect nights in Tokyo to be about the same, around 12°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Theme Parks Historic Sites Museums

Side Trip

Urayasu
Find places to stay Apr 15 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Tokyo Disneyland ©
Tokyo Disneyland
Tokyo DisneySea ©
Tokyo DisneySea
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden ©
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

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