13 days in Tokyo, Kyoto & Osaka Itinerary

13 days in Tokyo, Kyoto & Osaka Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in Tokyo, Kyoto & Osaka Itinerary

Start: Raleigh
Fly:  19 h 30 min
1
Tokyo
— 4 nights
Train:  2 h 30 min
2
Kyoto
— 2 nights
Train:  30 min
3
Osaka
— 2 nights
Train:  3 h 15 min
4
Tokyo
— 2 nights
Fly:  19 h 30 min
End: Raleigh

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.
Explore Tokyo's surroundings by going to Tokyo DisneySea (in Maihama) and Lake Kawaguchi (in Fujikawaguchiko-machi). There's still lots to do: make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, get great views at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, see the interesting displays at Edo-Tokyo Museum, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Senso-ji Temple.

To find where to stay, photos, maps, and other tourist information, use the Tokyo tour itinerary maker app.

Raleigh, USA to Tokyo is an approximately 19.5- hour flight. You can also do a combination of train, bus, and flight; or do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Japan Standard Time is 14 hours. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Raleigh in September since evenings lows in Tokyo dip to 69°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) to allow time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Theme Parks Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trips

Urayasu, Lake Kawaguchi
Find places to stay Sep 14 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

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 19th (Sat): steep yourself in history at Tofuku-ji Temple, then contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, and then steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, and then steep yourself in history at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.

To find other places to visit, maps, photos, and tourist information, read Kyoto trip maker site.

You can take a train from Tokyo to Kyoto in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. September in Kyoto sees daily highs of 83°F and lows of 68°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sun) so you can take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Sep 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kinkaku-ji ©
Kinkaku-ji

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 20th (Sun): get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. On your second day here, explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, then shop like a local with Dotonbori, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Nara Park.

For other places to visit, maps, photos, and more tourist information, use the Osaka online trip builder.

Osaka is very close to Kyoto. In September, daytime highs in Osaka are 82°F, while nighttime lows are 69°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) so you can travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Osaka

Parks Historic Sites Wildlife

Side Trips

Himeji, Nara Park
Find places to stay Sep 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan ©
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle

2
nights
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Wed): appreciate the history behind Hachiko, take a stroll through Ginza, then stop by Akihabara, and finally wander the streets of Asakusa. Keep things going the next day: take a stroll through Takeshita Street, engage your brain at National Museum of Nature and Science, then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Ueno Zoo, and finally admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Central Railway Station.

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

Getting from Osaka to Tokyo by train takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: fly; or drive. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Shopping Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Sep 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Akihabara ©
Akihabara
Ginza ©
Ginza
Ueno Zoo ©
Ueno Zoo

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