12 days in Japan Itinerary

12 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Singapore
Fly:  9​h 45​min
1
Osaka
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
2
Takayama
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
3
Shirakawa-mura
— 1 night
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  6​h 30​min
4
Niseko-cho
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
5
Sapporo
— 1 night
Fly + shuttle:  1​h 30​min
6
Hakodate
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h 45​min
7
Tokyo
— 2 nights
Fly:  11​h
End: Singapore

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 5th (Thu): wander the streets of Dotonbori and then get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, then step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle, and then see the interesting displays at Mizuno Sportology Gallery.

To find photos, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, read Osaka trip builder website .

Singapore, Singapore to Osaka is an approximately 10-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight, bus, and train. The time zone difference moving from Singapore Time (SGT) to Japan Standard Time (JST) is 1 hour. Plan for much colder temperatures traveling from Singapore in December, with highs in Osaka at 13°C and lows at 4°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Fri) so you can go by car to Takayama.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Historic Sites Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Find places to stay Dec 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle

1
night
Takayama

Takayama ©
Hidden high up in the Japanese Alps, Takayama remained largely cut off from the rest of Japan for centuries, allowing the local culture to grow in relative isolation.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Sat): see the interesting displays at Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, stop by Takayama Usagiya, wander the streets of Sanmachi Suji, then contemplate the long history of Takayama Jinya, then get a new perspective on nature at Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato), and finally make a trip to Hida Furukawa Old Town.

To see photos, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Takayama trip maker tool .

Traveling by car from Osaka to Takayama takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Osaka in December, expect nights in Takayama to be about the same, around 3°C, while days are little chillier, around 9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) early enough to drive to Shirakawa-mura.

Things to do in Takayama

Museums Historic Sites Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Hida Furukawa Old Town
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya

1
night
Shirakawa-mura

Shirakawa-mura ©
Set amid quintessentially Japanese landscape, Shirakawa-mura consists of 16 quaint villages, including a historic village of farm houses, now designated a World Heritage Site.
On the 8th (Sun), take in panoramic vistas at Tenshukakau Observatory, then take an in-depth tour of Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, then steep yourself in history at Wada House, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Shirakawa-mura using our trip planner.

You can drive from Takayama to Shirakawa-mura in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In December in Shirakawa-mura, expect temperatures between 11°C during the day and 3°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) so you can travel to Niseko-cho.

Things to do in Shirakawa-mura

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan

1
night
Niseko-cho

Niseko-cho ©
Ranking as the most popular ski resort in Hokkaido, mountaintop Niseko-cho boasts great slopes and surprisingly vibrant nightlife.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Mon): head outdoors with Niseko Village Pure, fly down the slopes at Niseko Village Ski Resort, then head outdoors with Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area, then head outdoors with Hokkaido Backcountry Club, and finally take an in-depth tour of Arishima Memorial Center.

For photos, reviews, maps, and tourist information, go to the Niseko-cho travel route tool .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Shirakawa-mura to Niseko-cho. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Shirakawa-mura in December, with highs in Niseko-cho at 3°C and lows at -1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Mon) so you can drive to Sapporo.

Things to do in Niseko-cho

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports
Find places to stay Dec 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Niseko Village Ski Resort ©
Niseko Village Ski Resort
Hokkaido Backcountry Club ©
Hokkaido Backcountry Club

1
night
Sapporo

Sapporo ©
A modern, bustling city known for its beer brewery, Sapporo attracts millions of visitors with its Snow Festival, during which elaborate ice and snow sculptures are exhibited all over town.
On the 10th (Tue), contemplate the long history of Sapporo Clock Tower, take a stroll around Sapporo Underground Shopping Centre Aurora Town, get great views at Sapporo TV Tower, walk around Odori Park, then get a sense of history and politics at Former Hokkaido Government Office Building, and finally enjoy the scholastic atmosphere at Hokkaido University Sapporo Campus.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Sapporo tour planner.

You can drive from Niseko-cho to Sapporo in 2 hours. Traveling from Niseko-cho in December, you will find days in Sapporo are little chillier (0°C), and nights are about the same (-2°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Hakodate.

Things to do in Sapporo

Parks Historic Sites Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Odori Park ©
Odori Park
Hokkaido University Sapporo Campus ©

1
night
Hakodate

Hakodate ©
A gateway to the island, Hakodate has gained a reputation for its waterfront attractions, its proximity to some of the island's most popular natural sites, and its seafood.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Wed): don't miss a visit to Hachimanzaka, take a stroll through Motomachi, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mount Hakodate, then stop by Goryokaku Tower Shop, then take in panoramic vistas at Goryokaku Tower, and finally admire the landmark architecture of Goryokaku Park.

To see more things to do, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Hakodate journey maker app .

Getting from Sapporo to Hakodate by combination of flight and shuttle takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: fly; or drive. In December, daytime highs in Hakodate are 3°C, while nighttime lows are -3°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Wed) early enough to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Hakodate

Historic Sites Parks Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Goryokaku Park ©
Goryokaku Park
Mount Hakodate ©
Mount Hakodate
Goryokaku Tower ©
Goryokaku Tower

2
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.
Have a day of magic on the 14th (Sat) at Tokyo Disneyland. Next up on the itinerary: make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, take in panoramic vistas at Tokyo Skytree, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senso-ji Temple, and get great views at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

For more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, read our Tokyo holiday planning site .

Traveling by flight from Hakodate to Tokyo takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of ferry and car. Traveling from Hakodate in December, expect Tokyo to be a bit warmer, temps between 14°C and 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Theme Parks Historic Sites Museums

Side Trip

Tokyo Disneyland
Find places to stay Dec 11 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings ©

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