12 days in Japan Itinerary

12 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Philadelphia
+3
train + foot + Fly + train:  21​h
1
Kyoto
— 3 nights
train:  45​min
2
Nara
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
3
Ise
— 1 night
+2
train + foot + train:  5​h
4
Hakone-machi
— 1 night
bus + train:  1​h 45​min
5
Tokyo
— 2 nights
+2
Fly + foot + train:  18​h 45​min
End: Philadelphia

3
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.
Kennin-ji Temple and Nijo Castle are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Ninna-ji Temple and Shimogamo Jinja. There's more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kiyomizu-dera Temple and contemplate the long history of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.

To see traveler tips, photos, maps, and more tourist information, use the Kyoto online travel route builder .

Philadelphia, USA to Kyoto is an approximately 21-hour combination of train and flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Philadelphia to Kyoto is 14 hours. In June, daily temperatures in Kyoto can reach 81°F, while at night they dip to 67°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Tue) to allow time to take a train to Nara.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Shopping Wildlife
Find places to stay Jun 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine ©
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

3
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Wed): take in the local highlights with Walking tours, pause for some photo ops at Todai-ji Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nigatsu-do Temple, then identify plant and animal life at Nara Park, and finally look for gifts at Naramachi Johokan. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the natural beauty at Isuien Garden, take in nature's colorful creations at Yoshikien, take an in-depth tour of Nara National Museum, then get engrossed in the history at Kofuku-ji Temple National Treasure Hall, then browse the different shops at Nara Family, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Toshodaiji Temple.

To find maps, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, go to the Nara trip itinerary planner.

You can take a train from Kyoto to Nara in an hour. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of subway and train. Expect a daytime high around 81°F in June, and nighttime lows around 72°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Fri) early enough to take a train to Ise.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Parks Shopping
Find places to stay Jun 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Toshodai-ji Temple ©
Toshodai-ji Temple
Nigatsu-do Temple ©
Nigatsu-do Temple
Todai-ji Temple ©
Todai-ji Temple

1
night
Ise

Ise ©
A spiritual center of Shintoism, Ise stands as a traditional city where visitors can see the roots of Japanese culture in a number of well-preserved natural and historic sites.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Fri): get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Ise Sea Paradise (Ise Meotoiwa Interactive Aquarium), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Matsuo Kanonji Temple, then look for gifts at Hakutaka Miyake Shoten, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ise Grand Shrine, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Ise Shrine Geku.

To find photos, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Ise trip itinerary planner.

You can take a train from Nara to Ise in 2 hours. Another option is to drive. Traveling from Nara in June, expect nights in Ise to be about the same, around 72°F, while days are slightly colder, around 74°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Ise

Historic Sites Shopping Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Jun 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Ise Shrine Geku ©
Ise Shrine Geku
Ise Grand Shrine ©
Ise Grand Shrine

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.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Sat): explore the world behind art at Hakone Museum of Art, explore the striking landscape of Pola Museum of Art, then look for all kinds of wild species at Hakone Shisseikaen, then admire the masterpieces at The Hakone Open-Air Museum, and finally head outdoors with Hakone Stone‐paved Road. Keep things going the next day: explore the world behind art at Okada Museum of Art, see the interesting displays at Lalique Museum Hakone, take in the spiritual surroundings of Choanji Temple, then contemplate the long history of Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu, and finally stop by Hamamatsuya.

To find reviews, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Hakone-machi trip planner .

You can drive from Ise to Hakone-machi in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and flight. In June, Hakone-machi is a bit cooler than Ise - with highs of 68°F and lows of 65°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sun) so you can travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Museums Parks Shopping
Find places to stay Jun 13 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
The Hakone Open-Air Museum ©
The Hakone Open-Air Museum
Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu ©
Pola Museum of Art ©
Pola Museum of Art

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.
On the 15th (Mon), explore the world behind art at teamLab Borderless, appreciate the extensive heritage of Hozomon, take in the spiritual surroundings of Asakusa Shrine, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sensō-ji, and finally wander the streets of Kitchen Town (Kappabashi). Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 16th (Tue): take in the spiritual surroundings of Tokyo Camii & Turkish Culture Center, wander the streets of Shimokitazawa, then browse the range of quality goods at Ginza Mitsukoshi, then stop by Ginza Itoya Hontren, and finally contemplate the long history of Nezu Shrine.

For more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Tokyo planning app .

You can take a train from Hakone-machi to Tokyo in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Hakone-machi in June: highs in Tokyo hover around 79°F, while lows dip to 67°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Shopping Museums
Find places to stay Jun 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Asakusa Shrine ©
Asakusa Shrine
Hozomon ©
Hozomon

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