12 days in Japan Itinerary

12 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Kansai holiday planner

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Route & dates

12 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Osaka
1
Osaka
— 2 nights
train:  30​min
2
Kyoto
— 1 night
train:  30​min
3
Uji
— 1 day
train:  30​min
4
Kyoto
— 2 nights
train:  45​min
5
Nara
— 1 day
train:  45​min
6
Osaka
— 3 nights
train:  30​min
7
Kobe
— 1 day
train:  30​min
8
Osaka
— 3 nights
Fly:  10​h 15​min
End: Kuala Lumpur

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 26th (Sun): step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle, look for gifts at Four-M, shop like a local with Dotonbori, then wander the streets of Minami (Namba), and finally don't miss a visit to Dotombori Glico Sign. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the dramatic scenery at Waterfall of Mino and then take a stroll through Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street.

To find ratings, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Osaka road trip app .

If you are flying in from Malaysia, the closest major airports are Osaka International Airport, Kansai International Airport and Chubu Centrair International Airport. Expect a daytime high around 23°C in April, and nighttime lows around 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Tue) early enough to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Osaka

Shopping Neighborhoods Nature

Side Trip

Waterfall of Mino
Find places to stay Apr 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Minami (Namba) ©
Minami (Namba)
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle

1
night
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 28th (Tue): explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, then shop like a local with Nishiki Market Shopping District, then contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, and finally hike along Kyoto Isshu Trail, Higahiyama Fuahimi Inari Course.

To find maps, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Kyoto trip itinerary planner.

Kyoto is very close to Osaka. April in Kyoto sees daily highs of 22°C and lows of 11°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Wed) early enough to take a train to Uji.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Shopping Trails
Find places to stay Apr 28 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle
Nishiki Market Shopping District ©
Nishiki Market Shopping District

1
day
Uji

Uji ©
Lying between Kyoto and Nara, the small city of Uji stands as a place of culture and history.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Wed): steep yourself in history at Byodoin, get engrossed in the history at Byodo-in Temple Museum Hoshokan, get to know the fascinating history of Byodoin Omote-sando, then explore the activities along Uji River, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Ujigami Shrine, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Asahiyaki.

Find out how to plan Uji trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

Uji is very close to Kyoto. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in April, and nighttime lows around 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) to allow enough time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Uji

Historic Sites Museums Nature
Find places to stay Apr 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Byodoin ©
Byodoin
Byodo-in Temple Museum Hoshokan ©
Byodo-in Temple Museum Hoshokan
Ujigami Shrine ©
Ujigami Shrine

2
nights
Kyoto

Kyoto ©
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Thu): steep yourself in history at Sanjusangendo Temple, admire the landmark architecture of Kyoto Station Building, then stop by Fuuka-Kimono, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ryoanji Temple.

For reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Kyoto day trip planner .

Kyoto is just a stone's throw from Uji. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Fri) to allow time to take a train to Nara.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Shopping Outdoors
Find places to stay Apr 29 — May 1:
Highlights from your plan
Kinkaku-ji ©
Kinkaku-ji
Sanjusangendo Temple ©
Sanjusangendo Temple
Ryoanji Temple ©
Ryoanji Temple

1
day
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 1st (Fri): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kasuga Grand Shrine, walk around Nara Park, then appreciate the history behind Todai-ji Temple, then indulge your thirst for a good beer at Harushika Brewery, and finally look for gifts at Naramachi Nakanishi Yosaburo.

To find photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, read Nara visit planner.

Getting from Kyoto to Nara by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive; or do a combination of subway and train. Traveling from Kyoto in May, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Nara, with lows around 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Fri) early enough to catch the train to Osaka.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay May 1 — 2:
Highlights from your plan
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Todai-ji Temple ©
Todai-ji Temple
Kasuga Grand Shrine ©
Kasuga Grand Shrine

3
nights
Osaka

Osaka ©
On the 2nd (Sat), view the masterpieces at Hankyu Umeda Gallery and then find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan. Here are some ideas for day two: find something for the whole family at SpaWorld, look for gifts at Tower Knives Osaka, then take a stroll through Midosuji Street, and finally examine the collection at Osaka Shiritsu Toyo Toji Museum.

For photos, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Osaka online trip builder .

Traveling by train from Nara to Osaka takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive. Traveling from Nara in May, expect slightly colder with lows of 18°C in Osaka. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Mon) early enough to take a train to Kobe.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Shopping Museums
Find places to stay May 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
SpaWorld ©
SpaWorld
Osaka Shiritsu Toyo Toji Museum ©
Osaka Shiritsu Toyo Toji Museum

1
day
Kobe

Kobe ©
Walkable, small, and aesthetically charming, Kobe has served as Japan's first and premier international trading outpost since opening to trade with China in the mid-19th century.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Mon): soothe aching muscles at Arima Onsen, then take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Rokko, then take a stroll through Kobe Harborland, and finally take a stroll through Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown).

For traveler tips, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, read Kobe holiday planner .

Kobe is just a stone's throw from Osaka. Traveling from Osaka in May, you will find days in Kobe are slightly colder (25°C), and nights are about the same (20°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Mon) to allow enough time to take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kobe

Nature Parks Shopping
Find places to stay May 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Arima Onsen ©
Arima Onsen
Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown) ©
Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown)
Kobe Harborland ©
Kobe Harborland

3
nights
Osaka

Osaka ©
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Tue): get some fabulous bargains at Rinku Premium Outlets, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Koya, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Koyasan Okunoin. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: observe the fascinating underwater world at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, take a stroll through Nipponbashi Denden Town, then indulge in some culinary diversions at a local gastronomic tour, and finally look for gifts at Tenjimbashisuji Shopping Street.

To see maps, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, read Osaka visit planner.

Osaka is just a short distance from Kobe. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Kobe in May: highs in Osaka hover around 29°C, while lows dip to 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 7th (Thu) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Osaka

Shopping Parks Nature

Side Trips

Koya-cho, Rinku Premium Outlets
Find places to stay May 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Tenjimbashisuji Shopping Street ©
Tenjimbashisuji Shopping Street
Mt. Koya ©
Mt. Koya
Hankyu Umeda Honten ©
Hankyu Umeda Honten

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