12 days in Japan Itinerary

12 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Singapore
Fly + bus:  10​h
1
Kobe
— 1 night
train:  30​min
2
Osaka
— 2 nights
train:  45​min
3
Nara
— 1 night
train:  45​min
4
Kyoto
— 3 nights
train:  2​h 45​min
5
Tokyo
— 4 nights
Fly:  10​h 15​min
End: Singapore

1
night
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 1st (Sun): admire the natural beauty at Kobe Oji Zoo, meet the residents at Suma Aqualife Park Kobe, and then get a taste of the local shopping with Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown). On the 2nd (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Kobe Animal Kingdom, admire the verdant scenery at Arima Onsen, and then get some fabulous bargains at Kobe-Sanda Premium Outlets.

To find maps, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Kobe online travel planner .

Singapore, Singapore to Kobe is an approximately 10-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight, bus, and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Singapore to Kobe. Prepare for cooler weather when traveling from Singapore in December: high temperatures in Kobe hover around 13°C and lows are around 6°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Mon) so you can take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kobe

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 2:
Highlights from your plan
Kobe Oji Zoo ©
Kobe Oji Zoo
Arima Onsen ©
Arima Onsen
Suma Aqualife Park Kobe ©
Suma Aqualife Park Kobe

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.
On the 3rd (Tue), take a stroll through Dotonbori and then get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan. On the 4th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, then don't miss a visit to Kuromon Market, and finally enjoy breathtaking views from Kuchu Teien Observatory.

For photos, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Osaka online tour builder .

Osaka is very close to Kobe. December in Osaka sees daily highs of 13°C and lows of 4°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) early enough to catch the train to Nara.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Dec 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan ©
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle

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 5th (Thu): explore the activities along Saho River, appreciate the history behind Todai-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Nigatsu-do Temple, then stroll around Nara Park, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Kasuga Grand Shrine.

Start your trip to Nara by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Traveling by train from Osaka to Nara takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive. Expect a daytime high around 13°C in December, and nighttime lows around 6°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Thu) early enough to catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Nara

Parks Historic Sites Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Saho River ©
Saho River
Todai-ji Temple ©
Todai-ji Temple

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.
Kyoto is known for historic sites, shopping, classes, parks, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: don't miss a visit to Kiyomizu-dera Temple, step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle, contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.

To find where to stay, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Kyoto journey planner.

Traveling by train from Nara to Kyoto takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and subway. December in Kyoto sees daily highs of 13°C and lows of 4°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sun) early enough to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Fun & Games Parks
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Monkey Park Iwatayama ©
Monkey Park Iwatayama

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.
Family-friendly places like Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings will thrill your kids. Go for a jaunt from Tokyo to Maihama to see Tokyo DisneySea about 30 minutes away. There's lots more to do: don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine, admire the striking features of Tokyo Skytree, have some family-friendly fun at Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sensō-ji.

To see photos, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Tokyo trip maker site .

You can take a train from Kyoto to Tokyo in 3 hours. Other options are to fly; or drive. In December, daily temperatures in Tokyo can reach 14°C, while at night they dip to 4°C. You'll have a few hours on the 12th (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Theme Parks Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Urayasu
Find places to stay Dec 8 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Tokyo Disneyland ©
Tokyo Disneyland
Tokyo DisneySea ©
Tokyo DisneySea

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