12 days in Japan Itinerary

12 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Osaka
1
Osaka
— 3 nights
Train:  45​min
2
Otsu
— 1 night
Train + Subway:  30​min
3
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Train:  2​h 30​min
4
Tokyo
— 4 nights
End: Tokyo

3
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.
Let the collections at Osaka Shiritsu Toyo Toji Museum and Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum capture your imagination. Take a break from Osaka with a short trip to Todaiji Temple Cultural Center in Nara, about 48 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan, step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle, see the interesting displays at The World Money Box Museum, and take a stroll through Dotonbori.

To find photos, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Osaka trip builder app .

If you are flying in from Singapore, the closest major airports are Osaka International Airport, Kansai International Airport and Chubu Centrair International Airport. Expect a daytime high around 13°C in December, and nighttime lows around 4°C. On the 6th (Fri), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Otsu.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Museums Historic Sites

Side Trips

The World Money Box Museum, Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, Todaiji Temple Cultural Center
Find places to stay Dec 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori

1
night
Otsu

Otsu ©
The lake port city of Otsu has a wealth of sites of historical and cultural importance and lies within close proximity to Kyoto.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Fri): fly down the slopes at Biwako Valley and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Jishu Shrine. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 7th (Sat): get to know the fascinating history of Byodoin Omote-sando, revel in the low prices at Mitsui Outlet Park Shiga Ryuo, admire the landmark architecture of La Corina Omihachiman, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mii-dera Temple (Onjo-ji Temple).

To see where to stay, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Otsu tour itinerary builder app .

You can take a train from Osaka to Otsu in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Otsu are 13°C, while nighttime lows are 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) to allow time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Otsu

Parks Shopping Outdoors

Side Trips

Mitsui Outlet Park Shiga Ryuo, Byodoin Omote-sando, La Corina Omihachiman
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Biwako Valley ©
Biwako Valley
Jishu Shrine ©
Jishu Shrine
Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple ©
Hieizan Enryaku-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.
Head to Nishiki Market Shopping District and Fuuka-Kimonofor some retail therapy. Visit Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Kiyomizu-dera Temple for their historical value. There's much more to do: take a stroll through Gion, take an in-depth tour of Kyoto National Museum, step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle, and trek along Kyoto Isshu Trail, Higahiyama Fuahimi Inari Course.

To see other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Kyoto attractions website .

Kyoto is just a short distance from Otsu. December in Kyoto sees daily highs of 13°C and lows of 4°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) so you can catch the train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Outdoors Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

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.
Visit Tokyo National Museum and Senso-ji Temple for their historical value. Shop till you drop at Ginza and Takeshita Street. There's much more to do: take a stroll through Odaiba, get your game on at Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou, examine the collection at Edo-Tokyo Museum, and discover the magic at Tokyo Disneyland.

To find maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Tokyo trip planner .

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Tokyo takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. December in Tokyo sees daily highs of 14°C and lows of 4°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Theme Parks Museums

Side Trip

Tokyo Disneyland
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo Disneyland ©
Tokyo Disneyland
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple

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