13 days in Tokyo, Kyoto & Takayama Itinerary

13 days in Tokyo, Kyoto & Takayama Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in Tokyo, Kyoto & Takayama Itinerary

Start: Tokyo
1
Tokyo
— 5 nights
train:  2​h 45​min
2
Kyoto
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
3
Takayama
— 3 nights
End: Tokyo

5
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.
For shopping fun, head to Tsukiji Market or Dover Street Market Ginza. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Roppongi Hills and Mt. Takao. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Tokyo: Yokohama (Minato Mirai 21 & Yokohama Chinatown). Spend the 6th (Tue) wandering around Odaiba. Next up on the itinerary: wander the streets of Asakusa, browse the different shops at Tokyo Midtown, look for gifts at Shin-marunouchi Building, and don't miss a visit to Omotesando.

For traveler tips, reviews, maps, and tourist information, go to the Tokyo sightseeing planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from your home destination to Tokyo. In December, daily temperatures in Tokyo can reach 12°C, while at night they dip to 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Shopping Nature

Side Trips

Yokohama, Mt. Takao
Find places to stay Dec 4 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Minato Mirai 21 ©
Minato Mirai 21
Mt. Takao ©
Mt. Takao
Omotesando ©
Omotesando

4
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Nara Park and Philosopher's Walk. Popular historic sites such as Nijo Castle and Tōdai-ji are in your itinerary. Step out of Kyoto to go to Osaka and see Shinsaibashi, which is approximately 1:10 hours away. Spend a day outdoors on the 14th (Wed) with Arashiyama. The adventure continues: don't miss a visit to Gion, browse the eclectic array of goods at Nishiki Market, explore the wide array of goods at Kyoto Takashimaya, and take in panoramic vistas at Kyoto Tower.

To see maps, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Kyoto travel planner.

You can do a combination of subway and train from Tokyo to Kyoto in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus, flight, and train; or drive. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from Tokyo in December since evenings lows in Kyoto dip to 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Kyoto

Neighborhoods Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trips

Nara, Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Gion
Gion
Kyoto Tower ©
Kyoto Tower
Todai-ji Temple ©
Todai-ji Temple

3
nights
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.
Popular historic sites such as World Heritage Shirakawago Gassho Frame Housing Community and Takayama Jinya are in your itinerary. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Sanmachi Suji and Takasu Snow Park. When in Takayama, make a side trip to see Gassho Zukuri Minka-en in Shirakawa-mura, approximately 56 minutes away. There's much more to do: browse the eclectic array of goods at Hida-Takayama Miyagawa Morning Market, take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Sugorokudake, see the interesting displays at Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato), and head outdoors with Abo Pass.

To find maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Takayama sightseeing planner.

Traveling by car from Kyoto to Takayama takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Traveling from Kyoto in December, expect Takayama to be a bit cooler, temps between 6°C and 0°C.

Things to do in Takayama

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Takasu Snow Park
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Takasu Snow Park ©
Takasu Snow Park
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen ©
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen

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