15 days in Japan Itinerary

15 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Kuala Lumpur
Fly:  12​h 15​min
1
Kanazawa
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
2
Takayama
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
3
Kyoto
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Toyonaka
— 2 nights
Drive:  30​min
5
Kita
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
6
Nara
— 2 nights
train + Fly:  10​h 30​min
End: Kuala Lumpur

1
night
Kanazawa

Kanazawa
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Mon): admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, steep yourself in history at Kanazawa Castle, take a stroll through Higashichaya Old Town, then don't miss a visit to Omicho Market, and finally stroll through Kanazawa Castle Park. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the world behind art at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, contemplate the long history of Nomura Family Samurai House, admire the striking features of Kanazawa Station, then take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Utatsu, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ninja Temple.

To find reviews, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Kanazawa trip maker app .

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Kanazawa is an approximately 12.5-hour combination of flight and train. You can also do a combination of flight, taxi, and train. The time zone difference moving from Malaysia Time (MYT) to Japan Standard Time (JST) is 1 hour. In December, Kanazawa is much colder than Kuala Lumpur - with highs of 11°C and lows of 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Tue) so you can drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Parks Historic Sites Nature
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden
Omicho Market ©
Omicho Market
Higashichaya Old Town ©
Higashichaya Old Town

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Wed): get to know the fascinating history of The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses, steep yourself in history at Wada House, then take in panoramic vistas at Shirakawago Shiroyama Observatory Deck, and finally take an in-depth tour of Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen. Keep things going the next day: take a stroll through Sanmachi Suji, steep yourself in history at Takayama Jinya, see the interesting displays at Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village (Hida no Sato), then appreciate the extensive heritage of Higashiyama Walking Course, and finally see the interesting displays at Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall.

To find where to stay, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Takayama trip builder .

Traveling by car from Kanazawa to Takayama takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In January, plan for daily highs up to 5°C, and evening lows to 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Thu) early enough to drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Shirakawa-mura
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya
Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen ©

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.
Kyoto is known for historic sites, shopping, parks, classes, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Sanjusangendo Temple, step into the grandiose world of Nijo-jo Castle, and make a trip to Nishiki Market.

For traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, read Kyoto trip site .

You can drive from Takayama to Kyoto in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Takayama in January, you will find days in Kyoto are a bit warmer (10°C), and nights are about the same (1°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Toyonaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Arashiyama ©
Arashiyama

2
nights
Toyonaka

Toyonaka ©
Toyonaka is a city in Osaka Prefecture, Japan. On the 8th (Tue), get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan and then don't miss a visit to Osaka Takoyaki Museum. Here are some ideas for day two: get great views at Tempozan Ferris Wheel, don't miss a visit to Tempozan Harbor Village, and then admire nature's wide array of creatures at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan.

To find other places to visit, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read our Toyonaka travel route planner.

You can drive from Kyoto to Toyonaka in 1.5 hours. In January, daily temperatures in Toyonaka can reach 10°C, while at night they dip to 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Kita.

Things to do in Toyonaka

Theme Parks Parks Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Osaka
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan ©
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Tempozan Ferris Wheel ©
Tempozan Ferris Wheel

2
nights
Kita

Kita ©
Start off your visit on the 10th (Thu): explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, then examine the collection at Museum of Oriental Ceramics, then take a stroll through Minami (Namba), and finally wander the streets of Dotonbori. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 11th (Fri): make a trip to Kuromon Market, find something for the whole family at SpaWorld, admire the striking features of Tsutenkaku, then admire the landmark architecture of Shin Umeda City, and finally take in panoramic vistas at Kuchu Teien Observatory.

To find maps, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, read our Kita journey app .

Kita is very close to Toyonaka. In January, plan for daily highs up to 10°C, and evening lows to 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Fri) early enough to travel to Nara.

Things to do in Kita

Shopping Neighborhoods Baths

Side Trip

Osaka
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Museum of Oriental Ceramics ©
Museum of Oriental Ceramics

2
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.
On the 12th (Sat), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kofuku-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kasuga Grand Shrine, identify plant and animal life at Nara Park, then examine the collection at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center, and finally pause for some photo ops at Todai-ji Temple. Keep things going the next day: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mount Miwa.

To see where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Nara tour planner .

Traveling by car from Kita to Nara takes an hour. January in Nara sees daily highs of 9°C and lows of 3°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 13th (Sun) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Nara

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trip

Mount Miwa
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Todai-ji Temple ©
Todai-ji Temple
Kasuga Grand Shrine ©
Kasuga Grand Shrine

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