18 days in Japan Itinerary

18 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Brisbane
Fly:  13​h
1
Tokyo
— 2 nights
train:  4​h
2
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
train:  2​h
3
Osaka
— 3 nights
train:  30​min
4
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
5
Myoko
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
6
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Fly:  13​h
End: Brisbane

2
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.
Your list of things to see and do now includes Sumida Aquarium, Tokyo Skytree, Hanayashiki, and other attractions. Kick off your visit on the 10th (Tue): make a trip to Tokyo Skytree and then admire nature's wide array of creatures at Sumida Aquarium. Here are some ideas for day two: tour the pleasant surroundings at The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace (Edo Castle Ruin), stroll through Kokyo Gaien National Garden, then examine the collection at Samurai Museum, then don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Omoide Yokocho.

For reviews, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Tokyo planning tool .

Brisbane, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 13-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Brisbane to Tokyo is minus 1 hour. Plan for colder temperatures traveling from Brisbane in December, with highs in Tokyo at 14°C and lows at 4°C. You'll have a few hours on the 12th (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Parks Theme Parks
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Omoide Yokocho ©
Omoide Yokocho
Hozomon ©
Hozomon
Samurai Museum ©
Samurai Museum

2
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
You've added Hiroshima Castle, Shiraito Falls, Okeiko Japan Miyajima, and other attractions to your itinerary. Keep things going the next day: steep yourself in history at Itsukushima Shrine, learn something new at Okeiko Japan Miyajima, admire the sheer force of Shiraito Falls, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Daishoin Temple, then explore the historical opulence of Hiroshima Castle, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Myojo-in.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Hiroshima journey maker site .

You can take a train from Tokyo to Hiroshima in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In December in Hiroshima, expect temperatures between 13°C during the day and 4°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sat) early enough to travel to Osaka.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Classes

Side Trip

Hatsukaichi
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine
Atomic Bomb Dome ©
Atomic Bomb Dome

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.
Your list of things to see and do now includes Universal Studios Japan, Horikoshi Shrine, Shitennoji, and other attractions. Kick off your visit on the 14th (Sat): get a dose of culture at Kobe Luminarie. Keep things going the next day: contemplate the long history of Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Shitennoji, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Horikoshi Shrine, take in nature's colorful creations at Keitaku-en Garden, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hōzen-ji Temple, and finally make a trip to Hozenji Yokocho.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read our Osaka road trip planning site .

Getting from Hiroshima to Osaka by train takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of train and flight. In December, daily temperatures in Osaka can reach 13°C, while at night they dip to 4°C. You will have some time to spend on the 17th (Tue) before leaving for Kyoto.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Theme Parks Parks

Side Trip

Kobe Luminarie
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Horikoshi Shrine ©
Horikoshi Shrine
Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine ©
Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle

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.
You've added Nishiki Market Shopping District, Yasui-Konpiragu, Sannenzaka Ninenzaka, and other attractions to your itinerary. Visit Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Shimogamo Jinja for their historical value. Get some cultural insight at Kennin-ji Temple and Genkoan. The adventure continues: explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle and don't miss a visit to Gion.

To find maps, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Kyoto day trip planning website .

Kyoto is very close to Osaka. Expect a daytime high around 13°C in December, and nighttime lows around 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Myoko.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Events
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Kodai-ji Temple ©
Kodai-ji Temple
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Tofuku-ji Temple ©
Tofuku-ji Temple

2
nights
Myoko

Myoko ©
The small town of Myoko, nestled between five mountain peaks, attracts skiing and winter-sport enthusiasts with its famed resorts and abundant snowfall.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Myoko Kogen as well as Tsubame Onsen. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 21st (Sat): explore the activities along Imori Pond, soak in some Japanese tradition at Tsubame Onsen, and then wander the wide-open spaces of Sasagamine Farm.

To see other places to visit, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Myoko trip itinerary planning site .

Drive from Kyoto to Myoko in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Myoko

Parks Nature Winter Sports
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Myoko Kogen ©
Myoko Kogen
Imori Pond ©
Imori Pond

5
nights
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
You've added Senso-ji Temple, Edo-Tokyo Museum, Hanayashiki, and other attractions to your itinerary. Appreciate the collections at Nezu Museum and Hakone Shrine Homotsuden. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Kinomiya Shrine and Nezu Shrine. See even more of Tokyo: squeeze the most out of the city with Street Kart Tokyo Bay and take a stroll through Yanaka.

To find traveler tips, ratings, maps, and tourist information, go to the Tokyo online sightseeing planner .

Getting from Myoko to Tokyo by car takes about 4 hours. You will have some time to spend on the 27th (Fri) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums Historic Sites Tours

Side Trips

Hakone-machi, Kinomiya Shrine, Shinyokohama Ramen Museum
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Edo-Tokyo Museum ©
Edo-Tokyo Museum
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu ©

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