19 days in Japan Itinerary

19 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

19 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Brisbane
Fly:  13​h
1
Tokyo
— 2 nights
Train:  4​h
2
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
Train:  1​h 15​min
3
Kobe
— Few hours
Train:  30​min
4
Osaka
— 3 nights
Train:  30​min
5
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Train:  3​h 45​min
6
Hakone-machi
— 1 day
Bus + Train:  1​h 15​min
7
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
8
Sapporo
— 2 nights
Fly:  16​h 45​min
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.
On the 10th (Tue), steep yourself in history at Nezu Shrine, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Asakusa Shrine, then take a stroll through Ueno, and finally browse the exhibits of Kanda Myojin. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 11th (Wed): take a stroll through Odaiba and then wander the streets of Yanaka.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Tokyo travel planner.

Brisbane, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 13-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Brisbane to Tokyo due to the time zone difference. Prepare for much colder weather when traveling from Brisbane in December: high temperatures in Tokyo hover around 14°C and lows are around 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

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Ueno ©
Ueno
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Yanaka ©
Yanaka

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.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Thu): step into the grandiose world of Hiroshima Castle and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Mitaki Temple. On your second day here, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, then enjoy the sand and surf at Mikasahama Beach, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Itsukushima Shrine.

To see other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, read Hiroshima driving holiday planner.

You can take a train from Tokyo to Hiroshima in 4 hours. Other options are to fly; or drive. In December, plan for daily highs up to 13°C, and evening lows to 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 14th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a train to Kobe.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Spas Beaches

Side Trip

Hatsukaichi
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Mitaki Temple ©
Mitaki Temple
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima

few
hours
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.
On the 14th (Sat), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nishinomiya Shrine and then wander the streets of Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown).

To find maps, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Kobe online trip maker .

Getting from Hiroshima to Kobe by train takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and train; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 13°C in December, and nighttime lows around 6°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sat) early enough to take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kobe

Neighborhoods Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trip

Nishinomiya Shrine
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown) ©
Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown)
Nishinomiya Shrine ©
Nishinomiya Shrine

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.
Visit Horyu-ji Temple and Toshodai-ji Temple for their historical value. Explore hidden gems such as Nigatsu-do Temple and Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine. Venture out of the city with trips to CUPNOODLES MUSEUM OSAKA IKEDA (in Ikeda) and Nara (Yoshikien & Kofuku-ji Temple National Treasure Hall). There's still lots to do: take a stroll through Dotonbori, get a taste of the local shopping with Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street, explore the world behind art at Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum, and go for a walk through Midosuji Street.

To see maps, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Osaka day trip site .

Osaka is just a stone's throw from Kobe. December in Osaka sees daily highs of 13°C and lows of 4°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) so you can catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trips

Nara, Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda, Horyu-ji Temple
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Horyu-ji Temple ©
Horyu-ji Temple
Toshodai-ji Temple ©
Toshodai-ji Temple
Nigatsu-do Temple ©
Nigatsu-do 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.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Wed): contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Shimogamo Jinja. Keep things going the next day: step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle, steep yourself in history at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kamigamo Shrine, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Enkō-ji Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Sanzen-in Temple.

To find traveler tips, photos, ratings, and tourist information, use the Kyoto online vacation planner .

Kyoto is just a stone's throw from Osaka. December in Kyoto sees daily highs of 13°C and lows of 4°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) early enough to travel to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine ©
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

1
day
Hakone-machi

Hakone-machi ©
Sitting at the foot of Mount Fuji, Hakone-machi has become a popular retreat from Tokyo for locals and tourists alike.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Fri): indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Kintoki, admire the masterpieces at Hakone Museum of Art, then admire the masterpieces at The Hakone Open-Air Museum, and finally get engrossed in the history at Hakone Shrine Homotsuden.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Hakone-machi trip itinerary planner.

You can take a train from Kyoto to Hakone-machi in 4 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of train and flight. When traveling from Kyoto in December, plan for a bit cooler days in Hakone-machi, with highs around 8°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 5°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Museums Parks Spas
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Hakone Museum of Art ©
Hakone Museum of Art
The Hakone Open-Air Museum ©
The Hakone Open-Air Museum
Hakone Shrine ©
Hakone Shrine

5
nights
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
Do some cultural sightseeing at Samukawa Shrine and Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum. Appreciate the collections at Nezu Museum and Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum. Change things up with these side-trips from Tokyo: Kamakura (Kamakura Hiking Trails & Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine), Kichijoji (in Musashino) and Mitsumine Shrine (in Chichibu). Enjoy Tokyo some more: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kashima Jingu, look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Center, admire the masterpieces at Tokyo National Museum The Heiseikan, and take a stroll through Kabukicho.

For photos and more tourist information, refer to the Tokyo trip planning site .

Getting from Hakone-machi to Tokyo by combination of bus and train takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Hakone-machi in December, you will find days in Tokyo are a bit warmer (14°C), and nights are about the same (4°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Sapporo.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums Historic Sites Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Kamakura, Kashima Jingu, Samukawa Shrine, Katori Jingu Shrine, Wildlife Center
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Nezu Museum ©
Nezu Museum
Kashima Jingu ©
Kashima Jingu

2
nights
Sapporo

Sapporo ©
A modern, bustling city known for its beer brewery, Sapporo attracts millions of visitors with its Snow Festival, during which elaborate ice and snow sculptures are exhibited all over town.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Wed): contemplate the long history of Sapporo Clock Tower, take in the spiritual surroundings of Fushimi Inari Shrine, and then head outdoors with Sapporo Teine. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 26th (Thu): see the interesting displays at Royce' Chocolate World, get engrossed in the history at Historical Village of Hokkaido (Kaitaku-no Mura), then indulge your thirst for a good beer at Asahi Breweries Hokkaido Brewery, and finally test the waters at a local thermal spa.

To see traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Sapporo trip website .

Traveling by flight from Tokyo to Sapporo takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, taxi, and flight; or do a combination of flight and train. When traveling from Tokyo in December, plan for colder days in Sapporo, with highs around 0°C, while nights are little chillier with lows around -2°C. You will have some time to spend on the 27th (Fri) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Sapporo

Winter Sports Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Royce' Chocolate World
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Sapporo Teine ©
Sapporo Teine
Royce' Chocolate World ©
Royce' Chocolate World
Fushimi Inari Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari Shrine

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