26 days in Japan & Sydney Itinerary

26 days in Japan & Sydney Itinerary

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Route & dates

26 days in Japan & Sydney Itinerary

Start: Sydney, Australia
Fly + Drive:  17​h 45​min
1
Niseko-cho, Japan
— 4 nights
Drive + Fly:  5​h 45​min
2
Tokyo, Japan
— 8 nights
Drive:  4​h
3
Nozawaonsen-mura, Japan
— 4 nights
Drive:  5​h 45​min
4
Kyoto, Japan
— 6 nights
train:  30​min
5
Osaka, Japan
— 2 nights
Fly:  13​h 15​min
6
Sydney, Australia
— 1 day
End: Sydney, Australia

4
nights
Niseko-cho, Japan

Niseko-cho ©
Ranking as the most popular ski resort in Hokkaido, mountaintop Niseko-cho boasts great slopes and surprisingly vibrant nightlife.
Go for a jaunt from Niseko-cho to Yoichi-cho to see Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery about 1h 15 min away. Next up on the itinerary: fly down the slopes at Niseko Outdoor Center, tour the pleasant surroundings at Niseko Village Ski Resort, get engrossed in the history at Arishima Memorial Center, and explore the activities along Lake Toya.

For other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Niseko-cho trip maker tool .

Sydney, Australia to Niseko-cho is an approximately 18-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone difference when traveling from Sydney to Niseko-cho is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Sydney in December, expect Niseko-cho to be cooler, temps between 3°C and -1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Niseko-cho

Parks Winter Sports Outdoors

Side Trips

Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery, Lake Toya, Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu Ski Place
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Niseko Village Ski Resort ©
Niseko Village Ski Resort
Niseko Moiwa Ski Resort ©
Niseko Moiwa Ski Resort

8
nights
Tokyo, Japan

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.
Get out of town with these interesting Tokyo side-trips: The Hakone Open-Air Museum (in Hakone-machi), Lake Kawaguchi (in Fujikawaguchiko-machi) and Tokyo DisneySea (in Maihama). And it doesn't end there: make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, find something for the whole family at Tokyo Disneyland, admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Sensō-ji.

To see reviews, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Tokyo vacation planning website .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Niseko-cho to Tokyo. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Niseko-cho in December: high temperatures in Tokyo hover around 14°C and lows are around 4°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Thu) early enough to travel to Nozawaonsen-mura.

Things to do in Tokyo

Theme Parks Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Urayasu, Lake Kawaguchi, The Hakone Open-Air Museum
Find places to stay Dec 25 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

4
nights
Nozawaonsen-mura, Japan

Nozawaonsen-mura ©
Many visitors take a trip to Nozawaonsen-mura, a picturesque hot spring village in Nagano Prefecture, to get away from it all.
Change things up with these side-trips from Nozawaonsen-mura: Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park (in Yamanouchi-machi), Zenko-ji Temple (in Nagano) and Sainokawara Park (in Kusatsu-machi). And it doesn't end there: fly down the slopes at Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort, stop by Nozawa Onsen Early Morning Market (Asaichi), take in the spiritual surroundings of Ganshoin Temple, and stroll through Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort.

To see photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Nozawaonsen-mura travel route planner .

Getting from Tokyo to Nozawaonsen-mura by car takes about 4 hours. Traveling from Tokyo in January, expect Nozawaonsen-mura to be slightly colder, temps between 3°C and -3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) so you can travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Nozawaonsen-mura

Parks Winter Sports Outdoors

Side Trips

Sainokawara Park, Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort, Zenko-ji Temple, Ganshoin Temple
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort ©
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park ©
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
Zenko-ji Temple ©
Zenko-ji Temple

6
nights
Kyoto, Japan

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'll find plenty of places to visit near Kyoto: Todai-ji Temple (in Nara), Ise Grand Shrine (in Ise) and Nagoya Castle (in Nagoya). There's much more to do: steep yourself in history at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, get a taste of the local shopping with Nishiki Market Shopping District, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and take in the pleasant sights at Arashiyama.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, read Kyoto online vacation planner .

Drive from Nozawaonsen-mura to Kyoto in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight. Traveling from Nozawaonsen-mura in January, things will get a bit warmer in Kyoto: highs are around 10°C and lows about 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) to allow enough time to take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trips

Todai-ji Temple, Ise Grand Shrine, Nagoya Castle
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

2
nights
Osaka, Japan

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.
Go for a jaunt from Osaka to Himeji to see Himeji Castle about 1h 20 min away. There's still lots to do: find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan, explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, meet the residents at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, and have some family-friendly fun at Sunset Owl Cafe.

For where to stay, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Osaka trip itinerary planner.

Osaka is very close to Kyoto. In January, plan for daily highs up to 10°C, and evening lows to 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) so you can travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Himeji Castle
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle

1
day
Sydney, Australia

Sydney ©
Lent iconic status as a result of its famous bridge and opera house, Sydney has a down-to-earth charm that enhances its spectacular setting and functional efficiency.
On the 15th (Wed), tour the pleasant surroundings at The Opera House to the Botanic Gardens Walk, enjoy the sand and surf at Bondi Beach, then admire the natural beauty at Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, and finally wander the streets of The Rocks.

To see photos, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Sydney trip itinerary planning website .

You can fly from Osaka to Sydney in 13.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Osaka to Sydney due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Osaka in January, expect Sydney to be much warmer, temps between 32°C and 23°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Royal Botanic Garden Sydney ©
Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
The Rocks ©
The Rocks
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach

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