9 days in Japan Itinerary

9 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

9 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Manila, Luzon
Fly + bus:  7​h 45​min
1
Kobe
— 1 night
train:  30​min
2
Kyoto
— 3 nights
train:  45​min
3
Nara
— 2 nights
train:  45​min
4
Osaka
— 2 nights
Fly:  7​h 30​min
End: Manila, Luzon

1
night
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.
To find out how to plan a trip to Kobe, use our trip itinerary maker.

Manila, Philippines to Kobe is an approximately 8-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or fly. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Manila to Kobe due to the time zone difference. Expect colder weather when traveling from Manila in May: highs in Kobe hover around 25°C, while lows dip to 20°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kobe

Nature Parks Baths
Find places to stay May 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Arima Onsen ©
Arima Onsen
Nunobiki Falls (Nunobiki-No-Taki) ©
Nunobiki Falls (Nunobiki-No-Taki)

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.
Explore hidden gems such as Pontocho and Kennin-ji Temple. Get a sense of the local culture at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine and Toji. There's much more to do: take in nature's colorful creations at Nanzen-ji Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ninna-ji Temple, get to know the fascinating history of Kyoto Gyoen National Garden, and steep yourself in history at Daigo-ji Temple.

To find where to stay, photos, maps, and tourist information, read our Kyoto visit planning tool .

Kyoto is just a short distance from Kobe. Traveling from Kobe in May, you will find days in Kyoto are somewhat warmer (29°C), and nights are about the same (17°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) to allow time to take a train to Nara.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks Nature
Find places to stay May 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Nanzen-ji Temple ©
Nanzen-ji Temple
Tofuku-ji Temple ©
Tofuku-ji Temple
Toji ©
Toji

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.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Sat): take in the spiritual surroundings of Hase-dera Temple, identify plant and animal life at Hayama Suzuran Gunraku, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Toshodaiji Temple. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the spiritual surroundings of Yakushi-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Horyu-ji Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Nigatsu-do Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Kasuga Grand Shrine, and finally identify plant and animal life at Rokuen.

For photos, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Nara vacation builder site .

You can take a train from Kyoto to Nara in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of subway and train. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Nara when traveling from Kyoto in May, with lows around 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sun) to allow enough time to take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Wildlife Parks

Side Trips

Horyu-ji Temple, Hase-dera Temple
Find places to stay May 31 — Jun 2:
Highlights from your plan
Toshodaiji Temple ©
Toshodaiji Temple
Horyu-ji Temple ©
Horyu-ji Temple
Kasuga Grand Shrine ©
Kasuga Grand Shrine

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Mon): examine the collection at Mint Museum, hike along Midori no Bunkaen, then walk around Kemasakuranomiya Park, and finally shop like a local with Minami (Namba). Keep things going the next day: take in nature's colorful creations at Sakuya Konohanakan, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, and then get to know the fascinating history of Hozenji Yokocho.

To see where to stay, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Osaka trip planning site .

You can take a train from Nara to Osaka in an hour. Another option is to drive. Traveling from Nara in June, plan for slightly colder nights in Osaka, with lows around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Osaka

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trip

Midori no Bunkaen
Find places to stay Jun 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Midori no Bunkaen ©
Midori no Bunkaen
Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine ©
Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
Hozenji Yokocho ©
Hozenji Yokocho

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