12 days in Japan Itinerary

12 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Charlotte
Fly + Train:  19​h 30​min
1
Kyoto
— 2 nights
Train:  1​h 45​min
2
Hiroshima
— 1 night
Train:  1​h 45​min
3
Osaka
— 1 night
Train:  45​min
4
Nara
— 1 night
Train:  2​h
5
Toba
— 1 night
Train:  1​h 45​min
6
Nagoya
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
7
Fuji
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
8
Shirakawa
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
9
Tokyo
— 1 night
Fly:  18​h
End: Charlotte

2
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 12th (Sun): make a trip to Heian Shrine, contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, and then contemplate the long history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple. On the 13th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate the long history of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, then step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle, and finally wander the streets of Gion.

To find maps, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Kyoto trip maker tool .

Charlotte, USA to Kyoto is an approximately 19.5-hour combination of flight and train. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of bus, taxi, and flight. Traveling from Charlotte to Kyoto, you'll lose 14 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Charlotte in April, you will find days in Kyoto are little chillier (67°F), and nights are about the same (50°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Mon) early enough to take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

1
night
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Tue): steep yourself in history at Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and then contemplate the long history of Atomic Bomb Dome.

For topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Hiroshima online holiday planner .

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Hiroshima takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 67°F in April, and nighttime lows around 52°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) so you can travel to Osaka.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Museums Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima
Atomic Bomb Dome ©
Atomic Bomb Dome

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Wed): visit Dotonbori and then find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan.

To find topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, maps, and other tourist information, read our Osaka online travel route planner .

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Osaka takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and flight. In April, plan for daily highs up to 68°F, and evening lows to 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) to allow time to take a train to Nara.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Shopping Neighborhoods
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori

1
night
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 16th (Thu), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kofuku-ji Temple, appreciate the history behind Todai-ji Temple, see the interesting displays at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center, then walk around Nara Park, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kasuga Grand Shrine.

For other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read Nara trip itinerary planning site .

Traveling by train from Osaka to Nara takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive. In April, plan for daily highs up to 67°F, and evening lows to 56°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can take a train to Toba.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Wildlife Parks
Highlights from your plan
Todai-ji Temple ©
Todai-ji Temple
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Kasuga Grand Shrine ©
Kasuga Grand Shrine

1
night
Toba

Toba ©
Notable for its oysters and the production of cultured pearls, the city of Toba, mostly situated within Ise-Shima National Park, includes a number of small islands in Ise Bay.
On the 17th (Fri), see the interesting displays at Okageza, take in the spiritual surroundings of Ise Grand Shrine, don't miss a visit to Okage Yokocho, then categoryPhrases.phrase.get_up_close_and_personal_with_brilliant_marine_life_at Toba Aquarium, and finally head off the coast to Mikimoto Pearl Island.

To see topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Toba online trip itinerary maker .

You can take a train from Nara to Toba in 2 hours. Another option is to drive. When traveling from Nara in April, plan for little chillier days and about the same nights in Toba: temperatures range from 62°F by day to 60°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Fri) so you can take a train to Nagoya.

Things to do in Toba

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Nature

Side Trip

Ise
Highlights from your plan
Toba Aquarium ©
Toba Aquarium
Ise Grand Shrine ©
Ise Grand Shrine
Mikimoto Pearl Island ©
Mikimoto Pearl Island

1
night
Nagoya

Nagoya ©
Known nationally as an industrial heartland, Nagoya boasts a far more cosmopolitan and cultural core than its reputation would lead you to believe.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Sat): examine the collection at Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, then don't miss a visit to Osu Shopping Street, then categoryPhrases.phrase.get_up_close_and_personal_with_brilliant_marine_life_at Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium, and finally contemplate the waterfront views at Yamazaki River.

For more things to do, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Nagoya travel planner.

You can take a train from Toba to Nagoya in 2 hours. Another option is to drive. Traveling from Toba in April, Nagoya is slightly colder at night with lows of 53°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Fuji.

Things to do in Nagoya

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Museums
Highlights from your plan
Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium ©
Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium
Yamazaki River ©
Yamazaki River

1
night
Fuji

Fuji
Fuji is a city in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Kick off your visit on the 19th (Sun): get great views at Imamiya Tea Plantation, stop by Tago no Tsuki Honten, then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, and finally head outdoors with Fujigawa Service Area - Inbound.

Plan trip to Fuji with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Traveling by car from Nagoya to Fuji takes 3 hours. In April, daily temperatures in Fuji can reach 63°F, while at night they dip to 55°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Shirakawa.

Things to do in Fuji

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

1
night
Shirakawa

Shirakawa ©
Shirakawa is a city located in Fukushima Prefecture, in northern Honshū, Japan. Kick off your visit on the 20th (Mon): admire the natural beauty at Suirakuen, walk around Shirakawa Sekinomori Park, then contemplate the waterfront views at Yukiwari Canyon, then explore the historical opulence of Komine Castle Remains, and finally get engrossed in the history at Kominejo Catsle History Museum.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Shirakawa road trip website .

Getting from Fuji to Shirakawa by car takes about 4.5 hours. Traveling from Fuji in April, Shirakawa is a bit cooler at night with lows of 45°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) early enough to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Shirakawa

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Shirakawa Sekinomori Park ©
Shirakawa Sekinomori Park
Suirakuen ©
Suirakuen
Komine Castle Remains ©
Komine Castle Remains

1
night
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 21st (Tue), make a trip to Shibuya Crossing, don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine, then get great views at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, then get a sense of history and politics at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, and finally admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower.

For other places to visit, more things to do, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, and more tourist information, read our Tokyo trip itinerary planning tool .

Drive from Shirakawa to Tokyo in 2.5 hours. Traveling from Shirakawa in April, things will get a bit warmer in Tokyo: highs are around 67°F and lows about 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks
Highlights from your plan
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden ©
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

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