12 days in Japan Itinerary

12 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Shanghai
Fly:  6​h
1
Tokyo
— 3 nights
Train + Bus:  1​h 30​min
2
Hakone-machi
— 2 nights
Train:  3​h 45​min
3
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Train:  30​min
4
Osaka
— 2 nights
Fly:  7​h
End: Chengdu

3
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 Tokyo Central Railway Station, Ninja Food Tours, Tokyo Disneyland, and other attractions. Step out of the city life by going to Ueno Zoo and Kimono Me. Shop till you drop at Ginza and Asakusa. Next up on the itinerary: admire the masterpieces at Tokyo National Museum, wander the streets of Odaiba, admire the natural beauty at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, and see the interesting displays at Edo-Tokyo Museum.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Tokyo vacation planner .

Shanghai, China to Tokyo is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also do a combination of ferry and train; or do a combination of ferry and car. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Shanghai to Tokyo. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in April, and nighttime lows around 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Theme Parks Tours

Side Trip

Tokyo Disneyland
Highlights from your plan
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Odaiba ©
Odaiba
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple

2
nights
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.
The Hakone Open-Air Museum has been added to your itinerary. On the 1st (Wed), get a taste of the local shopping with Pola Museum of Art, revel in the low prices at Gotemba Premium Outlets, and then admire the masterpieces at The Hakone Open-Air Museum. On the next day, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu and then indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at Hakone Kowakien Yunessun.

For other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Hakone-machi travel route builder .

Traveling by car from Tokyo to Hakone-machi takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Tokyo in April, you will find days in Hakone-machi are slightly colder (15°C), and nights are about the same (13°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Theme Parks Spas Baths

Side Trip

Gotemba Premium Outlets
Highlights from your plan
Hakone Kowakien Yunessun ©
Hakone Kowakien Yunessun
The Hakone Open-Air Museum ©
The Hakone Open-Air Museum
Pola Museum of Art ©
Pola Museum of Art

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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Gion. Let the collections at Kyoto International Manga Museum and Kyoto National Museum capture your imagination. There's lots more to do: steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Sanjusangendo Temple, don't miss a visit to Heian Shrine, and get a taste of the local shopping with Nishiki Market Shopping District.

For traveler tips, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Kyoto tour itinerary planner.

Getting from Hakone-machi to Kyoto by train takes about 4 hours. Other options: drive; or fly. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Hakone-machi in May: highs in Kyoto hover around 29°C, while lows dip to 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) so you can catch the train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods
Highlights from your plan
Kinkaku-ji ©
Kinkaku-ji
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple

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 6th (Mon): steep yourself in history at Todai-ji Temple, look for all kinds of wild species at Nara Park, then examine the collection at Osaka Museum of Housing and Living, and finally wander the streets of Dotonbori. Here are some ideas for day two: see the interesting displays at Osaka Shiritsu Toyo Toji Museum, then explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, then see the interesting displays at Glico Museum, and finally take a stroll through Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street.

To see where to stay, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, go to the Osaka journey maker.

Osaka is just a stone's throw from Kyoto. In May, daytime highs in Osaka are 29°C, while nighttime lows are 18°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Osaka

Neighborhoods Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trip

Nara
Highlights from your plan
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle

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