12 days in Japan Itinerary

12 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  16​h 30​min
1
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
2
Kyoto
— 3 nights
train + taxi:  5​h 30​min
3
Yamanouchi-machi
— 1 night
taxi + train:  2​h 30​min
4
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Fly:  12​h 30​min
End: Sydney

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 16th (Thu): head off the coast to Miyajima, then explore the historical opulence of Hiroshima Castle, and then see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome, then take an in-depth tour of Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Itsukushima Shrine.

For reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Hiroshima road trip planning website .

Sydney, Australia to Hiroshima is an approximately 16.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from Sydney to Hiroshima, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Sydney in January, things will get colder in Hiroshima: highs are around 11°C and lows about 2°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) to allow time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Nature

Side Trip

Hatsukaichi
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine
Atomic Bomb Dome ©
Atomic Bomb Dome

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.
Popular historic sites such as Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Kiyomizu-dera Temple are in your itinerary. Let the collections at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center and Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts Fureaikan capture your imagination. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Kyoto: Dotonbori (in Osaka) and Nara Park (in Nara). There's still lots to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, get a taste of the local shopping with Nishiki Market Shopping District, steep yourself in history at Sanjusangendo Temple, and step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle.

To find reviews, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read our Kyoto online driving holiday planner .

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Kyoto takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January in Kyoto, expect temperatures between 10°C during the day and 1°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Mon) so you can travel to Yamanouchi-machi.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Shopping Wildlife

Side Trips

Nara, Dotonbori
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Kinkaku-ji ©
Kinkaku-ji

1
night
Yamanouchi-machi

Yamanouchi-machi ©
The resort town of Yamanouchi-machi has plenty of contrasting, but complementary things going for it.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Tue): look for all kinds of wild species at Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park and then hit the slopes at Shigakogen Yakebitaiyama Ski Area.

To see reviews, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Yamanouchi-machi day trip app .

You can do a combination of train and taxi from Kyoto to Yamanouchi-machi in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Kyoto in January: high temperatures in Yamanouchi-machi hover around 3°C and lows are around -3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Yamanouchi-machi

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports
Highlights from your plan
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park ©
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park

5
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.
Tokyo National Museum and Senso-ji Temple will appeal to history buffs. Head to Ginza and Art Jeunesse Akihabarafor some retail therapy. Get out of town with these interesting Tokyo side-trips: Tokyo DisneySea (in Maihama), The Hakone Open-Air Museum (in Hakone-machi) and Ghibli Museum Mitaka (in Mitaka). Next up on the itinerary: examine the collection at Edo-Tokyo Museum, get a sense of history and politics at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, discover the magic at Tokyo Disneyland, and engage your brain at National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation Miraikan.

For traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Tokyo holiday builder site .

You can do a combination of taxi and train from Yamanouchi-machi to Tokyo in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In January, Tokyo is somewhat warmer than Yamanouchi-machi - with highs of 11°C and lows of 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums Theme Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Urayasu, The Hakone Open-Air Museum, Ghibli Museum Mitaka
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum

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