13 days in East Asia Itinerary

13 days in East Asia Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip itinerary maker

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Nara
— 1 night
Drive
2
Osaka
— 2 nights
Train
3
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Fly
4
Mitaka
— 1 night
Drive
5
Tokyo
— 4 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
10
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19
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23
24
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28
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Nara

— 1 night

Ancient City

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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Ukimido. Start off your visit on the 17th (Sun): explore the galleries of Kofuku-ji Temple National Treasure Hall, admire the striking features of Nara National Museum, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Ukimido. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 18th (Mon): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Toshodai-ji Temple, admire the sheer force of Akame Shijuhachi Waterfall, pick up a one of a kind souvenir at NaraKimono Rental Fuji, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Nigatsu-do Temple, and finally walk around Nara Park.

To see ratings, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Nara trip itinerary planner.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates to Nara is an approximately 12-hour flight. The time zone changes from Gulf Standard Time (GST) to Japan Standard Time (JST), which is usually a 5 hour difference. In November, Nara is much colder than Abu Dhabi - with highs of 19°C and lows of 13°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Mon) so you can go by car to Osaka.

Things to do in Nara

Parks · Historic Sites · Nature · Wildlife

Side Trip

Osaka

— 2 nights
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 19th (Tue): indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at Arima Onsen, get a taste of the local shopping with Hankyu Umeda Honten, stop by Kimono Photo Studio Wasabi Osaka, then wander the streets of Dotombori District, and finally don't miss a visit to Hōzen-ji Temple. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: steep yourself in history at Osaka Castle, see the interesting displays at Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda, see the interesting displays at Glico Museum, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, and finally browse the different shops at Universal City Walk Osaka.

To find more things to do, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Osaka road trip website.

You can drive from Nara to Osaka in an hour. Another option is to take a train. In November, daytime highs in Osaka are 20°C, while nighttime lows are 10°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Wed) early enough to catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Osaka

Shopping · Historic Sites · Spas · Baths

Side Trips

Kyoto

— 3 nights
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 some historical perspective at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Explore hidden gems such as Shimogamo Jinja and Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple. There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Sanzen-in Temple, contemplate the long history of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, and admire the striking features of Ninna-ji Temple.

For other places to visit, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Kyoto trip planner.

Getting from Osaka to Kyoto by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In November in Kyoto, expect temperatures between 19°C during the day and 10°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sat) so you can fly to Mitaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Shopping · Nature

Side Trip

Mitaka

— 1 night
Mitaka is a city located in the western portion of Tokyo Metropolis, in the central Kantō region of Japan., the city had an estimated population of 189,168 and a population density of 11,520 persons per km². Kick off your visit on the 24th (Sun): stroll around Nogawa Park, see the sky in a new way at National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, get lost in a book at Book House in the Astronomical Observatory Forest, stop by Kakujogyorui Kodaira, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Chikurin Park, and finally explore the world behind art at Ghibli Museum Mitaka.

To find more things to do, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Mitaka trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Kyoto to Mitaka takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. In November, daytime highs in Mitaka are 19°C, while nighttime lows are 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Tokyo.

Things to do in Mitaka

Museums · Parks · Shopping · Childrens Museums

Side Trip

Tokyo

— 4 nights
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Nezu Museum and Sarushima Island (Monkey Island). Step out of the city life by going to Kamakura Hiking Trails and Carnivorous plant habitat in Togane, Naruto. Step out of Tokyo to go to Utsunomiya and see Oya History Museum, which is approximately 2h 15 min away. And it doesn't end there: take in the spiritual surroundings of Asakusa Shrine, explore the world behind art at Tokyo National Museum The Heiseikan, steep yourself in history at Hie Jinjya, and don't miss a visit to Kappabashi Street (Kappabashi Dogugai).

Before you visit Tokyo, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Drive from Mitaka to Tokyo in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train. In November, daytime highs in Tokyo are 19°C, while nighttime lows are 11°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Thu) early enough to catch the flight back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks · Museums · Shopping · Trails

Side Trips

Nara Prefecture travel guide

4.2
Sacred & Religious Sites · Parks · Monuments
Nara Prefecture is a prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. The capital is the city of Nara. Nara Prefecture has the distinction of having more UNESCO World Heritage Listings than any other prefecture.HistoryNara Prefecture region is considered one of the oldest regions in Japan spanning thousands of years. The present-day Nara Prefecture as it exists now officially was created in 1887, making it independent of Osaka Prefecture.Historically, Nara Prefecture was also known as Yamato-no-kuni or Yamato Province.Up to Nara PeriodIt is certain that there was a political force established at the foot of Mount Miwa in the east of Nara Basin, seeking unification of most parts in Japan from the third century until the fourth century, though the process was not well documented. At the dawn of history, Yamato was clearly the political center of Japan.Ancient capitals of Japan were built on the land of Nara, namely Asuka-kyō, Fujiwara-kyō (694–710) and Heijō-kyō (most of 710–784). The capital cities of Fujiwara and Heijō are believed to have been modeled after Chinese capitals at the time, incorporating grid layout patterns. The royal court also established relations with Sui and then Tang Dynasty China and sent students to the Middle Kingdom to learn high civilization. By 7th century, Nara accepted the many immigrants including refugees of Baekje who had escaped from war disturbances of the southern part of the Korean peninsula. The first high civilization with royal patronage of Buddhism flourished in today's Nara city (710–784 AD).

Source

Osaka Prefecture travel guide

3.8
Landmarks · Theme Parks · Parks
Osaka Prefecture is a prefecture located in the Kansai region on Honshu, the main island of Japan. The capital is the city of Osaka. It is the center of Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto area. Osaka is one of the two "urban prefectures" of Japan, Kyoto being the other (Tokyo became a "metropolitan prefecture", or to, in 1941).HistoryUntil the Meiji Restoration, the area of Osaka prefecture was known as Kawachi, Izumi, and Settsu provinces.Osaka Prefecture was created on June 21, 1868, at the very beginning of the Meiji era. During the instigation of Fuhanken Sanchisei in 1868, the prefecture received its suffix fu, designating it as an urban prefecture.On September 1, 1956, the city of Osaka was promoted to a city designated by government ordinance and thereby divided into 24 wards.In 2000, Fusae Ota became Japan's first female governor when she replaced Knock Yokoyama, who resigned after prosecution for sexual harassment.

Source

Kyoto Prefecture travel guide

4.3
Historic Sites · Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks
Kyoto Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan in the Kansai region of the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Kyoto.HistoryUntil the Meiji Restoration, the area of Kyoto Prefecture was known as Yamashiro.For most of its history, the city of Kyoto was Japan's Imperial capital. The city's history can be traced back as far as the 6th century. In 544, the Aoi Matsuri was held in Kyoto to pray for good harvest and good weather.Kyoto did not start out as Japan's capital. A noteworthy earlier capital was Nara. In 741, Emperor Shōmu moved the capital briefly to Kuni-kyo, between the cities of Nara and Kyoto, in present-day Kyoto Prefecture. In 784, the capital was moved to Nagaokakyō, also in present-day Kyoto Prefecture. In 794, Emperor Kanmu moved the capital to Heian-kyo, and this was the beginning of the current-day city of Kyoto. Even today, almost all of the streets, houses, stores, temples and shrines in Kyoto exist where they were placed in this year.Although in 1192 real political power shifted to Kamakura, where a samurai clan established the shogunate, Kyoto remained the imperial capital as the powerless emperors and their court continued to be seated in the city. Imperial rule was briefly restored in 1333, but another samurai clan established a new shogunate in Kyoto three years later.

Source

Tokyo Prefecture travel guide

4.2
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Parks
A tour of Tokyo Prefecture reveals many eateries, markets, and museums, with sightseeing opportunities available for every type of traveler. Bright bursts of lights and billboards on modern buildings contrast the ornate, traditional architecture there. Don't forget to visit Izu Islands, easily accessible from the capital as an ideal day trip option.