13 days in Japan Itinerary

13 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Istanbul, Turkey
Fly:  13 h 15 min
1
Tokyo
— Few hours
Fly:  3 h 15 min
2
Osaka
— 3 nights
Train:  45 min
3
Nara
— 1 day
Train:  45 min
4
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Train:  2 h 30 min
5
Tokyo
— 5 nights
Fly:  13 h 15 min
End: Istanbul, Turkey

few
hours
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.
For maps and tourist information, use the Tokyo itinerary planner.

Istanbul, Turkey to Tokyo is an approximately 13.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of shuttle and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 6 hours traveling from Istanbul to Tokyo. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Istanbul in February since evenings lows in Tokyo dip to 2°C. On the 18th (Tue), you're off to Osaka.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Parks Shopping

3
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.
On the 19th (Wed), step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle, then stop by Kimono Photo Studio Wasabi Osaka, then make a trip to Hōzen-ji Temple, and finally stroll around Nakanoshima Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get a sense of history and politics at Mint Museum, walk around Kemasakuranomiya Park, stop by Dotonbori, then get your game on at Sunset Owl Cafe, and finally make a trip to Hozenji Yokocho.

For maps, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read Osaka road trip planning website .

Take a train from Tokyo to Osaka in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In February in Osaka, expect temperatures between 11°C during the day and 1°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Fri) early enough to catch the train to Nara.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Shopping Parks
Highlights from your plan
Sunset Owl Cafe ©
Sunset Owl Cafe
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Mint Museum ©
Mint Museum

1
day
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.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Fri): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Toshodai-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Todai-ji Temple, admire the striking features of Nara National Museum, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nigatsu-do Temple, and finally identify plant and animal life at Nara Park.

To see more things to do, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Nara trip itinerary builder website .

Getting from Osaka to Nara by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive. In February, plan for daily highs up to 11°C, and evening lows to 4°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Fri) early enough to catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Wildlife Parks
Highlights from your plan
Nigatsu-do Temple ©
Nigatsu-do Temple
Toshodai-ji Temple ©
Toshodai-ji Temple
Nara National Museum
Nara National Museum

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Kitano Tenmangu Shrine and Sannenzaka Ninenzaka. There's still lots to do: contemplate the long history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, have some family-friendly fun at Geisha and Maiko Makeover Experience in Kyoto Gion Aya, get to know the fascinating history of Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple, and contemplate the waterfront views at Kamogawa River.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Kyoto trip builder app .

Take a train from Nara to Kyoto in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and subway. In February, daytime highs in Kyoto are 11°C, while nighttime lows are 1°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Mon) so you can catch the train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Fun & Games Outdoors

Side Trip

Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine ©
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine
Ninna-ji Temple ©
Ninna-ji Temple

5
nights
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Samurai Armor Photo Studio and Sky Garden. Venture out of the city with trips to Yokohama Intl Passenger Terminal (in Naka), Yokohama Landmark Tower (in Yokohama) and Kichijoji (in Musashino). Enjoy Tokyo some more: don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine, get engrossed in the history at Kanda Myojin, take in nature's colorful creations at Koishikawa Korakuen Garden, and walk around Meiji Jingu Gaien.

To find traveler tips, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Tokyo day trip planning app .

Take a train from Kyoto to Tokyo in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. You'll have a few hours on the 29th (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks Historic Sites Museums

Side Trips

Yokohama, Narita, Kichijoji, Katori Jingu Shrine
Highlights from your plan
Samurai Armor Photo Studio ©
Samurai Armor Photo Studio
Chidorigafuchi ©
Chidorigafuchi
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine

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