16 days in East Asia Itinerary

16 days in East Asia Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip itinerary planner

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

S M T W T F S
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1

Tokyo

— 5 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.
Tokyo is known for historic sites, parks, and shopping. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine, admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower, get engrossed in the history at Edo-Tokyo Museum, and take in panoramic vistas at Tokyo Skytree.

To see reviews, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Tokyo trip itinerary builder.

Chicago, USA to Tokyo is an approximately 15-hour flight. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time to Japan Standard Time, which is usually a 15 hour difference. Traveling from Chicago in January, expect Tokyo to be a bit warmer, temps between 50°F and 35°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) so you can drive to Saitama.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods · Museums · Parks · Childrens Museums

Saitama

— 2 nights
Though a fairly large city in its own right, Saitama has become known primarily for its proximity to the capital, Tokyo.
On the 22nd (Wed), take in the pleasant sights at Daigakudori Street, then examine the collection at Ghibli Museum Mitaka, then get outside with Hachikokuyama Ryokuchi, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine. On the 23rd (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: steep yourself in history at Jigan-ji Temple, walk around Shimin no Mori, get a new perspective on nature at Ibaraki Nature Museum, then tee off at Murasaki Country Club Murasaki Ayame Course, and finally stroll around Oarata Kotsu Park.

For more things to do, maps, ratings, and tourist information, read Saitama trip itinerary planner.

Getting from Tokyo to Saitama by car takes about an hour. Other options: take a train. January in Saitama sees daily highs of 50°F and lows of 35°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Thu) so you can fly to Osaka.

Things to do in Saitama

Museums · Outdoors · Parks · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Osaka

— 3 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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Osaka: Nara (Nara Park & Kasuga Grand Shrine) and Himeji Castle (in Himeji). Next up on the itinerary: find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan, step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle, take a stroll through Dotombori District, and have some family-friendly fun at Sunset Owl Cafe.

To see traveler tips, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Osaka route app.

Traveling by flight from Saitama to Osaka takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 48°F in January, and nighttime lows around 34°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) so you can catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites · Theme Parks · Wildlife · Parks

Side Trips

Kyoto

— 4 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.
Take a break from Kyoto with a short trip to Todai-ji Temple in Nara, about 1 hour away. There's still lots to do: make a trip to Kiyomizu-dera Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, visit Arashiyama, and wander the streets of Gion.

To see maps, ratings, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Kyoto trip planner.

You can take a train from Osaka to Kyoto in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January in Kyoto, expect temperatures between 48°F during the day and 34°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) early enough to fly back home.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods

Side Trip

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.