18 days in Japan Itinerary

18 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip maker

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Route & dates

18 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Cape Town
Fly:  22​h 30​min
1
Osaka
— 4 nights
train:  30​min
2
Kobe
— 3 nights
train:  30​min
3
Kyoto
— 4 nights
train:  2​h 45​min
4
Tokyo
— 4 nights
Fly:  26​h
End: Cape Town

4
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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Koya-cho (Torodo Temple, Koyasan Okunoin, & more) and Nara (Kofuku-ji Temple, Kasuga Grand Shrine, & more). Next up on the itinerary: get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan, explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, and examine the collection at Osaka Shiritsu Toyo Toji Museum.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Osaka online trip maker .

Cape Town, South Africa to Osaka is an approximately 22.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. You'll lose 7 hours traveling from Cape Town to Osaka due to the time zone difference. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Cape Town in September, with highs in Osaka at 32°C and lows at 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed) to allow time to take a train to Kobe.

Things to do in Osaka

Parks Historic Sites Theme Parks

Side Trips

Nara, Koya-cho
Highlights from your plan
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan ©
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle

3
nights
Kobe

Kobe ©
Walkable, small, and aesthetically charming, Kobe has served as Japan's first and premier international trading outpost since opening to trade with China in the mid-19th century.
Change things up with these side-trips from Kobe: Amore Beach (in Akashi), Himeji (Koko-en Garden, Himeji Castle, & more) and Zuiganji Temple (in Tokushima). There's much more to do: gain insight at Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution, enjoy the sand and surf at Suma Beach, take a stroll through Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown), and take in the spiritual surroundings of Mudoji Temple.

For maps, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Kobe attractions planner.

Kobe is just a short distance from Osaka. Expect a daytime high around 26°C in October, and nighttime lows around 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sat) so you can take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kobe

Parks Historic Sites Outdoors

Side Trips

Himeji, Zuiganji Temple, Amore Beach
Highlights from your plan
Koko-en ©
Koko-en
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle

4
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.
Step out of Kyoto with an excursion to Todai-ji Temple in Nara--about 1 hour away. The adventure continues: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, see the interesting displays at Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts Fureaikan, steep yourself in history at Sanjusangendo Temple, and make a trip to Heian Shrine.

For ratings, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Kyoto trip itinerary builder .

Kyoto is very close to Kobe. October in Kyoto sees daily highs of 27°C and lows of 18°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trip

Todai-ji Temple
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

4
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 is known for historic sites, shopping, parks, museums, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, take in panoramic vistas at Tokyo Skytree, wander the streets of Odaiba, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Sensō-ji.

For where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Tokyo travel route planner .

You can take a train from Kyoto to Tokyo in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 26°C in October, and nighttime lows around 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Theme Parks

Side Trip

Tokyo Disneyland
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

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