12 days in Japan Itinerary

12 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan holiday planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours

Route & dates

1
Osaka
— 2 nights
2
Kyoto
— 4 nights
3
Nagaoka
— 1 night
4
Tokyo
— 3 nights

2
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.
Do your shopping at Dotombori District and Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street. Get a sense of the local culture at Nara Park and Osaka Shiritsu Toyo Toji Museum. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Osaka: Nara (Todaiji Temple Cultural Center & Nigatsu-do Temple). There's more to do: contemplate the long history of Osaka Castle and get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan.

To find photos, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Osaka trip itinerary maker app.

London, UK to Osaka is an approximately 16.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to Japan Standard Time (JST), which is usually a 9 hour difference. Expect a daytime high around 10°C in January, and nighttime lows around 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) to allow enough time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks · Neighborhoods · Shopping

Side Trip

Nara
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Dotombori District ©
Dotombori District
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka 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.
You'll explore and learn at Hosomi Museum and Kyoto Seishu Netsuke Art Museum. Popular historic sites such as Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Kiyomizu-dera Temple are in your itinerary. Step out of Kyoto with an excursion to Todai-ji Temple in Nara--about 1 hour away. There's lots more to do: wander the streets of Gion, explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, take in the spiritual surroundings of Ginkakuji Temple, and take in the pleasant sights at Arashiyama.

For ratings, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Kyoto online trip planner.

You can take a train from Osaka to Kyoto in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Kyoto can reach 10°C, while at night they dip to 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) early enough to travel to Nagaoka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Museums

Side Trip

Todai-ji Temple
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

1
night
Nagaoka

Nagaoka ©
Nagaoka is a city located in the central part of Niigata Prefecture, Japan. Start off your visit on the 26th (Sun): get engrossed in the history at Kawai Tsuginosuke Memorial, indulge your thirst for a good beer at Yoshinokawa Sake Brewery Museum Hisagotei, examine the collection at Nagaoka Gear Museum, then get engrossed in the history at Niigata Prefectural Museum of History, and finally see the interesting displays at Nagaoka Toki to Shizen no Gakushukan.

For where to stay, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Nagaoka trip planner.

Explore your travel options from Kyoto to Nagaoka with the Route module. When traveling from Kyoto in January, plan for a bit cooler days in Nagaoka, with highs around 5°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) early enough to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Nagaoka

Museums · Breweries & Distilleries
Find places to stay Jan 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Niigata Prefectural Museum of History ©
Niigata Prefectural Museum of History
Kawai Tsuginosuke Memorial ©
Kawai Tsuginosuke Memorial

3
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.
Senso-ji Temple and Fukagawa Edo Museum will appeal to history buffs. For shopping fun, head to Ginza or Takeshita Street. And it doesn't end there: explore the world behind art at Tokyo National Museum, wander the streets of Odaiba District, see the interesting displays at Ghibli Museum Mitaka, and take an in-depth tour of Edo-Tokyo Museum.

For traveler tips, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Tokyo road trip planning site.

Traveling by car from Nagaoka to Tokyo takes 4 hours. When traveling from Nagaoka in January, plan for a bit warmer days in Tokyo, with highs around 11°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods · Museums · Shopping

Side Trip

Ghibli Museum Mitaka
Find places to stay Jan 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple
Odaiba District ©
Odaiba District

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