12 days in Japan Itinerary

12 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Jakarta, Indonesia
Fly:  10 h 45 min
1
Osaka
— 3 nights
Train:  30 min
2
Kyoto
— 3 nights
Train:  2 h 45 min
3
Tokyo
— 4 nights
Fly:  10 h 45 min
End: Jakarta, Indonesia

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.
Family-friendly places like Universal Studios Japan and Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan will thrill your kids. Shop till you drop at Dotonbori and Four-M. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Osaka: Nara (Todai-ji Temple & Nara Park) and Mt. Koya (in Koya-cho). There's more to do: explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle and see the interesting displays at Museum of Oriental Ceramics.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Osaka trip itinerary builder website .

Jakarta, Indonesia to Osaka is an approximately 11-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. You'll lose 2 hours traveling from Jakarta to Osaka due to the time zone difference. Plan for cooler temperatures traveling from Jakarta in December, with highs in Osaka at 13°C and lows at 4°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Osaka

Parks Theme Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Nara, Mt. Koya
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 26:
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Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori

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.
Shop till you drop at Nishiki Market and Fuuka-Kimono. There's lots more to do: take a stroll through Gion, contemplate the long history of Heian Shrine, don't miss a visit to Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle.

To see where to stay, reviews, maps, and tourist information, read Kyoto day trip planning tool .

Kyoto is just a stone's throw from Osaka. In December, plan for daily highs up to 13°C, and evening lows to 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) so you can travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Gion
Gion
Nishiki Market Shopping District ©
Nishiki Market Shopping District

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.
Bring the kids along to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings. Do your shopping at Ginza and Kimono Me. There's much more to do: take a stroll through Odaiba, don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine, take in nature's colorful creations at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, and admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower.

To see photos, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Tokyo itinerary maker .

You can take a train from Kyoto to Tokyo in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In December, plan for daily highs up to 14°C, and evening lows to 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 2nd (Thu) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Theme Parks Shopping

Side Trip

Tokyo Disneyland
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Odaiba ©
Odaiba
Tokyo Disneyland ©
Tokyo Disneyland
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden ©
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

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