12 days in Osaka, Kyoto & Tokyo Itinerary

12 days in Osaka, Kyoto & Tokyo Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Osaka, Kyoto & Tokyo Itinerary

Start: Osaka
1
Osaka
— 8 nights
Train:  30 min
2
Kyoto
— 1 night
Train:  2 h 45 min
3
Tokyo
— 2 nights
End: Tokyo

8
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.
Museum-lovers will appreciate Todaiji Temple Cultural Center and Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum. Visit Osaka Castle and Todai-ji Temple for their historical value. Explore Osaka's surroundings by going to Nara (Nara Park & Kasuga Grand Shrine), Ikeda (CUPNOODLES MUSEUM OSAKA IKEDA & Ichizo Kobayashi Memorial Museum) and Kobe Fashion Museum (in Higashinada). There's lots more to do: take a stroll through Dotonbori, take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Koya, find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan, and get a taste of the local shopping with Minami (Namba).

To see where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Osaka holiday tool .

If you are flying in from Australia, the closest major airports are Osaka International Airport, Kansai International Airport and Chubu Centrair International Airport. In January, daytime highs in Osaka are 10°C, while nighttime lows are 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) to allow time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Osaka

Museums Shopping Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Nara, Kobe, Ikeda, Sakai, The World Money Box Museum
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Dotombori ©
Dotombori
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle

1
night
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.
On the 14th (Tue), examine the collection at Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts Fureaikan, then steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and then contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine. On your second day here, take a stroll through Gion, then admire the masterpieces at Hosomi Museum, then explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, and finally make a trip to Nishiki Market.

To see photos, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Kyoto journey planner .

Kyoto is just a stone's throw from Osaka. Expect a daytime high around 10°C in January, and nighttime lows around 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

2
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.
On the 16th (Thu), get a sense of history and politics at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, take a stroll through Ginza, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Sensō-ji, and finally steep yourself in history at Tokyo National Museum.

To find photos, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Tokyo tour planner.

You can take a train from Kyoto to Tokyo in 3 hours. Other options are to fly; or drive. In January, daily temperatures in Tokyo can reach 11°C, while at night they dip to 1°C. On the 17th (Fri), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple
Ginza ©
Ginza

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