18 days in Japan Itinerary

18 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Honolulu, Oahu
Fly:  10​h 30​min
1
Osaka
— 2 nights
train:  1​h
2
Nara
— Few hours
train:  1​h
3
Osaka
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 30​min
4
Kyoto
— 1 night
train:  2​h
5
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
train:  4​h 30​min
6
Tokyo
— 8 nights
Fly:  10​h
End: Honolulu, Oahu

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Osaka Museum of Housing and Living, Ten-nen Onsen Naniwa no Yu and Osaka Museum of History.

For ratings and other tourist information, refer to the Osaka route builder app .

Honolulu, USA to Osaka is an approximately 12-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. The time zone difference moving from Hawaii Standard Time to Japan Standard Time is 19 hours. In December, Osaka is much colder than Honolulu - with highs of 52°F and lows of 39°F. On the 22nd (Sun), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Nara.

Things to do in Osaka

Museums Baths Spas
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Osaka Museum of Housing and Living ©
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Osaka Museum of History ©
Osaka Museum of History

few
hours
Nara

Nara ©
The country's first established capital, Nara houses some of the most storied buildings and natural attractions in Japan, with eight World Heritage Sites in total.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Todaiji Temple Cultural Center as well as Nara Park. On the 22nd (Sun), walk around Nara Park and then examine the collection at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center.

To see maps, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Nara itinerary planner .

You can take a train from Osaka to Nara in an hour. Another option is to drive. In December, daily temperatures in Nara can reach 52°F, while at night they dip to 42°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can catch the train to Osaka.

Things to do in Nara

Wildlife Parks Museums
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Todaiji Temple Cultural Center ©
Todaiji Temple Cultural Center

3
nights
Osaka

Osaka ©
You've now added Pokemon Center Osaka to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): look for gifts at Pokemon Center Osaka. Here are some ideas for day two: ponder the world of politics at Mint Museum, browse for treasures at Mandarake Grandchaos, then wander the streets of Minami (Namba), and finally wander the streets of Dotonbori.

For other places to visit, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Osaka trip planner .

Traveling by train from Nara to Osaka takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive. On the 25th (Wed), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Kyoto.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Shopping Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori
Minami (Namba) ©
Minami (Namba)

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Sanjusangendo Temple, Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Kiyomizu-dera Temple. On the 25th (Wed), steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, and then steep yourself in history at Sanjusangendo Temple.

For other places to visit, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, use the Kyoto trip planner .

Kyoto is just a short distance from Osaka. In December, plan for daily highs up to 52°F, and evening lows to 39°F. On the 26th (Thu), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Sanjusangendo Temple ©
Sanjusangendo Temple

2
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Peace Flame as well as Okunoshima Island. Kick off your visit on the 26th (Thu): make a trip to Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima and then contemplate the long history of Itsukushima Shrine. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 27th (Fri): appreciate the history behind Peace Flame, then contemplate the long history of Atomic Bomb Dome, and then head off the coast to Okunoshima Island.

To find traveler tips, maps, photos, and other tourist information, read our Hiroshima trip planner .

Getting from Kyoto to Hiroshima by train takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In December in Hiroshima, expect temperatures between 52°F during the day and 39°F at night. You'll have a few hours on the 28th (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling to Tokyo.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Nature Parks

Side Trips

Itsukushima Shrine, Okunoshima Island
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine
Atomic Bomb Dome ©
Atomic Bomb Dome

8
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, Pokemon Mega Center Tokyo, Statue of Hachiko & Hidesaburo Ueno, and other attractions you added. Discover out-of-the-way places like Tokyo National Museum The Heiseikan and Kanda Myojin. Next up on the itinerary: take in the spiritual surroundings of Senso-ji Temple.

To find reviews, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read our Tokyo trip planner .

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Tokyo takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In December, daytime highs in Tokyo are 54°F, while nighttime lows are 39°F. You will have some time to spend on the 5th (Sun) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks Historic Sites Museums

Side Trip

Ghibli Museum Mitaka
Find places to stay Dec 28 — Jan 5:
Highlights from your plan
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden ©
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Kanda Myojin ©
Kanda Myojin
Tokyo National Museum The Heiseikan ©

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