36 days in Japan Itinerary

36 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

36 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Sao Paulo
Fly:  29​h
1
Tokyo
— 15 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
2
Kyoto
— 7 nights
train:  30​min
3
Osaka
— 7 nights
train:  3​h 15​min
4
Tokyo
— 1 day
train + bus:  1​h 15​min
5
Hakone-machi
— 3 nights
Fly:  30​h
End: Sao Paulo

15
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.
Explore Tokyo's surroundings by going to Sojiji (in Nishitokyo), Naka (Cup Noodles Museum Yokohama, Yamashita Park, & more) and Susukino (in Sapporo). There's still lots to do: admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower, take a stroll through Odaiba, discover the magic at Tokyo Disneyland, and stroll through Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

For maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Tokyo online route builder .

Sao Paulo, Brazil to Tokyo is an approximately 29-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone changes from Brasilia Time to Japan Standard Time, which is usually a 12 hour difference. Traveling from Sao Paulo in December, expect Tokyo to be much colder, temps between 14°C and 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) early enough to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Yokohama, Kamakura, Urayasu, Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple, Sojiji
Find places to stay Dec 19 — Jan 4:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

7
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.
Get out of town with these interesting Kyoto side-trips: Byodoin (in Uji), Chubu Park (in Toin-cho) and Todai-ji Temple (in Nara). And it doesn't end there: contemplate the long history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sanjusangendo Temple, take in the pleasant sights at Arashiyama, and wander the streets of Gion.

For reviews, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Kyoto trip tool .

Take a train from Tokyo to Kyoto in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 10°C in January, and nighttime lows around 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks Shopping

Side Trips

Chubu Park, Byodoin, Todai-ji Temple, Nagoya Castle
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

7
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.
Osaka Castle Park has been added to your itinerary. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Osaka: Nara (Nara Park, Kasuga Grand Shrine, & more), Chuo (Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution & Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown)) and Koya-cho (Mt. Koya, Torodo Temple, & more). Next up on the itinerary: step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle, don't miss a visit to Tempozan Ferris Wheel, wander the streets of Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street, and have some family-friendly fun at Sunset Owl Cafe.

For other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, read Osaka journey planning site .

Osaka is just a short distance from Kyoto. Expect a daytime high around 10°C in January, and nighttime lows around 1°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) so you can travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Osaka

Parks Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trips

Nara, Koya-cho, Kobe
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Sunset Owl Cafe ©
Sunset Owl Cafe
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori

1
day
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Sat): don't miss a visit to Nakamise Shopping Street (Kaminarimon), shop like a local with Ameya Yokocho (Ameyoko), admire the natural beauty at Hama Rikyu Gardens, then admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo International Forum, then make a trip to Shinjuku Golden Gai, and finally examine the collection at Samurai Museum.

To find traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Tokyo trip planner .

Getting from Osaka to Tokyo by train takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: fly; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Tokyo

Shopping Parks Museums
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Ameya Yokocho (Ameyoko) ©
Ameya Yokocho (Ameyoko)
Nakamise Shopping Street (Kaminarimon) ©
Shinjuku Golden Gai ©
Shinjuku Golden Gai

3
nights
Hakone-machi

Hakone-machi ©
Sitting at the foot of Mount Fuji, Hakone-machi has become a popular retreat from Tokyo for locals and tourists alike.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Sun): don't miss a visit to Owaku-dani Valley, then take some stellar pictures from Hakone Ropeway, then admire the masterpieces at The Hakone Open-Air Museum, and finally steep yourself in history at Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: hike along Hakone Stone‐paved Road, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Ashi (Ashinoko), and then make a splash at Hakone Kowakien Yunessun.

To see ratings, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Hakone-machi day trip planner.

Getting from Tokyo to Hakone-machi by combination of train and bus takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. While traveling from Tokyo, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Hakone-machi, ranging from highs of 5°C to lows of 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 21st (Tue) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Theme Parks Baths Spas
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Hakone Kowakien Yunessun ©
Hakone Kowakien Yunessun
The Hakone Open-Air Museum ©
The Hakone Open-Air Museum
Lake Ashi (Ashinoko) ©
Lake Ashi (Ashinoko)

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