8 days in Japan Itinerary

8 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

8 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Narita
train:  1​h 15​min
1
Tokyo
— 2 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
2
Kyoto
— 2 nights
train:  30​min
3
Osaka
— 2 nights
Fly + train:  3​h 15​min
End: Narita

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 (Mon), stroll through Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, then get a sense of history and politics at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, then don't miss a visit to Tokyo Tower, and finally don't miss a visit to Shibuya Crossing. On your second day here, make a trip to Tokyo Skytree, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senso-ji Temple, then examine the collection at The Gallery of Horyuji Treasures, and finally get engrossed in the history at Tokyo National Museum.

For photos, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Tokyo online travel planner .

Narita to Tokyo is an approximately 1.5-hour bus ride. You can also drive; or take a train. December in Tokyo sees daily highs of 54°F and lows of 39°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) early enough to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Museums Parks
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Wed): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Heian Shrine, contemplate the long history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and then steep yourself in history at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine. Here are some ideas for day two: wander the streets of Gion, step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ryoanji Temple, and finally admire the landmark architecture of Kyutei Omuro.

To see traveler tips, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Kyoto trip planner .

Traveling by train from Tokyo to Kyoto takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In December, plan for daily highs up to 52°F, and evening lows to 39°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) early enough to catch the train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

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.
Step out of Osaka to go to Nara and see Nara Park, which is approximately 54 minutes away. There's still lots to do: get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan, wander the streets of Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street, take in panoramic vistas at Kuchu Teien Observatory, and see the interesting displays at Mizuno Sportology Gallery.

To find other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Osaka trip planner .

Osaka is just a short distance from Kyoto. December in Osaka sees daily highs of 52°F and lows of 39°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trip

Nara Park
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Sunset Owl Cafe ©
Sunset Owl Cafe
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle

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