19 days in Japan Itinerary

19 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

19 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly:  15 h
1
Osaka
— 4 nights
Train:  30 min
2
Kyoto
— 4 nights
Train:  3 h 45 min
3
Hakone-machi
— 4 nights
Bus + Train:  1 h 15 min
4
Tokyo
— 6 nights
Fly:  14 h
End: Melbourne

4
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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Osaka: Nara (Nara Park & Kasuga Grand Shrine), Himeji (Koko-en & Himeji Castle) and Mt. Koya (in Koya-cho). There's lots more to do: find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan, have some family-friendly fun at Sunset Owl Cafe, take a stroll through Dotonbori, and deepen your understanding at Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution.

To see photos, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Osaka journey maker .

Melbourne, Australia to Osaka is an approximately 15-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Melbourne to Osaka. When traveling from Melbourne in December, plan for colder days in Osaka, with highs around 13°C, while nights are slightly colder with lows around 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) so you can take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Theme Parks Parks

Side Trips

Nara, Himeji, Mt. Koya, Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Sunset Owl Cafe ©
Sunset Owl Cafe
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle

4
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.
Change things up with a short trip to Todai-ji Temple in Nara (about 1 hour away). There's much more to do: steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, get a taste of the local shopping with Nishiki Market Shopping District, go for a walk through Arashiyama, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Ginkakuji Temple.

For other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Kyoto road trip tool .

Kyoto is just a stone's throw from Osaka. Expect a daytime high around 13°C in December, and nighttime lows around 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) so you can travel to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trip

Todai-ji Temple
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 4:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

4
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Hakone-machi: Lake Kawaguchi (in Fujikawaguchiko-machi), Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine (in Fujinomiya) and Ikeda museum of 20th century art (in Ito). There's much more to do: contemplate the geological forces at Mount Fuji, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Ashi (Ashinoko), get engrossed in the history at Hakone Sekisho and Hakone Sekisho Museum, and contemplate the long history of Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu.

To see where to stay, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Hakone-machi trip builder site .

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Hakone-machi takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly. Traveling from Kyoto in January, you will find days in Hakone-machi are little chillier (5°C), and nights are about the same (3°C). Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) early enough to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Parks Museums Nature

Side Trips

Lake Kawaguchi, Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine, Lake Yamanaka Panorama Deck, Mount Fuji, Ikeda museum of 20th century art
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Mount Fuji ©
Mount Fuji
The Hakone Open-Air Museum ©
The Hakone Open-Air Museum
Lake Ashi (Ashinoko) ©
Lake Ashi (Ashinoko)

6
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.
Step out of Tokyo to go to Maihama and see Tokyo DisneySea, which is approximately 30 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower, take in the spiritual surroundings of Senso-ji Temple, see the interesting displays at Edo-Tokyo Museum, and admire the masterpieces at Tokyo National Museum.

To see ratings, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, read our Tokyo trip planner .

Do a combination of bus and train from Hakone-machi to Tokyo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. When traveling from Hakone-machi in January, plan for somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Tokyo: temperatures range from 11°C by day to 1°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Museums Theme Parks

Side Trip

Urayasu
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

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