12 days in Japan Itinerary

12 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Japan Itinerary

Rome
Fly + taxi + train:  17​h 15​min
Himeji
— 1 night
train:  1​h
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
Kyoto
— 4 nights
train:  2​h 45​min
Tokyo
— 3 nights
train + Fly:  16​h 45​min
Rome

1
day
Himeji

Himeji ©
The castle around which the city of Himeji has developed represents one of the best preserved in the country, and has been designated as a national treasure and a World Heritage Site.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Wed): step into the grandiose world of Himeji Castle, then admire the natural beauty at Kokoen Garden, and then don't miss a visit to Otemae Street.

To see ratings, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Himeji itinerary builder.

Rome, Italy to Himeji is an approximately 17.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from Central European Time (CET) to Japan Standard Time (JST), which is usually an 8 hour difference. Traveling from Rome in December, you will find days in Himeji are a bit cooler (12°C), and nights are about the same (6°C). Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Thu) early enough to catch the train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Himeji

Historic Sites Parks
Accommodations
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Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Kokoen Garden ©
Kokoen Garden
Otemae Street ©
Otemae Street

2
days
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Thu): step off the mainland to explore Miyajima and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Itsukushima Shrine. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 29th (Fri): explore the historical opulence of Hiroshima Castle, pause for some photo ops at Atomic Bomb Dome, then make a trip to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, and finally examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

To find ratings, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Hiroshima trip itinerary planner.

Getting from Himeji to Hiroshima by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive. In December, daytime highs in Hiroshima are 13°C, while nighttime lows are 5°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sat) so you can catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Nature

Side Trip

Hatsukaichi
Accommodations
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Miyajima ©
Miyajima
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

4
days
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.
When in Kyoto, make a side trip to see Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, approximately 1h 15 min away. There's much more to do: get great views at Kiyomizu-dera, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ryoanji Temple, take in nature's colorful creations at Shosei-en Garden, and step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle.

For other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Kyoto trip itinerary builder.

Getting from Hiroshima to Kyoto by train takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of ferry, flight, and train. Expect a daytime high around 13°C in December, and nighttime lows around 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Wed) to allow time to take a train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Theme Parks Parks

Side Trip

Universal Studios Japan
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Kyoto.
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Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera ©
Kiyomizu-dera
Fushimi Inari Taisha ©
Fushimi Inari Taisha
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan

3
days
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.
Tokyo is known for historic sites, shopping, parks, museums, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senso-ji Temple, appreciate the extensive heritage of Imperial Palace, and look for gifts at The Tsukiji Market.

To see photos, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, read Tokyo tour planner.

You can take a train from Kyoto to Tokyo in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train and flight; or drive. In January, plan for daily highs up to 11°C, and evening lows to 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 6th (Sat) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Tokyo.
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Highlights from your plan
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Meiji Jingu ©
Meiji Jingu
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

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