Japan Winter 12-day Itinerary – Adventures with Family

Our Japan winter journey was all about enjoying the enjoyable things to do in Japan during winter. On this 12-day journey, we have been capable of do certain issues that we might only expertise throughout a Japan winter season, akin to marvelling on the largest winter illuminations in Nagoya, watching a winter show on the Osaka fort, visiting snow monkeys in their pure habitat, having fun with  the Hakone scorching springs and enjoying with snow at a ski resort.

Under is our 12-day itinerary.

Shibuya crossing

Day 1: Tokyo

We arrived in Tokyo and spent our first evening exploring Shibuya and watching individuals criss-crossing on the Shibuya crossing. The great part about visiting Tokyo in winter was the sunshine decorations all around the town. Learn more about our Tokyo trip.

Hakone Ropeway

Day 2: Hakone

We travelled to Hakone recognized for its scorching springs and superb views of Mt Fuji. We took a cable automotive, a ropeway across steaming volcanoes and stayed in a single day in a standard Japanese ryokan with a scorching spring tub. Read more about our Hakone journey.

Mt Fuji view from Hakone

Day 3: Hakone – Osaka

We explored the volcanic valley, and then took a sightseeing pirate ship throughout Lake Ashi. Within the afternoon, we took the bullet practice to Osaka and enjoyed a night in the vigorous Namba space. Learn extra about our Osaka trip.

Osaka Castle Show

Day four: Osaka Aquarium and Citadel

We visited the Osaka Aquarium, had some fun on the Tempozan market, and then visited Osaka Citadel within the night for an outside show. Learn more about Osaka.

Wizarding World Harry Potter Japan
Fushimi Inari Torii Gate

Day 6: Kyoto

We went on a day trip to Kyoto from Osaka as we didn’t get to see the well-known pink Torii gates at Fushimi Inari and the geisha district in Gion the final time we visited Kyoto. Learn extra about Kyoto.

Japan Winter Illumination

Day 7: Winter Illuminations

Probably the greatest things to do in Japan during winter is to take pleasure in its winter illuminations and the most effective was at Nabana No Sato near Nagoya.  Learn more about Winter Illuminations in Nabana No Sato.

Hakuba Ski Resort

Day 8: Hakuba Ski Resort

A winter holiday just isn’t full with no probability to play with snow. We headed north to Nagano and spent the afternoon at the Hakuba ski resort.  We spent the night time at Hakuba Sun Valley with the Goryu snow park proper at its doorstep.

Snow Monkey

Day 9: Jigokudani Snow Monkeys

We took a bus to see the Jigokudani snow monkeys who solely make an appearance through the colder months to soak within the warm tub prepared by the locals.  Within the late afternoon, we took the bullet practice to Tokyo.

Pokemon Centre

Day 10: Tokyo

We visited the well-known Tsukiji fish market, Pokemon centre, and spent the night in Shinjuku, with a hearty ramen dinner at Menya Gaijin. Learn extra about Tokyo.


Day 11: Tokyo

We took a stroll down Harajuku road, famous for trendsetting trend; Akihabara, a haven for digital items and Asakusa for sightseeing, buying in addition to sushi at Sushi-ken. Learn extra about our Tokyo journey.

Halal Tokyo Japan

Day 12: Narita Airport

On our final day we had udon at Narita Airport earlier than bidding farewell to Japan.

As this journey was our second trip to Japan, planning was comparatively easier this time round.  I hope that you simply find the information under helpful in your planning.


For our journey, we stayed at several types of budget-friendly and family-friendly accommodations:

  • Lodge Empire in Shinjuku – We stayed overnight on this budget-friendly household accommodation that may be a Three-min stroll from JR Okuba station, 1 cease away from Shinjuku.
  • Hakone Gora Kanon – We stayed in a single day at this traditional family ryokan up the Hakone mountain resort with personal scorching spring baths. They have been additionally capable of order for us dinner (tempura prawn udon) from a nearby restaurant.
  • Wafu Ryokan Uehonmachi – We stayed on this budget-friendly Japanese-style lodging in Osaka for 4 nights.  It is within strolling distance to Uehonmachi station, simply 1 stop away from the vigorous Namba space.
  • Lodge Mystays Nagoya – We stayed overnight here after visiting the illuminations. We selected this because it was solely 3 stops from Nagoya station, from the place we have been to depart for Hakuba the subsequent . near a restaurant with halal food (Taxim). We couldn’t discover a household room in Nagoya, so we booked 2 rooms.
  • Hakuba Sun Valley – We chose this lodging as a result of it had an choice for a muslim-friendly menu, was near Hakuba Goryu Ski resort and there was snow proper outdoors the accommodation.
  • Haru Lodge – We stayed Three nights at this budget-friendly lodging that is within strolling distance from JR Okuba station and 1 cease away from Shinjuku

Tickets and Excursions

You will get attraction tickets, excursions and even restaurant bookings for Japan via Voyagin.com.


Getting round with Luggage

Tokyo LockersBaggage delivery service
Dealing with luggage is probably the most tough part of a travel itinerary the place you keep at a number of totally different places and journey by public transport.  Thankfully, Japan has a extremely dependable and cheap baggage supply service (Ta-Q-Bin). You’ll be able to have your luggage delivered from one lodge to another, or from the airport.
We used this service to send our massive luggage from Narita Airport to our lodge in Osaka, and from Osaka back to Tokyo. We additionally used a baggage supply service at Hakone-Yumoto practice station to deliver our luggage to our accommodation while we tour Hakone.  The remainder of the time, we just carried smaller cabin luggage.

Lockers at practice stations

We also made use of lockers at practice stations to store our baggage whereas we discover the town earlier than shifting on to our subsequent destination.


Japan has some of the reliable public transport methods on the earth.  Public transport is probably the most economical solution to get round in Japan.


Japan Rail (JR) cross

The JR Rail move gives unlimited practice on all JR trains apart from the quickest sort of bullet practice referred to as the Nozomi and Mizuho Shinkansen.  Nevertheless, having such move might or might not save you money. It’s because it doesn’t cover local trains just like the Metro and Toei strains in Tokyo or the Kyoto local rail strains. It also is available in fastened variety of days i.e. 7, 14 and 21 days.  This won’t align to your itinerary.  We purchased the 7-day JR move despite the fact that we stayed for 12.

Purchase your JR Move from  Klook (JR Move)

This was our public transportation. Those in italics aren’t included in the JR move.

  • Day 1: Tokyo
    • Categorical practice from Airport to Shinjuku
    • JR Yamanote from Shinjuku to our lodge in Shin-Okubo
  • Day 2: Tokyo – Hakone
    • RomanceCar from Shinjuku at 09:27am and arriving at Hakone-Yumoto at 11:04am.
    • Hakone Free Move – Tozan railway to Gora (39 min), cable automotive to Sounzan (10min), ropeway to Togendai and bus to Gora (see bus schedule) and cable automotive to accommodation at Naka-Gora.
  • Day 3: Hakone – Osaka
    • Hakone Free Move – cable automotive, ropeway to Owakudani, ropeway to Togendai, pirate ship cruise across Lake Ashi (40 min) and a bus again to Odawara.
    • We activated our Japan rail cross and took the bullet practice from Odawara at 14:08, arrived at Shin-Osaka at 16:26 and altered to the Osaka Loop Line and an area Kintentsu line to our accommodation at Osaka-Uehonmachi. Check with the Osaka Practice Map.
    • Practice to Kintetsu-Nipponbashi to have dinner at the Dotonbori area.
  • Day 4: Osaka Aquarium and Fort
    • Practice to Osakako to visit the Aquarium using the Osaka Kaiyu Ticket which included entry to the Aquarium and limitless rides within Osaka metropolis for the day.
    • Practice to Osaka station, then to Osakajokoen to see the citadel
  • Day 5: Universal Studios Japan
  • Day 6: Kyoto
    • Practice to Shin-Osaka, Shinkansen practice from Shin-Osaka to Kyoto (15 min), then took the JR Nara Line to Inari (1 cease)
    • Travelled by bus round Kyoto, and took Shinkansen back to Osaka.
  • Day 7: Osaka to Nagoya
    • Shinkansen to Nagoya (about 1 hr)
    • Two-way shuttle bus from Meitetsu Bus Centre (close to Nagoya station) to Nabana No Sato (each means about 1 hr) (1,780 Yen) or practice from Nagoya to Kuwana by way of JR Kansai Line (24 min) and shuttle bus from Kuwana station to Nabana No Sato
    • Nagoya Metropolis Subway from Nagoya to Sakae(Aichi) for dinner and lodge
  • Day eight: Nagoya to Hakuba
    • Nagoya City Subway from Sakae(Aichi) to Nagoya
    • Limited Categorical (Extensive View) Shinano from Nagoya at 08:00, change at Shiojiri at 10:15 and Limited Categorical Azusa practice to Hakuba, arriving at 11:28
  • Day 9: Hakuba to Nagano to Tokyo
    • Bus from Hakuba to Nagano (1hr 5 min)
    • Nagano Dentetsu Bus to Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park and return, by purchasing 1-day Snow Monkey Move from Nagano station (2,900 Yen per grownup)
    • Shinkansen from Nagano at 17:55 to Tokyo (79 min)
  • Day 10 and 11: Tokyo
    • 1-day Metro line cross (paid at station). See Tokyo Metro map. – Word that there are 3 forms of day cross (1) Metro line solely (2) Metro + Toei Line (3) Metro + Toei + JR.  Determine your route earlier than buying the cross.
  • Day 12: To airport

Necessary observe about JR Cross

  • You will need to buy the JR cross and obtain the Change Order earlier than getting into Japan.  You should purchase it on-line at klook.com.  At the airport, there is a JR cross change office the place you possibly can turn within the Change Order and present your passport to get the JR move.
  • You can also make seat reservations totally free at the JR stations.
  • You possibly can verify practice schedules on hyperdia.com.

Too much planning for you?  Then, you can also contemplate becoming a member of the native excursions.

Different Useful Ideas

  • Value saving ideas
    • There are numerous nice bakeries and Japanese snacks around Japan which might be fairly priced.  You will discover some of them at the basement degree of buying malls or at practice stations.
    • There are lots of memento outlets at Narita Airport promoting Japanese snacks in nicely-wrapped bins.  You can save on taxes when shopping for them from the airport.
  • Getting related
    • You might want to contemplate getting a sim card to be used during your Japan journey, however you want to apply it to a handset that supports 3G.
    • Rental of Wifi units are also obtainable at the airport. You possibly can ebook it online at Voyagin.com.
  • Communications
    • It’s helpful to install an English-Japanese language translator in your mobile phone for communication with an area who won’t be well-versed in English.
  • Digital Merchandise
    • If you must deliver electronic merchandise like kettles or irons, get the travel ones that may be adjusted to 100V.  Those which are fastened at 230V won’t work properly in Japan.

Hope that you simply discover the itinerary and ideas helpful. Do like and share with others should you discover it useful.

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