Harajuku, Universal Studios Japan & More: A 8D Itinerary to Explore Japan's Twin Cities Tokyo and Osaka!

Harajuku, Universal Studios Japan & More: A 8D Itinerary to Explore Japan’s Twin Cities Tokyo and Osaka!

Planning to travel to Japan during the upcoming winter holidays? We’ve got you covered!

When we think about Japan, typical scenes like its seasonal cherry blossoms, picturesque Mount Fuji, and a never-ending list of Japanese foods like sushi and ramen come to mind. Keen to visit Japan but not sure which city you should visit during the upcoming winter holidays?

To solve your dilemma, H.I.S. Travel is offering you a package that will bring you to Tokyo and Osaka, where you can experience the best of both cities with their 7/8D Tokyo Osaka Twin City Special, starting from just S$2,098! Explore Japan’s top-class cities by flying to Tokyo with Singapore Airlines, then embark on your journey to Osaka via a complimentary bullet train ride. 

In conjunction with the upcoming NATAS Travel Fair between 2 and 4 August 2019, H.I.S. Travel has a whole lineup of deals like this one for you to choose from. Skip the hassle of making your own travel arrangements and jump straight into your trip! 

For those who are more free-spirited, this package from H.I.S. is a flexible one — you can wander through Tokyo and Osaka completely free and easy, or join in on the optional tours that they have planned for each day! The 8D itinerary will kick off on 12 December and end on 19 December, while the 7D itinerary will happen between 19 and 25 December, right in time for you to be back home for Christmas!

View package details

Here’s our 8-day itinerary recommended for you to get the most out of exploring the wonders of Tokyo and Osaka this winter holiday!

Day 1: Arrive at Tokyo Haneda Airport

Streets of Tokyo

Image credit: Jezael Melgoza

Tokyo has been a hot favourite amongst tourists from all over the world for decades. From the bustling streets of Harajuku and Shibuya Crossing to the popular cultural icons of Sensoji Temple and Nezu Shrine, there is so much that you can discover when you’re at Japan’s thriving capital city. Take the time to check some of these spots out after you’ve settled into your hotel.

Day 2: Embark on a day tour to explore the iconic Mount Fuji 

Mount Fuji

Image Credit: Pixabay

Mount Fuji is Japan’s tallest and most well-known mountain to hike, visited by hundreds of thousands annually. Standing at a height of 3,776 metres, there is no doubt the sweeping panoramic views from the dormant volcano’s summit will be spectacular. 

Kofuji and Hoeizan

Image credit: Azlan DuPree

As it’s one of the tougher mountains to climb in Japan, you can also opt for shorter and more casual hikes that lead to Kofuji (‘small Fuji’) and Hoeizan, which flank Mount Fuji. The added perk of scaling either of these mountains? You get to enjoy the grandiose sight of Mount Fuji as part of the views from these summits!

Snow Town Yeti

Snow Town Yeti

Image credit: japan-guide.com

If you’re looking for an interactive and fun day out with your family, you can also head to Snow Town Yeti. A ski resort located on the southern slope of Mount Fuji, it opens around mid-October every year in preparation for the winter crowd. 

Snow Town Yeti Skiing

Image credit: Snow Town Yeti

Besides their main runways, the resort also has a small terrain park and a separate snow play area for kids and beginner skiers. This place is perfect for those who are keen to ski and snowboard while enjoying the close-up view of Mount Fuji.

Fujinomiya

Fujinomiya

Image credit: All About Japan

Fujinomiya is a city on the southwestern slopes of Mt Fuji, home to the Fujinomiya Sengen Shrine, the most prominent and important shrine in the region. Here, you can also find the Shiraito Falls, one of Japan’s most beautiful waterfalls, on the outskirts of the city along the Fuji Five Lakes region. 

Fuji Five Lakes Region

Fuji Five Lakes Region

Image credit: Guilhem Vellut

Laying at the northern base of Mount Fuji, the Fuji Five Lakes Region is about 1,000 metres above sea level and surrounds the lakes Motosujo, Shojiko, Yamanakako, Saiko, and Kawaguchiko. In fact, it is one of the best places to view Mount Fuji from. 

Among the five lakes, Lake Kawaguchiko is the easiest to access and offers a range of things to see and do. These include activities like a panoramic ropeway and a museum of ancient art.

Day 3: Unleash the child in you at Tokyo Disneyland 

Tokyo Disneyland

Image credit: gelli.rosario

One of the most family-friendly attractions to visit when you’re at Tokyo is definitely Tokyo Disneyland. Based on popular Disney films, Tokyo Disneyland is made up of seven themed lands and features seasonal parades. A bonus of going in December? You will be enchanted by the magical spirit of the Christmas decorations! 

Kid at Tokyo Disneyland

Image credit: e_chaya

There is a wide range of rides suitable for all ages and personalities, especially if you have kids with you. The rides and shows are bound to keep them entertained the whole time. Get a 1-day Disneyland passport in advance and enjoy a complete day of fun! 

Day 4: Hop on the bullet train to Osaka

Japan Bullet Train

Image credit: hans-johnson

After saying your goodbyes to Tokyo, you’ll depart for Osaka on a 3-hour bullet train ride! Usually costing a cool ¥18,250 (~S$230), you can experience a ride on the shinkansen for free on this trip! While it’s famous for its speed, comfort and convenience, you may be surprised to find that you can even get bentos, snacks and drinks from food carts, with the cabin staff making the rounds in the train.

Streets of Osaka

Image credit: Pedro Szekely

As the capital city of West Japan, Osaka is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Land of the Rising Sun. From its vibrant cityscape to trendy shopping streets lined with delicious local food, there is a lot to explore in Osaka that fascinates visitors from all over the world.

Dotonbori

Dotonbori

Image credit: Japan Travel

Situated in the Minami area, Dotonbori is well-known as Osaka’s “most touristy neighbourhood”. Over here, you can find advertisement displays of popular brands, such as the Glico Running Man, as well as vibrant neon lights that attract many visitors every night. It’s also one of the best places in Osaka to dine and do your shopping. It is true that you will never get bored of this lively and dynamic neighbourhood. 

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle

Image credit: H.I.S. Travel

Regarded as a symbol of Osaka and one of the most significant castles in Japan, the Osaka Castle is an important historical monument that represents the history of the Azuchi-Momoyama period during the sixteenth century. With the Osaka Castle Park built around it, you can even opt to cycle through the surrounds of the Osaka Castle! 

Shinsekai

Shinsekai

Image credit: OSAKA-INFO

To experience the local culture of Osaka, head to Shinsekai where a strong atmosphere of nostalgia lingers. The streets are littered with colourful vintage shop displays, which explains why Shinsekai makes one of the best photo spots in town. 

The iconic landmark of Shinsekai, Tsutenkaku Tower, is also a great spot to overlook the entire neighbourhood and Osaka city. Assembled in 1912, the tower closely resembles the Eiffel Tower in Paris and is worth a visit! 

Thereafter, end your day by checking into your hotel just above JR Osaka Station.

Day 5: Let loose at Universal Studios Japan

USJ

Image credit: [email protected]

Alongside Tokyo Disneyland, Universal Studios Japan (USJ) is another highly visited amusement park. Comprised of nine different zones from Hollywood — from the Minion Park to the popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter — there is always an exciting lineup of attractions here. In December, the Christmas decorations and seasonal parades will also take place, so do keep a lookout for them. 

USJ Minion Park

Image credit: JNTO

Besides cute food and drinks made in the image of your favourite characters in the amusement park, you can also look forward to bringing home USJ merchandise as souvenirs. Purchase your 1-day USJ passport in advance and brace yourselves for a day of adventure! 

Read also: 5 Tips to Maximising Your Trip to Universal Studios Japan (Express Pass, Hidden Secrets & More!)

Day 6: Hop on a Kyoto Day Tour 

Kyoto

Image credit: Bytemarks

From Osaka, embark on a day tour to Kyoto, which is another must-visit city in West Japan. While Osaka offers an energetic and modern culture, you can expect to find a calm and historically rich culture in Kyoto. 

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Image credit: BriYYZ

There’s no way you haven’t seen such a photo on Instagram. Regarded as one of the best tourist destinations, Fushimi Inari Shrine is famous for its red torii gates, fox statues and particularly the “Senbon Torii”, comprising over 5,000 red torii gates that form a tunnel-like stretch. 

Yasaka Street

Yasaka Street

Image credit: Chuck Moravec

Situated within the Higashiyama District, the Yasaka Street is one of the most attractive areas in the east side of the city. It is famous for its well-maintained, charming landscape, coupled with popular attractions like the Yasaka Pagoda, which is one of the most prominent landmarks of Kyoto.

Besides visiting the main attractions in the area, you can also opt to walk around and explore the lanes lined with traditional old houses that complete the rustic vibes of the setting. 

Day 7: Take an extra day to explore Hiroshima

Hiroshima

Image credit: Japan Rail Pass 

For those who opt for the 8-day package, this is the additional day of adventure you’ll thankfully be experiencing!

Widely known as the first city targeted by an atomic bomb in World War II, the Hiroshima Prefecture has become a popular destination amongst tourists today. Many flock to visit its memorial monuments, and despite its sorrowful past, Hiroshima still embodies a great atmosphere and is home to numerous tourist attractions today. 

Peace Memorial Park

Peace Memorial Park

Image credit: Explore Hiroshima

At the Peace Memorial Park, you’ll get to see the belongings left behind by victims, their photos and other materials that reflect Hiroshima’s tragic history. Since 1996, it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and serves as a memorial to the people who were killed in the bombing.

Miyajima Island

Miyajima Island

Image credit: Joe deSousa

Also known as “Shrine Island”, Miyajima Island is where you can find one of the greatest Japanese shrines, the Itsukushima Shrine and its striking floating red torii gates. Many believe that it’s the “home of God”, and it is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and designated by the Japanese government as a National Treasure. 

Day 8: Kuromon Market and depart from Osaka Kansai Airport 

Kuromon Market

Image credit: Osaka Station

Spend your last day learning more about Osaka’s food culture at Kuromon Market, before heading to the airport for your flight back home. 

Consisting of more than 150 stores, the Kuromon Market is one of the largest markets in West Japan. It is commonly identified as “Osaka’s Kitchen”, as a wide variety of fresh produce can be found here. Often patronised by locals themselves, it is one of the best places to enjoy Osaka’s authentic local delicacies. 

Drawing a close to your trip to Tokyo and Osaka, you would have taken with you amazing experiences of Japan’s cities, natural wonders, food, culture, and heritage to remember. 

To secure your slot on a journey to experience some of Japan’s bustling cities, head over to book your spot in the 7/8D Tokyo Osaka Twin City Special package, starting from only S$2,098 with H.I.S. Travel

View travel dates & package details

For more information on this package and other deals, check out the NATAS Travel Fair happening from 2 to 4 August 2019 at the Singapore EXPO.


Brought to you by H.I.S. Travel. 

About Author

Cheryl Tan
Cheryl Tan

The best memories are created through spontaneous adventures, hence Cheryl is always on-the-go to try new things and see where it takes her from there. On stay-home days, she enjoys reading lifestyle articles on topics such as skincare and travel itineraries with a hot cup of tea. Otherwise, she likes to visit museums, dance, and spend time with family and friends.

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