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South Korea &...

South Korea & Japan: Seoul to Tokyo

15 days |  19 days with Hokkaido & Tokyo extension
15 days |  19 days with Hokkaido & Tokyo extension
Group size1535 travelers

4.7 out of 5 stars

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OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsTraveler photosHotels, flights & FAQ
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Two sought-after countries. Twice the cultural cachet.

On the global pop culture scene, South Korea’s star has steadily risen in recent years. That’s thanks in part to sensationally popular Korean TV shows and films, foods, beauty trends, and pop bands that have taken the world by storm—and piqued travelers’ curiosity about the country in the process. Korea’s easterly neighbor, Japan, offers up rich history, cultural immersion, and impeccable hospitality that’s always in high demand. Spend two weeks getting to know these neighboring Asian nations, from their neon-lit cities to their rural villages to their serene, natural landscapes. If you want to venture a little farther off the beaten path, extend your tour and explore Hokkaido, Japan’s mountainous, northernmost island.

Your tour package includes

  • 13 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 13 breakfasts
  • 2 lunches
  • 4 dinners with beer or wine
  • 1 tasting
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Included highlights

  • Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul
  • Visiting with Buddhist monks at Bulguksa Temple
  • UN Memorial Cemetery in Busan
  • Gamcheon Culture Village in Busan
  • Kushida-jinja Shrine in Fukuoka
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Day-by-day itinerary

Print itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Seoul today.

Seoul3 nights
Day 2: Arrival in Seoul

Welcome to South Korea! Settle in to your hotel this evening.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Seoul
Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting, Welcome lunch

Meet up with your local guide and get to know South Korea’s capital city, Seoul. Situated in the northwestern reaches of South Korea, the thriving metropolis is home to modern skyscrapers, ornate Buddhist temples, grand palaces, and nearly 10 million residents. It’s also the perfect place to experience many of the fun and dynamic Korean cultural trends—from K-pop music to novelty foods—that have flourished around the world throughout the last decade.

  • Step inside the 14th-century, 7,700-room Gyeongbokgung Palace, which was built by King Taejo and is widely considered the most beautiful of Seoul’s five grand palaces.
  • Watch the Palace Royal Guard Changing Ceremony, a reenactment of the guard-changing procedure that took place during the Joseon dynasty; the ceremony features colorful reproduction costumes, as well as instruments and weapons, based on historical records.
  • Visit the National Folk Museum of Korea to learn about traditional ways of life, which are rapidly disappearing as a result of modernization and urbanization.
  • Enter bustling Gwangjang Market, the city’s oldest traditional market, where you’ll find everything from street food to silks to hanbok—traditional Korean clothing whose origins date back more than 2,000 years.
  • Enjoy a tasting of the market’s not-to-be-missed street food, followed by free time to shop and explore on your own.
  • Get to know your fellow travelers over an included welcome lunch, served with beer or wine.

Enjoy a free evening in Seoul or add an excursion.

Kimchi-Making Class & Dinner

From $155 per person

Day 4: Free day in Seoul
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Seoul or add an excursion.

History of the Korean War: DMZ Visit

From $119 per person

Gyeongju1 night
Day 5: Train ride to Gyeongj & Bulguksa Temple visit
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Board a high-speed bullet train bound for the city of Gyeongju. Often referred to as the “museum without walls,” Gyeongju is home to several impressive archaeological sites and three UNESCO World Heritage sites.

  • Climb aboard your coach for a short transfer to Bulguksa Temple; the treasured head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism was established on the slopes of Mount Toham in the eighth century.
  • Explore the temple with a monk as your guide, then choose to make prayer beads or a lotus flower lantern.

Sit down with your group this evening for an included dinner served with beer or wine.

Busan2 nights
Day 6: Daereungwon Tomb Complex, transfer to Busan & UN Memorial Cemetery
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Spend the morning exploring the Daereungwon Tomb Complex, the final resting place of nobility of the Silla Kingdom, or Golden Kingdom, which ruled from 57 B.C.–935 A.D. You’ll have a chance to enter one of its burial mounds and view some of the 11,000 artifacts and royal crowns that showcase the lavish lifestyles of Korean royalty.

Later, travel to the mountainous, seaside city of Busan, where you’ll visit the United Nations Memorial Cemetery. Learn about the history and impact of the Korean War, and pay your respects to those buried in the cemetery.

Enjoy an included dinner this evening served with beer or wine.

Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Busan
Included meal: Breakfast

Meet up with a local guide to explore Busan, a dynamic port city at the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula. Home to roughly 3.5 million people, Busan is the country’s second-largest city. Here, visitors will find a little bit of everything, from bustling city streets to scenic beaches to excellent restaurants.

  • Pass through the heart of the city to popular Yongdusan Park and make a photo stop at its nearly 400-foot-tall Busan Tower, which features an observation deck and cafe.
  • Travel to colorful Gamcheon Culture Village and learn how it evolved from a downtrodden destination for Korean War refugees to a must-see destination known for its colorful dwellings and labyrinthine alleyways.
  • Head back to the city and visit the vast Jagalchi Fish Market, whose vendors sell just about every kind of fish and seafood imaginable.
  • Enjoy free time for shopping and lunch along Gwangbok-dong Cultural & Fashion Street, whose shops sell everything from bargain finds to luxury goods.

Busan Harbor Cruise & Korean Barbecue Dinner

From $155 per person

Fukuoka2 nights
Day 8: Flight to Fukuoka & sightseeing tour
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today, fly to Fukuoka, the largest city on Japan’s Kyushu Island. With your Tour Director leading the way, head for a tour of the city, which was formed in 1889 when the castle town of Fukuoka and the port city of Hakata merged.

  • Visit the eighth-century Kushida-jinja Shrine, whose highlights include a fountain where people pray for eternal youth.
  • Learn about the shrine’s famous Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival, which takes place every July and culminates with residents of seven Hakata neighborhoods racing beautifully decorated floats along a three-mile course through the city.
  • Wander along the Naka River to Nakasu, a small island packed with stalls selling street foods such as Hakata ramen and yakitori.

Head to a local restaurant this evening for an included dinner, served with beer or wine.

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Nagasaki
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Travel to Nagasaki this morning and meet up with your local guide. Set out to explore the area, which was Japan’s early gateway to trade with the West, as well as the target of an atomic bombing by the United States in 1945. Today, the area’s unspoiled beaches and islands attract swimmers, divers, and sea kayakers.

  • Visit Nagasaki Peace Park, which serves as both a symbol of hope and a reminder of the horrors of war.
  • Explore the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum’s exhibits, which shed light on the city’s devastating history and post-war life.
  • Sit down for an included lunch this afternoon at a local restaurant.
  • Set off on a walking tour through the city, including its cosmopolitan center, as well as historic neighborhoods, like Dejima, which was constructed in the 17th century as a man-made island to segregate Portuguese residents from the Japanese population.
Kyoto2 nights
Day 10: Train to Kyoto & sightseeing tour
Included meal: Breakfast

Board a high-speed bullet train to Kyoto this morning. Then, get to know the city that served as the capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years and is still considered its spiritual capital.

  • Start in western Kyoto’s historic Arashiyama district, which is known for its temples, shrines, and stunning natural beauty.
  • Step inside the UNESCO-listed Tenryū-ji temple, which was originally constructed in the 12th century and is considered one of Kyoto’s most important sites.
  • Wander through the famous and photogenic Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, whose towering, 160-foot-tall bamboo stalks flank a singular pathway.
  • Take in views of the rolling, tree-covered hills that surround the Hozu River.
  • Cross the wooden Togetsukyo Bridge, which was originally built more than 1,200 years ago and stretches nearly 170 feet across a river that’s known as the Hozu to the west and the Katsura to the east.
  • See the famous, 14th-century Kinkaku-ji temple, widely known as the Golden Pavilion, which sits at the edge of a tranquil reflecting pond and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Day 11: Free day in Kyoto
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Kyoto or add an excursion.

Fushimi Inari Walking Tour & Tea Ceremony

From $95 per person

Tokyo3 nights
Day 12: Train to Tokyo & sightseeing tour
Included meal: Breakfast

Board a high-speed bullet train to Tokyo, then spend the afternoon exploring Japan’s bustling capital with your Tour Director leading the way. Ancient shrines and temples, peaceful parks, and modern skyscrapers make up the tapestry of the city, which is home to nearly 14 million people.

  • Snap photos of the Imperial Palace, which occupies the site of the original Edo Castle and is home to Japan’s emperor; its impressive grounds feature moats and massive, stone walls.
  • Pass through the Shinjuku District, a major hub for shopping and nightlife with neon signs as far as the eye can see.
  • Ride an elevator to the top of the Metropolitan Building—a soaring structure with twin towers and observation decks—to enjoy bird’s-eye views of the city.
Day 13: Sightseeing tour of Tokyo
Included meal: Breakfast

Join a local guide and get to know more of Tokyo, from its historic past to its vibrant present.

  • Drive through central Tokyo to iconic Shibuya crossing and snap photos of the world’s busiest crosswalk—some 3,000 people cross from all directions simultaneously during rush hour—from an elevated viewing point.
  • Stop inside Shibuya Station to view “The Myth of Tomorrow,” Japanese artist Tarō Okamoto’s famous 1960s mural that depicts the explosion of an atomic bomb.
  • Drive to Yoyogi Park—one of the city’s biggest public parks—and take a short walk to Meiji Imperial Shrine, the final resting place of Emperor Meiji.
  • Stroll through the colorful Harajuku neighborhood, where Tokyo’s history and present-day pop culture intertwine.
  • Explore Tokyo’s old town, including the ancient Asakusa Kannon Temple, the city’s oldest and most sacred temple.
  • Peruse a vibrant variety of handmade crafts and local fare at the centuries-old Nakamise Shopping Arcade.

Enjoy a free afternoon in Tokyo or add an excursion.

Japanese Cooking Class & Dinner

From $125 per person

Day 14: Free day in Tokyo
Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

Enjoy a free day in Tokyo or add an excursion.

Celebrate your trip during a farewell dinner this evening, served with beer or wine.

Aokigahara Forest & Mount Fuji

From $95 per person

Flight Home
Day 15: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport to board your flight home, or choose to continue your adventure with a visit to Hokkaido.

Extension to Hokkaido & Tokyo
Thanks to its rugged, mountainous landscapes, Hokkaido—Japan’s northernmost island—is sometimes called “the Montana of Japan.” In the island’s capital city, Sapporo, slurp bowlfuls of savory ramen (the iconic dish originated here) and wander among manicured rows of trees in a rambling city park. In the harbor city of Otaru, cruise through placid canals, get a behind-the-scenes look at how Japanese beers are made, and raise a toast to your trip with a taste of the velvety smooth spirits. Then, enjoy more time in Tokyo before heading home.
Sapporo3 nights
Day 15: Flight to Sapporo & sightseeing tour
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today, fly to Sapporo—the capital of Japan’s mountainous Hokkaido island and one of the country’s youngest major cities (in 1857, its population clocked in at a mere seven people). The city also played host to the Olympics in 1972. Spend the afternoon exploring the city alongside your Tour Director.

  • Enjoy a comforting bowl of Sapporo’s famous ramen—the iconic Japanese noodle soup originated here—during an included lunch.
  • Walk through Odori Park—the sprawling green space separates the city into north and south—and enter the iconic Sapporo TV tower, which dates back to the 1950s, and take in panoramic views of the city from the observation deck.
  • Pass Sapporo’s clock tower, the city’s oldest building, as you make your way to Niko Market.
Day 16: Sightseeing tour of Otaru & brewery tour
Included meals: Breakfast, Beer tasting

Travel to the charming harbor city of Otaru. Here, you’ll take a short walking tour alongside your Tour Director, cruise along the city’s canals, and enjoy free time to explore at your own pace.

Later, visit the local brewery and enjoy a guided tour through the brewery where you’ll learn how the best ingredients are chosen, view the fermentation process, and see how the beers are manufactured and packaged. End the tour with a tasting of fresh off-the-line beer before enjoying free time for the rest of the day.

Day 17: Free day in Sapporo
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Sapporo or add an excursion.

Volcanic Hokkaido

From $99 per person

Tokyo1 night
Day 18: Flight to Tokyo
Included meal: Breakfast

Board a flight back to Tokyo and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy free time for the rest of the day or add an excursion.

Tokyo Dinner & Karaoke

From $105 per person

Flight Home
Day 19: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a free morning in Tokyo. Then, transfer to the airport to board your flight home.

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4.7 out of 5 stars

Overall rating 4.7 out of 5

Based on 6 authentic traveler reviews
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    4 out of 5 stars

    6/1/24 by 1st-time traveler Anonymous

    4 out of 5 stars

    5/4/24 by 8th-time traveler Alfhard

    Being able to experience both Korea and Japan was a definite bonus. As usual, tour directors in both countries (Sohey in Korea and Rika in Japan) were very knowledgeable and dedicated to their task. They certainly contributed to the success of the tour. Accommodation, as usual, was very good. The...

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    5 out of 5 stars

    4/6/24 by 11th-time traveler Anonymous

    Enjoyed this trip. Loved learning about South Korean culture and history. Our guides for both Korea and Japan were wonderful.

    Show more reviews

    Traveler photos

    Hotels, flights & FAQ

    Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.


    We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
    Courtyard by Marriott Seoul Namdaemun
    Courtyard by Marriott Seoul Namdaemun

    This downtown hotel is located in Seoul’s vibrant Myeongdong district. Guests enjoy the fitness center, city views, and on-site cafe. Nearby you’ll fi...

    Read more +
    Commodore Hotel Gyeongju
    Commodore Hotel Gyeongju

    This grand hotel is located in historic city of Gyeongju. Guests enjoy the beautifully manicured gardens, outdoor pools, and on-site coffee house. Nea...

    Read more +
    Ramada Encore by Wyndham Busan Haeundae
    Ramada Encore by Wyndham Busan Haeundae

    This contemporary hotel is located a few minutes walk from Busan’s beautiful Haeundae Beach. Guests enjoy the fitness center, spacious rooms, and on-s...

    Read more +
    Kyoto Yura Hotel MGallery
    Kyoto Yura Hotel MGallery

    This boutique hotel is located the vibrant Sanjo district of Kyoto. Guests enjoy the thoughtfully designed décor, on-site restaurant, and the 1867 bar...

    Read more +
    Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba
    Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba

    This comfortable hotel is located on Odaiba Island, Tokyo. Guests enjoy a fitness center, restaurant, and room service. Nearby, you’ll find Pallete To...

    Read more +
    Hakata Excel Hotel Tokyu
    Hakata Excel Hotel Tokyu

    This modern hotel is located in Fukuoka’s Nakasu neighborhood. Guests enjoy the on-site restaurant and tea lounge, as well as Tempur-pedic pillows. Ne...

    Read more +
    Sapporo Excel Hotel Tokyu
    Sapporo Excel Hotel Tokyu

    This centrally located hotel is in the heart of Sapporo. Guests enjoy the two different restaurants featuring Western and Japanese cuisine, bike renta...

    Read more +


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