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Essence of South Korea & Japan

  • Duration
    16 days
  • Tour Type
    Group Tour
  • Tour Style
    Classic
  • Price From
    £8,490pp
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This two-week South Korea and Japan adventure gives a fascinating insight into two of Asia's most intriguing countries. Close in proximity yet culturally distinct, this tour offers the perfect way to experience the diversity of the Far East.
  • Fully Inclusive
    Touring with Guides and entrance fees
  • Included Meals
    Breakfasts: 14 , Lunches: 13 , Dinners: 14
  • Accommodation
    15 nights in 3+/4 star accommodation
  • Group Tour
    Max Group Size: 28
  • Physical Rating 1Learn More
    X A reasonable level of fitness is required and you should expect to be on your feet for much of the day. You’ll be getting on and off coaches, trains or boats and walking around the sights, often including steps, plus occasional longer walks. Download the detailed tour dossier for details of your chosen tour. Learn More
    Walking, some steps and time on your feet
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Tour Highlights

Our Essence of South Korea & Japan tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine.

Tour Experiences

Tour Itinerary

This two-week South Korea and Japan adventure gives a fascinating insight into two of Asia's most intriguing countries. Close in proximity yet culturally distinct, this tour offers the perfect way to experience the diversity of the Far East.

  • Days 1-2
    Fly overnight to Seoul
    Days 1-2: Fly overnight to Seoul

    Fly overnight to South Korea's dazzling capital, Seoul. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.

    • Dinner
  • Day 3
    Explore Seoul
    Day 3: Explore Seoul

    In Seoul's urban landscape of skyscrapers and nightlife, an immersion of culture and tradition awaits. Start your full-day tour at Gyeongbok Palace for the captivating 'Changing of the Guards' ceremony and a palace exploration. Then, indulge in a Korean cooking class to create and enjoy the flavors of Bibimbap for lunch. Experience the city's beauty from N Seoul Tower and explore the artistic allure of Insadong Antique Alley, a hub of traditional Korean treasures.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 4
    Visit the DMZ
    Day 4: Visit the DMZ

    Created as a buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea at the end of the Korean War, the DMZ is part of the most heavily militarised border in the world. An early start is needed today as tickets the DMZ are limited. See the DMZ Theatre & Exhibition Hall and walk along the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, visit Dora Observatory & Station and see the Bridge of Freedom. (Should tickets not be available, take a ride on the DMZ gondola and visit the Odusan Unification Observatory). Return to Seoul explore the huge Gwangjang Market.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 5
    Explore Gyeongju
    Day 5: Explore Gyeongju

    Embark on a train journey from Seoul to the captivating city of Gyeongju, known as 'the museum without walls' for its abundant cultural relics. Former capital of the Silla Kingdom for over 1,000 years, Gyeongju boasts an astonishing array of tombs, temples, statues, and ruins to explore. In the afternoon, marvel at the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Bulguksa Temple, an architectural gem of Silla heritage, and the awe-inspiring Seokguram Grotto. End your day with a serene stroll along the enchanting Anapji Pond, where echoes of the city's illustrious history resonate amidst the tranquil waters.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 6
    Explore Busan
    Day 6: Explore Busan

    Begin the day with a visit to Gyeongju National Museum and Tumuli Park's royal tombs. Then, journey by road to Busan, a city brimming with character, traditional charm, and scenic wonders like mountains, beaches, temples, and delectable seafood. In the afternoon, experience the lively atmosphere of Jagalchi Fish Market and Gukje Market's bustling stalls. Later, find tranquility on Dongbaekseom Island before relishing the sandy shores of Haeundae Beach.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 7
    Goodbye South Korea, Hello Japan
    Day 7: Goodbye South Korea, Hello Japan

    It's time to say goodbye to South Korea and hello to Japan! Board the ferry to Fukuoka.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 8
    From Fukuoka to Hiroshima
    Day 8: From Fukuoka to Hiroshima

    Discover the allure of Fukuoka, Kyushu Island's largest city, nestled on the northern shores of Japan. Begin your day with a visit to the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shinto Shrine, followed by an exploration of the National Museum, unveiling the city's vibrant past. After lunch, board the bullet train to Hiroshima, a city that resonates with historical significance, symbolizing resilience and peace.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 9
    Hiroshima & Miyajima
    Day 9: Hiroshima & Miyajima

    Start the day at the Peace Memorial Park and Museum, which pays homage to the victims of the 1945 atomic bomb, followed by a visit to an oyster farm by boat. In the afternoon, hop on the ferry to the holy island of Miyajima and visit the Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Listed Site, located on the edge of the waters of the Seto Island Sea.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 10
    Discover Ancient Kurashiki & Okayama
    Day 10: Discover Ancient Kurashiki & Okayama

    Transfer by bullet train to Kurashiki to explore the beautifully-preserved Bikan Historical Quarter, where the streets along the banks of the Kurashiki River are lined with white-walled kominka (traditional houses). Next, head to Okayama and visit Korakuen Garden, one of the 'Three Great Gardens of Japan'. Later, board the bullet train to the vibrant city of Osaka.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 11
    Explore Nara & Osaka
    Day 11: Explore Nara & Osaka

    Travel to Nara and enjoy a leisurely walk through Nara Park to Todaiji Temple before returning to Osaka. Enjoy lunch at Dotonbori Street, famous for its eye-catching signage and billboards and then visit the impressive Osaka Castle.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 12
    Travel to Kyoto
    Day 12: Travel to Kyoto

    Journey by road to Kyoto – an enchanting city, Kyoto was Japan's capital city for 1,000 years; today it is a testament to ancient Japan, packed with tranquil temples, silk-clad geisha and sublime gardens. Visit Ryoanji, the 'temple of the peaceful dragon' and the famous Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the 'Golden Pavilion'. Later immerse yourself in the culture by experiencing the sacred rituals of a tea ceremony with a tea master.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 13
    Explore Kyoto
    Day 13: Explore Kyoto

    Visit the vibrant district of Arashiyama and stroll through the bamboo forest with its towering and impressive thickets before trying your hand at the art of fan painting. Next you'll have the opportunity to have lunch with a Maiko – an apprentice Geisha. In the afternoon, visit to one of Kyoto's most famous sites – Fushimi Inari Shrine, renowned for its 10,000 vermilion torii gates, and follow a forested hillside pathway passing numerous shrines along the way.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 14
    Visit Hakone
    Day 14: Visit Hakone

    Take the bullet train to Odawara. Upon arrival, visit the Hakone shrine, situated on the shores of Lake Ashi and enjoy the breathtaking views of Mount Fuji in the background. After lunch, take part in a Yosegi marquetry craft experience, before continuing by road to Tokyo – Japan's capital city.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 15
    Explore Tokyo
    Day 15: Explore Tokyo

    Tokyo is the ultimate 24-hour city, but look behind its frantic, high-tech neon-lit frontage and you will find plenty of tranquil backstreets and ancient temples. Begin the day with a visit to Meiji Shrine, before driving past the famous Shibuya crossing. Next, wander through the old district of Asakusa to soak up the atmosphere at Sensoji, Tokyo's most famous and beloved temple. After lunch, visit a bonsai museum and observe a demonstration before trying your hand at pruning your own. End the day with a dinner cruise on the beautiful Tokyo Bay.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 16
    Fly Tokyo to UK
    Day 16: Fly Tokyo to UK

    Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day.

    • Breakfast

We draw from a wide range of hotels on our holidays, each one is chosen to suit the tour you are travelling on meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. Here are some examples of the type of hotel you can expect to find on this tour.

  • Nights 3
    Crown Park Hotel
    Crown Park Hotel
    Located in Myeong-dong, the hub of business, tourism and culture within Seoul, the 4* Crown Park Hotel is the perfect destination, with department stores, duty-free shops and business centres all within close proximity. Relax in one of the hotel's spacious and modern rooms and enjoy all day dining as well as access to the fitness centre open 24-hours a day.
    • Wi-Fi
    • Restaurant
    • Non-smoking
  • Night 1
    Gyeongju Commodore Hotel
    Gyeongju Commodore Hotel
    The 3* Gyeongju Commodore Hotel is perfectly located within walking distance to the Art Sonje Museum, the Miso Theatre and Gyeongju World Amusement Theme Park. Each room is equipped with free Wi-Fi, complimentary toiletries and more. Leisure time can be spent indulging in delicious Korean dishes at Arirang, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
    • Wi-Fi
    • Swiming Pool
    • Restaurant
    • Non-smoking
    • Bar
  • Night 1
    Busan Asti Hotel
    Busan Asti Hotel
    Perfectly located in the heart of the city of Busan and a short walk from Busan station, the modern 4* Asti Hotel is the ideal centre for tourism and business. Rooms are finished with sophisticated interiors and include a refrigerator, complimentary coffee and tea as well as air conditioning and in room safe. Take time to visit the Gusto Restaurant that provides unparalleled views of the city, before enjoying the vibrant atmosphere at the Alpastor & Spumante bar located at the 21st floor.
    • Wi-Fi
    • Restaurant
    • Non-smoking
    • Bar
  • Night 1
    Ana Crown Fukuoka
    Ana Crown Fukuoka
    Located within walking distance to the Canal City shopping complex in Fukuoka Japan, Nakasu entertainment district and outdoor food stalls, the 4* Ana Crown Fukuoka Hotel makes for an ideal hotel equipped with a fitness centre and restaurant. Guest rooms are completed with complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, luxurious bedding and flat-screen TV hosting an array of international channels.
    • Wi-Fi
    • Swiming Pool
    • Restaurant
    • Non-smoking
    • Bar
  • Nights 2
    Grand Prince Hotel
    23-1 Motoujinamachi, Minami-Ku, Hiroshima 734-8543 Hiroshima Prefecture
    Grand Prince Hotel
    Overlooking the Seto Inland Sea, Grand Prince Hotel offers 5 dining options, a seasonal outdoor pool and hot spring baths. Air-conditioned rooms with a large picture window and a flat-screen TV await guests of the Grand Prince Hotel Hiroshima.
    • Wi-Fi
    • Swiming Pool
    • Restaurant
    • Bar
  • Nights 2
    Osaka Excel Hotel
    Osaka Excel Hotel
    The 4* Osaka Excel Hotel is ideally located within walking distance to Dotonburi, a major entertainment district with a wide array of shops and restaurants. Each room will have a green tea set, complimentary toiletries, air purifier and more. The hotel is also home to a restaurant, bar and lounge area as well as a fitness room.
    • Wi-Fi
    • Restaurant
    • Non-smoking
    • Bar
  • Nights 2
    Kyoto Tower Hotel
    Kyoto Tower Hotel
    Staying at the Kyoto Tower Hotel, will mean you have the Kyoto Tower, the city symbol, right by your doorstep. Guests will be able to enjoy the observation deck on-site, providing panoramic views of the city, as well as leisure at the hotel's shopping complex. Your room will be completed with air conditioning, coffee/ tea maker and refrigerator.
    • Wi-Fi
    • Restaurant
    • Non-smoking
    • Bar
  • Nights 2
    Mercure Hibiya
    Mercure Hibiya
    Conveniently located in the fashionable district of Hibiya, Tokyo, and a short walk from the Imperial Palace, one of Tokyo's most popular sightseeing spots, the Mercure Hibiya Hotel is a great place to stay. Rooms are inclusive of Wi-Fi, a refrigerator and toiletries. Leisure time can be spent at the state-of-the-art gym or by La Scène, the hotel's restaurant and bar that incorporates traditional French cooking techniques.
    • Wi-Fi
    • Restaurant
    • Bar
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Busan
  • 4°c
  • 34mm
  • Gyeongju
  • 1°c
  • 34mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 6°c
  • 45mm
  • Kyoto
  • 5°c
  • 50mm
  • Okayama
  • 5°c
  • 34mm
  • Osaka
  • 6°c
  • 45mm
  • Seoul
  • -2°c
  • 21mm
  • Tokyo
  • 5°c
  • 65mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Busan
  • 5°c
  • 50mm
  • Gyeongju
  • 3°c
  • 45mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 6°c
  • 67mm
  • Kyoto
  • 6°c
  • 68mm
  • Okayama
  • 6°c
  • 50mm
  • Osaka
  • 7°c
  • 62mm
  • Seoul
  • 1°c
  • 25mm
  • Tokyo
  • 6°c
  • 58mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Busan
  • 9°c
  • 81mm
  • Gyeongju
  • 7°c
  • 64mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 9°c
  • 124mm
  • Kyoto
  • 9°c
  • 113mm
  • Okayama
  • 9°c
  • 87mm
  • Osaka
  • 10°c
  • 104mm
  • Seoul
  • 6°c
  • 47mm
  • Tokyo
  • 9°c
  • 77mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Busan
  • 14°c
  • 133mm
  • Gyeongju
  • 13°c
  • 83mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 15°c
  • 142mm
  • Kyoto
  • 14°c
  • 116mm
  • Okayama
  • 15°c
  • 92mm
  • Osaka
  • 15°c
  • 104mm
  • Seoul
  • 13°c
  • 64mm
  • Tokyo
  • 14°c
  • 118mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Busan
  • 18°c
  • 157mm
  • Gyeongju
  • 18°c
  • 72mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 19°c
  • 178mm
  • Kyoto
  • 19°c
  • 161mm
  • Okayama
  • 20°c
  • 125mm
  • Osaka
  • 20°c
  • 146mm
  • Seoul
  • 18°c
  • 106mm
  • Tokyo
  • 18°c
  • 145mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Busan
  • 21°c
  • 207mm
  • Gyeongju
  • 21°c
  • 129mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 23°c
  • 247mm
  • Kyoto
  • 23°c
  • 214mm
  • Okayama
  • 24°c
  • 172mm
  • Osaka
  • 24°c
  • 184mm
  • Seoul
  • 23°c
  • 133mm
  • Tokyo
  • 22°c
  • 135mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Busan
  • 25°c
  • 317mm
  • Gyeongju
  • 25°c
  • 195mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 27°c
  • 259mm
  • Kyoto
  • 27°c
  • 220mm
  • Okayama
  • 28°c
  • 161mm
  • Osaka
  • 28°c
  • 157mm
  • Seoul
  • 25°c
  • 395mm
  • Tokyo
  • 26°c
  • 81mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Busan
  • 26°c
  • 255mm
  • Gyeongju
  • 26°c
  • 173mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 29°c
  • 111mm
  • Kyoto
  • 29°c
  • 132mm
  • Okayama
  • 29°c
  • 87mm
  • Osaka
  • 29°c
  • 91mm
  • Seoul
  • 26°c
  • 364mm
  • Tokyo
  • 27°c
  • 113mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Busan
  • 23°c
  • 158mm
  • Gyeongju
  • 21°c
  • 155mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 25°c
  • 170mm
  • Kyoto
  • 25°c
  • 176mm
  • Okayama
  • 25°c
  • 134mm
  • Osaka
  • 26°c
  • 161mm
  • Seoul
  • 22°c
  • 169mm
  • Tokyo
  • 23°c
  • 131mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Busan
  • 18°c
  • 58mm
  • Gyeongju
  • 16°c
  • 63mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 19°c
  • 88mm
  • Kyoto
  • 18°c
  • 121mm
  • Okayama
  • 18°c
  • 81mm
  • Osaka
  • 19°c
  • 112mm
  • Seoul
  • 15°c
  • 52mm
  • Tokyo
  • 18°c
  • 132mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Busan
  • 12°c
  • 46mm
  • Gyeongju
  • 10°c
  • 52mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 13°c
  • 68mm
  • Kyoto
  • 12°c
  • 71mm
  • Okayama
  • 12°c
  • 51mm
  • Osaka
  • 14°c
  • 69mm
  • Seoul
  • 7°c
  • 52mm
  • Tokyo
  • 12°c
  • 128mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Busan
  • 6°c
  • 23mm
  • Gyeongju
  • 4°c
  • 26mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 8°c
  • 41mm
  • Kyoto
  • 7°c
  • 48mm
  • Okayama
  • 7°c
  • 31mm
  • Osaka
  • 9°c
  • 44mm
  • Seoul
  • 1°c
  • 22mm
  • Tokyo
  • 8°c
  • 109mm
+ -
Essence of South Korea & Japan map

Places Visited: Seoul - Gyeongju - Busan - Fukuoka - Hiroshima - Miyajima - Kurashiki - Okayama - Osaka - Kyoto - Hakone - Tokyo

Download Detailed Itinerary

Tour Dates & Prices

All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal. If your tour departs in less than 30 days, please call our travel experts to book.

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Japan Week Sale

Save up to £800 per person across ALL Japan tours. Book before 30th April.

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Depart UK
Return Date
Price
Offer
Booking Options

Departures for Solo travellers only are available for this tour on selected dates.
In addition to being for solos only these departures feature smaller group sizes, free airport lounge access and complimentary cocktails on arrival.

Depart UK
Return Date
Price
Offer
Booking Options

There are no dedicated Solo departures for this year. You can enjoy any of our tours with no Single Supplement on our Happy to Share option or explore the solo departures in other years.

Group Tour includes

Additional Price Information

Essence of South Korea & Japan

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