26 days in South Korea & Japan Itinerary

26 days in South Korea & Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

26 days in South Korea & Japan Itinerary

Start: Cuenca, Ecuador
Drive + Fly:  35​h
1
Tokyo, Japan
— 4 nights
train:  3​h 30​min
2
Nara, Japan
— 2 nights
train:  45​min
3
Osaka, Japan
— 2 nights
train:  30​min
4
Kobe, Japan
— 2 nights
train:  30​min
5
Kyoto, Japan
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
6
Hiroshima, Japan
— 2 nights
+2
train + subway + Fly:  3​h 45​min
7
Busan, South Korea
— 2 nights
8
Gyeongju, South Korea
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h
9
Seoul, South Korea
— 3 nights
+2
train + Fly + Drive:  38​h
End: Cuenca, Ecuador


Learn more about your trip

4
nights
Tokyo, Japan

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Asakusa Shrine and Pola Museum of Art. Appreciate the collections at The Railway Museum and Fire Museum. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tokyo: Mt. Takao (in Hachioji) and Kamakura (Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple) & Kamakura Hiking Trails). The adventure continues: contemplate the long history of Nezu Shrine, explore the world behind art at Nezu Museum, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hie Jinjya, and appreciate the extensive heritage of Kokyo Gaien National Garden.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Tokyo route planner .

Cuenca, Ecuador to Tokyo is an approximately 35-hour flight. You'll lose 14 hours traveling from Cuenca to Tokyo due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Cuenca in May, plan for a bit warmer nights in Tokyo, with lows around 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Sun) early enough to catch the train to Nara.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks Museums Nature

Side Trips

Kamakura, The Railway Museum, Pola Museum of Art, Mt. Takao
Find places to stay May 27 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Pola Museum of Art ©
Pola Museum of Art
Asakusa Shrine ©
Asakusa Shrine
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine

2
nights
Nara, Japan

Nara ©
The country's first established capital, Nara houses some of the most storied buildings and natural attractions in Japan, with eight World Heritage Sites in total.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Sun): take an in-depth tour of Kofuku-ji Temple National Treasure Hall, examine the collection at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hase-dera Temple, and finally admire the sheer force of Akame Shijuhachi Waterfall. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 1st (Mon): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hoki-ji Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Horyu-ji Temple, look for all kinds of wild species at Nara Park, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Nigatsu-do Temple, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Wakakusa, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Toshodaiji Temple.

For reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Nara trip planner.

Getting from Tokyo to Nara by train takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: fly; or drive. May in Nara sees daily highs of 29°C and lows of 22°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Tue) to allow enough time to take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Ikaruga-cho, Akame Shijuhachi Waterfall, Hase-dera Temple
Find places to stay May 30 — Jun 2:
Highlights from your plan
Hase-dera Temple ©
Hase-dera Temple
Horyu-ji Temple ©
Horyu-ji Temple
Toshodai-ji Temple ©
Toshodai-ji Temple

2
nights
Osaka, Japan

Osaka ©
Proud of their hometown's distinct culture and dialect, many natives of Osaka describe their city as "Japan's anti-capital." An antidote to Tokyo's hectic energy, Osaka marches to the beat of its own drum, serving as the country's longtime commercial and industrial hub.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Kinpusenji Temple and Osaka Castle. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Mt. Yoshino and Mint Museum. There's much more to do: appreciate the extensive heritage of Hozenji Yokocho, examine the collection at Modern Transportation Museum, and have fun and explore at Kids Plaza Osaka.

To find photos and other tourist information, you can read our Osaka online trip itinerary builder .

Getting from Nara to Osaka by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive. Traveling from Nara in June, expect slightly colder with lows of 22°C in Osaka. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Thu) to allow enough time to take a train to Kobe.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Yoshino-cho
Find places to stay Jun 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Kinpusenji Temple ©
Kinpusenji Temple
Mt. Yoshino ©
Mt. Yoshino

2
nights
Kobe, Japan

Kobe ©
Walkable, small, and aesthetically charming, Kobe has served as Japan's first and premier international trading outpost since opening to trade with China in the mid-19th century.
On the 4th (Thu), see the interesting displays at Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum and then examine the collection at Kiku-Masamune Shuzo Kinenkan. On the next day, see the interesting displays at UCC Coffee Museum, explore the world behind art at Kobe City Koiso Memorial Museum of Art, get engrossed in the history at Mukashi No Sakagura Sawa No Tsuru Shiryokan, then examine the collection at Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Kobe Muslim Mosque.

To see reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Kobe trip itinerary planner.

Kobe is just a stone's throw from Osaka. When traveling from Osaka in June, plan for a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Kobe: temperatures range from 28°C by day to 24°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kobe

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Himeji
Find places to stay Jun 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum ©
Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
UCC Coffee Museum ©
UCC Coffee Museum

3
nights
Kyoto, Japan

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.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Nijo Castle. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Ninna-ji Temple and Kennin-ji Temple. Go for a jaunt from Kyoto to Koka to see Miho Museum about 54 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: steep yourself in history at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, make a trip to Daigo-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Shimogamo Jinja, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Kurama.

To find ratings, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Kyoto trip planner .

Kyoto is just a stone's throw from Kobe. In June, daytime highs in Kyoto are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Tue) early enough to take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Miho Museum
Find places to stay Jun 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine ©
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

2
nights
Hiroshima, Japan

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 10th (Wed): steep yourself in history at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, then pause for some photo ops at Peace Bell, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Mitaki Temple, and finally see the interesting displays at JMSDF Kure Museum. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 11th (Thu): contemplate the long history of Seishin Tsurui, step off the mainland to explore Miyajima, then kick back and relax at Mikasahama Beach, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Itsukushima Shrine.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Hiroshima trip itinerary maker .

Getting from Kyoto to Hiroshima by train takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. June in Hiroshima sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 23°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Thu) so you can travel to Busan.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, JMSDF Kure Museum
Find places to stay Jun 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima
JMSDF Kure Museum ©
JMSDF Kure Museum
Mitaki Temple ©
Mitaki Temple

2
nights
Busan, South Korea

Busan ©
The country's second city, Busan has often been referred to as South Korea's summer capital.
On the 12th (Fri), enjoy the sand and surf at Dadaepo Beach, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Haedong Yonggung Temple, and then stroll through Haeundae Beach.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Busan trip itinerary planner.

You can do a combination of train and flight from Hiroshima to Busan in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train and ferry; or do a combination of car and ferry. Expect a daytime high around 30°C in June, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Gyeongju.

Things to do in Busan

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Jun 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Dadaepo Beach ©
Dadaepo Beach
Haedong Yonggung Temple ©
Haedong Yonggung Temple
Haeundae Beach ©
Haeundae Beach

2
nights
Gyeongju, South Korea

Gyeongju ©
One of the most popular tourist destinations in the Republic of Korea, Gyeongju combines a rich cultural heritage with mountain and coastal scenery.
Popular historic sites such as Bulguksa Temple and Golgulsa Temple are in your itinerary. Appreciate the collections at Gyeongju National Museum and The National Lighthouse Museum. Spend the 14th (Sun) exploring nature at Gyeongju National Park. There's still lots to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Girimsa Temple and appreciate the history behind Seokguram.

To see ratings, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Gyeongju trip itinerary maker site .

You can drive from Busan to Gyeongju in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Busan in June, expect nights in Gyeongju to be about the same, around 20°C, while days are a bit cooler, around 23°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Mon) early enough to travel to Seoul.

Things to do in Gyeongju

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trip

The National Lighthouse Museum
Find places to stay Jun 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Gyeongju National Park ©
Gyeongju National Park
Bulguksa Temple ©
Bulguksa Temple
Gyeongju National Museum ©
Gyeongju National Museum

3
nights
Seoul, South Korea

Seoul ©
One of east Asia's major cultural and financial centers, Seoul boasts five World Heritage Sites and a huge selection of museums, temples, shrines, palaces, parks, gardens, and glass-and-steel skyscrapers.
You'll explore and learn at Gyeongbokgung Palace and Seoul Museum of History. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Bukhansan National Park and Changgyeonggung Palace. And it doesn't end there: see the interesting displays at Trickeye Museum Seoul, take in the spiritual surroundings of Bongeunsa Temple, get engrossed in the history at Baek In-Je House Museum, and pause for some photo ops at Jogyesa Temple.

To see other places to visit, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, use the Seoul attractions site .

You can fly from Gyeongju to Seoul in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train and flight; or drive. When traveling from Gyeongju in June, plan for a bit warmer days in Seoul, with highs around 32°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Thu) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Seoul

Parks Museums Nature
Find places to stay Jun 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Gyeongbokgung Palace ©
Gyeongbokgung Palace
Bukhansan National Park ©
Bukhansan National Park
Trickeye Museum Seoul ©
Trickeye Museum Seoul

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