36 days in Japan & South Korea Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Asia itinerary maker
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Tokyo, Japan
— 5 nights
Fly
2
Kanazawa, Japan
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Kyoto, Japan
— 5 nights
Train
4
Osaka, Japan
— 5 nights
Train
5
Himeji, Japan
— 2 nights
Train
6
Hiroshima, Japan
— 2 nights
Train to Hakata, Fly to Busan
7
Busan, South Korea
— 4 nights
Fly
8
Jeju, South Korea
— 4 nights
Fly
9
Seoul, South Korea
— 6 nights
Fly

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Tokyo, Japan — 5 nights

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Kamakura Hiking Trails and Tokyo Camii & Turkish Culture Center. Explore Tokyo's surroundings by going to Ikuta Ryokuchi Rose Garden (in Kawasaki), Tama Zoological Park (in Hino) and Tokyo Horse Racetrack (in Fuchu). There's still lots to do: make a trip to Hozomon, examine the collection at Nissan Crossing, tour the pleasant surroundings at Meiji Shrine Imperial Garden, and walk around Jonanjima SeasidePark.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Tokyo online driving holiday planner.

Perth, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 13-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Perth to Tokyo is 1 hour. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Perth in May since evenings lows in Tokyo dip to 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Sat) early enough to catch the flight to Kanazawa.
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Parks · Museums · Historic Sites · Trails
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 1 — 6:

Kanazawa, Japan — 2 nights

An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Sun): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fudosonkorin Temple, examine the collection at Kanazawa Phonograph Museum, then get outside with Uchinada Beach, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Gongenmori Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the masterpieces at Kanazawa Noh Museum, contemplate the waterfront views at Kenrokuen Kasumiga-ike Pond, then take in nature's colorful creations at Gyokusen-Immaru Garden, and finally don't miss a visit to Kanazawa Castle Kahoku-mon Gate.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Kanazawa trip itinerary planning site.

You can fly from Tokyo to Kanazawa in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Traveling from Tokyo in May, plan for little chillier nights in Kanazawa, with lows around 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Mon) so you can go by car to Kyoto.
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Parks · Museums · Beaches · Outdoors
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 6 — 8:

Kyoto, Japan — 5 nights

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Chishaku-in and Shisendo Temple. Step out of the city life by going to Mount Hiei and Tadasu No Mori Grove. Go for a jaunt from Kyoto to Uji to see Byodo-in Temple Museum Hoshokan about 42 minutes away. There's much more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Mii-dera Temple (Onjo-ji Temple), wander the streets of Fushimi Suigo, make a trip to Kyoto Sento Imperial Palace (Sento Gosho), and take in nature's colorful creations at Shosei-en Garden.

To find traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Kyoto trip planning website.

Traveling by car from Kanazawa to Kyoto takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. In May, daytime highs in Kyoto are 29°C, while nighttime lows are 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sat) so you can take a train to Osaka.
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Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Neighborhoods
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 8 — 13:

Osaka, Japan — 5 nights

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.
We've included these beaches for you: Ashiya Comprehensive Park Ashiya Beach and Osaka Fureai no Mizube. Get outdoors at Sakuya Konohanakan and Shin Satoyama. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Osaka: Itami (Aramaki Rose Garden & Itami Sky Park). Next up on the itinerary: take in panoramic vistas at Harukas 300 Observation Deck, look for gifts at Kimono Photo Studio Wasabi Osaka, have fun at Shimo Fukushima Park, and stroll around Flower Expo Memorial Park Tsurumi Ryokuchi.

Plan my Osaka trip by asking Inspirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Getting from Kyoto to Osaka by train takes about an hour. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In May, daily temperatures in Osaka can reach 29°C, while at night they dip to 18°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Thu) early enough to catch the train to Himeji.
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Parks · Tours · Breweries & Distilleries · Shopping
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 13 — 18:

Himeji, Japan — 2 nights

The castle around which the city of Himeji has developed represents one of the best preserved in the country, and has been designated as a national treasure and a World Heritage Site.
On the 19th (Fri), take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Takamikura and then see the interesting displays at Tegarayama Exchange Station. Keep things going the next day: head outdoors with Matsue Swimming Beach, then take in the pleasant sights at Otokoyama Haisuiike Park, and then make a trip to Nishi no Maru Nagatsubone.

To find reviews, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Himeji day trip site.

Take a train from Osaka to Himeji in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Osaka in May, you will find days in Himeji are little chillier (25°C), and nights are about the same (20°C). Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Sat) early enough to catch the train to Hiroshima.
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Parks · Nature · Beaches · Outdoors
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 18 — 20:
Highlights from your trip

Hiroshima, Japan — 2 nights

City of Peace

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 21st (Sun): admire the masterpieces at Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mitaki Temple, then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and finally wander the streets of Kamiyacho. On the 22nd (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: grab your bike and head to Tobishima Kaido, then enjoy the sand and surf at Bay Side Beach Saka, and then take in the awesome beauty at Ogonzan.

To find ratings, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Hiroshima holiday tool.

Getting from Himeji to Hiroshima by train takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Expect a daytime high around 28°C in May, and nighttime lows around 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Busan.
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Parks · Outdoors · Neighborhoods · Shopping
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 20 — 22:

Busan, South Korea — 4 nights

The country's second city, Busan has often been referred to as South Korea's summer capital.
Visiting Songdo Beach and Taehwagang National Garden will get you outdoors. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Dadaepo Beach and Hwangnyeongsan Mountain. Go for a jaunt from Busan to Ulsan to see Ulsan Grand Park about 52 minutes away. There's lots more to do: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Jangsan Mountain, make a trip to Yu Chi-hwan Postbox Observatory, and snap pictures at Busan Harbor Bridge.

For other places to visit, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Busan day trip site.

Traveling by combination of train and flight from Hiroshima to Busan takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and ferry; or do a combination of car and ferry. Expect a daytime high around 28°C in May, and nighttime lows around 16°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Fri) so you can fly to Jeju.
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Parks · Nature · Beaches · Outdoors
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 22 — 26:

Jeju, South Korea — 4 nights

Island of the Gods

The main town on the largest of Korea's islands, Jeju, has a volcanic landscape protected by UNESCO. The World Heritage-listed volcanic island includes the country's highest peak, sets of impressive lava tubes and columns, and several crater lakes.
Take a break from the city and head to Jeju Stone Park and Jeolmul Natural Forest Resort. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Saryeoni Forest Path and Handam Park. There's lots more to do: stroll around Jeju April 3rd Peace Park, head outdoors with Jeju Olle Trail Routes, delve into the distant past at Hangpaduri Hangmong Historic Site, and enjoy the sand and surf at Gwakji Gwamul Beach.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Jeju journey planner.

Fly from Busan to Jeju in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train, taxi, and ferry. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Tue) so you can fly to Seoul.
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Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Museums
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 26 — 30:

Seoul, South Korea — 6 nights

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.
Get in touch with nature at Achasan Mountain and Gwanaksan Mountain. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Naksan Park and Ihwa Mural Village. When in Seoul, make a side trip to see Gwangmyeong Cave in Gwangmyeong, approximately Gwangmyeong away. There's still lots to do: explore the world behind art at National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul (branch), take in the architecture and design of Kyunghee University Seoul Campus, take in the awesome beauty at Inwangsan Mountain, and don't miss a visit to Ikseon-dong Hanok Street.

To see reviews, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Seoul trip itinerary planner.

Fly from Jeju to Seoul in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry, taxi, and train; or do a combination of ferry and car. In May in Seoul, expect temperatures between 28°C during the day and 16°C at night. On the 5th (Mon), you'll travel back home.
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Parks · Nature · Neighborhoods · Museums
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 30 — Jun 5:

Japan travel guide

4.3
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Historic Sites
Land of the Rising Sun
Part of a volcanic archipelago that encompasses over 6,800 islands, Japan remains one of Asia's most fascinating tourist destinations, where a blend of modernity and tradition creates a look and feel completely different from any other place in the world. A tour of Japan lets you discover big cities filled with ancient temples and innovative skyscrapers, as well as quiet country landscapes dotted with castles, perfectly manicured gardens, cherry orchards, and primeval forests seemingly untouched by the hand of mass tourism. Many tourists on vacation in Japan devote lots of time to the country's unique cuisine, prepared with painstaking attention to detail and a genius for simple yet effective presentation.
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South Korea travel guide

4.2
History Museums · Shopping · Parks
Land of the Morning Calm
Though it boasts a history spanning thousands of years, South Korea ranks among the world's most urbanized and modernized countries, with nearly half of its population living in high-rises concentrated in the national capital. In this land of pristine mountain scenery, many South Korea vacations involve some form of winter sports--not surprising for the country that won the bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. Curious travelers wishing to get to know South Korea's heart and soul spend only a small part of their holiday in big cities like Busan and Seoul, devoting much of their attention to the tranquil countryside that seems largely untouched by the 21st century.
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