Immerse yourself in an incredible journey covering two fascinating countries, Japan and South Korea. Discover South Korea’s capital city, Seoul. Seoul is Korea’s financial, political, commercial, and cultural centre with over 600 years of history. Travellers can explore the many archaeological sites and temples before enjoying the beautiful natural landscapes this country has to offer. After an enchanting tour of South Korea, you will explore one of the most beautiful countries in the world, Japan. Discover a new level of cool with a journey through cherry blossoms, mountains, bustling cities and ultimately, history. The combination of places visited in these two countries will provide you with an unforgettable life-time experience. Time to start packing!
South Korea: South Korea is a dream destination for many travellers. The capital, Seoul, is a fast-paced cosmopolitan centre with an appetite for fashion, pop culture and the latest in high-tech gadgets. Yet just an hour away from the city, travellers find themselves enjoying the peace and tranquillity of national parks encompassing gorgeous hiking trails and dense mountain landscapes. With ancient cultural traditions retaining a strong presence throughout the country, travellers seeking a cultural experience are sure to be satisfied.
Friendly people, delicious food, and delightful contrasts between the modern and the traditional ensure that the indomitable spirit of South Korea will absorb and inspire travellers from all walks.
Japan: Starting your tour of Japan in Osaka, you’ll visit Kyoto and Nara – famous for their well-preserved ancient castles, temples, and monuments. In Nagoya, visit Inuyama Castle, and explore the 1200 shops and restaurants of Osu Shopping Street. Japan’s stunning natural endowments are on the itinerary too, in the form of sacred Mount Fuji and the surrounding region. Your trip wraps up with time free in Tokyo, for sightseeing, shopping, or your choice of a diverse range of optional activities.
In South Korea:
Tokyo Day Tour $250
This tour will take you to visit Asakusa, Meiji Jingu Shrine, Harajuku, Shibuya, Tokyo Tower and experience a Tokyo bay cruise.
Japan’s capital, Tokyo, is packed with so much to see and do. First stop on this tour is Asakusa Kannon Temple, one of Tokyo’s most colourful and popular temples. Afterwards visit Meiji Shrine, dedicated to the deified sprits of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken. Proceed to the fashion district Harajuku and Shibuya, an affluent and trendy shopping hotspot. Then proceed to Tokyo Tower, where you will observe the amazing city of Tokyo from up above. Then, relax on a Tokyo bay cruise en route to the beautiful and serene landscaped Hamarikyu Garden beside Tokyo Bay.
Note: this tour is subject to minimum numbers
Osaka Day Tour $250
This optional tour will take you to Osaka Castle which was built in 1583 as the intended capital of Japan, before the capital was moved to Edo (now known as Tokyo). Walk through the majestic castle while learning from the exhibit detailing life in old Osaka. From there, walk to the nearby river boat dock to board the Osaka River Cruise for a cruise around Nakanoshima. Explore Shinsaibashi and Dotonbori, the vast restaurant districts, with eateries offering a variety of Japan’s most famous street foods.Then travel down to Umeda Skybuilding, where you will get a sweeping view of Osaka. Tour finishes in Osaka.
Note: this tour is subject to minimum numbers.
Fly to Seoul via a connecting city. Note: some flights may depart the next day
On arrival in Seoul, you will be warmly greeted at the airport by your tour guide and transferred to your hotel.
Visit the traditional village, Andong, which features traditional houses of the Joseon Dynasty period (1392-1897). In Daegu, take a stroll in Dongseongno Shopping District, a major fashion retail district. The streets are packed with hundreds of stores full of personality that reflect the city’s fast-paced fashion trends. Enjoy magnificent views by taking a cable car to Palgongsan Natural Park.
Today we explore the many archaeological sites and temples, royal tombs, and monuments of Gyeongju, the capital of the ancient Silla Kingdom (57 BC – 935 AD). Visit Cheomseongdae Astronomical Observatory, Royal Tumuli Park, Gyeongju National Museum, Bulguksa Temple, and Seokguram Grotto Temple.
In Busan, we visit Haedong Yonggungsa (East Sea Dragon Palace Temple), situated on the coast of the north-eastern portion of the city and overlooking the ocean. Afterwards, you will have an opportunity to view the waves while looking down through the transparent floor of the 15 metre high Oryukdo Skywalk, which is set over a 35 meter-high coastal cliff. Travel to Gamcheon Culture Village situated on the foothills of a coastal mountain and nicknamed ‘Machu Picchu of Busan’. You will be thrilled by the many alleys cutting through this village, vibrantly decorated with murals and sculptures created by the local residents. Stop at one of Korea’s largest markets, Nampo Dong Gukje Market for a wide variety of goods at affordable prices. Then visit Nurimaru APEC House, a memorial hall and prestigious international conference hall located near Haeundae Beach, offering visitors spectacular views of the nearby natural landscape.
This morning, visit Changdeokgung Palace, one of the ‘Five Grand Palaces’ built by the Kings of the Jeoson Dynasty, and Insadong, a street full of traditional Korean antique and art shops, restaurants and tea houses. Continue to Cheonggyecheon Stream and admire this urban oasis before visiting Myeongdong, one of Seoul’s main commercial districts.
Visit North Korea’s 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, located within the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), a 44 km drive northwest of Seoul. In the event of an invasion from the North, an entire infantry division could have move through the tunnel in an hour. View North Korean territory, including the Propaganda Village, People’s School, and Gaeseong City – the old capital city of the Goryeo Kingdom – from the Dora Observation Platform. Also visit Freedom Park, dedicated to the 5 million people who left their families and homes in North Korea. North Hall contains displays of North Korean lifestyle. Later, try on a hanbok, the traditional attire of the Korean people at Namsan Hanbok Culture Experience Centre before experiencing the city’s best night view at Namsan Tower.
Board a direct flight operated by a local carrier from Seoul to Osaka. Your friendly tour guide will be waiting at the airport to transfer you to an airport hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Note: Baggage allowance for this sector is 1 piece max weight 15kg per person
This morning, travel to Kyoto and visit Fushimi Inari Shrine and Nijo Castle before heading to Nara. Visit Todaiji (Great Eastern Temple), with its Great Buddha Hall – the world’s largest wooden building. This impressive building houses the world’s largest (15m) bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana. Wander through Nara Park, where over 1,200 wild sika deer roam free, before travelling back to Osaka.
Spend today free at your own leisure. You may spend the day visiting one of the most spectacular Japanese aquariums, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan; or taking a day trip to Hyogo to visit Himeji Castle (pictured), an enormous and unique castle decorated in white. An optional day tour is available for some departure dates. Please see optional programs for more information.
This morning, head to Nagoya and visit Inuyama Castle. Then, head to Atsuta Shinto Shrine (covering 200,000 square meters and established almost 2000 years ago) before enjoying some time for shopping it the Osu Kannon Shopping Quarter. Transfer to your hotel in the evening.
Today, visit Oshino Hakkai. Known as the springs of Mount Fuji, the eight ponds are fed by melting snow filtering down from the slopes of nearby Mount Fuji, through porous layers of lava, resulting in very clear spring water that is revered by locals. Afterwards, visit Hakone Shinto Shrine. Standing at the foot of Mount Hakone along the shores of Lake Ashi, the shrine buildings are hidden in dense forest. Finally, visit Owakudani – ‘Great Boiling Valley’ is a valley formed by the explosion of Hakone volcano more than 300 years ago, and contains hot springs and steaming sulphur vents – visitors usually eat eggs cooked in the boiling, sulphurous waters. At the end of the day we head to Tokyo.
Spend today free at leisure. You may wish to visit Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea (admission $120) or join either the Tokyo or Nikko Day Tour ($250). Alternatively, you can join our wide range of optional programs; tea ceremony, kimono photo shoot, cooking class. NOTE: All activities are not guided and transportation is self-arranged.
Spend today free at leisure as time permits before transferring to the airport for your flight home.
Arrive home in Australia today.