16 days in Japan & South Korea Itinerary

16 days in Japan & South Korea Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Asia trip planner

Make it your trip
1
Tokyo, Japan
— 4 nights
Train
2
Kyoto, Japan
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Nara, Japan
— 1 night
Drive
4
Osaka, Japan
— 2 nights
Fly
5
Seoul, South Korea
— 5 nights
Fly

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Tokyo, Japan

— 4 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.
teamLab Borderless has been added to your itinerary. You'll explore and learn at Tokyo National Museum and Ghibli Museum Mitaka. Do some cultural sightseeing at Senso-ji Temple and Imperial Palace. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tokyo: Kamakura (Kakuonji Temple & Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine). And it doesn't end there: make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, take in nature's colorful creations at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, admire the masterpieces at National Museum of Western Art, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Jindai-ji Temple.

For maps and tourist information, you can read our Tokyo road trip planning tool.

If you are flying in from Australia, the closest major aiports are Tokyo Haneda International Airport, Narita International Airport, Ibaraki Airport / JASDF Hyakuri Air Base and Yokota Air Base. In September, daytime highs in Tokyo are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 24°C. You will have some time to spend on the 7th (Mon) before leaving for Kyoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping · Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Kyoto, Japan

— 3 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.
Kyoto National Museum and Kyoto Museum of Crafts and Design will appeal to museum buffs. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Sanjusangendo Temple. The adventure continues: explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, wander the streets of Gion, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kinkaku-ji, and steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Kyoto trip itinerary maker site.

You can take a train from Tokyo to Kyoto in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In September, daytime highs in Kyoto are 33°C, while nighttime lows are 23°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Thu) early enough to drive to Nara.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Museums

Nara, Japan

— 1 night

Ancient City

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.
On the 10th (Thu), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kofuku-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kofuku-ji Temple National Treasure Hall, see the interesting displays at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center, appreciate the history behind Todai-ji Temple, then admire the striking features of Nara National Museum, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Nara Park.

To see ratings, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, read our Nara road trip planner.

Drive from Kyoto to Nara in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train. September in Nara sees daily highs of 33°C and lows of 26°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Osaka.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites · Museums · Wildlife · Parks

Osaka, Japan

— 2 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.
On the 11th (Fri), explore the world behind art at Koji Kinutani Tenku Art Museum, see the interesting displays at Osaka Shiritsu Toyo Toji Museum, explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, get engrossed in the history at Osaka Museum of History, then see the interesting displays at Osaka Museum of Housing and Living, and finally examine the collection at Namban Culture Center.

To see more things to do, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Osaka trip planner.

You can drive from Nara to Osaka in an hour. Another option is to take a train. September in Osaka sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 24°C at night. On the 13th (Sun), you're off to Seoul.

Things to do in Osaka

Museums · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Shopping

Seoul, South Korea

— 5 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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Pocheon Art Valley, Namsangol Hanok Village and Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP). Visiting Cheonggyecheon Stream and Bukhansan National Park will get you outdoors. Get a sense of the local culture at Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace. Next up on the itinerary: wander the streets of Insadong, take some stellar pictures from N Seoul Tower, and shop like a local with Myeongdong Shopping Street.

To see reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Seoul trip planner.

Fly from Osaka to Seoul in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and ferry; or do a combination of car and ferry. Traveling from Osaka in September, you will find days in Seoul are a bit cooler (26°C), and nights are about the same (25°C). Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 18th (Fri) to allow time for the flight back home.

Things to do in Seoul

Parks · Historic Sites · Nature · Neighborhoods

Side Trip

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.

South Korea travel guide

4.2
Shopping · History Museums · 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.