30 days in South Korea & Japan Itinerary

30 days in South Korea & Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Asia trip itinerary planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Seoul, South Korea
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Sokcho, South Korea
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Busan, South Korea
— 2 nights
Fly
4
Jeju, South Korea
— 5 nights
Fly
5
Ishigaki, Japan
— 2 nights
Fly
6
Kyoto, Japan
— 4 nights
Train to Iiyama, Taxi to Yamanouchi-machi
7
Yamanouchi-machi, Japan
— 4 nights
Drive
8
Tokyo, Japan
— 4 nights
Fly

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Seoul, South Korea

— 3 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.
Visiting Cheonggyecheon Stream and Bukhansan National Park will get you outdoors. Get some cultural insight at Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bukchon Hanok Village. Go for a jaunt from Seoul to Chuncheon to see Nami Island about 1h 40 min away. And it doesn't end there: admire the landmark architecture of Changdeokgung Palace, take in nature's colorful creations at Namsan Park, take a stroll through Insadong, and take some stellar pictures from N Seoul Tower.

To find photos, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, read Seoul trip itinerary builder.

Zurich, Switzerland to Seoul is an approximately 15.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from Central European Standard Time to Korean Standard Time, which is usually an 8 hour difference. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Zurich in October: high temperatures in Seoul hover around 22°C and lows are around 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Mon) so you can drive to Sokcho.

Things to do in Seoul

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Sokcho, South Korea

— 3 nights
Tourism in Sokcho mostly revolves around the local national park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Take a break from the city and head to Seoraksan National Park and Cheoksan Foot Spa Park. Visit Bongpo Beach and Cheonjin Beach for some beach relaxation. Change things up with these side-trips from Sokcho: Osaek Jujeongol Valley (in Yangyang-gun) and Songjiho Beach (in Goseong-gun). The adventure continues: hike along Ulsanbawi Rock, explore the fascinating underground world of Geumganggul Cave, and stroll through Biryong Falls.

To find ratings, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Sokcho trip planner.

Traveling by car from Seoul to Sokcho takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Sokcho when traveling from Seoul in October, with lows around 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Thu) so you can drive to Busan.

Things to do in Sokcho

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Beaches

Side Trips

Busan, South Korea

— 2 nights
The country's second city, Busan has often been referred to as South Korea's summer capital.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Fri): kick back and relax at Gwangalli Beach, then kick back and relax at Haeundae Beach, and then kick back and relax at Songjeong Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 10th (Sat): stroll around Yongdusan Park and then take in the awesome beauty at Bongnaesan.

For more things to do, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Busan trip planner.

You can drive from Sokcho to Busan in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, train, and flight; or take a bus. When traveling from Sokcho in October, plan for somewhat warmer days in Busan, with highs around 26°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) early enough to fly to Jeju.

Things to do in Busan

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Nature

Jeju, South Korea

— 5 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.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Hamdeok Beach and Geumneung Eutteumwon Beach. Take a break from the city and head to Manjanggul Cave and Hallim Park. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Jeju: Seogwipo (Seongsan Ilchulbong & Gwangchigi Beach). There's much more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Gwakji Gwamul Beach, examine the collection at Jeju National Museum, tour the pleasant surroundings at Gimnyeong Seonsegi Beach, and explore the world behind art at Jeju Folk Museum.

You can plan Jeju trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

Traveling by flight from Busan to Jeju takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train, taxi, and ferry. Traveling from Busan in October, Jeju is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Thu) so you can fly to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Jeju

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Side Trip

Ishigaki, Japan

— 2 nights
Ishigaki, the most populous island in the chain, features the country's southernmost city and acts as a transport hub for exploring the landmasses that surround.
You'll get in some beach time at Yonehara Beach and Sukuji Beach. Visiting Kabira Bay and Cape Hirakubozaki will get you outdoors. And it doesn't end there: take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Nosoko Mape, trek along Nosoko Forest Road, and take a memorable drive along Nagurao Bridge.

To see other places to visit, photos, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Ishigaki driving holiday planner.

You can fly from Jeju to Ishigaki in 8.5 hours. In October, Ishigaki is somewhat warmer than Jeju - with highs of 34°C and lows of 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sun) so you can fly to Kyoto.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Nature

Side Trip

Kyoto, Japan

— 4 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.
Take a break from the city and head to Nara Park and Yase Momiji no Komichi. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Nijo Castle. Venture out of the city with trips to Himeji Castle (in Himeji), Todaiji Temple Cultural Center (in Nara) and Unitopia Sasayama (in Tanba Sasayama). There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, steep yourself in history at Sanjusangendo Temple, hike along Kyoto Isshu Trail, Higahiyama Fuahimi Inari Course, and wander the streets of Dotombori District.

For photos, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Kyoto road trip planning app.

Fly from Ishigaki to Kyoto in 4.5 hours. Traveling from Ishigaki in October, expect Kyoto to be a bit cooler, temps between 27°C and 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Thu) so you can travel to Yamanouchi-machi.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Parks · Neighborhoods · Wildlife

Side Trips

Yamanouchi-machi, Japan

— 4 nights
The resort town of Yamanouchi-machi has plenty of contrasting, but complementary things going for it.
Get outdoors at Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park and Shigakogen Plateau. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Yamanouchi-machi: Yamada Farm, Yamaboku Wild Snow Park (in Takayama-mura), Hakuba-mura (Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park, Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort, &more) and Nozawaonsen-mura (Nozawa Onsen & Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort). There's more to do: stroll through Shiga Kogen and fly down the slopes at Shigakogen Yakebitaiyama Ski Area.

For reviews, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Yamanouchi-machi sightseeing planner.

Getting from Kyoto to Yamanouchi-machi by combination of train and taxi takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Kyoto in October, things will get little chillier in Yamanouchi-machi: highs are around 21°C and lows about 14°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Tokyo.

Things to do in Yamanouchi-machi

Outdoors · Parks · Winter Sports · Spas

Side Trips

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Lake Ashinoko and Katabira-gawa Shinsui Ryokudo. Do some cultural sightseeing at Tokyo National Museum and Edo-Tokyo Museum. Take a break from Tokyo with a short trip to Ghibli Museum Mitaka in Mitaka, about 40 minutes away. There's lots more to do: admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower, take a stroll through Odaiba District, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senso-ji Temple, and take in panoramic vistas at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings.

To find ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Tokyo trip planning site.

You can drive from Yamanouchi-machi to Tokyo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from Yamanouchi-machi in October, things will get a bit warmer in Tokyo: highs are around 26°C and lows about 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Fri) to allow enough time to fly back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums · Neighborhoods · Parks · Historic Sites

Side Trips

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.

Japan travel guide

4.3
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Parks
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.