48 days in Japan, South Korea & China Itinerary

48 days in Japan, South Korea & China Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Asia itinerary planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Tokyo, Japan
— 5 nights
Train
2
Kyoto, Japan
— 6 nights
Train
3
Nara, Japan
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Osaka, Japan
— 5 nights
Train
5
Himeji, Japan
— 2 nights
Train to Hakata, Ferry to Busan
6
Busan, South Korea
— 2 nights
Train
7
Seoul, South Korea
— 5 nights
Fly
8
Shanghai, China
— 4 nights
Train
9
Ningbo, China
— 2 nights
Train to Tianjin South, Subway to Tianjin
10
Tianjin, China
— 4 nights
Train
11
Beijing, China
— 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.
Popular historic sites such as Senso-ji Temple and Tokyo Central Railway Station are in your itinerary. For shopping fun, head to Ginza or Asakusa. Venture out of the city with trips to Kamakura (Hase-dera Temple & Kōtoku-in). And it doesn't end there: don't miss a visit to Tokyo Tower, admire the masterpieces at Tokyo National Museum, stop by Kamawanu Daikanyama, and shop like a local with Takeshita Street.

To see reviews, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read Tokyo online sightseeing planner.

Billund, Denmark to Tokyo is an approximately 16.5-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Billund to Tokyo is 8 hours. Traveling from Billund in September, expect nights in Tokyo to be much warmer, around 24°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 32°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Fri) so you can catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Shopping · Neighborhoods · Historic Sites · Museums

Side Trip

Kyoto, Japan

— 6 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.
Visit Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Sanjusangendo Temple for their historical value. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Nishiki Market Shopping District and Nishijin Textile Center. And it doesn't end there: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, stop by Musubi Kyoto, take a stroll through Arashiyama, and buy something for everyone on your list at Kyoto Station Building.

For reviews, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, read our Kyoto trip planner.

Traveling by train from Tokyo to Kyoto takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In October, daytime highs in Kyoto are 27°C, while nighttime lows are 18°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Nara.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Shopping · Museums

Side Trip

Nara, Japan

— 2 nights

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.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Fri): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Daibutsuden, appreciate the history behind Todai-ji Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kofuku-ji Temple, then learn something new at Experience YAMATO, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Kasuga Grand Shrine. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 9th (Sat): stroll through Nara Park, take in the spiritual surroundings of Nigatsu-do Temple, and then look for gifts at Studio Yamato Zakura.

To find ratings, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Nara trip itinerary builder site.

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Nara takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. In October, plan for daily highs up to 27°C, and evening lows to 20°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sat) so you can go by car to Osaka.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites · Shopping · Wildlife · Parks

Side Trip

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.
Popular historic sites such as Osaka Castle and Torodo Temple are in your itinerary. Head to Dotombori District and Minami (Namba)for plenty of shopping. Venture out of the city with trips to Kobe (Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, Kobe Harborland, &more) and Koya-cho (Ryusen-in Temple & Koyasan Okunoin). There's still lots to do: get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan, observe the fascinating underwater world at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, make a trip to Kuromon Market, and take a stroll around Daimaru Museum Umeda.

To find where to stay, maps, and tourist information, go to the Osaka tour planner.

Drive from Nara to Osaka in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Nara in October since evenings lows in Osaka dip to 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Thu) to allow time to take a train to Himeji.

Things to do in Osaka

Shopping · Neighborhoods · Theme Parks · Historic Sites

Side Trips

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.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Fri): look for gifts at Uontana Shopping Street, then revel in the low prices at Kobe Sanda Premium Outlets, and then take in the views from Akashi Kaikyo Bridge. Here are some ideas for day two: make a trip to Shoshazan Engyoji, step into the grandiose world of Himeji Castle, then admire the natural beauty at Koko-en, and finally don't miss a visit to Otemae Street.

To find maps, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Himeji trip builder website.

Traveling by train from Osaka to Himeji takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In October, daily temperatures in Himeji can reach 26°C, while at night they dip to 20°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sat) so you can catch the flight to Busan.

Things to do in Himeji

Historic Sites · Shopping · Parks

Side Trips

Busan, South Korea

— 2 nights
The country's second city, Busan has often been referred to as South Korea's summer capital.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Beomeosa Temple and Cheomseongdae Observatory. When in Busan, make a side trip to see Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond in Gyeongju, approximately Gyeongju away. Next up on the itinerary: hunt for treasures at Jagalchi Market, visit a coastal fixture at Yeongdo Lighthouse, take some stellar pictures from Cheongsapo Daritdol Observatory, and walk around Yongdusan Park.

For reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Busan trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Himeji to Busan takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and ferry; or do a combination of car and ferry. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Himeji in October since evenings lows in Busan dip to 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Tue) so you can fly to Seoul.

Things to do in Busan

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Shopping

Side Trip

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.
Get some historical perspective at Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bongeunsa Temple. Venture out of the city with trips to Suwon (Hwaseong Fortress & Suwon Jeil Church). There's lots more to do: get a taste of the local shopping with Namdaemun Market, take in nature's colorful creations at Changdeokgung Palace, visit Insadong, and don't miss a visit to Bukchon Hanok Village.

For ratings, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, read Seoul tour itinerary app.

Take a train from Busan to Seoul in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a train; or drive. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Busan in October: highs in Seoul hover around 22°C, while lows dip to 21°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sun) so you can catch the flight to Shanghai.

Things to do in Seoul

Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Parks

Side Trip

Shanghai, China

— 4 nights

Pearl of the Orient

With a nickname like the "Pearl of the Orient," it's not surprising Shanghai offers some of the most rewarding attractions and activities in the Far East.
Your inner history buff will appreciate The Bund (Wai Tan) and Xitang Ancient Town. Head to Nanjing Lu (Nanjing Road) and Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centrefor some retail therapy. Next up on the itinerary: get a taste of the local shopping with Former French Concession, explore the world behind art at island6 Arts Center, admire the natural beauty at Yu Garden (Yuyuan), and examine the collection at Shanghai Museum (Shanghai Bowuguan).

To plan Shanghai vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

Getting from Seoul to Shanghai by flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of subway, ferry, and train; or do a combination of car and ferry. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Seoul to Shanghai. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Seoul in October: highs in Shanghai hover around 28°C, while lows dip to 19°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Thu) so you can catch the train to Ningbo.

Things to do in Shanghai

Historic Sites · Shopping · Museums · Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Ningbo, China

— 2 nights
A bustling port city with a rich and complex history, Ningbo today offers plenty of varied sites to explore.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Fri): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Asoka Temple and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Tiantong Temple. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Baoguo Temple and then don't miss a visit to Tianyi Square.

To find out how to plan a trip to Ningbo, use our trip itinerary maker.

Getting from Shanghai to Ningbo by train takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or fly. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sat) to allow enough time to fly to Tianjin.

Things to do in Ningbo

Historic Sites · Shopping

Tianjin, China

— 4 nights
Tianjin stands as one of China's largest metropolises, combining modern flourishes with preserved history and traditions to create a diverse city.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Great Wall at Huangya Pass (Huangyaguan Changcheng) and The Original Site of the CPC Central Committee Secret Printing Plant in Tianjin. Step out of Tianjin to go to Ji County and see Yuyang Drum Tower, which is approximately 1h 30 min away. There's much more to do: steep yourself in history at Printing Museum Building in Tianjin, stroll around Shuishang Park, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at St Joseph Catheral, and admire all the interesting features of Five Great Avenues.

To find maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Tianjin holiday planner.

Traveling by combination of train and subway from Ningbo to Tianjin takes 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of train and subway; or drive. In October, daily temperatures in Tianjin can reach 22°C, while at night they dip to 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Thu) early enough to take a train to Beijing.

Things to do in Tianjin

Historic Sites · Outdoors · Scenic Drive · Theme Parks

Side Trip

Beijing, China

— 6 nights
As the political and cultural capital of China, Beijing stands at the heart of Chinese history, buzzing with the energy of its high population density and centuries of importance.
Get some historical perspective at Mutianyu Great Wall and Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang). Do your shopping at Nanluoguxiang and Youtang Life Square. There's still lots to do: don't miss a visit to Summer Palace (Yiheyuan), steep yourself in history at Bell and Drum Towers, examine the collection at The Palace Museum, and browse for treasures at Panjiayuan Antique Market.

For other places to visit and more tourist information, use the Beijing trip itinerary planning tool.

Traveling by train from Tianjin to Beijing takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Tianjin in November, Beijing is slightly colder at night with lows of -1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Thu) to allow enough time to fly back home.

Things to do in Beijing

Historic Sites · Shopping · Museums · Parks

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.

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.

China travel guide

4.4
Landmarks · Observation Decks · History Museums
With well over 1.3 billion residents, China represents the most populous country in the world, considered by many the cradle of civilization thanks to its history spanning many millennia. While a single trip to China rarely satisfies curious travelers, a well-organized tour reveals a land of awe-inspiring natural scenery, ancient monuments, and giant cities, where the diverse population includes almost 60 different ethnic groups speaking dozens of distinct languages. While many Westerners may know China mostly for its centuries-old tradition of martial arts, discerning travelers visit this vast nation for its outstanding cuisine, pristine landscapes, epic train journeys, and small towns of hardworking and genuinely hospitable people.