42 days in Japan & South Korea Itinerary

42 days in Japan & South Korea Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Asia trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Tokyo, Japan
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Fukushima, Japan
— 2 nights
+2
Drive to Sendai Airport, Fly to Osaka International Airport, Drive to Kyoto
3
Kyoto, Japan
— 5 nights
Drive
4
Osaka, Japan
— 3 nights
Train
5
Himeji, Japan
— 1 night
Train
6
Hiroshima, Japan
— 1 night
Train to Hakata, Fly to Cheju
7
Jeju, South Korea
— 6 nights
Fly
8
Busan, South Korea
— 4 nights
Drive
9
Gyeongju, South Korea
— 2 nights
Drive
10
Daegu, South Korea
— 2 nights
Drive
11
Andong, South Korea
— 2 nights
Drive
12
Yeongju, South Korea
— 7 nights
Drive
13
Seoul, South Korea
— 3 nights
Fly

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Tokyo, Japan

— 2 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.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Tue): look for gifts at Ginza Itoya Hontren, see the interesting displays at Madame Tussauds Tokyo, then appreciate the history behind Unicorn Gundam Statue, then relax and rejuvenate at ERAWAN Thai Traditional Massage - Tokyo, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Toyokawa Inari Tokyo Betsuin. On the next day, browse the exhibits of Marquis Maeda Old Western Style House, see the interesting displays at JP Tower Museum Intermediatheque, admire the natural beauty at Kyu Iwasakitei Teien, explore the world behind art at Tokyo National Museum The Heiseikan, then visit Rikkyo University Ikebukuro Campus, and finally make a trip to Sky Circus Sunshine60 Observatory.

To see maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, read Tokyo travel route planner.

Seattle, USA to Tokyo is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Pacific Standard Time to Japan Standard Time is 17 hours. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Seattle in August, with highs in Tokyo at 88°F and lows at 76°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Thu) early enough to travel to Fukushima.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums · Historic Sites · Spas · Parks

Fukushima, Japan

— 2 nights
Fukushima is the capital city of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. Explore hidden gems such as Shiginoya Chinuma and Azuma Mountain Range. Step out of Fukushima to go to Zao-machi and see O-torii, which is approximately 1h 15 min away. There's much more to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Bikki Numa, relax in the rural setting at Marusei Orchard, take in the awesome beauty at Goshikidake, and walk around Arakawa Sakura Tsuzumi River Park.

To find maps, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read our Fukushima trip itinerary maker tool.

Traveling by car from Tokyo to Fukushima takes 4 hours. Traveling from Tokyo in September, expect Fukushima to be slightly colder, temps between 74°F and 62°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) so you can travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Fukushima

Parks · Nature · Museums · Outdoors

Side Trips

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Mii-dera Temple (Onjo-ji Temple) and Shosei-en Garden. Change things up with these side-trips from Kyoto: Sagawa Art Museum (in Moriyama), Hiyoshi-Taisha Shrine (in Otsu) and Lake Biwa Museum (in Kusatsu). There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Myoshinji Temple, explore the world behind art at Jotenkaku Museum, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Daimonji, and see the interesting displays at Kaleidoscope Museum of Kyoto.

To find photos, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Kyoto road trip site.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Fukushima to Kyoto. Traveling from Fukushima in September, things will get a bit warmer in Kyoto: highs are around 83°F and lows about 68°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Outdoors

Side Trips

Osaka, Japan

— 3 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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Itami Sky Park and Hattori Ryokuchi Park. Get out of town with these interesting Osaka side-trips: Kobe (Kobe Muslim Mosque & Nunobiki Falls (Nunobiki-No-Taki)), Minoo Park (in Mino) and Koshien History Museum (in Nishinomiya). The adventure continues: indulge in some culinary diversions at a local gastronomic tour, see the interesting displays at National Museum of Ethnology, sample the tasty concoctions at Asahi Breweries Suita Brewery, and take in nature's colorful creations at Sakuya Konohanakan.

To find photos, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Osaka day trip website.

Drive from Kyoto to Osaka in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In September in Osaka, expect temperatures between 82°F during the day and 69°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can travel to Himeji.

Things to do in Osaka

Tours · Parks · Breweries & Distilleries · Museums

Side Trips

Himeji, Japan

— 1 night
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 13th (Mon): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Himejisembabetsuin Hontoku-ji Temple, take in nature's colorful creations at Senhime Botan Garden, make a trip to Mio Shrine, take in the spiritual surroundings of Engyo-ji Temple Okunoin, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Engyo-ji Temple Mitsunodo, and finally don't miss a visit to Hiyoshi Shrine.

To find where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Himeji tour planner.

You can take a train from Osaka to Himeji in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In September, plan for daily highs up to 80°F, and evening lows to 73°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Mon) early enough to catch the train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Himeji

Historic Sites · Parks

Hiroshima, Japan

— 1 night

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 14th (Tue): look for gifts at Monokoto Store, take in the views from Motoyasu Bridge, examine the collection at Honkawa Peace Museum, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Pond of Peace, then take an in-depth tour of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and finally don't miss a visit to Chinese Parasol Tree That was Exposed to Hiroshima Bombing.

To find photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Hiroshima trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by train from Himeji to Hiroshima takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. September in Hiroshima sees daily highs of 81°F and lows of 69°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) early enough to travel to Jeju.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Museums · Nature · Parks · Shopping

Side Trip

Jeju, South Korea

— 6 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.
Explore hidden gems such as Woljeongri Beach and Jeju Stone Park. Explore Jeju's surroundings by going to Seogwipo (Gwangchigi Beach & Genius Loci). And it doesn't end there: hike along Hallasan, stroll around Halla Arboretum, take in the awesome beauty at Saebyeol Oreum, and delve into the lush surroundings at Jeolmul Natural Forest Resort.

To see traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Jeju route maker tool.

Traveling by combination of train and flight from Hiroshima to Jeju takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, ferry, and taxi; or do a combination of car and ferry. In September, plan for daily highs up to 78°F, and evening lows to 73°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) early enough to travel to Busan.

Things to do in Jeju

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Side Trips

Busan, South Korea

— 4 nights
The country's second city, Busan has often been referred to as South Korea's summer capital.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Dadaepo Beach and Busan Tower. Get out of town with these interesting Busan side-trips: Paraeso Falls (in Ulsan), Gimhae National Museum (in Gimhae) and Yangsan (Tongdosa Temple & Yangsan Tower). Next up on the itinerary: walk around Amnam Park, enjoy breathtaking views from Songdo Cable Car, don't miss a visit to Choryang Story The Way, and snap pictures at Busan Harbor Bridge.

To see maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Busan route maker tool.

Getting from Jeju to Busan by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: fly; or do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry, taxi, and train. Traveling from Jeju in September, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Busan, with lows of 65°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) early enough to drive to Gyeongju.

Things to do in Busan

Parks · Historic Sites · Beaches · Nature

Side Trips

Gyeongju, South Korea

— 2 nights

Museum Without Walls

One of the most popular tourist destinations in the Republic of Korea, Gyeongju combines a rich cultural heritage with mountain and coastal scenery.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Sat): look for all kinds of wild species at Gyeongju Bird Park, then admire the masterpieces at Silla Arts And Science Museum, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Golgulsa Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Gyeongju Hyanggyo. Keep things going the next day: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Seoknamsa Temple, then contemplate the waterfront views at Taehwagang National Garden, and then stroll around Taehwa River Seepri Bamboo Grove.

To find reviews, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Gyeongju trip maker tool.

You can drive from Busan to Gyeongju in 1.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Busan in September, you will find days in Gyeongju are a bit cooler (71°F), and nights are about the same (63°F). Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Daegu.

Things to do in Gyeongju

Parks · Historic Sites · Childrens Museums · Nature

Side Trip

Daegu, South Korea

— 2 nights
The fourth-largest city in South Korea, Daegu sprawls out across a wide, flat valley overlooked by a sacred Buddhist mountain.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Mon): contemplate the long history of Bullodong Ancient Tomb Park, see the interesting displays at Daegu Safety Theme Park, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Eunhaesa Temple, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at The First Presbyterian Church of Daegu, and finally walk around Gukchaebosang Memorial Park. Keep things going the next day: see the interesting displays at Sanghwa Yi's Old House, browse the different shops at Hyundai Department Store Daegu, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Cheongna Hill, then examine the collection at Heeum - Museum of Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, and finally admire the masterpieces at Daegu Art Factory.

To find other places to visit, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Daegu online trip builder.

Traveling by car from Gyeongju to Daegu takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train; or take a bus. While traveling from Gyeongju, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Daegu, ranging from highs of 80°F to lows of 64°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Tue) early enough to drive to Andong.

Things to do in Daegu

Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping · Parks

Side Trip

Andong, South Korea

— 2 nights

Capital City of Korean Spiritual Culture

Sitting along either side of the Nakdong River, Andong maintains an unrivalled reputation as a center for Korean folk and cultural heritage.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Wed): contemplate the long history of Andong imcheonggak, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Gounsa Temple, and then explore the striking landscape at Buyongdae. Keep things going the next day: take a stroll through Andong Gunja Village, then examine the collection at Confucian Culture Museum, and then examine the collection at Yiyuksa Literary Museum.

To see ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Andong online trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Daegu to Andong takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus; or take a train. When traveling from Daegu in September, plan for little chillier days in Andong, with highs around 70°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 63°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Yeongju.

Things to do in Andong

Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Nature

Side Trip

Yeongju, South Korea

— 7 nights
Explore hidden gems such as Cheondongdonggul Cave and National Center for Forest Therapy. Explore Yeongju's surroundings by going to Woraksan National Park (in Jecheon), Mungyeong Museum of Coal (in Mungyeong) and Sanmagi Yetgil (in Goesan-gun). Spend the 1st (Fri) exploring nature at Sobaeksan National Park Samga.

To find photos, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Yeongju trip planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Andong to Yeongju. September in Yeongju sees daily highs of 70°F and lows of 63°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Thu) early enough to travel to Seoul.

Things to do in Yeongju

Parks · Nature · Museums · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Seodaemun Prison History Hall and Haneul Park. And it doesn't end there: get engrossed in the history at Seoul Museum of History, pause for some photo ops at Statue of Admiral Yi Sun-Sin, examine the collection at Love Museum, and take in the awesome beauty at Inwangsan Mountain.

For reviews, photos, maps, and other tourist information, read Seoul online tour planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Yeongju to Seoul. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Seoul when traveling from Yeongju in October, with lows around 65°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Seoul

Museums · Parks · Nature · Neighborhoods

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.

Gyeongsangbuk-do travel guide

4
Historic Sites · Sacred & Religious Sites · Bodies of Water
Tourism in Gyeongsangbuk-do focuses on the region's rich cultural heritage with exquisite structures and ancient pagodas as well as historically themed parks. The cradle of the ancient Silla Kingdom, today Gyeongsangbuk-do tells the story of the 500-year Gaya confederacy in World Heritage Sites. Meanwhile, Buddhist temples and folk villages with a long Confucian tradition showcase the region's mixed heritage, and national parks with limestone peaks and scenic waterfalls play home to herons, crape-myrtle, and zelkova trees. Other things to do while on holiday in Gyeongsangbuk-do include boat tours to a remote island or browsing through herbal medicine markets.