19 days in Japan & South Korea Itinerary

19 days in Japan & South Korea Itinerary

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Route & dates

19 days in Japan & South Korea Itinerary

Start: Rome, Italy
Fly:  23​h
1
Seoul, South Korea
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h
2
Gyeongju, South Korea
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
3
Busan, South Korea
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h
4
Osaka, Japan
— 3 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
5
Hiroshima, Japan
— 1 night
train:  2​h
6
Kyoto, Japan
— 3 nights
train + taxi:  5​h 30​min
7
Yamanouchi-machi, Japan
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  26​h
End: Rome, Italy


Learn more about your trip

3
nights
Seoul, South Korea

Seoul ©
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Cheonggyecheon Stream and Bukhansan National Park. Get a sense of the local culture at Myeongdong Shopping Street and Changdeokgung Palace. Next up on the itinerary: steep yourself in history at Gyeongbokgung Palace, wander the streets of Insadong, make a trip to Seoul City Hall, and take some stellar pictures from N Seoul Tower.

To find photos, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Seoul day trip tool .

Rome, Italy to Seoul is an approximately 16-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Rome to Seoul is 8 hours. In July, daily temperatures in Seoul can reach 34°C, while at night they dip to 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Gyeongju.

Things to do in Seoul

Parks Nature Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Jul 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Gyeongbokgung Palace ©
Gyeongbokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace ©
Changdeokgung Palace
Cheonggyecheon Stream ©
Cheonggyecheon Stream

2
nights
Gyeongju, South Korea

Gyeongju ©
One of the most popular tourist destinations in the Republic of Korea, Gyeongju combines a rich cultural heritage with mountain and coastal scenery.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Thu): explore the activities along Bomun Lake, then steep yourself in history at Bulguksa Temple, then pause for some photo ops at Seokguram, and finally hunt for treasures at Jukdo Market. On the 6th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: examine the collection at Gyeongju National Museum, explore the activities along Anapji Pond, then contemplate the long history of Cheomseongdae Observatory, then contemplate the long history of Cheonmachong Tomb, and finally steep yourself in history at Gyeongju Historic Area.

To see maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Gyeongju travel route planner.

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Seoul to Gyeongju takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, taxi, and train; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 36°C in July, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sat) so you can drive to Busan.

Things to do in Gyeongju

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trip

Jukdo Market
Find places to stay Jul 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Bulguksa Temple ©
Bulguksa Temple
Seokguram ©
Seokguram
Gyeongju National Museum ©
Gyeongju National Museum

1
night
Busan, South Korea

Busan ©
The country's second city, Busan has often been referred to as South Korea's summer capital.
On the 7th (Sat), stroll through Yongdusan Park, hunt for treasures at Jagalchi Market, then take a stroll through Gamcheon Culture Village, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Haeundae Beach.

To find ratings, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Busan trip itinerary planning app .

You can drive from Gyeongju to Busan in 1.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and subway; or take a train. July in Busan sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 26°C at night. On the 8th (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Osaka.

Things to do in Busan

Neighborhoods Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Jul 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Gamcheon Culture Village ©
Gamcheon Culture Village
Haeundae Beach ©
Haeundae Beach
Jagalchi Market ©
Jagalchi Market

3
nights
Osaka, Japan

Osaka ©
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.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Sun): don't miss a visit to Osaka City Central Hall. On your second day here, identify plant and animal life at Nara Park, appreciate the history behind Todai-ji Temple, then explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, and finally get a taste of the local shopping with Dotonbori.

To see ratings, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, use the Osaka trip planner.

Do a combination of flight and train from Busan to Osaka in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and train; or do a combination of ferry and car. Expect a daytime high around 37°C in July, and nighttime lows around 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) so you can travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Nara, Nankinmachi (Kobe Chinatown)
Find places to stay Jul 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Todai-ji Temple ©
Todai-ji Temple

1
night
Hiroshima, Japan

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Wed): see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, make a trip to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, then stop by Miyajima Omotesando Shopping Street, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Itsukushima Shrine. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the natural beauty at Shukkei-en Garden, step into the grandiose world of Hiroshima Castle, pause for some photo ops at Atomic Bomb Dome, then snap pictures at Kintaikyo Bridge, and finally step off the mainland to explore Miyajima.

To see photos, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Hiroshima driving holiday planner .

You can take a train from Osaka to Hiroshima in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train, flight, and ferry. In July, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Kintaikyo Bridge
Find places to stay Jul 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Miyajima ©
Miyajima
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima

3
nights
Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto ©
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.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Nijo-jo Castle. Get a sense of the local culture at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Kinkaku-ji. And it doesn't end there: take in the spiritual surroundings of Sanjusangendo Temple, wander the streets of Gion, browse the different shops at Kyoto Station Building, and go for a walk through Philosopher's Walk.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Kyoto vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

You can take a train from Hiroshima to Kyoto in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of ferry, flight, and train. July in Kyoto sees daily highs of 37°C and lows of 28°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sun) so you can travel to Yamanouchi-machi.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping
Find places to stay Jul 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Kinkaku-ji ©
Kinkaku-ji

3
nights
Yamanouchi-machi, Japan

Yamanouchi-machi ©
The resort town of Yamanouchi-machi has plenty of contrasting, but complementary things going for it.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Kusatsu International Ski Place, soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Karuizawachurch. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 17th (Tue): look for gifts at Obuse Highway Oasys, explore the historical opulence of Matsushiro Castle, and then fly down the slopes at Madarao Kogen Ski Resort.

For ratings, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Yamanouchi-machi journey planning app .

Traveling by combination of train and taxi from Kyoto to Yamanouchi-machi takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train, flight, and car. Traveling from Kyoto in July, expect nights in Yamanouchi-machi to be about the same, around 26°C, while days are a bit cooler, around 34°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 18th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Yamanouchi-machi

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trips

Karuizawa Kogen Church, Matsushiro Castle, Madarao Mountain Resort, Kusatsu International Ski Place, Obuse Highway Oasys
Find places to stay Jul 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park ©
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
Karuizawa Kogen Church ©
Karuizawa Kogen Church
Matsushiro Castle ©
Matsushiro Castle

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