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
6
Kyoto, Japan
— 3 nights
train + taxi:  5​h 30​min
7
Yamanouchi-machi, Japan
— 3 nights
Fly:  26​h
End: Rome, Italy

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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Cheonggyecheon Stream and Insadong. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace. Spend the 29th (Sun) exploring nature at Bukhansan National Park. And it doesn't end there: get a taste of the local shopping with Myeongdong Shopping Street, make a trip to Bukchon Hanok Village, get a sense of history and politics at Seoul City Hall, and get great views at N Seoul Tower.

To see where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Seoul trip planning website .

Rome, Italy to Seoul is an approximately 16.5-hour combination of flight and train. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Rome to Seoul is 8 hours. While traveling from Rome, expect little chillier days and somewhat warmer nights in Seoul, ranging from highs of 26°C to lows of 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) early enough to travel to Gyeongju.

Things to do in Seoul

Parks Nature Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Sep 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Cheonggyecheon Stream ©
Cheonggyecheon Stream
Gyeongbokgung Palace ©
Gyeongbokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace ©
Changdeokgung Palace

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 30th (Mon): explore the activities along Bomun Lake, steep yourself in history at Bulguksa Temple, then appreciate the history behind Seokguram, and finally hunt for treasures at Jukdo Market. Keep things going the next day: see the interesting displays at Gyeongju National Museum, explore the activities along Anapji Pond, then steep yourself in history at Cheomseongdae Observatory, then contemplate the long history of Cheonmachong Tomb, and finally steep yourself in history at Gyeongju Historic Area.

To see photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Gyeongju trip itinerary planning site .

Do a combination of flight and bus from Seoul to Gyeongju in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, taxi, and train; or drive. Traveling from Seoul in September, expect a bit cooler with lows of 20°C in Gyeongju. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed) to allow time to drive to Busan.

Things to do in Gyeongju

Historic Sites Nature Parks

Side Trip

Jukdo Market
Find places to stay Sep 30 — Oct 2:
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.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Wed): stroll through Yongdusan Park, then browse the eclectic array of goods at Jagalchi Market, then wander the streets of Gamcheon Culture Village, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Haeundae Beach.

For photos and other tourist information, use the Busan planning app .

You can drive from Gyeongju to Busan in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and subway; or take a train. In October, plan for daily highs up to 26°C, and evening lows to 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 3rd (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Osaka.

Things to do in Busan

Neighborhoods Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Oct 2 — 3:
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.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Thu): don't miss a visit to Osaka City Central Hall. Here are some ideas for day two: identify plant and animal life at Nara Park, contemplate the long history of Todai-ji Temple, then step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle, and finally shop like a local with Dotonbori.

For ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Osaka trip planner.

Traveling by combination of flight, train, and subway from Busan to Osaka takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of ferry and train. October in Osaka sees daily highs of 27°C and lows of 18°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Nara, Chinatown (Nankinmachi)
Find places to stay Oct 3 — 6:
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 6th (Sun): examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, make a trip to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, then stop by Miyajima Omotesando Shopping Street, and finally contemplate the long history of Itsukushima Shrine. On the 7th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in nature's colorful creations at Shukkei-en Garden, explore the historical opulence 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.

Discover how to plan a Hiroshima trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Do a combination of subway and train from Osaka to Hiroshima in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and flight. October in Hiroshima sees daily highs of 26°C and lows of 19°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Mon) so you can take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Hatsukaichi, Kintaikyo Bridge
Find places to stay Oct 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Itsukushima Shrine ©
Itsukushima Shrine
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

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.
Get some cultural insight at Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Nijo Castle. Popular historic sites such as Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Kinkaku-ji are in your itinerary. Next up on the itinerary: steep yourself in history at Sanjusangendo Temple, wander the streets of Gion, take in the pleasant sights at Arashiyama, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Ryoanji Temple.

To see maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Kyoto day trip planner.

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Kyoto takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of ferry, flight, and train. Expect a daytime high around 27°C in October, and nighttime lows around 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) so you can travel to Yamanouchi-machi.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping
Find places to stay Oct 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle

3
nights
Yamanouchi-machi, Japan

Yamanouchi-machi ©
The resort town of Yamanouchi-machi has plenty of contrasting, but complementary things going for it.
On the 11th (Fri), stroll through Kusatsu International Ski Place and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Karuizawachurch. Here are some ideas for day two: look for gifts at Obuse Highway Oasys, then step into the grandiose world of Matsushiro Castle, and then fly down the slopes at Madarao Kogen Ski Resort.

To see reviews, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Yamanouchi-machi tour builder .

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 October, things will get little chillier in Yamanouchi-machi: highs are around 21°C and lows about 14°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 13th (Sun) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Yamanouchi-machi

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trips

Kusatsu International Ski Place, Madarao Mountain Resort, Karuizawachurch, Matsushiro Castle, Obuse Highway Oasys
Find places to stay Oct 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park ©
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
Karuizawachurch ©
Karuizawachurch

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