42 days in East Asia Itinerary

42 days in East Asia Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Asia trip itinerary planner
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Tokyo, Japan
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Hakuba-mura, Japan
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Ise, Japan
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Kyoto, Japan
— 2 nights
Fly
5
Jeju, South Korea
— 4 nights
Fly
6
Busan, South Korea
— 7 nights
Drive
7
Gyeongju, South Korea
— 3 nights
Fly
8
Gangneung, South Korea
— 5 nights
Drive
9
Donghae, South Korea
— 2 nights
Drive
10
Chuncheon, South Korea
— 2 nights
Drive
11
Seoul, South Korea
— 10 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25

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.
On the 10th (Tue), wander the streets of Ueno District, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yushima Tenmangu, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kanda Myojin, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Koami Shrine, then wander the streets of Nihonbashi Bridge, and finally explore the wide array of goods at Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Store. On the next day, admire the masterpieces at Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, stop by Ginza Itoya Hontren, get a taste of the local shopping with Ginza, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Hie Jinjya, and finally relax and rejuvenate at Waho-An NATURE Tokyo.

To find where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Tokyo trip planning site.

Auckland, New Zealand to Tokyo is an approximately 14-hour flight. You'll gain 3 hours traveling from Auckland to Tokyo due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Auckland in January, plan for slightly colder days and cooler nights in Tokyo: temperatures range from 11°C by day to 1°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Wed) early enough to drive to Hakuba-mura.
more
Historic Sites · Shopping · Neighborhoods · Museums
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 11:

Hakuba-mura, Japan — 2 nights

Skiing enthusiasts traveling in Japan should consider a trip to Hakuba-mura: tucked away in the Northern Alps, this village hosted several competitions during the Nagano 1998 Winter Olympics.
On the 12th (Thu), get outside with Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park, head outdoors with Happo-one Nature Study Course, then fly down the slopes at Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort, then hit the slopes at Hakuba, and finally trek along Hakuba Iwatake Mountain Resort. Here are some ideas for day two: head outdoors with Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort / Alpine Garden.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Hakuba-mura road trip site.

Getting from Tokyo to Hakuba-mura by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and bus; or take a train. Traveling from Tokyo in January, expect Hakuba-mura to be slightly colder, temps between 3°C and -3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) so you can drive to Ise.
more
Parks · Outdoors · Winter Sports · Trails
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 13:

Ise, Japan — 2 nights

A spiritual center of Shintoism, Ise stands as a traditional city where visitors can see the roots of Japanese culture in a number of well-preserved natural and historic sites.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Sat): take in the spiritual surroundings of Sarutahiko Shrine, contemplate the long history of Oharai-machi, look for gifts at Mie Gyoren Hambai, then take an in-depth tour of Jingu Chokokan Museum, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yamato-hime Shrine, and finally steep yourself in history at Hinjitsukan. On the next day, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Uji Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kazahinominomiya, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Naiku Kaguraden, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Ise Grand Shrine, then steep yourself in history at Aramatsurinomiya, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Ise Shrine Geku.

Plan my Ise trip by asking Inspirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Getting from Hakuba-mura to Ise by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and train; or take a train. Traveling from Hakuba-mura in January, expect Ise to be somewhat warmer, temps between 9°C and 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) early enough to drive to Kyoto.
more
Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 15:

Kyoto, Japan — 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Mon): look for gifts at Ippodo Tea Kyoto, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nishi Honganji, see the interesting displays at Kyoto Railway Museum, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Kyoto Gyoen National Garden, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Shimogamo Jinja, and finally browse the exhibits of Usaginonedoko Kyoto Shop. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: hunt for treasures at Nishiki Market Shopping District, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Rokuharamitsuji Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Kennin-ji Temple, and finally go for a walk through Gion.

To see photos, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, read our Kyoto road trip app.

Drive from Ise to Kyoto in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Ise in January, expect a bit cooler with lows of 1°C in Kyoto. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) so you can catch the flight to Jeju.
more
Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Shopping · Museums
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 17:

Jeju, South Korea — 4 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.
Bangju Church and Jejumok Gwana will appeal to history buffs. Appreciate the collections at Nexon Computer Museum and The Islander. There's still lots to do: hike along Hallasan, delve into the lush surroundings at Jeolmul Natural Forest Resort, take in the exciting artwork at Arario Museum Tapdong Cinema, and buy something for everyone on your list at Jeju Jungang Underground Shopping Center.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read our Jeju holiday planner.

You can fly from Kyoto to Jeju in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train, ferry, and taxi; or do a combination of train and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) to allow time to fly to Busan.
more
Parks · Historic Sites · Shopping · Museums
Find places to stay Jan 17 — 21:

Busan, South Korea — 7 nights

The country's second city, Busan has often been referred to as South Korea's summer capital.
Head to Museum Dah and Tower Galleryfor plenty of shopping. Get outdoors at Gwangalli Beach and Jangsan Mountain. Venture out of the city with trips to Gimhae (Daeseong-dong Ancient Tomb, Birthplace of President Roh Moo-hyun, &more), Tongdosa Temple (in Yangsan) and Yeongnamlu (in Miryang). Next up on the itinerary: stroll the grounds of UN Memorial Cemetery, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Haedong Yonggungsa, identify plant and animal life at Junam Reservoir, and head outdoors with Haeundae Beach.

To find maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Busan trip planner.

Fly from Jeju to Busan in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry, taxi, and train. In January in Busan, expect temperatures between 7°C during the day and -3°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) so you can go by car to Gyeongju.
more
Parks · Historic Sites · Shopping · Beaches
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 28:

Gyeongju, South Korea — 3 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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Gyeongju National Museum and Seokguram. Step off the beaten path and head to Cheomseongdae Observatory and Jukdo Market. Take a break from Gyeongju with a short trip to Boksoondoga in Ulsan, about 1h 10 min away. There's much more to do: get engrossed in the history at Shilla Arts and Science Museum, admire the masterpieces at Art Sonje Museum, and identify plant and animal life at Gyeongju Bird Park.

For maps, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Gyeongju itinerary planner.

Getting from Busan to Gyeongju by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. While traveling from Busan, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Gyeongju, ranging from highs of 1°C to lows of 0°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Tue) early enough to catch the flight to Gangneung.
more
Museums · Historic Sites · Wildlife · Parks
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 28 — 31:

Gangneung, South Korea — 5 nights

A large coastal city, Gangneung has been historically separated from much of the country because of the long, stretching mountain range that runs parallel to the sea.
Ojukheon and Heogyun and Heonanseolheon Memorial Hall are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Jeongdongjin Time Museum and Ojukheon Municipal Museum will appeal to museum buffs. Get out of town with these interesting Gangneung side-trips: Pyeongchang-gun (Pyeongchang Olympic Market, Lee Hyo-Seok Memorial Hall, &more) and Namae Port (in Yangyang-gun). There's lots more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Gyeongpo Beach, go for a walk through Jeongdong-Simgok Badabuchae-gil Trail, and head outdoors with Yeongjin Beach.

For traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Gangneung trip itinerary builder tool.

You can fly from Gyeongju to Gangneung in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to travel to Donghae.
more
Parks · Outdoors · Museums · Beaches
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 31 — Feb 5:

Donghae, South Korea — 2 nights

Kick off your visit on the 6th (Mon): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Samhwasa Temple, enjoy the sand and surf at Mangsang Beach, and then enjoy the sea views from Mukho Lighthouse Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the dramatic natural features at Chotdaebawi (Candlestick Rock), then kick back and relax at Chuam Beach, and then walk around Samcheok Rose Park.

To find photos, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Donghae trip planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Gangneung to Donghae. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Chuncheon.
more
Parks · Beaches · Historic Sites · Outdoors
Side Trip
Find places to stay Feb 5 — 7:

Chuncheon, South Korea — 2 nights

The capital of the country's northernmost province, the city of Chuncheon acts a gateway to the wilder sights of the rural region.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Wed): examine the collection at Memorial Hall for Ethiopian Veterans in the Korean War, then see the interesting displays at Chuncheon Makguksu Museum, and then visit Chuncheon Myeongdong Dakgalbi Street. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 9th (Thu): wander the streets of Chuncheon Myeongdong Street, take in the natural beauty of World Oncheon, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Cheongpyeongsa.

To find reviews, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Chuncheon online itinerary planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Donghae to Chuncheon. In February, daytime highs in Chuncheon are 5°C, while nighttime lows are -4°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) so you can go by car to Seoul.
more
Neighborhoods · Museums · Parks · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Feb 7 — 9:

Seoul, South Korea — 10 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.
Let the collections at Gyeongbokgung Palace and Seoul Arts Center capture your imagination. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Myeongdong Shopping Street and Times Square Mall. When in Seoul, make a side trip to see Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon, approximately Suwon away. Spend the 11th (Sat) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. Next up on the itinerary: examine the collection at Grevin Museum, take an in-depth tour of Seodaemun Prison History Hall, explore the wide array of goods at Shinsegae Dept. Store Main, and take a stroll through Insadong.

To find ratings, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Seoul trip planner.

Getting from Chuncheon to Seoul by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a subway. Expect a daytime high around 5°C in February, and nighttime lows around -4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) early enough to fly back home.
more
Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping · Wildlife
Side Trip
Find places to stay Feb 9 — 19:

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.
more

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.
more