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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Cheonggyecheon Stream and Gyeongbokgung Palace. Your inner history buff will appreciate Myeongdong Shopping Street and Bukchon Hanok Village. Spend the 14th (Wed) exploring nature at Bukhansan National Park. There's much more to do: take in nature's colorful creations at Changdeokgung Palace, don't miss a visit to N Seoul Tower, get a sense of history and politics at Seoul City Hall, and take a stroll through Insadong.

To find other places to visit, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Seoul road trip planning app .

Rome, Italy to Seoul is an approximately 16.5-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. Traveling from Rome in April, expect nights in Seoul to be about the same, around 46°F, while days are little chillier, around 64°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Gyeongju.

Things to do in Seoul

Parks Nature Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Apr 12 — 15:
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.
On the 15th (Thu), contemplate the waterfront views at Bomun Lake, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Bulguksa Temple, then pause for some photo ops at Seokguram, and finally hunt for treasures at Jukdo Market. On your second day here, examine the collection at Gyeongju National Museum, contemplate the waterfront views at Anapji Pond, 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 traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read Gyeongju journey maker website .

You can fly from Seoul to Gyeongju in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or drive. When traveling from Seoul in April, plan for a bit cooler days and a bit warmer nights in Gyeongju: temperatures range from 54°F by day to 54°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sat) early enough to drive to Busan.

Things to do in Gyeongju

Historic Sites Nature Parks

Side Trip

Jukdo Market
Find places to stay Apr 15 — 17:
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.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Sat): walk around Yongdusan Park, browse the eclectic array of goods at Jagalchi Market, then wander the streets of Gamcheon Culture Village, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Haeundae Beach.

For photos, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, use the Busan road trip site .

Drive from Gyeongju to Busan in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. When traveling from Gyeongju in April, plan for somewhat warmer days and a bit cooler nights in Busan: temperatures range from 66°F by day to 48°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 18th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Osaka.

Things to do in Busan

Neighborhoods Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Apr 17 — 18:
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 18th (Sun): contemplate the long history of Osaka City Central Hall. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 19th (Mon): walk around Nara Park, appreciate the history behind Todai-ji Temple, then step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle, and finally take a stroll through Dotonbori.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, read our Osaka journey app .

Fly from Busan to Osaka in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of flight and train. Expect a daytime high around 68°F in April, and nighttime lows around 51°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Wed) so you can travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Nara, Chinatown (Nankinmachi)
Find places to stay Apr 18 — 21:
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.
On the 21st (Wed), see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, then steep yourself in history at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, then look for gifts at Miyajima Omotesando Shopping Street, and finally steep yourself in history at Itsukushima Shrine. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 22nd (Thu): take in nature's colorful creations at Shukkei-en Garden, explore the historical opulence of Hiroshima Castle, then appreciate the history behind Atomic Bomb Dome, then go for a walk through Kintaikyo Bridge, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Miyajima.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Hiroshima trip planner .

Traveling by train from Osaka to Hiroshima takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and train. In April, daytime highs in Hiroshima are 67°F, while nighttime lows are 52°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (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 Apr 21 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Miyajima ©
Miyajima
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.
Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Kinkaku-ji. Visit Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Arashiyama for their historical value. Next up on the itinerary: step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle, take in the spiritual surroundings of Ryoanji Temple, browse the different shops at Kyoto Station Building, and steep yourself in history at Sanjusangendo Temple.

For photos, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Kyoto holiday planning website .

Traveling by train from Hiroshima to Kyoto takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In April, daily temperatures in Kyoto can reach 67°F, while at night they dip to 50°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) so you can travel to Yamanouchi-machi.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping
Find places to stay Apr 22 — 25:
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.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Kusatsu International Ski Place, then soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Karuizawachurch. On the next day, look for gifts at Obuse Highway Oasys, then explore the historical opulence of Matsushiro Castle, and then stroll through Madarao Mountain Resort.

To see where to stay, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Yamanouchi-machi trip maker tool .

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. While traveling from Kyoto, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Yamanouchi-machi, ranging from highs of 62°F to lows of 48°F. On the 28th (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Yamanouchi-machi

Parks Winter Sports Outdoors

Side Trips

Onsen Resorts, Kusatsu International Ski Place, Obuse Highway Oasys, Matsushiro Castle, Karuizawachurch
Find places to stay Apr 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park ©
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
Karuizawachurch ©
Karuizawachurch

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