21 days in China, South Korea & Japan Itinerary

21 days in China, South Korea & Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Asia travel planner

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1
Beijing, China
— 3 nights
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2
Seoul, South Korea
— 3 nights
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3
Jeju, South Korea
— 4 nights
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4
Ishigaki, Japan
— 2 nights
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5
Miyakojima, Japan
— 2 nights
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6
Kyoto, Japan
— 3 nights
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7
Tokyo, Japan
— 2 nights
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Beijing, China

— 3 nights
As the political and cultural capital of China, Beijing stands at the heart of Chinese history, buzzing with the energy of its high population density and centuries of importance.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Mutianyu Great Wall and Summer Palace (Yiheyuan). Lama Temple (Yonghegong) and Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang) are good opportunities to explore the local culture. The adventure continues: get engrossed in the history at The Palace Museum, see the interesting displays at National Museum Of China, and contemplate the long history of Temple of Heaven.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Beijing using our trip planner.

Guadalajara, Mexico to Beijing is an approximately 21.5-hour flight. Traveling from Guadalajara to Beijing, you'll lose 14 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Guadalajara in August, expect Beijing to be somewhat warmer, temps between 37°C and 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) so you can fly to Seoul.

Things to do in Beijing

Find places to stay Aug 2 — 5:

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.
The War Memorial of Korea and Changdeokgung Palace are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Popular historic sites such as Gyeongbokgung Palace and Cheonggyecheon Stream are in your itinerary. There's much more to do: take an in-depth tour of National Museum of Korea, take in the spiritual surroundings of Jongmyo Shrine, examine the collection at Love Museum, and contemplate the long history of Deoksugung.

For traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Seoul day trip planner.

Getting from Beijing to Seoul by flight takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train, ferry, and subway; or do a combination of bus and ferry. The time zone difference moving from China Standard Time to Korean Standard Time is 1 hour. August in Seoul sees daily highs of 35°C and lows of 27°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sun) to allow time to fly to Jeju.

Things to do in Seoul

Find places to stay Aug 5 — 8:

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.
Visiting Seongsan Ilchulbong and Hyeopjae Beach will get you outdoors. Spirited Garden and Jeju National Museum are good opportunities to explore the local culture. And it doesn't end there: step off the mainland to explore Udo, take in the awesome beauty at Saebyeol Oreum, tour the pleasant surroundings at Hamdeok Beach, and explore the world behind art at Jeju Folk Museum.

To see ratings, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Jeju online tour itinerary builder.

You can fly from Seoul to Jeju in 2.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train, taxi, and ferry; or do a combination of car and ferry. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) to allow enough time to fly to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Jeju

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Aug 8 — 12:

Ishigaki, Japan

— 2 nights
Ishigaki, the most populous island in the chain, features the country's southernmost city and acts as a transport hub for exploring the landmasses that surround.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Fri): see what's hidden on the seafloor at Prime Scuba Ishigaki Diving Center - Day Tour. Keep things going the next day: stroll through Sunset Beach, admire all the interesting features of Cape Hirakubozaki, take in panoramic vistas at Tamatorizaki Observatory, then enjoy the sand and surf at Yonehara Beach, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Kondoi Beach.

For reviews, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Ishigaki road trip planner.

Fly from Jeju to Ishigaki in 8.5 hours. In August in Ishigaki, expect temperatures between 38°C during the day and 32°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Sat) early enough to catch the flight to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trip

Find places to stay Aug 12 — 14:

Miyakojima, Japan

— 2 nights
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
On the 15th (Sun), take in the views from Kurima Bridge, kick back and relax at Yonaha Maehama Beach, then kick back and relax at Aragusuku Beach, then visit a coastal fixture at Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse, and finally don't miss a visit to East Henna Cape. Keep things going the next day: take in the views from Irabu Ohashi, stroll through Toguchi no Hama, then step off the mainland to explore Irabu-jima Island, then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and finally stroll through Sunayama Beach.

To find other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, use the Miyakojima online travel route planner.

Fly from Ishigaki to Miyakojima in 2.5 hours. In August, daytime highs in Miyakojima are 37°C, while nighttime lows are 31°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) to allow time to fly to Kyoto.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours
Find places to stay Aug 14 — 16:

Kyoto, Japan

— 3 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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Toji and Heian Shrine. Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Kiyomizu-dera Temple will appeal to history buffs. There's still lots to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Ginkakuji Temple, contemplate the long history of Sanjusangendo Temple, admire the masterpieces at Hosomi Museum, and visit Gion.

To find reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Kyoto attractions planning website.

You can fly from Miyakojima to Kyoto in 4.5 hours. In August, daily temperatures in Kyoto can reach 39°C, while at night they dip to 29°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) to allow time to take a train to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Museums
Find places to stay Aug 16 — 19:

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 20th (Fri), get engrossed in the history at Edo-Tokyo Museum, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Senso-ji Temple, then make a trip to Tokyo National Museum, and finally explore the world behind art at Suntory Museum of Art. On the next day, admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower, then get curious at National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation Miraikan, and then don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Tokyo trip planner.

You can take a train from Kyoto to Tokyo in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In August, daily temperatures in Tokyo can reach 36°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can fly back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Find places to stay Aug 19 — 21:

China travel guide

4.4
With well over 1.3 billion residents, China represents the most populous country in the world, considered by many the cradle of civilization thanks to its history spanning many millennia. While a single trip to China rarely satisfies curious travelers, a well-organized tour reveals a land of awe-inspiring natural scenery, ancient monuments, and giant cities, where the diverse population includes almost 60 different ethnic groups speaking dozens of distinct languages. While many Westerners may know China mostly for its centuries-old tradition of martial arts, discerning travelers visit this vast nation for its outstanding cuisine, pristine landscapes, epic train journeys, and small towns of hardworking and genuinely hospitable people.

South Korea travel guide

4.2
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.

Japan travel guide

4.3
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Parks
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.