18 days in South Korea & Japan Itinerary

18 days in South Korea & Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in South Korea & Japan Itinerary

Start: Brussels, Belgium
Fly:  12​h 30​min
1
Seoul, South Korea
— 3 nights
bus:  3​h 45​min
2
Andong, South Korea
— 1 night
bus:  1​h 30​min
3
Gyeongju, South Korea
— 1 night
train:  1​h 45​min
4
Busan, South Korea
— 2 nights
Fly:  5​h
5
Osaka, Japan
— 2 nights
train:  1​h
6
Himeji, Japan
— 1 day
train:  45​min
7
Kyoto, Japan
— 2 nights
train:  3​h 45​min
8
Hakone-machi, Japan
— 2 nights
bus + train:  1​h 15​min
9
Tokyo, Japan
— 2 nights
Fly:  15​h
End: Brussels, Belgium


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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Gyeongbokgung Palace and Cheonggyecheon Stream. Changdeokgung Palace and Jongmyo Shrine will appeal to history buffs. Next up on the itinerary: wander the streets of Insadong, don't miss a visit to Myeongdong Shopping Street, and take some stellar pictures from N Seoul Tower.

To see reviews, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, read Seoul trip planner .

Brussels, Belgium to Seoul is an approximately 17-hour combination of train and flight. You can also fly. The time zone difference moving from Central European Time to Korea Standard Time is 8 hours. In March in Seoul, expect temperatures between 13°C during the day and 1°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Tue) to allow time to drive to Andong.

Things to do in Seoul

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Mar 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Gyeongbokgung Palace ©
Gyeongbokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace ©
Changdeokgung Palace
Cheonggyecheon Stream ©
Cheonggyecheon Stream

1
night
Andong, South Korea

Andong ©
Sitting along either side of the Nakdong River, Andong maintains an unrivalled reputation as a center for Korean folk and cultural heritage.
On the 31st (Tue), contemplate the long history of Dosanseowon Confucian School, then see the interesting displays at Hahoe Mask Museum, and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Andong Hahoe Folk Village.

To find photos, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Andong online itinerary planner .

You can drive from Seoul to Andong in 3 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 17°C in March, and nighttime lows around 2°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) so you can take a bus to Gyeongju.

Things to do in Andong

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Mar 31 — Apr 1:
Highlights from your plan
Andong Hahoe Folk Village ©
Andong Hahoe Folk Village
Hahoe Mask Museum ©
Hahoe Mask Museum
Dosanseowon Confucian School ©
Dosanseowon Confucian School

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Wed): see the interesting displays at Gyeongju National Museum, then appreciate the history behind Seokguram, then contemplate the long history of Bulguksa Temple, and finally steep yourself in history at Cheomseongdae Observatory.

To find ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Gyeongju trip planner.

You can take a bus from Andong to Gyeongju in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. In April, daytime highs in Gyeongju are 14°C, while nighttime lows are 14°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Thu) early enough to drive to Busan.

Things to do in Gyeongju

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Apr 1 — 2:
Highlights from your plan
Bulguksa Temple ©
Bulguksa Temple
Seokguram ©
Seokguram
Gyeongju National Museum ©
Gyeongju National Museum

2
nights
Busan, South Korea

Busan ©
The country's second city, Busan has often been referred to as South Korea's summer capital.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Haedong Yonggung Temple and Beomeosa Temple. UN Memorial Cemetery and Yeongdo Lighthouse will appeal to history buffs. There's still lots to do: head outdoors with Haeundae Beach, walk around Yongdusan Park, wander the streets of Gamcheon Culture Village, and get great views at Taejongdae.

To find photos, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Busan trip itinerary maker app .

You can drive from Gyeongju to Busan in 1.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or take a bus. When traveling from Gyeongju in April, plan for a bit warmer days in Busan, with highs around 22°C, while nights are slightly colder with lows around 10°C. On the 4th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Osaka.

Things to do in Busan

Parks Historic Sites Outdoors
Find places to stay Apr 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Haeundae Beach ©
Haeundae Beach
Haedong Yonggung Temple ©
Haedong Yonggung Temple
Beomeosa Temple ©
Beomeosa Temple

2
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.
On the 5th (Sun), step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle, wander the streets of Dotonbori, and then get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan.

For maps, reviews, and tourist information, read our Osaka online trip planner .

You can fly from Busan to Osaka in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of flight and train. In April, daytime highs in Osaka are 23°C, while nighttime lows are 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to travel to Himeji.

Things to do in Osaka

Theme Parks Historic Sites Shopping
Find places to stay Apr 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Castle ©
Osaka Castle
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori

1
day
Himeji, Japan

Himeji ©
The castle around which the city of Himeji has developed represents one of the best preserved in the country, and has been designated as a national treasure and a World Heritage Site.
On the 6th (Mon), steep yourself in history at Yoneda Taishiji Temple, make a trip to Viewing Deck, Himeji Station Square, take in the pleasant sights at Himeji Castle, then admire the natural beauty at Koko-en, then don't miss a visit to Shoshazan Engyoji, and finally make a trip to Shoshazan Ropeway.

To see maps, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Himeji trip itinerary planner.

Take a train from Osaka to Himeji in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. While traveling from Osaka, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Himeji, ranging from highs of 20°C to lows of 14°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Himeji

Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Yoneda Taishiji Temple
Find places to stay Apr 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle
Koko-en ©
Koko-en
Shoshazan Engyoji ©
Shoshazan Engyoji

2
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.
On the 7th (Tue), step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle, then steep yourself in history at Sanjusangendo Temple, then contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, and finally take a stroll through Gion.

To see reviews, photos, and tourist information, read our Kyoto trip planner.

You can take a train from Himeji to Kyoto in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in April, and nighttime lows around 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 8th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Apr 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple

2
nights
Hakone-machi, Japan

Hakone-machi ©
Sitting at the foot of Mount Fuji, Hakone-machi has become a popular retreat from Tokyo for locals and tourists alike.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Wed): get engrossed in the history at Hakone Shrine Homotsuden.

To find reviews, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Hakone-machi trip maker website .

You can take a train from Kyoto to Hakone-machi in 4 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of train and flight. When traveling from Kyoto in April, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Hakone-machi: temperatures range from 15°C by day to 13°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) so you can travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Odawara Castle
Find places to stay Apr 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
The Hakone Open-Air Museum ©
The Hakone Open-Air Museum
Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu ©
Odawara Castle ©
Odawara Castle

2
nights
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo ©
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.
Popular historic sites such as Senso-ji Temple and Tokyo National Museum are in your itinerary. Get some cultural insight at Odaiba and Imperial Palace. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tokyo: Kamakura (Kōtoku-in & Hase-dera Temple). There's lots more to do: make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, get great views at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, examine the collection at Edo-Tokyo Museum, and ponder the world of politics at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings.

For ratings, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Tokyo trip maker tool .

Traveling by combination of bus and train from Hakone-machi to Tokyo takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Hakone-machi in April: highs in Tokyo hover around 22°C, while lows dip to 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trip

Kamakura
Find places to stay Apr 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Kōtoku-in ©
Kōtoku-in

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