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: Hamburg, Germany
Fly:  16​h 30​min
1
Seoul, South Korea
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
Sokcho, South Korea
— 1 night
3
Gyeongju, South Korea
— 2 nights
+3
train + taxi + Fly + train:  6​h 30​min
4
Nara, Japan
— 1 night
train:  45​min
5
Kyoto, Japan
— 3 nights
train:  2​h 45​min
6
Tokyo, Japan
— 3 nights
7
Nikko, Japan
— 2 nights
+2
train + tram + Fly:  6​h 45​min
8
Ishigaki, Japan
— 3 nights
Fly:  21​h 15​min
End: Hamburg, Germany


Learn more about your trip

2
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.
Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bongeunsa Temple will appeal to history buffs. Step off the beaten path and head to Grevin Museum and Changgyeonggung Palace. Next up on the itinerary: steep yourself in history at Changdeokgung Palace, get engrossed in the history at Seoul Museum of History, examine the collection at Trickeye Museum Seoul, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Jogyesa Temple.

For other places to visit, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Seoul trip planning tool .

Hamburg, Germany to Seoul is an approximately 16.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. Traveling from Hamburg to Seoul, you'll lose 8 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Hamburg in August, expect Seoul to be a bit warmer, temps between 35°C and 27°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Mon) early enough to go by car to Sokcho.

Things to do in Seoul

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Aug 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Gyeongbokgung Palace ©
Gyeongbokgung Palace
Changgyeonggung Palace ©
Changgyeonggung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace ©
Changdeokgung Palace

1
night
Sokcho, South Korea

Sokcho ©
Tourism in Sokcho mostly revolves around the local national park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Tue): enjoy the sea views from Sokcho Lighthouse Observatory, then contemplate the long history of Gwongeumseong Fortress, and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Seoraksan National Park.

To find ratings, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, use the Sokcho trip itinerary maker site .

Traveling by car from Seoul to Sokcho takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Tue) early enough to drive to Gyeongju.

Things to do in Sokcho

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Find places to stay Aug 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Seoraksan National Park ©
Seoraksan National Park
Gwongeumseong Fortress ©
Gwongeumseong Fortress
Sokcho Lighthouse Observatory ©
Sokcho Lighthouse Observatory

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 5th (Wed), contemplate the long history of Cheonmachong Tomb, contemplate the long history of Royal Tomb of Queen Seondeok, then steep yourself in history at Bulguksa Temple, and finally contemplate the long history of Yangdong Folk Village. Keep things going the next day: explore the activities along Anapji Pond, examine the collection at Gyeongju National Museum, then contemplate the long history of Gyeongju Historic Area, and finally contemplate the long history of Cheomseongdae Observatory.

For more things to do, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Gyeongju trip planner .

You can drive from Sokcho to Gyeongju in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. In August in Gyeongju, expect temperatures between 26°C during the day and 26°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Nara.

Things to do in Gyeongju

Historic Sites Parks Nature
Find places to stay Aug 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Bulguksa Temple ©
Bulguksa Temple
Cheonmachong Tomb ©
Cheonmachong Tomb
Yangdong Folk Village ©
Yangdong Folk Village

1
night
Nara, Japan

Nara ©
The country's first established capital, Nara houses some of the most storied buildings and natural attractions in Japan, with eight World Heritage Sites in total.
On the 7th (Fri), appreciate the history behind Todai-ji Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kasuga Grand Shrine, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nigatsu-do Temple, then explore the galleries of Nara National Museum, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kofuku-ji Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Toshodaiji Temple.

For traveler tips, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Nara road trip planner.

You can do a combination of train and flight from Gyeongju to Nara in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Gyeongju in August: high temperatures in Nara hover around 38°C and lows are around 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Fri) early enough to take a train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Aug 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Toshodaiji Temple ©
Toshodaiji Temple
Nigatsu-do Temple ©
Nigatsu-do Temple
Kasuga Grand Shrine ©
Kasuga Grand Shrine

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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Kifune-jinja Shrine and Ninna-ji Temple. Get some historical perspective at Kennin-ji Temple and Eikando Zenrinji Temple. And it doesn't end there: take in the spiritual surroundings of Tenryuji Temple, explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, take some stellar pictures from Mt. Kurama, and contemplate the long history of Tofuku-ji Temple.

For maps, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Kyoto trip planner .

Traveling by train from Nara to Kyoto takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and subway. In August, daytime highs in Kyoto are 39°C, while nighttime lows are 29°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Mon) so you can travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks Nature
Find places to stay Aug 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Eikando Zenrinji Temple ©
Eikando Zenrinji Temple
Tofuku-ji Temple ©
Tofuku-ji Temple

3
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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Asakusa Shrine and Nezu Shrine. Explore hidden gems such as The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace (Edo Castle Ruin) and Zojo-ji Temple. There's still lots to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Sensō-ji, see the interesting displays at Edo-Tokyo Museum, look for gifts at Murasaki Sports Ueno Honten, and wander the streets of Ueno.

To see ratings, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Tokyo trip planning site .

Take a train from Kyoto to Tokyo in 3 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 up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) so you can catch the train to Nikko.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Museums Parks
Find places to stay Aug 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Asakusa Shrine ©
Asakusa Shrine
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Sensō-ji ©
Sensō-ji

2
nights
Nikko, Japan

Nikko ©
A gateway to a sprawling and diverse national park, a center of Shinto spiritualism and place of Buddhist worship, an emblem of the riches and dominance of the Tokugawa shogunate: Nikko means many things to many people.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Fri): contemplate the long history of Yomeimon (Main Gate), contemplate the long history of Taiyuimbyo Shrine, then explore the striking landscape at Kammangafuchi Gorge, then witness the site of a historic battle at Senjogahara Field, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at Yudaki Falls. On the next day, admire the sheer force of Ryuzu Waterfall, then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Chuzenji, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Rinno-ji Temple.

To see maps, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Nikko online vacation planner .

You can take a train from Tokyo to Nikko in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Tokyo in August, expect nights in Nikko to be about the same, around 29°C, while days are slightly colder, around 32°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) early enough to travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Nikko

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Find places to stay Aug 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Yudaki Falls ©
Yudaki Falls
Yomeimon (Main Gate) ©
Yomeimon (Main Gate)
Taiyuimbyo Shrine ©
Taiyuimbyo Shrine

3
nights
Ishigaki, Japan

Ishigaki ©
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 16th (Sun): kick back and relax at Yonehara Beach, glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, and then stop by Yurateiku Market. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in panoramic vistas at Tamatorizaki Observatory and then add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour.

Plan my Ishigaki trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Do a combination of train and flight from Nikko to Ishigaki in 7 hours. While traveling from Nikko, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Ishigaki, ranging from highs of 38°C to lows of 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Find places to stay Aug 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Kayaking & Canoeing

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