21 days in Japan & South Korea Itinerary

21 days in Japan & South Korea Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Japan & South Korea Itinerary

Start: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Fly:  30 h
1
Tokyo, Japan
— 2 nights
Drive:  4 h 30 min
2
Takayama, Japan
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
3
Kyoto, Japan
— 3 nights
Train + Fly:  6 h
4
Ishigaki, Japan
— 1 night
Fly:  2 h
5
Miyakojima, Japan
— 3 nights
Fly + Bus:  3 h 30 min
6
Onna-son, Japan
— 2 nights
+2
Bus + Fly + Train:  5 h 45 min
7
Seoul, South Korea
— 1 night
Train + Fly:  29 h
End: Buenos Aires, Argentina

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.
Get some historical perspective at Sensō-ji and Tokyo National Museum. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Ginza and Minato Mirai 21. There's much more to do: take a stroll through Odaiba, don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine, see the interesting displays at Samurai Museum, and admire the natural beauty at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

For ratings, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Tokyo vacation planner.

Buenos Aires, Argentina to Tokyo is an approximately 30-hour flight. You can also do a combination of ferry and flight; or do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone difference moving from Argentine Time (ART) to Japan Standard Time (JST) is 12 hours. Traveling from Buenos Aires in May, expect Tokyo to be somewhat warmer, temps between 28°C and 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) early enough to drive to Takayama.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trip

Minato Mirai 21
Find places to stay May 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Minato Mirai 21 ©
Minato Mirai 21
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple

3
nights
Takayama, Japan

Takayama ©
Hidden high up in the Japanese Alps, Takayama remained largely cut off from the rest of Japan for centuries, allowing the local culture to grow in relative isolation.
Visit Takayama Jinya and Ainokura Gassho Community for their historical value. Head to Okuhida Fukuji Onsen Asaichi and Curnontuefor plenty of shopping. Venture out of the city with trips to Ainokura Kaiyu Hodo (in Nanto) and Shirakawa-mura (Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses, & more). The adventure continues: appreciate the extensive heritage of Higashiyama Walking Course, see the interesting displays at Takayama Showa Museum, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Daio-ji Temple.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Takayama fast, fun, and easy.

Getting from Tokyo to Takayama by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. In May, plan for daily highs up to 27°C, and evening lows to 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites Shopping Museums

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Nanto
Find places to stay May 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya
Ainokura Gassho Community ©
Ainokura Gassho Community
Kanda house ©
Kanda house

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.
Explore hidden gems such as Chion-in Temple and Maiko Antiques Kyoto. Your inner history buff will appreciate Nijo Castle and Kinkaku-ji. Explore Kyoto's surroundings by going to Osaka (Osaka Castle & Dotonbori). There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, take a stroll through Gion, make a trip to Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ryoanji Temple.

To find reviews, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read Kyoto trip planning app .

Drive from Takayama to Kyoto in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In May in Kyoto, expect temperatures between 29°C during the day and 17°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) to allow time to travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trip

Osaka
Find places to stay May 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Kinkaku-ji ©
Kinkaku-ji

1
night
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 22nd (Wed): stop by Pinion Direct Shop, appreciate the extensive heritage of Island Countryside Settlement, then enjoy the sand and surf at Kondoi Beach, and finally stroll around Banna Park. Keep things going the next day: stroll around Kabira Park, enjoy the sand and surf at Yonehara Beach, then visit a coastal fixture at Cape Hirakubozaki, and finally enjoy breathtaking views from Tamatorizaki Observatory.

To see ratings, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Ishigaki trip planner.

You can do a combination of train and flight from Kyoto to Ishigaki in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. Traveling from Kyoto in May, things will get a bit warmer in Ishigaki: highs are around 34°C and lows about 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Kondoi Beach, Island Countryside Settlement
Find places to stay May 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach

3
nights
Miyakojima, Japan

Miyakojima ©
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Step off the beaten path and head to Sunayama Beach and Irabu Bridge. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Aragusuku Beach and Hora Gyoko no Hama Beach. Next up on the itinerary: kick back and relax at Toguchi no Hama, tour the pleasant surroundings at Yonaha Maehama Beach, snap pictures at Ikema Ohashi Bridge, and look for all kinds of wild species at Yabiji.

To find other places to visit, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, use the Miyakojima trip planner .

You can fly from Ishigaki to Miyakojima in 2 hours. May in Miyakojima sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 27°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Onna-son.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay May 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach
Aragusuku Beach ©
Aragusuku Beach
Toguchi no Hama
Toguchi no Hama

2
nights
Onna-son, Japan

Located on the coast in the middle of the island, Onna-son has become known for its beaches and seaside economy.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Mon): steep yourself in history at Nakijin Castle Ruins, then enjoy the sand and surf at Diamond Beach, then stop by Onna Station Nakayukui Market, and finally head outdoors with Outdoor Activities. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 28th (Tue): buy something for everyone on your list at AEONMALL OKINAWA RYCOM, appreciate the extensive heritage of Shurijo Castle, and then get to know the fascinating history of Okinawa Peace Memorial Park.

For more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Onna-son trip maker site .

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Miyakojima to Onna-son in 3.5 hours. Expect slightly colder evenings in Onna-son when traveling from Miyakojima in May, with lows around 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Tue) early enough to travel to Seoul.

Things to do in Onna-son

Shopping Historic Sites Outdoors

Side Trips

Okinawa Peace Memorial Park, Shurijo Castle, Nakijin Castle Ruins, AEONMALL OKINAWA RYCOM
Find places to stay May 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Okinawa Peace Memorial Park ©
Okinawa Peace Memorial Park
Nakijin Castle Ruins ©
Nakijin Castle Ruins

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Wed): wander the streets of Myeongdong Shopping Street, then get to know the fascinating history of Cheonggyecheon Stream, then wander the streets of Bukchon Hanok Village, and finally explore the historical opulence of Gyeongbokgung Palace. On the 30th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the historical opulence of Changdeokgung Palace, then wander the streets of Insadong, and then get a taste of the local shopping with Namdaemun Market.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Seoul journey planner .

Fly from Onna-son to Seoul in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train. Traveling from Onna-son in May, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Seoul, with lows of 16°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Seoul

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Shopping
Find places to stay May 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Gyeongbokgung Palace ©
Gyeongbokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace ©
Changdeokgung Palace
Myeongdong Shopping Street ©
Myeongdong Shopping Street

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