55 days in Japan & South Korea Itinerary

55 days in Japan & South Korea Itinerary

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Route & dates

55 days in Japan & South Korea Itinerary

Start: Vancouver, Canada
Fly:  9 h 30 min
1
Tokyo, Japan
— 8 nights
Train:  30 min
2
Yokohama, Japan
— 2 nights
train:  2 h
3
Tochigi, Japan
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
4
Hakone-machi, Japan
— 2 nights
Drive:  4 h 30 min
5
Nara, Japan
— 3 nights
Train:  1 h
6
Kyoto, Japan
— 3 nights
Train:  30 min
7
Osaka, Japan
— 4 nights
Train:  1 h 45 min
8
Hiroshima, Japan
— 2 nights
Train:  2 h
9
Kumamoto, Japan
— 3 nights
Train:  1 h
10
Kagoshima, Japan
— 3 nights
Train:  2 h
11
Fukuoka, Japan
— 4 nights
Fly:  2 h 45 min
12
Busan, South Korea
— 3 nights
Fly:  2 h 45 min
13
Jeju, South Korea
— 5 nights
Fly:  3 h
14
Seoul, South Korea
— 9 nights
Train + Fly:  13 h 30 min
End: Vancouver, Canada

8
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 in touch with nature at Mt. Takao and Katakuri to Omurasaki no Forest. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Nezu Shrine and Nezu Museum. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tokyo: Yamanashi City Peach Fields (in Yamanashi), Naritasan Omote Sando (in Narita) and Mitsumine Shrine (in Chichibu). There's still lots to do: examine the collection at Fire Museum, take in the spiritual surroundings of Katori Jingu Shrine, contemplate the long history of 上野東照宮 Toshogu Shrine, and browse the exhibits of Kanda Myojin.

To find other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Tokyo trip website .

Vancouver, Canada to Tokyo is an approximately 13.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of shuttle and flight; or do a combination of flight and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 17 hours traveling from Vancouver to Tokyo. In April, Tokyo is a bit warmer than Vancouver - with highs of 22°C and lows of 12°C. On the 2nd (Sat), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Yokohama.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trips

Katori, Kamiyatsuno Okusuu, Sugaonuma, Mitsumine Shrine, Mt. Takao
Find places to stay Apr 24 — May 2:
Highlights from your plan
Fire Museum ©
Fire Museum
Nezu Shrine ©
Nezu Shrine
Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum ©

2
nights
Yokohama, Japan

Yokohama ©
Once a small fishing town, Yokohama was one of the first ports to welcome foreign trade in the 19th century, after which it grew into Japan's second largest city and a bustling metropolis.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Sat): see the interesting displays at Japan Coast Guard Museum Yokohama, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kakuonji Temple, then steep yourself in history at Hase-dera Temple, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kōtoku-in. Here are some ideas for day two: wander the streets of Yokohama Chinatown, examine the collection at HARA Model Railway Museum, explore the world behind art at Yokohama Museum of Art, get to know the fascinating history of Kishamichi Promenade, then steep yourself in history at Soji-ji Temple, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Samukawa Shrine.

To see photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Yokohama trip planner.

Yokohama is very close to Tokyo. May in Yokohama sees daily highs of 27°C and lows of 19°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Mon) so you can go by car to Tochigi.

Things to do in Yokohama

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trips

Kamakura, Samukawa Shrine
Find places to stay May 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Hase-dera Temple ©
Hase-dera Temple
Samukawa Shrine ©
Samukawa Shrine
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine ©
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

2
nights
Tochigi, Japan

Tochigi ©
Tochigi is a city located in Tochigi Prefecture, in the northern Kantō region of Japan. Museum-lovers will appreciate Honda Collection Hall and New Ginger Museum. Your inner history buff will appreciate Gongendo Sakura Tsutsumi and Izurusan Manganji Temple. Take a break from Tochigi with a short trip to Igashira park in Moka, about 50 minutes away. There's much more to do: contemplate the long history of The Site of Shimotsuke Kokucho, take an in-depth tour of Tochigi Dashi Kaikan, get to know the fascinating history of Kuranomachi Old Town, and explore the world behind art at Tochigi Kuranomachi Art Holl.

For reviews, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read our Tochigi trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Yokohama to Tochigi takes 2 hours. When traveling from Yokohama in May, plan for a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Tochigi: temperatures range from 24°C by day to 21°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 6th (Wed) to allow time for travel to Hakone-machi.

Things to do in Tochigi

Historic Sites Museums Theme Parks

Side Trips

Honda Collection Hall, Igashira park, Gongendo Sakura Tsutsumi
Find places to stay May 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Gongendo Sakura Tsutsumi ©
Gongendo Sakura Tsutsumi
Honda Collection Hall ©
Honda Collection Hall
Izurusan Manganji Temple ©
Izurusan Manganji 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.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Wed): take an in-depth tour of Hakone Sekisho and Hakone Sekisho Museum. On the 7th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: admire the masterpieces at The Hakone Open-Air Museum, contemplate the long history of Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu, explore the activities along Lake Ashi (Ashinoko), see the interesting displays at Lalique Museum Hakone, then admire the natural beauty at Little Prince Museum, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Choanji Temple.

To see topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Hakone-machi vacation site .

You can drive from Tochigi to Hakone-machi in 3.5 hours. In May, plan for daily highs up to 21°C, and evening lows to 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Fri) early enough to drive to Nara.

Things to do in Hakone-machi

Museums Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Kintokichikara Manju Omiyage Space
Find places to stay May 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu ©
Lalique Museum Hakone ©
Lalique Museum Hakone

3
nights
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.
Appreciate the collections at Nara National Museum and Akishinokama. Explore hidden gems such as Hase-dera Temple and Muroji Temple. Explore Nara's surroundings by going to Kashihara Jingu (in Kashihara), Asuka-dera Temple (in Asuka-mura) and Omiwa Shrine (in Sakurai). There's much more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Nigatsu-do Temple, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Wakakusa, take an in-depth tour of Kofuku-ji Temple National Treasure Hall, and contemplate the long history of Naramachi Koshino Ie.

To see photos, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Nara trip itinerary planner.

Getting from Hakone-machi to Nara by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: fly; or take a train. Traveling from Hakone-machi in May, expect nights in Nara to be about the same, around 22°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 29°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Mon) so you can catch the train to Kyoto.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trips

Kashihara, Sakurai, Asuka-dera Temple, Muroji Temple, Joruri Temple
Find places to stay May 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Nigatsu-do Temple ©
Nigatsu-do Temple
Hase-dera Temple ©
Hase-dera Temple
Horyu-ji Temple ©
Horyu-ji Temple

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.
On the 11th (Mon), look for all kinds of wild species at Yase Momiji no Komichi, take in the spiritual surroundings of Sanzen-in Temple, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Shisendo Temple. On the 12th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the spiritual surroundings of Mii-dera Temple (Onjo-ji Temple), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kennin-ji Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Chion-in Temple, steep yourself in history at Keage Incline, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Kyoto Gyoen National Garden, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji.

To see topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, reviews, photos, and tourist information, read Kyoto trip planner.

Take a train from Nara to Kyoto in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and subway. Traveling from Nara in May, Kyoto is little chillier at night with lows of 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Thu) so you can take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Parks Shopping

Side Trip

Mii-dera Temple (Onjo-ji Temple)
Find places to stay May 11 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Kennin-ji Temple ©
Kennin-ji Temple
Sanzen-in Temple ©
Sanzen-in Temple
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine ©
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

4
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.
For shopping fun, head to Dotonbori or Hankyu Umeda Honten. You'll explore and learn at Mint Museum and National Museum of Ethnology. Change things up with these side-trips from Osaka: Himeji Castle (in Himeji), Koya-cho (Koyasan Reihokan Museum, Koyasan Danjo Garan, &more) and Kimiidera Temple (in Wakayama). There's still lots to do: contemplate the long history of Kinpusenji Temple, make a trip to Hozenji Yokocho, appreciate the views at Mitarai Valley, and examine the collection at Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda.

Plan trip to Osaka with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Osaka is very close to Kyoto. Expect a daytime high around 29°C in May, and nighttime lows around 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Mon) early enough to travel to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Koya-cho, Yoshino-cho, Himeji Castle, Hirohashibairin, Mitarai Valley
Find places to stay May 14 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Koyasan Danjo Garan ©
Koyasan Danjo Garan
Kongobu-ji Temple ©
Kongobu-ji Temple
Himeji Castle ©
Himeji Castle

2
nights
Hiroshima, Japan

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Mon): stop by Monokoto Store, then steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome, and then pause for some photo ops at Memorial Tower to the Mobilized Students. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: examine the collection at Fukuromachi Elementary School Peace Museum, examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, contemplate the long history of Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, then contemplate the long history of Former Naval Academy, and finally buy something for everyone on your list at Asse.

For maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Hiroshima tour itinerary planning website .

Traveling by train from Osaka to Hiroshima takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and train. May in Hiroshima sees daily highs of 28°C and lows of 18°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Wed) early enough to take a train to Kumamoto.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trips

Onomichi, Paddle Park, Former Naval Academy
Find places to stay May 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan

3
nights
Kumamoto, Japan

Kumamoto ©
Centered around its castle, Kumamoto stands as a historic city with plenty of modern-day appeal to add to the mix.
On the 21st (Thu), take in the spiritual surroundings of Kengun Shrine, learn more about the world around you at Mifune Dinosaur Museum, take an in-depth tour of Sakuranobaba Johsaien, take in the spiritual surroundings of Takahashi Inari Shrine, then stop by KUMAMON products Nagataniya, and finally step into the grandiose world of Kumamoto Castle. Keep things going the next day: steep yourself in history at Yakumo Koizumi Old House in Kumamoto, admire the masterpieces at Shimada Museum of Arts, identify plant and animal life at Ochozu no Mori, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Reigando, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Renge Okunoin Temple, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Aso Mizuki Meguri.

To see maps, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Kumamoto trip itinerary builder site .

Take a train from Hiroshima to Kumamoto in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In May, plan for daily highs up to 29°C, and evening lows to 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sat) to allow time to take a train to Kagoshima.

Things to do in Kumamoto

Historic Sites Museums Wildlife

Side Trips

Mifune Dinosaur Museum, Renge Okunoin Temple, Aso Mizuki Meguri
Find places to stay May 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Catholic Tetori Church ©
Catholic Tetori Church
Sakuranobaba Johsaien ©
Sakuranobaba Johsaien
Mifune Dinosaur Museum ©
Mifune Dinosaur Museum

3
nights
Kagoshima, Japan

Kagoshima ©
Kagoshima sits across the bay from Sakurajima, an active volcano that serves as a symbol of the city and works its way into many aspects of life here.
Get a sense of the local culture at Chiran Peace Museum and Sengan-en. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Museum of the Meiji Restoration and Kamo Hachiman Shrine. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Kagoshima: Ibusuki (Satsuma Denshokan & Michi-no-Eki Iokaido), Kirishima Open-Art Museum (in Yusui-cho) and Kirishima (Sora Stage, Airport Gallery Kagoshima, &more). The adventure continues: tour the pleasant surroundings at Chiran Heiwa Park, explore the world behind art at Nagashima Museum, browse the different shops at Aeon Mall Kagoshima, and steep yourself in history at Bullet Holes from Seinan War.

Discover how to plan a Kagoshima trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Traveling by train from Kumamoto to Kagoshima takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In May in Kagoshima, expect temperatures between 28°C during the day and 17°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Tue) so you can take a train to Fukuoka.

Things to do in Kagoshima

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trips

Kirishima, Minamikyushu, Ibusuki, Kamo Hachiman Shrine, Kirishima Open-Art Museum
Find places to stay May 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Chiran Peace Museum ©
Chiran Peace Museum
Senganen ©
Senganen
Museum of the Meiji Restoration ©
Museum of the Meiji Restoration

4
nights
Fukuoka, Japan

Fukuoka ©
The largest city on the island, Fukuoka formed through the merger of two former cities that had grown up either side of the Naka River.
Visit Yutoku Inari Shrine and Suwa Shrine for their historical value. Discover out-of-the-way places like Yoshinogari Historical Park and Nagasaki Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Fukuoka: Miyajidake Shrine (in Fukutsu), Nanzoin (in Sasaguri-machi) and Saga Shrine (in Saga). The adventure continues: learn more about the world around you at Kitakyushu Museum of Natural History & Human History, examine the collection at Nagasaki Shipyard Museum, walk around Nagasaki Peace Park, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Tochoji Temple.

To find traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Fukuoka vacation builder site .

You can take a train from Kagoshima to Fukuoka in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 28°C in May, and nighttime lows around 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Sat) early enough to travel to Busan.

Things to do in Fukuoka

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trips

Nagasaki, Kitakyushu, Nanzoin, Miyajidake Shrine, Former Takatori House
Find places to stay May 26 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Yutoku Inari Shrine ©
Yutoku Inari Shrine
Nanzoin ©
Nanzoin

3
nights
Busan, South Korea

Busan ©
The country's second city, Busan has often been referred to as South Korea's summer capital.
Get a sense of the local culture at Gyeongju Historic Area and Yeojwacheon Stream. Explore hidden gems such as UN Memorial Cemetery and Junam Reservoir. Change things up with these side-trips from Busan: Gyeongju Hyanggyo Confucian School (in Gyeongju), Paryongsan Doltab (in Changwon) and Tongdosa Temple (in Yangsan). The adventure continues: take in the spiritual surroundings of Haedong Yonggung Temple, browse the eclectic array of goods at Jagalchi Market, take an in-depth tour of Gimhae National Museum, and contemplate the long history of Birthplace of President Roh Moo-hyun.

To plan Busan vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

Traveling by flight from Fukuoka to Busan takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry. May in Busan sees daily highs of 28°C and lows of 16°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Tue) so you can travel to Jeju.

Things to do in Busan

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Changwon, Gimhae, Gyeongju, Tongdosa Temple
Find places to stay May 30 — Jun 2:
Highlights from your plan
Yeojwacheon Stream ©
Yeojwacheon Stream
Gyeongju Historic Area ©
Gyeongju Historic Area
UN Memorial Cemetery ©
UN Memorial Cemetery

5
nights
Jeju, South Korea

Jeju
The main town on the largest of Korea's islands, Jeju has a volcanic landscape protected by UNESCO.
Let the collections at Nexon Computer Museum and Bonte Museum capture your imagination. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at The Islander and Gwaneumsa Temple. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Jeju: Seogwipo (Seongsan Ilchulbong & Songaksan Mountain). The adventure continues: go from sight to sight with Transportation, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Saebyeol Oreum, enjoy the sand and surf at Gimnyeong Seonsegi Beach, and take in the dramatic natural features at Geomunoreum.

To see other places to visit, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, read our Jeju trip builder website .

Traveling by flight from Busan to Jeju takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of car and ferry. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Sun) early enough to travel to Seoul.

Things to do in Jeju

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

Seogwipo
Find places to stay Jun 2 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Hallasan
Hallasan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Geomunoreum ©
Geomunoreum

9
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Nature & Wildlife Tours and Hwaseong Fortress. Head to Myeongdong Shopping Street and Shinsegae Dept. Store Mainfor plenty of shopping. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Seoul: DMZ Haemaru Village (in Paju), Korean Folk Village (in Yongin) and Suwon (Dongbukgongsimdon & Suwon Jeil Church). And it doesn't end there: get engrossed in the history at Gyeongbokgung Palace, appreciate the history behind Jogyesa Temple, stroll through Changdeokgung Palace, and explore the wealth of natural beauty at Bukhansan National Park.

For maps, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, read Seoul day trip planning website .

Traveling by flight from Jeju to Seoul takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and train; or do a combination of ferry and car. In June in Seoul, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 22°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Tue) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Seoul

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Suwon, DMZ Haemaru Village, Korean Folk Village
Find places to stay Jun 7 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Gyeongbokgung Palace ©
Gyeongbokgung Palace
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Trickeye Museum Seoul ©
Trickeye Museum Seoul

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