Japan & South Korea in Focus

25 Days
Tokyo to Incheon
From (GBP)
£ 14,745
£ 14,345
Dates & Pricing

2020/2021 Tokyo > Incheon

From Kimonos to Hanboks

From interacting with a real life geisha to meeting an industrial robot, Japan is a delightful rollercoaster ride. While South Korea, with its heavily guarded DMZ and peaceful temple retreats, is a wondrous paradox.
Begin your exploration in the land of the rising sun by preparing authentic sushi with your own hands, dining at a ninja-themed restaurant and washing it all down with sake. Learn to play the traditional Taiko drums, dodge the crowds at the busiest intersection in the world and release an origami crane. As your journey carries you to South Korea, you will be amazed at the various intricacies that set it apart from its neighbours. On your journey through the fascinating land, you will ride its high-speed trains, admire the old-fashioned hanok houses, don the traditional Hanbok and experience the tranquility of a slow city.
Tour Map
Tour Code:
DJSK
Duration:
25 days
Departure City:
Tokyo
Return City:
Incheon

25 Day Itinerary

  1. Day 1 - Depart UK

    Fly to Tokyo from a choice of UK airports with selected airlines.

  2. Day 2 - Tokyo

    Welcome to Tokyo. This evening, enjoy your Japanese welcome reception and dinner at your hotel in Tokyo, your home for the next three nights.

    Meals Included: Dinner

  3. Day 3 - Tokyo

    Begin the day in the beautiful Imperial Palace’s East Gardens then dress up in your chefs clothes to make your own sushi lunch with the help of a local chef. Afterwards wander through Harajuku, the epicentre of Tokyo’s teenage youth. 

    Enrich

    Given by Taiko Masters, partake in an interactive, private group demonstration and lesson in playing the Taiko drums. 

    Freechoice Dining

    Choose from dining at a ninja themed restaurant or culturally immerse yourself in the traditional Japanese evening Izakaya bar scene serving Yaki-tori and Kushiyaki. 

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  4. Day 4 - Tokyo

    Visit the Asakusa district, paying your respects at Sensoji temple. 

    Freechoice

    Visit the Imperial Shinto Meiji Shrine, before walking across the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world in Shibuya. Alternatively, wander through picturesque Shinjuku-Gyoen Gardens before witnessing the Shinjuku entertainment district come alive at dusk. 

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

  5. Day 5 - Tokyo > Five Lakes > Hakone

    Venture deep into the stunning scenery of Kawaguchiko Area. Discover the incredible workmanship involved in creating kimonos at the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum. Near Hakone, cruise on Lake Ashinoko then take a cable car ride up the hot springs of the Owakudani geothermal area. Enjoy a Special Stay at your hotel overlooking Lake Ashinoko.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  6. Day 6 - Hakone > Kyoto

    Relax in your Green (Business) Class seats on the Shinkansen train to the culturally rich city of Kyoto. 

    Enrich

    Partake in a Japanese tea ceremony while dressed in a traditional Japanese kimono, a great photo opportunity.

    Settle into your four night stay at Kyoto.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  7. Day 7 - Kyoto

    Explore the World Heritage listed Tenryu-ji Temple before gliding through the surreal Arashiyama Bamboo Grove by traditional rickshaw. Move to the famous Kinkaku-ji or Golden Pavilion before having free time this afternoon.

    Enrich

    After a short stroll through the Gion area, be entertained at dinner with a Samurai Kembu show. After the show you can choose to learn the way of the Samurai yourself in a lesson in swordsmanship.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  8. Day 8 - Kyoto

    Freechoice

    Revel in the atmosphere of the ancient preservation districts or visit the Silver Pavilion before strolling along the famous Philosopher’s Walk.

    This afternoon enjoy some free time for shopping or relaxation.

    Enrich

    Tonight’s dinner will allow you to interact with a Maiko who’ll host your meal presentation. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn about what is involved in becoming a Geisha and the art of Japanese hospitality.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

  9. Day 9 - Kyoto

    Begin your day with an early visit to Fushimi Inari Shrine then continue to Nara, where you’ll visit Todaiji Temple and see deer in Nara Park. Later, stop for a sake tasting at a sake museum.

    Ryokan Upgrade - For a unique insight into Japanese culture, choose to stay tonight in a Ryokan (at additional cost, must be pre-booked before departure). This traditional Japanese Inn has tatami mat flooring with futon beds, sliding shoji paper doors, onsen hot spring baths and private facilities, and includes dinner and breakfast.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

  10. Day 10 - Kyoto > Hiroshima

    Relax on the Shinkansen to Hiroshima and check into hotel for two nights enjoying the views from your Deluxe Corner View rooms.

    Enrich

    Experience an emotional visit to the Peace Park and Museum before visiting Orizuru Tower to create
    your own special origami crane offering.

    Tonight, sample Okonomiyaki, a delicious Japanese-style pancake, a specialty of the region. 

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  11. Day 11 - Hiroshima > Miyajima Island

    Sail by ferry to Miyajima Island to visit Daisho-in Temple and the floating Torii Gate at the Itsukushima Shrine. This afternoon see industrial robots perform around the Mazda car factory on your guided visit. 

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

  12. Day 12 - Hiroshima > Osaka

    En-route to Osaka on the Shinkansen train, stop at Himeji Castle and marvel at Japan’s most spectacular and one of the few remaining original feudal castles. This evening, admire the view of Osaka at night from the Floating Garden Observatory. Then settle in for three memorable Special Stay nights in an Executive Room.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  13. Day 13 - Osaka > Asuka

    Drive to the cradle of Japanese culture in Asuka.  Wander through the Inabuchi terraced rice paddy fields, the ancient Tobiishi stone bridge and visit Ishibutai tumulus, the largest known megalithic structure in Japan. 

    Enrich

    Learn about the history, life and training routine of a sumo wrestler during a private visit to a Sumo Museum in Kehayaza, where Sumo originated. After the welcome ceremony, see a demonstration of Jinku and the wrestlers in action in the dohyo.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

  14. Day 14 - Osaka

    Freechoice

    Wander through Shinsaibashi-suji shopping avenue, followed by Kuromon Ichiba Market, known as Osaka’s kitchen or visit the Museum of History and the rebuilt Osaka Castle.

    This afternoon is free for some final shopping before tonight’s farewell dinner.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

  15. Day 15 - Osaka > Seoul

    Bid farewell to Japan and transfer to Kansai airport for your flight to Seoul, South Korea. Upon arrival in Incheon, transfer to your hotel Seoul for a four night Special Stay in Executive Floor rooms.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

  16. Day 16 - Seoul

    Today is yours at leisure. Meet your Korean Tour Director and fellow travellers at tonight’s welcome briefing and dinner.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

  17. Day 17 - Seoul

    Begin your exploration of Seoul with a visit to arguably the most beautiful of the five Grand Joseon Palaces, Changdeokgung Palace.  Your visit to this World Heritage-listed palace would not be complete without a stroll through the Secret Garden contained within. This afternoon witness the changing of the Royal Guard at Deoksugung Palace before moving to the Korean Furniture Museum, housing over 2,000 pieces of Joseon Dynasty furniture in 10 restored traditional Korean houses known as hanok. Also located nearby is the Korean Stone Art Museum.

    Sundowners

    From the outdoor stone garden of the Korean Stone Art Museum, enjoy a panoramic view of Seoul at dusk with canapés and drinks and get to know your fellow travellers.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

  18. Day 18 - Seoul > DMZ

    Leave early this morning to drive to the De-militarised Zone (DMZ) for a morning of exploration, and views of North Korea. Visit the Dora Observatory, Dorasan Station and Freedom Bridge and go underground by monorail to the third infiltration Tunnel. Return to Seoul this afternoon and shop at the largest traditional market in South Korea, Namdaemun Market, located next to the Great South Gate of the original old city.

    Enrich

    Immerse yourself into the Korean culture at the Hyo Jae Cultural Hall where you can try on Hanbok, the traditional Korean dress, or try your hand at Bojagi, a traditional Korean wrapping cloth. Enjoy a meal of Bibimbap, a rice preparation with meat and vegetables, with your host Lee Hyo-Jae, known as Korea’s Martha Stuart.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  19. Day 19 - Seoul > Gwangju

    Relax in your Deluxe Class seats on the KTX high-speed train ride to Gwangju. Feel at peace on your walk through the Juknokwon bamboo forest before visiting Samjinae village to experience ‘slow living’ at the designated ‘Slow City’.  Try your hand at making Hangwa, Korean traditional sweets before returning to Gwangju to check into your hotel for a night at leisure.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

  20. Day 20 - Gwangju > Gyeongju

    Begin your drive to Mount Gayasan National Park.  Visit the Haeinsa Temple, famous for being the home of the Tripitaka Koreana since 1398, a collection of 81,350 wooden printing blocks with the Buddhist Scriptures carved on them.  

    Enrich

    This afternoon at Gayatgo Village, enjoy a hands on experience crafting your own mini Gayageum, a zither-like 12-string Korean musical instrument. It is yours to take home as a keepsake.

    Continue onto Gyeongju, known as the ‘museum without walls’ and check into your hotel for a two night stay.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  21. Day 21 - Gyeongju

    Visit the National Museum, home to relics from the Silla Kingdom when Gyeongju was the capital. View the Cheomseongdae Observatory, Tumuli Park, a collection of royal Silla tombs and Anapji Pond. Lunch is a hands on cooking class of cuisine from the Shilla Dynasty. Later, visit World Heritage-listed Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto. 

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

  22. Day 22 - Gyeongju > Busan

    Begin our drive to Busan with a stop en route at Tongdosa, one of the most important temples in Korea and the head temple of the Jogye Order.

    Freechoice

    Visit the Gamcheon Culture Village, once a modest mountainside community that has been transformed into an art hotspot, or ride the Danubi ‘Train’ around Taejongdae Park Rocky Cliff, famous for its seascapes. Alternatively, visit Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, a Buddhist temple built in 1376.

    Check into your hotel in Busan on the beachfront for a two night stay.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

  23. Day 23 - Busan > Jinhae

    From Busan Tower, admire the views of the coastline and the port city before moving to Jagalchi Fish Market, the largest in South Korea. Next, visit BIFF Square and nearby Kukje Market, known for its Mokja Golmok – Let’s Eat Alley.
    This afternoon, drive to Jinhae and visit Jinhae Dream Park with the famous Yeojwacheon Stream. Also visit the NFRDI Environment Eco-Park and Jangboksan Sculpture Park to see the red and orange foliage in autumn and delicate blossoms in spring.

    Freechoice

    Enjoy fine Italian cuisine at the converted art gallery, Kitchen Dongbaek or sample high quality Korean sirloin BBQ at Daedo Korean restaurant.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

  24. Day 24 - Busan > Seoul

    Travel in your Deluxe Class seats on the KTX high-speed train to Seoul.  Upon arrival, drive to the Gangnam District to have your photo taken in front of the Statue of Gangnam Style. Spend some free time at the COEX underground shopping mall, the largest in Asia. Later, check into your hotel before savouring your sumptuous Korean Bulgogi BBQ feast as your farewell dinner.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

  25. Day 25 - Seoul

    Say farewell to this intriguing land and transfer to Incheon airport for your onward journey.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

Pricing & Availability