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Essence of South Korea & Japan

17 days Fully Inclusive Classic Group Tour

Essence of South Korea & Japan

This two-week South Korea and Japan adventure gives a fascinating insight into two of Asia's most intriguing countries. Close in proximity yet culturally distinct, this tour offers the perfect way to experience the diversity of the Far East.
  • Fully Inclusive
    Touring with Guides and entrance fees
  • Included Meals
    Breakfasts: 14 , Lunches: 13 , Dinners: 14
  • Flights
    International flights and current taxes
  • Accommodation
    14 nights in 3+/4 star accommodation
  • Group Tour
    Max Group Size: 28
  • Physical Rating 1
    A reasonable level of fitness is required but it's more about spending time on your feet rather than covering large distances. You'll be getting on and off coaches and boats, walking around the sights and climbing some steps.
    Learn More
    Walking, some steps and time on your feet.
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Classic Group Tour
17 DAYS
From $14,090PP
Seoul (3N) Gyeongju (1N) Busan (1N) Fukuoka (1N) Hiroshima (2N) Miyajima Kurashiki Okayama Osaka (2N) Kyoto (2N) Hakone Tokyo (2N)
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Tour Highlights

Our Essence of South Korea & Japan tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine and thoroughly researched to bring you a range of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, many of which are entirely exclusive to us.

Day by Day Itinerary

Seoul (3N) - Gyeongju (1N)- Busan (1N) - Fukuoka (1N) - Hiroshima (2N) - Miyajima - Kurashiki - Okayama - Osaka (2N) - Kyoto (2N) - Hakone - Tokyo (2N)
  • Days 1-2
    Fly overnight to Seoul
    Dinner
    Days 1-2: Fly overnight to Seoul

    Fly overnight to South Korea's dazzling capital, Seoul. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.

    Dinner
  • Day 3
    Explore Seoul
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 3: Explore Seoul

    In Seoul's urban landscape of skyscrapers and nightlife, an immersion of culture and tradition awaits. Start your full-day tour at Gyeongbok Palace for the captivating 'Changing of the Guards' ceremony and a palace exploration. Then, indulge in a Korean cooking class to create and enjoy the flavors of Bibimbap for lunch. Experience the city's beauty from N Seoul Tower and explore the artistic allure of Insadong Antique Alley, a hub of traditional Korean treasures.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 4
    Visit the DMZ
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 4: Visit the DMZ

    Created as a buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea at the end of the Korean War, the DMZ is part of the most heavily militarised border in the world. An early start is needed today as tickets to the DMZ are limited. See the DMZ Theatre & Exhibition Hall and walk along the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, visit Dora Observatory & Station and see the Bridge of Freedom. (Should tickets not be available, take a ride on the DMZ gondola and visit the Odusan Unification Observatory). Return to Seoul explore the huge Gwangjang Market.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 5
    Explore Gyeongju
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 5: Explore Gyeongju

    Embark on a train journey from Seoul to the captivating city of Gyeongju, known as 'the museum without walls' for its abundant cultural relics. Former capital of the Silla Kingdom for over 1,000 years, Gyeongju boasts an astonishing array of tombs, temples, statues, and ruins to explore. In the afternoon, marvel at the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Bulguksa Temple, an architectural gem of Silla heritage, and the awe-inspiring Seokguram Grotto. End your day with a serene stroll along the enchanting Anapji Pond, where echoes of the city's illustrious history resonate amidst the tranquil waters.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 6
    Explore Busan
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 6: Explore Busan

    Begin the day with a visit to Gyeongju National Museum and Tumuli Park's royal tombs. Then, journey by road to Busan, a city brimming with character, traditional charm, and scenic wonders like mountains, beaches, temples, and delectable seafood. In the afternoon, experience the lively atmosphere of Jagalchi Fish Market and Gukje Market's bustling stalls. Later, find tranquility on Dongbaekseom Island before relishing the sandy shores of Haeundae Beach.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 7
    Goodbye South Korea, Hello Japan
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 7: Goodbye South Korea, Hello Japan

    It's time to say goodbye to South Korea and hello to Japan! Board the ferry to Fukuoka.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 8
    From Fukuoka to Hiroshima
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 8: From Fukuoka to Hiroshima

    Discover the allure of Fukuoka, Kyushu Island's largest city, nestled on the northern shores of Japan. Begin your day with a visit to the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shinto Shrine, followed by an exploration of the National Museum, unveiling the city's vibrant past. After lunch, board the bullet train to Hiroshima, a city that resonates with historical significance, symbolizing resilience and peace.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 9
    Hiroshima & Miyajima
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 9: Hiroshima & Miyajima

    Start the day at the Peace Memorial Park and Museum, which pays homage to the victims of the 1945 atomic bomb, followed by a visit to an oyster farm by boat. In the afternoon, hop on the ferry to the holy island of Miyajima and visit the Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Listed Site, located on the edge of the waters of the Seto Island Sea.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 10
    Discover Ancient Kurashiki & Okayama
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 10: Discover Ancient Kurashiki & Okayama

    Transfer by bullet train to Kurashiki to explore the beautifully-preserved Bikan Historical Quarter, where the streets along the banks of the Kurashiki River are lined with white-walled kominka (traditional houses). Next, head to Okayama and visit Korakuen Garden, one of the 'Three Great Gardens of Japan'. Later, board the bullet train to the vibrant city of Osaka.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 11
    Explore Nara & Osaka
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 11: Explore Nara & Osaka

    Travel to Nara and enjoy a leisurely walk through Nara Park to Todaiji Temple before returning to Osaka. Enjoy lunch at Dotonbori Street, famous for its eye-catching signage and billboards and then visit the impressive Osaka Castle.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 12
    Travel to Kyoto
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 12: Travel to Kyoto

    Journey by road to Kyoto – an enchanting city, Kyoto was Japan's capital city for 1,000 years; today it is a testament to ancient Japan, packed with tranquil temples, silk-clad geisha and sublime gardens. Visit Ryoanji, the 'temple of the peaceful dragon' and the famous Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the 'Golden Pavilion'. Later immerse yourself in the culture by experiencing the sacred rituals of a tea ceremony with a tea master.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 13
    Explore Kyoto
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 13: Explore Kyoto

    Visit the vibrant district of Arashiyama and stroll through the bamboo forest with its towering and impressive thickets before trying your hand at the art of fan painting. Next you'll have the opportunity to have lunch with a Maiko – an apprentice Geisha. In the afternoon, visit to one of Kyoto's most famous sites – Fushimi Inari Shrine, renowned for its 10,000 vermilion torii gates, and follow a forested hillside pathway passing numerous shrines along the way.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 14
    Visit Hakone
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 14: Visit Hakone

    Take the bullet train to Odawara. Upon arrival, visit the Hakone shrine, situated on the shores of Lake Ashi and enjoy the breathtaking views of Mount Fuji in the background. After lunch, take part in a Yosegi marquetry craft experience, before continuing by road to Tokyo – Japan's capital city.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 15
    Explore Tokyo
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 15: Explore Tokyo

    Tokyo is the ultimate 24-hour city, but look behind its frantic, high-tech neon-lit frontage and you will find plenty of tranquil backstreets and ancient temples. Begin the day with a visit to Meiji Shrine, before driving past the famous Shibuya crossing. Next, wander through the old district of Asakusa to soak up the atmosphere at Sensoji, Tokyo's most famous and beloved temple. After lunch, visit a bonsai museum and observe a demonstration before trying your hand at pruning your own. End the day with a dinner cruise on the beautiful Tokyo Bay.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Days 16-17
    Fly Tokyo to Australia
    Breakfast
    Day 16-17: Fly Tokyo to Australia

    Fly to Australia, arriving home the same or following day.

    Breakfast
Essence of South Korea & Japan map

Download Tour Dossier & Trip Notes

Accommodation

We draw from a wide range of hotels on our holidays, each one is chosen to suit the tour you are travelling on meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. Here are some examples of the type of hotel you can expect to find on this tour.

South Korea Railways

Book With Confidence

When to go

City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Busan
  • -1
    8
    4
  • 34
  • Gyeongju
  • -3
    6
    1
  • 34
  • Hiroshima
  • 2
    10
    6
  • 45
  • Kyoto
  • 1
    9
    5
  • 50
  • Okayama
  • 1
    9
    5
  • 34
  • Osaka
  • 3
    10
    6
  • 45
  • Seoul
  • -6
    2
    -2
  • 21
  • Tokyo
  • 1
    10
    5
  • 65
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Busan
  • 1
    10
    5
  • 50
  • Gyeongju
  • -2
    7
    3
  • 45
  • Hiroshima
  • 2
    11
    6
  • 67
  • Kyoto
  • 1
    10
    6
  • 68
  • Okayama
  • 1
    10
    6
  • 50
  • Osaka
  • 3
    10
    7
  • 62
  • Seoul
  • -3
    5
    1
  • 25
  • Tokyo
  • 2
    10
    6
  • 58
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Busan
  • 5
    13
    9
  • 81
  • Gyeongju
  • 2
    12
    7
  • 64
  • Hiroshima
  • 5
    14
    9
  • 124
  • Kyoto
  • 4
    13
    9
  • 113
  • Okayama
  • 4
    13
    9
  • 87
  • Osaka
  • 6
    14
    10
  • 104
  • Seoul
  • 2
    10
    6
  • 47
  • Tokyo
  • 4
    14
    9
  • 77
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Busan
  • 10
    18
    14
  • 133
  • Gyeongju
  • 8
    18
    13
  • 83
  • Hiroshima
  • 10
    20
    15
  • 142
  • Kyoto
  • 9
    20
    14
  • 116
  • Okayama
  • 10
    20
    15
  • 92
  • Osaka
  • 11
    20
    15
  • 104
  • Seoul
  • 8
    18
    13
  • 64
  • Tokyo
  • 9
    19
    14
  • 118
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Busan
  • 14
    22
    18
  • 157
  • Gyeongju
  • 13
    23
    18
  • 72
  • Hiroshima
  • 15
    24
    19
  • 178
  • Kyoto
  • 14
    25
    19
  • 161
  • Okayama
  • 15
    24
    20
  • 125
  • Osaka
  • 16
    24
    20
  • 146
  • Seoul
  • 13
    23
    18
  • 106
  • Tokyo
  • 14
    23
    18
  • 145
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Busan
  • 18
    24
    21
  • 207
  • Gyeongju
  • 17
    25
    21
  • 129
  • Hiroshima
  • 19
    27
    23
  • 247
  • Kyoto
  • 19
    28
    23
  • 214
  • Okayama
  • 19
    28
    24
  • 172
  • Osaka
  • 20
    28
    24
  • 184
  • Seoul
  • 18
    27
    23
  • 133
  • Tokyo
  • 18
    26
    22
  • 135
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Busan
  • 22
    27
    25
  • 317
  • Gyeongju
  • 21
    29
    25
  • 195
  • Hiroshima
  • 24
    31
    27
  • 259
  • Kyoto
  • 23
    32
    27
  • 220
  • Okayama
  • 24
    31
    28
  • 161
  • Osaka
  • 24
    32
    28
  • 157
  • Seoul
  • 22
    29
    25
  • 395
  • Tokyo
  • 22
    29
    26
  • 81
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Busan
  • 23
    29
    26
  • 255
  • Gyeongju
  • 22
    30
    26
  • 173
  • Hiroshima
  • 25
    32
    29
  • 111
  • Kyoto
  • 24
    33
    29
  • 132
  • Okayama
  • 25
    33
    29
  • 87
  • Osaka
  • 25
    33
    29
  • 91
  • Seoul
  • 22
    30
    26
  • 364
  • Tokyo
  • 23
    31
    27
  • 113
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Busan
  • 20
    26
    23
  • 158
  • Gyeongju
  • 17
    25
    21
  • 155
  • Hiroshima
  • 21
    29
    25
  • 170
  • Kyoto
  • 20
    29
    25
  • 176
  • Okayama
  • 21
    28
    25
  • 134
  • Osaka
  • 22
    29
    26
  • 161
  • Seoul
  • 17
    26
    22
  • 169
  • Tokyo
  • 20
    27
    23
  • 131
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Busan
  • 14
    22
    18
  • 58
  • Gyeongju
  • 11
    21
    16
  • 63
  • Hiroshima
  • 14
    23
    19
  • 88
  • Kyoto
  • 14
    23
    18
  • 121
  • Okayama
  • 14
    22
    18
  • 81
  • Osaka
  • 16
    23
    19
  • 112
  • Seoul
  • 10
    20
    15
  • 52
  • Tokyo
  • 14
    22
    18
  • 132
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Busan
  • 8
    16
    12
  • 46
  • Gyeongju
  • 5
    15
    10
  • 52
  • Hiroshima
  • 8
    17
    13
  • 68
  • Kyoto
  • 8
    17
    12
  • 71
  • Okayama
  • 8
    17
    12
  • 51
  • Osaka
  • 10
    18
    14
  • 69
  • Seoul
  • 3
    12
    7
  • 52
  • Tokyo
  • 8
    16
    12
  • 128
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Busan
  • 2
    10
    6
  • 23
  • Gyeongju
  • -1
    9
    4
  • 26
  • Hiroshima
  • 4
    12
    8
  • 41
  • Kyoto
  • 3
    12
    7
  • 48
  • Okayama
  • 3
    12
    7
  • 31
  • Osaka
  • 5
    12
    9
  • 44
  • Seoul
  • -3
    4
    1
  • 22
  • Tokyo
  • 4
    12
    8
  • 109

Pricing & Availability

All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price unless a land only option is selected

2024
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1 Room, 2 Guests
  • 1 Room, 2 Guests
  • 1 Room, 1 Guest
    Depart AUStart Date
    Return DateEnd Date
    Price
    Availability

    Additional Price Information

    • Flight Inclusive rates only: These include airline fuel surcharge and taxes. Correct as of 1August 2023. Please note supplements may apply if lead in economy rates are not available.
    • Customary tipping amount of approximately US$30 per person (AU$45) is paid locally in South Korea.
    • Depending on airline schedules, you may depart and/or arrive on Day 2. Extra nights' accommodation (pre or post tour) or stopovers may be required at an additional cost.
    • Flight Inclusive rates only: Based on departures from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide & Perth. Departures from other cities and flight upgrades available on request.
    • Price listed is based on new bookings only

    Group Tour includes

    • International flights and current taxes (excluded if a land only option is selected)
    • All Meals (refer to itinerary)
    • Domestic transportation
    • 3 plus - 4 star accommodation
    • Touring with guides and entrance fees

    Important Information For Your Tour

    Before Booking
    Travel Protection, Booking Conditions
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    Passports & Visas, Travel Guides & Packing Lists, Holiday FAQ’s and more

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