21 Day Japan & South Korea

Seoul - Andong - Daegu - Gyeongju - Busan - Tokyo - Nikko - Kawaguchiko - Mt Fuji - Matsumoto - Nagano - Jigokudani - Takayama - Shirakawago - Kanazawa - Kyoto - Nara - Osaka - Hakone

 

✓ Return international airfares with Singapore Airlines
✓ Return airport transfers
✓ 19 nights twin share accommodation
✓ 19 Breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
✓ Professional English speaking tour guides
✓ Incredible sightseeing
✓ Flexibility to extend your stay
✓ Secure your travel with a deposit today!

 

Backed by our customer service guarantee 

 

From $5,999 Typically
$12,208

Per person twin share
Book Now Departure Dates Itinerary Inclusions

Let Us Inspire You

South Korea welcomes visitors with open arms. Known for its green, hilly countryside dotted with cherry trees and centuries-old Buddhist temples a trip to South Korea combined with Japan goes hand in hand. On crossing the Sea of Japan, step into Japan's vibrant culture and magnificent scenery. Japan has forged a path of modernity but retained its unique ancient traditions, something very few destinations have managed. Traveling the Land of the Rising Sun leaves one's soul refreshed and taste buds tingling.  

 

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“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.”  - Anatole France

Itinerary

21 Day Japan and Korea
Day 1

Australia Seoul

Fly to Seoul via a connecting city. On arrival in Seoul, you will be warmly greeted at the airport by your tour guide and transferred.

Note: some flights may depart the night before

Hotel: 4★ The Palace Hotel Seoul or similar

 

 

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Day 2

Seoul Andong Daegu

Visit the traditional village, Andong, which features traditional houses of the Joseon Dynasty period (1392-1897). In Daegu, take a stroll in Dongseongno Shopping District, a major fashion retail district. The streets are packed with hundreds of stores full of personality that reflect the city’s fast-paced fashion trends. Enjoy magnificent views by taking a cable car to Palgongsan Natural Park.

Hotel: 4★ Daegu Grand Hotel or similar
Meals: Breakfast, lunch

 

 

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Day 3

Daegu Gyeongju

Today we explore the many archaeological sites and temples, royal tombs, and monuments of Gyeongju, the capital of the ancient Silla Kingdom (57 BC – 935 AD). Visit Cheomseongdae Astronomical Observatory, Royal Tumuli Park, Gyeongju National Museum, Bulguksa Temple, and Seokguram Grotto Temple.

Hotel: 4★ Gyeongju Commodore Hotel or similar
Meals: Breakfast, lunch

 

 

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Day 4

Gyeongju Busan

In Busan, we visit Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, situated on the coast of the north-eastern portion of the city and overlooking the ocean. Afterwards, you will have an opportunity to view the waves while looking down through the transparent floor of the 15 metre high Oryukdo Skywalk, which is set over a 35 meter-high coastal cliff. Travel to Gamcheon Culture Village situated on the foothills of a coastal mountain and nicknamed ‘Machu Picchu of Busan’. You will be thrilled by the many alleys cutting through this village, vibrantly decorated with murals and sculptures created by the local residents. Stop at one of Korea’s largest markets, Nampo Dong Gukje Market for a wide variety of goods at affordable prices. Then visit Nurimaru APEC House, a memorial hall and prestigious international conference hall located near Haeundae Beach, offering visitors spectacular views of the nearby natural landscape.

Hotel: 4★ Crown Harbor Hotel Busan or similar
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

 

 

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Day 5

Busan Seoul

This morning, visit Changdeokgung Palace, one of the ‘Five Grand Palaces’ built by the Kings of the Jeoson Dynasty, and Insadong, a street full of traditional Korean antique and art shops, restaurants and tea houses. Continue to Cheonggyecheon Stream and admire this urban oasis before visiting Myeongdong, one of Seoul’s main commercial districts.

Hotel: 4★ The Palace Hotel Seoul or similar
Meals: Breakfast, lunch

 

 

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Day 6

Seoul DMZ Seoul

Visit North Korea’s 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, located within the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), a 44 km drive northwest of Seoul. In the event of an invasion from the North, an entire infantry division could have move through the tunnel in an hour. View North Korean territory, including the Propaganda Village, People’s School, and Gaeseong City – the old capital city of the Goryeo Kingdom – from the Dora Observation Platform. Also visit Freedom Park, dedicated to the 5 million people who left their families and homes in North Korea. North Hall contains displays of North Korean lifestyle, and the Exhibition Hall houses old tanks and planes from the Korean War. Later, try on a hanbok, the traditional attire of the Korean people at Namsan Hanbok Culture Experience Centre before experiencing the city’s best night view at Namsan Tower.

Hotel: 4★ The Palace Hotel Seoul or similar
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

 

 

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Day 7

Seoul Tokyo

After breakfast, transfer to Incheon International Airport for your flight to Japan. On arrival in Tokyo, your friendly tour guide will be waiting at the airport to transfer you to your hotel.

Hotel: 4★ Shinagawa Prince Hotel or similar
Meals: Breakfast

 

 

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Day 8

Tokyo 

Today enjoy a full-day coach tour of Tokyo, starting with Meiji Shrine. The shrine is located within a 170 acre forest in the centre of Tokyo. Constructed of cypress wood and copper, the shrine commemorates Emperor Meiji, Japan’s 122nd emperor, who presided over Japan’s industrial revolution and emergence onto the world stage. Next we visit Asakusa district, and visit Senso-ji Temple. This is Tokyo’s oldest temple, and is dedicated to Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. On the approach to Senso-ji is Nakamise Shopping Street, a centuries-old promenade of shops selling traditional snacks and souvenirs like kimonos and bottles of saké. We will then visit Tokyo Sky Tree. Opening in May 2012, the Skytree is a television and radio broadcast site, and contains a restaurant and two viewing platforms. At 634m, this is the 2nd-tallest structure in the world! We round off the day with a trip to Odaiba, a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay. Built as an island fortress in the 19th century, Odaiba will be a venue location for the 2020 Olympic Games, and is already a popular leisure and sightseeing area.

Hotel: 4★ Shinagawa Prince Hotel or similar
Meals: Breakfast

 

 

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Day 9

Tokyo Nikko Tokyo

Today make your way to the meeting point to begin today's tour to Nikko, a major centre for Buddhism and the Shinto religion. It is located in a valley and surrounded by beautiful deciduous forests and majestic waterfalls. This area is well known for its distinctive architecture made up of a large number of wood carvings and gold leaf decorations on the buildings. This design is unique and not seen elsewhere in Japan. You will also visit Kegon Waterfall (around 100m high) which is the main natural attraction in Nikko. This is the best spot to view maple leaves during autumn. Later, return to Tokyo.

Hotel: 4★ Shinagawa Prince Hotel or similar
Meals: Breakfast

 

 

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Day 10

Tokyo Yokohama Hakone Kawaguchiko

Leaving Tokyo this morning we head to the national park region of Hakone. On the way we explore the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse. These buildings were erected a century ago as customs buildings for Yokohama Port. Requisitioned by the US military after World War 2, in 2002 they were re-purposed as a cultural and shopping complex. Next, we visit the incredible Daibutsu (Great Buddha) at Kotoku-in Temple. Constructed in 1252 and once covered in gold, the bronze Great Buddha is an impressive sight. This is followed by a boat cruise on Lake Ashi. The lake sits within Mount Hakone, and is famed for its views of Mount Fuji. Boats inspired by western warships cruise the scenic lake, and the picturesque forested region has been popular for hikers and sightseers for centuries. Transfer to Kawaguchiko, where you will enjoy dinner before spending the night in your traditional hot-spring onsen guesthouse.

Hotel: 3★ Motosu View Hotel or similar
Meals: Breakfast, dinner

 

 

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Day 11

Kawaguchiko Mount Fuji Matsumoto Nagano

Today we visit Mount Fuji‘s 5th Station. Here, above the clouds, we will view the sacred mountain’s enormous summit if weather permits. We then transfer to Matsumoto (approx. 2.5h), where we visit Matsumoto Castle, also known as ‘Crow Castle’ due to its dramatic black exterior. The keep, completed around 1593, is listed as a National Treasure of Japan. We then continue to Nagano, site of the Olympic Winter Games 1998.

Hotel: 3★ Hotel JAL City Nagano or similar
Meals: Breakfast

 

 

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Day 12

Nagano Jigokudani Kamikochi Takayama

We leave the hotel today to visit Jigokudani – the famous Monkey Park where, in winter, Japanese Macaques bathe in volcanic hot springs. We’ll also visit picturesque Taisho Pond (Taishoike) in Kamikochi. This is a beautiful scenic destination, with Mt. Hotakadake and Mt. Yakedake visible in the distance, and the scenery around the lake changes dramatically with the passing seasons. Next, visit Kappa Bashi (Kappa Bridge) – where you’ll find a suspension bridge over the river, affording spectacular views of the surrounding mountains before continuing to the Edo Period city of Takayama.

Hotel: 4★ Hida Hotel Plaza or similar
Meals: Breakfast

 

 

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Day 13

Takayama Shirakawago Kanazawa

Travel to Shirakawago Village, a World Heritage site where 114 Gassho-style houses with steeply-pitched roofs in the shape of a triangle. Built many hundreds of years ago, these historic houses stand together in a beautiful natural setting. On the way, we stop at Takayama’s Old Town, a wonderfully well-preserved slice of old Japan, with houses and shops dating back to the Edo period (1600-1868). As well as the charming architecture, there are unique cafes and a number of old saké breweries. Enjoy some free time to explore the sights, and then it’s on to Shirakawago, where from the site’s observation deck you can enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of this UNESCO-listed village of thatched-roof houses among the gorgeous mountainous scenery. Transfer to Kanazawa to rest for the evening.

Hotel: 3★ Hotel Kanazawa or similar
Meals: Breakfast

 

 

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Day 14

Kanazawa Kyoto

This morning visit Kenrokuen Garden – one of Japan’s top three landscape gardens. Developed over more than 200 years, starting in 1620, the garden contains almost 9000 trees and 200 plant species. We also visit Nomura House, the historic residence of the Nomura Samurai clan. The house and grounds provide an insight into the lifestyle of the Samurai class during the 16-19th centuries, and feature beautiful architecture, gardens, and décor such as painted screen doors. We then continue on to Kyoto where on arrival is at leisure.

Hotel: 4★ New Miyako Hotel or similar
Meals: Breakfast

 

 

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Day 15

Kyoto

Today is a full free day in this golden city to explore at your own pace.

Hotel: 4★ New Miyako Hotel or similar
Meals: Breakfast

 

 

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Day 16

Kyoto Nara Kyoto

This morning, we travel the short distance to Nara by bus, and visit Kinkakuji: Golden Pavilion. This is a Zen temple and World Heritage site with two floors covered entirely in thin layers of pure gold, set within a beautiful classical Zen garden. The detailed architecture incorporates three distinct architectural styles – Shinden, Samurai, and Zen. Next, we visit Heian Jingu (Heian Shinto Shrine), a replica of an ancient imperial palace, and a symbol of the rebirth of Kyoto after World War 2 – the enormous vermillion orange tori gate is unforgettable! Next, we visit Todaiji (Great Eastern Temple), with its Great Buddha Hall – the world’s largest wooden building. This impressive building houses a huge 15m tall bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana. Then, wander through Nara Park, where over 1,200 tame sika deer roam freely. 

Hotel: 4★ New Miyako Hotel or similar
Meals: Breakfast

 

 

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Day 17

Kyoto Osaka

We leave Kyoto today and travel to Osaka, on arrival visiting Osaka Castle which played a major role in the unification of Japan during the Azuchi-Momoyama period in the sixteenth century. The castle is elaborately fortified, and decorated in an attractive white and green colour scheme. After exploring the extensive castle and grounds, we move on to something more modern – the Umeda Sky Building Floating Observatory, which provides an unparalleled elevated view of Osaka. The viewing platform is suspended between two 40-story towers, at 173 metres above the city streets. The Namba-Shimsaibashi area in the city’s South encompasses the city’s premier shopping districts, full of boutiques, designers outlets, restaurants and bars. We end the day with dinner at an Izakaya. These are Japanese-style bars which serve a variety of side dishes along with saké and beer – their grilled meat skewers are particularly good!

Hotel: 4★ Hotel Vischio Osaka by Granvia or similar
Meals: Breakfast, dinner

 

 

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Day 18

Osaka  Himeji  Osaka

Today we visit the famous 'White Heron' Himeji Castle, which is the largest surviving example of a traditional Japanese castle. Comprising 83 buildings, the white roof of this UNESCO-registered complex is said to evoke the wings of a heron taking flight – hence the popular name ‘Shirasagi-jō’ – White Heron Castle. In 1945 an American firebomb was dropped into the top floor of the keep, but didn’t ignite, and the castle was renovated in 1956. Himeji Castle is the most visited in Japan, and the site offers some wonderful views of surrounding Himeji city.

Hotel: 4★ Hotel Vischio Osaka by Granvia or similar
Meals: Breakfast

 

 

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Day 19

Osaka

Today is a free day at leisure to enjoy the many sights and activities Osaka as to offer.

Hotel: 4★ Hotel Vischio Osaka by Granvia or similar
Meals: Breakfast

 

 

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Day 20

Osaka

Today marks the end of your incredible tour through Japan. At the appropriate time, board the shuttle to transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Meals: Breakfast

 

 

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Day 21

Australia 

Arrive home in Australia today.

 

 

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Inclusions & Fine Print

Inclusions

  • Return international airfares with Singapore Airlines (or Cathay Pacific, JAL or All Nippon Airways if unavailable)
  • One-way flight from Seoul to Tokyo
  • Return airport transfers
  • 19 nights 3-4 star twin share accommodation including a traditional hot-spring onsen guesthouse in Kawaguchiko   
  • 19 Breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
  • incredible sightseeing including all entry fees as per the the itinerary
  • The services of professional tour guides in both South Korea and Japan
  • Dedicated coach transportation
  • All tipping

Unbelievable sightseeing included

  • Seoul - Visit the infamous DMZ
  • Andong - See the traditional village over 500 years old
  • Daegu - Enjoy magnificant views on the cable car to Palgongsan Natural Park
  • Gyeongju - Learn about the ancient Silla Kingdom
  • Busan - Step out on the Oryukdo Skywalk looking at the waves below
  • Busan - Stop at one of Korea’s largest markets, Nampo Dong
  • Tokyo - Visit the famous Asakusa district
  • Tokyo - See one of Japan's most revered shrines, the Meiji shrine
  • Tokyo - Ascend the 634m Sky Tree observation tower
  • Nikko - Travel to the major Buddhist centre of Nikko
  • Nikko - UNESCO World Heritage Site Nikko Toshogu
  • Yokohama - Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse
  • Hakone - Visit the incredible Daibutsu (Great Buddha) at Kotoku-in Temple 
  • Hakone - Cruise on Lake Ashi with views of Mt Fuji
  • Kawaguchiko - Traditional hot-spring onsen guesthouse
  • Mt Fuji - Gaze at Mount Fuji from the 5th Station
  • Matsumoto - Explore one of Japan’s most iconic castles, Matsumoto Castle
  • Nagano - Visit Jigokudani and the famous snow Monkey Park 
  • Shirakawago - World Heritage site with 114 Gassho-style houses
  • Takayama - Takayama’s Old Town with Edo period houses
  • Kanazawa - Kenrokuen Garden – one of Japan’s top three landscape gardens
  • Kanazawa - Samurai district
  • Kyoto - Enjoy a full free day to explore at your own pace
  • Kyoto - Visit Kinkakuji - the Golden Pavilion
  • Nara - Wander through Nara park with over 1,200 Sika deer
  • Nara - Discover the Todaiji Temple and its great Buddha statue
  • Osaka - Umeda Sky Building Floating Observatory
  • Osaka - Namba-Shinsaibashi shopping district

Deposits

Secure your package with a deposit of $2,500 per person. You will then be invoiced for final payment 120 days prior to departure.

How to extend your stay

Some customers like to enhance their holiday by arriving early and/or staying behind after the tour concludes. If you wish to choose one of these options, please follow these steps:

  1. Follow the ‘book now’ prompts.
  2. After selecting your departure date and completing your bedding configuration details, please select if you wish to 'arrive early' and/or 'stay behind' in the 'extra services' field.
  3. In the 'special requests' field, please specify your extension requirements.
  4. Complete the remaining booking requirements and click ‘pay now’.
  5. After finalising your purchase, a member of our reservations team will be in contact with you to discuss your extension request.

A $250 per person supplement plus any fare difference applies if you wish to confirm your extension. You will be contacted after purchase for collection of this payment. All additional accommodation and sightseeing is at your own arrangement.

Cherry Blossom dates

The cherry blossoms (sakura) usually bloom in the last week of March and the first two weeks of April. Cherry blossom are extremely seasonal and we can't guaruntee they will bloom during your visit. However, for your best chance of viewing cherry blossoms select the following dates when making your purchase:

  • 22 March 2019
  • 29 March 2019

Fine Print

Booking Process

  • Follow the ‘Book Now’ prompts.
  • Select your travel dates, departure city, number of travellers, room preference and any extra services.
  • Click ‘Checkout’ to login or create an account. You’ll need an account to review your details and download documentation.
  • Click ‘Pay Now’ to proceed to payment.
  • Note - all payments are processed by our trusted gateway Paypal where you are given two options:
  • Pay using your Paypal account OR
  • Pay using your credit card by proceeding as a guest – a Paypal account is not required.
  • Once your order is complete, you will be prompted to complete a booking form so that we can fulfil your booking.
  • Your booking is confirmed once your booking form is submitted and you can begin the countdown to your Inspiring Vacation!

Airfare Information 

  • You will travel with the full-service airline, Singapore Airlines (or Cathay Pacific, JAL or All Nippon Airways if unavailable)
  • Economy internal airfare Seoul to Tokyo (operated by local carriers)
  • Adelaide, Perth customers will be flown to Sydney or Melbourne to board their international flight.
  • Some flights will require a minimum of 1 transit (maximum 2).
  • All tickets will include 20kgs checked baggage.
  • Once ticketed, flights are non-refundable. Any changes will be subject to the airline rules and change fees.
  • Full names as per passport (including all middle names) are required.
  • Any airline schedule changes or cancellations are beyond our control.

Exclusions

  • Visas
  • Travel insurance (recommended)
  • Anything not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Optional activities 
  • Personal expenses

Travel Insurance

We strongly encourage all travellers to purchase travel insurance to protect yourself against the unexpected.

We have partnered with QBE Insurance to offer our customers competitive rates for their Travel Insurance. You can book comprehensive or budget cover, earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points and save 25% on retail rates.

Simply click HERE to arrange your policy.

Documentation: Final documentation including e-tickets and hotel details will be provided approximately 30 days prior to travel.

Single Supplement: Single supplement is $1,850 per person in addition to the twin share price.

Land only: A $800 per person reduction from the twin share price applies if you wish to arrange your own airfares. Should you wish to purchase land only, please select this option in the booking process, under 'Departure City'.

Triple share: Not available.  

Premium Economy Upgrade: Not available.

Business Class Upgrade: Available from $4,300 per person in addition to the standard price (subject to availability). Please request ‘Business Class’ in the ‘Special Requests’ field prior to making your purchase and you will be contacted to arrange payment.

Itinerary: The total length of the tour in days includes time spent in flight and is subject to change depending on the flight schedule. Please refer to the day-by-day itinerary for the time spent on land.

Group Size: 20-40 people

Children: Children must be 2 years old or over and share a room with parents at all times. Children are the same price as adults.

Accommodation: The accommodation listed is subject to change. Any changes will be of an equal or higher standard. Bedding configurations (double or twin) are requests only. All efforts will be made to meet your preferences, however, any changes are beyond our control.

 

Departure Dates

Friday
22 MAR 2019
Surcharge
+$300 p.p
SOLD OUT Book Now
Friday
29 MAR 2019
Surcharge
+$300 p.p
SOLD OUT Book Now
Friday
05 APR 2019
Surcharge
+$300 p.p
SOLD OUT Book Now
Friday
12 APR 2019
SOLD OUT Book Now
Friday
03 MAY 2019
Friday
17 MAY 2019
Thursday
20 JUN 2019
Friday
12 JUL 2019
Wednesday
14 AUG 2019
Thursday
12 SEP 2019
Surcharge
+$300 p.p
Book Now
Friday
04 OCT 2019
Surcharge
+$300 p.p
Book Now
Friday
01 NOV 2019
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