Japan and South Korea are becoming bucket list destinations for many travelers, especially families with teenagers and retired couples. They are neighboring countries in East Asia, and it only takes about two hours to fly from Osaka in Japan to Seoul in South Korea. It is possible to spend 2 weeks visiting both countries: 7–10 days in Japan and around 7 days in South Korea.
In Japan you could see spectacular Mount Fuji and breathtaking cherry blossoms, experience traditional ryokan accommodation, have an afternoon tea ceremony in kimonos with a geisha... South Korea is famous for its full-city Seoul views from Namsan, sandy beaches of Haeundae, great sea views from Jeju Island, and tasty Korean BBQ...
Do I Need a Visa to Visit Japan and South Korea?
Nationals of many countries are exempt from needing a visa to enter Japan, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Most travelers can stay in Japan without a visa for 90 days.
To encourage tourism in Visit Korea Year (2023–2024), from April 1, 2023 to December 31, 2024, K-ETA (Korea Electronic Travel Authorization) will be temporarily waived for 22 countries including the U.S., the UK, Canada, and Australia.
Where to Go in Your 2 Weeks in Japan and South Korea?
Touring Japan and South Korea is suitable for a family or couple's vacation, due to this combo's plentiful experiences and charming attractions.
Top Destinations in Japan:
- Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka are top cities in Japan you shouldn't miss.
1) Appreciate the blend of history and modernity in Tokyo: view the magnificent Mount Fuji, feel the old vibe of Meiji Shrine and Sensoji Temple, make sushi at a local home, try on samurai armor, shop anime products to satisfy your kid's interest, and have a day tour in Hakone for onsen bathing.
2) Discover the tradition-filled city of Kyoto: watch geishas perform in Gion District, immerse yourself in a classical tea ceremony, stay at a ryokan to enjoy Japan's old-style accommodation, try on kimonos for a memorable family photo, and have a close encounter with friendly deer in Nara.
3) Experience the prosperous trade city of Osaka: sample street food in Dotonbori District, make cup noodles based on your preference at Cup Noodle Museum, and spend a great time in the movie atmosphere of Universal Studios.
Top Destinations in South Korea
- Seoul, Busan and Jeju Island are well-known cities in South Korea.
1) Immerse yourself in the vibrant capital of South Korea: view Seoul's oldest palace — Gyeongbok, admire the sunset from Namsan, visit the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) to appreciate a cherished and guarded peace, and enjoy the lively nightlife in Hongdae.
2) Revel in the bustling seaside city of Busan: feed seagulls on Haeundae Beach, stroll through Gamcheon Cultural Village with its colorful houses, and sample the freshest seafood.
3) Feel the relaxed pace of Jeju Island: enjoy brilliant sea views, stroll on sandy beaches, and visit the natural landscapes created by volcanic activity.
Sharon has been very helpful since the…
Sharon has been very helpful since the beginning coordinating our itinerary in order to accommodate everything we want to see, it been great working with herMore
May, Jul 2023
When I first book I was scared of what…
When I first book I was scared of what to expect, but oh my God! What an amazing experience this has been, from Sharon to all the guides Shawn and Mr. Ho, such amazing people! Their work is excellentMore
Saul Velez, Jul 2023
Albee was very helpful and responsive…
Albee was very helpful and responsive in helping me make plans for their 10 day Japanese tour.More
Bhavini Patel, Jul 2023
Alisa was a perfect tour consultant
Alisa responded to my numerous questions with efficiency and accuracy. She was constantly suggesting options to make the trip more enjoyableMore
Matha Goram, Jul 2023
I highly Recommend Asia Highlights
For our first guide Jun, he was amazing. Very accommodating. Kept in good communication & kept us on time for our activities. Reached out to me the night before to confirm meet times and locations. Our driver for this time was also so kind & driver was always on time. For our second Guide , Ho. He went above and beyond. He stayed in great communication. Stayed later with us on one of the days because we were worried about riding the train back alone but wanted to visit at the shopping center a littler longer, so he stayed with us and made sure we got off on the right stop! During our time with him he took pictures of us and sent them to us! He was very knowledgeable about every place we visited. He was kind and patient with our large group. He made our trip easy & memorable. The driver we had for this timeframe was also kind & always on time! We felt a bond with both guides given to us! If you want an easy going, stress free trip book with “Asia Highlights”!!!More
Jessalynn Flores, Jul 2023
Working to put together a custom trip…
Working to put together a custom trip with Alissa has been a great experienceMore
Marc, Jul 2023
Wonderful Service from Sharon!
Sharon at Asia Highlights has been a HUGE help in planning our trip to Japan later this year. From her initial contact to finalization of the plan, she has been very responsive, professional, patient, and knowledgeable. She was able to quickly propose an amazing itinerary and helped us customize it for our interests. She also made many great recommendations and gave us tips for the trip. I wasn’t familiar with Asia Highlights before I reached out, but after Sharon’s wonderful service, I have full confidence in them. I can’t wait for the trip and I hope it’s as awesome as Sharon’s service!!!More
Ali Tahir, Jul 2023
We had a wonderful time in Japan with guides Moni and Kazuko and with Jan in Singapore. Will always remember this trip!More
Happy Customer, Jun 2023
Just got to say
Just got to say, Monica was great in every way! So sweet and helpful with planning, itineraries, answering questions… would love to meet her in person! Thank you Monica!More
Teri, Jun 2023
Monica is fantastic
Monica is fantastic. She understood our needs, was very responsive and planned a perfect vacation for us. Highly recommend.More
Philip Sheldon, Jun 2023
Me and my son are traveling to Japan
Me and my son are traveling to Japan. Albee is magnificent. Extremely efficient, helpful, trustworthy. I am very happy she is helping us with my son's dreaming trip.More
Ana Letícia Urbanin, Jun 2023
A great way to plan a dream vacation
Due to circumstances, we had to delay our trip to Japan so this review is only about the process of designing the trip. Albee was always available, responsive to our goals, and competent. Based on how involved he was with our family trip, we know we will be back next year and resuming the plan he built. Really impressed with the quality and extent of resources we found through Albee and KimKim.More
KC, May 2023
Yeliz - Asia Highlights
Yeliz was extremely helpful and patient during our Japan trip planning and answered all my various questions. Really looking forward to our upcoming trip to Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Kyoto and Osaka!More
Cyndie, May 2023
Sharon’s was very patient and helpful…
Sharon’s was very patient and helpful when navigating me through the trip planning process. She helped me plan a very exciting and extravagant trip.More
Jonny Abad, May 2023
Wonderful 10 day trip in Japan!!!
Well planned trip by Alisa . Everything was well scheduled, guides and drivers were excellent!! The cars were extremely comfortable and the hotel she chose for us was beautiful!! Enjoyed planning with her she was very professional and always offered other choices.More
Lianne Stone, May 2023
11 days trip to Japan
I am planning my trip to Japan in November with Sharon's help and she has provided amazing customer service.She is very responsive and put together very quickly an incredible plan for 11 days in Japan. She provided recommendations and made changes based on our interests and budget. She also provided information about visa restrictions and the best way to get tickets for transportation services. Thanks so much Sharon, looking forward to this trip!More
LE, May 2023
Hi Cathy! I just want to thank you for making our Japan trip so much fun & memorable! We loved everything that you had scheduled for us! All the guides and drivers were great & punctual! We love Japan so much that we’re planning to go back next year to different part of Japan! We’ll definitely contact Asia Highlights for our trip again! SereneMore
Serene Storslett, May 2023
Quick, easy and detailed service
Alisa was our advisor from Asia highlights and she prepared for us a wonderful 28 day trip to Japan, taking into consideration our needs and desire not to be traveling everyday and to have a mixture of slow and busy days. We've not yet taken our trip, but very much looking forward to it Thank you Alisa for the quick response and wonderful itineraryMore
Lynette Whittle, Apr 2023
Sharon Huang did an excellent job in planningour 15 day Cherry Blossom Japan tour. Shewas available during our trip to answer our questions and readily agreed to the itinerary changes.Everything was arranged - accommodation,breakfast, guide, car, entrance fees and train tickets. The guides were knowledgeable, and managed the tour very efficiently. The drivers were punctual and very patient. We visited must see places in and near Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima. We also got to experience Japanese Tea ceremony, Sushi making, Sake tasting, shopping etc.We highly recommend Asia Highlights for your travel needs.More
Madhu, Apr 2023
I organized a trip to Japan for my
I organized a trip to Japan for my parents who don’t speak English and Alisa was so amazing helping make an itinerary for them. They needed a Spanish guide and she coordinated everything so they wouldn’t have any trouble when they got there. She was so patient changing and adjusting the itinerary to their needs and wants, it’s been a total pleasure working with her and she always responds promptly to any question I have. I definitely recommend this company and if you can ask to work with Alisa.More
Luisa, Apr 2023
Contact us for more suggestions based on your interests.
2-Week Japan and South Korea Itineraries: The Best 2 Options
Here are two itinerary options matching families' and couples' needs and covering the major attractions in Japan and South Korea.
1) A Classical Route (For Families)
This itinerary would be nice for a first family time in Japan and South Korea. It includes experiencing kid-favored animation elements, trying on kimonos, feeding deer in Nara, and, on the last 3 days, relaxing on the sandy beaches of Busan.
Here is a well-organized itinerary for your inspiration:
- Days 1–3: Tokyo, Japan
- Days 4–5: Hakone
- Days 6–8: Kyoto
- Day 9: Osaka and fly to Seoul in South Korea
- Days 10–12: Seoul
- Days 13–15: Busan
Days 1–3: Tokyo
Tokyo is the top city for entry into Japan, and international flights offer many options. Visit the historical Meiji Shrine, feel the Edo vibe and take a manpower rickshaw in Asakusa, and make sushi at a local home. For anime lovers, you can buy your favorite anime products in Akihabara and have a happy time in the Pokémon Center or J-World.
Spending a day in Disneyland or Disney Sea would be a good choice as well.
Days 4–5: Hakone
Hakone is the home of onsens (hot spring baths). Stay at a ryokan with an onsen to enjoy an incredibly relaxing time with your family, and visit Lake Ashi on a replica pirate ship.
Days 6–8: Kyoto
Kyoto is an impressive medieval capital of Japan where geisha, sake, tea ceremonies, and ryokan stays are the essence of the city.
- Visit the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine and orange-red torii gates to understand the history of Japanese shrines.
- Have an afternoon tea with geishas in Gion District, and try on kimonos for memorable photos.
- Sleep on a tatami at a ryokan to experience the best of traditional Japanese accommodation.
- Participate in an authentic tea ceremony in a tea house.
- Spending a day in Nara. Feeding the friendly deer at Nara Park could be a great family moment.
Day 9: Osaka
Sample delicious street food like takoyaki (octopus balls) in Dotonbori. Depart from Kansai International Airport and fly to Seoul, Korea.
Days 10–12: Seoul
Seoul is the energetic capital city of South Korea. Its Korean food and K-Pop are famous around the world.
Visit Seoul's biggest and oldest palace — Gyeongbok Palace, try on Hanbok and meander around the quiet Korean traditional village of Bukchon Hanok, have a full view of the city from Namsan, and sample delicious Korean rice cakes, bibimbap ('mixing rice'), or kimchi (Korean pickles).
Days 13–15: Busan
Busan is the second-largest city in South Korea and a flourishing port city. Enjoy the comfortable sea breeze and feed seagulls in Haeundae, take a leisurely walk around Gamcheon Cultural Village with its multicolored houses, and visit Haedong Yonggung Temple — a Buddhist temple with stunning sea views.
Suggested reading: 2-Week Japan Itineraries for Families, Couples
Let us help you plan your trip! Contact us and we will create a trip based on your group size, time, budget, interests, and other requirements.
2) A Route Full of Natural Beauty (For Retired Couples)
For a couple (or family) who want to discover the deeper rural life in Japan and South Korea, this itinerary allows you to travel at a laid-back pace. Visit traditional villages in both countries, interact with locals, and see the World Natural Heritage on Jeju Island.
Here is a hand-picked itinerary summary with more detail following:
- Days 1–3: Tokyo, Japan
- Days 4–6: Takayama, Shirakawa-go, Kanazawa
- Days 7–9: Kyoto
- Day 10: Osaka, fly to Seoul in South Korea
- Days 11–13: Seoul
- Days 14–15: Jeju Island
Days 1–3: Tokyo
Tokyo has perfect blend of history and modernization. Try on samurai armor at Samurai Museum for a cool photo, sample freshly-prepared sashimi at Tsukiji Market, and visit a Japanese garden with amazing scenery.
Suggested day trips from Tokyo:
- Spend a day at Fuji Five Lakes to see the spectacular Mount Fuji perfectly framed.
- Relax in an onsen with your partner in Hakone.
- Nagano is 200 km (130 miles) from Tokyo. You can see monkeys bathing in hot springs, and ski in winter (December to February).
Days 4–6: Takayama, Shirakawa-go, Kanazawa
Explore Japan's picturesque countryside away from the crowded cities.
- Takayama: wander around the well-preserved townhouses and taste delicious Hida beef.
- Shirakawa-go: View traditional Gassho-zukuri farmhouses. If you go in January or February, you can see their beautiful winter lighting.
- Kanazawa: Purchase gold-leaf products and sample Japanese sake at a brewery.
Days 7–9: Kyoto
To experience traditional history and culture in depth in Kyoto, the best ways are to see its shrines, meet its geishas, and stay at an authentic ryokan.
Appreciate the ancient atmosphere in Nijo Castle and Kinkaku Temple, meander around the Gion district to see the beautiful geishas in kimonos and enjoy a high-class Kaiseki at a ryokan.
Suggested day tours from Kyoto:
- Arashiyama is definitely a good place to relax: medieval Tenryu Temple, lush bamboo groves, and the sightseeing train will make your trip worth it.
- Nara is popular with travelers because you can feed the lovely deer at Nara Park.
Day 10: Osaka
Visit outstanding Osaka Castle, and leave from Kansai International Airport on a short flight to Seoul, Korea.
Days 11–13: Seoul
As the capital, Seoul contains all the essence of South Korea. Hike in scenic Bukhansan National Park, taste authentic Korean street food at local Gwangjang Market, and take a slow walk at Cheonggyecheon, which is quiet-but-huge recreation space in the downtown area.
Days 14–15: Jeju Island
Jeju Island, an island formed by volcanic activity, is a good place to relax. Enjoy a wonderful sunrise or sunset on Seongsan Ilchulbong ('Sunrise Peak') — a World Natural Heritage tuff cone, visit the Manjanggul lava cave, and walk on the sandy beaches to appreciate stunning sea views.
The above represents popular choice of attractions, but you can simply tell us your preferences and requirements, and we will customize a tour for you.
How Much Does 2 Weeks in Japan and South Korea Cost?
A 2-week tour of Japan and South Korea costs around US$9,000–10,000 per person based on a group of 2-4 people.
- Private touring in Japan costs about US$350–500 per day per person, and the cost in South Korea is about US$400–500 per day per person, including 4-star hotels, full-day itinerary, tickets for attractions, private cars, and private guides.
- Direct flights from Osaka to Seoul are about US$100–150.
- Travel costs in peak times can be double, especially airfares and hotels. Thus, we recommend you plan ahead and book flights and hotels at least 6 months in advance.
- It's worthwhile to try a night's stay in a traditional Japanese ryokan. They cost around US$300–450 per night.
We promise you a 100% refund of any payments made to Asia Highlights up to 3 weeks before departure (details⇒).
Best Times to Travel to Japan and South Korea
Japan and South Korea have similar climates with four distinct seasons.
The best times to travel to both countries are in spring (April and May) and in autumn (September to October), when you would enjoy pleasant temperatures, less rain, and the best scenery. In spring, you could appreciate blooming cherry blossom, and autumn is the time to enjoy red maples and golden gingkoes.
Summer (June to August) is hot, humid, and sometimes there are typhoons. But this won't affect a well-prepared and flexible journey too much, and prices are lower and attractions less crowded. Summer is the festival season in Japan, so you can experience a variety of lively festivals and fireworks shows.
November to March is cold and dry in most of Japan and South Korea. It's a good time to ski and soak in hot springs in northern Japan. Christmas and New Year is extremely busy in both countries; flights and hotels are easily booked up. So, we suggest you make reservations at least 6 months in advance for a festive-season stay. The weather is OK in November and March compared to summer and winter months, and prices are relatively cheap.
Why Travel with Asia Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)
- Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
- Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
- Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.
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At Asia Highlights, we create your kind of journey — your dates, your destinations, at your pace. You can have any trip tailor made for your travel.