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14-Day Classic Japan and South Korea Tour

A Trip to Discover Rich History and Culutre of Japan and South Korea

Immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of Tokyo's bustling streets, soak in the natural beauty of Hakone's hot springs, and witness the traditional charm of Kyoto's temples and gardens. Discover the ancient capital of Nara, visit the vibrant city of Osaka, and pay homage to Hiroshima's poignant history. Finally, delve into the modern metropolis of Seoul, with its dynamic culture and captivating landmarks. This is a mesmerizing journey through two rich and diverse destinations.

We can customize this trip by adding anything you're interested in and scheduling days to fit your pace. We would happily organize a unique theme or activities for birthdays, young children, anniversaries, etc.

  • Days:14±
  • Best For:Slow Pacers and Couples
  • Departure date: Up to you
  • Sample Price:From US$6,300p/p, (2 per room)*
  • Flights: SE Asia's included (international on request)

*The price is based on a private tour for 2 people.

Tour Map

14-Day Classic Japan  and South Korea Tour

Tour Highlights

Here are the fantastic attractions, the most must-do activities selected by Asia Highlights (AH Hand-Picked), and exclusive cultural experiences offered by Asia Highlights (Only With AH) included in this tour:

Learn about Japanese emperors by visiting the Imperial Palace and the Meiji Shrine.

the Imperial Palace of Japan

Experience the breathtaking scenery of Hakone from multiple perspectives.

view of Mt. Fuji in Hakone

Take a leisurely stroll through Nara Park and interact with over 1,200 tame deer.

feeding the deer at Nara Park
the tag of ah hand picked

Absorb the profound message of peace in Hiroshima.

the Hiroshima Dome with sakura

Enjoy an exciting journey aboard the famous Shinkansen bullet train.

the Shinkansen train passing a bridge

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Suggested Itinerary for Inspiration

The itinerary serves as a mere example of a personalized tour, designed exclusively for you.
Your preferences will shape the authentic journey. We are fully prepared to craft an tailor-made tour that fulfills your desires.

Day 1
Tokyo Arrival

Your private guide will be ready to meet and greet you at the arrival hall in Tokyo. A comfortable private car with an experienced driver will transfer you directly to your hotel. Your guide will help you to check-in.

Day 2
Tokyo Discovery | Meiji Jingu Shrine and Sensoji Asakusa

Meiji Jingu Shrine: Explore the serene grounds of Meiji Jingu Shrine, offering peaceful walking paths amidst a lush forest. The shrine's buildings exude tranquility, providing a serene escape from the bustling city. Immerse yourself in Shinto customs like making offerings at the main hall, purchasing charms and amulets, or writing wishes on ema. On Sunday mornings, keep an eye out for traditional wedding processions, where the bride dons a white kimono and hood, and the groom wears a formal black robe while walking under a vibrant red parasol. Don't miss the lively atmosphere and festivities during shrine festivals.

Sensoji Asakusa: Discover Tokyo's oldest temple, Sensoji, housing a sacred statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. As you approach through grand gates and behold a striking five-story pagoda, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Nakamise Dori, lined with colorful stalls. Explore this bustling marketplace, where you can experience the smoke purification ritual and try your luck with fortunes at Tokyo's most iconic temple.

Sensoji AsakusaSensoji Asakusa

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden: Escape the bustling city at Shinjuku Gyoen, one of Tokyo's largest and most popular parks. Just a short walk from Shinjuku Station, this paid park offers spacious lawns, winding paths, and tranquil scenery. The garden encompasses different styles, including a traditional Japanese landscape garden with ponds, islands, and bridges. Immerse yourself in the meticulously manicured greenery, admire the pavilions, and don't miss the Kyu Goryotei (Taiwan Pavilion), built to celebrate the Showa Emperor's wedding.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (In Spring): Visit Shinjuku Gyoen in spring to witness the breathtaking spectacle of over 1,000 cherry trees in bloom. The garden hosts different varieties that bloom at various times, extending the viewing period. While alcohol is prohibited, this ensures a serene and contemplative experience during Hanami (cherry blossom viewing). Admire the combined beauty of Eastern and Western gardening styles as delicate petals gracefully fall around you, creating an unforgettable ambiance.

Harajuku: Indulge in the vibrant and fashionable atmosphere of Harajuku, located between Shibuya and Shinjuku on the Yamanote Line. Explore Takeshita Street, lined with trendy boutiques showcasing the latest fashion trends and photogenic food options. Experience the eclectic styles, from Harajuku goth to candy-colored decora kei and punk. Treat yourself to an array of snacks, including classic crepes, rainbow grilled cheese, giant cotton candy, and Korean hattogu. As you stroll along Cat Street towards Shibuya, discover hipster cafes, vintage fashion stores, and international brands for a truly diverse shopping experience.

Day 3
Tokyo to Fujikawaguchiko to Hakone by private car | Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway and Arakura Fuji Sengen Shrine

Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway: Soar to the peak of Mt. Tenjo on the Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway and prepare to be mesmerized by the awe-inspiring views of Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi below (weather conditions permitting). Once you reach the observation deck, take in the breathtaking scenery, participate in activities inspired by local folktales, and immerse yourself in the natural splendor that surrounds you.

Arakura Fuji Sengen Shrine: Located in the picturesque Arakurayama Sengen Park, Arakura Fuji Sengen Shrine and its elegant pagoda proudly stand as symbols of Japan's rich heritage. Position yourself perfectly to capture magnificent views of distant Mt. Fuji, and during cherry blossom season, witness the convergence of three iconic Japanese elements in one stunning shot.

Lake Kawaguchi: Among the five lakes near Mt. Fuji, Lake Kawaguchi is the most easily accessible from Tokyo. On a calm and clear day, be captivated by the mirror-like reflection of Mt. Fuji on the serene waters of the lake. Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere, soak in hot springs, indulge in fishing, visit museums, and explore the various attractions. Lake Kawaguchi serves as the perfect destination for a relaxing getaway from the bustling cities of Tokyo or Yokohama. Throughout history, it has remained a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts.

Lake KawaguchiLake Kawaguchi

Kawaguchiko Music Forest: Step into the enchanting world of the Kawaguchiko Music Forest, a delightful theme park and museum dedicated to automatic musical instruments. Explore the main hall adorned with antique music boxes, mechanical organs, and other captivating instruments from European countries. Do not miss the highlight - a grand French fairground organ from 1905 that fills an entire hall and performs every 30 minutes. Stroll through the park's European-style gardens, offering splendid views of Mt. Fuji across the lake.

Day 4
Hakone Discovery | Free Day in Hakone

Explore Hakone with ease using your pass for the day. This convenient pass allows you to freely hop on and off various modes of transportation within a specified area. With the pass, you also enjoy discounted admission to multiple attractions in the region. The pass covers eight different forms of transport, including trains, buses, cable cars, cableways, and boats, allowing you to easily navigate and explore all the major sights of the area. Alternatively, you can choose to relax and indulge in the hotel's hot spring bath for a truly rejuvenating experience.

Day 5
Hakone to Kyoto by train | City Transfer

Make your way to Odawara station.Using your Hakone pass and train ticket to board the shinkansen., On arrival at the station, make your own way to your hotel., Odawara (Hakone) to Kyoto by Hikari Train in Standard Class.

Day 6
Kyoto Discovery | Nijo Castle and Kinkakuji Temple

Nijo Castle: Immerse yourself in the rich history of Kyoto at Nijo Castle, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city. This sprawling complex showcases the grandeur of ancient Kyoto with its two concentric rings of fortifications, the Ninomaru Palace, the remnants of the Honmaru Palace, and exquisitely designed gardens.

Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion): Discover the awe-inspiring Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion. Located in northern Kyoto, this Zen temple boasts the remarkable sight of its top two floors completely covered in gold leaf. Originally a retirement villa for shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, it now serves as a Zen temple. Marvel at the impressive structure situated beside a picturesque pond, and appreciate its resilience after enduring fires throughout history.

Bamboo Grove: Immerse yourself in one of Kyoto's most iconic sights at the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. As you walk through this enchanting grove located in the Sagano village, you'll be captivated by the magical ambiance created by the sunlight filtering through the towering bamboo.

Bamboo GroveBamboo Grove

Sagano Train Ride for Hanami: Embark on a leisurely 25-minute journey aboard the Sagano Romantic Train, traveling from Saga Torokko Station to Kameoka Torokko Station. Be prepared to be enchanted by the breathtaking vistas of the Hozukyo Ravine that unfold before you. As you relax on the nostalgic train, reminiscent of 19th-century railways, soak in panoramic views of lush forests and majestic mountains.

Day 7
Kyoto to Osaka and Nara by private car | Fushimi Inari Shrine and Nara Park

Fushimi Inari Shrine: Explore the enchanting Fushimi Inari Shrine, a sacred site located on the outskirts of Kyoto. You might recognize its elegant layout from the movie "Memoirs of a Geisha." Walk along the iconic path adorned with vibrant red torii gates, which makes for a picturesque setting and an ideal spot for memorable photos.

Matcha-making Experience: Embark on a journey into the world of Matcha at Kanbayashi Shunsho Honten, a revered tea company in Uji, Kyoto with a legacy spanning over 450 years. Join us (Asia Highlights) for an immersive hands-on experience where you'll learn the ancient art of creating Matcha, from grinding tea leaves with a traditional stone mill to preparing the tea. The experience culminates in a traditional tea ceremony, allowing you to savor the freshly made Matcha and gain a deeper appreciation for this centuries-old Japanese tea tradition. This is more than just a tea tasting; it's a cultural immersion in the heart of Japan's tea heritage.

Nara Park: Discover the wonders of Nara Park, an expansive natural sanctuary nestled at the foot of Mt. Wakakusa. This park teems with friendly and playful deer that roam freely. Immerse yourself in the serene surroundings, which also feature ancient temples hidden amidst pristine woods and a picturesque lake inhabited by turtles and carp. Nara's temples and shrines, older than many in Kyoto, offer a truly unique and historical experience.

Nara ParkNara Park

Todaiji Temple: Marvel at Todaiji Temple, a significant and renowned cultural landmark in Nara. Founded in 752, this temple served as the head temple for all provincial Buddhist temples in Japan. Its influence was so powerful that the capital was moved away from Nara to minimize its impact on government affairs in 784. Although the current reconstruction from 1692 is two-thirds the size of the original, the Daibutsuden (Big Buddha Hall) remains one of the world's largest wooden buildings. Step inside to behold the immense bronze statue of Vairocana Buddha, standing at 15 meters tall and flanked by two Bodhisattvas.

Nishiki Market: Indulge your senses at Nishiki Market, a renowned traditional food market in Kyoto. Experience the vibrant atmosphere as you navigate through centuries-old shops offering a wide variety of fresh and seasonal foods. Take delight in sampling traditional Japanese delicacies like sushi, pickles, mochi, and matcha. Make the most of the opportunity to taste different flavors with many vendors offering free samples. Nishiki Market is a treat for both locals and tourists and promises an authentic culinary adventure.

Day 8
Kyoto to Hiroshima by train | Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park: Located at the heart of Hiroshima City, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park stands as a poignant reminder of the devastating atomic bombing that occurred on August 6, 1945, during World War II. Established near the epicenter of the blast, the park serves as a testament to the city's commitment to lasting world peace. Within the park, you'll find the iconic Atomic Bomb Dome, a UNESCO World Heritage site, as well as the Cenotaph for the Atomic Bomb Victims, which bears the names of all those who lost their lives. Several other memorials also grace the park, creating a solemn and reflective atmosphere.

Itsukushima-jinja Shrine: Visit the majestic Itsukushima Shrine situated on Miyajima Island, just a short distance from Hiroshima. This ancient shrine, believed to have been built in 593, has undergone multiple reconstructions following natural disasters, yet it retains the essence of the shrine constructed by Taira no Kiyomori, a renowned military leader from the late Heian period (794-1185). The vibrant red pillars and white walls of the main shrine, set against the backdrop of lush greenery and the deep blue sea, perfectly complement the floating torii gate—a symbol of Miyajima. In recognition of its cultural significance, the shrine was inscribed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1996.

Itsukushima-jinja ShrineItsukushima-jinja Shrine

Round-trip Ferry to Miyajima Island: Embark on a scenic round-trip ferry ride to Miyajima Island, known for its picturesque charm and enchanting landscapes. The ferry conveniently connects Miyajimaguchi on the mainland to the captivating Miyajima Island itself. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the pleasant boat journey offering captivating views of the surrounding beauty. The ferry provides comfortable seating and ample space for passengers to unwind as they immerse themselves in the tranquil natural surroundings.

Day 9
Hiroshima to Osaka | City Transfer

Make your way to Hiroshima station.Using your train ticket to board the shinkansen., On arrival at the Osaka station, make your own way to your hotel.

Day 10
Osaka Discovery | Osaka Castle Park and Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum

Osaka Castle Park: Take a journey through time at Osaka Castle, an iconic landmark that reveals the turbulent power struggles during the foundation of the Edo era in 1603. While its history dates back to 1583, the main tower, which has become a symbol of the castle, was reconstructed in 1931. Explore the nearby history museum, which delves into the castle's rich past. The expansive park surrounding the castle offers a serene oasis for locals and visitors alike, providing ample space for jogging, cycling, and relaxation.

Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum: Immerse yourself in the world of Kamigata Ukiyoe at this unique museum. Kamigata Ukiyoe refers to the woodblock prints created and sold in the Osaka-Kyoto region during the Edo Period (1603-1868). Unlike the prints from the Edo area, Kamigata Ukiyoe embraced a realistic style that captured the true essence of its subjects, particularly the renowned Kabuki actors. The museum showcases approximately 50 works in its permanent exhibition, offering a glimpse into the distinctive artistic expression of the Kamigata region.

Dotonbori: Get ready to dive into the heart of Osaka's bustling nightlife with a visit to Dotonbori. This vibrant district, split by the elegant Dotonbori Canal, is a magnet for both tourists and locals. Neon signs illuminate the sky, enticing clubs and lively bars pulsate with energy, and a wide array of restaurants tempt visitors with delectable local delicacies. Experience the vibrant atmosphere and culinary delights as you immerse yourself in the legendary spirit of Dotonbori.


My Cupnoodles Factory Experience at Cupnoodles Museum (Osaka Ikeda): Embark on a unique and interactive experience at the CupNoodles Museum in Ikeda, Osaka. This museum celebrates the creation of instant noodles by Momofuku Ando and offers the opportunity to participate in the "My Cupnoodles Factory" workshop. Start by selecting a cup from the vending machine, then unleash your creativity by designing your own one-of-a-kind cup noodles using markers. Choose your preferred soup flavor and toppings from a variety of options to personalize your culinary masterpiece.

Day 11
Osaka to Seoul | City Transfer

Your tour guide will transfer you to Osaka Airport for the charming Seoul flight. Upon arrival in Seoul, your private guide and driver will greet and transfer you to the hotel.

Day 12
Seoul Discovery | Gyeongbok Palace

We return to Seoul to explore the magnificent Gyeongbok Palace, the largest and most majestic of the five palaces. Construction of this historic site began in the 1300s, and during the 1400s, its beauty flourished. Tragically, it suffered fires and was ultimately destroyed during the Japanese occupation. However, it has been reconstructed multiple times and now stands once again in all its former glory. Take a leisurely stroll through the palace grounds as your knowledgeable guide introduces you to the various buildings and their significance.

Gyeongbokgung Palace in autumnGyeongbokgung Palace in autumn

Next, we make a drive-by of the Presidential Blue House, the official residence of the current President of Korea. Please note that photography is not allowed in this area. Afterward, we visit the Presidential Museum, which was established in 2010 to coincide with the APEC meeting held in Seoul that same year. The museum provides an encompassing view of Seoul's past, present, and future, offering insight into the city's evolution and the entire country of Korea.

Jogyesa Temple is widely regarded as the "head temple" of Buddhist temples in Korea. Take a moment to immerse yourself in the serene and spiritual atmosphere of this significant establishment.

Day 13
Seoul Discovery | Demilitarized Zone

Depart for Imjinggak at DMZ, where we will have the opportunity to see significant landmarks such as the Freedom Bridge and Mangbaeda. Mangbaeda serves as an altar for Koreans to pay their respects to their families in North Korea. This area is especially bustling during the Lunar New Year and Korean Thanksgiving Holidays, as it provides the closest proximity families can reach toward North Korea.

Next, we will transfer to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) and embark on a shuttle bus ride to explore the intriguing 3rd tunnel and visit the DORA Observatory. From the observation deck, you can catch glimpses of North Korea and gain a deeper understanding of the divided country by visiting the Media Hall, which sheds light on the disparities between North and South Korea.

We will then transfer to a local restaurant for a delicious lunch before journeying back to Seoul. In the evening, get ready for a unique experience of non-verbal comedy at the Nanta 'Cookin' Show. Combining traditional Korean drumming with a modern kitchen setup, this lighthearted comedy and exhilarating drumming will leave you wanting more!

Afterward, we will visit the renowned Dongdaemun Market, a shopper's paradise where you can find a wide variety of goods. Explore the vibrant stalls and immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere of this famous market.

Day 14
Seoul Departure

Our guide will help you transfer from your hotel to Seoul Airport for departure with independentcar/van and guide.

Design Your Ideal Trip with Our Travel Expert

Exceptional experiences can be added to brighten a honeymoon trip, a family vacation, a birthday, or satisfy personal interests.

Our Service Includes:

14 days from
US$6,300 p/p
Private tour for 2 people in low seasons. Price varies based on program, travel date, number of people, chosen hotel. We accept payments in multiple currencies (GBP, AUD, CAD, EUR...).
  • Private transfers and English-speaking tour guide
  • All guided sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary
  • Hand-picked star-rating accommodations
  • Breakfasts at hotels and lunches for every guided day
  • Governmental taxes

Tour code: ah-cx-37

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