12 days in Japan & South Korea Itinerary

12 days in Japan & South Korea Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Asia trip planner

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Make it your trip
Fly to Okayama Momotaro Airport, Drive to Matsue
1
Matsue, Japan
— 2 nights
Fly to Nagoya Airfield, Train to Takayama
2
Takayama, Japan
— 1 night
Drive
3
Nachikatsura-cho, Japan
— 1 night
+2
Drive to Kansai International Airport, Fly to Daegu Airport, Drive to Gyeongju
4
Gyeongju, South Korea
— 1 day
Fly
5
Miyakojima, Japan
— 1 day
Fly
6
Ishigaki, Japan
— 2 nights
Fly

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Matsue, Japan

— 2 nights
Matsue sits on the banks of the Ohashi-gawa river, channeling its waters through a series of canals and rivers that add much to the scenic aspect of the urban area.
Mizuki Shigeru Museum and Adachi Museum of Art will appeal to museum buffs. Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse and Former Taisha Station are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Venture out of the city with trips to Izumo (Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo, Hinomisaki Shrine, &more). The adventure continues: take in the spiritual surroundings of Yaegaki Shrine, examine the collection at Gogin Karakoro Museum, take a stroll through Mihonoseki, and admire the masterpieces at Shimane Art Museum.

For where to stay, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Matsue travel route planner.

Rome, Italy to Matsue is an approximately 23-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone difference moving from Central European Standard Time to Japan Standard Time is 8 hours. In May, plan for daily highs up to 27°C, and evening lows to 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) so you can travel to Takayama.

Things to do in Matsue

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 3 — 5:

Takayama, Japan

— 1 night
Hidden high up in the Japanese Alps, Takayama remained largely cut off from the rest of Japan for centuries, allowing the local culture to grow in relative isolation.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Mon): take some stellar pictures from Ogimachi Castle Old Site Observatory, get engrossed in the history at Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, steep yourself in history at Wada House, then admire the masterpieces at Hineno Museum & Cafe, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Shirakabe Dozogai. Here are some ideas for day two: examine the collection at Lion Dance Ceremony Exhibition Hall (Shishi-Kaikan), contemplate the long history of Takayama Jinya, browse the exhibits of Hida Takayama Retro Museum, then learn something new at Daiou-ji Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Soyuji Temple, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Higashiyama Walking Course.

For other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, use the Takayama driving holiday planner.

Do a combination of flight and train from Matsue to Takayama in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, tram, and train; or drive. May in Takayama sees daily highs of 27°C and lows of 17°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Nachikatsura-cho.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites · Museums · Childrens Museums · Classes

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 5 — 7:

Nachikatsura-cho, Japan

— 1 night
The town of Nachikatsuura-cho wows visitors with its superlative landscape and impressive cultural attractions.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Wed): admire the sheer force of Nachi Mitaki Falls, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hirou Shrine, take in the spiritual surroundings of Seiganto-ji Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kumano Nachi Taisha, and finally make a trip to Daimonzaka.

For more things to do, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Nachikatsura-cho trip maker app.

Traveling by car from Takayama to Nachikatsura-cho takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from Takayama in May, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Nachikatsura-cho, with lows of 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) so you can travel to Gyeongju.

Things to do in Nachikatsura-cho

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature
Find places to stay May 7 — 8:

Gyeongju, South Korea

— 1 day

Museum Without Walls

One of the most popular tourist destinations in the Republic of Korea, Gyeongju combines a rich cultural heritage with mountain and coastal scenery.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Thu): see the interesting displays at Gyeongju National Museum, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Bulguksa Temple, then steep yourself in history at Yangdong Folk Village, and finally steep yourself in history at Oksanseowon Confucian Academy.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Gyeongju using our trip planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Nachikatsura-cho to Gyeongju. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Nachikatsura-cho in May: high temperatures in Gyeongju hover around 18°C and lows are around 18°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) so you can catch the flight to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Gyeongju

Historic Sites · Museums
Find places to stay May 8 — 9:

Miyakojima, Japan

— 1 day
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Fri): stroll through Yonaha Maehama Beach, take in the views from Irabu Ohashi, then snap pictures at Ikema Ohashi Bridge, then kick back and relax at Sunayama Beach, and finally make a trip to Boraga Limestone Cave.

For other places to visit, photos, maps, and more tourist information, use the Miyakojima trip maker site.

You can fly from Gyeongju to Miyakojima in 7 hours. Traveling from Gyeongju in May, you will find days in Miyakojima are much warmer (32°C), and nights are a bit warmer (27°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) to allow enough time to fly to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches
Find places to stay May 9 — 10:

Ishigaki, Japan

— 2 nights
Ishigaki, the most populous island in the chain, features the country's southernmost city and acts as a transport hub for exploring the landmasses that surround.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sat): stroll around Kabira Park, enjoy the sand and surf at Yonehara Beach, then admire all the interesting features of Cape Hirakubozaki, and finally take in panoramic vistas at Tamatorizaki Observatory. Keep things going the next day: stroll around Banna Park, get to know the fascinating history of Island Countryside Settlement, then take a leisurely stroll along Nishi Pier, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Kondoi Beach.

To find ratings, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Ishigaki route planning app.

You can fly from Miyakojima to Ishigaki in 2.5 hours. In May in Ishigaki, expect temperatures between 34°C during the day and 28°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sun) to allow time to fly back home.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 10 — 12:

Japan travel guide

4.3
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Historic Sites
Land of the Rising Sun
Part of a volcanic archipelago that encompasses over 6,800 islands, Japan remains one of Asia's most fascinating tourist destinations, where a blend of modernity and tradition creates a look and feel completely different from any other place in the world. A tour of Japan lets you discover big cities filled with ancient temples and innovative skyscrapers, as well as quiet country landscapes dotted with castles, perfectly manicured gardens, cherry orchards, and primeval forests seemingly untouched by the hand of mass tourism. Many tourists on vacation in Japan devote lots of time to the country's unique cuisine, prepared with painstaking attention to detail and a genius for simple yet effective presentation.

South Korea travel guide

4.2
Shopping · History Museums · Parks
Land of the Morning Calm
Though it boasts a history spanning thousands of years, South Korea ranks among the world's most urbanized and modernized countries, with nearly half of its population living in high-rises concentrated in the national capital. In this land of pristine mountain scenery, many South Korea vacations involve some form of winter sports--not surprising for the country that won the bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. Curious travelers wishing to get to know South Korea's heart and soul spend only a small part of their holiday in big cities like Busan and Seoul, devoting much of their attention to the tranquil countryside that seems largely untouched by the 21st century.