12 days in Japan & South Korea Itinerary

12 days in Japan & South Korea Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Asia trip planner

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Route & dates

Start: Rome, Italy
Fly + Drive:  21 h 30 min
1
Matsue, Japan
— 2 nights
+3
Taxi + Fly + Taxi + Train:  5 h 30 min
2
Takayama, Japan
— 1 night
Drive:  4 h 45 min
3
Nachikatsura-cho, Japan
— 1 night
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  9 h 15 min
4
Gyeongju, South Korea
— 1 day
+3
Bus + Foot + Subway + Fly:  7 h 15 min
5
Miyakojima, Japan
— 1 day
Fly:  2 h
6
Ishigaki, Japan
— 2 nights
Fly:  22 h 15 min
End: Rome, Italy

2
nights
Matsue, Japan

Matsue ©
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.
Shimane Art Museum and Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo will appeal to museum buffs. Miho Shrine and Mihonoseki are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Venture out of the city with trips to Adachi Museum of Art (in Yasugi), Izumo (Former Taisha Station, Hinomisaki Shrine, &more) and Mizuki Shigeru Museum (in Sakaiminato). It doesn't end there: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tamatsukuriyu Shrine and examine the collection at Gogin Karakoro Museum.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Matsue trip itinerary maker website.

Rome, Italy to Matsue is an approximately 23- hour combination of flight and car. The time zone difference when traveling from Rome to Matsue is 8 hours. In May, daytime highs in Matsue are 27°C, while nighttime lows are 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Takayama.

Things to do in Matsue

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Izumo, Adachi Museum of Art, Mizuki Shigeru Museum
Find places to stay May 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Miho Shrine ©
Miho Shrine
Tamatsukuriyu Shrine ©
Tamatsukuriyu Shrine
Mihonoseki ©
Mihonoseki

1
night
Takayama, Japan

Takayama ©
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.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Mon): get engrossed in the history at Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen, then steep yourself in history at Wada House, then explore the world behind art at Hineno Museum & Cafe, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Shirakabe Dozogai. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: see the interesting displays at Lion Dance Ceremony Exhibition Hall (Shishi-Kaikan), admire the striking features of Takayama Jinya, examine the collection at Hida Takayama Retro Museum, then learn something new at Daiou-ji Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Soyuji Temple, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Higashiyama Walking Course.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Takayama driving holiday planner.

You can do a combination of taxi, flight, and train from Matsue to Takayama in 5.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a train. 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

Side Trips

Shirakawa-mura, Hida
Find places to stay May 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Takayama Jinya ©
Takayama Jinya
Shirakabe Dozogai ©
Shirakabe Dozogai

1
night
Nachikatsura-cho, Japan

Nachikatsura-cho ©
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 Seigantoji Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kumano Nachi Taisha, and finally make a trip to Daimonzaka.

For photos, maps, reviews, 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:
Highlights from your plan
Hirou Shrine ©
Hirou Shrine
Seigantoji Temple ©
Seigantoji Temple
Kumano Nachi Taisha ©
Kumano Nachi Taisha

1
day
Gyeongju, South Korea

Gyeongju ©
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 travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Gyeongju

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay May 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Bulguksa Temple ©
Bulguksa Temple
Yangdong Folk Village ©
Yangdong Folk Village
Oksanseowon Confucian Academy ©
Oksanseowon Confucian Academy

1
day
Miyakojima, Japan

Miyakojima ©
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): head outdoors with 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.

To find maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Miyakojima trip maker site.

You can do a combination of bus and flight from Gyeongju to Miyakojima in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, ferry, and flight; or do a combination of train and flight. 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 travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Beaches Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay May 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Yonaha Maehama Beach ©
Yonaha Maehama Beach
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach
Irabu Ohashi ©
Irabu Ohashi

2
nights
Ishigaki, Japan

Ishigaki ©
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 head outdoors with 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 photos, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Ishigaki route planning app.

You can fly from Miyakojima to Ishigaki in 2 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 travel back home.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Taketomi-cho, Island Countryside Settlement
Find places to stay May 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Island Countryside Settlement ©
Island Countryside Settlement
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach

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