12 days in Japan & South Korea Itinerary

12 days in Japan & South Korea Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Asia trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Tokyo, Japan
— 1 night
Fly
2
Kyoto, Japan
— 3 nights
Train
3
Himeji, Japan
— 1 night
Train
4
Hiroshima, Japan
— 2 nights
Fly
5
Seoul, South Korea
— 2 nights
Fly

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Tokyo, Japan

— 1 night
Tokyo holds the status of most populous metropolitan area in the world--a fact you'll find tangible as you walk the bustling streets and explore its diverse neighborhoods and cultures.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): visit Odaiba District, take in the spiritual surroundings of Senso-ji Temple, and then admire the masterpieces at Tokyo National Museum. Keep things going the next day: admire the natural beauty at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine, make a trip to Tokyo Tower, then take an in-depth tour of Edo-Tokyo Museum, and finally wander the streets of Akihabara.

To see more things to do, maps, and tourist information, go to the Tokyo journey planner.

Rome, Italy to Tokyo is an approximately 16-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 8 hours traveling from Rome to Tokyo. In May in Tokyo, expect temperatures between 28°C during the day and 19°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) early enough to catch the flight to Kyoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods · Museums · Historic Sites · Parks
Find places to stay May 3 — 4:

Kyoto, Japan

— 3 nights
The national capital for over a thousand years, Kyoto retains much of the charm of old Japan, boasting numerous temples and shrines that seem completely untouched by the modern world.
Get some historical perspective at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Kinkaku-ji. Do some cultural sightseeing at Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Nijo Castle. Step out of Kyoto with an excursion to Dotombori District in Dotombori--about 1h 10 min away. There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Sanjusangendo Temple, admire the natural beauty at Chishaku-in Meisho Garden, step into the grandiose world of Osaka Castle, and stop by Gion.

For reviews, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Kyoto trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Tokyo to Kyoto takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. In May in Kyoto, expect temperatures between 29°C during the day and 17°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) to allow enough time to take a train to Himeji.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Shopping · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay May 4 — 7:

Himeji, Japan

— 1 night
The castle around which the city of Himeji has developed represents one of the best preserved in the country, and has been designated as a national treasure and a World Heritage Site.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Wed): take in the spiritual surroundings of Ishino Hoden Oishi Shrine, steep yourself in history at Yoneda Taishiji Temple, then admire the natural beauty at Koko-en, then step into the grandiose world of Himeji Castle, and finally steep yourself in history at Nishi no Maru.

For reviews, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Himeji trip itinerary planning website.

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Himeji takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. While traveling from Kyoto, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Himeji, ranging from highs of 25°C to lows of 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) to allow enough time to take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Himeji

Historic Sites · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay May 7 — 8:

Hiroshima, Japan

— 2 nights

City of Peace

Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Thu): explore the world behind art at Hiroshima Museum of Art, then take an in-depth tour of Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, then steep yourself in history at Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, and finally examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: step into the grandiose world of Hiroshima Castle, then contemplate the long history of Atomic Bomb Dome, then steep yourself in history at Itsukushima Shrine, and finally head off the coast to Miyajima.

To see reviews, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Hiroshima travel route builder site.

Traveling by train from Himeji to Hiroshima takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Expect a daytime high around 28°C in May, and nighttime lows around 18°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) so you can catch the flight to Seoul.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay May 8 — 10:

Seoul, South Korea

— 2 nights
One of east Asia's major cultural and financial centers, Seoul boasts five World Heritage Sites and a huge selection of museums, temples, shrines, palaces, parks, gardens, and glass-and-steel skyscrapers.
Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace for their historical value. Do some cultural sightseeing at Insadong and Myeongdong Shopping Street. There's much more to do: make a trip to Bukchon Hanok Village, get great views at N Seoul Tower, contemplate the waterfront views at Cheonggyecheon Stream, and admire the masterpieces at National Folk Museum of Korea.

To see ratings, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Seoul trip itinerary app.

You can fly from Hiroshima to Seoul in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and ferry; or do a combination of car and ferry. In May, daytime highs in Seoul are 28°C, while nighttime lows are 16°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 13th (Mon) to allow enough time to fly back home.

Things to do in Seoul

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Parks · Museums
Find places to stay May 10 — 13:

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.