54 days in China, South Korea & Japan Itinerary

54 days in China, South Korea & Japan Itinerary

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Hong Kong, China
— 9 nights
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Shanghai, China
— 8 nights
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Busan, South Korea
— 7 nights
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Seoul, South Korea
— 10 nights
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Tokyo, Japan
— 8 nights
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Kyoto, Japan
— 8 nights
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9
nights
Hong Kong, China

Pearl of the Orient

Witness the vibrant skyline of Hong Kong, an impressive urban territory on the southern coast of China.
Popular historic sites such as Guia Fortress and Lantau island are in your itinerary. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Po Lin Monastery and Ruins of St. Paul's. When in Hong Kong, make a side trip to see Coloane in Macau, approximately Macau away. There's lots more to do: stroll through Shek O Beach, head off the coast to Cheung Chau Island, stroll around Kowloon Park, and don't miss a visit to Central.

To see where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Hong Kong tour planner.

Reykjavik, Iceland to Hong Kong is an approximately 20-hour flight. You'll lose 8 hours traveling from Reykjavik to Hong Kong due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Reykjavik in October, things will get warmer in Hong Kong: highs are around 34°C and lows about 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Mon) early enough to travel to Shanghai.

Things to do in Hong Kong

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Oct 13 — 22:

8
nights
Shanghai, China

Pearl of the Orient

With a nickname like the "Pearl of the Orient," it's not surprising Shanghai offers some of the most rewarding attractions and activities in the Far East.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like The Bund (Wai Tan) and The Lingering Garden. Visiting Huangpu River and Suzhou Ancient Grand Canal will get you outdoors. Change things up with these side-trips from Shanghai: Suzhou (Humble Administrator's Garden, Tiger Hill, &more). There's lots more to do: examine the collection at Shanghai Museum (Shanghai Bowuguan), take in panoramic vistas at Oriental Pearl Tower (Dongfang Mingzhu), make a splash at Changfeng Park, and take in nature's colorful creations at Yu Garden (Yuyuan).

To find other places to visit, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, use the Shanghai route planning app.

You can fly from Hong Kong to Shanghai in 5.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or drive. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Hong Kong in October: high temperatures in Shanghai hover around 28°C and lows are around 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Tue) early enough to travel to Busan.

Things to do in Shanghai

Parks · Historic Sites · Nature · Museums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Oct 22 — 30:

7
nights
Busan, South Korea

The country's second city, Busan has often been referred to as South Korea's summer capital.
Step out of the city life by going to Gwangalli Beach and Oedo Botania. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Beomeosa Temple and Haedong Yonggung Temple. Take a break from Busan with a short trip to Sinseondae in Geoje, about 1h 50 min away. The adventure continues: get outside with Songdo Beach, enjoy the sand and surf at Dadaepo Beach, take some stellar pictures from Taejongdae, and explore the different monuments and memorials at UN Memorial Cemetery.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Busan trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by flight from Shanghai to Busan takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, ferry, and taxi; or do a combination of car and ferry. The time zone difference when traveling from Shanghai to Busan is 1 hour. Traveling from Shanghai in October, plan for little chillier nights in Busan, with lows around 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Seoul.

Things to do in Busan

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Find places to stay Oct 30 — Nov 7:

10
nights
Seoul, South Korea

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Hwaseong Fortress and Bongeunsa Temple. Take a break from the city and head to Bukhansan National Park and Ilsan Lake Park. Venture out of the city with trips to Nami Island (in Chuncheon), Paju (The Third Tunnel & DMZ Haemaru Village) and One Mount Water Park (in Goyang). Pack the 17th (Sat) with family-friendly diversions at Lotte World. There's still lots to do: browse the exhibits of Gyeongbokgung Palace, admire the landmark architecture of Changdeokgung Palace, get to know the fascinating history of Cheonggyecheon Stream, and get engrossed in the history at National Museum of Korea.

Plan a Seoul trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

You can fly from Busan to Seoul in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Traveling from Busan in November, things will get little chillier in Seoul: highs are around 13°C and lows about 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Tokyo.

Things to do in Seoul

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Theme Parks

Side Trips

Find places to stay Nov 7 — 17:

8
nights
Tokyo, Japan

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Kōtoku-in and Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple. Get some cultural insight at Asakusa Shrine and The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace (Edo Castle Ruin). You'll find plenty of places to visit near Tokyo: Kamakura (Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Hase-dera Temple, &more), Showa Kinen Park (in Tachikawa) and Mt. Takao (in Hachioji). Next up on the itinerary: explore the world behind art at Tokyo National Museum, get a sense of history and politics at Imperial Palace, make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, and take an in-depth tour of Edo-Tokyo Museum.

To see ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Tokyo trip itinerary planner.

Getting from Seoul to Tokyo by flight takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train and ferry. Traveling from Seoul in November, things will get somewhat warmer in Tokyo: highs are around 19°C and lows about 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks · Historic Sites · Outdoors · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Find places to stay Nov 17 — 26:

8
nights
Kyoto, Japan

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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Visit Kinkaku-ji and Kitano Tenmangu Shrine for their historical value. Venture out of the city with trips to Amanohashidate (in Miyazu), Nara (Nigatsu-do Temple & Nara Park) and Tanoura Beach (in Tsuruga). There's much more to do: steep yourself in history at Tofuku-ji Temple, explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sanjusangendo Temple, and don't miss a visit to Eikando Zenrinji Temple.

Planning Kyoto trip won't be overwheling when you use's Insprock itinerary maker.

You can take a train from Tokyo to Kyoto in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. November in Kyoto sees daily highs of 19°C and lows of 10°C at night. On the 4th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Parks · Neighborhoods · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Nov 26 — Dec 4:

China travel guide

4.4
Landmarks · Observation Decks · History Museums
With well over 1.3 billion residents, China represents the most populous country in the world, considered by many the cradle of civilization thanks to its history spanning many millennia. While a single trip to China rarely satisfies curious travelers, a well-organized tour reveals a land of awe-inspiring natural scenery, ancient monuments, and giant cities, where the diverse population includes almost 60 different ethnic groups speaking dozens of distinct languages. While many Westerners may know China mostly for its centuries-old tradition of martial arts, discerning travelers visit this vast nation for its outstanding cuisine, pristine landscapes, epic train journeys, and small towns of hardworking and genuinely hospitable people.

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.

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.