60 days in South Korea, Japan & New Zealand Itinerary

60 days in South Korea, Japan & New Zealand Itinerary

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Seoul, South Korea
— 3 nights
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Jeju, South Korea
— 4 nights
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Busan, South Korea
— 1 night
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Nagasaki, Japan
— 2 nights
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Ishigaki, Japan
— 4 nights
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Kyoto, Japan
— 5 nights
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Tokyo, Japan
— 6 nights
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Queenstown, New Zealand
— 6 nights
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Christchurch, New Zealand
— 6 nights
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Wellington, New Zealand
— 6 nights
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Rotorua, New Zealand
— 7 nights
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Auckland, New Zealand
— 4 nights
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Seoul, South Korea — 3 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.
Explore hidden gems such as National Museum of Korea and Cheonggyecheon Stream. Pack the 4th (Fri) with family-friendly diversions at Lotte World. And it doesn't end there: get engrossed in the history at Gyeongbokgung Palace, take in the spiritual surroundings of Jongmyo Shrine, take in nature's colorful creations at Namsan Park, and enjoy breathtaking views from N Seoul Tower.

To find reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, read Seoul tour itinerary builder.

Reykjavik, Iceland to Seoul is an approximately 17.5-hour flight. Traveling from Reykjavik to Seoul, you'll lose 9 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Reykjavik in January, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Seoul, with lows of -7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sat) early enough to fly to Jeju.
Historic Sites · Theme Parks · Parks · Museums
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 5:

Jeju, South Korea — 4 nights

The main town on the largest of Korea's islands, Jeju, has a volcanic landscape protected by UNESCO. The World Heritage-listed volcanic island includes the country's highest peak, sets of impressive lava tubes and columns, and several crater lakes.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Seongsan Ilchulbong and Halla Mountain. There's lots more to do: head off the coast to Udo, stroll around Sarabong Park, stroll through Jeju Olle Trail Routes, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Gwaneumsa Temple.

For more things to do, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, use the Jeju itinerary planner.

You can fly from Seoul to Jeju in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, taxi, and ferry; or do a combination of car and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Wed) to allow time to fly to Busan.
Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 9:

Busan, South Korea — 1 night

The country's second city, Busan has often been referred to as South Korea's summer capital.
On the 10th (Thu), stroll through Gwangalli Beach and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Haeundae Beach.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, read our Busan road trip planning tool.

You can fly from Jeju to Busan in 2.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry, taxi, and train. Expect a daytime high around 7°C in January, and nighttime lows around -3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Thu) early enough to fly to Nagasaki.
Beaches · Outdoors · Parks
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 10:

Nagasaki, Japan — 2 nights

The hilly port city of Nagasaki has become known internationally as one of the two Japanese cities to be destroyed by an atomic bomb towards the close of World War II. This history, of course, remains important to the city, its inhabitants, and to the wider world, and should not be forgotten.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Fri): snap pictures at Megane Bridge, take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Inasa, then walk around Nagasaki Peace Park, and finally get engrossed in the history at Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: step off the mainland to explore Hashima Island, then admire the natural beauty at Glover Garden, and then examine the collection at Dejima.

For reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Nagasaki attractions planning tool.

Traveling by flight from Busan to Nagasaki takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and train. Traveling from Busan in January, things will get a bit warmer in Nagasaki: highs are around 11°C and lows about 4°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) early enough to catch the flight to Ishigaki.
Parks · Nature · Museums · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 12:

Ishigaki, Japan — 4 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.
Explore hidden gems such as Nishihama Beach and Cape Hirakubozaki. Change things up with these side-trips from Ishigaki: Cape Takanazaki (in Hateruma-jima) and Canyoning & Rappelling Tours (in Iriomote-jima). There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at Kondoi Beach, stop by Ishigaki Port Ritoh Terminal, tour the pleasant surroundings at Yonehara Beach, and make a trip to Nagomi Tower.

Plan a Ishigaki trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Traveling by flight from Nagasaki to Ishigaki takes 5.5 hours. When traveling from Nagasaki in January, plan for a bit warmer days in Ishigaki, with highs around 24°C, while nights are much hotter with lows around 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Thu) so you can fly to Kyoto.
Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 17:

Kyoto, Japan — 5 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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Sanjusangendo Temple and Ginkakuji Temple. Get out of town with these interesting Kyoto side-trips: Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan (in Osaka), Dotombori District (in Dotombori) and Nara (Todai-ji Temple & Nara Park). And it doesn't end there: take in the spiritual surroundings of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, visit Gion, don't miss a visit to Nishiki Market Shopping District, and explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle.

To find maps, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, use the Kyoto attractions planner.

Getting from Ishigaki to Kyoto by flight takes about 4.5 hours. Expect much colder temperatures when traveling from Ishigaki in January; daily highs in Kyoto reach 10°C and lows reach 1°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Wed) so you can catch the flight to Tokyo.
Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Parks · Shopping
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 17 — 23:

Tokyo, Japan — 6 nights

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Owl Cafe Akiba Fukurou and The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace (Edo Castle Ruin). Have a day of magic on the 28th (Mon) at Tokyo Disneyland. There's lots more to do: don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine, admire the natural beauty at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, take an in-depth tour of Edo-Tokyo Museum, and wander the streets of Odaiba District.

To see maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Tokyo trip maker tool.

Fly from Kyoto to Tokyo in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. In January, plan for daily highs up to 11°C, and evening lows to 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Tue) so you can fly to Queenstown.
Historic Sites · Theme Parks · Neighborhoods · Parks
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 29:

Queenstown, New Zealand — 6 nights

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Step off the beaten path and head to River Rafting & Tubing and Queenstown Hill. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Queenstown: Milford Sound (in Te Anau) and Glenorchy-Queenstown Road (in Mount Creighton). And it doesn't end there: savor the flavors at Food & Drink, get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, have some family-friendly fun at Skyline Queenstown, and get outside with Outdoor Activities.

To find reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Queenstown day trip site.

You can fly from Tokyo to Queenstown in 17 hours. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 3 hours traveling from Tokyo to Queenstown. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Tue) so you can fly to Christchurch.
Tours · Outdoors · Adventure · Parks
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 30 — Feb 5:

Christchurch, New Zealand — 6 nights

Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Dolphin & Whale Watching and Hagley Park. Venture out of the city with trips to Akaroa (The Garden at French Farm, Swim with Dolphins, &more) and Little River Gallery (in Little River). And it doesn't end there: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cardboard Cathedral, enjoy some diversion at Margaret Mahy Family Playground, learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Orana Wildlife Park, and admire all the interesting features of Riccarton House & Bush.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Christchurch visit planner.

You can fly from Queenstown to Christchurch in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In February, daytime highs in Christchurch are 26°C, while nighttime lows are 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Mon) early enough to fly to Wellington.
Parks · Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife
Side Trips
Find places to stay Feb 5 — 11:

Wellington, New Zealand — 6 nights

Wellington, the world's southernmost capital city and New Zealand's second most populous urban area, combines the nation's rugged history and nature with its modern and cosmopolitan present.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre and Wine Tours & Tastings. Step out of Wellington with an excursion to Queen Charlotte Track in Picton--about 3h 15 min away. Next up on the itinerary: take an in-depth tour of The Great War Exhibition, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Old St Paul's, get a sense of history and politics at New Zealand Parliament, and kick back and relax at Oriental Bay.

For other places to visit, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Wellington online journey planner.

Traveling by flight from Christchurch to Wellington takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Traveling from Christchurch in February, expect a bit warmer with lows of 17°C in Wellington. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) so you can catch the flight to Rotorua.
Parks · Outdoors · Museums · Trails
Side Trips
Find places to stay Feb 11 — 17:

Rotorua, New Zealand — 7 nights

Surrounded by lakes and featuring impressive areas of geothermal landscape, the city of Rotorua offers an otherwordly landscape and a welcoming, peaceful environment, with the culture of the native Maori people very much in the foreground.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Horseback Riding Tours and Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave. Venture out of the city with trips to Taupo (Aratiatia Rapids & Huka Falls Walkway) and Mt Maunganui Main Beach (in Mount Maunganui). There's lots more to do: steep yourself in history at Government Gardens, take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, experience rural life at Agrodome, and contemplate the geological forces at Waimangu Volcanic Valley.

To find traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Rotorua trip maker website.

Fly from Wellington to Rotorua in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In February, daytime highs in Rotorua are 28°C, while nighttime lows are 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sun) so you can fly to Auckland.
Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Outdoors
Side Trips
Find places to stay Feb 17 — 24:

Auckland, New Zealand — 4 nights

The largest and most populous city in New Zealand, Auckland combines a rich history and thriving contemporary culture in an abundance of museums, art galleries, and performance venues.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre and The Lost Spring. There's lots more to do: head off the coast to Waiheke Island, admire the masterpieces at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, brush up on your military savvy at Auckland Museum, and take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower.

To find maps, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Auckland tour itinerary planner.

You can fly from Rotorua to Auckland in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Auckland when traveling from Rotorua in February, with lows around 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Thu) to allow time to fly back home.
Nature · Parks · Museums · Wildlife
Side Trip
Find places to stay Feb 24 — 28:

South Korea travel guide

4.2
History Museums · Shopping · 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.

New Zealand travel guide

4.5
Specialty Museums · Landmarks · Hiking Trails
Land of the Long White Cloud
Far-flung New Zealand has become known for its astounding topography, singular biodiversity, varied climate, and for marrying native Maori and post-colonial European cultures on its two main islands and the multitude of smaller landmasses dotted around them. Free-spirited New Zealanders cultivate a love of sports, sustainability, and the outdoors. Far from other landmasses, the islands existed for millions of years before being inhabited by humans, so an abundance of species have come to thrive in the thick, wild rainforest, vast and rugged backland, and extensive surrounding marine areas. While much of New Zealand tourism centers around adventures through this spectacular scenery, take time to explore the nation's rich cultural heritage as well. The traditions and history of the Maoris, and the industry and internationalism of the descendents of the first European settlers endure in fascinating attractions, ranging from museums, to farms, to places of worship.