Classical Korea and Japan End Tokyo

Duration

13 Days

Physical rate

Moderate

Starting city

Seoul

Available

April 2020 / October 2020

Cities to visit: Seoul; Suwon, Gyeonggi; Jeonju, North Jeolla; Haeinsa; Daegu; Busan; Ferry Busan Shimonoseki; Shimonoseki; Iwakuni; Itsukushima Island; Hiroshima; Matsuyama; Kotohira; Takamatsu; Naruto; Kobe; Osaka ; Koyasan, Wakayama; Kyoto; Tokyo

Detailed day by day description

Introduction

This tour is a flexible, guaranteed escorted coach tour, guided in English only.

Once the tour is booked, it is guaranteed so it will definitely go ahead, and will never cancel.

The tour is flexible so you can tailor it to suit your needs. By clicking ‘Quote or Book’, you will have an option to choose your start and end date and destinations within the tour parameters. As these tours allow for such flexibility, the same people, tour guides or drivers may not be on your entire journey.

Day

Welcome to Korea! Transfer to hotel  in group transport.  where we meet our guide.   

18.00hrs- At the end of the afternoon, we are going to enter this fascinating country and with our guide we will go on the modern and efficient underground (we will be taught to use this public transport) to City Hall to see this building shaped like a tsunami. In front of the City Hall, we will also see the Deoksugung Palace , which is lit up at night and which allows us to appreciate the tradition and modernity of this country together. On foot, we will then go from here to the district of Myeongdong, the largest and busiest shopping area in Korea. Its name means ‘brilliant tunnel’. Dinner included in a local restaurant.   

21.30hrs- Return to the hotel.

08.30hrs- Today we include a tour of the city of Seoul lasting five hours. We will see Changdeokgung Palace. This is a World Heritage Site formed by a group of palaces inside a large park. After the visit, we will go to Bukchon Hanok Village , a traditional historical neighbourhood with tiny houses. we will visit the War Memorial , an impressive war museum that tells of the different conflicts suffered by Korea during its history, particular the Korean War with the United Nations in which soldiers from many different countries took part.    

Note: The Gyeongbokgung Palace closes on Tuesday. This visit will be made the next day. 
     
13.00hrs.- Lunch included in a local restaurant.  
14.00hrs.- We continue to the District of Gangnam where there are numerous shopping and entertainment centers. To finish, we stop at LOTTE WORLD TOWER , an impressive 550 m building where there will be time to climb the tower (entrance not included) or stroll in the park or around the luxury shopping centres.    

16.30hrs.- Return to the city centre or to the hotel and free time.

Total distance:  227km 

08.00hrs.- Today we include a visit to Gyeongbokgung Palace , an impressive palace that is 600 years old, where we will see the Changing of the Guard ceremony (if scheduled). 

10.00hrs.- Afterwards we leave Seoul to the south of Korea.    
11.00hrs.- SUWON. Arrival to the former capital of Korea, a World Heritage Site famous for its walls Heritage of Mankind. We will stop at the Samsung Innovation Museum to learn about the history of this famous technological company.    

Note: The visit to the Samsung Innovation Museum is not always guaranteed. If this visit has to be cancelled, we will then visit Samsung D´light in Seoul.   

12.15hrs.- We will see the impressive wall with its fortifications and will visit Hwaseong Haenggung, the summer palace.   

13.30hrs- Lunch included.   

14.30hrs.- Suwon departure. 
16.30hrs- JEONJU, we will see with our guide its fascinating old town (Hanok Village), with its tiny houses, traditional shops and art galleries.  Free time to stroll after the tour.

Total distance:   405 km 
Paisagens: We cross high mountains. Very beautiful landscapes in the area of the Haeinsa National Park.    

07.30hrs.- Jeonju. Departure amidst impressive mountain forest scenery.  
09.30hrs.- HAEINSA , arrival to this Buddhist temple built in the year 802 where we discover the Tripitaka, the most complete collection of Buddhist texts engraved on 80,000 blocks of wood. We will visit the temple and the museum on the Tripitaka.    

11.30hrs.- Haeinsa. Departure.  
12.45hrs.- DAEGU. Arrival. This city was a well-known center in oriental traditional medicine. Here we see the market of traditional medicines with its different herbs, and especially ginseng, and the Museum of Oriental medicine. Lunch included.   

15.00hrs.- Daegu.- Departure. 
16.45hrs.- We travel to HAEDONG YONGGUNG, 14th century Buddhist temple located by the sea.   

17.45hrs.- Haedong Yonggung.- Departure. 
18.45hrs.- BUSAN , arrival to this extremely modern city, the second most important in Korea. Lively coastal city with large skyscrapers.  

Note: In the evening we will board a ferry to Japan. Do not forget bring your passport.  
Note: The itinerary for the night journey may be occasionally modified due to availability or weather conditions. Sometimes the ferry will be from Busan to Fukuoka (similar schedule).   

09.00hrs.- City tour in BUSAN the second largest city in Korea, full of life. We will visit the fantastic Doosan Haeundae complex with its more than 300 m skyscraper and its sports marina. We continue to the memorial to the United Nations with its cemetery were people from numerous countries are buried. We approach the largest fish market in the country, which is alongside Nampo port. Lunch included. Then we walk from there to Yongdusan park with its immense 120 m pagoda. Free time.   

16.00/13.30 hrs- Transfer to the port to embark on the ferry (Note: limit time to check in at 17.30hrs). Don’t forget to bring your passport. The departure of the ferry is scheduled at 21.00hrs- We spend the night on the ferry, crossing the Sea of Japan, in double cabins with bathrooms.

Total distance:  190km.   

07.45hrs- We dock at the port of Shimonoseki (breakfast not included)  and cross the border. Welcome to Japan!   

11.30hrs- IWAKUNI, we get to this small city where we will stop to admire the beautiful historic Kintai-Kyo Bridge.  

12.15hrs- We then continue to take a ferry to Miyajima , the island “where men and Gods live together in peace”, with its ITSUKUSHIMA shrine dedicated to the guardian of the seas, built partly over the sea. Here we have time to visit the temple, stroll through its attractive centre and have lunch. 
16.00hrs- Miyajima- Departure. We board a ferry and continue our journey. 
16.45hrs- HIROSHIMA , we get to the sadly famous as the site where the atomic bomb fell in 1945, which destroyed the whole city. We will visit the Peace Memorial Park, the Atomic bomb dome and the impressive Peace Memorial Museum. Dinner included.    

Note: If the number of travelers is less than 5, the section from Shimonoseki to Hiroshima can be made by high-speed train. In this case, the stop in Iwakuni will be suppressed (you will be informed in the voucher of "My Trip") and you will visit first Hiroshima and later Miyajima.

Distance travelled: J ourney by boat. Crossing of about 50 km.
 
Scenery: I nteresting scenery on board, passing close to many different islands.  
Note : We recommend staying on deck to enjoy the crossing, but bring warm clothing. 

Today we will take a boat t o the island of Shikoku . The crossing is extremely pleasant and takes two and a half hours, and discover that Japan is formed by many small islands. If there are no changes in the ferry times, it will leave at 09.20hrs (we leave the hotel at 08.00 hrs).
 
12.00hrs. – MATSUYAMA. Arrival. We will take the cable car and ascend to its impressive castle. Then we will visit ISHITE JI, a beautiful Buddhist temple and place of pilgrimage. Lunch included.

In the late afternoon we will visit DOGO ONSEN (admission included) , a traditional Japanese bath built in the 19th century.   
  
Note: we highly recommend you to live the Onsen experience in Japan. There are rules that will be explained to you; The baths are separated by sex and a thorough cleaning must be carried out before entering the hot water naked. In Japanese Onsen they can prohibit the entry of people with tattoos.
  

Distance travelled: 345 km 
Scenery : Pleasant mountain scenery in some places. We walk along huge suspension bridges over the sea. Wear comfortable walking shoes for the journey.

7.30 hrs- Matsuyama.- Departure-. 
10.00 hrs.-  KOTOHIRA, a Shinto shrine dedicated to the God of fishermen and a place of pilgrimage built on Mount Zozu. To access it, it is necessary to climb 785 steps. Those who do not want to climb the mountain can enjoy sightseeing and visit the small Sake Museum (the traditional Japanese liqueur). 

12.00hrs.- Kotohira –Departure-. 
13.00 hrs.- TAKAMATSU. Visit to RITSURIN, one of the prettiest gardens in Japan. Lunch included in a local restaurant. 

15.00 hrs.- Takamatsu –Departure-. 
16.15 hrs.-  NARUTO , an impressive bridge that crosses the sea. We will stop to learn how it was built and walk along its glass floor with the impressive waves below us (depending on the times and tides) at a height of 45 metres. 

17.15hrs.- Naruto –Departure-. Pretty scenery as we cross huge suspension bridges. 
19.00hrs.- KOBE.- Arrival. Modern city by the sea, you can walk through its active center.

In Kobe we visited the Earthquake Memorial Museum , a place to remind the tragic seism that devastated the city in 1995 and its perfect reconstruction. 

Note: Sometimes, the entrance to the Earthquake Museum may be modified by the Sake Museum or the climb to the Kobe Tower.   

10.30hrs- We continue to Osaka.  
11.15hrs- OSAKA , arrival to the second biggest city in Japan.  

12.00hrs- We will depart Osaka to visit, MOUNT KOYA , one of Japan’s sacred mountains and Japan’s main centre of Shingon Buddhism. There are 120 shrines and monasteries on this mountain which is a magical place of pilgrimage. We will visit Okuno Mausoleum , a spiritual place and an immense cemetery in the wilderness that has more than 200,000 graves. We will visit Kongobuji temple , built in 1593.   

Note: In winter, as it gets dark earlier, we will not have time to enter Kongobuji temple.    

We will spend this night at a Buddhist monastery. The monks will offer us a Zen meditation session (Ajikan). Dinner included (vegetarian food). There is religious ceremony at the temple early in the morning if you wish to attend it.    

Note: We consider the sojourn at the monastery as an experience of great existential value. The rooms at this place are modest, without bathrooms, in the traditional Japanese style with tatamis. Bathrooms are communal.

Total distance: 130km.

Japanese breakfast at the temple. 
07.30hrs- We leave early for Kyoto.

10.00hrs- KYOTO,  we spend the whole day in the city, which was the capital of Japan between 794 and 1868 and home to the Imperial Court. During World War II the city was the only major Japanese to escape the bombardments, and so it still preserves its wealth of artistic heritage; the famous protocol restricting greenhouse gas emissions was signed in Kyoto in 1997.

The  visit includes a trip to one of the most important parts of the city . We will see the marvellous Shinto Shrine of Fushimi Inari, the Imperial Palace and Kinkakuji temple, “the golden pavilion” and its wonderful gardens.

19.00hrs - At night, a transfer to  GION  will be included, a busy traditional quarter famous for its Geisha. Free time. The return to the hotel will be free, we suggest you take a taxi. The guide will explain how.

Note:  If you already visited Kyoto on your circuit, our guide will offer you information and advice on visiting the other parts of the city unaccompanied.

After breakfast transfer to the station to take the  BULLET TRAIN  to Tokyo. Arrival to Tokyo after almost 500 km in just over two hours.

Late in the afternoon, we will pay a visit to this fascinating city by taking a  trip on the metro  (tickets included) to the  Shinjuku  district and see the crowds of people who use this modern and efficient collective transport system. Shinjuku is one of the most important  nightlife  districts.  Dinner included  and return to hotel.   

08.00 hrs.- In the morning, we take part in  a 5-hour trip  with our guide to see this amazing city, with its hustle and bustle and extremely modern districts that coexist with quiet, peaceful areas. Brief stop at the  Zojoji Temple  to make a beautiful photograph of the Tokyo Tower.  Pay attention to the hundred of Jizos, stone traditional protecting deities who guide us on our travels, give power to those who are weak (such children) and those in dangerous places, and who are dressed including hats, robes and windmills. Then we head to the  junction of Shibuya , a junction that is said to be the most crowded in the world. The  Meiji Temple  is dedicated to the Emperor Meiji, his wife, and their spirits.  We continue on our bus along the elegant street of  Omotesando . We will edge the most beautiful part of the Imperial Palace and the gardens. Stop to visit the famous  Nijubashi Bridge . We will pass through the district of  Akihabara,  the “electric town” with icons from the popular Japanese Manga and Anime culture and then see  Kokugikan , the Sumo stadium, home of this Japanese sport. We will also visit the Buddhist  temple of Sensoji , the oldest and most important temple in Tokyo, with its 55-metre high pagoda. Then we will have some free time to visit the traditional commercial street of Nakamise in the district of  Asakusa. Lunch included   in a local restaurant. Return to hotel.

Free time in the afternoon. 

After breakfast, end of our services.


Map Tour

Visit:










From: AUD 5,197