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Discover South Korea & Japan

2 countries
9 UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites
Special departure: Experience the magic of Cherry Blossom (Mar / Apr) or witness stunning Autumn Colours (Oct / Nov)
Spring Cherry Blossom & Autumn Colours
Experience the magic of Cherry Blossom (Mar / Apr departures) or witness stunning Autumn Colours as they sweep the country (Oct departures).
Hurry, book now! Seats are limited!
Discover the contrasts and similarities between South Korea and Japan - two unique countries brimming with culture, tradition and scenic beauty. Explore the thriving cities, visit ancient temples and traditional villages, and try your hand at their culinary and cultural crafts.Technology and TraditionsWitness a country that is one of the most high-tech and industrialised in the world, yet extremely passionate about its history and culture. Explore Seoul, the heart of South Korea and observe the contrasts between the modern and traditional. We'll visit the iconic N Seoul Tower, the Demilitarised Zone between North and South Korea, majestic Gyeongbokgung Palace and the Korean Folk Village.Culture and Scenic BeautyWe depart Seoul and enjoy the scenic beauty of Mt Seorak, visiting the Naksansa and Shinheungsa Temples the latter believed to be the oldest Zen temple in the world. Explore a traditional Hanok Village in Jeonju and learn all about the ancient martial art of taekwondo in Muju. We'll discover seven of South Korea's National Treasures at Bulguksa Temple and enjoy a team ceremony with monks. And no visit to Korea would be complete without sampling traditional Kimchi!Metropolis to MountainsFly to Japan and immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. We'll learn the age-old culinary art of making sushi, visit the famous Tsukiji Fish Market and Sumo Museum, Asakusa Kannon Temple and the shopping district of Ginza. Leave the city behind and travel to Hakone and Mt Fuji to experience a more traditional side of Japanese life. Here we stay in old-style ryokan accommodation, have a chance to enjoy a hot springs bath and sample a delicious Japanese dinner. We'll tour iconic Mt Fuji and ride the Hakone Ropeway for breathtaking vistas over the volcanic Hakone Mountains.The History and Heart of JapanTravel to historic Takayama and wander through heritage-listed Shirakawago. We'll learn the traditional art of Japanese rice paper making and explore a local market. Catch the famous bullet train to moving Hiroshima. We discover Miyajima Island, the Itsukushima Torii Gate and visit the Peace Memorial and Atomic Bomb Dome. Board the bullet train to Kyoto, Japan's cultural heart. We see the stunning Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion. We'll get hands-on, enjoy sake tasting and have the chance to wear a traditional Kimono! Urban OsakaOur adventure ends in bustling Osaka, Japan's capital of commerce. We tour the city, visiting the beautiful Himeji Castle and the gloating garden at Umeda Sky Building, and bid farewell to Japan with a traditional-style group dinner.

Inclusions

Travel

  • Return economy-class flights from Australia to Asia. Taxes included
  • 1 economy-class flight within Asia
  • 1 rail journey in South Korea
  • 4 rail journeys in Japan
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour (if using group tour flights)
  • All touring in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Tipping Made Easy, $120pp pre-paid (Korea Only). Tipping is not part of the Japanese culture, so tips are not expected

Accommodation

  • 23 nights in good quality hotels (3-5 star)
  • 2 nights in a traditional ryokan guesthouse including a typical Japanese onsen (hot springs) bath followed by a Japanese dinner while dressed in traditional yukatas
  • 25 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners, including group welcome and farewell dinners

Tour Guides

  • English-speaking locally based national guide throughout South Korea
  • English-speaking locally based national guide throughout Japan

Porterage

  • Porterage included where available

Sightseeing

Urban metropolis

  • Visit a Korean Folk Village in Seoul including participating in a Korean traditional archery experience.
  • Explore Insadong Street and its multitude of alleys with tea shops, cafes and galleries.
  • Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, the main royal palace of the Joseon Dynasty built in 1395.
  • Visit the iconic N Seoul Tower's observation deck for beautiful views over Seoul.

Breathtaking mountains of Seoraksan National Park

  • Visit Nami Island, famous for its tree lined roads and grassy fields.
  • Spend time exploring stunning Mt Seorak, including Sogongwon Park, and witness breathtaking views from Gwongummseong Fortress.
  • Visit Shinheungsa Temple, believed to be the oldest zen temple in the world.
  • Drive through Pyeongchang Olympic Site (from April 2019).
  • Delve into the Buddhist Culture on a visit to Naksansa Temple in Pyeongchang.

Delve into the traditional Korean way of life and experience its culture

  • Stroll through a Hanok Village with its traditional 'Hanok' houses.
  • Drive to beautiful Mt Maisan and visit the Buddhist Tapsa Temple along the way.
  • Experience true Korean culture and try the unique therapies and treatments at Jinan Red Ginseng Spa.
  • Tour the new Muju Taekwondowon Centre and witness an amazing demonstration of this traditional Korean martial art.
  • Visit the Haeinsa Temple on Mt. Gayasan, home to the Tripitaka Koreana - a complete set of Buddhist scriptures.
  • Enjoy a tea ceremony with monks at Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto.

Discover the diversity of Busan

  • Visit the famous Kukje Market, steeped in history and established in 1950.
  • Wander through the Jahalchi Fish Market, South Korea's biggest fish market.
  • Explore scenic Igidae Park and the Oryukdo Skywalk - a glass bridge stretching out over the ocean.
  • Pay tribute to the UN soldiers and aids killed during the Korean War 1950-1953, during a sobering stop at the UN Memorial Cemetery.
  • Travel to Seoul from Busan via bullet train.

Korean cuisine, clothing and arts

  • Learn the art of making Kimchi, Korea's national dish, and try on a hanbok (traditional Korean dress).
  • Enjoy a nanta show - a non-verbal comedy show and popular way to spend an evening in South Korea.

Peer into North Korea

  • Visit the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) that separates North and South Korea, including Freedom Bridge, Dora Observatory and 3rd Infiltration Tunnel.

Modern and traditional Tokyo

  • Take an early morning tour of the famous Tsukji Fish Market and enjoy a sushi-making experience including lunch
  • Take a stroll through the famous Ginza shopping district
  • Admire the bright lights of Tokyo from a yakatabune dinner cruise around Tokyo Bay
  • Witness a sumo demonstration and enjoy a typical sumo meal
  • City tour of Tokyo including Asakusa Kannon Temple, Nakamise shopping arcade and a stop at the Shibuya Intersection - Tokyo's busiest intersection
  • Stroll through Hamarikyu Garden, a typical feudal lord garden from the Edo Period

Majestic Mountains and historic villages

  • Visit a former farming village, reconstructed 40 years after being destroyed by a typhoon in 1966
  • Travel to Mt Fuji and enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Ashi (from April 2019)
  • Spend 2 nights in a traditional Ryokan
  • Enjoy a gondola ride and the amazing 360 degree view of the volcanic Hakone mountains
  • Take in the sights of old historic Takayama on foot including the Takayama Jinya, a beautiful traditional Japanese building, and visit the morning markets
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Shirakawago, famous for its old gassho-zukuri thatched roof farmhouses. Gassho-zukuri means "constructed like hands in prayer" as the farmhouses steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks in prayer. Enjoy a traditional Japanese fish lunch

Sobering and scenic Hiroshima

  • Visit scenic Miyajima Island, located 30 minutes from Hiroshima and classified as a sacred island, to see the Itsukushima Shinto Shrine which stands in the ocean during high tide.
  • Experience the art of Shakushi (Miyajima Rice Scoop) making, dating back to the 1700s.
  • Tour the Hiroshima Peace Park, built to commemorate the dropping of the atomic bomb. Visit the Atomic Bomb Dome, the city's only remaining bomb-damaged building, and the very moving Peace Memorial Museum (by audio tour).

Japan's cultural heart

  • Tour the temples of Kyoto, Japan's former capital and very much the cultural heart of the country. Our tour includes the Kinkakuji (Golden Pavillion) and Fushima Inari Shrine.
  • Learn more about traditional Japanese crafts such as sake brewing and tasting, and watch a Maiko dance performance.
  • Enjoy a Buddhist lunch at Shigetsu (Tenryuiji Temple) (from April 2019)
  • Stroll through the Bamboo forest and see the Togetsukyo Bridge (from April 2019)
  • Visit the Umeda Sky Building (floating garden) for scenic view of central Osaka.
  • Visit Himeji Castle, regarded as one of the finest examples of prototypical Japanese castle architecture.
Tour Provider Bunnik Tours
Number of Days
28
Price From
AUD $16,195
Start Location
End Location
Age Range
Avg. 50+
Group Size
9 to 20
Tour Style
Comfort
Tour Themes
Festival, Rail, Slow paced
Physical Rating
Moderate
Incudes Flights
Yes
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
09 Mar 201905 Apr 2019Limited SeatsAUD $15,800
15 Mar 201911 Apr 2019Fully BookedAUD $15,800 
03 Apr 201930 Apr 2019AvailableAUD $15,300
01 May 201928 May 2019AvailableAUD $15,300
09 Oct 201905 Nov 2019AvailableAUD $15,800
19 Oct 201915 Nov 2019AvailableAUD $15,800
26 Oct 201922 Nov 2019AvailableAUD $15,800
07 Mar 202003 Apr 2020AvailableAUD $15,800
11 Mar 202007 Apr 2020AvailableAUD $15,900
18 Mar 202014 Apr 2020AvailableAUD $15,900
25 Mar 202021 Apr 2020AvailableAUD $15,900
ItineraryExpand
Itinerary

Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 1. Depart Australia

Day 2. Arrive in Seoul

Welcome to buzzing Seoul, the capital of South Korea. Tonight we'll enjoy a group welcome dinner. [D]

Day 3. Seoul

We visit the Korean Folk Village to learn about life during the Joseon Dynasty and enjoy a natural colour dyeing experience. Later we visit Gyeongbokgung Palace before admiring the views from the iconic N Seoul Tower. [B]

Day 4. Seoul - Mt Seorak

This morning we travel to Nami Island, famous for its stunning scenery and friendly wildlife. We'll then continue to Sokcho. [B]

Day 5. Mt. Seorak

Special Experience: Spend a full day exploring stunning Mount Seorak, visiting Sogongwon Park and travelling to Gwongumseong Fortress by cable car, which offers breathtaking views.

We visit Sinheungsa Temple, believed to be the oldest Zen temple in the world. [B]

Day 6. Mt Seorak - Jeonju

We visit Naksansa Temple before stopping at the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium en route to visiting Jeonju's Bukchon Hanok Village. [B]

Day 7. Jeonju - Muju

Visit beautiful Mount Maisan and the Buddhist Tapsa Temple on the way to Muju. This temple complex is constructed entirely from stones, making for a very impressive sight. [B]

Special Experience: Relax and enjoy a traditional Korean spa, an important part of the Korean way of life. Try the unique assortment of facilities and treatments, including 'sound floating'.

Day 8. Muju - Gyeongju

Special Experience: Learn all about Korea's traditional martial art, taekwondo, and witness an amazing demonstration.

We travel to Mt Gayasan and UNESCO World Heritage-listed Haeinsa Temple, home to the Tripitaka Koreana - a complete set of engraved Buddhist scriptures. [B]

Day 9. Gyeongju - Busan

Special Experience: Visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites of Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple, which contains seven of the country's National Treasures.

In the afternoon we'll explore the centuries-old Chomsungdae Observatory. [B]

Day 10. Busan

We begin our sightseeing of Busan at scenic Igidae Park to admire the rugged natural scenery. We'll also visit the Oryukdo Skywalk and the UN Memorial Cemetery. [B,L]

Day 11. Busan - Seoul

After making our way to Seoul by high-speed train we'll step into the kitchen and learn to make Korea's national dish, kimchi. We'll also get a chance to try on the hanbok. [B]

Special Experience: Enjoy a nanta show - a non-verbal comedy show, and a very popular way to spend an evening in South Korea.

Day 12. Seoul

Today we visit the Demilitarised Zone separating North and South Korea. Tonight we farewell South Korea with a group dinner and traditional Korean performance. [B,D]

Day 13. Seoul - Tokyo

We fly to Tokyo, Japan's dazzling capital! [B]

Day 14. Tokyo

Begin the day at Tokyo's famous Tsukiji Fish Market, one of the world's largest wholesale markets. We'll then learn the age-old culinary art of making sushi. Later we'll stroll through the shopping district of Ginza. [B,L,D]

Special Experience: Admire the city lights on a dinner cruise around Tokyo Bay in a typical Japanese-style houseboat from the Heian Era, known as a yakatabune.

Day 15. Tokyo

An exciting day exploring one of the world's largest and most cosmopolitan cities. Highlights include Asakusa Sensoji Temple and the Nakamise shopping arcade.

Special Experience: Enjoy a sumo wrestling demonstration over a traditional Chanko-Nabe lunch.

Early this evening we'll experience the neon lights and hustle and bustle of Shibuya, including the famous Shibuya intersection - the busiest in the world! [B,L]

Day 16. Tokyo - Hakone

We begin our morning with a stroll through the beautiful Hamarikyu Garden. We'll then travel to Lake Saiko, one of the Fuji Five Lakes We'll also visit a former farming village, Iyashi no Sato Nenba, recently reconstructed as a museum after being destroyed by a typhoon in 1966. For the next two nights we stay in an authentic ryokan guesthouse. We'll have the chance to bathe in natural onsen and enjoy a traditional Japanese dinner. [B,D]

Day 17. Mt Fuji

This morning we'll enjoy great views of Mt Fuji from Lake Ashi before riding the Hakone Ropeway to enjoy magnificent vistas. [B,D]

Day 18. Hakone - Takayama

We travel by rail to the historic town of Takayama and explore on foot. [B]

Day 19. Takayama

We wander through the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site of Shirakawago with its famous hatched roofs. This afternoon we discover the traditional art of Japanese rice paper-making in Gokayama. [B,L]

Day 20. Takayama - Hiroshima

Today we continue our bullet-train journey to Hiroshima, via Nagoya. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure in this beautiful city. [B]

Day 21. Hiroshima

We cruise out to tranquil Miyajima Island and see the giant Itsukushima Torii Gate. This afternoon we'll visit the Peace Memorial Park, the Atomic Bomb Dome and the very moving Peace Memorial Museum, commemorating the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. [B]

Day 22. Hiroshima - Kyoto

We make our way to historic Kyoto by bullet train. Here we visit the stunning Kinkaku-ji. [B]

Day 23. Kyoto

Today we explore Kyoto's famous Fushimi Inari shrine with path consisting of more than 5,000 gates that wind through the hills at the base of Inari mountain. [B]

Day 24. Kyoto

Today we discover the art behind Japan's unique crafts and culinary delights! [B]

Special Experience: Enjoy a variety of local activities including sake brewing and tasting, and a chance to dress in a kimono. Then witness a traditional dance performance by Maiko.
^Geiko is the term for Geisha in Kyoto

Day 25. Kyoto - Mt Hiei - Osaka

We experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony before touring the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage-listed Tenryu-ji Temple to enjoy a customary Buddhist lunch. We'll also explore the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest before we make our way to Osaka. [B,L]

Day 26. Osaka

This morning we'll visit the beautiful Himeji Castle and explore the castle grounds. Later we'll enjoy scenic views from the Umeda Sky Building. Enjoy a Japanese-style group farewell dinner this evening. [B,D]

Day 27. Depart Osaka

Today we begin our journey home. [B]

Day 28. Arrive in Australia

Level of fitness: This tour features 2+ hours of walking, often across uneven ground and in areas of high altitude or heat and humidity on 1 or more days.