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Travelmarvel

Delights of South Korea & Japan

Seoul to Osaka

Trip Code: RJTKJ19
19 Days
29 Meals
2 Countries
  • Travel & Accommodation
  • Map & Itinerary
  • Similar Trips

Trip Inclusions

  • Airport transfers and tipping
  • Services of Great Rail Journeys Tour Escorts
  • Flight from South Korea to Japan
  • 29 meals - 18 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 8 dinners
  • 18 nights in premium accommodation

Travel & Accommodation

Traditional ornate temple, South Korea

South Korea's Heart and Seoul

Explore the capital of South Korea, Seoul, taking pause at palaces and temples, and sampling regional cuisine too.

Bullet train travelling through fields with Mt Fuji in the background

High Speed Wonder

Cover more ground during your Japan holiday on the world-famous Bullet Train, which travels at 300 km/h.

Typical local village street in Japan

Curious Kyoto

In Japan's former capital, wander the historic streets and become familiar with the traditional way of life.

Map & Itinerary

Trip Notes

  • Flight from Seoul to Tokyo is unescorted
  • Itinerary operated by Great Rail Journeys
  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • Prices are for land/rail and flights as specified only
  • Prices include transfers, tipping and most porterage
  • An overnight bag will need to be packed for days 13-15
Asia Map RJTKJ19 2020
Seoul to Osaka

Designed exclusively for our guests

Insider Experience

Enjoy an included special or unique excursion or event

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

This evening, you’ll be escorted to dinner at a traditional Korean-style BBQ house. Smoky meats and sizzling savoury pancakes are often on the menu.


Arrive in South Korea’s capital city. After being taken to your hotel, you might enjoy some time at leisure. After your Insider Experience at dinner, you’ll be transferred back to your hotel which is located in the heart of Seoul.

Stay: Two Nights, Seoul, Courtyard Marriott Namdaemun

Daily :
  • Dinner

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

See the changing of the guard ceremony at Gyeongbokgung Palace, the largest palace in South Korea. Built in 1392 at the beginning of the Josean Dynasty, this palace was the main royal palace for five centuries.

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Later today, you’ll learn how to make South Korea’s national dish, kimchi, during a cooking class and demonstration. Originally made with radishes as they were a ready ingredient of the region, kimchi has since developed, and different vegetables are preserved using the process.


Fill up at breakfast this morning - you’re in for a full day of a sightseeing. The excitement begins with an Insider Experience at Gyeongbokgung Palace. Continue on to Insadong Antique Alley where quirky amulets and jewellery among other wares are scattered across stalls. Poke around the many streets, maybe picking up a souvenir or two. Afterwards, continue to Itaewon Street and Seoul Tower. More than just a radio and television tower, the many levels of Seoul Tower have an array of exciting attractions including an observatory and wishing pond. Enjoy another Insider Experience later. Return to your hotel later for a well-deserved rest.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
View of temple on island with bridge leading to it, South Korea

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

On your way to Jeonju, you’ll stop in at Geumsan and visit a local ginseng market to sample the traditional root once it’s been fried. Literally meaning ‘human root’, the raw plant can look like the legs of a person.

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Visit a local Hanok Village in Jeonju. While here, stop in at the bamboo-clad Gyeonggijeon Shrine and Jeondong Cathedral.


Today farewell Seoul and set off for Jeonju. After sampling fried ginseng root, you’ll head to Jeonju Hanok Village. Afterwards, visit the Hanji Museum and experience making the traditional Korean paper. Dinner is served at a local restaurant this evening before you are escorted back to your hotel.

Stay: Jeonju, Ramada Hotel

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Visit the oldest observatory in East Asia, Cheomseongdae, which dates back to the 7th century and stands as a reminder of the influence that science had on Korea’s developing culture over the years.


Enjoy breakfast at your hotel this morning before being transferred to Gyeongju. Set your sights on the Bulguksa Temple resting on the slopes of Mt Toham, Tumuli Park, and Cheomseongdae Observatory. The afternoon is then spent at leisure before an evening visit to Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond. Explore the site which was only properly uncovered and renamed in the 1980s before returning to your hotel. You might like to enjoy dinner here, or head out to explore the streets and sample a delicious local meal.

Stay: Gyeongju, Commodore Hotel

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Depart Gyeongju after breakfast this morning and travel to Busan. Upon arrival, you’ll be taken on a city sightseeing tour of some of Busan’s most well-known sites including Busan Tower, Jagalchi Fishery Market and the UN Memorial. You’ll also spend some time at the Oryukdo Skywalk. Translating to ‘Walking in the Sky’, this glass walkway is suspended over the ocean for an unreal perspective. After some free time, you’ll be taken back to your hotel where you’ll enjoy dinner.

Stay: Busan, Haeundae Grand Hotel

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
View of flower clock next to red and green temple, South Korea

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Board one of South Korea’s famous KTX Express Trains to Seoul. Watch the beautiful countryside whip past your window, and jet right past busy cities as your train reaches speeds of over 300 kilometres per hour.


After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll board one of South Korea’s famous KTX Express Trains to Seoul. Once you’ve arrived, you’ll stop in at the Namdaemun Market with time to explore. Once finished, a guide will take you to your hotel.

Stay: Two Nights, Seoul, Courtyard Marriott Namdaemun

Daily :
  • Breakfast

Today is dedicated to the fascinating relationship between North and South Korea. You’ll visit the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) in Paju to gain an understanding of the bordering countries. See Imjingak Park, the Bridge of Freedom and The 3rd Infiltration Tunnel where it’s believed that some 30,000 soldiers could pass through within an hour. You’ll also spend time at the DMZ Theatre and Exhibition Hall, and the station, along with Dora Observatory which offers binocular views into North Korea. Return to Seoul for an afternoon visit to the War Memorial Museum to reflect further on the conflict, and finish off with your Farewell Dinner.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Today fly from Seoul to Tokyo, Japan and transfer to your hotel Tonight meet your Japan Great Rail Journeys Tour Escort for your first dinner in Japan.

Stay: Two Nights, Tokyo, Keio Plaza Hotel

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

A full-day tour of Tokyo begins with a trip to the Edo Tokyo Museum or the Miraikan. Next it’s onto the Asakusa Kannon Temple and Hamarikyu Garden, where you’ll have the chance to sample authentic tea and sweets at a Japanese tea house. Afterwards, pay a visit to the Meiji Shrine and the famous Shibuya Crossing before returning to your hotel for an evening at leisure.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
Bustling pedestrian crossing at night with large neon signs, Tokyo

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Today you will make the journey to Odawara by train, travelling in a ‘Romancecar’ (observation car) on the picturesque narrow gauge line.


Enjoy a tour of Odawara before taking a ride on the Hakone Ropeway to the Togendai station, nestled on the shores of the tranquil Lake Ashi. Enjoy a relaxing cruise around the lake before continuing on to your hotel for the evening.

Stay: Hakone Hotel

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Disembark at the Mt Fuji Visitor Centre to learn more about the snow-capped peak.


This morning, travel to Mt Fuji, arguably Japan’s most distinctive landmark. Driving along the foot of the famous mountain, and disembark for an Insider Experience. Continue to Matsumoto and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Stay: Matsumoto, Buena Vista Hotel, or similar

Daily :
  • Breakfast

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

This morning, venture to Matsumoto Castle, an impressive five-storey fortress.


Enjoy an Insider Experience at Matsumoto Castle this morning. En route to Takayama you’ll stop at Hirayu Onsen, one of Japan’s famous traditional open-air baths. Continue on to the picturesque town of Takayama, set atop brilliant hills. On a guided walking tour, see sights including the Old Jinya House and Kami Sannomachi.

Stay: Takayama, Associa Hotel

Daily :
  • Breakfast

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Later, set off on a journey on the Hida Train to Nagoya, continuing onwards by bullet train to Hiroshima.


After a morning visit to the Miyagawa markets, enjoy an excursion to the nearby Hida Folk Village.

Stay: Two Nights, Hiroshima, Granvia Hotel

Daily :
  • Breakfast

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Cruise to World Heritage-listed Miyajima Island. Translated to ‘Shrine Island’, the wooded island is home to the famous Itsukushima Shrine, a Shinto shrine which appears to float in the island’s waters at high tide. During your time here you’ll enjoy a walking tour and see cheeky wild deer.


Today, travel by train and journey to Miyajima Island. This afternoon is set aside for you to discover the other sites of Hiroshima at your own leisure.

Daily :
  • Breakfast

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

This morning visit Hiroshima’s World Peace Memorial Park and the A-Bomb Dome Museum.

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

You will also have the extraordinary opportunity to listen to a talk from a Hiroshima survivor or successor about the events that shaped Japan into the country it is today.

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Wander the streets of the famous Gion district in Kyoto and keep watch for one of the many beautiful geiko and maiko, the titles given to geisha and their apprentices.

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Later this evening, indulge in a traditional Japanese dinner at a local restaurant, renowned for using delicious and fresh produce.


This enjoy some Insider Experiences at Hiroshima’s World Peace Memorial Park and the A-Bomb Dome Museum. Afterwards, travel by bullet train to Kyoto for another Insider Experience.

Stay: Three Nights, Kyoto, ANA Crowne Plaza or similar

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Enjoy a traditional tea ceremony in Kyoto’s gardens this morning.


Venture to some of Kyoto’s beautiful formal gardens this morning and enjoy a traditional tea ceremony. Afterwards, take a tour of Kyoto’s most famous landmarks including the Nijo Castle, built in 1603; Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) which has an exquisite Japanese garden; and Kiyomizu Temple, a historic Buddhist temple that offers impressive views over Kyoto. The rest of the afternoon is yours to spend at leisure.

Daily :
  • Breakfast

Today you’ll enjoy a day trip to Nara, a picturesque city with charming narrow streets and an abundance of impressive temples. See the beautiful Todai-ji Temple, the largest wooden building in the world and its Great Buddha and Nigatsu-do Shrine. Founded in 745 by Emperor Shomu, Todai-ji is a vast Buddhist temple complex that was constructed as a symbol of imperial power. Its famous Buddha towers overhead at 15 metres tall and is the largest Buddha statue in Japan. Later it’s time for a stroll through Nara’s famous Deer Park, home to over 1,200 wild deer who freely roam the park, grazing on the spacious lawns.

Daily :
  • Breakfast

Travel to Osaka where you’ll enjoy a guided tour that includes a visit to the Umeda Observatory in the iconic Umeda Sky building. Here you will enjoy panoramic views over Osaka and its castle. Spend your final evening with fellow travellers during a Farewell Dinner.

Stay: Osaka, Sheraton Miyako

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Transfer to Osaka airport after breakfast for your onward flight.

Daily :
  • Breakfast

Travelmarvel's program runs smoothly from go to whoa, with great guides, perfectly paced excursions.