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    Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
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    Haeundae Beach
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    Nishiki Market
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    The Korean Demilitarized Zone
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    Travel by bullet train
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Essence of South Korea and Japan


2 passengers
  • VIP travel service VIP door to door
  • Discover by rail Discover by rail
  • Breakfasts and more All breakfasts and more

From Seoul to Tokyo

Look across the Demilitarised Zone into North Korea – one of the most closed countries on Earth, ride the bullet train, and ascend Mount Fuji on this first-class tour of South Korea and Japan. You’ll take in the highlights of two capital cities, contrasting traditional culture with dazzling skyscrapers in both Seoul and Tokyo, visit palace and temples, a world-famous beach, and learn about the sombre history of North and South Korea, as you travel by high-speed rail through both countries.

With departures in both spring and autumn, take the opportunity to see the beautiful cherry blossoms or spectacular autumns colours that adorn the landscapes. This fast-paced tour also has plenty for foodies with sushi making, authentic Korean fried chicken, a traditional Yakitori dinner, tea tasting and visits to both a Ninja and Sumo restaurant.


Hands shaking Included travel insurance

Bed12 nights in hotels and 1 in flight

Dinner plate24 meals: 12 breakfasts (B), 5 lunches (L), 7 dinners (D)

PersonSaga tour manager


  • Return flights and transfers
  • Porterage at all hotels

MapIncluded excursions and visits

  • Seoul city tour
  • Visit to Korean Demilitarised Zone and the Joint Security Area
  • Gyeongju sightseeing tour
  • Guided tour of Busan
  • Kyoto city tour
  • Visit to Mount Fuji 5th Station
  • Lake Ashi cruise
  • Komagatake Ropeway aerial lift
  • Tokyo sightseeing tour

HeadphonesUse of audio headsets on guided tours

View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK-Seoul, South Korea


After taking your included VIP door-to-door travel service to the airport, fly overnight to Seoul.

Seoul Seoul Capital Area South Korea Asia

Day 2 Seoul, South Korea

Korean fried chicken

Arrive in the capital of South Korea where you stay for the next three nights at the 5-star Novotel Ambassador Yongsam (4Q). This luxury hotel is centrally located, close to Yongsan Electronics Market, Shilla I’Park Mall, and the War Memorial of Korea.

After you’ve settled in to your hotel, enjoy an authentic welcome dinner of Korean fried chicken served with a local beer. D

Day 3 Seoul, South Korea

Gyeongbok Palace

After breakfast at your hotel, set out on a full day included tour of Seoul. Start at the Gyeongbok Palace, regarded as Seoul’s grandest and most beautiful palace. Built during the Joseon dynasty in 1395, Gyeonbokung served as the main palace for 200 years, until its destruction during the Imjin War. The palace has been gradually restored over the last 30 years and today houses the National Folk Museum, which you will also have the opportunity to visit.

Next visit one of Seoul’s traditional tea houses in the Insadong district for a tasting session. Complete your tour with a stop at the N Seoul Tower, a 236-metre high radio and observation tower. As the second highest point in Seoul, the tower offers incredible panoramic views of the surrounding city. 

This evening perhaps join an optional excursion to Gwangjang Market. B, L

Gyeongbok Palace Seoul Seoul Capital Area South Korea Asia

Day 4 Seoul, South Korea

Korean Demilitarized Zone

Today learn about the sombre history of North and South Korea, and get a glimpse into one of the world’s most closed countries on a full day excursion to the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the unoccupied land that separates the two Korean countries.

This once-in-a-lifetime tour takes you first to Imjingak Village, the most northerly point where South Korean’s can travel freely, and home to the Freedom Bridge where over 10,000 prisoners of war were traded at the end of the Korean War. Next see the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, one of four known tunnels that runs underneath the border between North and South Korea. You’ll have the opportunity to walk through the tunnel built in secret by North Korea to invade the South.

Continue to the nearby Dora Observatory where, through binoculars, you’ll be able to look across the DMZ into North Korea, and visit Dorasan Station, a railway station which used to connect North and South Korea and remains now as a symbolic gesture for reunification. Drive past Unification Village to Camp Bonifas, a United Nations military post lying 400-metres south of the border and home to the Joint Security Area (JSA), the only place in the DMZ where North and South Korean guards stand face-to-face. At this spot you’ll have the opportunity to stand over the border in North Korea. As part of the JSA tour, you’ll also visit Freedom House, the Bridge of No Return and the Axe Murder Incident Area.

Return to Seoul this evening for dinner at your own expense. You’ll also have the opportunity to see the longest-running show in Korean history on this evening’s optional excursion to see a performance of Nanta. B, L

Please note: You must bring your passport and dress conservatively for this full day excursion.

Day 5 Seoul-Gyeongju, South Korea

KTX Train

This morning embark on a high-speed rail journey on the KTX to Gyeongju, known as the ‘Museum Without Walls’ (two hours). Once the ancient capital of South Korea, Gyeongju offers a glimpse into Korea’s splendid past. Join an included sightseeing tour of the city this afternoon, taking in Tumuli Park – an open air museum of grass-covered burial mounds, Cheomseongdae Observatory – the oldest surviving astronomical observatory in Asia, Anapji Pond in the Gyeongju National Park, and the Gyeongju National Museum, home to numerous historical artefacts of the Silla Dynasty.

Tonight you’ll stay overnight at the 4-star The Suites Hotel Gyeongju (4Q) overlooking Lake Bomun. B, D

Day 6 Gyeongju-Busan, South Korea


Enjoy the morning at leisure, or alternatively join an optional excursion to Seokguram Grotto in the Gyeongju National Park. This afternoon take the KTX train to Busan, South Korea’s second most populous city, and a bustling port, home to sandy beaches, striking mountains and mouth-watering seafood (two hours).

Spend the next two nights at the 4-star Ramada Encore Haeundae (3Q) located just a few minutes walk from Haeundae beach. B, D

Day 7 Busan, South Korea


Spend the morning at leisure or perhaps join an optional excursion to Jagalchi Fish Market.

This afternoon join an included sightseeing tour of Busan. Highlights include Haedong Yonggungsa Temple – one of the only oceanside Buddhist temples in South Korea, the 120-metre high Busan Tower offering panoramic views of the surrounding city, and Haeundae Beach – a 1.5-kilometre, sandy beach backed by modern skyscrapers, considered to be South Korea’s most beautiful beach. B, L

Day 8 Busan-Osaka-Kyoto, Japan


Early this morning, transfer to Busan airport and fly to Osaka in Japan (90 minutes).

Then transfer by coach to Kyoto (35 miles, one hour) for a two-night stay at the 4-star Kyoto Tokyu Hotel (4Q). Your included dinner is at an Izakaya – a traditional Japanese pub. B, D

Day 9 Kyoto, Japan

Gion district

Founded in 794, Kyoto is widely considered Japan's cultural heart and is a virtual living museum. On a full-day sightseeing tour see the Kiyomizu, Ryonaji and Kinkakuji Temples, treat yourself to lunch in Nishiki market and enjoy a stroll around the Gion district, once the haunt of geisha. You’re free to dine at your own expense this evening. B

Day 10 Kyoto-Fuji-Kawaguchiko, Japan

Mount Fuji

After breakfast transfer to the station and take the bullet train to Mishima for a full day exploring Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain, and the surrounding area (three hours). First visit the small tourist village of Oshino Hakkai in the Fuji Five Lake region. Have your camera ready as the village is famed for its views of Mount Fuji, which are particularly breathtaking both during the cherry blossom season in spring, and when the autumn leaves in full colour.

Continue to the Fuji 5th Station, which lies at approximately the halfway point of the Yoshida Trail, leading from the Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine at the mountain's base to the summit. If the weather is unsuitable, visit the Fuji Visitor Centre instead.

Tonight you’ll stay overnight in Kawaguchiko at the 4-star Regina Kawaguchiki (4Q) with an included Kaiseki dinner, a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner. B, D

Mount Fuji Honshu Japan Asia Hakone

Day 11 Kawaguchiko-Tokyo, Japan

Lake Ashi

This morning take a cruise across Lake Ashi to drink in the world-famous view of snow-capped Mount Fuji, and to see the hot springs that bubble up in this crater lake. Head for the shores to see the impressive Hakone Shrine and ride the Komagatake Ropeway cable car to the summit of Mount Hakone.

After an included lunch head back to the station to catch another bullet train, this time to Tokyo (two hours). Spend the next three nights at the locally rated 4-star Grand Nikko Daiba Hotel (4Q). B, L

Day 12 Tokyo, Japan

Shibuya Crossing

Today you’ll have the entire day free to spend as you choose. After your included breakfast at the hotel, perhaps utilise Tokyo’s first-class public transport system to visit the bright lights of Akihabara Electric Town, the upmarket shopping district of Ginza, or the Asakusa district where you’ll find Senso-ji, the city’s oldest temple. This evening’s included dinner is at a Yakitori restaurant, a Japanese-style pub. B, D

Day 13 Tokyo, Japan

Hamarikyu Gardens

After breakfast join a half day included sightseeing tour of Tokyo, comparing and contrasting the city’s old and new sights. Visit Imperial Palace Plaza to see the Japanese Royal Family’s official residence, then continue to the Hamarikyu Gardens – a natural oasis in the heart of the city, and after a sushi demonstration, make your own sushi lunch. Spend the afternoon at leisure to continue exploring Tokyo independently. This evening experience a farewell dinner with a difference at Hananomai Sumo Restaurant, where performers, musicians and retired sumo wrestlers entertain as you dine. B, L, D

Day 14 Tokyo, Japan-UK

Tokyo Sunset

Check out of your hotel after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your return flight and included door-to-door travel service home. B

During your stay in Seoul, you’ll spend a full day exploring the Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), the unoccupied strip of land that separates North and South Korea. Created in an agreement between North Korea, China and the United Nations in 1953, the border stretches 250-kilometres long and approximately 4-kilometres wide. Despite being one of the world’s most heavily militarised borders, the DMZ welcomes approximately 1.2 million tourists every year, however, all tours must be booked with a tour operator, and visitors must adhere to strict rules – no waving, pointing or signalling, no photography without permission, and follow a conservative dress code.

Running through the centre of the ‘No Man’s Land’ is the Military Demarcation Line, the official land border, and here sits the village of Panmunjom, home to the Joint Security Area (JSA), the only place in the DMZ where North and South Korean soldiers stand face-to-face. It is possible to visit the DMZ from either side of the border, however the South Korean side is much more heavily geared towards tourism. From South Korea, a full day tour visits the key sites, including Dora Observatory, the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, Imjingak Park, the Freedom Bridge and the JSA.

Essence of South Korea and Japan


2 passengers


Essence of South Korea and Japan


2 passengers