Splendours of South Korea & Japan 17 Days


Seoul, Mount Seorak, Andong, Gyeongju, Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, Mount Fuji, Hakone, Kamakura, Yokohama, Tokyo.

New itinerary from June 2018. Contact us for details.

Immerse yourself in an incredible journey covering two fascinating countries, Japan and South Korea. Discover South Korea’s capital city, Seoul. Seoul is Korea’s financial, political, commercial, and cultural centre with over 600 years of history. Travellers can explore the many archaeological sites and temples before enjoying the beautiful natural landscapes this country has to offer. After an enchanting tour of South Korea, you will explore one of the most beautiful countries in the world, Japan. Discover a new level of cool with a journey through cherry blossoms, mountains, bustling cities and ultimately, history. The combination of places visited in these two countries will provide you with an unforgettable life-time experience. Time to start packing!

South Korea
Synonymous with the global phenomenon Gangnam Style, South Korea is a dream destination for many travellers. The capital, Seoul, is a fast-paced cosmopolitan centre with an appetite for fashion, pop culture and the latest in high-tech gadgets. Yet just an hour away from the cityscape, travellers here can find themselves enjoying the peace and tranquillity of the various national parks encompassing gorgeous hiking trails and dense mountain landscapes, and with the ancient cultural traditions also retaining a strong presence throughout the country, travellers seeking a cultural experience are also sure to be satisfied.

Friendly people, delicious food, and delightful contrasts between the modern and the traditional ensure that the indomitable spirit of South Korea will absorb and inspire travellers from all walks.

We would love for our customers to experience Japanese culture & history. We will spend few nights of the tour in a traditional Japanese hotel sleeping on rice straw mattresses called tatami. You will also visit restaurants on this tour where it is customary to remove your shoes and sit at low tables called kotatsu. It's all part of the Japanese experience!

From the end of March through early April, when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, people gather in parks in a Japanese tradition known as hanami (flower viewing).

From the end of October through early November is the best season of the year for viewing the vibrant crimson maple leaves in Japan. You can feel the fragile beauty of the changing seasons from observing nature. The fiery red is a true spectacle.

NOTE: Cherry blossoms and crimson autumn leaves are highly seasonal and subject to climatic conditions. These are historically the best times to view the blooms, but we can’t guarantee they will flower on these dates.


  • Stroll through the Changdeokgung Palace grounds
  • Gaze into North Korean territory at the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ)
  • Immerse yourself in the bustling crowds of Myeongdong
  • Explore the ancient capital of the Silla Kingdom, Gyeongju
  • Experience the serenity of Seokguram Grotto
  • Pray for your fortune at beautiful Heian Jingu Shrine
  • Feed the gentle sika deer of Nara Park
  • Visit several World Heritage sites and relax overnight in Kyoto
  • Race to Mount Fuji on a high speed Shinkansen bullet train
  • Drink from clear springs at the foothills of Mount Fuji

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Departure Dates

2018 Package Price Per Person Single Supplement
07 Mar* 02 May 11 Sep From $4,999 $1,350
14 Mar** 16 May 03 Oct**
21 Mar*** 19 Jun 31 Oct*
28 Mar*** 11 Jul*
11 Apr** 13 Aug
* Shoulder Season Surcharge: $300
** Peak Season Surcharge: $500
*** School Holiday Surcharge: $700

Package Inclusions:

  • Economy airfares, taxes & fuel surcharges from Sydney or Melbourne with a full service Chinese or other Asian carrier (e.g. Vietnam/Thai/Malaysia Air)
  • Flight between Seoul and Osaka (operated by a local carrier)
    Note: Baggage allowance for the flight between Seoul and Osaka is 1 piece max weight 15kg
  • 14 nights hotel accommodation (twin/double occupancy)
  • Daily meals as indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Coach transportation
  • Bullet train fee from Kyoto to Mount Fuji (including same day coach luggage transfer service from hotel to hotel)
  • Round trip airport and hotel transfers
  • Admissions to scenic attractions
  • English speaking tour guides

Package Exclusions:

  • Tipping and gratuities prepaid in Australia: $210
  • Optional recommended programs
  • Optional tour extensions
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Personal expenditure and anything not stated

Optional Post-Tour Extension

Discover Taiwan 7 Nights

From $1,199 pp. twin share

Taipei, Nantou, Taichung, Kaohsiung, Kenting, Taitung, Hualien, Taroko

A country of stunning beauty and jaw-dropping natural landscapes, Taiwan was the chosen location for the filming of the 2013 Oscar winning blockbuster, “Life of Pi”, directed by Ang Lee. As one of the most diverse destinations in Asia, Taiwan has increasingly been attracting travellers from all over the world, showcasing not only it’s spectacular scenic landscapes, but also a thriving folk culture, museums bursting with treasures – including the best of imperial China, its bustling night markets – famous for their delicious xiaochi (literally “small eats”), and the latest in high-tech gadgets.

Tour Highlights:

  • Visit Taipei 101, the world’s sixth tallest building
  • Stroll through the famous bustling Night Markets of Taiwan
  • Cruise along Sun Moon Lake and experience its tranquil beauty
  • Explore the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan, Foguangshan Monastery
  • Immerse yourself in the natural splendour of Taroko National Park

For details, please click here.

Tokyo Optional Programs

Nikko Day Tour with Japanese-style Lunch

Nikko Toshugu

Nikko is a major centre for Buddhism and the Shinto religion. It is located in a valley and surrounded by beautiful deciduous forests and majestic waterfalls. This optional tour will take you to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Nikko Toshogu. This area is well known for its distinctive architecture with a large number of wood carvings and gold leaf decorations on the buildings. This design is unique and not seen elsewhere in Japan. You will also visit Kegon Waterfall (around 100m tall) which is the main natural attraction in Nikko. This is the best spot to view maple leaves during autumn. Note: Please contact us for availability prior to departure.

Tokyo Disneyland Day Ticket

Tokyo Disneyland

Tokyo Disneyland is a 115-acre (47 ha) theme park at the Tokyo Disney Resort in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan, near Tokyo. Its main gate is directly adjacent to both Maihama Station and Tokyo Disneyland Station. It was the first Disney park to be built outside the United States, and it opened on 15 April 1983. The park has seven themed areas: the World Bazaar; the four classic Disneylands: Adventureland, Westernland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland; and two mini-lands: Critter Country and Mickey’s Toontown. Many of the games and rides in these areas mirror those in the original Disneyland as they are based on American Disney films and fantasies. Fantasyland includes Peter Pan’s Flight, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, Dumbo the Flying Elephant and more based on classic Disney films and characters.
Tokyo DisneySea Day Ticket

Tokyo DisneySea

Tokyo DisneySea is a 176-acre (71.22 ha) theme park at the Tokyo Disney Resort located in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan, just outside Tokyo. It opened on September 4, 2001. Tokyo DisneySea attracted an estimated 14 million visitors in 2013, making it the fourth-most-visited theme park in the world. In 2002 Tokyo DisneySea won a Thea Award from the Themed Entertainment Association for the concept, design, and construction of the theme park. The award was presented at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, CA. Disneysea was also the winner of the 2012-2015 Theme Park Insider Awards Best Theme Park. There are seven uniquely themed areas or ‘ports of call’. The entrance to the park is Mediterranean Harbour, which opens up to six more nautically themed ports: American Waterfront, Lost River Delta, Port Discovery, Mermaid Lagoon, Arabian Coast, and Mysterious Island.
Tea Ceremony (30 minutes)

Tea Ceremony

The Japanese tea ceremony is a traditional ritual influenced by the principles of Zen Buddhism, in which powdered green tea, or matcha, is prepared and served to a small group in a quiet setting. Often traditional Japanese confectionary is served to balance out the bitter taste of the green tea.


  • Learn the process of the Japanese tea ceremony from a qualified tea instructor
  • Learn which utensils to use to prepare green tea in a traditional Japanese room (tatami)
  • Discover the customs, culture and hospitability of the Japanese people

Physical considerations: Tea ceremony is performed in a kneeling position (seiza) on the floor. This puts pressure on your knees and ankles. Please be cautious of joining this optional program if you have a condition that prevents you from kneeling on the floor for a short period of time.

Optional: $130 – Wear traditional Japanese garments (kimono) and experience a tea ceremony
Pottery Making Experience (60 minutes)

Pottery Making

Pottery is one of the oldest art forms and earthenware traditions in Japan are believed to have started around 12,000 years ago. Today, there are thousands of potters who make a living out of producing pottery-wares across the country. The pottery produced in each region varies in design because of the type of clay found there.


  • Try your hand at making your own cup or bowl by using the spinning wheel and clay.
  • Receive a pre-made sake cup made by the instructors as a souvenir.
Golden Joinery (60 minutes)

Golden Joinery

Learn the art of golden joinery (kintsugi or kintsukuroi), a technique of repairing broken cups, bowls, or plate using lacquer resin laced with gold powder. As a philosophy the mended flaws become part of the object’s design. The result is that the object looks more beautiful than the original after being broken and repaired.


  • Mend broken cups, bowls or plates using powdered gold.
  • Take home the object you repaired as a unique souvenir.
Kimono Photo Shoot (60 minutes)

Kimono Photo Shoot

The kimono is the traditional dress of Japan and is representative of its culture and heritage. The dress consists of a long robe with wide sleeves that is usually made of various materials and patterns. Today the kimono is only worn sparingly, on formal occasions such as weddings, funerals, tea ceremonies or other special events.Take part in a memorable photo shoot at a studio where you can dress up in a kimono of your choice. You can take photos with your own camera or you may choose to purchase a photo package plan from the photographers.


  • Dress up in a kimono of your choice for the photo shoot.
  • Have your photos taken for free with your own camera or purchase the photos from the professional photographers.
Cooking Class (120-180 minutes)

Cooking Class
$129 Popular!

Japanese cuisine (washoku) is well known for its refined taste and elegant presentation. Take part in a Japanese cooking experience and learn from one of Tokyo’s most popular cooking instructors, whose book has been published in English. Bring home with you a set of new cooking skills and culinary techniques that will leave your friends and family impressed.


  • Learn to cook different types of Japanese foods, such as sushi, soup and various side dishes.
  • Learn the ingredients, culinary techniques and methods used in creating home made Japanese dishes.
  • Enjoy your own cooked dish for lunch.


  • Transportation is not included. However, optional program venues are located in the easily accessible Tokyo CBD.
  • You may join up to 2 programs per day (exception: Nikko Day Tour).
  • Optional programs are subject to availability and must be booked more than 1 month before departure.

Hotel Accommodation

Seoul The Palace Hotel Seoul local rating or similar
Daegu Daegu Grand Hotel local rating or similar
Gyeongju Gyeongju Commodore Hotel local rating or similar
Mount Seorak Inje Speedium Hotel & Resort local rating or similar
Osaka Kansai Airport Washington Hotel local rating or similar
Osaka Osaka Daiichi Hotel local rating or similar
Kyoto Kyoto Shin Hankyu Hotel (off peak only) local rating or similar
Mount Fuji Yamanakako Sun Plaza Hotel local rating or similar
Atami Atami New Fujiya Hotel (tatami bedding) local rating or similar
Tokyo Tokyo Dome Hotel local rating or similar
Tokyo Marroad International Hotel Narita local rating or similar
Board an overnight connecting flight via an intermediate city to Seoul.
Upon arrival, you will be greeted warmly at the airport by your tour guide and transferred to your hotel.
Designated a UNESCO Biosphere Preservation District in 1982 due to the many rare species found there, Seoraksan National Park is Korea’s most famous natural wilderness reserve. This morning, tour Shinheungsa Temple and take the cable car to Gwonkeumseong Fortress to experience the beautiful natural landscape on offer. Continue to Sokcho Fishing Village this afternoon.
Visit the traditional village of Andong which has preserved traditional houses of the Joseon Dynasty period. The village became famous after a visit by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, several years ago. In Daegu, have a stroll in Dongseongno Shopping District. Dongseongno Street is a major fashion district in Daegu. The streets are packed with hundreds of stores full of personality that reflect the city’s fast-paced fashion trends.
Today, explore the many archaeological sites and temples, royal tombs and monuments of Gyeongju, the capital of the ancient Silla Kingdom. Visit Cheomseongdae Astronomical Observatory, Royal Tumuli Park, Gyeongju National Museum, Bulguksa Temple, and Seokguram Grotto Temple.
Visit Insadong, a street full of traditional Korean antique and art shops, restaurants and tea houses. Continue to Cheonggyecheon Stream and admire its unique beauty, before visiting Myeongdong, one of Seoul’s main commercial districts. Then visit a Korean Ginseng Centre to learn about Ginseng, which has been used for thousands of years to improve people’s overall health. This evening, experience the city’s best night view at Namsan Tower.
View from Namsan Tower Seoul
This morning, visit Changdeokgung Palace, one of the “Five Grand Palaces” built by the Kings of the Jeoson Dynasty, then travel to North Korea’s 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, located within the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) a 44 km drive northwest of Seoul. An entire infantry division can move through the tunnel in an hour. View North Korean territory including the Propaganda Village, People’s School and Gaeseong City, the old capital city of the Goryeo Kingdom, from the Dora Observation Platform. Also visit Freedom Park, dedicated to the 5 million people who left their families and homes in North Korea. North Hall contains displays of North Korean lifestyle, and the Exhibition Hall houses old tanks and planes from the Korean War.
Board a direct flight operated by a local carrier from Seoul to Osaka. Your friendly tour guide will be waiting at the airport to transfer you to an airport hotel.
Note: Baggage allowance for this sector is 1 piece max weight 15kg per person
Osaka City
This morning, travel to Nara and visit Todaiji (Great Eastern Temple), with its Great Buddha Hall – the world’s largest wooden building. This impressive building houses the world’s largest (15m) bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana. Wander through Nara Park, where over 1,200 wild sika deer roam free, before travelling to Osaka. Visit Osaka Castle, which played a major role in the unification of Japan during the the Azuchi-Momoyama period in the sixteenth century, before being dropped off at Dōtonbori, which exemplifies Osaka’s vibrant food culture.
Nijo Castle, the Kyoto residence of the Tokugawa Shogunate and Kinkakuji: Golden Pavilion, a Zen temple and World Heritage site with two floors covered entirely in thin layers of pure gold and detailed architecture incorporating three distinct architectural styles of Shinden, Samurai, and Zen. Cap off your day at Heian Jingu Shrine, and enjoy the magnificent traditional gardens and huge torii gate.
Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion
Today, visit Togetsu Bridge, the landmark of Western Kyoto’s Arashiyama District for over four hundred years. Explore Sagano Bamboo Forest on the outskirts of Kyoto, where towering green stalks of the famously versatile plant sway in the wind, creaking eerily as they collide and twist, leaves rustling. After lunch, travel onwards to Mount Fuji by bullet train (Max. speed 320km/h).
Sagano Bamboo Forest
Today, visit Oshino Hakkai. Known as the Springs of Mount Fuji, the eight ponds are fed by melting snow filtering down from the slopes of nearby Mount Fuji through porous layers of lava, resulting in very clear spring water that is revered by the locals. Later visit Mount Fuji‘s 5th Station, which is above the clouds, to view its enormous summit if weather permits. (Alternatively visit Gotemba Peace Park to capture a breathtaking view of Mount Fuji, and Hakone Checkpoint, which used to be an important checkpoint on the highway connecting Kyoto to Tokyo in the Edo period. Take a cruise on Lake Ashi, and savour the numerous delights of nature. Today’s last stop is Owakudani Valley, an active volcanic zone with hot springs and hot spring rivers.
Today, visit a Japanese Beer Factory to taste one of most popular Japanese beers. Also travel to Kamakura and visit Daibutsu, the ‘great Buddha’ which is the second tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan, surpassed only by the statue in Nara’s Todaiji Temple. After, explore Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine which was established by fist Shogun (general) in the Kamakura period which stands alone due to its vivid colouration.
Daibutsu Great Buddha
Spend today free at your own leisure. You may spend a day in Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea (admission $120). Or alternatively, you can join our wide range of optional programs; (a tea ceremony,pottery-making experience, golden joinery, kimono photo shoot, cooking class). All activities are not guided and transportation is self-arranged.
Visit Meiji Shrine in the morning, dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken. Later, stroll through the Asakusa Kannon Temple, one of Tokyo’s most colourful and popular temples, and browse for souvenirs at Nakamise Shopping Street. Relax on a Sumida River Cruise. Your last stop today is Tokyo Tower, before heading to a hotel near Narita Airport. (Optional: For guests staying behind in Tokyo, consider an upgrade of tonight’s group accommodation to a hotel in Tokyo CBD from $250/twin share room, transfer is not included).
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your international overnight connecting flight via an intermediate city back to Australia. If you are flying Cathay Pacific, you will be transferred to Narita Airport (approx 10 min). If you are flying China Southern Airlines, you will be transferred to Haneda Airport (approx 70 min).
Arrive home this morning.

Optional Post-Tour Extension

Discover Taiwan 7 Nights

From $1,199 pp. twin share

Taipei, Nantou, Taichung, Kaohsiung, Kenting, Taitung, Hualien, Taroko

A country of stunning beauty and jaw-dropping natural landscapes, Taiwan was the chosen location for the filming of the 2013 Oscar winning blockbuster, “Life of Pi”, directed by Ang Lee. As one of the most diverse destinations in Asia, Taiwan has increasingly attracted travellers from all over the world, showcasing not only it’s spectacular scenic landscapes, but also a thriving folk culture, museums bursting with treasures – including the best of imperial China, its bustling night markets – famous for their delicious xiaochi (literally “small eats”), and the latest in high-tech gadgets.

Tour Highlights:

  • Visit Taipei 101, the world’s sixth-tallest building
  • Stroll through the famous bustling Night Markets of Taiwan
  • Cruise along Sun Moon Lake and experience its tranquil beauty
  • Explore the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan, Foguangshan Monastery
  • Immerse yourself in the natural splendour of Taroko National Park

For details, please click here.

After breakfast, board a flight to Taipei. Upon arrival in Taipei, you will be warmly greeted at the airport by your tour guide and transferred to your hotel. Standard hotel check in time is 3pm.
Today’s highlight is a visit to the Presidential Building and Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. Explore the National Palace Museum which has the world’s largest Chinese art and painting collection, and then proceed to the traditional Martyrs’ Shrine. Continue on to a traditional local Chinese Temple, and then on to a Taiwanese Handicraft Centre, where you can purchase Taiwanese souvenirs. This afternoon, visit Danshui – a laid back waterfront town on the northern part of Taipei city. One of the main settlements for the Spanish in the 1600s, and settled by the Japanese during World War II, this is a town filled with history and unique 1900s architecture and infrastructure. Enjoy lunch today at Danshui Old Street, where you can feast on many famous Taiwanese snacks. In the evening, explore the bustling night life of Taipei. Have a traditional Taiwanese Local Dinner before visiting the oldest temple in Taiwan – Longshan Temple. Proceed to the most colourful night market in Taiwan – Huahsi Night Market and experience soaring heights at the world’s second tallest building – Taipei 101 (at your own expense – from AUD$25).
This morning travel to Sun Moon Lake, located in the middle of Taiwan, and situated 762 meters above sea level in the lofty mountains of central Taiwan. Stop at the famous Wenwu Temple and Literature Warrior Temple – dedicated to Confucius, the Master of the Pen and Kuan Ti, the Master of the Sword. Continue on to the Holy Monk Shrine and Peacock Garden.
Head to the pier this morning, and gently cruise on a boat over Sun Moon Lake and see the sights (Xuanguang Temple, Lalu Island, The Lalu Hotel) as you relax on its tranquil waters. Disembark from the boat this afternoon and proceed to Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Monastery, the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan. Stroll around the monastery on a walking tour and learn more about Buddhism as you explore this sacred place. Taste a Buddhist vegetarian lunch (at your own expense), chat with some of the monks and discover the towering Buddha Statue in the Main Shrine. Later, travel by coach to Kaohsiung – the second largest city in the country and visit the Love River and a local Night Market.
The highlight today is a visit to Kenting National Park, Taiwan’s first nationally-recognised park and undoubtedly one of the most spectacular landscapes you will see. Be awestruck by the vastness of the natural reserve and stand on the most southern tip of the island at Maopitou. Don’t miss the Eluanbi Lighthouse, also known as ‘The Light of East Asia’ as its light intensity is one of the most powerful along the Taiwan coast. This afternoon, head to Kenting Main Street, the heart of the area and bustling with locals, tourists, and vendors. Spend lunch-time discovering the numerous stalls offering a range of local snacks and restaurants offering a variety of cuisines. Travel up the scenic Southern Link Highway to Taitung County.
The highlight today is a visit to the East Coast National Scenic Area, known as Taiwan’s Last Unspoiled Land, stretching 170 kilometres down the east coast of Taiwan. Weathering and erosion have produced a wide range of breathtaking landforms here which can only be appreciated first-hand. Stop at Siaoyeliou, Sansientai, the Stone Steps, and Caves of the Eight Immortals and take in the views. Proceed to Hualien this afternoon.
Today’s highlight is a visit to Taroko National Park. Just 15km north of Hualien lies Taroko Gorge, Taiwan’s top tourist destination. The park covers over 120,000 hectares and rises from sea level in the east to over 3700m further west. The aquamarine Liwu River cuts through the centre, forging deep-slitted valleys before joining the sea. Take in the majestic scenery of the Taroko Gorge, a place that has to be seen to be believed. Stop off at the Eternal Spring Shrine, Swallow Grotto, the Tunnel of Nine Turns, Marble Bridge Tienshiang and a Marble Factory. Return to Taipei City. Make the most of your last night in Taiwan at your leisure.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to board your overnight connecting flight via an intermediate city to Australia.
Arrive home this morning