37 days in China, South Korea & Japan Itinerary

37 days in China, South Korea & Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Asia travel planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Beijing, China
— 5 nights
Fly
2
Seoul, South Korea
— 4 nights
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3
Tokyo, Japan
— 4 nights
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4
Nagano, Japan
— 1 night
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5
Takayama, Japan
— 1 night
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6
Kyoto, Japan
— 4 nights
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7
Osaka, Japan
— 4 nights
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8
Hatsukaichi, Japan
— 3 nights
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9
Nagasaki, Japan
— 2 nights
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10
Shanghai, China
— 7 nights
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Beijing, China

— 5 nights
As the political and cultural capital of China, Beijing stands at the heart of Chinese history, buzzing with the energy of its high population density and centuries of importance.
For shopping fun, head to 798 Art Zone or Chinese Imperial Post. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Mutianyu Great Wall and Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang). The adventure continues: appreciate the extensive heritage of Summer Palace (Yiheyuan), browse for treasures at Pop-UP Beijing, take an in-depth tour of The Palace Museum, and indulge in some culinary diversions at a local gastronomic tour.

To see traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Beijing trip tool.

Billund, Denmark to Beijing is an approximately 16-hour flight. You can also drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Billund to Beijing is 7 hours. Traveling from Billund in August, things will get somewhat warmer in Beijing: highs are around 37°C and lows about 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) to allow time to fly to Seoul.

Things to do in Beijing

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Shopping
Find places to stay Aug 2 — 7:

Seoul, South Korea

— 4 nights
One of east Asia's major cultural and financial centers, Seoul boasts five World Heritage Sites and a huge selection of museums, temples, shrines, palaces, parks, gardens, and glass-and-steel skyscrapers.
Get a sense of the local culture at Changgyeonggung Palace and Gyeongbokgung Palace. Popular historic sites such as Gwanghwamun Gate and Jogyesa Temple are in your itinerary. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the long history of Changdeokgung Palace, admire the masterpieces at National Folk Museum of Korea, admire the striking features of Gyeonggyojang, and see the interesting displays at Grevin Museum.

To find photos, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Seoul trip maker.

Traveling by flight from Beijing to Seoul takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, ferry, and subway; or do a combination of bus and ferry. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Beijing to Seoul due to the time zone difference. In August in Seoul, expect temperatures between 35°C during the day and 27°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) to allow enough time to fly to Tokyo.

Things to do in Seoul

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks
Find places to stay Aug 7 — 11:

Tokyo, Japan

— 4 nights
Tokyo holds the status of most populous metropolitan area in the world--a fact you'll find tangible as you walk the bustling streets and explore its diverse neighborhoods and cultures.
Kencho-ji Temple and Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple) are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Asakusa Shrine and Kanda Myojin. Step out of Tokyo to go to Kamakura and see Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, which is approximately 1h 15 min away. There's still lots to do: contemplate the long history of Nezu Shrine, take a stroll through Yanaka District, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hie Jinjya, and admire the natural beauty at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

To see reviews, maps, photos, and other tourist information, read Tokyo trip planning website.

Getting from Seoul to Tokyo by flight takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and ferry; or do a combination of car and ferry. In August, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sun) so you can take a train to Nagano.

Things to do in Tokyo

Historic Sites · Parks · Neighborhoods · Museums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Aug 11 — 15:

Nagano, Japan

— 1 night
Near the confluence of the Chikuma and Sai rivers, Nagano combines historic sites with nearby forested alps dotted with shrines.
On the 16th (Mon), contemplate the long history of Matsushiro Literary and Military School, don't miss a visit to Sanada House, steep yourself in history at Matsushiro, then take in the history at Old Battlefield of Kawanakajima, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Zenko-ji Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Zenkoji Sesonin Shakado Temple.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Nagano journey builder app.

Getting from Tokyo to Nagano by train takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. In August in Nagano, expect temperatures between 34°C during the day and 26°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Mon) so you can catch the train to Takayama.

Things to do in Nagano

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Aug 15 — 16:

Takayama, Japan

— 1 night
Hidden high up in the Japanese Alps, Takayama remained largely cut off from the rest of Japan for centuries, allowing the local culture to grow in relative isolation.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Tue): contemplate the long history of Takayama Jinya, indulge your thirst for a good beer at Funasaka Shuzo Brewery, visit Sanmachi Suji, savor the flavors at Food & Drink, then explore the world behind art at Furui Machinami Museum Kiyoshi Yamashita Gengaten, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine.

For photos, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Takayama tour itinerary planner.

Traveling by train from Nagano to Takayama takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive; or do a combination of train and bus. In August in Takayama, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 28°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) early enough to drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Takayama

Historic Sites · Wineries · Tours · Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Aug 16 — 17:

Kyoto, Japan

— 4 nights
The national capital for over a thousand years, Kyoto retains much of the charm of old Japan, boasting numerous temples and shrines that seem completely untouched by the modern world.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Sanjusangendo Temple and Shimogamo Jinja. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Kennin-ji Temple and Higashi Hongan-ji Temple. Next up on the itinerary: take in the spiritual surroundings of Nishi Honganji, explore the activities along Kamogawa River, step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle, and hunt for treasures at Nishiki Market Shopping District.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Kyoto road trip planning website.

You can take a train from Takayama to Kyoto in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 39°C in August, and nighttime lows around 29°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can take a train to Osaka.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Parks · Shopping · Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Aug 17 — 21:

Osaka, Japan

— 4 nights
Proud of their hometown's distinct culture and dialect, many natives of Osaka describe their city as "Japan's anti-capital." An antidote to Tokyo's hectic energy, Osaka marches to the beat of its own drum, serving as the country's longtime commercial and industrial hub.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Toshodai-ji Temple and Horyu-ji Temple. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Nigatsu-do Temple and Kofuku-ji Temple. Explore Osaka's surroundings by going to Kashihara Jingu (in Kashihara), Asuka-dera Temple (in Asuka-mura) and Shukugawa Park (in Nishinomiya). There's much more to do: contemplate the long history of Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, stroll through Yoshikien, get a sense of history and politics at Mint Museum, and explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle.

Make your Osaka itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

Traveling by train from Kyoto to Osaka takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive; or take a bus. In August, daytime highs in Osaka are 39°C, while nighttime lows are 29°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to take a train to Hatsukaichi.

Things to do in Osaka

Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Find places to stay Aug 21 — 25:

Hatsukaichi, Japan

— 3 nights
The city of Hatsukaichi developed from a small market town, frequented by passing samurais during the Edo period.
Explore hidden gems such as Daishoin Temple and Imaise Shrine. Popular historic sites such as Senjokaku and Miyajima are in your itinerary. Next up on the itinerary: steep yourself in history at Itsukushima Shrine, take in the spiritual surroundings of Tahoto, get outside with Outdoor Activities, and look for gifts at Miyajima Omotesando Shopping Street.

For maps, photos, and other tourist information, read Hatsukaichi online travel route builder.

Traveling by train from Osaka to Hatsukaichi takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and train. In August, daytime highs in Hatsukaichi are 36°C, while nighttime lows are 29°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a train to Nagasaki.

Things to do in Hatsukaichi

Historic Sites · Nature · Parks · Outdoors
Find places to stay Aug 25 — 28:

Nagasaki, Japan

— 2 nights

City of Peace

The hilly port city of Nagasaki has become known internationally as one of the two Japanese cities to be destroyed by an atomic bomb towards the close of World War II. This history, of course, remains important to the city, its inhabitants, and to the wider world, and should not be forgotten.
On the 29th (Sun), get engrossed in the history at Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, see the interesting displays at Nagasaki Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, take a stroll around The Confucian Temple, the Chinese Museum of Successive Generations, then contemplate the long history of Higashiyamate Ko Jusanbankan, then take in the exciting artwork at Rurian, and finally stroll through Glover Garden. Here are some ideas for day two: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kofukuji Temple, contemplate the long history of Suwa Shrine, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Catholic Nakamachi Church, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Urakami Cathedral, then contemplate the long history of Nyokodo, Nagai Takashi Museum, and finally steep yourself in history at Nagasaki Peace Park.

To see photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Nagasaki trip itinerary maker app.

You can take a train from Hatsukaichi to Nagasaki in 4 hours. Other options are to take a train; or drive; or do a combination of train and bus. In August, daily temperatures in Nagasaki can reach 38°C, while at night they dip to 30°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) to allow enough time to fly to Shanghai.

Things to do in Nagasaki

Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping · Parks
Find places to stay Aug 28 — 30:

Shanghai, China

— 7 nights

Pearl of the Orient

With a nickname like the "Pearl of the Orient," it's not surprising Shanghai offers some of the most rewarding attractions and activities in the Far East.
Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Former French Concession and Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre. Tian Zi Fang and Longhua Temple are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Next up on the itinerary: get to know the fascinating history of The Bund (Wai Tan), learn more about the world around you at Shanghai Natural History Museum (Jing'an), don't miss a visit to Nanjing Lu (Nanjing Road), and appreciate the history behind Jade Buddha Temple.

For maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Shanghai trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Nagasaki to Shanghai takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train and ferry. The time zone changes from Japan Standard Time to China Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Expect a daytime high around 38°C in August, and nighttime lows around 30°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) so you can fly back home.

Things to do in Shanghai

Shopping · Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Aug 30 — Sep 6:

China travel guide

4.4
Landmarks · Observation Decks · History Museums
With well over 1.3 billion residents, China represents the most populous country in the world, considered by many the cradle of civilization thanks to its history spanning many millennia. While a single trip to China rarely satisfies curious travelers, a well-organized tour reveals a land of awe-inspiring natural scenery, ancient monuments, and giant cities, where the diverse population includes almost 60 different ethnic groups speaking dozens of distinct languages. While many Westerners may know China mostly for its centuries-old tradition of martial arts, discerning travelers visit this vast nation for its outstanding cuisine, pristine landscapes, epic train journeys, and small towns of hardworking and genuinely hospitable people.

South Korea travel guide

4.2
Shopping · History Museums · Parks
Land of the Morning Calm
Though it boasts a history spanning thousands of years, South Korea ranks among the world's most urbanized and modernized countries, with nearly half of its population living in high-rises concentrated in the national capital. In this land of pristine mountain scenery, many South Korea vacations involve some form of winter sports--not surprising for the country that won the bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. Curious travelers wishing to get to know South Korea's heart and soul spend only a small part of their holiday in big cities like Busan and Seoul, devoting much of their attention to the tranquil countryside that seems largely untouched by the 21st century.

Japan travel guide

4.3
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Historic Sites
Land of the Rising Sun
Part of a volcanic archipelago that encompasses over 6,800 islands, Japan remains one of Asia's most fascinating tourist destinations, where a blend of modernity and tradition creates a look and feel completely different from any other place in the world. A tour of Japan lets you discover big cities filled with ancient temples and innovative skyscrapers, as well as quiet country landscapes dotted with castles, perfectly manicured gardens, cherry orchards, and primeval forests seemingly untouched by the hand of mass tourism. Many tourists on vacation in Japan devote lots of time to the country's unique cuisine, prepared with painstaking attention to detail and a genius for simple yet effective presentation.