Korea & Japan: A Cultural Experience10 days & 9 nights, Private Journey
Handcrafted itineraries for one or more travelers with on-the-ground support, a private guide, and a private vehicle. Private Journeys represent the best of the custom programs we've designed over the years. Our insider knowledge and destination expertise make these innovative journeys truly unique experiences.Private Journey
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Day 1Arrive Seoul
Welcome to Korea!Four Seasons Seoul - 3 Nights
Upon arrival in Seoul, you will be met by your Cox & Kings guide and escorted to your hotel. The drive from the airport is approximately one hour. Once at the hotel, you will be assisted with check-in. The balance of the day will be at your leisure.
This morning, you will meet your private guide for a full-day tour of the city, beginning with Gyeongbokgung Palace. Gyeongbokgung Palace is arguably the most beautiful, and is the largest, of all five palaces.Four Seasons Seoul (B)
Continue on to Bukchon Hanok Village, home to hundreds of traditional houses, called hanok, that date back to the Joseon Dynasty. Today, many of these hanoks operate as cultural centers, guesthouses, restaurants, and tea houses, providing visitors with an opportunity to immerse themselves in traditional Korean culture.
Next, Insadong Art & Antique Street, located in the heart of the city, is an important place where precious and traditional goods are on display. There are about 100 galleries in the area, showcasing all kinds of traditional Korean fine art, from paintings to sculptures.
Take your time to enjoy the many wonders of the more than 5,000 stalls that make up the Gwangjang Traditional Market. Gwangjang Market is also famous for various snacks and food, so bring your appetite.
You’ll call upon Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP). It is the newest and most iconic landmark of the Korean design industry. Designed by world renowned architect Zaha Hadid, DDP is the world’s largest atypical architecture.
End your day at the Nanta Show, a non-verbal comedy show created and produced by Song Seung-hwan. It incorporates traditional samul nori rhythm. The show involves acrobatics, magic tricks, comedy, pantomime, and audience participation.
After breakfast, you will meet your English-speaking private guide and travel roughly 1.5 hours to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). As one of the last relics of the Cold War, the DMZ attracts a great deal of public interest, and is a popular destination for travelers visiting Korea.Four Seasons Seoul (B, D)
After visiting DMZ, you will be transferred back to Seoul to continue to learn about this period of history. The grounds of the War Memorial of Korea were once the headquarters of the Korean Infantry. You’ll see equipment and large weaponry that was used in the Korean War, in addition to items from World War II and the Vietnam War.
Dine at Seokparang. The royal cuisine served is comprised of strictly selected ingredients and traditional hand-made pastes, showcasing the chefs’ passion for their dishes.
Day 4Seoul - Busan
This morning, you will meet your English-speaking private guide and transfer to Seoul Station, where your guide will bid you farewell for your trip to Busan on the KTX train. After a 2.5 to 3-hour ride, you'll be met by an English-speaking local guide in Busan, who will escort you to your hotel for check-in.Park Hyatt Busan - 3 Nights (B)
After breakfast, you will meet your English-speaking private guide for a full-day tour in Busan. Designated as a Busan monument, Taejongdae represents Busan, and is especially famous for its rock beach.Park Hyatt Busan (B)
After bidding farewell to the natural beauty of Taejongdae, you’ll visit the UN Memorial Cemetery. This serene park spreads across a spacious grassy area with notable sites and memorials including the Memorial Service Hall, Memorabilia Hall, two Turkish Monuments, the Greek Monument, Australian Monument and the British Commonwealth Monument.
Busan Tower is modeled after the baldaquin of Dabotap Pagoda in Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju. Loved by Busan citizens and tourists alike, the tower offers a stunning night view and plenty to see.
This morning, you will meet your English-speaking private guide for a full-day tour of Busan. You’ll first explore Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, which is situated on the coast of the northeastern portion of Busan. Most temples in Korea are in the mountains, so this coastal temple is a rare treat.Park Hyatt Busan (B)
Gamcheon Culture Village is formed by houses built in staircase-fashion on the foothills of a coastal mountain, earning this village the nickname of “Machu Picchu of Busan.”
Get a feel for everyday life in Busan at the Gukje Market. The Gukje Market is one of Korea’s largest markets. Each alleyway is crowded with stalls that sell such a wide variety of goods, you can find almost everything you need.
An exploration of Busan’s markets wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Jagalchi Market, Korea’s largest seafood market. Sample fresh fish right in the market.
Day 7Busan - Kyoto, Japan
After breakfast, you will be escorted to the airport for your flight to Osaka, Japan. Upon arrival, you will be continue on to Kyoto. The drive is approximately 1 hour. After checking in, the balance of the day will be at your leisure.Four Seasons Kyoto - 3 Nights (B)
After breakfast, you will begin your exploration of Kyoto and Nara Park. Start with a drive to Toudaiji Temple, a Buddhist temple complex that was once one of the powerful seven great temples. Buddha Hall houses the largest bronze of the Buddha Vairocana.Four Seasons Kyoto (B)
Nara Park is the city's most popular tourist attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the Kasuga Shrine, which is famous for its many bronze lanterns, as well as the many stone lanterns that lead up the shrine.
Next, head to the traditional Japanese house, Camellia, for an immersive tea ceremony. The traditional Japanese house, which sits amongst stunning gardens, is over 100 years old. The Zen temple is famed for its rock garden, possibly the most renowned of its kind in the world. You will enjoy unforgettable private tea ceremony.
After the tea ceremony, return to your hotel, where the balance of the day will be at your leisure.
After breakfast, join your guide for a full-day exploration of Kyoto. During your tour, you will visit the city’s most famous shrines and temples, Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kiyomizu Temple, Kinkakuji Temple, and Ryoanji Temple. You will also visit beautiful bamboo forest of Arashiyama.Four Seasons Kyoto (B)
You'll return to your hotel in the late afternoon. Take advantage of some time to relax before this evening’s activities.
Tonight, you'll get to immerse yourself in the beguiling beauty of the maiko (apprentice geisha) during an exquisite evening of culture and cuisine at Gion Hatanaka. Gain fascinating insight into ancient Japanese customs as you chat with maiko and capture photographs to immortalize your memorable evening. Sip on a selection of unlimited drinks and pleasure your palate with delicacies inspired by kaiseki cuisine, a traditional Japanese cooking style.
Day 10Depart Kyoto
After breakfast, you will be escorted to the train station for your bullet train ride to Tokyo. Upon arrival, you will be met and assisted to the airport for your departing flight.(B)
Internal Flights / Delays / Insurance: Almost all the internal flights in this brochure use jet airliners, with some internal airlines in Southeast Asia using turboprop aircraft.
Because of increased air traffic, government restrictions and changing weather conditions, flight delays have become more commonplace. These delays can cause problems with your travel arrangements, and additional costs may well be involved. This may be in the form of added accommodation costs, transfers and/or onward tickets. If this should occur, everything possible will be done to minimize the inconvenience. Cox & Kings will endeavor to ensure that arrangements go as smoothly as possible. As services are paid for in advance, any services missed due to delays and/or schedule changes are non-refundable. Please also bear in mind that many international flight tickets are non-changeable and non-refundable. The insurance policy offered by Cox & Kings is designed to mitigate the costs and effects of such delays in certain circumstances, and we strongly advise that you purchase insurance against such eventualities.
Airport Departure Taxes: The cost of our tours does not always include airport departure taxes or overland departure taxes; it is necessary for you to pay these locally and in local currency. Please ensure that you retain enough local currency to cover these taxes. Departure taxes vary in each country and you will be advised when possible of the rates before your departure from the U.S.A. These taxes are always subject to change, and if they do so when you are traveling, your guide or our ground handler will advise you.
The majority of the roads to and from major tourist destinations are paved and in reasonable condition. Although many of the city roads are now 4 to 6-lane highways and have had a large amount of investment in recent years, many of the narrower ones and smaller highways are bumpy and pot-holed. In Vietnam and Cambodia, many of the roads are in poor condition, but most of the main highways are paved. For longer journeys, we will nearly always advise you to fly. Types of vehicles vary according to the country visited and the numbers on a tour. Generally, the following can be used as a guideline for the size of transportation provided: 1-3 passengers, sedan car; 4-6 passengers, minivan; 6-19 passengers, small bus; 20-28 passengers, medium bus.
A number of flights within Asia & the Pacific arrive/depart early in the morning and, while we will endeavor to schedule your tour with a flight which arrives/departs at a reasonable time, sometimes there is little or no alternative and early check-in/check-out times may be required.
Accommodation standards vary dramatically throughout Asia & the Pacific; however, in most of the major cities the hotels are of a good standard. Standards will vary much more in some of the smaller cities and rural areas.
For our tours in Asia & the Pacific, we have chosen hotels primarily for their location and the facilities available. We will endeavor to supply any extra information that you may require about these hotels. The hotels listed in the tour itineraries may occasionally be unavailable for the required dates. In this event, we will advise you of the alternative hotels, which will, where possible, be of the same or of a higher standard than those featured in the itineraries. There are many new hotels being built in Asia & the Pacific, and we may upgrade those featured in the brochure if better options in the same category become available. In Mongolia we use traditional tents or “gers”.
Please note all rooms reserved on your tour are standard, unless noted otherwise; however, if you wish to upgrade your room (e.g., to a lake view or suite, etc.), please speak to your tour consultant who will be able to advise you about options and applicable supplements.
Check-in & Check-out Times: For all group and individual tours, hotel check-in time is normally 14:00 and check-out time is normally 12:00, but this does vary between hotels. Early check-ins and late check-outs cannot be pre-booked without extra payment.
In some cases, prices for individual arrangements and tour extensions are quoted excluding a guide. In this case, the supplement for a guide is available on request. For logistical reasons, some extensions are on a shared basis based upon a minimum of two passengers and not on a private basis.
Visiting many of the sites in Asia require a reasonable amount of walking, either to the site or around it. While the walking is normally easy going, a full-day’s sightseeing can be quite tiring and sometimes strenuous. In addition, at ancient monuments there are many steep sections and uneven surfaces. A reasonable amount of fitness is required.
Cruise boats may vary their itineraries with little or no notice if water levels become unusually low, or to avoid areas of dense traffic. Such changes are generally very rare, but you should check the final itinerary at reception when you embark. Cruise itineraries include full board, but all drinks will be charged as extras.
Korea & Japan: A Cultural Experience
Please select an option before proceeding to Booking Request.