Explore the beauty of the countries Japan and Korea in this one carefully formulated package. The Japan Golden Route and Eastern Korea including Seoul is a perfect opportunity to explore what makes up South Asia so beautiful. This tour will rake you into the hidden treasures of Japan and South Korea and lets you explore the culture and rich history of these counties.

This ultimate Asian experience takes tourists to one of the most overlooked countries in Asia, South Korea. South Korea has China across the sea to the west and is thus substantially influenced by Chinese culture. It is split by a fearsome border of North Korea but offers a range of beautiful experiences and landscapes that give a clear picture of what its past must have been like.

In contrast, Japan is a well-known country, where the past is said to meet the future. Japan is truly timeless and its beauty manages to put an imprint in the minds of its travelers for a long time to come. The combined tour offers distinctive cultures, traditions and landmarks and samples all that South Korea and Japan have to offer. Test your kimchi-making skills, take part in a spa bath, ride a bullet train, explore the delectable cuisine of these two countries in the duration of 12 days.

Itinerary

  • Day Arrival in Tokyo

    This day marks the beginning of this wonderful journey to Asia. The day starts off with the arrival in the Narita International Airport in the capital of Japan. You will be transferred to the hotel and spend the night sampling the unique Japanese cuisine.

    Japan is a mystery in itself, and this fact is made more enhanced as you visit different locations here. With wonderful and welcoming people, to exquisite sights worth beholding, Japan has it all. Japan is aptly called as a timeless masterpiece, with a perfect amalgamation of the old and new merging into one complete entity. While Japan appears as a modern country on the surface, the tradition and culture of its people have been retained perfectly over the years. With chanting monks, special tea, and beautiful dances, Japan is truly a wonderful country to be in.

    • Overnight at hotel in Tokyo
    • Meals not included
  • Day Sightseeing in Tokyo

    Today is dedicated to exploring the dynamic capital of the beautiful country of Japan. Tokyo is home to sightseeing locations like the Tokyo Tower, Sensiji Temple, Imperial Place Plaza, Nakamise Shopping Street and other dynamic regions worth paying homage to. Tokyo is always on the move, and its people seem to be very busy with their own lives. However, behind and the rush is a city whose architecture and traditions have withstood the washes of time. Tokyo has a passion for everything new but still, retains its age-old culture.

    We start the day off by visiting the well-known Tokyo Tower. It is an observation center and communications center and is currently undergoing renovation activities. It is the second tallest structure in Japan and is an Eiffel tower inspired masterpiece. We will move on to visit the Sensiji Temple which is an ancient Buddhist temple, also known to be the oldest temple in Tokyo. It is visited significantly by a huge number of Buddhist pilgrims all over the world.

    Our next destination for today is the Imperial Place Plaza. It is the primary residence of the Emperor of Japan and the public is permitted to enter its premises through an inner gate which leads to the plaza. We visit the Nakamise Shopping Street next. It is a perfect spot to buy souvenirs and is requested by tourists because of the presence of several handicrafts that are available here. You can also sample several food products in the shopping street.

     Also, experience the Tea Ceremony whereby you will; get a chance to sample the Japanese style lunch. Finally, we end the day with the Sumida River Cruise to get the basic idea of what Japan is actually made of.This futuristic way of cruising will take you through several stations before you are taken back to the hotel to put an end to a truly wonderful day.

    • Breakfast & lunch included
    • Overnight at hotel in Tokyo
  • Day Tokyo- Mt. Fuji- Hakone

    Today we will explore the highest mountain and the active volcano in Japan, Mt. Fuji. Mt. Fuji is one of the most revered destinations in Japan. At 3776 meters, it is the highest mountain in Japan and is a perfectly shaped volcano. Japanese consider it a sacred mountain and worship it. It is an active volcano which erupted on 1707. The easiest way to explore and witness the spectacle of Mount Fuji is to take a train trip from Tokyo to Osaka. After exploring the Mt. Fuji Station we will move on move on to embark on the Lake Ashi Cruise.

    Lake Ashi is also referred to as the Hakone Lake and is a crater lake lying alongside Mount Hakone. Mount Hakone is a complex volcano. The lake is known best for its perfect views of Mount Fuji and several hot springs that its boasts. We end the day by exploring the Komagatake Ropeway. The Mount Komagatake Ropeway takes you to the MountKomagatake peak. From the top, one can witness exquisite views of the Mount Fuji and the Izu peninsula. After this wonderful day exploring the natural beauty of Japan, we drive to Hakone to spend the night.

    Notes: Please be advised that on the day large luggage such as suitcases will be transported from Hamamatsucho Bus Terminal to hotels in Kyoto separately by truck. (One article of standard size luggage per customer will be transported free of charge. Any additional items will incur a fee of JPY 2,200 per article, which must be paid on the day.) Baggage is scheduled to arrive at Kyoto on the day following the day it is sent, but the delivery time cannot be guaranteed.

    • Breakfast & lunch included
    • Overnight at hotel in Hakone
  • Day Hakone to Kyoto

    Move to the Odawara Station in the morning, to reach the city of Kyoto. Kyoto is situated in Honshu, Japan and was a former Imperial Capital of Japan. Kyoto is home to roughly 2000 temples and shrines, most of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites. After arrival in Kyoto, we will drive to Nara and explore locations like the Nara Park, Todai-Ji Temple, Great Buddha, KasugaTaisha Shrine and Nara Nagomikan before driving back to Kyoto.

    Nara is situated in the Kansai region of Japan and is home to the ruins of eight temples and shrines. This temple and shrines are collectively called as the Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara and have been listed as a World Heritage site. We start off by paying homage to Nara Park. Nara Park is a public park and is one of the oldest ones in Japan. It is home to over 1200 wild deer and adjunct temple buildings. It is also home to the Nara National Museum and the Todai-Ji temple. Todai-Ji temple is a Buddhist Temple complex which serves as the Japanese headquarters of the Kegon school of Buddhism. Deer roam the grounds of this temple freely.

    We move on to pay a visit to the Great Buddha statue followed by visiting the KasugaTaisha Shrine. The Kasuga Shrine is the shrine of the Fujiwara family and its interior is known best for the presence of many bronze lanterns. We end the sightseeing tour in Nara by visiting the Nara Nagomikan where you can find an array of delicious sweets and souvenirs. The rest of the day is free for your own leisure, whereby you can spend the day in the hotel premises, or take the opportunity to explore more interesting locations in Kyoto.

    [About Shinkansen Luggage Regulation]
    Overhead shelves on shinkansen trains are about 40cm high and 60cm deep and cannot accommodate large items. There is usually space for two to three large suitcases behind the last row of seats in each car on most long distance trains. Furthermore, on many shinkansen trains the leg room is large enough to place a suitcase in front of you, although this may not be the most comfortable solution. According to JR regulations, each passenger may bring up to two pieces of luggage onto trains, not including smaller bags. Each piece of luggage may not weight more than 30kg and its three dimensions (length, width and depth) may not add up to more than 250cm, while its length may not exceed 200cm.

    • Breakfast & lunch included
    • Overnight at hotel in Kyoto
  • Day Sightseeing in Kyoto

    This day is dedicated to visiting several sightseeing locations around Kyoto. Enjoy full day sightseeing of the Nijo Castle, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Kinkaku-ji, Heian Jingu Shrine, Kiyomizu-Dera Temple as well as the Sanjusangen-do Temple.

    The first destination for the day is the NijoCastle.heNijo Castle is an interesting piece of architecture which falls on the list of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is a castle made of wood and is accompanies by lush gardens. We move on to visit the Kyoto Imperial Palace which was the imperial family’s residence formerly. Our next destination is the Kinkaku-Ji temple followed by the Heian Jingu Shrine which is modeled on the same way as the ancient Imperial Palace. We visit the temple famous for its wooden terrace, the Kiyomizu-Dera Temple and lastly the Sanjusangen-do Temple.

    • Breakfast & lunch included
    • Overnight at hotel in Kyoto
  • Day Fly from Kyoto to Seoul

    After exploration of the architectural and natural delights in Japan, it is time to fly to Korea to Seoul. Today is yet another exciting day as we will be reaching South Korea. Arrive at the Incheon International Airport and transfer to the hotel. After check-in, the rest of the day is free for your leisure, whereby you can take part in interesting activities which might include sampling the cuisine of the Korean people.

    Seoul is both fashion-forward and deeply traditional and the mixture of these two elements makes this city a destination for thrill seekers all over. This dynamic city is an amalgamation of temples, cutting-edge designs, and mountain scenery all into one. Seoul is ideal for a romantic getaway and has historical fragments contrasting deeply with its 24-hour busy schedule.

    • Breakfast included
    • Overnight at hotel in Seoul
  • Day Seoul to Busan

    Today, we start off the day by visiting the delights of Seoul. We will visit the Jinjuseong Fortress in the morning. The fortress is an important architectural piece of South Korea and is known best for the Jinju Lantern festival. The castle dates back hundreds of years and is linked to the Japanese invasion. It is situated on a hill alongside the Nam River on either side. It was formerly called as the Geoyeolseong Castle and was later renamed to its current name after the rule of the Goryeo dynasty. This visit will be followed by a drive to Busan.

    Busan is the second most populous city in South Korea after Seoul. It is known for its parks, beaches, temples and other locations of religious importance. We will explore the Dingbaekseom Island near Haeundae Beach. Also known as the Island of the Camellias, this island has a monument, a mermaid statue and offers fascist views of the Busan shoreline. It is however known best for the huge number of camellias that burst into bloom everywhere.

    We move on next, to visit the Centum City Department Store, known to be one of the largest shopping complexes in the world, hosting countless items of every range. After some shopping in the famous Centum City Shopping Center, it is time to end the day.

    • Breakfast, lunch & dinner included
    • Overnight at hotel in Busan
  • Day Busan to Gyeongju

    We will start the day by paying a visit the park littered with interesting rocks, the Ulgi Park. The wind and the ocean have created rocks of interesting shapes. This will be followed by a drive to Gyeongju where we will spend some time by visiting the World Cultural Asset of Bulguksa Temple. It was denoted as a UNESCO World Heritage site on 1995 and the artistic touch of the stone relics found in the temple gives a clear picture as to why it is considered to be one of the most important pieces of architecture in South Korea. The temple is home to several important relics and has undergone several renovations to appear as it is today. Explore the World Cultural Assets like Gyeongju National Museum, Tumuli Park and Cheomseongdae Observatory in Gyeongju.

    The Gyeongju National Museum is home to several important artifacts and national treasures of historical significance. The Tumuli park is known for the abundance of tombs while the Cheomseongdae Observatory is a stargazing tower of astronomical importance.

     

    • Breakfast, lunch & dinner included
    • Overnight at hotel in Gyeongju
  • Day Gyeongju to Pyeongchang

    Explore the AndongHahoe Village, home to the descendants of the Ryu Clan of Pungsan. This village is a UNESCO certified World Heritage Site and is known for its traditional houses. The Nakdong River flows around the perimeter of the twin and the village are located strategically in the foothills of the Hwasan Mountain. Scenic sights like the Buyongdae Cliff, sandy beaches, and pine trees make up most of the beauty of the village.

    Follow this with a visit to the Hanji Theme Park where we get a chance to witness the Hanji making process. Hanji is a traditional Korean paper. The first floor of the part is anHanji History exhibition hall which gives a clear depiction of the history of the Hanji making process. There are a number of other activities that can be carried out in the park. Transfer and check into a hotel in Pyeongchang will bring an end to this activity-filled day.

    • Breakfast, lunch & dinner included
    • Overnight at hotel in Pyeongchang
  • Day Pyeongchang to Seoul

    Visit the Jumunjin Seafood Market to explore the variety of fresh seafood. The market was founded on 1936 and comprises of a large fleet of squid boats. It offers a sashimi center and sells a large number of dried sea products. The market sells squid, crabs, pikes, mackerel, pollacks etc. Follow this with a short hike to the Mt. Seorak. This is a perfect chance to explore the natural beauty.

    Mt. Seoraksan is the third highest mountain the South Korea (5603 feet) and this mountain chain is known to be the backbone of the Korean peninsula. In autumn, the hike to the mountain is exquisitely beautiful because of the presence of red and yellow forest interrupted largely by rocks and mountain streams. Several waterfalls adorn the hiking path, making this natural experience a refreshing one.  Later we will be transferred to Jujeongol and finally transfer to Seoul.

    • Breakfast & lunch included
    • Overnight at hotel in Seoul
  • Day Sightseeing in Seoul

    Today we embark on a sightseeing journey of the capital, Seoul. Seoul is home to several sightseeing locations like the Gwanghwamun Gate, Blue House, Ginseng Shopping Center, NamsangolaHanok Village etc. which are worth exploring.

    We start off by visiting the Gwanghwamun Gate, in the early morning. It is the main and the largest gate of Seoul and is a landmark of significance in the capital. The gate has been restored to its present glory by several reconstructions. The changing of the Royal Guards in the gate is an interesting event watched by thousands of tourists each year. The changing of the guards takes place every hour from 10:00 to 15:00 every day. 

    We move on to visit the Blue House, the official residence of the President of the Republic of Korea. Built in a Korean architectural style, it is a complex of buildings. We move on to shop in the Ginseng Shopping Center home to several items which can be bought to take back home.

    The afternoon can be used to pay a visit to the NamsangolaHanok Village. The village is located on the north side of the NamsanMountain and has five traditional Korean houses along with a pavilion and traditional garden. The village gives a true taste of traditional life and helps one stay away from the hustle and bustle of the many cities. There are a number of traditional activities and programs that can be carried out here. We end the day by visiting the N Seoul Tower for panoramic views of entire Seoul city. The communications and observation tower is located in the Namsan Mountain. It was the first radio wave tower of South Korean and it currently broadcasts signals for some Korean media outlets. One can ride the Namsan cable car up to Mt. Namsan and walk up to the tower for views of the city.

    • Breakfast & lunch included
    • Overnight at hotel in Seoul
  • Day Depart transfer

    Finally, time to bid goodbye to this incredible experience of visiting two South Asian countries and exploring their culture and traditions in this duration. The mixture of the old and the new is evident in both the countries but the architecture and history of both have fairly remained the same. With the contrasting and similar feature of both countries fresh in minds and embedded forever in pictures, it is finally time to return back home. With a promise to come back for more, depart from the Incheon International Airport to your respective locations.

    • Depart transfer

Trip Info

  • Accommodation & meals

    Multiple 4-5 Star hotel accommodation based on double occupancy
    Meals in the itinerary

  • Inclusions & Exclusions

    Inclusions

    English speaking tour guide
    Admission fees in the itinerary

    Exclusions

    Round-trip international and all domestic air ticket
    Travel insurance
    Meals not specified in the itinerary
    Service beyond the itinerary
    Personal expense throughout the tour
    Gratuities (optional, not required)

  • Transportation

    Round-trip airport/hotel transfers specified in the itinerary
    Other transportation in the itinerary

  • Visa & documetation

    South Korea

    A Visa do not required traveling in South Korea.

    US Citizen do not require tourist Visa in South Korea but you must have a 6 months valid passport. The tourists allow staying in South Korea up to 90 days.

    Canada Citizen do not require tourist Visa in South Korea but you must have a 6 months valid passport. The tourists allow staying in South Korea up to 180 days.

    Japan


    A Visa do not required traveling in Japan

    US and Canada citizen do not require tourist Visa in Japan but you must have a 6 months valid passport. The tourists allow staying in Japan up to 90 days

  • Cancellation & Changes

    There are two ways to deal with modification in travel plans. First is you can cancel the trip completely and second is you can postpone the date. But for any of these change to take effect we need to be informed 6 weeks before your booked trip date before cancelling or postponing the trip.

    Important note: In case of natural disasters and national political issues our hands are tied so we cannot undertake any kind of activities which we will take full responsibility of and make sure our clients get the flexibility of making decisions to either postpone or cancel the trip they initially advocated for. There will be no extra fees or cost for rescheduling but if you decide to cancel the trip volunterily our cancellation fees apply which is listed and described below.

     

    Cancellation fees rules:

    These are our specific rules for trip cancellations and refund fees involved:

    1. If we are informed by our clients at least 43 days before the travel date then the full deposit amount will be refunded after deducting 4% bank surcharge on total deposit amount.
    2. If we are informed by our clients 6 weeks before the travel date then we can refund complete deposit by just deducting $195 per person.
    3. If cancellation is done between 4 and 6 weeks of travel date then we can refund your deposit after deducting $395 per person. This is because we will have to pay to the hotels, guides and other personals involved to make this trip possible to recover their financial plans.
    4. If we are not informed between 4 and 6 weeks of travel date there will be no refund as there are many other workers and organizations that needs to be paid by us for planning your trip. Losing you as a customer means losing their employment opportunity which will harm involved worker’s financial status.

    So, we request our respectful guests to inform us about any kind of modification plans (postpone or cancellations) at least before 43 days of travel date. This will help us to refund your designated deposit and also maintain financial status of every worker and organization involved.

  • Payments & Deposits

    Makalu Travels offers easy & reliable online payment through credit/debit card, & Paypal. All online payments are processed through the our highly secured online payment partner Authorize.net Please kinldy be informed that all online payments are subject to additional 4% bank surcharge & processing fee. 

    If you would like to avoid the 4% transaction fee then you also have an option to deposit the money into Makalu Travels' bank account in Wells Fargo Bank, USA. The bank details will be provided on request. You will receive a notice from us after a successful deposit or any kind of financial transaction. We will make sure that your transfer amount has arrived to us before sending you any type of confirmation invoice or notification.

  • Hotel & Room Bookings

    The hotel we will accommodate you to is Hotel Le Himalaya pre and post trek in Kathmandu. We will book the hotel rooms for you as per your request with a good pricing than that of online booking. We will transfer all your luggage while being transferred from one accommodation center to another. In Kathmandu we will have a very standard hotel but while trekking we won’t have such luxury so we will have to spend our nights in tea houses. These tea houses are fairly of good standard, you can’t be too picky in the Himalayas! You can contact us if there is any specific query you have about the accommodation structure.

     

    In Kathmandu

    Rooms are very spacious and have private bathrooms and toilets. You will not have to compromise even a bit while your stay at Kathmandu. Hotel Le HImalaya is where you will be before and after the trek as we will have pre booked everything for our respected guests. In case of extending your vacation in Nepal we can help you book rooms for extra nights but we will need to be pre informed. If it is a peak season it will be difficult to manage room in same hotel but we will make an utmost effort to accommodate you in the hotel of same caliber.

    Note: Our guests will not have to pay for the nights that they don’t spend in a hotel room in Kathmandu. We can always come to an agreement if there are certain flight delays or cancellations. During these kind of situations we will accommodate our guests fitting best to their requirements.

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Partnerships & Clientele

  • IATA
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