South Korea & Japan

  • CAD $11,390

  • September 12 - 30, 2021 | 19 days / 17 nights

From historic palaces to traditional customs, South Korea and Japan share many similarities, but this 19-day journey will explore how they are unique. Be immersed in Korean culture in Seoul, peek at North Korea from the Demilitarized Zone, and be amazed at Busan’s Songdo Skywalk extending out over the water. Your Japanese experience begins in Kyoto, with its temples, shrines and parks, before whisking you by bullet-train to Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park. Other highlights include a tea ceremony in Kyoto, sake-tasting in Takayama, sushi-making in Tokyo and — weather permitting — an excursion up Mount Fuji.

Itinerary

Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.

Accommodation:  Lotte City Myeongdong Hotel or similar (4 nights)
Meals included: Dinner

Start your exploration of Korea with cuisine. Learn to make Bulgogi and Sukju Namul with the help of a professional chef.

Enjoy a walk along Cheonggyecheon Stream, an ancient focal point of urban life that was recently restored after being buried for decades under a highway. At Gwanghwamun Square, explore museums, outdoor artworks, restaurants and magnificent views. Continue to Gyeongbokgung Palace (the seat of the Joseon Dynasty) and the War Memorial of Korea.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Immerse yourself in traditional Korean culture in Bukchon Hanok Village, full of centuries-old houses that today house restaurants, museums and artisanal workshops. In the Insa-dong neighbourhood, explore galleries devoted to traditional Korean arts and crafts. In the 100-year old Gwangjang Market, have a delicious lunch of local street food.

After lunch, visit Samsung D’light, a showcase of that company’s latest product line-up. In the evening, enjoy the Nanta Show, a non-verbal performance consisting of acrobatics, comedy and a percussion ensemble that uses kitchen utensils.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel to the Korean Demilitarized Zone to see the border between North and South Korea. Visit Imjingak Park, the Freedom Bridge and the Third Infiltration Tunnel. Observe North Korea from the Dora Observatory. View Dorasan Station, the northernmost stop on South Korea’s railway line. After lunch, return to the hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
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In the morning, travel by KTX train to the coastal city of Gyeongju, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Silla (57 BCE – 935 CE). Visit the Bulguksa Temple, a masterpiece of the golden age of Buddhist art, and the Seokguram Cave, an extraordinary cave temple built by hand. Proceed to Tumuli Park, which has more than two dozen extraordinary tombs, then travel to Busan.

Accommodation: Crown Harbor Hotel Busan or similar (3 nights)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Start the day at Songdo Skywalk, a 365-metre promenade extending over the water from Songdo beach, then proceed to the 120-metre-high Busan Tower, a beloved symbol of the city.

After lunch at Jagalchi Market, Korea’s largest seafood market, the tour continues. Bosu-dong Book Street is an alley of second-hand bookshops and cafes that dates back to the Korean War. Gamcheon Culture Village is a picturesque community of colourful houses and narrow alleys built on a hillside. Gukje Market, the largest traditional market in Busan, offers a variety of handicrafts and artefacts.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Visit the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple by the ocean, and beautiful Haeundae Beach. Free time to explore The Bay 101, an emerging hotspot next to Dongbaek Island. The island, considered one of the most scenic parts of Busan, used to be an island but is now part of the mainland. Experience a Korean sauna, then return to the hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Spend the day at leisure, then travel to the airport for a flight to Osaka. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel in Kyoto.

Accommodation:  Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto or similar (4 nights)
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Sightseeing tour of Kyoto, including the Kinkakuji Temple (AKA the Golden Pavilion), and Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for its red Torii gates. At Todaiji Temple in Nara, visit Daibutsuden Hall, the largest wooden building in the world, home to a giant bronze image of the sitting Buddha. Visit Nara Park (Deer Park), then return to the hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Walk to Kyoto Station and travel to Hiroshima by bullet train, then board a motorcoach for a full day of sightseeing. Visit Peace Memorial Park, with its memorial museum and the iconic A-Bomb Dome. Experience making okonomiyaki (savoury pancakes) at lunch. Continue the tour on Miyajima Island, with a visit to the Itsukushima Shrine and a ride on the Miyajima Ropeway. Return to Hiroshima Station for a bullet train back to Kyoto, and walk to your hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Morning sightseeing by coach includes Nijo Castle, built in 1603 by the first shogun of the Edo Period, and a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Visit Gion, Kyoto’s celebrated traditional district, and experience traditional Japanese arts and performances. Return to the hotel. Spend the afternoon at your leisure. In the evening, enjoy dinner at a nearby restaurant, featuring a Maiko dance performance.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Walk to Kyoto Station for an express train to Kanazawa, Japan’s gold-leaf production centre. Visit Kenrokuen Garden, one of the three most beautiful landscape gardens in Japan. Other highlights include Higashi-Chayamachi, a historic area with traditional tea-house-style architecture, well-known as a geisha district during the Edo era. At a traditional workshop, watch craftsmen delicately apply gold leaf to chopsticks. Enjoy dinner at a restaurant within walking distance of your hotel.

Accommodation: ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Kanazawa or similar (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel to Takayama by coach. En route, in Shirakawago, visit the former residence of the Wada family, a gassho-style house with a steep thatched roof, built in the mid-Edo period. Later, in Gokayama, observe the intricate process of creating traditional Japanese paper, called Washi. Proceed to the hotel in Takayama. Dinner will be served at the hotel.

Accommodation: Ryu Resort & Spa or similar (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Visit Sannomachi Street, in the old town, for a sake tasting and a visit to the Kusakabe Folkcraft Museum, formerly the residence of the Kusakabe family. You will also see Matsumoto Castle, known as “Crow Castle” because of its black exterior. This is one of Japan’s premier historic castles, the oldest extant five-structure/six-storey building.

Accommodation: Royal Hotel Yatsugatake or similar (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Proceed to the 5th station of Mount Fuji (weather permitting), then visit the Hakone Open-Air Museum. The outdoor sculpture garden consists of more than 100 modern and contemporary works. Continue on to Tokyo.

Accommodation: Keio Plaza Hotel or similar (3 nights)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

A full day of sightseeing by coach will begin at the Meiji Jingu Shrine. Experience sushi making at lunch. Visit the Tsukiji Outer Market, adjacent to the site of the former Tsukiji Wholesale Market. Continue on to the Asakusa Kannon Temple, Tokyo’s oldest, dating from the Edo period, and the Nakamise Shopping Arcade, a street of shops selling traditional garments and handicrafts, local snacks, etc.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Transfer to Kamakura, a former political centre of Japan. A walking tour will bring you to Kotoku-in Temple, renowned for its Great Buddha, as well as Hase Kannon Temple and Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. Stroll along colourful Komachi Street, with its fashionable coffee shops, long-established restaurants, and shops where you can buy natto (fermented beans), ham, traditional Kamakura carvings, and other local products.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Spend the day at leisure, then transfer to the airport for your return flight.

Meals included: Breakfast

Dates & Prices

Travel date: September 12 – 30, 2021
Prices are in CAD, per person

PACKAGE PRICES:
CAD $11,390 per person based on double occupancy
CAD $2,470 per person for single supplement
DEPOSITS & PAYMENTS
First Deposit: CAD $1,000 per each confirmed passenger at the time of booking
Second Deposit: CAD $2,000 per each confirmed passenger, due on January 4, 2021
Final Payment: Due on June 4, 2021

Note:

  1. Passenger names must match passport.
  2. Please ensure that passports are valid up till after six (6) months at last destination
  3. No visa is required to South Korea and Japan for Canadian passport holders.
CANCELLATION CHARGES
From time of booking to January 3, 2021 CAD $1,000 per person
January 4, 2021 – June 3, 2021 CAD $2,000 per person
June 4, 2021 – July 28, 2021 50% of tour cost
July 29, 2021 – date of departure 100% of tour cost

Air cancellation penalties are subject to airline regulations.

We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation or comprehensive travel insurance at the time of booking. Please contact us for a quotation. Prices above are in Canadian Dollars. The program and all related travel services described herein are subject to the detailed terms & conditions of GLP Worldwide which are available at any time upon request and which will be provided with your booking confirmation.

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