South Korea & Japan (2025)

  • CAD $12,690

  • May 09 - 27, 2025 | 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.

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Upon arrival, proceed to the hotel for check-in. The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy, whether you prefer relaxation or personal exploration, all at your own pace.

Begin your Korean adventure by delving into its culinary traditions with a professional chef, learning to prepare classic dishes like Bulgogi and Sukju Namul. Follow this with a leisurely stroll along Cheonggyecheon Stream, an urban oasis recently reclaimed from beneath a highway, offering a blend of history and modernity. Explore the vibrant Gwanghwamun Square, home to museums, outdoor artworks, and dining options, providing splendid views. The journey continues to the historic Gyeongbokgung Palace, the former royal residence of the Joseon Dynasty, and the War Memorial of Korea, each narrating stories of the nation’s past.

Dive into the heart of Korean heritage at Bukchon Hanok Village, where ancient homes have been transformed into quaint restaurants, cultural museums, and craft workshops. Wander the lanes of Insa-dong, a neighborhood celebrated for its galleries filled with traditional Korean arts and crafts. Later, venture into Gwangjang Market, a bustling hub of culture and commerce that ranks among South Korea’s oldest and largest markets. Cap off the day with a visit to the iconic N Seoul Tower, standing as a beacon over Seoul and offering expansive views of the city’s dynamic skyline.

Journey to the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the stark border between North and South Korea. Visit key sites including Imjingak Park, the symbolic Freedom Bridge, and the clandestine Third Infiltration Tunnel. Gain unique perspectives of North Korea from the Dora Observatory and explore Dorasan Station, the northernmost railway station in South Korea. After exploring these poignant and historic sites, return to the hotel for a leisurely evening or further personal exploration.

Take the KTX train to Gyeongju, once the capital of the ancient Silla kingdom. Explore Bulguksa Temple, a testament to the golden age of Buddhist art, and Seokguram, a man-made cave temple of  remarkable craftsmanship. Wander through Tumuli Park, home to over two dozen unique tombs from the Silla period. Conclude the day by settling into a hanok, offering an authentic traditional Korean lodging experience.

Head to Busan and begin your exploration at Songdo Skywalk, a 365-meter promenade offering scenic views over the water from Songdo Beach. Next, visit the 120-meter-high Busan Tower, an emblematic symbol of the city. Explore Jagalchi Market, Korea’s largest seafood market, bustling with vibrant stalls and fresh catches. Continue to Huinnyeoul Culture Village, set on Yeongdo’s cliffs, offering quaint coastal charm. The journey culminates at Gamcheon Culture Village, known for its colorful houses and winding alleys, artistically set against the hillside.

Explore the coastal Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, renowned for its stunning ocean views, and stroll along the beautiful Haeundae Beach. Enjoy some free time at The Bay 101, a popular spot near Dongbaek Island, known for its scenic beauty and now connected to the mainland. Cap off the day with a traditional Korean sauna experience before returning to the hotel.

Enjoy a day at your own pace, followed by a journey to the airport to catch a flight to Osaka. Once arrived, proceed with a transfer to your hotel in Kyoto.

Embark on a sightseeing tour of Kyoto, featuring visits to the iconic Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion, and the Fushimi Inari Shrine, renowned for its thousands of vermilion Torii gates. Continue to Nara to explore the Todaiji Temple’s Daibutsuden Hall, the world’s largest wooden structure, housing a colossal bronze Buddha statue. Wander through Nara Park, affectionately known as Deer Park, and conclude at Kofukuji Temple, a pivotal Zen temple in Kyoto with a history of producing renowned monks.

From Kyoto Station, take a bullet train to Hiroshima and continue with a motorcoach for a day of sightseeing. Visit the Peace Memorial Park, including the Memorial Museum and the iconic A-Bomb Dome. The journey then leads to Miyajima Island for a visit to the Itsukushima Shrine and a ride on the Miyajima Ropeway. Conclude the tour by returning to Hiroshima Station, taking the bullet train back to Kyoto, and walking back to your hotel.

Begin the day with a coach tour, visiting the historical Nijo Castle, an architectural marvel from the Edo Period. Participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, delving into the country’s rich cultural practices. Explore Gion, the famed district of Kyoto known for its preservation of traditional arts and performances. After returning to the hotel, the afternoon is free for personal activities. The day concludes with dinner at a local restaurant, complemented by an enchanting Maiko dance performance.

Depart from Kyoto Station on an express train to Kanazawa, renowned for its gold-leaf production. Explore the exquisite Kenrokuen Garden, celebrated as one of Japan’s three most beautiful landscape gardens. Wander through Higashi-Chayamachi, a historic district known for its traditional tea-house architecture and Edo-era geisha culture. Visit a local workshop to observe the meticulous art of applying gold leaf to chopsticks. Conclude the day with a leisurely dinner at a restaurant near your hotel.

Set off to Takayama by coach, stopping en route in Shirakawago to explore the Wada family’s former residence, a distinctive gassho-style house with a steep thatched roof from the mid-Edo period. Continue to Gokayama, where you’ll witness the traditional craft of creating Washi, Japanese paper. Afterward, proceed to your hotel in Takayama, where you can indulge in a Japanese hot springs experience.

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

Head to Owakudani, a volcanic valley formed during Mount Hakone’s last eruption around 3,000 years ago, and marvel at the active geothermal spots. Afterward, explore the Hakone Open-Air Museum, where you’ll find an impressive collection of modern and contemporary sculptures in a scenic outdoor setting. Following these visits, continue your journey to Tokyo.

Start the day visiting Tokyo’s serene Meiji Jingu Shrine, steeped in tranquility and tradition. Dive into the culinary world with a sushi-making session, then wander through the lively stalls of Tsukiji Outer Market, famous for its fresh fare and rich history. Continue to the venerable Asakusa Kannon Temple, a beacon of the Edo period, and meander along the Nakamise Shopping Arcade, where a variety of traditional garments, handicrafts, and snacks invite exploration.

Enjoy a day at leisure, taking the opportunity to relax or explore at your own pace. As the evening arrives, culminate your journey with a memorable farewell dinner aboard a yakatabune, a traditional Japanese boat, providing an intimate setting to reflect on your experiences and enjoy the city’s skyline.

Take the day to unwind or explore as you please. Later, proceed to the airport for your return flight, concluding your journey.

Dates & Prices

Travel date: May 09 – 27, 2023
Prices are in CAD, per person

CAD $12,690 per person CAD $3,750 per person
First Deposit: CAD $1,500 per person at the time of booking
Second Deposit: CAD $1,500 per person due on December 2, 2024
Final Payment: due on February 7, 2025


  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.
From time of booking to Dece,ber 1, 2024 CAD $1,500 per person
December 1, 2024 – February 6, 2025 CAD $3,000 per person
February 7, 2025 – March 3, 2023 50% of tour cost
March 3, 2025 – 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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