53 days in Japan, South Korea & China Itinerary

53 days in Japan, South Korea & China Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Asia trip itinerary planner

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1
Tokyo, Japan
— 5 nights
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2
Kyoto, Japan
— 7 nights
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3
Seoul, South Korea
— 6 nights
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Jeju, South Korea
— 7 nights
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Shanghai, China
— 6 nights
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Naha, Japan
— 4 nights
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Miyakojima, Japan
— 3 nights
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Ishigaki, Japan
— 3 nights
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Hong Kong, China
— 6 nights
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Beijing, China
— 4 nights
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Tokyo, Japan

— 5 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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Yokohama Minato Mirai 21 and Tokyo National Museum. Step off the beaten path and head to Samurai Museum and Edo-Tokyo Museum. Step out of Tokyo with an excursion to Yokohama Chinatown in Yokohama--about 46 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: admire the masterpieces at Ghibli Museum Mitaka, engage your brain at National Museum of Nature and Science, make a trip to Tokyo Tower, and take in the exciting artwork at Gallery Marusan.

For other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Tokyo travel route planning site.

Washington DC, USA to Tokyo is an approximately 17.5-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 14 hours traveling from Washington DC to Tokyo. Expect a daytime high around 51°F in February, and nighttime lows around 36°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sun) so you can travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums · Shopping · Neighborhoods · Spas

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 16 — 21:

Kyoto, Japan

— 7 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.
Step out of the city life by going to Kyoto Kimono Rental Sakura and Hero Tour Japan. Kyoto International Manga Museum and Nowaki will appeal to museum buffs. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Kyoto: Dotombori (Dotombori District & Naniwa Meibutsu Ichibirian Dotombori), Daimaru Museum Umeda (in Osaka) and Minami (Namba) (in Namba). And it doesn't end there: contemplate the long history of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, make a trip to Gion, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kodai-ji Temple, and hunt for treasures at Nishiki Market Shopping District.

For more things to do, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, use the Kyoto online road trip planner.

Traveling by train from Tokyo to Kyoto takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In February in Kyoto, expect temperatures between 49°F during the day and 35°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sun) early enough to travel to Seoul.

Things to do in Kyoto

Shopping · Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 21 — 28:

Seoul, South Korea

— 6 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 some cultural insight at The War Memorial of Korea and Seoul Arts Center. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at National Museum of Korea and Cheonggyecheon Stream. Step out of Seoul with an excursion to Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon--about 1h 5 min away. There's lots more to do: steep yourself in history at Gyeongbokgung Palace, admire the landmark architecture of Changdeokgung Palace, shop like a local with Namdaemun Market, and admire the masterpieces at Leeum Samsung Museum of Art.

To find maps, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Seoul driving holiday tool.

Traveling by flight from Kyoto to Seoul takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and ferry; or do a combination of car and ferry. Traveling from Kyoto in February, expect Seoul to be little chillier, temps between 41°F and 25°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Jeju.

Things to do in Seoul

Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping · Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Find places to stay Feb 28 — Mar 6:

Jeju, South Korea

— 7 nights

Island of the Gods

The main town on the largest of Korea's islands, Jeju has a volcanic landscape protected by UNESCO.
You'll explore and learn at Spirited Garden and Arario Museum Tapdong Cinema. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Seongsan Ilchulbong and Halla Mountain. Spend the 9th (Tue) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. There's lots more to do: take a peaceful walk through Bijarim Forest, admire the masterpieces at Trick Art Museum Korea, get a new perspective on nature at Jeju World Natural Heritage Center, and hunt for treasures at Dongmun Market.

For other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, read Jeju trip maker tool.

You can fly from Seoul to Jeju in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, taxi, and ferry; or do a combination of train and ferry. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sat) so you can travel to Shanghai.

Things to do in Jeju

Parks · Nature · Museums · Shopping

Side Trip

Find places to stay Mar 6 — 13:

Shanghai, China

— 6 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.
Your inner history buff will appreciate The Bund (Wai Tan) and Former French Concession. Head to Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre and Three on the Bundfor plenty of shopping. The adventure continues: buy something for everyone on your list at South Bund Soft Spinning Material Market, stop by Spin Ceramics, explore the galleries of LWH Gallery, and take in the exciting artwork at island6 Arts Center.

To find ratings, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Shanghai trip planning app.

Traveling by flight from Jeju to Shanghai takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry, train, and taxi. The time zone difference moving from Korean Standard Time (KST) to China Standard Time (CST) is minus 1 hour. In March, daytime highs in Shanghai are 60°F, while nighttime lows are 45°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Fri) early enough to travel to Naha.

Things to do in Shanghai

Shopping · Museums · Neighborhoods · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Mar 13 — 19:

Naha, Japan

— 4 nights

Capital of the Ryukyu Kingdom

Naha, the capital of Okinawa, has deep roots: Stone Age relics have been found in the city, and through the Middle Ages it rose in importance in the Ryukyu Kingdom.
Step off the beaten path and head to Nakijin Castle Ruins and Nakagusuku Castle Ruins. Popular historic sites such as Sefa-Utaki and Okinawa Peace Memorial Park are in your itinerary. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Naha: Onna-son (Scuba & Snorkeling & Onna Station Nakayukui Market), AEONMALL OKINAWA RYCOM (in Kitanakagusuku-son) and The Tower of Himeyuri (in Itoman). There's lots more to do: get a new perspective on nature at Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum, observe the fascinating underwater world at Okichan Theater, take in the views from Kouri Ohashi, and appreciate the views at Valley of Gangala.

To find other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Naha online itinerary planner.

Traveling by flight from Shanghai to Naha takes 5.5 hours. The time zone changes from China Standard Time to Japan Standard Time, which is usually a 1 hour difference. In March, Naha is somewhat warmer than Shanghai - with highs of 70°F and lows of 62°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Tue) early enough to travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Naha

Historic Sites · Shopping · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Mar 19 — 23:

Miyakojima, Japan

— 3 nights
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Toguchi no Hama and Yonaha Maehama Beach. Take a break from the city and head to Scuba & Snorkeling and Shimojiiima Island. And it doesn't end there: get outside with Sunayama Beach, take in the views from Irabu Ohashi, step off the mainland to explore Kouri Island, and don't miss a visit to East Henna Cape.

Inspirock's itinerary builder makes planning a Miyakojima trip simple and quick.

Traveling by flight from Naha to Miyakojima takes 2.5 hours. March in Miyakojima sees daily highs of 72°F and lows of 63°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Fri) so you can travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours
Find places to stay Mar 23 — 26:

Ishigaki, Japan

— 3 nights
Ishigaki, the most populous island in the chain, features the country's southernmost city and acts as a transport hub for exploring the landmasses that surround.
Visit Kondoi Beach and Kaiji Beach for some beach relaxation. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Cape Hirakubozaki and Prime Scuba Ishigaki Diving Center - Day Tour. And it doesn't end there: take in panoramic vistas at Tamatorizaki Observatory, take a leisurely stroll along Nishi Pier, enjoy the sand and surf at Yonehara Beach, and stroll around Kabira Park.

To see where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Ishigaki journey website.

Fly from Miyakojima to Ishigaki in 2.5 hours. In March, daytime highs in Ishigaki are 73°F, while nighttime lows are 65°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Mon) so you can travel to Hong Kong.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Mar 26 — 29:

Hong Kong, China

— 6 nights

Pearl of the Orient

Witness the vibrant skyline of Hong Kong, an impressive urban territory on the southern coast of China.
For shopping fun, head to Tsim Sha Tsui or Bird Garden Yuen Po Street. Hong Kong Museum of History and Bamboo Scenes will appeal to museum buffs. There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Lantau island, browse the different shops at IFC mall, stroll around Nan Lian Garden, and take in panoramic vistas at Victoria Peak (The Peak).

To find where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, read Hong Kong online tour itinerary planner.

Fly from Ishigaki to Hong Kong in 5 hours. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Ishigaki to Hong Kong due to the time zone difference. In March, daytime highs in Hong Kong are 73°F, while nighttime lows are 64°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Beijing.

Things to do in Hong Kong

Shopping · Parks · Historic Sites · Museums
Find places to stay Mar 29 — Apr 4:

Beijing, China

— 4 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.
Get some historical perspective at Mutianyu Great Wall and Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang). Museum-lovers will get to explore The Palace Museum and Lama Temple (Yonghegong). There's much more to do: get to know the fascinating history of Summer Palace (Yiheyuan), examine the collection at National Museum Of China, stop by PAPP'S TEA, and ponder the world of politics at Temple of Heaven.

To find photos, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Beijing planner.

Fly from Hong Kong to Beijing in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. When traveling from Hong Kong in April, plan for little chillier days and much colder nights in Beijing: temperatures range from 73°F by day to 47°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Thu) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Beijing

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Outdoors
Find places to stay Apr 4 — 8:

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.

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.

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.