1 Arrive Seoul
Arrive in South Korea's capital city. After being taken to your hotel, you might enjoy some time at leisure. After your Insider Experience at dinner, 'you'll be transferred back to your hotel which is located in the heart of Seoul. Stay Two Nights: Seoul, Courtyard Marriott Namdaemun (D)
Insider Experience: This evening, 'you'll be escorted to dinner at a traditional Korean-style BBQ house. Smoky meats and sizzling savoury pancakes are often on the menu.
Fill up at breakfast this morning - you're in for a full day of a sightseeing. The excitement begins with an Insider Experience at Gyeongbokgung Palace. Continue on to Insadong Antique Alley where quirky amulets and jewellery among other wares are scattered across stalls. Poke around the many streets, maybe picking up a souvenir or two. Afterwards, continue to Itaewon Street and Seoul Tower. More than just a radio and television tower, the many levels of Seoul Tower have an array of exciting attractions including an observatory and wishing pond. Enjoy another Insider Experience later. Return to your hotel later for a well-deserved rest. (B/L)
Insider Experience: See the changing of the guard ceremony at Gyeongbokgung Palace, the largest palace in South Korea. Built in 1392 at the beginning of the Josean Dynasty, this palace was the main royal palace for five centuries.
3 Geumsan, Jeonju Hanok Village, Jeonju
Today farewell Seoul and set off for Jeonju. After sampling fried ginseng root, 'you'll head to Jeonju Hanok Village. Afterwards, visit the Hanji Museum and experience making the traditional Korean paper. Dinner is served at a local restaurant this evening before you are escorted back to your hotel. Stay: Jeonju, Ramada Hotel (B/D)
Insider Experience: On your way to Jeonju, 'you'll stop in at Geumsan and visit a local ginseng market to sample the traditional root once it's been fried. Literally meaning ‘human root', the raw plant can look like the legs of a person.
4 Jeonju, Ramada Hotel
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel this morning before being transferred to Gyeongju. Set your sights on the Bulguksa Temple resting on the slopes of Mt Toham, Tumuli Park, and Cheomseongdae Observatory. The afternoon is then spent at leisure before an evening visit to Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond. Explore the site which was only properly uncovered and renamed in the 1980s before returning to your hotel. You might like to enjoy dinner here, or head out to explore the streets and sample a delicious local meal. Stay: Gyeongju, Commodore Hotel (B/L)
Insider Experience: Visit the oldest observatory in East Asia, Cheomseongdae, which dates back to the 7th century and stands as a reminder of the influence that science had on Korea's developing culture over the years.
5 Gyeongju, Busan
Depart Gyeongju after breakfast this morning and travel to Busan. Upon arrival, 'you'll be taken on a city sightseeing tour of some of Busan's most well-known sites including Busan Tower, Jagalchi Fishery Market and the UN Memorial. 'you'll also spend some time at the Oryukdo Skywalk. Translating to ‘Walking in the Sky', this glass walkway is suspended over the ocean for an unreal perspective. After some free time, 'you'll be taken back to your hotel where 'you'll enjoy dinner. Stay: Busan, Haeundae Grand Hotel (B/D)
6 Busan, Seoul
After breakfast at your hotel, 'you'll board one of South Korea's famous KTX Express Trains to Seoul. Once you've arrived, 'you'll stop in at the Namdaemun Market with time to explore. Once finished, a guide will take you to your hotel. Stay Two Nights: Seoul, Courtyard Marriott Namdaemun (B)
Insider Experience: Board one of South Korea's famous KTX Express Trains to Seoul. Watch the beautiful countryside whip past your window, and jet right past busy cities as your train reaches speeds of over 300 kilometres per hour.
7 Seoul, Paju, Demilitarised Zone
Today is dedicated to the fascinating relationship between North and South Korea. 'you'll visit the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) in Paju to gain an understanding of the bordering countries. See Imjingak Park, the Bridge of Freedom and The 3rd Infiltration Tunnel where it's believed that some 30,000 soldiers could pass through within an hour. 'you'll also spend time at the DMZ Theatre and Exhibition Hall, and the station, along with Dora Observatory which offers binocular views into North Korea. Return to Seoul for an afternoon visit to the War Memorial Museum to reflect further on the conflict, and finish off with your Farewell Dinner. (B/L/D)
8 Seoul, Tokyo
Today fly from Seoul to Tokyo, Japan and transfer to your hotel Tonight meet your Japan Great Rail Journeys Tour Escort for your first dinner in Japan. Stay Two Nights: Tokyo, Keio Plaza Hotel (B/D)
A full-day tour of Tokyo begins with a trip to the Edo Tokyo Museum or the Miraikan. Next it's onto the Asakusa Kannon Temple and Hamarikyu Garden, where 'you'll have the chance to sample authentic tea and sweets at a Japanese tea house. Afterwards, pay a visit to the Meiji Shrine and the famous Shibuya Crossing before returning to your hotel for an evening at leisure. (B)
10 Tokyo, Hakone
Enjoy a tour of Odawara before taking a ride on the Hakone Ropeway to the Togendai station, nestled on the shores of the tranquil Lake Ashi. Enjoy a relaxing cruise around the lake before continuing on to your hotel for the evening. Stay: Hakone Hotel (B/D)
Insider Experience: Today you will make the journey to Odawara by train, travelling in a ‘Romancecar' (observation car) on the picturesque narrow gauge line.
11 Mt Fuji, Matsumoto
This morning, travel to Mt Fuji, arguably Japan's most distinctive landmark. Driving along the foot of the famous mountain, and disembark for an Insider Experience. Continue to Matsumoto and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Stay: Matsumoto, Buena Vista Hotel, or similar (B)
Insider Experience: Disembark at the Mt Fuji Visitor Centre to learn more about the snow-capped peak.
12 Matsumoto, Takayama
Enjoy an Insider Experience at Matsumoto Castle this morning. En route to Takayama 'you'll stop at Hirayu Onsen, one of Japan's famous traditional open-air baths. Continue on to the picturesque town of Takayama, set atop brilliant hills. On a guided walking tour, see sights including the Old Jinya House and Kami Sannomachi. Stay: Takayama, Associa Hotel (B)
Insider Experience: This morning, venture to Matsumoto Castle, an impressive five-storey fortress.
13 Takayama, Nagoya, Hiroshima
After a morning visit to the Miyagawa markets, enjoy an excursion to the nearby Hida Folk Village. Stay Two Nights: Hiroshima, Granvia Hotel (B)
Insider Experience: Later, set off on a journey on the Hida Train to Nagoya, continuing onwards by bullet train to Hiroshima.
14 Hiroshima, Miyajima Island
Today, travel by train and ferry to Miyajima Island. Translated to ‘Shrine Island', the wooded island is home to the famous Itsukushima Shrine, a Shinto shrine which appears to float in the island's waters at high tide. During your time here 'you'll enjoy a walking tour and see cheeky wild deer. This afternoon is set aside for you to discover the other sites of Hiroshima at your own leisure. (B)
15 Hiroshima, Kyoto
This enjoy some Insider Experiences at Hiroshima's World Peace Memorial Park and the A-Bomb Dome Museum. Afterwards, travel by bullet train to Kyoto for another Insider Experience. Stay Three Nights: Kyoto, ANA Crowne Plaza or similar (B/D)
Insider Experience: This morning visit Hiroshima's World Peace Memorial Park and the A-Bomb Dome Museum.
Venture to some of Kyoto's beautiful formal gardens this morning and enjoy a traditional tea ceremony. Afterwards, take a tour of Kyoto's most famous landmarks including the Nijo Castle, built in 1603; Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) which has an exquisite Japanese garden; and Kiyomizu Temple, a historic Buddhist temple that offers impressive views over Kyoto. The rest of the afternoon is yours to spend at leisure. (B)
Insider Experience: Enjoy a traditional tea ceremony in Kyoto's gardens this morning.
17 Kyoto, Nara
Today 'you'll enjoy a day trip to Nara, a picturesque city with charming narrow streets and an abundance of impressive temples. See the beautiful Todai-ji Temple, the largest wooden building in the world and its Great Buddha and Nigatsu-do Shrine. Founded in 745 by Emperor Shomu, Todai-ji is a vast Buddhist temple complex that was constructed as a symbol of imperial power. Its famous Buddha towers overhead at 15 metres tall and is the largest Buddha statue in Japan. Later it's time for a stroll through Nara's famous Deer Park, home to over 1,200 wild deer who freely roam the park, grazing on the spacious lawns. (B)
18 Kyoto, Osaka
Travel to Osaka where 'you'll enjoy a guided tour that includes a visit to the Umeda Observatory in the iconic Umeda Sky building. Here you will enjoy panoramic views over Osaka and its castle. Spend your final evening with fellow travellers during a Farewell Dinner. Stay: Osaka, Sheraton Miyako (B/D)
19 Depart Osaka
Transfer to Osaka airport after breakfast for your onward flight. (B)