FROM SEOUL TO KYOTO
10 NIGHTS / 11 DAYS
JC – IA – TOUR NO. 435
Seoul (2N) jeonju (1N) Busan (1N) Shimoneski (1N) Hiroshima (1N) Matsuyama (1N) Kobe (1N) Mount Koya (1N) Kyoto (1N)
Long Haul Luxury
Day 1 (Seoul)
Welcome to Korea! You will transfer to the hotel from the airport in group transport.
Later in the afternoon, we are going to begin our tour of this fascinating country with a visit to the tsunami shaped City Hall. In front of the City Hall, we will also see the Deoksugung Palace, which is lit up at night and which allows us to appreciate the tradition and modernity of this country. On foot, we will then go from here to the district of Myeongdong, the largest and busiest shopping area in Korea. Its name means “brilliant tunnel”. Dinner included in a local restaurant.
Day 2 (Seoul)
Today we include a tour of the city of Seoul lasting five hours. We will see Changdeokgung Palace. This is a World Heritage Site formed by a group of palaces inside a large park. After the visit, we will go to Bukchon Hanok Village, a traditional historical neighbourhood with tiny houses. Then we pay a visit to Gyeongbokgung Palace, an impressive palace that is 600 years old, where we will see the Changing of the Guard ceremony (if scheduled). Afterwards we will visit the War Memorial, an impressive war museum that tells of the different conflicts suffered by Korea during its history, particular the Korean War with the United Nations in which soldiers from many different countries took part. To finish, we stop at Lotte World Tower, an impressive 550 m building where there will be time to climb the tower or stroll in the park or around the luxury shopping centres. Lunch included in a local restaurant. You will spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 3 (jeonju)
Our next stop is the city of Suwon, former capital of Korea, a World Heritage Site famous for its walls. We will see the impressive fortifications of the city and visit Hwaseong Haenggung, the imperial summer palace. Before leaving this city, we will stop at the Samsung Innovation Museum to learn about the history of this famous technological company. Then we continue to Jeonju, where we will see its fascinating old town (Hanok Village), with its tiny houses, traditional shops and art galleries. Lunch included in a local restaurant.
Note: The visit to the Samsung Innovation Museum is not always guaranteed. In case it is not possible, Samsung D´Light will be visited instead.
Day 4 (Busan)
Travel through towering mountains as you make your way to Haeinsa, a Buddhist temple built in the year 802 where we discover the Tripitaka, the most complete collection of Buddhist texts engraved on 80,000 blocks of wood. We will visit the temple and the museum on the Tripitaka. We go on to Daegu where we see the market of traditional medicines with its different herbs, and especially ginseng, and the Museum of Oriental medicine. Lunch included. In the afternoon we travel to Haedong Yonggung, a 14th century Buddhist temple located by the sea. Then on to Busan.
Day 5 (Shimoneski)
We are in the second largest city in Korea, Busan. We see the memorial to the United Nations with its cemetery were people from numerous countries are buried. Then on to the fantastic Doosan Haeundae complex with its skyscraper and sports marina. We approach the largest fish market in the country, which is alongside Nampo port. Lunch included. Then we walk from there to Yongdusan Park with its immense 120 m pagoda. At night you will take the ferry crossing the Sea of Japan in double cabins with bathroom.
NB: Sometimes the ferry will be from Busan to Fukuoka (similar schedule).
Day 6 (Hiroshima)
We dock at the port of Shimonoseki at 08.00hrs (breakfast not included) and cross the border. We then depart for Iwakuni, a small city where we will stop to admire the beautiful historic Kintai-Kyo Bridge. We then continue to Miyajimaguchi where we take a ferry to Miyajima, the island “where men and Gods live together in peace”, known for the Itsukushima Shrine dedicated to the guardian of the seas, built partly over the sea. Here we have time to visit the temple, stroll through its attractive centre and have lunch. Then we continue to Hiroshima, where tragedy struck as an atomic bomb fell in 1945, which destroyed the whole city. We will visit the Peace Memorial Park, the atomic bomb dome and the impressive Peace Memorial Museum. Dinner included.
Day 7 (Matsuyama)
Today we will take a ferry to Shikoku Island, on a pleasant ride that lasts two and a half hours and see the many islands that make up Japan. In Matsuyama we will take the cable car up to its impressive castle. Afterwards, we will visit Ishiteji, a beautiful Buddhist temple and a place of pilgrimage. Lunch included. In the late afternoon, we will visit Dogo Onsen (admission included), a traditional Japanese bathhouse built in the 19th century.
Day 8 (Kobe)
We depart for Kotohira, a Shinto shrine dedicated to the god of sailors and a place of pilgrimage. The shrine stands on Mount Zosu and is reached by climbing 785 steps. Afterwards in Takamatsu we will visit Ritsurin, one of the prettiest gardens in Japan. Lunch included. Then, in Naruto, we cross an impressive bridge over the sea, stopping on the way to admire the construction and walk on its glass floor with the sea 45 metres below us. Our road is surrounded by beautiful scenery and then crosses long bridges between islands over the sea. We will arrive in Kobe later in the afternoon.
Day 9 (Mount Koya)
In Kobe we visit the Earthquake Memorial Museum, built the memorialise the disaster that devastated the city in 1995. We then go on to Osaka. We will depart from this city to visit, Mount Koya, one of Japan’s sacred mountains and Japan’s main centre of Shingon Buddhism. There are 120 shrines and monasteries on this mountain which is a magical place of pilgrimage. We will visit Okuno Mausoleum, a spiritual place and an immense cemetery in the wilderness that has more than 200,000 graves. We will also visit Kongobuji temple, built in 1593.
Note: In winter, as it gets dark earlier, we will not have time to enter Kongobuji temple.
We will spend this night at a Buddhist monastery. The monks will offer us a Zen meditation session (Ajikan). Dinner included (vegetarian food). There is religious ceremony at the temple early in the morning if you wish to attend it.
Note: We consider the sojourn at the monastery as an experience of great value. The rooms at this place are modest, without bathrooms, in the traditional Japanese style with tatamis. Bathrooms are communal.
Day 10 (Kyoto)
Japanese breakfast at the temple. Then we leave early for Kyoto, to spend the whole day in the city, which was the capital of Japan between 794 and 1868 and home to the Imperial Court. During World War II the city was the only major Japanese to escape bombings, and so it still preserves its wealth of artistic heritage; the famous protocol restricting greenhouse gas emissions was signed in Kyoto in 1997.
The visit includes a trip to one of the most important parts of the city. We will see the marvellous Shinto Shrine of Fushimi Inari, the Imperial Palace and Kinkakuji temple, “the golden pavilion” and its wonderful gardens.
You will have some free time before you visit Gion, a busy traditional quarter famous for its Geisha.
Note: If you already visited Kyoto on your circuit, our guide will offer you information and advice on visiting the other parts of the city unaccompanied.
Day 11 (Kyoto)
After breakfast, you will check out of your hotel marking the end of our services.
Inclusion & Exclusion
Europamundo General Services: Travel by bus with English speaking guide, basic travel insurance, and breakfast buffet.
Includes arrival transfer
City tour in : Seoul, Kyoto.
Evening Transfer: Myeongdong quarter in Seoul, Traditional quarter of Gion in Kyoto.
Ticket admission: Metro, Changdeokgung Palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace, War Memorial in Seoul, Hwaseong Haenggung, Samsung Innovation Museum not always guaranteed; in Suwon, Hanok Village in Jeonju, Buddhist Temple in Haeinsa, Haedong Yonggung Temple, Yongdusan Park, U.N. Memorial and Doosan Haeundae in Busan, Kintaikyo in Iwakuni, Itsukushima Temple, Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima, Dogo Onsen, Ishiteji Temple in Matsuyama, Shinto shrine in Kotohira, Ritsurin Garden , Naruto Brigde, Earthquake Memorial Museum in Kobe, Okuno Mausoleum,Kongobuji Temple and Ajikan or Zazen meditation in Mount Koya, Shrine of Fushimi Inari, Imperial Palace, Kinkaku-ji Temple in Kyoto.
Ferry: Busan Shimonoseki (night ferry), Hiroshima- Miyajima, Hiroshima- Matsuyama.
Funicular: Matsuyama castle in Matsuyama.
9 Lunch or Dinner Included in: Seoul, Seoul, Suwon, Daegu, Busan, Hiroshima, Matsuyama, Takamatsu, Mount Koya.
Anything else not mentioned in inclusions.
Air fare / Train fare / Visa Fees / Monument fare.
Expenses of personal nature such as tips, telephone calls, laundry, liquor etc.
Guide & Entrance fees during sightseeing or any other item not specified in ‘cost inclusions’
Any increase in taxes or fuel, leading to increase in surface transportation and land arrangements, which may come into effect prior to departure.