From the preserved, historic village of Yangdong, to the bustling metropolis of Tokyo, East Asia is an experience unlike anywhere else on earth. See for yourself on this 13-day vacation. With hotel accommodations, private guided sightseeing, transportation, and daily breakfast coordinated for you, Monograms makes it easy to explore South Korea and Japan. Plus, we provide you with a Local Host®, who can provide suggestions about what to see and do during your stay.</BR></BR>Your vacation begins when you arrive in South Korea, as we can pick you up at the airport and take you to your chosen hotel. Your Local Host will greet you with a warm welcome and a set of materials to familiarize you with Seoul and help get you settled. The next morning, after an included breakfast, you will embark on a private guided tour of the city, starting at Gyeongbokgung Palace, the former residence of the royal family during the Joseon Dynasty. You will visit the National Folk Museum to learn more about Korean culture and to see the Changing of the Guard Ceremony, and take a walking tour through Bukchon Hanok Village where you will be able to see hundreds of hanoks (traditional Korean houses). This afternoon and the following day are yours to explore Seoul.</BR></BR>Then, you will take a high-speed train to Gyeongju, the former capital of Silla, the kingdom that ruled the Korean Peninsula for three centuries. Visit Tumuli Park to see tombs from the Silla period, Anapji Pond, where the Silla royal family spent their free time, and the Gyeongju National Museum.</BR></BR>Next, you’ll visit two UNESCO World Heritage sites, Yangdong Folk Village, one of the best preserved historic villages, and Bulguska Temple. The complex is home to Seokguram Grotto, one of Asia’s finest Buddhist shrines. You will then continue on to South Korea’s second largest city, Busan, where you will visit the Jagalchi Fish Market, Korea’s largest and most famous seafood market. Experience the Un Cemetery, honoring soldiers from 16 countries that were killed in the Korean War and take a walking tour through Gamcheon where you will see colorful, hillside homes, art galleries, and cafes. </BR></BR>Hop on a short flight from Busan to Tokyo. The next morning, after an included breakfast, hop onto the subway for a private guided tour of the city. You will see the Meiji Shrine, a 20th century Shinto monument built within a man-made forest, the Samurai Museum where you can learn about Japanese history and see authentic swords and armor, visit the bustling Nakamise Shopping Arcade, and one of the city’s most colorful temples, the Asakusa Kannon Temple. Enjoy the afternoon and the following day at your leisure. Your Local Host will have suggestions about what to see and do during your stay. Perhaps take an excursion out of the city to Mount Fuji, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the country’s most iconic landmarks. </BR></BR>A thrilling bullet train (Shinkensen) ride brings you to Kyoto. The “cradle” of Japan’s cultural heritage, Kyoto, the “City of Ten-Thousand Shrines,” was the country’s capital and residence of the emperor from the 8th until the 19th centuries. Monograms take you on a guided sightseeing tour that includes a visit to Nijo Castle, home to the Tokugawa Shogun. Also visit Sanjusagendo Temple and the beautiful Temple of the Gold Pavilion. Built on a lake and surrounded by a thick forest, the image of the temple’s reflection in the water is a must-take photo. In your free time, join a Japanese cooking class, visit nearby Nara, attend a sake tasting, or indulge in some of the country’s finest Japanese cuisine.</BR></BR>Between the transportation we’ve arranged, sightseeing we’ve included, and the hotels we’ve booked, all the details are taken care of. With all the time and hassles saved and the comfort of knowing you’ll have a Local Host to help you during your vacation, you simply relax and enjoy!
Private guided sightseeing with your Local Host as outlined in the day-by-day itinerary; inside visits, and special features are shown in UPPERCASE
American breakfast daily4 lunches
High-speed train from Seoul to Gyeongju and from Tokyo to Kyoto; transfers to/from train stations.