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First Time Traveller - Japan , South Korea

First Time Traveller - Japan , South Korea

Old Aug 11th, 2018, 01:16 PM
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First Time Traveller - Japan , South Korea

Hi, Iím 22 staying in Scotland and Iíve never really travelled before and have next to no experience planning a trip. Iím really eager to explore japan and South Korea. Unfortunately the max time I could take off work would be 2 consecutive weeks. I would be travelling with my partner and we are keen to do it ourselves rather than book as part of a group package.

Basically I would like to know if two weeks is enough time to explore the two and if there is any particular order I should do it in ? Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I said I am a total beginner so any comment is a good one, thanks. 😁
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Old Aug 11th, 2018, 02:45 PM
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Personally, I would not try to fit both countries into the same 2-week trip, and I think most people visit Japan before visiting South Korea, but it really depends on what you want to see and experience and why you have selected these two countries as high priorities.

For a first time trip to Japan, 2 weeks would give you enough time to see a bit of both modern and traditional Japan and a bit more, depending on your interests. Please spend a LOT of time studying japan-guide.com

Likewise, a 2-week trip to South Korea would give you time for a bit of both modern and traditional settings and a bit more. You might find some useful information in my trip report:
4 wonderful solo weeks in South Korea
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Old Aug 11th, 2018, 03:42 PM
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It depends a lot on what you are hoping and expecting to see, of course. But the biggest question really is if you think you will return to Japan and/or Korea in the not too distant future. If so, you have a lot more latitude - you can concentrate on one area and leave the rest for a future visit. If not, then it gets a lot harder - cramming in too much does not make a really fun trip. You could put in 5 days for the Tokyo (Kanto) area, 5 days for the Kansai area (Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Kobe, Himeji) and 4 days for Seoul (or some other places if your interests are there instead) and it would make a good way of getting your toes in the water. Nobody sees it all in one visit of course - nor should you even try. My next visit to Kyoto will be my eighth and there still are a number of good places for me to visit.

You haven't given any info on what you are interested in, nor what season you plan to travel. But you certainly don't need any tour. You can do it cheaper and better yourself, especially since you know your own interests better than anyone, plus nothing beats the freedom of going where you want, when you want and for how long you want.
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Old Aug 11th, 2018, 11:02 PM
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It is possible to do both countries but you would be barely scratch the surface of either. We spent around three weeks in each country which we felt was a decent amount of time, but could easily have spent a lot more time and still not seen it all.

We are considering a return to both countries later this year and early next and would probably look at open jaw tickets flying into Seoul, take the train through the country to Busan and then the ferry accross to Fukuoka then train up to Tokyo to fly home. The train systems in both countries are excellent.

We blogged about our time in South Korea @ https://accidentalnomads.com/category/asia/south-korea/ but haven’t got around to Japan yet.

I assume that £ is your home currency? If so be aware that Japan will seem very expensive post Brexit vote, Korea is more affordable.

In terms of specific itineraries https://www.roughguides.com/destinat...n/itineraries/ may be useful in narrowing down your options. The Lonely Planet website also has something similar. Alternatively, head off to your local library who will almost certainly have hard copies.
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Old Sep 1st, 2018, 03:31 PM
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Having visited both, I would recommend Japan for a novice traveler. It felt easier to navigate with English and has an extensive rail network. Depending on your interests, you can see historic sites, experience a different culture, shop, dine, even hike up Mt Fuji. The Japanese people are helpful to tourists.

Yes, it is expensive. One way we saved money in Tokyo is I found a rental that was like an efficiency apartment for the week. That way we could buy some food at the grocery and also at the 7-11 (my husband loved their bento boxes) and eat some meals in.
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