Tokyo or Seoul?

Jul 31st, 2017, 03:26 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2017
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Tokyo or Seoul?


Me and a friend are planning to travel to either Tokyo or Seoul at the end of the year. We are planning to stay around 5 nights and not going out of town (staying in the city area for the entire trip). Both of us are 18 years old and are not afraid to spend money even though our budget is not enormous. Both of us admire Japanese and Korean culture but museums don't really attract us that much. Our primary goals are taking loads of good photos, embarking on an epic culinary trip, immersing ourselves in the lifestyle of the people and maybe doing a bit of shopping in between. Since we are young, we would like to have a very urban, city vibe-kind-of-experience (you know what I'm saying) and we would love to bump into new and quirky things.

We are aware both cities are full of pros and cons and hopefully you guys can help us to come on the final decision because this trip is our investment for the sake of a good time. This will be our first time visiting either one of the countries and we are looking forward to making some nice memories there.

Thank you in advance!
hanif_adhiperdana is offline  
Jul 31st, 2017, 05:56 PM
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Either city could meet your needs, but from what you say, my guess is that Tokyo would suit your interests a bit better.
kja is offline  
Apr 15th, 2018, 12:53 PM
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I am planning a trip to both in August. Short stay in each. From my research so far I would say Seoul has a more alternative vibe and is certainly cheaper. You will be able to stay in hipper hotels, go to cool trendy bars etc and do more shopping with less money.
carrom is offline  
Apr 15th, 2018, 03:18 PM
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I am going to try to explain some differences between the two.

The juxtaposition between the traditional and modern in Seoul is very dramatic and sudden. In Seoul you can motor down modern boulevards and think you were in only a purely modern city. But behind every one of those boulevards is another city of alleys and traditional markets where people live, work, shop, and eat. The old central market of Seoul is a rabbit's warren of covered alleys when you can find modern dress, hanbok (trad) dress, noodle vendors selling kalguksu, or women grinding fresh mung beans to make pancakes. Look at Google Maps and you will see these vast areas that are hidden just out of view. For eating, there are many alleys throughout the city that specialize in just one unique dish, and there will be 4 to 12 places to partake of that specialty. This also makes Seoul a less expensive city to visit, and there are many motels in Seoul tucked into these neighborhoods. Korean motels themselves are unique as they often incorporate themes into their name and decor, and are very different from what you'll find elsewhere. But no matter how modern and well-equipped they are, they will also have ondol rooms (where you sleep on mats) for those looking for a traditional experience. Also in restaurants, you are more likely to find ondol seating. (The Japanese equivalent is called tatami)

Both cities have some historic gardens/parks/temples to visit that are a bit separate and peaceful from the workaday world.

Tokyo is more dazzlingly modern. Entire cities of activity can be found inside skyscrapers. The architecture is flashier throughout the city. The crowds at the major transit stations are more immense.
Tokyo is more uniquley built-up and uber-convenient. Tokyo is right on the water and has islands in it. Seoul has mountains surrounding it. Where the city ends, the mountains begin.

As a modern-day playground, hardly anything compares to Tokyo. As a place where you can swing wildly between two worlds, hardly anything beats Seoul.

I hope this helps explain the difference.
shelemm is offline  
Apr 15th, 2018, 03:41 PM
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What great descriptions shelemm. That should really help the OP/friend with their decision.

I was going to suggest Tokyo, but your explanation of the 'behind the scene' in Seoul makes me want to go there (I've only change planes there, never visited)
janisj is offline  
Apr 15th, 2018, 05:49 PM
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@ shelemm: I agree -- nicely said! How I wish I had one of those nicely heated ondol floors.
kja is offline  
Apr 15th, 2018, 11:13 PM
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Though I haven't been 18 in some time, I have recently spent almost equal time in Seoul and Tokyo. shelemm paints a picture of both cities that I easily agree with, even given my brief visit. For your interests I think you would find Seoul more appealing, as well.
fourfortravel is offline  
Apr 20th, 2018, 04:00 AM
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loisebond23 is offline  
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