The Best Trips and Tours in East Asia

Will you join us in Japan this cherry blossom season?
Will you join us in Japan this cherry blossom season? | Yu Kato / Unsplash
Gethin Morgan

Content and CRM Executive

Holidays in the Far East offer a totally unique experience, with vastly different cultures, a diverse range of natural wonders and giant neon-lit cities that will truly blow you away. Here are the best trips and tours in East Asia you can take with Culture Trip.

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View from a flowery field as the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) zooms past Mount Fuji in the Japanese countryside

Japan by Train: The Grand Tour

Where do you even start with Japan? There is so much to see. Do you stick to ancient towns or massive modern metropolises? Lakes or bamboo forests? Island adventures or an escape to the Japanese Alps? Our take is this – why should you have to choose? Japan’s famous high-speed train network is extraordinary, and forms the basis of our extensive Rail Trip across the country’s must-see destinations. We’ll meet you for some city exploration in Osaka before hopping on the train for some history in Hiroshima. We’ll take day trips to Miyajima Island and Arashiyama bamboo forest ahead of our arrival in Kyoto – arguably Japan’s most beautifully preserved ancient city. You’ll spot torii gates and local geishas before we continue north to the Japanese Alps, where we’ll visit a traditional folk village and go sake-tasting. In Hakone we’ll spend the night at a gorgeous ryokan – traditional Japanese inns equipped with onsen, or natural hot springs. Next up is a cruise on Lake Ashi, with Mount Fuji in the background, and volcanic adventures across Hell Valley. Our final destination? Tokyo of course. Get ready to watch sumo wrestlers train, try taiko drumming and take a sushi-rolling class as we explore the world’s largest city.

From US$4045

Next available from 2nd Sep 2024

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Trip highlights and details

STARTS AT

Osaka, Japan

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ENDS AT

Tokyo, Japan

DURATION

12

GROUP SIZE

16

PHYSICAL RATING

Moderate

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STYLE

Discovery

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The Evolution of Seoul: From Traditional Village to Modern Metropolis, as seen from Bukchon Hanok Village

Soulful South Korea

Sat right in between East Asia’s two behemoth nations is South Korea and its magical combination of luscious national parks, coastal gems and bustling urban giants. This is an amazing alternative to both China and Japan, offering a similarly exotic local culture, not to mention an equally diverse landscape within a far smaller radius. Our 10-day trip aims to offer you the ultimate cultural Korean experience, starting in Seoul, where we’ll explore a traditional Hanok village and sing the night away at karaoke. You’ll get to visit the notorious DMZ on the border with North Korea, before exploring the nation’s amazing countryside in Seoraksan National Park and Abai Village. We’ll explore the ancient capital of Gyeongju by bike, stopping for a well-earned dinner in a traditional Hanok. You’ll get to spend the night at a beautiful Buddhist temple, learning about meditation and martial arts in the process, before continuing to the coastal city of Busan. Our time there will be a feast for the senses, including famous fish markets, a traditional cooking class and a soju-tasting on the beach. We’ll visit the culturally rich city of Jeonju for a craft brewery visit and a farewell bibimbap dinner, before returning to Seoul to mark the end of our trip.

From US$3223

Next available from 19th May 2024

Secure your spot with a low deposit

Trip highlights and details

STARTS AT

Seoul, South Korea

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ENDS AT

Seoul, South Korea

DURATION

10

GROUP SIZE

16

PHYSICAL RATING

Moderate

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STYLE

Discovery

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Dragon and Tiger Pagodas in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan

A Taste of Taiwan by Train

If underrated is really what you’re after, then the beautiful island of Taiwan should be top of your list. If Korea shares a little more history and culture with Japan, Taiwan does the same with nearby China. This place is totally unique, however, and our nine-day Rail Trip aims to showcase that. We’ll start with tours of capital Taipei and the nearby city of Taichung, before exploring Sun Moon Lake by cycling around it and boating across it. We’ll taste tea and visit an old temple before heading to the culinary capital of Tainan for a tour of the city and an authentic lunch. Next stop is Kaohsiung, home to the striking Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, as well as a stunning train station glass artwork and a trendy contemporary cultural space called Pier-2 Art Centre. Our next train journey winds up the stunning east coast, where we’ll head for outdoor explorations in the otherworldly Taroko Gorge. We’ll stop off at the traditional hill towns of Jiufen and Shifen en route back to Taipei, having a scenic lunch and releasing environmentally friendly sky lanterns. Back in Taipei, we’ll take an authentic cooking class and indulge in the city’s amazing night markets before calling time on our Taiwanese train epic.

From US$2031

Next available from 20th Jul 2024

Secure your spot with a low deposit

Trip highlights and details

STARTS AT

Taipei, Taiwan

arrow pointing to the right

ENDS AT

Taipei, Taiwan

DURATION

9

GROUP SIZE

16

PHYSICAL RATING

Moderate

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STYLE

Discovery

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Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

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