Highlights of East Asia: Japan, South Korea, and China

Japan · About Escorted or Guided Tour
G Adventures

Hit all the hot spots of East Asia on this 24-day tour through Japan, South Korea, and China. Start with stunning mountain temples, shrines, and torii gates before heading to the Demilitarized Zone between South and North Korea and venturing to Beijing’s monumental highlights (Great Wall, Forbidden City). Along the way, you’ll experience destinations like the locals do — overnights in a Japanese Ryokan (complete with onsen baths and tatami floors), a local temple in Busan, and indulging in street eats to get a true understanding of day-to-day life in China.

What's Included

Local Living: Overnight in Mount Koya Temple, Kōyasan
Local Living: Overnight Temple Stay, Busan
Carte Blanche: Shanghai. Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum visit. Miyajima excursion with floating torii gate visit. Nijo Castle and gardens visit (Kyoto). Gion walk. Fushimi Inari shrine visit. Lake Ashino-ko boat ride (Hakone). Traditional ryokan stay with kaiseki meal. City tour of Seoul. DMZ visit. City tour of Gyeongju. Yangdong Folk Village visit. Haedong Yonggungsa Temple Visit. City tour of Busan. Great Wall excursion. Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City guided tour. Terracotta Warriors tour. Master of the Nets Garden visit. Shanghai orientation walk. Chinese acrobat performance. Japan Rail (JR) pass (7 days). Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Stay overnight in a temple on top of Mt Koya, See Miyajima’s floating torii gate, Visit the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, Walk along the Great Wall of China, Explore Shanghai’s famed Bund waterfront.

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. Combo Tour
This tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, some travel companions on your tour may have previously been travelling together with G Adventures, prior to Day 1 of your tour.

2. Japan Rail Pass
Please note that only foreigners traveling as a tourist are able to use a Japan Rail Pass. If you are a Japanese citizen/resident or traveling on a student/business visa please advise us at time of booking as you will not be able to take advantage of the Rail pass.

3. Tattoos
Tattoos are not common or widely accepted in Japan. There is no cause for concern, but do your best to cover your tattoos when possible and note that you may not be permitted to enter public spas or onsens (hot springs).

Group Leader Description

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 15.

Meals Included

9 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. G Adventures understands the importance of breakfast to start your day, we strive to include a basic breakfast wherever possible. Included breakfasts will usually be asian style consisting of noodles or congee (rice porridge) or bread and eggs. Vegetarians will be able to find a range of different foods, although in some areas the choice maybe limited. Should breakfast not be included, your CEO can suggest some local options.

Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. While trekking in remote regions food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients.

For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Transport

Bullet train, tram, ferry, public bus, private vehicle, train, subway/metro, plane, walking.

About our Transportation

On our tours in Japan we use public transport, making use of Japan’s world famous transport system. From the super fast Shinkansen Bullet Train to Kyoto’s extensive local bus network, we ride with the locals.

Local Flights

All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Hotels (19 nts), mountain monastery (1 nt, shared facilities), traditional inn (1 nt, shared facilities), temple (1 nt, multi-share), sleeper train (1 nt).

My Own Room Exceptions

Busan (overnight temple stay), Suzhou (overnight train)

About Accommodation

JAPAN: Japan is one of the most populous countries in the world and space is at a premium. Therefore, hotels rooms are small! Additionally, many Japanese hotels do not have designated non-smoking rooms. Therefore, we ask hotels to deoderise rooms before check in.

Ryokan are traditional inns found across Japan. Featuring tatami floors (soft mats of woven straw), futon beds, Japanese-style baths, cotton kimono (casual robe worn to lounge around or to head to the bath), and elaborate meals (often served in the comfort of your own room), a ryokan is the perfect place to experience traditional customs and hospitality. As ryokan are usually top tier accommodations, most guests stay only one night, often to celebrate a special occasion or holiday. Don’t be intimidated by the formalities inherent to a stay at a ryokan, your hosts will welcome you the same way they do all their guests. Have fun and enjoy this relaxing opportunity to learn more about Japan’s unique customs.

Minshuku are Japan’s answer to the Western bed and breakfast. Similar to ryokan, they have traditional features like tatami floors, futon beds, and Japanese-style baths. Minshuku are often family-run, and as such they offer a great opportunity to interact with local people and learn more about the nation’s customs. More affordable and simpler than ryokan, minshuku tend to have smaller guestrooms, shared bathroom facilities, and any included meals (traditional, local, and delicious) are served in a communal dining room.

Please note that some of the traditional Japanese inns used on this tour only offer shared bathing facilities. This means that individual shower stalls will not be available, instead several shower stations are available in an open, same-sex bathing area. Shared bathhouses and onsen (hot springs) are an essential part of Japan’s culture, traditionally serving as a place for men or women to gather, relax, and discuss the days happenings.

Joining Hotel

For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.

Joining Instructions

For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent. To get from Kansai Intl Airport (KIX) to our commonly used joining hotels:

First, get some cash.
After passing through the customs, stop by a bank counter or an ATM machine on the first floor to get some Japanese Yen. This may be your last chance to exchange cash easily in Japan as only certain banks do currency exchange.


To get to the IBIS Styles Osaka:

From Kansai Airport, you can take a train called Nankai Airport Express for Namba, and it takes 47 mintues and train ticket costs 920JPY.
Once you are Namba , you can either take a taxi for 5mins, or walk 15mins from exit14.

From Kansai Intl Airport (KIX) to Namba:
First, get some cash.
After passing through the customs, stop by a bank counter or an ATM machine on the first floor to get some Japanese Yen. This may be your last chance to exchange cash easily in Japan as only certain banks do currency exchange.
Airport Limousine Bus
Buses run twice hourly to the Namba OCAT bus station near your hotel. Journey time is 48 minutes and costs 1050 Yen.
The bus departs from Stop 11 at the International Arrival Lobby on the first floor of the airport. Tickets for buses can be purchased from vending machines located near the bus stops.
http://www.kate.co.jp/pc/e_time_table/e_ocat.html
See the instructions below about getting to the hotel from Namba station.
Nankai Line Train
The Nankai Line runs extremely regular trains to Namba station.
1. Follow the sign “Railways” to the second floor, exit the terminal building, then cross the pedestrian bridge outside to walk into Kansai Airport Station.
2. Go to Nankai Railways counters #1-3 under the orange sign “Ltd. Exp. Rapi:t Reservation Tickets and General Tickets” on your left.
3. Purchase a ticket for the next Rapi:t (pronounced ‘rapeet’) or Airport Express to Namba. The ticket costs 1390Yen for Rap:t (44min) or 890Yen for Airport Express (38min) .
4. Go through a gate under the orange sign, which says “Nankai” by inserting the ticket into the gate. Retrieve the ticket, which will be returned to you at the other side of the gate. You will need it when leaving the Railway.
5. Go down to a platform, and get on the train. The seats are reserved on the Rap:t and non reserved on the Airport Express. The departure time, car number and the seat number are written on the ticket.

Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities have been planned.

A G Adventures Representative will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time and your transfer times back to the airport the next day. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.

Arrival Complications

We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERSJAPAN
G Adventures Local Office (Japan)
During office hours, Mon-Fri 9:30-18:00 Local Time
From outside Japan: 1st contact +81 3-6432-0195 (2nd contact +81 80 2725 5133)
From within Japan: 1st contact +81 3-6432-0195 (2nd contact +81 80 2725 5133)
After office hours emergency number:
Yuri: +81 70-3607-8937 (from within Japan: 070-3607-8937)
Toshimi: +81 70-3607-8936 (from within Japan: 070-3607-8936)
G Adventures Asia Manager: Julie Fitzgerald
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time)
From outside Thailand: +66 2 381 5574
From within Thailand: 02 381 5574
After hours emergency number (SE Asia Manager)
From outside Thailand: +66 87 049 6074
From within Thailand: 087 049 6074

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERSKOREA
Derek : +82-10-8759-9367 (010-8759-9367)
Tommy : +82-10-5514-5041 (010-5514-5041)
G Adventures Local Office (Japan)
During office hours, Mon-Fri 9:30-18:00 Local Time
From outside Japan: 1st contact +81 3-6432-0195 (2nd contact +81 80 2725 5133)
From within Japan: 1st contact +81 3-6432-0195 (2nd contact +81 80 2725 5133)

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERSCHINA
G Adventures Local Representative (China): +86 1993 7407 980
G Adventures Regional Operations Manager, China: Vincent Zhu
Mobile: +86 138 2809 0310
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time)
From outside Thailand: +66 2 381 5574
From within Thailand: 02 381 5574
After hours emergency number
From outside Thailand: +66 87 049 6074
From within Thailand: 087 049 6074

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as you are expected to carry your own luggage. Our trips use public transport and most transport has limited luggage storage space. You will also be walking with your luggage in busy public train stations to catch connecting trains, so it is highly recommended that you travel light and have easy to handle luggage and are capable of walking up and down the stairs with your luggage without any assistance.

We recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 10-15kg/22-30lb. Suitcases are not recommended for G Adventures trips. Most travellers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. A large bag will be an inconvenience to you and will slow you down! You will also need a day-pack/rucksack to carry daily essentials like water, cameras, passport, i-pods etc.

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels but this is very expensive. Your leader can show you self service coin laundries in larger cities. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas and Entry Requirements

Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself with the embassy of each country. Your travel agent can assist. Please, keep in mind that all countries require passports valid for at least 6 months from the moment of departure from the country.

The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. For the most up to date information please check your governments foreign ministry website or with your travel agent as rules do change.

JAPAN:
Most nationalities receive A 90-DAY PERMIT ON ARRIVAL

KOREA: The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. For the most up to date information please check your governments foreign ministry website or with your travel agent as rules do change.

CHINA: All nationalities require a visa to visit China.

Most nationalities also need an official Letter Of Invitation (LOI) before they can apply for their Chinese visa.

You can obtain the LOI through our visa support agent in China. The visa support link you need to complete will be sent to you or your travel agent by email when you confirm your booking. You must read the instructions carefully and fill out all the details.

When filling out your Chinese Visa Application form, Please ensure that you list the same details as appear on your LOI when filling out your Chinese Visa Application form.

HOW TO FILL IN CHINA LOI FORM ONLINE:

As Chinese visas are dated specifically for entry and exit, please ensure you enter the correct dates as per your flights entering and exiting China. Please remember to put exactly the same dates when you fill out the application at the Chinese embassy. You will need to provide additional documentation to the consulate (i.e. flights tickets, hotel reservations) if these dates fall outside the duration of the tour.

Please do not submit the below application until 3 months prior to your entry into China. The details will be forwarded to our local agent in China and you will be emailed your Chinese Invitation Letter (With day by day Itinerary) only once we are within 60 days of the trip start date.

Once you have received your LOI you can apply for your visa by going to the nearest Chinese embassy. Please, remember that it is your responsibility to check whether passport details, name spelling and dates on the LOI are correct.

As of April 3rd, 2018, all Chinese visa application forms must be typed. Handwritten forms will no longer be accepted.

Following the successful implementation of their 144 hour visa free program for the Shanghai district, The Ministry of Public Security of China have announced the extension of the 144 hour visa free program for provinces of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei. As of the 29th of December 2017, over 50 foreign nationals can now enter or exit via one of the following ports:

- Beijing Capital International Airport
- Railway West Railway Station
- Tianjin Binhai International Airport
- Tianjin International Cruise Homeport, or
- Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport in Hebei Province and Qinhuangdao Harbor.

  • Please be advised that if you have recently travelled to Turkey, or you are a Turkish citizen, it is possible that your Chinese visa will not be approved. Please contact your local embassy for further information. **

Detailed Trip Notes

Travel in Asia generally is fast and efficient, however please be aware that English is still not widely spoken, however a lot of patience, a sense of humour and a respect for the local culture goes a long way in any Asian country and will greatly enrich your experience.

CHINA: China has emerged as a great tourist destination in the last ten years and is an intriguing and rewarding destination to visit. Developing at a fast rate, travel is becoming easier for foreigners but please be aware that English is still not widely spoken outside the large cities and that accommodation, toilet facilities and some transportation is not yet at the same level as you would expect in developed countries. If you are able to bring with you a lot of patience, a great sense of humour and a willingness to try and interact with the local people, your travel experience wil be greatly enhanced.

Due to Internet restrictions, some popular websites and applications – including social media sites like Facebook and email services like Gmail – may not work in China. If you think these restrictions may affect you, we suggest you do research before your departure in order to be prepared. Bear in mind the availability of websites and apps can change without notice at any time.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

As currency exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.

Every Post Office and 7-11 Convenience store has an ATM machine that accepts Visa, Mastercard and Debit Cards. At times, Maestro/Master Card/Cirrus have been problematic at these machines, so please bring a back-up card.

Credit Cards should not be relied upon for purchases as they are not widely accepted, except in some restaurants and department stores. Money can be exchanged at Post Offices and some banks and hotels in major cities, however it can be a very slow
process.

CHINA: Cash (Chinese Yuan) is the best method of money in China. There are some ATM machines at international airports and major cities that accept Visa and debit cards but these should not be relied on as a source of funds. We recommend the use of cash and traveller’s cheques in major currencies (USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, AUD, HKD) as a backup. Major credit cards are accepted in a few shops (except for AMEX and Diner’s) but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee.

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

Departure Tax is included in all International and Domestic tickets.

Tipping

Traditionally tipping is not practiced in Japan, Korea or China. Leaving money at restaurants, in taxis etc will simply cause confusion! There is no need to tip in restaurants and your general interaction with locals; however, tipping is customary – though not compulsory – in the tourism industry and not only shows an expression of satisfaction it may also be of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO may offer to collect the money and tip as a group.

Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from 1 to 3 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelope. This often works the best and the group as a whole should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for a friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s).

Also at the end of each trip if you felt your CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is highly appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $5 USD per person, per day can be used.

Optional Activities

Miyajima
- Mt. Misen Visit (Free-1800JPY per person)

Kyoto
- Zen Gardens of Ryōan-ji (500JPY per person)
- Philosopher’s Walk (Free)

Tokyo
- Akihabara Visit (Free)
- Ginza Shopping (Free)
- Ueno Park Visit (Free-500JPY per person)
- Imperial Palace East Gardens Walk (Free)
- Harajuku Visit (Free)

Seoul
- Cheonggyecheon Stream Walking Tour (Free)
- Nanta Show (Seoul) (50000KRW per person)
- K-Pop Show
- Visit to Itaewon Neighbourhood (Free)
- Seoul Museum of History Visit (Free)

Beijing
- The Pearl Market (Free)
- Drum and Bell Tower Visit (20CNY per person)
- Beijing Acrobatics Performance (42USD per person)
- Kung Fu Show – Beijing (42USD per person)

Mutianyu
- Toboggan at Great Wall (100-120CNY per person)
- Cable Car at Great Wall (100-120CNY per person)

Xi’an
- Cycling Xi’an City Walls (100-150CNY per person)
- The Great Mosque (25CNY per person)
- Muslim Quarter Visit (25CNY per person)
- Big Goose Pagoda Visit (50CNY per person)
- Bell and Drum Towers – Xi’an (50CNY per person)

Shanghai
- Yuyuan Gardens (45CNY per person)
- Shanghai Museum (Free)

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.

G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.

Dollar-a-Day Program
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.

Local Dress

In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tank tops when visiting temples or other holy sites.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra’s monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Minimum Age

You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.

International Flights

Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.

PRODUCT_LINE: AJKC, ID: 25037

Itinerary

Day 1: Osaka

We highly recommend booking pre-accommodation to fully experience this lively city.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

Day 2: Osaka/Kōyasan (1B, 1D)

Journey to Mt Koya, a religious centre founded in 816 by the Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi. The train ride up the mountain is possibly one of the finest rail journeys in Japan. For the final steep ascent, switch to funicular and then hop on a bus to reach the monastery.

In the evening, dine on shojin-ryori, typical vegetarian cuisine, and relax in a yukata, or kimono.

Included Activities:
Overnight in Mount Koya Temple
Oku-no-in Cemetery Visit

Transport:
Train (3.00 hour(s))

Day 3: Kōyasan/Hiroshima (1B)

Early morning offers the chance to observe the monks praying. Breathe in some fresh mountain air before a vegetarian breakfast, then start the journey back down the mountain via bus, train and funicular.

Later, board a train to Hiroshima, a historically significant city, marked by the explosion of the first atomic bomb in 1945.

Included Activities:
Hiroshima Park and Peace Memorial

Transport:
Bullet train (5.00 hour(s))

Day 4: Hiroshima

Take a ferry ride over to the sacred island of Miyajima to see the famous floating torii gate. Opt to hike around Mt Misen.

Included Activities:
Miyajima Island Visit

Transport:
Hop a ferry to reach the island and journey back in the evening.
Ferry

Day 5: Hiroshima/Kyoto

Travel to Kyoto and start exploring. Visit the impressive Nijo Castle and gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the evening, explore the geisha district of Gion on a CEO-led walking tour.

Included Activities:
Gion Walk
Nijo Castle and Gardens Visit

Transport:
Bullet train (1.50-2.00 hours)

Day 6: Kyoto

Enjoy a visit to the beautiful Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine and walk under the bright torii gates. Opt to shop, stroll along the riverbank, or explore another of Kyoto’s many temples with free time.

Included Activities:
Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine Visit

Day 7: Kyoto/Hakone (1D)

Travel to Hakone, a town in the hills famous for its onsens, or natural hot springs. Stay in a traditional ryokan, with its own private onsen.

In the evening, enjoy the ryokan, savouring a complex meal of traditional Japanese foods, followed by a recommended soak in the onsen.

Included Activities:
Lake Ashino-ko Boat Ride
Traditional Ryokan Stay with Kaiseki Meal

Transport:
Bullet train (3.00 hour(s))
Local bus (0.50 hour(s))

Day 8: Hakone/Tokyo (1B)

Arrive before noon to Tokyo, with time to explore this energetic metropolis.

Opt to visit Ueno park and the museums, Akihabara for cutting edge electronics, Harajuku for funky fashions, Ginza for the highest of the high end, walk the grounds of the Imperial Palace East Garden, or just stroll the streets, looking for the traditional life that still lies just under the modern surface.

Transport:
Bullet train (2.00 hour(s))

Day 9: Tokyo

Explore this exciting day with a free day.

Day 10: Tokyo/Seoul

Catch a flight to Seoul, South Korea’s capital city.

Day 11: Seoul (1B)

Enjoy a walking tour in the bustling capital of South Korea. Visit Gyengbokgung Palace, the National Folklore Museum, Jogyesa Temple, Bukchon Hanok Village and Insadong alley.

Included Activities:
Seoul City Tour
Gyeongbokgung Palace
National Folklore Museum
Jogyesa Temple
Bukchon Hanok Village Exploration
Insadong Alley

Day 12: Seoul (1B)

Travel to the DMZ in the morning by private bus and spend about 3-4 hrs visiting the site before returning back to Seoul for another night in the city.

Additional Notes:
A DMZ shuttle bus will be used within the DMZ area.

Included Activities:
Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (1.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (1.50 hour(s))

Day 13: Seoul/Gyeongju-si (1B)

Depart Seoul in the morning and travel by high-speed train to Gyeongju, taking just over 2 hrs to reach the city.

In the afternoon, enjoy an included tour of some local highlights, including the UNESCO World Heritage temples.

Included Activities:
City Tour of Gyeongju

Transport:
Bullet train (2.00 hour(s))

Day 14: Gyeongju-si/Busan (1B)

Take a private van to visit the 500-year-old UNESCO site of Yangdong Folk Village, located in Gyeongju National Park, to get a feel for life during the early Joseon Dynasty.

Travel to the picturesque 14th century seaside temple, Haedong Yonggungsa. Continue to Busan and enjoy a walk or swim at Haeundae Beach, the most popular beach in South Korea, or perhaps a light trek on Dongbaek Island.

Included Activities:
Yangdong Folk Village
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple Visit

Transport:
Travel to the village and back by private vehicle.
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (1.50 hour(s))

Day 15: Busan (1B, 1D)

Stay in rooms called Ondol. These rooms are very traditional, heated to be cozy and comfortable, with beds made up directly on the floor. The rooms here are multi-share, divided up by male and female rooms. Enjoy a traditional dinner and breakfast during the stay.

Have the opportunity to learn about temple etiquette, experience the daily drum and bell ritual, craft your own prayer beads and take an easy hike up to the oldest and highest temple in Busan for morning meditation.

Included Activities:
Overnight Temple Stay
Jagalchi Fish Market

Day 16: Busan/Seoul (1B)

Enjoy a final morning in Busan before returning to Seoul by train.

Transport:
Bullet train (2.00 hour(s))

Day 17: Seoul/Beijing

Board a flight to Beijing, China.

Day 18: Beijing

Head out of town to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. Spend time wandering around, taking photos, and picking up souvenirs.

Included Activities:
Orientation Walk
Great Wall Mutianyu Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))

Day 19: Beijing/Xi'an

Take the Beijing metro to visit the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Later, board a fast train to Xi’an.

Included Activities:
Tiananmen Square
Forbidden City Tour

Transport:
Metro
Local train (5.75-6.00 hours)

Day 20: Xi'an/Suzhou (1L)

Enjoy some free time exploring the city before a visit one of China’s greatest archaeological treasures—the Terracotta Warriors. After enjoy a local lunch at a farmhouse before hopping on an overnight train to Suzhou.

Included Activities:
Terracotta Warriors Guided Tour

Transport:
Basic overnight train (beds) (14.00-16.00 hours)

Day 21: Suzhou

Visit Suzhou, the “Venice of the East.” Explore the Master of the Nets Garden, one of China’s most exquisite gardens.

Included Activities:
Master of the Nets Garden Tour

Day 22: Suzhou/Shanghai

Travel by metro and train to Shanghai. After an orientation walk along Shanghai’s famous Bund, you are free to explore the delights this modern Chinese city has to offer.

Included Activities:
Orientation Walk of the Bund
Shanghai Acrobatic Performance

Transport:
Metro (0.50-1.00 hours)
Bullet train (0.75-1.00 hours)

Day 23: Shanghai

Enjoy free time in this bustling city.

Day 24: Shanghai

We highly recommend post-accommodation to fully experience all Shanghai has to offer.

Included Activities:
Departure Day

Interested in Highlights of East Asia: Japan, South Korea, and China?

G Adventures

Related Experiences

Vancouver Island & Northern Rockies

Canada | Escorted or Guided Tour

Costa Rica Family Experience

Costa Rica | Escorted or Guided Tour

Upgraded Land Galapagos

Ecuador | Escorted or Guided Tour

London to the Mediterranean on a Shoestring

Spain | Escorted or Guided Tour

Jodi Hartnell

Jodi Hartnell

Contact Me