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2021 South Korea & Japan: Cultural Legacies of the East

Dates & Prices

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Oct 15, 2021
Oct 25, 2021
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Nov 05, 2021
Nov 15, 2021
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Tour Itinerary

Explore two vastly different and evolving nationallegacies — each steeped in rich heritage andtradition — and each poised on the cutting edge oftomorrow’s cultural and technological horizons.

Countries Visited

Japan , South Korea

Cities Visited

Busan , Gyeongju , Kyoto , Seoul , Tokyo

  1. Day 1
    Arrive Seoul, South Korea
    Upon arrival in Seoul, you are met and transferred to yourhotel in the heart of the bustling capital.Hotel: Four Seasons Hotel Seoul  
  2. Day 2
    Begin your exploration of this vibrant city with a visit toGyeongbokgung Palace. Commissioned in the 14th century,the palace has risen from the ashes of conquest several timesthroughout its storied past. Today, the palace endures as thelargest of Seoul’s five historic palaces, its compound housinga wealth of museums, gardens and architectural wonders.Next, browse the revealing cultural exhibits of the NationalFolk Museum. Continue to Bukchon Hanok Village, acollection of hundreds of hanoks (traditional houses) datingback to the 14th century. After a lunch of traditional Korean barbecue, stop at bustling Gwangjang Market, one of theoldest and largest traditional street markets in South Korea,and home to over 5,000 shops. This evening, join your fellowguests for a welcome dinner at the hotel.Hotel: Four Seasons Hotel Seoul  
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  3. Day 3
    Today, head north to join a shared tour of the demilitarizedzone (DMZ), a hotly contested border region that hasdivided the Korean Peninsula since 1953. Delve deeperwith a tour of the Third Tunnel, a highly secured, mile-longcorridor linking the two countries. At Odusan UnificationObservatory, look out across the DMZ line toward NorthKorea. Then, visit Dorasan Train Station, its (as yet) unusedinternational customs facilities a symbol of hope for thefuture reunification of north and south. Return to Seoul foran afternoon at leisure, exploring the city on your own orrelaxing at the hotel. Later this evening, embark on a streetfood tour in Seoul’s exciting Myeong-Dong neighborhood,sampling everything from Korean egg toast to hotteok(sweet Korean pancakes).Hotel: Four Seasons Hotel Seoul  
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch
  4. Day 4
    This morning, take a high-speed train to Busan, SouthKorea’s second largest city and one of the world’s busiestports. After lunch, pay a visit to the UN Cemetery, a solemnmemorial marking the final resting place of more than2,000 Korean War veterans. Continue to Gamcheon CultureVillage and explore its colorful narrow lanes. Later, browseJagalchi Fish Market, taking in a vast array of exotic seafood.Check in to your accommodations and enjoy your ScenicSundowner overlooking the bay.Hotel: Park Hyatt Busan  
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  5. Day 5
    Travel outside of Busan to Gyeongju, former capital of theSilla Dynasty, a kingdom that ruled Korea from 668 to 935.Begin your exploration with a visit to Bulguksa Temple, oneof Korea’s most iconic structures. Perched atop a series ofstone terraces, the temple’s 33 steps represent Buddhism’s 33stages to enlightenment. The temple was all but destroyedin a 16th-century conflict with Japan. Lovingly rebuilt, itendures today as the crowning glory of Silla architecture.After lunch, visit Tumuli-gongwon, a large park with 23 tombs of Silla monarchs and family members. Delvedeeper at the nearby Gyeongju National Museum and itsexhibits showcasing treasures discovered within the tombsthemselves. Return to Busan for an evening at leisure.Hotel: Park Hyatt Busan  
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch
  6. Day 6
    Osaka & Kyoto, Japan
    Fly to Osaka, Japan, where you enjoy lunch at a localrestaurant. Visit Dotonbori, the bustling heart of this foodiecapital, where diners indulge in everything from octopusdumplings to okonomi-yai, a battered, grilled concoction ofchopped cabbage, meat or seafood, and seaweed. Continueon to historic, temple-filled Kyoto, and check in to yourbeautiful hotel.Hotel: Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto  
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  7. Day 7
    This morning, contemplate Kyoto’s iconic Zen rock gardenat Ryoan-ji, the perfect spot for a meditative moment, anddiscover the glittering Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion).Covered with gold leaf, the temple casts its delicate reflectionin a tranquil pond. After lunch, explore the Arashiyamaneighborhood, including the garden of Tenryu-ji Temple. Dating back to the 14th century, the temple buildingsthemselves were destroyed and rebuilt over the course ofseveral conflicts, while its stunning garden has survivedthe centuries in its original glory. Later, bask in the magicalatmosphere of Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, strolling alonga winding path as sunlight filters down through toweringbamboo shoots — considered by many a healing experience.Return to your hotel for an evening at leisure.Hotel: Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto  
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch
  8. Day 8
    This morning, visit a local temple where you experience theart of the tea ceremony, noting its refined sense of hospitalityand etiquette, which date to the time of the samurai.Continue to the 10,000 torii gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine.The Shinto shrine is renowned for its visually striking tunnelcomprised of thousands of vermilion torii gates that line anetwork of trails leading into the wooded forest of MountInari. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit a local sakebrewery to gain a deeper appreciation of this national spiritand enjoy a tasting. This evening, savor traditional Japanesecuisine while an attending geiko (as a geisha is known inKyoto) and maiko (apprentice geisha) dance, sing, pour sakeand chat about life in Kyoto.Hotel: Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto  
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  9. Day 9
    This morning, transfer to Kyoto Station and board a high-speedtrain bound for Tokyo. Hurtling along in excess of 170 miles per hour, your route affords a glimpse of Mount Fuji’s iconic profile. Upon arrival, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon, learn more about local history at the Edo-Tokyo Museum as you browse an extensive array of interactive exhibits spanning the heritage of the city’s last 400 years. Check in to your hotel and gather with your fellow guests for dinner at a local restaurant.Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo  
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  10. Day 10
    Start your day at Tsukiji Fish Market, a bustling hub ofJapanese daily life where a dizzying array of seafood canbe found. Next, gain exclusive insider access to a localworkshop specializing in taiko (traditional Japanese drum)making. Watch as the craftspeople skillfully ply their trade,then try your hand at playing the finished instrument. Then,embark on a culinary adventure as a local chef leads a hands-onsushi-making class, followed by lunch. Next, visit thesacred Meiji Jingu Shrine and stroll along the city’s famedOmotesando Street. Tonight, enjoy cocktails and a farewelldinner at your hotel.Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo  
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  11. Day 11
    Depart Tokyo
    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home.
    Meals:   Breakfast

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Health and Safety Protocols for Abercrombie Kent Tours

Our more than 55 local offices work tirelessly with our partners behind the scenes.
Abercrombie & Kent’s local staff have longstanding relationships with our suppliers, including restaurants, hotels, boats, transportation providers and venues. These partners know our exacting standards and have been fully vetted by our staff to make sure they comply with all local regulations regarding health and hygiene.

We’re adhering to best practices for cleanliness and disinfection.
We follow the guidelines established by the leading health experts (including the World Health Organization) to minimize any opportunity for coronavirus exposure during your journey. We’ll have hand sanitizer readily available, ensure enhanced cleaning in hotels and restaurants, sanitize vehicles at every arrival and departure (with a focus on high-frequency touchpoints such as door handles) and provide individual service at all meals.

We’re committed to facilitating physical distancing.
Abercrombie & Kent’s private and small-group journeys are already well-suited to exploring with safe physical distancing in place: Your transfers are private, for example, and on group journeys, your vehicles are never more than half full. Moving forward, your guides will forego shaking hands when saying hello, and you’ll experience no-contact check-in/check-outs in many hotels and dining arranged to allow for plenty of space from other guests.

Our small groups make travelling safely that much easier.
Abercrombie & Kent’s small groups make it much easier to maintain cleaning and hygiene procedures and ensure adequate physical distance between guests. On a custom Tailor Made Journey, your group size is completely up to you, of course, and you travel only with the people you choose on most activities.

Wearing masks on your journey keeps everyone safe.
To protect all guests on Abercrombie & Kent small group journeys and Luxury Expedition Cruises, wearing a mask is required in vehicles, indoor spaces, and any outdoor spaces where physical distancing is not possible. On Tailor Made journeys, masks must be worn in accordance with local regulations. We encourage you to bring your own masks; a supply will be on hand where needed.

Our Resident Tour Directors and local guides are trained in health and safety.
In addition to being experts in your region’s culture, history and wildlife, your guides are fully versed in your destination’s health regulations as well as Abercrombie & Kent’s practices and protocols. They oversee the many procedures that go into making your journey safe, from confirming a restaurant is freshly cleaned before you arrive to ensuring your luggage is always handled carefully (and disinfected properly) between destinations.

All guides and staff follow rigorous health and safety procedures.
Everyone involved in running your journey — from the guides you travel with to the drivers, baggage handlers and others behind the scenes — observes a strict, round-the-clock health and safety regimen, including regular staff health and temperature monitoring. Abercrombie & Kent staff wear masks at all times and additional personal protective equipment as required.

We provide 24/7 support, seven days a week.
Abercrombie & Kent’s worldwide network is always on hand to answer questions and address any concerns you may have. Our local offices are experienced in handling emergencies and have the contacts and knowledge to support guests 24/7 in the event of medical challenges, including, if necessary, arranging for doctor’s visits or even emergency medical evacuation.

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

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