East Asia Exploration
Japan & South Korea
Encounter the secret wonders of two countries: Japan and South Korea. As you travel around, discover how culture, tradition, modernization and more play a role in their past, present and future.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS PROGRAM IS PLANNED FOR SUMMER 2024. IT IS NOT RUNNING DURING SUMMER 2023.
- Discover the joy and the culinary skill of sushi-making
- Take in incredible mountain views of world-famous Mount Fuji
- Witness the spectacular, organized chaos of the Shibuya Crossing
- Marvel at the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto
- Learn how to be a K-POP star
- Gaze into the North Korean hermit kingdom at the DMZ
- Master the ancient art of Taekwondo
- Experience an overnight temple-stay in the Korean mountains
East Asia Exploration
Visit two countries in East Asia for an expedition that you will never forget!
Start in the nation of Japan, a land of cities, mountains, coasts and tremendous cultural influence. Explore Japan’s vibrant culture, ancient architecture and modern metropolises. And discover the city of Tokyo, the most populated urban area on the planet. From sushi making classes and exploring Mt Fuji, thisl trip to Japan is guaranteed to be jam-packed full of adventure.
During your time in South Korea, you’ll check out a training hall for Korean martial arts such as Taekwondo & Tangsoodo. Visit the demilitarized zone that borders North and South Korea for an exceptional look into global geopolitics. Then experience life in the bustling capital city of Seoul.
In both countries, uncover the unique and delicate balance between modern and traditional culture, urban and rural life, traditional architecture and nature, and so much more.
REGION: ASIA & THE PACIFIC
EXPERIENCE: MULTI-COUNTRY ASIA
COUNTRY: SOUTH KOREA
East Asia Exploration
AT TEEN TRAVEL NETWORK, YOU'RE NOT ONLY TAKING A JOURNEY IN MILES, BUT A JOURNEY OF SHARED EXPERIENCES AND SELF-DISCOVERY.
THIS ITINERARY IS AN APPROXIMATION OF THE OVERALL PROGRAM EXPERIENCE. THE ORDER OF ACTIVITIES ON YOUR TRIP MAY CHANGE.
IF A PARTICULAR SCHEDULED EXPERIENCE IS CANCELED, WE MAY REPLACE IT WITH AN ALTERNATIVE ACTIVITY.
Day 1: Arrival
Welcome to Tokyo!
Arrive at the airport where our enthusiastic leaders will be waiting for you. Get settled in your accommodations and get your bearings with an orientation, where we’ll go over our schedule, expectations, and an intro to the culture.
We’ll eat dinner as a group and take in the cityscape with the incredible view from atop the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.
Head back to the hostel for some well deserved rest–we’ll have an early start tomorrow!
Day 2: Tokyo (Sushi Making & Harajuku)
Enjoy the traditional-modern contrast in the Harajuku area of Tokyo.
Wander through the forest until you reach the Meiji Shrine; then move on to the Harujuku shopping district to see Pokémon, punks, goths and fashionistas – anything goes in Harajuku!
See the famous Shibuya Crossing scramble crossing, which sees roughly 2,500 pedestrians at every walk signal.
Next, create a new signature dish in a sushi-making experience with a nationally-accredited instructor. where you’ll learn how to create beautifully shaped sushi using simple utensils.
Day 3: Tokyo (Sumo & Museums)
Stroll around the Sumo District, where, with a little luck, you may be able to watch the wrestlers train before popping into the Sumo Museum. Sumo wrestling is considered Japan’s national sport.
Visit the Tokyo National Museum, which houses one of the world’s largest collections of Asian art and archaeology, with a special focus on Japanese artifacts.
Learn about Buddhism on a visit to the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo’s oldest temple; explore the district’s charming streets and alleyways.
Day 4: Hakone
Escape the hum of Tokyo and explore the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park.
If the weather cooperates, we’ll have great views of Mt. Fuji: this iconic volcano rises to over twelve thousand feet and can be seen from all over Japan. Take a series of cable cars and mountain railways through the park before descending for a cruise on scenic Ashi Lake.
Today, you can also sample black eggs – colored by the sulphuric spring waters they’re cooked in — and learn about the superstitions surrounding this local delicacy.
Explore Hakone, a small town on the edge of the lake with quiet shrines, quaint restaurants and wooded shrines.
Day 5: Tokyo → Kyoto
Take a bullet train south to Kyoto. You’ll zoom across the country, covering almost 300 miles in three hours.
Kyoto is the cultural capital of Japan, and is home to countless important shrines, temples, and palaces. Visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine, a major Shinto shrine complex that snakes through wooded hills.
To get onto the beautiful walking trails at the back of the complex you’ll pass through corridors of thousands of bright red gates.
Explore Gion District to learn more about geishas, and step into the theatre at Gion Corner where you’ll see a show of traditional Japanese Performances. The program includes real geisha performing their traditional arts, as well as other Japanese performances of comedy, spoken word and dance.
Day 6: Kyoto (Golden Pavilion & Manga Museum)
See perhaps the most iconic site of Kyoto: the Golden Pavilion at the Kinkaku-ji Zen Buddhist Temple. Stroll around the lake and be mesmerized by the shimmering golden reflection of the pavilion on the water.
The International Manga Museum houses over 300,000 publications, many of which are in English, so grab one, settle into a quiet corner, and enter a whole new world of Japanese manga. You’re free to watch one of the manga artists stationed there, deep in concentration as they create their art!
For something quintessentially Kyoto, wander through Pontocho Alley, full of lanterns and intimate wood-panelled restaurants.
Day 7: Kyoto → Seoul
Head to the airport, as today we depart for South Korea. Once we land, we’ll get settled in our new accommodations in Seoul and come together for a briefing on this new leg of our journey.
After dinner, soak in incredible views over the Metropolis from the N Seoul Tower. We’ll retire early after our long day of travel.
Day 8: DMZ & K-Pop
Head two hours north of Seoul to the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, better known as the DMZ.
Take in views across the zone from the Dora Observatory and go into an infiltration tunnel under the DMZ built by the North Koreans. Visit Panmunjeom, the village just north of the border where the armistice agreement that paused the Korean War was signed.
Next, lighten the mood with a K-pop dance class! Live out your BTS-backup-dancer dreams and sing along if you know the words as we follow professional instructors.
The COEX Mall, an underground shopping center with an aquarium, library and other attractions, is the epitome of Korean shopping culture. For a bit of tranquility, stroll over to the ornate Bongeunsa Temple or visit the burial grounds of Seonjeongneung, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 9: Seoul (Dojang & Gyengbokgung Palace)
Visit a dojang, a training hall for martial arts like taekwondo & tangsoodo. Try your hand at the coordinated moves with a practiced instructor.
Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, where we’ll Explore the exquisite grounds of the largest and perhaps most beautiful of the Five Palaces built by the dynasty. Climb a hill near the palace, and tt the top, you will find Bukchon Hanok Village, a traditional village of narrow alleys and old-style houses.
Tonight, it’s show time, as you’ll watch a hugely popular show called Nanta, a non-verbal comedy show that incorporates traditional rhythms by a percussion quartet and involves acrobats, magic and of a fun dose of audience participation.
Day 10: Seoul (Namdaemun Market & River Cruise)
Explore the sights, smells and tastes of Namdaemun Market, the oldest and largest traditional market in Korea.
Here you’ll pick up ingredients for the next activity: cooking class! Gain a deeper understanding of Korean food as you try your hand at making Korean dishes such as kimchi or seafood pancakes.
After dinner, we’ll embark on a scenic cruise of the Han River, the major river running through Seoul. Cruise up to the Banpo Bridge with its unique and colorful fountains.
Day 11: Seoul → Golgulsa
Take advantage of the opportunity to spend the night at Golgulsa Temple! Enjoy a Sumundo demonstration by temple masters.
Among the dozens of martial arts in Korea, Sunmudo has been practiced mostly at Buddhist temples. The name literally means “meditative martial art” and combines spiritual elements such as meditation, yoga and qigong with dynamic striking and defensive techniques.
It’s an early night at Golgulsa temple as you will be up with the sun the next day for a morning meditation session before heading on to Busan.
Day 12: Golgulsa → Busan
“Oiso, Boiso, Saiso!” (“Come, see, buy”) is a famous phrase that represents the Jagalchi Market in Busan, South Korea’s largest fish market. Sample new types of seafood and take in the hustle and bustle of a traditional market.
Stop by Gamcheon Culture Village, which was originally a poor hillside neighborhood. The village was given its current name in 2009, when Busan’s local residents and artists began refurbishing the entire neighborhood into an art village of brightly painted buildings, sidewalk murals and mosaics.
Day 13: Busan
Visit the Busan National Science Museum, where you will discover scientific marvels as your make your way through the vehicle, spaceship and energy exhibitions.
Discover Songdo Beach and ride the Marine Cable Car for stunning seaside views. Take a train back to Seoul for our last night together.
Come together as a group to reflect on our shared experience. Through discussion, listening and guided thought, participants can process their experiences, digest new ideas and consider what they have learned about the region, its people and themselves during the trip.
Day 14: Departure
Sadly, our adventure has come to an end.
Today, it’s time to head back to the airport for your flight home. Staff will accompany students to the airport, where they will help check them in and see them off. Settle into your seat for the journey home and reflect on all that all you have experienced during your trip.
We hope you end your program feeling increased confidence, curiosity, understanding and yearning for your next adventure!
East Asia Exploration
Dates & Tuition
14-Day Travel Program
|Planned for 2024…|
Click here to enroll in this program using our online enrollment form
| Full Tuition: $7,299
| Base Tuition: $6,999
| Internal Flight Fee: $300
Full Tuition is the combined amount of the Base Tuition + the Internal Flight Fee
Trip Duration: 14 days
Student/Staff Ratio: 7 to 1
Language Hours: N/A
Lodging Type: Multiple
Age Range: 14-18 Years Old
Arrival Airport: HND (Japan)
Departure Airport: ICN (Seoul- Incheon)
Tuition Includes All Major Program Expenses, Such As:
- 24/7 parent support hotline during the program
- Secondary medical and evacuation insurance
- Cultural activities, tours and excursions
- Pre-departure materials and support
- Educational materials
- Airport pick-up/drop-off
- Local transportation to each destination
- Secure overnight lodging at each location
- 3 meals per day
- Professional full-time staff and experts