Skip Navigation

Tokyo or Seoul?

Travel Forums Asia Tokyo or Seoul?

1. Posted by hanif_adhip (First Time Poster 1 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Hi,

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!

2. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3859 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

I've been to both cities and loved them, but I'd choose Tokyo. There is more to do in Toyko than in Seoul and I think it ticks your boxes, especially culinary experience and the new and quirky things that you mention.

3. Posted by Andyf (Moderator 823 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

You say "at the end of the year". I've been through Seoul a few times in December / January, and it was baltic cold. I don't know if it was just our luck but each time was dry, crisp and clear, but about -5 °C, so we'd be seeking a hot chocolate and a thaw out after being out for half an hour.

4. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3859 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Andyf

You say "at the end of the year". I've been through Seoul a few times in December / January, and it was baltic cold. I don't know if it was just our luck but each time was dry, crisp and clear, but about -5 °C, so we'd be seeking a hot chocolate and a thaw out after being out for half an hour.

My friend went to Tokyo at that time and had similar weather. In contrast my second visit to Tokyo was in August and it was pushing 40 degrees!

5. Posted by zzlangerhans (Respected Member 45 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

For sure there's more to buzz your brain in Tokyo. On the other hand, five days really isn't enough for Tokyo (especially given you'll probably be jetlagged). I'd suggest going to Seoul where you can have a fairly comprehensive experience in that time frame, even including some travel recovery time. Don't miss Noryangjin fish market and Gwangjang market for the best culinary experiences, and don't get too hung up on the old temples (visiting one is plenty). I have blogged extensively about Seoul:

http://zzlangerhans.travellerspoint.com/co/110/

Save Tokyo for a future date when you have more time, hopefully in the spring or fall, and a somewhat larger budget. Don't worry, it isn't going anywhere.

[ Edit: Edited on 31-Jul-2017, at 07:21 by zzlangerhans ]

6. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2574 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

To be honest it makes no difference, both cities offer way more options than you could possibly explore in a month, let alone 5 days.

That said, I'd choose Tokyo for one simple reason, it's "weirder," for want of a better term. The Koreans are definitely out there, but the Japanese take crazy (in a good way) to a whole new level.

Note: You're legally underage for drinking in both cities but it will (almost) never be a problem in either place. If a bouncer or service person questions you then simply apologise and move on, no big deal.

But really, both cities are great for a first timer with only 5 days.

Have fun.

Cheers,
Terry

7. Posted by Andyf (Moderator 823 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Maybe Taipei is worth a look? Milder weather, plenty of weirdness and plenty to occupy you for 5 days.

8. Posted by puppa17 (Budding Member 20 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Tokyo all the way!
There are soo many things to do in Tokyo specially during NY! Let me know when you decide cuz i cann call some friends at restaurant!