I will finally arrive on the Chinese east tomorrow, over three month behind my original schedule. My plan was to take a ferry to South Korea spend a month there and then take a ferry to Japan to travel there for a month. There are ferries from Shanghai to Japan which makes me wonder whether I should go to Japan first and then to South Korea afterwards.

I plan to travel the whole length of South Korea but not much further north than Tokyo.

Is there a significant difference in the climate between the two countries? I would like to avoid traveling in really cold weather.

I plan to leave China around the 25th of September to avoid Golden Week.

So the question is where to go first if I want to avoid cold weather.

  • 4
    Search climate graph + city for the places you are interested in?
    – CMaster
    Sep 14, 2015 at 13:30
  • 2
    Tokyo is located southernmost of nearly the entire Korean peninsula. It's probably always warmer there.
    – JonathanReez
    Sep 14, 2015 at 13:34

3 Answers 3


South Korea is colder, although not hugely so: here's a handy Seoul vs Tokyo comparison chart. Summers are basically the same (sweltering), September-October is around 3°C colder, winters are up to 10°C colder. So I would tackle Korea first, then fly to Tokyo and work your way south.

Note that in Japan itself there are significant regional variations. The Japan Sea coast (facing Korea/China) is colder than the Pacific Ocean coast (where Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya all are), and in January it can be snowing in Tokyo while it's (almost) beach weather down in Okinawa.

  • Thanks, I thought about starting north in Japan and working my way South, only problem is that I don't fly. I came overland from Germany and will not fly to final leg to Japan. Sep 14, 2015 at 14:26
  • Why not go north in Japan and then south? Go up one coast and down the other. It would a shame to miss either Hokkaido or Okinawa. I hitchhiked (and ferried) from Okinawa to Hokkaido and back to Tokyo on my previous trip. Sep 25, 2015 at 14:27

I'm living in Korea and visited Japan several times. But it's not that much different. You commented you don't fly. So I think you can keep going your plan. I think it's not a huge challenging.


I agree with the top comment, South Korea is much colder than Japan especially they are peninsula and not surrounded by ocean, to their north is North Korea which is unbearably cold and often compared to Mongolia, many people died there because the temperature drops below -25 degrees

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