Seoul vs Tokyo – Which is the best city to visit?

Seoul or Tokyo? Tokyo or Seoul? Can’t decide where to go in East Asia? Don’t worry. This Seoul vs Tokyo article will help you decide by comparing the two cities in terms of many different aspects.

Both cities are internationally known for their unique culture, experiences, and activities. They have many similarities (particularly for Westerners) but are also fundamentally different. We will explore everything you need to know about the capital cities of South Korea and Japan and determine which best suits you and where you will have the most fun.

Even after visiting both, we still have problems choosing our favorite, so the ideal would be to visit both if you have time. But, let’s be honest, you can’t always do what you want, so we took this job and compared Tokyo and Seoul in 15 aspects to help you select your next holiday destination.

  • Size
  • General Beauty;
  • City Vibe;
  • Things to see and do;
  • Unique attractions;
  • Day trips
  • The people;
  • Getting around;
  • Accommodation;
  • Nightlife;
  • Food scene;
  • Weather;
  • Safety;
  • Cleanliness;
  • Costs;
  • Tourists and crowds;

Tokyo vs Seoul – highlights


  • Huge city – the largest in the world
  • Buzzing lively city
  • Unique culture and heritage
  • Famous landmarks and temples
  • Day trip to the amazing Fuji Mountain
  • Great nightlife with some unique offerings
  • Great shopping
  • Some of the best food in the world
  • Surprisingly inexpensive compared to most Western cities
  • Spotless city


  • Huge city, but not as big as Tokyo
  • Hectic, but not as much as Tokyo
  • Unique Culture and Heritage
  • Beautiful but lesser-known landmarks
  • Day trip to the DMZ
  • Good nightlife
  • Good shopping
  • Good food with lots of new flavors
  • Even more inexpensive for such a developed country
  • Clean city
  • Relaxed and friendly locals

Seoul vs Tokyo – Travel


Both Tokyo and Seoul are huge metropolises, with Seoul being the capital and biggest city in South Korea and Tokyo the Capital and biggest city in Japan.

However, Tokyo is much larger than Seoul, with 17 million people in Tokyo and 10 million in Seoul. If we consider the great metropolitan areas, Tokyo has 37 Million people, while Seoul has “only” 25 million.

Tokyo’s metropolitan area is considered the largest in the world, while Seoul’s would be the fourth. So, both cities are massive and some of the most densely populated cities in the world.

Shibuya Crossing Tokyo Japan Seoul vs Tokyo - Which is the best city to visit?
Famous Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, Japan

General Beauty

In our opinion, this is a tie. Both capital cities share many basic characteristics. They are both massive, modern, and densely populated. They have similar qualities and problems, and the difference will mostly come from details and personal taste.

Despite being an old city, Tokyo’s buildings are almost all recent, as the city was almost completely destroyed during WWII. You can visit some historical neighborhoods (like Asakusa) and a few old buildings, but the city is mostly new. The main attractions and beautiful spots are modern and recent.

Seoul has a similar history as it was mostly rundown and war-torn by the Korean War. So, the main parts of the city and its buildings are also recent. Even more recent than Tokyo, as it developed later. However, Seoul still has its five royal palaces and the secret garden, giving it more historical beauty.

We thoroughly enjoyed them both, exploring the unique neighborhoods, peculiar streets, and impressive landmarks. Most people agree they are most beautiful during cherry blossom and fall foliage.

 Changgyeonggung Palace traditional Palace in Seoul made with wood and stone. Red walls and big windows and characteristic roofs from asia in
One of Seoul Palaces – Changgyeonggung Palace

City vibe

We understand that the city vibe is even more subjective than the beauty and will depend so much on preferences and personal experiences.

Tokyo impresses! Its size is impressive and has unrivaled liveliness, monumental buildings, and crazy stores. Everything is big, oversized even. It can leave us speechless. It is vibrant and hectic, and many things are happening at once.

Seoul fascinated us. It is massive and hectic, too. But we were always more comfortable and at ease in Seoul than in Tokyo. Everything seems to work well, and it has an excellent mix of old and modern, progressive and conservative.

Don’t get us wrong, Seoul is one of the craziest and busiest places we have ever visited, but not when compared to Tokyo… no city we have visited resembles Tokyo. So much so that sometimes it is too much, becoming exhausting. It’s not really a problem if you are there for a few days, but I can only imagine how it must be to live there…

In other words, I could imagine living in Seoul for months, but I’m not sure I would be happy in Tokyo for more than two weeks. It is a great experience, but it’s too much for me. So, that’s why we prefer Seoul’s vibe, and it wins this one.

A lake serrounded by trees in fall follage and a small viewpoint on top of the lake in front of the National Museum of Korea in Seoul, South Korea
The National Museum of Korea in Seoul, South Korea

Tourist attractions in Tokyo and Seoul

This kind of city has so many things to do that we can never list them all. We will try to explain some of our favorite attractions and things in each one.

As the capital city of South Korea, Seoul is the best place to discover and explore Korean culture. It has history, food, cultural activities, and many famous landmarks. Some of the things you can miss include:

  • Gyeongbokgung Palace – the biggest and most popular imperial palace in Seoul.
  • Temple of Bongeunsa – a Korean Buddhist temple from the 8th century.
  • Myeongdong street – probably the most famous street in Seoul. It is very popular among travelers and great place to try street food.
  • N Seoul Tower – The best place to see Seoul from above. Very nice views.
  • Bukchon Hanok Village is a traditional village close to Seoul’s center. It’s beautiful and very photo-friendly.
  • Changdeokgung Palace and Secret Garden – We really enjoyed this park and the secret garden behind it. They offer informative, free guided tours.
  • Han River and Parks – The Han River and the surrounding parks are very pleasant and excellent places to walk or ride a bicycle.
  • Everland and Lotte World – the two most popular theme parks in South Korea.
biggest and most popular imperial palace in Seoul Gyeongbokgung Palace with several people wearing the tradicional Korean cloths, taking photos and apreciating the big palace
Gyeongbokgung Palace is the biggest and most popular imperial palace in Seoul

As the largest center of Japan, Tokyo is one of the best places to see Japanese culture, particularly modern culture. It has amazing food and many impressive landmarks. However, we should note that if you want to experience old Japan, then Kyoto is the best city to visit, as it is the largest city that wasn’t bombed in WWII and has dozens of temples and other historic buildings.

Anyway, these are our favorite things to do in Tokyo:

  • Visit the Senso-ji temple – the main temple in Asakusa and one of the most popular in Tokyo.
  • Explore Asakusa District – one of the oldest neighborhoods with a very atmosphere.
  • Climb Tokyo Skytree – to get one of the best views of Tokyo.
  • Shibuya and Shijuku – Shibuya is famous for having the world’s busiest intersection, while Shijuku is the main central transportation hub. Both are known for neons, stores, and nightlife.
  • Yoyogi Park – is a lovely park where you can relax and escape the chaos.
  • Go to Akihabara district – a shopping district full of electronic stores and otaku goods.
  • Imperial Gardens and palace
  • Harajuku – the center of teenage fashion and cosplay culture. It’s very crowded, in our experience.
  • Tokyo Disneyworld – is one of the most popular theme parks in the world.
Senso-ji temple a buddhist temple in Asakusa in Tokyo japan it is a red temple with several people
Senso-ji temple is the main temple in Asakusa and one of the most popular in Tokyo

Unique things about Seoul and Tokyo

One of the main reasons we travel is to experience local culture and try unique things. Things that can only be there or are much better/fun in a destination. Tokyo and Seoul excel in this regard, as they are the cultural centers of two global powerhouses that have influenced the world for decades.

One of the unique experiences Seoul has to offer is blending traditional Korean culture with modern urban life. A few examples are:

  • Hanbok Experience – Some of the most popular things in Seoul are renting a Hanbok (traditional Korean clothes), visiting historic sites (palaces), and taking photos.
  • K-Pop and K-dramas – Naturally, Seoul is the best place in the world to enjoy K culture.
  • Jimjilbang – The Korean saunas are a very cool experience. One of the highlights of our trip.
  • Korean street food – Amazing and bold flavors. More on this below.
  • Cafe Culture – Themed cafes are very popular in Seoul. There are thousands of the most diverse topics.
several typical traditional clothes of South Korea disposed to be rented, several sizes and for girls and boys
A fun experience in Seoul is to rent a hanbok (traditional Korean clothes) and visit historic sites

Some of the things Tokyo is amazing include:

  • Japanese Izakaya Culture – a highlight of any foodie trip to Tokyo is going to local Izakayas for dinner
  • Manga and anime culture
  • Sumo Wrestling – an opportunity to enjoy this unique sport and show.
  • Akihabara “Electric Town” – amazing for buying electronics or simply people-watching.
  • Neon lit streets – The lively neon streets are popular with everyone visiting Tokyo.
  • Ryokans and Onsen – Tokyo isn’t the best place in Japan to enjoy Ryokans and Onsens, but if you aren’t visiting the rest of the country, it is an opportunity you shouldn’t miss. It is unique.

Individual tastes and preferences are critical in defining which is better here. We grew up with a much more Japan-oriented culture, so we are more familiar with and enjoy the Manga/anime references and the history of Japan. However, the recent Korean Wave has greatly affected the world, and it’s easy to guess that many people will feel the opposite.

So, for us, Japan wins this one. But is it the same for you? Only you know…

A busy street in Tokyo full of builings that are illuminated and full of people and advertizment
Akihabara, “Electric Town,” is the ideal place to buy electronics

Day trips

Another fundamental topic when choosing between two destinations is the possible day trips we can do, particularly if it is a short getaway. Both Seoul and Tokyo have several unique and splendid day trips that offer the opportunity to expand our view of their respective cultures and countries.

Some of the most popular day trips from Seoul are:

  • The DMZ – is the buffer zone between North and South Korea. You can visit several landmarks, such as the Joint Security Area (JSA), the Third Tunnel of Aggression, and the Dora Observatory.
  • Hwaseong Fortress – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you can explore the fortress walls, gates, and pavilions
  • Incheon – the third city in Korea where you can visit the Chinatown, Jayu Park, and the Incheon Landing Operation Memorial Hall
  • Gapyeong – where several famous landmarks are located, such as the stunning Garden of Morning Calm, Nami Island (famous for its beautiful tree-lined paths), and the charming Petite France village.
A fictional fronter limiting south Korea from North Korea with a yellow line it is a monument of the devision of Korea
Monument of the division of South and North Korea – A day trip from Seoul

The most notable day trips from Tokyo include:

  • Kawaguchiko – is the best place to enjoy the scenic beauty of Mount Fuji, and the surrounding lakeside area is also lovely.
  • Hakone – A day trip to Hakone usually includes a ropeway ride, cruising on the lake, soaking in the relaxing hot springs, and stunning views of Mount Fuji and the picturesque Lake Ashi.
  • Nikko – Known for its stunning temples, lush forests, and natural beauty, Nikko is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Kamakura – Famous for its giant outdoor Buddha statue (Kotoku-in), Kamakura offers a serene escape from Tokyo. It is a popular coastal and surf destination.
  • Yokohama – offers a variety of attractions, such as the historic Chinatown, the futuristic Minato Mirai waterfront district, and the beautiful Sankeien Garden.

Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or cultural exploration, there’s something for everyone within a short distance from Seoul or Tokyo.

In our experience (and we haven’t tried them all), we preferred the day trips from Tokyo, mainly because of Mount Fuji, which is one of the most stunning natural landmarks in the world. The DMZ from Seoul is also a singular highlight, an experience you won’t be able to do anywhere else in the world.

View of a blue lake, flores a small mountain and mont Fuji with a bit of snow on its top the lake has a red Torri gate
Stunning views of Mount Fuji and the picturesque Lake Ashi in Hakone – Day trip from Tokyo


When it comes to food, both Seoul and Tokyo are culinary wonders, each with its own unique flavors and culinary traditions. Korean and Japanese cuisines, while sharing some similarities, offer distinct experiences that any foodie would love to explore.

Korean food is very different from Western food, a rollercoaster of bold, unusual, and spicy flavors. It has a unique range of flavors and textures, but it can be really spicy, too. It incorporates ingredients like garlic, ginger, sesame oil, red chili flakes, and fermented vegetables (the iconic kimchi).

We enjoyed the new flavors of Korean food. Still, we also liked the adventure of eating new things almost every day, discovering dishes, ingredients, and even techniques we hadn’t tried elsewhere. Seoul is the best place in the world to experience Korean food.

a bowl with food, avocato, egg yolk several vegerables a traditional Korean dish
One of our favourite foods in South Korea – Bibimbap, rice with vegetables

Japanese food shares some similarities, such as rice and noodles being their primary carbohydrate source and strongly emphasizing seafood and other fresh ingredients. But, the essence is different; Japanese food is not spicy (there are exceptions), and the balance of flavors and freshness of ingredients are the most important things.

While indulging in Korean cuisine’s diverse and adventurous flavors, Tokyo won our hearts with its unparalleled culinary excellence. I don’t think we have ever eaten consistently as well as in Tokyo or even Japan as a whole, not even in Italy or Mexico. From street vendors to high-end restaurants, Tokyo offers a dining experience like no other.

This is why, despite having enjoyed almost everything about Korean food, we have to give Tokyo the win here. Yet, if you want to embark on a culinary journey filled with new and exciting flavors, Korean cuisine in Seoul promises an unforgettable adventure. Its bold flavors and unique dishes make it a must-visit destination for any food enthusiast.

a bowl with Japanese ramen with a slice of pork noodles, spring onions half an egg and a rich beje sauce
Famous Japanese Ramen with pork, noodles, and an egg

The people

Another challenging topic, but for very different reasons.

First, it is essential to say that both Japanese and Korean speak little English, and even those who speak have a hard-to-get accent. This makes communicating challenging for them and us. Nevertheless, in our experience, Tokyo generally has slightly more English speakers compared to Seoul.

Tokyo is renowned for its unique cultural practices, including the silence observed in public spaces. For many foreigners, adapting to this norm can initially feel weird. Additionally, Japanese hospitality is characterized by meticulous attention to detail and a commitment to exceptional service. Staff members undergo extensive training to embody the skills and demeanor necessary for delivering outstanding service.

While some appreciate Japan’s customer-first mentality, others may find it somewhat artificial or rigid. Despite this, the emphasis on punctuality, politeness, and respect is commendable and serves as a model for hospitality worldwide.

While communication is as difficult as in Tokyo, people in Seoul are less strict and easygoing, which makes us feel much more at home. People are amicable and warm both in service and in the streets.

It is very easy to feel welcome in South Korea, as most people want you to like their country and culture. They are attentive and helpful, even with hard language barriers.

Ultimately, our preference for interacting with locals leans towards Seoul due to its welcoming atmosphere and the genuine hospitality extended by its residents. However, it’s important to note that individual experiences may vary and be influenced by personal preferences and cultural expectations.

famous libary in Seoul inside a mall with shelf untill the celling full of books, tescalatorwo floors and a escalator it is full of people reading and looking for books
Impressive Starfield Library in Seoul, South Korea


Seoul and Tokyo both have efficient and extensive transportation systems, making it relatively easy for tourists to navigate them. Tokyo (and Japan in general) is famous for its excellent public transportation, but surprisingly enough, Seoul was even better.

The Seoul metro system is huge, efficient, and inexpensive. In fact, it is known as one of the largest in the world, with more than 750 stations. It is possible to reach every single area of Seoul (and most of its surroundings) using the Metro). The frequency is also quick, so we don’t have to worry too much about timetables.

Tokyo’s metro system is huge and efficient, but it is also expensive. Navigating with different tickets and prices was a little harder. We also felt that we had to walk longer to the stations, as their density was smaller.

The bus networks are good in both cities, but we mainly use the metro, which is easier and faster. Both cities have intermodal transportation cards that facilitate tourists’ lives. It is also important to note that Tokyo has very, very expensive taxis, so we do not recommend using them unless you don’t have any other alternative, which you almost always have.

All things considered, Seoul is the best city we have ever visited in terms of public transportation, but Tokyo is second. So, this is not something to worry about.

Metro station in Tokyo, man looking at the time schedule and several people wainting for the metro
Metro station in Tokyo, Japan


As one would expect in such large and important cities, they provide a wide range of accommodation options, including budget hostels, mid-range hotels, luxury hotels, guesthouses, and even some traditional options like Ryokans (Japan) and Hanoks (Korea).

Furthermore, both cities have high standards for cleanliness and service in their accommodations. However, Tokyo excels as Japanese hotels are known for their attention to detail and hospitality.

On the other hand, Tokyo has more expensive accommodation options globally than Seoul. This is more obvious in the budget area, as there are more inexpensive hostels and guesthouses spread throughout the city and are cheaper.

In Tokyo, you must go to Asakusa ou even further to find inexpensive options. However, the city is also famous for its very specific offering: capsule hotels. Today, they are available in many cities (including Seoul) but are truly a Japanese experience.

Finally, both cities offer unique accommodation options: Ryokans in Tokyo and Hanok houses in Seoul. The Hanok houses are traditional houses from the Joseon period. Many have been renovated and are now guest houses. It’s quite fun. Japan is known for Ryokans, traditional Japanese inns.

Ryokans offer more than just a place to sleep; they provide an opportunity to enjoy the traditional Japanese lifestyle and hospitality. They feature tatami rooms, futon beds, Japanese-style baths, and local cuisine. They are beloved by both Japanese and foreign tourists alike.

The downside is that Tokyo doesn’t have many ryokans; they were mostly destroyed during WWII. The few existing ones are usually in the older parts of town as Asakusa, Ueno and Yanaka.

inside a traditional Japanese Ryokan with a futon a small table a tatami floor and a wardrobe the room is iluminated by a lamp in the ceiling
Inside a Ryokan in Japan


The nightlife isn’t among the first things we look for when traveling, but Seoul and Tokyo are exceptions. Their vibrant nightlife is legendary.

Seoul and Tokyo offer vibrant and diverse nightlife experiences catering to different tastes and preferences. They are also incredibly safe and have efficient and accessible public transportation options, which are very convenient at night. Furthermore, convenience stores are almost everywhere in either country if you want to eat or buy anything.

In Tokyo, the neon-lit streets of Shinjuku and Shibuya are iconic, and exploring them can be a unique adventure – something you cannot do anywhere else. The city’s izakayas, karaoke joints, arcades, Pachinko parlors, and crane games add to its distinct charm and entertainment options.

Seoul, on the other hand, presents a nightlife scene with its own flair. Korean BBQ and Chimaek are popular dining choices, while karaoke bars and themed cafes provide enjoyable experiences for locals and tourists alike.

Night markets in areas like Myeongdong and Dongdaemun offer bustling atmospheres filled with street food and shopping, while the youthful energy of the Hongdae area appeals to those seeking live music and club scenes.

Ultimately, both cities offer unforgettable experiences after dark, each with its own unique atmosphere and attractions. While we enjoyed Seoul nightlife more than we imagined, Tokyo still took the win. It’s just so quirky, exotic, and different from anywhere else in the world that it is truly an experience we recommend to anyone who likes traveling.

a street in Tokyo full of buildings and neon lit streets and people walking
Neon-lit streets of Shinjuku in Tokyo, Japan


Seoul and Tokyo are at similar latitudes and relatively close to each other, so they have similar weather patterns and seasons. They both offer favorable travel weather simultaneously and showcase cherry blossoms and fall foliage at similar timings. So, this is a clear tie.

Seoul and Tokyo have similar temperatures, with cold winters and hot, humid summers. However, Tokyo tends to be slightly milder due to its coastal location. Seoul is a bit colder in winter than Tokyo, but Tokyo has a slightly higher average annual rainfall. Both cities experience many sunshine hours in spring and fall.

The best times to visit are during the spring (April to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons when temperatures are mild and there’s generally less rainfall. Spring is also cherry blossom season, and fall is fall foliage season in Tokyo and Seoul. They are lovely in both seasons.

view of tokyo city the ceiling of a buddhist temple a pegoda and several building ther also are a view gree trees
View of Tokyo City in Asakusa, Japan


This is another tie. Both Seoul and Tokyo are extremely safe cities to visit and well-equipped to deal with possible emergencies. We didn’t feel any kind of danger and were completely relaxed in either capital city.

As mentioned above, public transportation systems are well-regarded for their safety and punctuality, but you should always be wary of crowded trains, buses, and stations. They may present opportunities for pickpocketing and other forms of petty crime.

Crime statistics are very low in both countries and their capital cities. Despite this, we must mention that they are generally lower in Tokyo than in Seoul.

Despite this, we don’t think safety should be an issue when choosing between these cities. They are both among the safest in the world.

several builings in Tokyo illuminated and a garden of green grass and small trees
Skyscrapers in Tokyo, Japan


As with crime and safety, this is a topic where both cities are very good, and something you shouldn’t worry about too much. Nevertheless, Tokyo is better than Seoul. Its efficient waste management system and emphasis on cleanliness and environmental sustainability contribute to a cleaner urban environment.

Both Tokyo and Seoul face challenges related to air pollution from vehicle emissions, industrial activities, and natural factors. In this aspect, Seoul is worse than Tokyo as it often experiences higher levels of particulate matter and air pollutants.

bulb on Seoul vs Tokyo - Which is the best city to visit?

Top Tip

Finding trash bins in Korea and Japan – even in markets- is very difficult. Always have a bag to save your trash for when you find one. Plus, if you buy from a street vendor, you can return the garbage to them.

They also prioritize cleanliness through regular street cleaning, waste collection, and public awareness campaigns. Yet, again, Tokyo seems to be able to raise higher standards than Seoul.

a pound and beutiful trees, nenufas, and several builing in the background a bucolic scenery in Tokyo Japan
Gardens by the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan


It is very important to note that individual spending habits and preferences are more important than the overall cost of living and traveling in each destination. These are our conclusions as backpacker budget travelers who travel as a couple. We also enjoy public transportation and eating locally. It may be significantly different if traveling as a family of four or five with diet restrictions.

In general we found Seoul to be less expensive than Tokyo, however the difference isn’t as large as one would expect. According to the backpacker index, in 2024, Seoul will cost about 52 USD per day, while Tokyo will cost about 62 USD. Both cities are surprisingly inexpensive and offer excellent value for money. Japan has become increasingly more affordable in the last decade.

We found food particularly inexpensive in Tokyo if you enjoy eating in markets, local restaurants, or Izakayas. Plus, as we have said, Japan’s food is always amazing. If you want to eat at chic restaurants every meal, this will be much more expensive. But you truly don’t need to do it to have memorable dishes.

a plate of sushi , raw fish over rice a cup with matcha and a bowl with miso soup, a bottle of soy sauce ad a place to put spoons
Eating sushi in Tokyo is a well-worth experience

In Seoul, food is also inexpensive at markets and street food. There’s no equivalent to izakayas, but local restaurants aren’t expensive at all.

As mentioned above, accommodation is generally more expensive in Tokyo than in Seoul, particularly if you want to stay in popular areas like Shinjuku and Shibuya. Seoul has a wide range of pricing, but finding great deals at good locations is much easier. That being said, both cities are less expensive than large European capitals or North American cities.

Tokyo has higher entrance fees for famous attractions like Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo Tower, and museums. Many attractions in Seoul are free and very inexpensive, such as Gyeongbokgung Palace, N Seoul Tower, and museums.

We have also covered public transportation above, and while the difference isn’t significant, Seoul is less expensive. If you consider using taxis, note that Tokyo taxis are notoriously expensive!

street market in Seoul with vendors selling fruit and vegetables and people buying and motos parks in the street in Sout Korea
Street market in Seoul, South Korea

Tourists and crowds

As mentioned above, Seoul and Tokyo are major metropolitan cities with high population density. They also attract millions of tourists each year. However, they shouldn’t be your destination if you don’t want crowded places.

Yet, they offer a wide range of things to do. You will find many tourists in the touristy areas, but if you go to less popular neighborhoods, you will be among the locals. Tourism has rapidly increased in both cities, but Tokyo has been popular for longer.

Even with the recent Korean wave (Hallyu) and its recent popularity, Japan has many more tourists than Korea. Tourism to Japan is also increasing because it is more affordable. Their capital cities reflect this.

We think the cities are comparable in terms of crowds and tourists, but as it is bigger and receives more tourists, we believe that Tokyo will lose this item. Finally, it is important to notice that if you visit them outside the peak season, you won’t see many tourists and will have much more fun.

View of Tokyo tower, with several shops a dn people walking in the street in Japan
View of Tokyo Sky tree from Asakusa in Tokyo, Japan

What’s the verdict: Tokyo or Seoul

The best option for you depends on what you are looking for and your personal preferences. If you are into K-culture, you’ll prefer Korea; if you are in Mangas or Samurais, Japan will obviously be much closer to your heart.

As the capitals of neighboring countries with long historical relationships (not always friendly ones), they have several similarities, but they are also very different in many ways. Yet, you should know that whatever the reason for your trip, these destinations are outstanding.

So, in hindsight, you should visit Seoul if:

  • Like K-dramas and K-Pop;
  • Looking for beauty products;
  • Want to try new foods and bold and spicy flavors;
  • Want a relaxed and easy-going vibe;
  • With very friendly locals;
  • Want to visit a developed, safe country;
  • With an amazing and easy-to-use infrastructure;
  • Don’t want to spend too much;
the river han and a statue of  bull and the other side of the river is part of Seoul full of skyscrapers
View of Seoul from River Han in South Korea

On the other hand, Tokyo is the best fit for those who want to:

  • Experience a modern, bustling city;
  • Love Japanese culture – there’s nothing similar to Japan, and nothing can substitute it;
  • Try some of the best food in the world;
  • Don’t mind some crowded places, particularly the famous ones;
  • Visit a developed and very safe city;
  • Take the opportunity to travel to a recently affordable country;
  • Love trains!
  • Enjoy a nightlife full of anime, mangas, video games, arcades, Karaoke, etc;
  • Go shopping, particularly handicrafts, design, and stationery items;
Tokyo at night, a big tower illuminated in several colours and 3 big buildings also illuminated in front of the buildings is a bridge and a street with people walking
Asakusa in Tokyo at night, Japan

Why not both?

If you have enough time (we suggest about one week each), you may consider visiting them on the same trip. They are very close, and the flights between them are inexpensive. Sometimes less than 100 USD per trip.

Moreover, Seoul and Tokyo are fascinating in their own way and lovely places to visit. They have enough similarities and differences to make a trip to both of them memorable. We did it and loved it.

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