Can You See South Korea From Japan?

If you love traveling as I do, there’s a thirst that you can only quench by moving from one destination to another. Often, I look through my binoculars to see what comes to view. One of the most rewarding views is seeing one country while standing on another. As a result, I have looked for opportunities to make this happen. My focus is now on South Korea and Japan.

Can you see South Korea from Japan? You can see South Korea from various locations on Tsushima Island in Japan. To see South Korea from Japan, you need to go to a viewpoint in Kamiagata town between Nodo harbor and Ikuchi beach, or to Saozaki Park. Japan and South Korea are separated by the Korean Strait, which is 97 miles (180km) wide. Still, you are not likely to see South Korea when standing on mainland Japan.

I find a reliable pair of Binoculars handy at such ventures.

In this article, I have provided information on where you can see South Korea from Japan. Also, I have described the one place you need to be to see Japan from South Korea. Further, find out how far the countries are from each other.

How Far Is South Korea from Japan?

South Korea is 31 miles (50km) from Japan. This distance is the narrowest part of the channel that separates the Japanese island of Tsushima from South Korea’s Busan town. Tsushima Island is located in the Korean Strait between South Korea and mainland Japan.

The Korean Strait is about 80 miles (128km) at the narrowest point between South Korea and Mainland Japan. The position of the Tsushima Island splits the Korean Strait into two. The western channel is next to South Korea while the eastern channel borders Japan.

This affects how far Japan is from South Korea in relation to Tsushima Island.

Tsushima Island lies nearer to South Korea than Japan mainland. This reduces the distance between the two countries to about 31 miles (50km). Also, the chance of seeing South Korea from Japan increases with the reduced distance.

How much of South Korea you can see, however, depends on weather and your location along Tsushima Island.

Where Can You See South Korea From Japan?

You can see South Korea from Japan in locations on the Japanese island called Tsushima. A viewpoint near Nada harbor and along Ikuchi beach is a strategic point on the island to see Busan in South Korea. Hiking the Japanese mountain, Mt. Shiratake, in clear weather, also gives you a great view of South Korea.

How to Get to Tsushima Island

Tsushima Island is located in the water channel between Japan and South Korea. The fascinating fact is that this island is closer to South Korea (50km) than it is to Japan (138km).

To get to this island, you can either use a plane or a boat.

A plane takes about 35 minutes to Tsushima airport from Nagasaki Airport or Fukuoka Airport. From there you can take a taxi to western Tsushima. Taking a boat from Hakata Ferry Terminal in Fukuoka will take you about 2 hrs 15 mins to get to Tsushima Island.

Once you are on the island, your position makes all the difference. At sea level, due to the shape of the earth, your maximum viewing distance is about 3 miles (5km). This is according to Wikipedia.

So, where can you get the best views? I have listed a few places for you to try below. 

Kamiagata Viewpoint

Kamiagata is a town on Japan’s Tsushima Island.

On a clear day, the hills and mountains of the Korean peninsula are visible from Kimiagata town. Some locations in Kamiagata will give you a better view than others. If you want to see more than mountain tops in South Korea, visit the viewpoint in Kamiagata.

This is a viewpoint along the road that runs from Nodo harbor to Ikuchi beach. It provides a clear panoramic view of the sea. On clear nights, you can see South Korea’s commercial and residential buildings in Busan town. Also, nearby towns a visible. 

Northern Coastline

Tsushima Island consists of the northern part (Kamijima) and the southern part (Shimojima). The Tsushima coastline stretches to about 915 km. The south tip of the island is further from South Korea compared to the northern part.

On the other hand, the northern tip of this island is closest (about 50 km) to the coastal town of Busan in South Korea.

This makes the northern coastline of Tsushima the perfect place to see South Korea from Japan. From this coastline, you can get a better glimpse of Busan town in South Korea.

Mt. Shiratake

High elevations like mountains provide the perfect chance to view things from far away. Why? Because the higher you go, the further the horizon moves. This means that you can see further.

Mt. Shiratake is located on Tsushima Island. Are you willing to combine your adventure with hiking? Mt. Shiratake is 519m (1703ft) high. It will take you a little over 1 hour to reach the top. The mountain is about a 15-minute drive from Tsushima airport or 25 mins from the Izuhara port.

When climbing Mt. Shiratake, you will get to see about 50.6 miles (81.4km) away. This enables you to have a better view of Busan town in South Korea.

While at it, remember to wear some comfortable and sturdy hiking boots and some water for rehydration. I always have a Refillable Water Bottle With A Filter on me whenever I’m traveling. This way, I can always refill whenever I get an opportunity without worrying about bacterias. 

When Is the Best Time to See South Korea From Japan?

Fine weather and clear nights provide perfect panoramic views. Rainy seasons are the worst times as they hinder visibility. Japan’s rainy season takes place from the beginning of June to mid-July. The weather is dry in October and November.

Have you seen enough of South Korea? A Korean Travel Guide will give you insight into everything else the country has to offer. 

So far, we have established that strategic locations in Japan give you beautiful views of South Korea. How about when you want to see Japan from South Korea, is the narrative the same? Let’s find out.

Can You See Japan From South Korea?

Busan observatory

You can see Japan’s island of Tsushima from Busan in South Korea. However, South Korea’s coastline that faces Japan doesn’t stretch as long as Tsushima island’s coastline. Therefore, the viewpoint is limited to Busan town, which is the location nearest to Japan.

Where Can You See Japan From South Korea?

You can see the Tsushima island of Japan from Dalmaji hill in Busan city. Mainland Japan is located too far east of South Korea for you to see. Busan city’s coastline touches the Korean Strait that separates South Korea from Japan. Still, due to limitations of how far you can see on the horizon, the best view is limited to Dalmaji hill in Busan.

Dalmaji Hill 

Dalmaji hill is one of the most scenic areas to explore in Busan town. It is the perfect spot to see Japan from South Korea. Dalmaji also hosts many other activities for outdoor enthusiasts.

This coastal hill overlooks the sea along the Korean Strait. It’s situated next to Haeundae beach. On a clear day, you can see Tsushima Island across the western channel. The best place to view the Tsushima Island of Japan is Dalmaji Hill observatory.

You can also see the beautiful coastline, the beach, and boats docking and leaving the Busan port.

While on your quest, don’t miss the picturesque cliffs overlooking the ocean and the cafés located in the traditional and modern buildings.

The highlight of Dalmaji Hill, however, is the annual full moon celebrations. The Dal Maji, which means ‘ritual rising’ is borrowed from the perfect rising of the full moon seen from the hill.

The event attracts over 300,000 people. The moon watchers come to the hill or climb on tall buildings and trees to be the first ones to see the full moon rise. The locals believe that this brings good luck and fulfillment of wishes.

Music, dance, and prayers accompany the ceremony. If you would like to join the locals, the full moon dates usually fall in early to mid-February. You can always check the date for the particular year. 

Full moon festivals are held throughout Japan and other Asian countries. Do you want a taste of what the festival entails?

The YouTube video below shows a full moon celebration in Osaka, Japan. It will give you an idea of what to expect.

In Conclusion

It is clear that you can see South Korea from Japan and Japan from South Korea. So, which country would you rather view from?

I have previously compared the cost of visiting Japan and Korea. This can help you make a decision. If you stick with Japan, arm yourself with these 12 most interesting facts about Japan to see how much you should include in your trip.

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