Explore family-friendly Japan, a modern land with ancient traditions

Grab the family and embark of an intriguing exploration of Japan. From ancient emperors to technological gizmos, Japan is a flurry of contradiction and excitement. Partake in a calligraphy lesson, hold a tune at a karaoke bar, dip in hot springs, visit a volcanic valley and explore the old temples of an imperial family. Allow Intrepid to take care of the finer details while you and your family enjoy a world of sushi, geishas, high-speed trains alongside a local expert.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Tokyo, Japan
Finish
Kyoto, Japan
Country
Japan
Style
Original
Theme
Family
Code
CJFP
Physical rating
Ages
Min 5
Group size
Min 2, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Discover Tokyo, where dazzling neon lights are only the beginning. Feast on market-fresh sushi, try your hand at calligraphy, and cook your own okonomiyaki on a Tokyo Bay boat cruise

  • Fast, fun and futuristic, a bullet train ride (Odawara to Kyoto) is an essential Japanese experience, sure to be a thrill for the whole family

  • Bask in the soothing waters of an onsen in Hakone. These Japanese hot-spring baths are the perfect antidote to a couple of days of walking around the big city

  • Epicureans will find themselves in heaven. From the depachika of Tokyo to the shotengai of Kyoto, your leader will help you navigate Japan's dizzying food options

  • 2018 TRIP CHANGES: this trip will change in 2018 please see important notes for further details

Is this trip right for you?

  • From boat cruises to cycling trips (and a cable-car adventure), this trip combines many forms of transport. There is still quite a bit of walking involved, so you'll need a good level of fitness. Comfortable walking shoes are essential.

  • Sleeping on a tatami (traditional mat) in Hakone is great fun, but keep in mind there are no luxury conveniences during your stay in this location. Unless you count the private Japanese baths!

  • 2018 TRIP CHANGES: we will be changing this itinerary in 2018 please see Important notes for more details

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 August 2017 to 31 December 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018

Konnichiwa! Welcome to Tokyo, Japan's dynamic capital where the ultra-modern meets the ancient. Make your way to your first night's accommodation and check in. Your adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 7pm in the hotel lobby. You'll meet your leader and group at this meeting. Check the hotel reception or noticeboards for the location of the meeting. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Accommodation
  • The B Ikebukuro or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Kick things off with a visit to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. The free observation decks of this 243-metre-tall building offer beautiful panoramas of the city and beyond. On a clear day, you can see Mount Fuji, the Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower, Meiji Shrine and Tokyo Dome from up here. You will also visit Sensoji in Asakusa, one of the most popular Buddhist temples in Tokyo. Located on the banks of the Sumida River, it features a shopping street in its approach – a good place for a quirky Japanese souvenir. While you're in Tokyo, you'll be treated to a calligraphy lesson for a chance to try your hand at this age-old art form. There also might be the chance to visit a manga (Japanese comic and cartoon) market, located out in Akihabara.
Accommodation
  • The B Ikebukuro or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tokyo - Metropolitan Government Building
  • Tokyo - Japanese & Calligraphy lesson
Optional Activities
  • Karaoke - JPY2000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Visit the Tsukiji Fish Market for an eye-opening experience. This is the biggest wholesale seafood market in the world, with more than 400 seafood varieties on offer. Wander through the narrow aisles, witness the heated negotiations between merchants and buyers, and watch out for speeding market trolleys piled high with crates of fresh stock. Your market visit concludes with a delicious sushi breakfast – this is as fresh as it gets!

Later, take a walk through a Tokyo depachika, a food-specific department store with a mind-boggling array of traditional and non-traditional Japanese foods. Take a look inside the impressive Sony showroom too. For lunch, head to Yoyogi park and join the locals. Dinner (on one of your nights here) will be a fun self-cooked 'okonomiyaki' (hotplate pancake) on a boat on Tokyo Bay, surrounded by the city lights.

Note: The Tsukiji Fish Markets are closed every national holiday and every Sunday and some Wednesdays. Tuna auctions may be closed to the public during busy times.
Accommodation
  • The B Ikebukuro or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tokyo - Seafood Market & Sushi Breakfast
  • Tokyo - Okonomiyaki dinner
  • Tokyo - Depachika visit
  • Tokyo - Sony Showroom
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Enjoy free time to further explore Tokyo with your family. There are many optional activities available, and your leader can help you choose a suitable one if you like. You can visit Imperial parks and temples, unique museums and even watch a game of baseball, In the evening, you might like to delve into Japan's famous karaoke culture – lose your inhibitions and sing the night away in a karaoke box (a great excuse for a late-night supper). 
Accommodation
  • The B Ikebukuro or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Tokyo - Edo Tokyo Museum - JPY600
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Bid farewell to Tokyo as you board your train to Hakone. You will see that it's astonishingly easy to travel by train in Japan. Trains operate with metronomic precision, and the sight of a white-gloved guard bowing to a carriage full of travellers is something you'll never forget! Part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, Hakone is a wonderland of natural beauty and offers a long list of holiday activities – hot springs, mountains, bush walks, lakes, breathtaking views of Mt Fuji and some interesting historic sites (including an open-air modern art museum).
Accommodation
  • Fuji Hakone Guesthouse or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hakone - Cable car
  • Hakone - Onsen (hot spring bath)
Optional Activities
  • Hakone - Checkpoint Museum - JPY500
  • Hakone - Open Air Museum - JPY1600
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Renowned as an excellent resort area since the Meiji period, Hakone and its onsens (hot spring baths) make a great place to relax and unwind with the family. Make a visit to the Karakuri secret box museum where the craft is in how to open the boxes. Touch and try to open the boxes yourself and find in there a unique Japanese gift to take home. You will also enjoy a walk around the scenic lake area. Your accommodation here is in a cosy, family-run guesthouse. You will be in a traditional Japanese room, sleeping on a tatami mat. There are Japanese baths for you to enjoy while you're here.
Accommodation
  • Fuji Hakone Guesthouse or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hakone - Onsen (hot spring bath)
  • Hakone - Scenic walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Today you visit Hikone Castle as we travel to Kyoto, arguably the most stunning city in Japan. The charms of the former Imperial capital are subtle and profound. While you're here, you'll see some of the finest temples, shrines, palaces and gardens in the country, with a nice mix of included activities and free time.
Accommodation
  • Daiwa Roynet Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kyoto - Hikone Castle
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This amazing city was originally founded as Heian-kyo in 794 and had its golden age during the imperial court's heyday from 794 to 1185. The city still bears the name Kyoto ('Capital City'), even though the emperor and government are now located in Tokyo. Home to many cultural landmarks and historical sites, Kyoto is regarded as the cultural heart of Japan, with its abundance of traditional arts and literature. Today we'll visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine and the NIshiki food market. Learn all about the ingredients on sale and how to use them – maybe even buy some supplies for a picnic lunch by the riverside. Wander the Gion disctrict in the evening with your leader in search of geikos (geishas) or maikos (apprentice geishas) with their elaborate dress and make up.
Accommodation
  • Daiwa Roynet Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kyoto - Fushimi Inari 10,000 Gate Shrine
  • Kyoto - Nishiki-Koji Market
  • Kyoto - Gion District walk
Optional Activities
  • Gion Corner cultural centre - JPY2800
  • Kyoto - Cooking Class - JPY6000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Explore more of the delights that Kyoto has to offer. You will visit the Arashiyama area, a pleasant district on the outskirts of Kyoto. There is a great monkey park that we will visit this morning. This was a popular place for nobles to relax in a serene natural setting during the Heian period (785–1185). You'll also visit the Tenryu-ji Temple which is right near an incredible bamboo grove. This bamboo forest is one of the most photographed sights in the city, and you'll see why. It's like stepping into another dimension. Later on you will enjoy a boat cruise down the Hozu River – look along the banks for Japanese maples or perhaps cherry trees in bloom (depending on the season).
Accommodation
  • Daiwa Roynet Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kyoto - Arashiyama sightseeing
  • Kyoto - Tenryuji Temple
  • Hozu river ride
  • Kyoto - Arashiyama Monkey Park
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is yours to explore and enjoy Kyoto. There are plenty of optional activities to choose from. Perhaps explore the ancient capital via bike. Or try your hand at the ancient art of Samurai sword dancing. There is something for everyone!
Accommodation
  • Daiwa Roynet Hotel or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Kyoto - Cooking lesson - JPY6500
  • Kyoto - Kyoto By Bike Urban Adventure - JPY8000
  • Nara - Day trip from Kyoto - JPY3000
  • Osaka - Universal Studios Day Trip from Kyoto - JPY10000
  • Kyoto - Maiko/Samurai makeover - JPY12000
  • Kyoto - Samurai Sword Dance lesson - JPY9000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your adventure comes to an end today. There are no further activities planned and you are free to depart your accommodation at any time. See the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage options.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

10 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners

Transport

Cable car, Taxi, Train, Train (bullet), Tram

Accommodation

Hotel (8 nights), Ryokan (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Tokyo - Metropolitan Government Building
  • Tokyo - Japanese & Calligraphy lesson
  • Tokyo - Seafood Market & Sushi Breakfast
  • Tokyo - Okonomiyaki dinner
  • Tokyo - Depachika visit
  • Tokyo - Sony Showroom
  • Hakone - Cable car
  • Hakone - Onsen (hot spring bath)
  • Hakone - Scenic walk
  • Kyoto - Hikone Castle
  • Kyoto - Fushimi Inari 10,000 Gate Shrine
  • Kyoto - Nishiki-Koji Market
  • Kyoto - Gion District walk
  • Kyoto - Arashiyama sightseeing
  • Kyoto - Tenryuji Temple
  • Hozu river ride
  • Kyoto - Arashiyama Monkey Park

Dates & availability

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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Japan Family Holiday trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

A DISCOUNT OF 10% APPLIES ON THIS TRIP TO CHILDREN 17 YEARS AND UNDER AT THE TIME OF TRAVEL.
Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you
Minimum age for children on this trip is 5 years old.

LEADERS:
Due to the rapid increase in tourism in Japan and in the lead up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics it has been necessary to go outside our traditional tour leader sources. As a result our passionate, professional and trained tour leaders may be local Japanese or long term foreign residents in Japan.

ACCOMMODATION
Accommodation in Japan can be difficult to secure at short notice. If you are travelling in Japan before or after your trip, we recommend booking accommodation at least 1 month in advance of travel, especially in high season (March to May, September to November).

2018 TRIP CHANGES
From January 1st 2018 this trip will be 12 days.
It will have one day less in Tokyo and Hiroshima has been added to the itinerary.
The new itinerary is outlined below:
1 Tokyo (arrival day)
2 Tokyo
3 Tokyo
4 Hakone
5 Hakone
6 Hiroshima
7 Hiroshima
8 Kyoto
9 Kyoto
10 Kyoto
11 Kyoto
12 Kyoto (departure day)

A JR Rail Pass will be required for this trip in 2018

1. Japan Rail (JR) Pass vouchers must be booked and issued prior to your arrival in Japan. Please make sure that you inform your agent if you are arriving in Japan more than a week prior to the trip start date so that the issuance of the JR Pass voucher in Japan doesn’t contradict your arrival and get invalidated. While on trip, our tour leader will collect your passports and use vouchers to validate and issue the actual JR pass.
2. Please note that JR pass can only be issued if you are on a tourist visa. Please inform your agent if you are on a different visa and additional fee may apply if we can’t issue JR pass for you to use on the trip because of this.
3. Please ensure that your name provided to us is identical to the name on your passport, otherwise, your JR Pass may not be able to be validated.
4. Please note that JR pass can’t be changed once the voucher is issued and booking for JR pass is closed at 30 days prior to your trip starts.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Japan Family Holiday trips score an average of 4 out of 5 based on 1 review in the last year.

Japan Family Holiday , August 2017

Richard Carrington