Explore family-friendly Japan, a place where the ancient and the ultra-modern stand side by side

Gather up the family and embark on an adventure through Japan, surely one of the world’s most intriguing countries. From ancient emperors to technological gizmos, it’s a flurry of contradiction and excitement. Learn an age-old style of calligraphy, feast on sushi and Japanese pancake, gaze across Tokyo from the heights of the city, soak your bones in steaming onsens, sleep on a traditional tatami, and explore some of the most amazing temples and forestlands in the country. With local expertise to draw on at every step of the way, this is a family holiday that’s sure to yield lifelong memories.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Tokyo, Japan
Finish
Kyoto, Japan
Country
Japan
Style
Original
Theme
Family
Code
CJFP
Physical rating
Ages
Min 4
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

  • 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

  • Food lovers rejoice! From the depachika of Tokyo to the shotengai of Kyoto, your leader will help you navigate Japan's dizzying cuisine options

  • Visit Hiroshima to learn about an important, though confronting, chapter of Japan’s history

  • Kyoto is like stepping into another world. Walk through the amazing bamboo forest, visit a monkey park and gaze at some of Japan’s finest temples

Is this trip right for you?

  • From boat to bicycle to cable car, 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!

Itinerary

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

Konnichiwa! Welcome to Tokyo, Japan's dynamic capital. Make your way to your first night's accommodation and check in. Your adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 7 pm in the hotel lobby. You'll meet your leader and your group at this meeting. 
Accommodation
  • The B Ikebukuro or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Check the hotel reception or noticeboards for the location of the welcome 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.
Kick things off with a visit to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. The free observation decks of this 243-metre-tall building (797 feet) offer awesome 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 this supreme vantage point. Afterwards, visit the Sensoji in Asakusa, a key Buddhist temple in Tokyo. Located on the banks of the Sumida River, it features a shopping street in its approach – a good place to find a quirky Japanese souvenir. While you're in Tokyo, you'll also be treated to a traditional calligraphy lesson. 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, which is an eye-opening experience. It's the biggest wholesale seafood market in the world, with more than 400 kinds of seafood on offer. It's a thrill to wander through the narrow aisles and see the heated negotiations between merchants and buyers. Watch as merchants speed past with market trolleys piled high with crates of fresh stock. Your market visit ends 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.
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
Special Information
The Tsukiji Fish Markets are closed every national holiday, every Sunday and some Wednesdays. Tuna auctions may be closed to the public during busy times.
Bid farewell to Tokyo and board your train to Hakone. You will see that it's astonishingly easy to travel by train in Japan. Trains operate with amazing precision, and the sight of a white-gloved guard bowing to a carriage full of travellers is something you're sure to remember. Part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, Hakone is a place of staggering natural beauty. It's also a veritable playground with a long list of holiday activities on offer – soaking in hot springs, going on bush walks, chilling out by peaceful lakes, taking in beautiful views of Mt Fuji, even exploring 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. Pay a visit to the Karakuri secret box museum – try to open the boxes to find a unique Japanese gift to take home. Then enjoy a walk around the scenic lake area. Your accommodation here is in a cosy, family-run guesthouse with Japanese baths for you to enjoy. Spend the night in traditional Japanese style, sleeping on a tatami mat in an authentically decked-out room.
Accommodation
  • Fuji Hakone Guesthouse or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hakone - Onsen (hot spring bath)
  • Hakone - Scenic walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
A visit to Hiroshima is sobering, but the tragedy that happened here is an important part of history to confront. You’ll learn more about the aftermath of the atomic bombing of the city in World War II. Later, in the afternoon, consider an optional walk to learn more at the Genbaku (A-Bomb) Dome and the Peace Memorial Park and Museum, both of which stand as an emotional testament to the fateful day in August 1945 when Hiroshima became the first target for nuclear attack. The dome was just metres from where the bomb detonated and managed to retain its shape, eerily standing exactly how it was prior to the attack. These days it stands as both a symbolic reminder and a monument to peace.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Enjoy a free day in the city of Hiroshima. You may choose to see more of the extensive exhibitions at the Peace Memorial Park and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Or you can head for the beautiful island of Miyajima, just a short ferry ride across the Inland Sea. The island is home to the venerable Shinto shrine of Itsukushima, famous for its huge bright orange gate (tori) which is absolutely stunning when the tide is high. Maybe take a stroll through the lovely Momaji Park (known as Maple Valley), or consider taking the cable car up to the top of Mt Misen (keeping an eye out for the hungry deer that roam the streets).
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel to Kyoto, arguably the most stunning city in Japan. On the way there, make a stop at Hikone Castle. The charms of Kyoto, 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. Spend the evening wandering the Gion district with your leader, seeing if you can spot geikos (geishas) or maikos (apprentice geishas) with their elaborate dresses and make-up. Afterwards, travel to a food market and learn all about the local ingredients and how to best use them. A good option here is to buy some supplies for an evening meal by the riverside.
Accommodation
  • Daiwa Roynet Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kyoto - Hikone Castle
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a leisurely bike ride along the great paths around some of Kyoto's key sites – this is definitely the best way to navigate the city. Kyoto is regularly voted one of the best bicycle cities in Asia, and for good reason. The city is largely flat, roads are well maintained and there are lots of areas to park your bike. Kyoto was originally founded as Heian-kyo in 794 and enjoyed a golden age during the imperial court’s heyday up until 1185. The city’s current name literally means ‘Capital City’, even though the Emperor and the government now reside in Tokyo. In saying that, the city still boasts some of the country’s best landmarks, historic sites, traditional arts and literature, and is often regarded as the cultural heart of Japan.
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. Check out the Arashiyama area, a pleasant district on the outskirts of Kyoto. This morning you'll visit a monkey park, no doubt making a cheeky new friend or two. 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 (if you're lucky and it's the season) cherry trees in bloom.
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 enjoy Kyoto however you please. There are plenty of optional activities to choose from. Perhaps head out with the family and explore on a bike. Or you can try your hand at the ancient art of Samurai sword dancing!
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
The 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
Special Information
See the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.

Meals

9 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners

Transport

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

Accommodation

Hotel (7 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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Important notes

A discount of 10% applies on this trip to children 17 years an 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 4 years old

A JR Rail Pass will be required for this trip.

1. Japan Rail (JR) Passes are purchased by our team in Japan prior to your arrival. Once on trip, your tour leader will collect your passports and use vouchers to validate and issue the JR pass. Therefore, 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.
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