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Family Tours of Japan

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13 days / 12 nights - from £1,789

This expertly-designed Japan family tour covers not only the countless sights of Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Osaka and elsewhere, but also an authentic Japanese cultural experience. We've included something for all ages, allowing for burn-off-all-that-energy sessions and down time. Any questions? Check out the details here or contact us below :)

Itinerary

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Day 1: Tokyo

Take in the cityscape from the top of a skyscraper, then head back down to earth to experience one of Tokyo’s buzziest districts, Shinjuku. Cap off your first day with a relaxing tea in a cat café before exploring the endless eating options – both budget and high end – on offer in Tokyo by night. Learn About Tokyo

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Day 2: Tokyo

Try your hand at Sushi making in the morning then make your way to the quirky centre of J-Pop culture in Harajuku. Visit the Meiji Shrine and soak up the atmosphere overlooking the neon madness of Shibuya. Learn About Tokyo

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Day 3: Tokyo

Today is an unguided day at Disneyland Tokyo! This incredible park is consistently ranked in the top 3 in the world. Get a magical experience and give children the chance to burn off lots of energy. Learn About Tokyo
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Day 4: Tokyo

Head to Tokyo’s sumo district to see where the wrestlers live and train. Check out some of the fascinating history of Japan at the Edo-Tokyo museum. Snuggle up with a furry friend in a cat cafe and perhaps finish off the day at the astounding Robot Show–  Learn About Tokyo
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Day 5: Kamakura

Leave the hustle and bustle of Tokyo and take a train to Kamakura, the country’s medieval capital. Explore the town’s shrines and finish off at the Great Buddha statue at Kotoku-in temple.  Relax by the beach and go for a cycle, swim, surf or bodyboard at sunset.

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Day 6: Mount Fuji, Hakone

Enjoy your first stunning view of Mount Fuji on the Hakone cable car. At Oowakudani you can gaze at the mountain to your heart’s content while sampling eggs cooked Fuji-style – in the sulphuric water beneath you. Cap off the day crossing Lake Ashi on a pirate ship, with Mount Fuji providing the perfect backdrop.

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Day 7: Kyoto

After taking in the morning’s mountain air, take the bullet train to Kyoto. Experience the timeless traditions of ancient Japan in Kyoto’s Geisha district before settling in for an cheap, authentic and delicious meal surrounded by wood panels and lanterns in Pontocho alley. Budget food is so often the best 🙂 Learn about Kyoto

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Day 8: Arashiyama

Hike through the Arashiyama bamboo forest and the Arashiyama Monkey Park where your exertions will be rewarded with great views of Kyoto. Visit the Tenryu-ji temple and relax in the pristine gardens after a rafting adventure tour down the Hozugawa River. Spend the evening in the Gion district spotting Geishas or being transformed into one for the evening

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Day 9: Kyoto

It’s Manga time! Experience the Japan’s devotion to all things manga in the morning before hiking around the countless beautiful shrines that are nestled in the hills surrounding the city. Learn about Kyoto

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Day 10: Kyoto

Shutterbugs will adore the Golden Pavilion at Kinkaku-ji temple and a slice of mindfulness to start the day with a meditation session in a local temple. Cycle round the imperial palace before continuing the journey on a bullet train bound for the West.Come the evening, push your culinary skills further by cooking and sampling the delights of Okonomiyaki.  Learn about Kyoto

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Day 11: Hiroshima

Learn about the Hiroshima’s tragic past and its subsequent recovery and pacifist mission at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Take a ferry to the Itsukushima shrine, built on stilts above lapping water before ascending the ropeway for marvellous vistas.

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Day 12: Osaka

Another Japanese megacity with endless eating, drinking and cheap entertainment options. There’s also an impressive castle. Be sure to visit Shinsaibashi and the Dotonbori riverfront in the evening. Hit the arcades and sprawling shopping malls before settling in for your final dinner overlooking the water. Learn about Osaka

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Day 13: Osaka

On your last day, ascend the Umeda Sky Tower and have brunch in Osaka before catching your final bullet train back to Tokyo to finish up or continue on your travels! Depending on your timings and onward plans you may want to visit the Ghibli museum and discover more about Japanese film and anime. Learn about Osaka

Day 1: Tokyo

  • Arrive in Tokyo and meet your adventure leader in the lobby of the hostel- listen to your Japan briefing and hear about the itinerary and introduce yourself to the group. You will be able to drop off your bag at this point as well.
  • Take in the cityscape with an incredible view from atop the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.
  • After lunching in Shinjuku- the first stop is the Asakusa temple.
  • Wander up the shrine and explore the charming streets around it before trying your hand at one of Japan’s national obsessions; baseball, at a local batting cage. (400 JPY)

Day 2: Tokyo

  • Discover how to make it all yourself with a lesson from a sushi chef and then sample your produce.
  • It’s another afternoon of traditional-modern contrast in the Harajuku area of Tokyo. First stop is the Shinto shrine to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. Wander through acres of forest until you reach the shrine to the Emperor that began Japan’s transformation from feudal to modern society in the early 20th century.
  • After that, go to Harajuku, Tokyo’s fashion district, to see the fruits of the transformation started by Meiji. French maids, punks, goths, lolitas, technicolour hair – anything goes in Harajuku. Stand back and watch or grab some hair dye and get involved!
  • Cross the world’s busiest crossing in Shibuya district and grab a steaming bowl of ramen.

Day 3: Tokyo

Unguided visit to Disneyland Tokyo.

Day 4: Tokyo

  • Head over to the sumo district- you might have the chance to see the wrestlers train!
  • Discover some of the history of Tokyo at the fascinating Edo-Tokyo museum.
  • Have a “Made in Tokyo” experience at one of the city’s cat cafes.
  • Optional Robot show experience in the evening.

Day 5: Kamakura

  • After brunch in Tokyo, it’s time to say goodbye to the modern capital and hop on a train to Kamakura, Japan’s medieval capital and home to the first shoguns.
  • Check out some of the town’s many ancient shrines and then backpack over to Kotoku-in temple to marvel at the Great Buddha statue, which stands at nearly 45ft tall and is made of solid bronze.
  • The hostel is moments from the beach and you can relax on the sand or try your hand at surfing or bodyboarding (or just take a dip). Surf rental options close by (3000 JPY for a day).
  • There are lots of beachside bars and restaurants where you can watch the sun go down.

Day 6: Hakone

  • Start off by taking the Hakone Ropeway – an epic cable car journey that drops you at Oowakudani. On a clear day, you can gaze at Mount Fuji in all its glory.
  • There, you can also sample black eggs – a local delicacy coloured by the sulphuric water they’re boiled in.
  • Next up is beautiful Lake Ashi, where you’ll board a pirate ship! From the deck of this triple-decker man-of-war, you’ll cross the lake’s clear-blue waters and take in the stunning views.

Day 7: Kyoto

  • Next stop is the station to board your first bullet train – to Kyoto. You’ll zoom across the country, covering around 440km in little more than two hours, leaving plenty of time to experience Kyoto later in the day and at night.
  • In the afternoon- wander the hillside streets to the stunning Kiyomizu temple.
  • The city is famous for its history, temples, shrines and, of course, stunning geishas.
  • Its large student population means there’s a thriving music scene and lots of great atmosphere to soak up. Kawaramuchi is a good place to start for a stroll.
  • For something quintessentially Kyoto you can wander through Pontocho alley, full of lanterns and intimate wood-panelled restaurants. Quietly sip on sake and look out for geishas wandering past.

Day 8: Arashiyama, Kyoto

  • Start the day with a two hour boat trip down the Hozugawa River. In your traditional wooden raft – driven by guides – you’ll cruise through rocky ravines and experience the rush of rapids as you meander through the Arashiyama Hills. (weather dependent)
  • Hike in the morning through Arashiyama bamboo forest on the western outskirts of Kyoto.
  • After getting lost in the maze of bamboo paths and shrines, head across to the Arashiyama Monkey Park. It’s a tough climb up, but at the top you can feed monkeys or simply enjoy the panorama of Kyoto below.
  • Then take a look around the Tenryu-ji temple. It’s the most important of the area’s five great zen temples. The temple’s gardens are the real show-stopper. Designed in the 14th century, they have survived the fires and wars that damaged the buildings and have remained in pristine condition for centuries.
  • Make sure you also visit the Dharma Hall. Look up at the dragon’s eyes in the mural on the ceiling – they’ll follow you everywhere!
  • In the evening- sing your heart out in one of Japanese favourite past times; karaoke. This is with a twist- but you’ll have to come on the tour to find out what it is!

Day 9: Kyoto

  • Check out the world-renowned international Manga museum.
  • In the afternoon, we head over to Fushimi where you will see shrines, shrines and more shrines. This is a truly remarkable place with a whole host of shrine covered walkways.
  • To get onto the beautiful hiking trails at the back of the complex you’ll pass through corridors of thousands of bright red gates.
  • For those inclined, we would head over to the Sake breweries. A tour is followed by a tasting experience.

Day 10: Kyoto

  • It’s an early start to see an iconic image of Kyoto: the Golden Pavilion at Kinkaku-ji temple.
  • Start the day with a slice of meditation. Discover your inner peace with a Buddhist monk taking you on a journey of tranquillity in a city temple.
  • Walk around the lake and prepare to be mesmerised by the shimmering golden reflection of the pavilion on the water.
  • Jump on bikes to cycle around to the Imperial Palace before bidding farewell to this most magical of cities.
  • Another bullet train will see you venture further West; bound for Hiroshima.
  • For dinner, head to an Okonomiyaki restaurant – a classic Hiroshima experience.

Day 11: Hiroshima

  • At the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, you will find out how this city came to suffer the consequences of the world’s first atomic bomb, but you will also learn that Hiroshima is now the standard bearer for a peaceful and nuclear-free world.
  • After a short ferry trip to Miyajima Island you’ll reach the Itsukushima shrine.
  • To avoid angering the gods on the island, the main temple buildings were built on stilts on the shores of the island. Pass through the corridors and look down at the ocean beneath your feet.
  • Just offshore you will see an enormous torii gate standing in the sea. At low tide you can walk across the sand to take a closer look.
  • Ascend the ropeway to get incredible views of the water and city in the background. It is also a lovely walk amidst the forested route atop this visually stunning island.
  • Try your hand at caligraphy in the evening.

Day 12: Osaka

  • Another bullet train will take you to Osaka, your final destination before heading back to Tokyo.
  • You’ll arrive in time for lunch in the Nanba or Shinsaibashi area. After enjoying your fill of yakitori, ramen, sushi or whatever takes your fancy, it’s a short train ride to Osaka Castle.
  • Take a stroll around the castle that rises above the enormous moat and then check out the nine-level donjon.
  • Shenanigans in Shinsaibashi and the Dotonbori riverfront await next… for the ultimate Japanese shopping experience, dive into the covered shopping arcade at Shinsaibashi.
  • See if you can be The Dragon Trip arcade challenge champion and then walk through Dotonbori and prepare to be blasted by neon.
  • In the evening, you will sleep at a capsule hotel- small, intimate, private and quintessentially Japanese.

Day 13: Osaka

  • Say goodbye to your guide before catching your final bullet train back to Tokyo to finish up or continue on your travels!

Departures 2017/2018

Departing Finishing Price Status

Our tours can be for an individual family or, boost the fun and drop the price, by joining up with another. We can create tours for any date and can be flexible with timings and locations.

2017

  • 3-6 people: from £1,649
  • 7-10 people: from £1,499
  • 11-14 people: from £1,349

2018

  • 3-6 people: £1,989
  • 7-10 people: £1,789
  • 11-14 people: £1,689
*During peak season (March, April and August) there will be a surcharge of at least £150 per person depending on the group size. Price includes all transport, accommodation, guiding, entrance fees and activities but not international flights or meals. We're confident this is the best value tour on the market.
  • A deposit is required to make a reservation, with the balance due one month prior to departure (unless booking with one of our promotions, for which specific balance due dates may apply). The deposit is £200 per person.
  • Looking for assistance booking pre/post trip accommodation? Just let us know what you need!
  • Bookings must be made at least 90 days before the trip departure
  • All accommodation is in private rooms
  • You can upgrade to a ryokan for a night – an additional £40 per night, per person (includes dinner)
  • For more information about the country, see the Japan National Tourism Office website here.

To book or find out more, contact us

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