12-day Japan Family Adventure | The Dragon Trip

12-day Japan Family Adventure

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12 days - £1,599

Impress your family with our 12-day Japan adventure tour; taking you to Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka. Experience magnificent views of Mt. Fuji, unearth the history of Hiroshima, learn how to make sushi and watch traditional Japanese performances by geisha, comedians and dancers. To give you and your family the best travel experience, we made sure there is something for everyone. For an extensive list of the activities, see the trip itinerary below. Our trips can depart at any time you choose, however for those who are interested in joining other families, see our dates and prices. Burning with questions or just looking for a quote, scroll down to contact us directly :)

Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrival

Arrive in Tokyo and make your own way to your hotel – it’s time to get a good night’s rest before the trip begins…

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Day 2: Tokyo

Kick off the day in the beautiful Shinjuku Gyoen park. Take in the cityscape from the top of Tokyo Metropolitan and then learn about Buddhism at Sensoji Temple and have a swing at baseball. Learn about Tokyo.

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Day 3: Tokyo

Walk across the Shibuya Crossing and experience the intricate dynamics between tradition and contemporary culture in the fashionable district of Harajuku. Learn about Tokyo.

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Day 4: Tokyo

Indulge in a fresh sushi breakfast at Tsukiji Fish Market before you try your hand at sushi making. Learn about the history and spirit of the Samurai and witness “electric town” in Akihabara. Learn about Tokyo.

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Day 5: Hakone

Hop on the train to Hakone and stay the night in a traditional Ryokan. Take the afternoon to relax at an onsen and grab a glimpse of Mount Fuji from the Hakone Ropeway.

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Day 6: Kyoto

Hop on the bullet train to Kyoto. Explore the hillside streets to the stunning Kiyomizu Dera temple, and visit Fushimi Inari, an important Shinto shrine before heading off for a sake tasting session.

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Day 7: Kyoto

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

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Day 8: Kyoto

Meditate in the Daisen-in Temple with a Buddhist Zen monk. Explore the Golden Pavilion at Kinkaku-Ji temple and cycle to the Imperial Palace Gardens before you settle in for a cheap, authentic and delicious meal surrounded by wood panels and lanterns in Pontocho alley. Learn about Kyoto.

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Day 9: Kyoto – Hiroshima

Master the art of calligraphy, and experience the timeless traditions of ancient Japan in Kyoto’s Geisha district. Jump on a train to Hiroshima. In the evening sample the city’s infamous okonomiyaki.

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Day 10: Hiroshima

Learn about  Hiroshima’s tragic past and its 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 11: Osaka

Get immersed in another Japanese megacity, with an infinite choice for eating, drinking and entertainment. Be sure to visit Shinsaibashi and the Dotonbori riverfront in the evening. Hit the arcades and sprawling shopping malls and make sure to enjoy a dinner overlooking the water! Learn about Osaka.

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Day 12: Osaka - Tokyo

On your last day,  have brunch in Osaka. Say goodbye to your guide and catch the final bullet train back to Tokyo to finish up or continue your travels! Learn about Osaka.

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Add an Extra Night: Nikko National Park

Nikko National Park offers beautifully rugged scenery and is less than 2 hours away from Tokyo. Enquire with our sales team about adding an extra night to your trip.

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Extend your trip: Ishigaki, Okinawa

Explore Okinawa’s southern Yaeyama Islands with a 4-night stay on Ishigaki. This region of Japan offers crystal clear waters, tropical temperatures and a more relaxed pace. Enquire with our sales team about extending your trip.

Day 1: Arrival

Arrive Narita/Haneda Airport in Tokyo and make your own way to accommodation. Directions will be given on pre-departure summary before departure.

Day 2: Tokyo

  • Morning: Meet your adventure leader, who’ll be waiting for you at the lobby of your accommodation. Listen to a trip briefing. This will give you all the information you need to have a safe and smooth adventure through Japan. Enjoy the spacious lawns, meandering paths and tranquil scenery of Shinjuku Gyoen, one of Tokyo’s largest parks. In spring it becomes one of the most popular places in the city to see cherry blossoms.
  • Afternoon: Take in the cityscape with an incredible view from atop the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Learn about Buddhism on a visit to the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, and explore the district’s charming streets.
  • Evening: OPTIONAL: Call in at the batting cages to experience first-hand one of the most popular sports in Japan – baseball! Transfer back to accommodation with your guide or keep your adventure by yourself.

Day 3: Tokyo

  • Morning: Visit the Ghibli Museum, which showcases the work of the Japanese animation studio Studio Ghibli (due to overwhelming demand, tickets are not guaranteed, we suggest the below activity if Ghibli Museum is not available). Alternative: Stroll around the Sumo District before visiting the Sumo Museum. Then at the Edo Tokyo Museum, learn about how Tokyo changed from a small fishing village into the largest metropolis in the world. Interactive exhibits explain more about the many waterways, trade routes and geography that surround the city.
  • Afternoon: Enjoy an afternoon of traditional-modern contrast in the Harajuku area of Tokyo. First wander through the forest until you reach the Meiji Shrine dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shokun, who, in the early 20th century, began Japan’s transformation from a feudal to a modern society. Then move on to the Harujuku shopping district to see maids, punks, goths, and fashionistas – anything goes in Harajuku! See the famous Shibuya Crossing. When the lights turn red at this busy intersection, pedestrians surge into the junction from all sides, like a floodgate opening. You can observe the organized chaos from the second-floor window of the Tsutaya building on the crossing’s north side.
  • OPTIONAL: Take a rest at one of the city’s quirky cat cafés and snuggle up with some furry friends! Transfer back to accommodation with your guide or keep adventuring into the night by yourself.

Day 4: Tokyo

  • Morning: OPTIONAL: Experience the hustle and bustle of the world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market – Learn how the Japanese demand for fresh seafood drives a huge fishing industry, and try fresh fish from this morning’s catch! OPTIONAL: Head over to the flashy Ginza shopping area. Then for something different visit Akihabara – Japan’s “electric town”, which is a hub of anime and manga stores and also home to Japan’s most famous J-pop group, AKB48.
  • Afternoon:  Enjoy a sushi-making class led by a master sushi chef, and then sample your produce for dinner. Learn how sushi evolved from a South-East Asian technique of preserving fish in fermented rice (Please be punctual).
  • OPTIONAL: Learn the ancient art of samurai with a short sword demonstration (2pm 3pm 4pm 5pm) in Tokyo’s Samurai Museum

Day 5: Hakone

  • Transfer by train to the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park.
  • OPTIONAL: Enjoy views of Mt. Fuji (weather dependant), an iconic volcano which has come to symbolize Japan, with a perfectly symmetrical cone that rises to 12,388 feet.  Take a series of cable cars and mountain railways through the park, before descending for a cruise on scenic Ashi Lake. Today, you can also sample black eggs – a local delicacy colored by the sulphuric spring waters they’re cooked in. (Hakone Free Pass from Shinjuku 5140 yen, which includes cable car / boat round trip tickets though national park)
  • Evening: Tonight you’ll stay in a ryokan – a traditional Japanese inn, where you sleep on futon beds laid over tatami mat floors and enjoy Japanese traditional hot spring- Onsen. As a reminder-  guests must bathe naked in the hot springs(gender separated) in the Ryokan.

Day 6: Kyoto

  • Morning: Next stop make your own way to the station to board your first bullet train – Hakone to Kyoto. You’ll zoom across the country, covering around 440km in little more than two hours. (UNGUIDED) Make your own way to Odawara train station. UNGUIDED Bullet train – Odawara to Kyoto – 123 mins – Hikari Line – 10:08 – 12:11 Your guide will be waiting for you at Kyoto Station.
  • Afternoon: Visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine, a major Shinto shrine complex in wooded hills. To get onto the beautiful walking trails at the back of the complex you’ll pass through corridors of thousands of bright red gates.  After dropping luggage in the hotel, walk through quaint side streets to the 1,200-year-old Kiyomizu Dera Temple, from where you’ll enjoy postcard-worthy views over Kyoto. Explore Gion District and listen to the history of geishas
  • Evening: OPTIONAL: Step into the theatre at Gion Corner where you’ll see a show of traditional Japanese Performances. The program includes real geisha performing their traditional arts, as well as other Japanese performances of comedy, spoken word and dance. The various performances have English translations in the accompanying program. We recommend queuing for the show 30 minutes~1 hour in advance.  

Day 7: Kyoto

  • Morning: Set in an old elementary school building, the International Manga Museum houses over 300,000 publications, many of which are in English, so grab one, settle into a quiet corner, and enter a whole new world of Japanese Manga. You’re free to watch one of the manga artists stationed there, deep in concentration as they create their art!
  • Afternoon: Visit the district of Arashiyama, on the Western outskirts of Kyoto. Navigate through Arashiyama’s lush bamboo forests, before starting the 30-minute climb up to Arashiyama Monkey Park. At the top, feed mischievous monkeys or simply enjoy the panoramic views of Kyoto below. Move on to the Tenryu-Ji Temple. It’s the most important of Kyoto’s five great Zen temples, but 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. Whilst there, make sure to look into the Dharma Hall to see the dragon’s eyes on the mural– they’ll follow you as you walk past.
  • Evening: OPTIONAL: In the evening- sing your heart out as you try one of Japan’s favorite past-times; karaoke. (On Average prices are 350yen per person per half hour)

Day 8: Kyoto

  • Start the day with a slice of meditation. Discover your inner peace with a Zen Buddhist monk who will take you on a journey of tranquility, during a meditation class at the Daisen-In Temple. Afterwards, explore the temple, and enjoy an informal tea ceremony with volunteers from the temple. OPTIONAL: Then head to perhaps the most iconic site of Kyoto: The Golden Pavilion at the Kinkaku-ji Zen Buddhist Temple. Walk around the lake and be mesmerized by the shimmering golden reflection of the pavilion on the water. OPTIONAL: Pick up a bike outside Golden Pavilion (1,400yen) and cycle to the Imperial Palace gardens. This public park, in the center of this most magical of cities, has been beautifully landscaped around the walls of the Palace, and contains quaint bridges, ponds and gardens.
  • Evening: OPTIONAL: For something quintessentially Kyoto, wander through Pontocho Alley, full of lanterns and intimate wood-panelled restaurants for Dinner. Quietly sip on sake and look out for geishas wandering past.

Day 9: Kyoto – Hiroshima

  • Morning: Experience Japanese culture first hand with a calligraphy lesson led by a Japanese master of calligraphy in her personal work shop.
  • Afternoon: UNGUIDED Bullet train – Kyoto to Hiroshima – 111 mins – Hikari Line then change at Shin-Kobe to Sakura Line – 14:16 – 16:37 Evening: Arrive in Hiroshima and transfer by tram to accommodation by yourself. FOOD SUGGESTION: Experience an all you can eat Okonomiyaki – a savory pancake that both the people of Hiroshima and Osaka claim is best in their home city!

Day 10: Hiroshima

  • Morning: Learn about Hiroshima’s tragic past connected with the atomic bomb and its subsequent recovery and pacifist mission at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park & Museum.
  • Afternoon: Explore Miyajima, an island where tame dear accompany you as you explore the stunning shrines, beaches and waterfalls. Just offshore you will see an enormous torii gate standing in the sea, one of the most loved sights of Japan.

Day 11: Osaka

  • Morning: Make your own way Hiroshima station. UNGUIDED Bullet train – Hiroshima to Shin-Osaka – 86 mins – Sakura Line – 08:27 – 09:54 Meet your guide at the station and drop your luggage at the hotel
  • Afternoon: Visit Osaka Castle. Walk through the enormous double moat and then check out the nine-level ‘donjon’ or keep. Prepare for an assault on your senses as you visit a hugely popular, 9-level gaming arcade. (Games are not included) Explore Shinsaibashi and the Dotonbori Riverfront.
  • Evening: FOOD SUGGESTION: Osaka is known as Japan’s kitchen, and one of its most famous dishes is takitori, battered octopus shaped into a ball and fried. Give it a try this evening!

Day 12 Osaka

  • Today is time for your epic adventure through Japan to come to an end. Either transfer to Osaka’s Kansai airport to fly home, or hop on the bullet train back to Tokyo with JR PASS, and fly home from there (airport transfer not included).
  • Dragon Trip can provide Narita airport limousine bus E-ticket with extra charge, please feel free to request once you have your flight time.

Departures Dates

Departing Finishing Price Status
30th Mar, 2018 10th Apr, 2018 £1,699 FULLY BOOKED
22nd Jul, 2018 2nd Aug, 2018 £1,599 FULLY BOOKED
19th Oct, 2018 30th Oct, 2018 £1,599 Available
27th Mar, 2019 7th Apr, 2019 £1,699 Available
23rd Jul, 2019 3rd Aug, 2019 £1,599 Available
20th Oct, 2019 31st Oct, 2019 £1,599 Available

Fixed Date Family Adventure Tours

You can join a group on one of the fixed dates listed here for 2018 and 2019:

Sunday, 22nd July 2018

Friday 19th October 2018

Wednesday 27th March 2019

Tuesday 23rd July 2019

Sunday 20th October 2019

  • The maximum group size will be 14 people and prices are based on twin/double/triple room occupancy.
  • The price is £1,599/$2,259 per person.
  • Single supplement will be £700/$1000. This rises to £950/$1350 in peak times.

Private Family Adventure Tours

Alternatively, you can go on a private tour. These tours can operate for an individual family or, to boost the fun and drop the price we recommend joining up with another family. We can create trips for any date and are able to create bespoke itineraries to suit your requirements. The prices and surcharges (for our classic itinerary) are listed below:

3-6 people: From £1,679/$2,369*, odd numbered groups either travel as a triple or pay the single supplement of £700/$1,000

7-10 people: From £1,479/$2,089

*During peak season there will be a surcharge of at least £200/$285 per person, depending on the group size.

Peak seasons are:

15th March – 20th April

28th April – 6th May 2018 (Golden Week)

15th July – 15th August

15th October – 30th November

Also, Christmas, New Year and other national holidays.

For trips that fall on both peak and non-peak dates, surcharges will be altered proportionally.

 
  • A £100/$140 discount applies to children aged 6 to 12 years old at the time of travel.
  • Children from 0 to 5 years old travel for £200/$285 per child. Please note, this means the child must share a bed with the adult and is not included in any of the workshops with the exception of the sushi making class.
  • Instead of the workshops, we offer breakfast and dinner at the ryokan.
  • Prices include all transport*, accommodation, a guide on specified days (6 days), entrance fees and some activities. *In Tokyo – up to 8,000yen transportation card
  • International flights and meals are not included in the price.
  • We’re confident that we are providing the best value tour on the market.

Further details

  • A deposit of £200/$300 per person is required to make a reservation, with the balance due one month before departure (unless booking with one of our promotions, for which specific balance dates may apply).
  • 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
  • For more information about the country, see the Japan National Tourism Office website here.
  • The onsen in Hakone is single-sex, but a fully nude experience.

Activities included in the price

  • Sushi making class
  • Ghibli Museum or Edo Tokyo Museum
  • Daibutsu at Kotoku-In Temple
  • Kiyomizu Dera Temple
  • Calligraphy Class
  • International Manga Museum
  • Shinjuku Gyoen park
  • Meditation class
  • Monkey park
  • Tenryu-Ji Temple
  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park & Museum
  • Osaka Castle

Inclusions

  • Accommodation in 3-star hotels in twin/double rooms.
  • Your stay in Hakone will be in a family room (all in one room on futon beds) in a ryokan (traditional Japanese hotel).
  • Accommodation is based on the following hotels. Please note that these are subject to change and availability, especially in peak periods:

Tokyo – Washington Hotel/Shiba Park Hotel or similar

Hakone – Kiritani Hakoneso/Suirinso or similar

Kyoto – The Palace Side Hotel or similar

Hiroshima – Hotel Sunroute or similar

Osaka – Sunny Stone Hotel or similar

  • Transportation for the duration of your trip:
7-day JR PASS (Day 6 to Day 12), bullet trains are covered by the JR PASS Public transport card loaded with 8,000yen credit per adult (those aged 12 and over), 4,000yen credit per child (6 to 11 years old). Infants (0 to 5 years old) travel free. Please note, customers will be required to top up their cards should the credit run out.  The public transport card cannot be used everywhere and some journeys will need to be paid for separately. If you lose your card, you will be required to cover the cost of purchasing a new one.
  • English speaking guides on 6 days (8 hours guided on each of these days as standard). Extra use of a guide may come at a surcharge. Any unguided days have been carefully arranged so that they are manageable without a guide. You will be given written instructions on these days. Guides for these days can be arranged on request and at an additional cost.
  • All entrance tickets to attractions listed on the itinerary, unless marked as optional.
  • The following classes: sushi making, calligraphy, meditation.
  • Customers are not obligated to give tips, however feel free to praise any extraordinary service that you receive.
 

Exclusions

 
  • Food and drink – guides can suggest various food to try and restaurants to visit. Please note that this package does not include restaurant bookings. Guides are given a budget by The Dragon Trip for their own meals.
  • The following activities are optional, so you can purchase the following tickets at each location, please note that pricings are subject to change:
 
Activity Approximate price per person (yen)
Batting Cages 400
Cat Café (price depends on what you order) 1200
Samurai Museum 1800
Fuji-Hakone Free Pass 5140
Karaoke (350 yen for 30 minutes) 700
Gion Corner Show 3100 (2200 for children)
Golden Pavillion 400
Bike Hire 1400
Total per person for all optional activities 14140 (approximately £93/$125)
 

To book or find out more, contact us

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