Japan Family Holiday

Intrepid Travel Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
94%
Travel Style: Array Mixed
Physical Level: Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. 2- Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
12 days
From: $ 5,895 $ 491 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Japan is an exhilarating and unique destination that also happens to be incredible safe, which makes it a great fit for families travelling with kids of any age.
  • Let Tokyo dazzle the whole family. Feast on market-fresh sushi, try your hand at calligraphy and cook your own okonomiyaki on a cruise around Tokyo Bay.
  • Ride the Hakone ropeway then relax in the soothing waters of an onsen. These hot-spring baths are the perfect antidote to a couple of days of walking around Tokyo.
  • From the tiny stalls in the back streets of Tokyo to the Nishiki-Koji Market, your leader will help you and your family navigate Japan’s dizzying cuisine and find something for everyone.
  • Learn about an important chapter of Japan’s history at the Hiroshima Peace Park, followed by a visit to the relaxing island of Miyajima where deer roam the streets.

Short Description

Gather up the brood and embark on an adventure through the Land of the Rising Sun on this 12-day family tour of Japan. From the houses of ancient emperors to technological gizmos, this tour packs in the best stuff to see and do as a family, plus plenty of time to kick back and soak it up in the onsen. Learn the art of calligraphy in Tokyo, feast on sushi at the famous Tsukiji Fish Market, ride the Hakone ropeway for views of Mt Fuji and immerse yourself in Japanese culture in Kyoto. With the local expertise of your leader to draw on at every step of the way, this is a family holiday that’s sure to yield lifelong memories.

Style Small group tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value (3*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Tokyo
End City Kyoto

Destinations

Japan

Attractions & Cities Visited

Hakone Hiroshima Kyoto Tokyo

Activities & Interests

N/A

Age Requirement

5-99

No single supplement
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Itinerary

Day 1 Tokyo

Konnichiwa! Welcome to Tokyo, Japan's dynamic capital. Make your way to your tonight's accommodation and check in. Your adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 5 pm in the hotel lobby, where you'll meet your leader and be introduced to the other families. Afterwards, consider joining the group for an optional dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 2 Tokyo

Kick things off with a visit to Sensoji in Asakusa, Tokyo's oldest Buddhist temple (some 1300 years old!) set on the banks of the Sumida River. Nearby you will discover a great shopping street where you can find a quirky Japanese souvenir or sample some traditional snacks. Later, you and your family will be treated to a traditional calligraphy lesson. Learn to write your name in Japanese (and maybe learn to say a few words!) with the help of a local teacher. There might also be the chance to visit a manga (Japanese comic and cartoon) market, located in Akihabara. Enjoy free time in th afternoon. Perhaps head across town to Shinjuku, central Tokyo's most vibrant district and home to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building which offers panoramic city views from its 202-metre-high observation deck, as well as a giant Godzilla statue. 

Day 3 Tokyo

This morning your tour leader will take you for a walk around the famous Tsukiji Outer Market, where fresh seafood from Tokyo's largest wholesale fish market (recently moved from Tsukiji to a new site at Toyosu) is delivered daily. Wander the narrow aisles of this atmospheric marketplace to find all sorts of delicious and uniquely Japanese food – from fish and shellfish to barrels of green tea, dried seaweed and all manner of pickles and other tasty morsels. Afterwards, pop into one of the many sushi restaurants nearby for the freshest lunch you could hope for! Then head to expansive Yoyogi Park, and wander down Takeshita Dori and Omotesando to people watch your way through Harajuku, a neighbourhood simultaneously known for its eccentric tribes and teen pop culture. Sample one of Harajuku’s famous crepes or try some of its 3D latte art, said to be the best in Tokyo! Tonight head out for a fun meal of Monjayaki (a non-sweet pancake with mixed ingredients with soft batter as base) cooked on a sizzling hot plate while aboard a boat on Tokyo Bay, surrounded by the sparkling lights of the city.

Day 4 Hakone

Bid farewell to Tokyo and catch the first Shinkansen bullet train of the tour to Hakone, travelling speeds up to 285 kilometres per hour, 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 the kids are 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 spring onsens, going on bush walks, chilling out by peaceful lakes, taking in beautiful views of Mt Fuji (if you’re blessed with good weather!), or even exploring an open-air modern art museum. Tonight you’ll experience Japanese ryokan (traditional inn) hospitality – sleeping on futon in a tatami mat room, wearing yukata (a light kimono-style robe) and enjoying Japan’s amazing onsen culture.

Day 5 Hakone

Renowned as an excellent resort area since the Meiji period, Hakone and its natural onsens make a great place to relax and unwind with the family. Today we take a ropeway  (cable car) up to the top of Owakudani (Geothermal Valley) and hopefully catch views of Mt Fuji, if the weather is right. Continue to Lake Ashinoko, a natural caldera formed after a major volcanic explosion some 3000 years ago, and take a cruise onboard a unique pirate boat. Back on land, pay a visit to the Karakuri Secret Box Museum. Try to open these beautifully hand-crafted boxes or purchase a unique Japanese gift to take home. We might stroll along Hakone’s ancient cedar avenue, which in samurai times was part of the old Tokyo-Kyoto highway. In your free time in the afternoon, you might like to hike through the rare grasslands area of Sengokura or thoroughly pamper yourself at Hakone’s large hot spring theme park which has an amazing variety of baths ranging from the traditional to cave baths and water slides!

Day 6 Hiroshima

Back on the bullet-train, we make the journey down the east coast of the Japanese archipelago to the city of Hiroshima. A visit to Hiroshima is sobering, but the tragedy that happened here is an important part of history to confront. In the afternoon, we visit 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. In the evening you might like to seek out the savoury pancake okonomiyaki – also a signature Hiroshima dish with its own particular twist. There are lots of casual places to try it in this very friendly and welcoming Japanese city.

Day 7 Hiroshima

This morning we 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 (torii) which is absolutely stunning when the tide is high. Maybe take a stroll through the lovely Momiji Park (known as Maple Valley), or consider a walk or the cable car up to the top of Mt Misen (keeping an eye out for the hungry deer that roam the island) for panoramic views of the expansive Inland Sea and its many islands. If there’s time on your return to Hiroshima in the afternoon, you might like to visit five-storied Hiroshima Castle, which originally dates from the 1590s, though it was destroyed by the bomb and reconstructed in all its glory after the war. Or, in the season, you might like to watch an evening baseball match – one of Japan’s most popular sports and a fun experience shared with enthusiastic Japanese baseball fans and local families.

Day 8 Kyoto

We jump onboard the bullet train to Kyoto, arguably the most stunning city in Japan. On the way there, make a stop at Himeji Castle, Japan's most impressive samurai castle. The building, which has survived earthquakes and war since the mid-16th century, was restored to its full glory in 2015 and is now UNESCO listed. The moats, towers and walled alleyways were ingeniously designed to trick attackers. We explore the castle that was once home to over 10,000 samurai families and look out over the city far below. Continue to Kyoto on the bullet train (1 hour). 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. In the afternoon visit Nishiki-Koji Market in the heart of Kyoto’s downtown area to see what goes into Kyoto’s famed Kyo-ryori (Kyoto cuisine). Then spend early evening wandering the Gion district with your leader, seeing if you can spot geiko (geisha) or maiko (apprentice geisha) dressed in elaborate kimonos and make-up on their way to events and functions.

Day 9 Kyoto

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. Today we’ll head to Kyoto’s famed Fushimi Inari Shrine – known throughout the world as the ‘Path of the Red Gates.’ If we are feeling fit we’ll walk further than most visitors, allowing us to experience both the well-known part of the shrine as well as the quieter corners and stunning city views from the shrine’s ‘half-way point.’ After that, your leader will take you to another one of Kyoto’s UNESCO-listed temples or shrines (there’s 17 and counting!) which will give you an insight into Kyoto’s history as the seat of imperial power for over 1000 years and its equally long Buddhist heritage. In the afternoon you have time to do your own exploring – you might like to catch a maiko cultural performance, participate in a tea ceremony demonstration or do an obanzai (Kyoto-style) cooking class.

Day 10 Kyoto

Explore more of this delightful city. This morning you'll enjoy a boat cruise down the scenic Hozu River in the Arashiyama area in the hills west of Kyoto. Look along the banks for Japanese maples in autumn or plum or cherry blossoms at springtime. At the end of the ride you will visit 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. In your free time, you might like to consider taking the family on a fun rickshaw ride (two-wheeled wagons pulled by fit young men in traditional garb) around the Arashiyama area. Or you may like to pay a visit to the nearby Toei Kyoto Studio Park – a theme park used for the shooting of period dramas (jidaigeki films) set in the Edo period. You can soak up the atmosphere of feudal Japan and perhaps enjoy a ninja show or visit one of the studios used for filming. Back in central Kyoto, you could also experience a performance of traditional swordplay.

Day 11 Kyoto

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. This is definitely one of the best ways to navigate the city, and one of the most popular routes is following the delightful Kamo River from the northern outskirts of Kyoto down through the city’s heart, stopping for a bento box lunch along the way. Kyoto is regularly voted one of the best bicycle cities in Asia, and for good reason. The city is largely flat and the roads are well maintained. Or if cycling is not your thing, you could check out Kyoto’s Manga Museum or visit the Kyoto Railway Museum, which even houses one of Japan’s first bullet trains, or try your hand at making your own bowl of ramen. Alternatively, consider a complete kimono makeover and transform yourself into a maiko, samurai lord or ninja for the day!

Day 12 Kyoto

Your family adventure comes to an end today. There are no further activities planned and check out is around 10 am.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 5,895
Price Per Day: $ 491 per day
Checking price
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4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
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Great 669
Average 132
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Terrible 160
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.6
Transportation
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Meals
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Japan Family Holiday

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Details

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport Bullet Train,Train,Cable car,Taxi,Tram

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 18

Accommodations

Hotels (7 nights),Ryokan (4 nights)

Guides

All Intrepid Family trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to assist your family to take the hassle out of your travels and help you have the best trip possible. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for fun things to do and see - for both kids and parents, recommend great local eating venues that will even get the kids trying new things, and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. Our leaders are not babysitters on this trip - we leave that to you (the experts), but they will make sure that group members of all ages are able to explore their destination safely and with as much fun as possible. Our group leaders are not responsible for looking after children at any time and children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times throughout this itinerary.

Age Notes :

Min. Age: 5

Max Age: 99

Additional Information

Finish point

  • Karasuma Kyoto Hotel
  • Shijo-sagaru, Karasuma-dori, Shimogyo-ku 京都府 京都市下京区烏丸通り四条下ル
  • Kyoto
  • 600-8412
  • JAPAN
  • Phone: +81 753710111

Trip ID#:

intrepid-CJFP

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