Family-Friendly Japan

Tokyo, Mount Fuji, Kyoto—from samurai to anime
Overview

overview

Journeys offers you a creative, affordable, dependable, hands-on experience of Japan. Celebrate the best of Japan’s past, present, and future on this family trip to the land of the rising sun. Your adventure begins in vibrant Tokyo, where you visit Senso-ji Temple, the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo. From the Tokyo Skytree, you'll have panoramic views over Tokyo. You'll spend time exploring Tokyo by public transportation to the famous Meiji Jingu Shrine and Harajuku - a popular hangout spot for local Japanese teens. You'll also have time to explore Tokyo on your own. Next, travel south to Mt. Fuji and visit the observation center where hopefully you'll have the rare chance to view this shy mountain. At Lake Kawaguchi, visit a wind cave and folk village.  Your adventure ends at historic Kyoto an interesting city that mixes traditional with modern Japan. Explore the city’s old streets, open-air museum, and many other delightful attractions. This exciting family tour of Japan satisfies all of your senses as it brings your family together through history, exotic culture and, above all, fun!

If your schedule permits, consider an extension to Hiroshima to view and learn more about events, past and present, at this historic site and then enjoy a short excursion to the nearby park island of Miyajima and its fascinating wild population of deer and monkeys.

Continue to detailed itinerary...
itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: arrive tokyo

    Welcome to Tokyo! Arriving late in the day on your flight from the U.S., you will be met at the Narita or Haneda Airport and transferred to your comfortable, centrally-located hotel in Tokyo (approx. 1.5 hr drive), your base for the next four nights.

    Meals
    None
    Lodging
    Niwa Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: toyko's temples and panoramas
    Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa

    Your family will learn the ins and outs of this vibrant city as you spend spend the morning exploring cosmopolitan, yet historic Tokyo and its many diverse neighborhoods by by public transportation in order to learn how to get around the city on your own. You'll head out around 9:00 am to the Asakusa district, an interesting and compact neighborhood filled with shrines and temples. Visit Senso-ji, Tokyo's oldest and most significant Buddhist temple complex. Afterwards, visit the Tokyo Skytree, the tallest building in Japan, for panoramic views over Tokyo. Before returning to your hotel, you'll take a walk through "Sumo Town" and pass by the stadium. When you return to your hotel around 2:00 pm, you'll have the rest of the day free to relax or do some of your own exploring.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Niwa Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: tokyo
    Japanese school children on a field trip

    This morning's Tokyo exploration includes the neighborhoods of Shibuya and Harajuku by private vehicle. First stop is a visit to Shibuya to see the famous Hachi Statue, which commemorates Hachiko, an Akita dog known for his loyalty to his owner, even after his owner's death in 1932. Next, head out to the Harajuku area to visit Meiji Jingu, a famous Shinto shrine set in a large forested area. You then walk over to Harajuku, a cosmopolitan area of the city known for shopping, sightseeing and street entertainment. This is the place to experience the local teen culture. On Sundays, many young people gather here and engage in cosplay (costume play) dressed as anime characters and punk rock. Afterwards, your guide will assist with getting you back to your hotel around 2:00 pm, or you can choose to spend more time exploring the Harajuku area on your own and take a cab or the train back to your hotel.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Niwa Hotel or similar
  • Day 4: tokyo free day
    Shinjuku Gyoen Park is a nice place to take a stroll

    You'll have the day free to explore Tokyo as you like. Your guide will offer suggestions that will maximize your Tokyo experience, or you can hire services for the day at an additional cost ($50-$300, depending on size of the group and activity chosen.) Some of our own suggestions include:

    • *Tokyo Museums:  Edo Tokyo Museum containing exhibits depicting the history of Tokyo, formerly known as Edo; the Sumo Museum (if open) to learn more about sumo or Tobu Train Museum to see some of Japan's historical trains; and Odaiba Trick Art Museum, a fun trick museum filled with optical illusions.
    • *Ghibli Museum, one of Japan's most famous animation and film studios where you have the chance to learn all about anime and how it all began. *Note: you must have reservations to visit the museum.
    • *Excursion to Nikko, a sacred site with temples, lakes and beautiful scenery. Also stop at Edo Wonderland, a theme park with an Edo period theme that features samurai, a ninja maze, and more. The kids will enjoy learning about Edo's warrior traditions and past.
    • *Ueno Park, a spacious urban park in the heart of the city and Ueno Zoo, Japan's oldest zoo.
    • *Tokyo Disneyland with it's seven themed worlds within or Tokyo DisneySea.
    • *Shinagawa Aquarium where you can walk through an underwater tunnel visit or Tokyo Sea Life Park where you will find one of the best penguin displays in Japan as well as many other sea creatures
    • *National Museum of Nature for hands-on kid friendly exhibits.
    • *Tokyo Bay Sunset Cruise for the opporunity to witness the beautiful sunset over the Tokyo Ba area.
    • *Attend a sports match - Baseball (Mar 30-Oct 22) or Soccer (Mar 10-Dec 1)

    *Depending on the time of year, you may have the chance to witness a Sumo Wrestling match. If it's not tournament season, we may be able to arrange an early-morning training session at a beya, or sumo stable (pending authorization & not guaranteed)

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Niwa Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: mt. fuji/lake kawaguchi
    If the weather is favorable, you'll get great views of Mt. Fuji

    Around 9:00 am, you'll head out on the drive to the Mt. Fuji Visitor Center at Lake Kawaguchi for fantastic views of Mt. Fuji from the observation deck (weather permitting). Mt. Fuji, is perhaps Japan's best-known image, visible from Tokyo on a clear day, and towering over the area at close to 12,500 feet. Continue on to  Lake Kawaguchi where you have an opportunity to explore the Wind Cave and Sengen Shrine, and visit a folk village to learn about traditional life. Here, you can take part in old style Japanese post card making or dress up like a Samurai warrior (additional cost). Overnight will be at a traditional ryokan, a Japanese style inn furnished with tatami floor mats and futon beds. This is a great way to learn and experience Japanese culture. Enjoy a traditional Japanese dinner, often consisting of rice with miso soup, fish, and pickled vegetables.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Japanese Dinner
    Lodging
    Yamagishi Ryokan or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: lake kawaguchi/kyoto
    Kyoto is especially pretty during the Cherry Blossoms

    After an early breakfast, you'll leave the hotel around 8:00 am and transfer to the train station for an exciting bullet train on the Shinkansen (ETD 11:45 am) to Kyoto, an atmospheric ancient city that is home to much of Japan's traditional culture and history.  It takes about two hours to get to this beautiful city full of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, about 1600 Buddhist temples, more than 400 Shinto shrines, and many other culturally-rich sights. Kyoto is a city everyone should see at least once, and it has something for everyone both old and young. After meeting your local guide, you'll transfer by taxi to a lacquerware handicraft shop to try your hand at painting your own lacquerware masterpiece. You can even take it home with you! From here, you'll transfer to your hotel around 4:30 pm where you are free to make your own dinner options. Consider an evening stroll to a nearby neighborhood temple or shrine to explore on your own.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Keihan Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: kyoto

    Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before heading out around 9:00 am on a morning exploration Kyoto with your guide using public transportation. Today's sights include Nijo Castle, a flatland castle built in 1626 as the Kyoto residence for the Tokugawa Shoguns and Kiyomizu, an independent Buddhist Temple that dates back to 778 and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  You then head over to the Kodaji Temple, an interesting temple established in 1606 in memory of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a great historical figure in Japan.  Take a stroll through its Japanese Zen gardens and the bamboo grove. Before returning to your hotel, take a walk through the Gion District. Gion is a district of Kyoto, originally developed in the Middle Ages to accommodate the needs of travelers and visitors to the Yasaka Shrine. It went on to became one of the most well-known Geisha Districts in Japan. The Geishas here do not refer themselves as "geisha" - meaning "person of the arts" but as "geiko" -  "a woman of art". Return to your hotel around 2:0 pm where the afternoon is free to explore on your own.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Keihan Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: kyoto
    Visit the fabled macaque monkeys at Arashiyama, or Monkey Mountain

    In the morning, you'll meet you guide at the hotel lobby around 9:00 am and board a local trolley bound for the Arashiyama ward of Kyoto, a designated Historical Site and a place of scenic beauty. You'll see some of Arashiyama's most important sites including Togetsukyo Bridge, the famous bamboo groves, and Tenryuji Temple, Arashiyama's most important temple. There are many small, charming shops you can wander in. But perhaps the highlight of your visit here is  Iwatayama Monkey Park where your family can observe Japanese macaque monkeys roaming free in a lovely hilltop park setting. Return to your hotel around 3:00 pm.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Keihan Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: kyoto
    Enjoy a traditional Japanese meal while exploring Kyoto

    Today you'll have the day free to choose from a variety of optional sights and activities in Kyoto. Your guide will be available to make recommendations tailored to your interests and will be on hand for those who would wish for the assistance. These options, for additional costs, may include:

    • *Mt. Hiei and Lake Biwa day trip - Mt. Hiei is the location of the Enrayku Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the current home to many monks. Lake Biwa is the largest lake in Japan with an interesting history. You can take a cable car to the top of Mt. Hiei.
    • *A scenic River Raft ride on the Hozu River.
    • *Nara Day Trip - Nara is Japan's oldest capital where you will find the oldest wooden temple and Big Buddha statue and deer that roam free.
    • *Experience a traditional tea ceremony and sample local Japanese sweets.
    • *Cormorant fishing, in which your family learns about and and experiences this ancient Japanese fishing discipline.
    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Keihan Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: kyoto/osaka/onward (or hiroshima)

    When it is time to check-in for your international flight back home, you'll be transferred to Osaka's airport and say good-bye to your guide. Sayonara! 

    Or, if your schedule permits, consider extending for an additional day and night to visit historic Hiroshima and the nearby park-like and beautiful island of Miyajima. If you choose this option, you'll travel to Hiroshima today instead of Osaka.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    None
    Show on a map
Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$3,100
- $5,500
Group size 6-12: $3,500 per adult; $3,300 per child under 16; $3,100 per child under 12 Group size 4-5: $4,100 per adult; $3,900 per child under 16; $3,700 per child under 12 Group size 3: $4,600 per adult; $4,400 per child under 16; $4,200 per child under 12 Group size 2: $5,550 per adult; $5,350 per child under 16; $5,150 per child under 12

Special Offer:
Save up to $1,000!
Special Offer Details: 

EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: Be the first family to sign up for this trip and save up to $1,000!

This $250 per person discount is valid when at least two people in your family are the first to register for this or another eligible 2016 pre-scheduled Journeys for Families group departure. (“First to register” means that a registration form and deposit have been received for each person who is eligible for the discount before a registration form and deposit are received from travelers in any other families.) At least two people from your family must register for the same trip together. Two to four people in your family each receive $250 off their final invoice, for a total discount of $500 (2 people), $750 (three people), or $1,000 (four people). Registration must be received at least 90 days prior to the trip’s departure date. The 5% alumni discount is calculated after the Early Bird Discount, not on the original cost. Discount not valid on private or custom trips, and only specified Journeys for Families trips are eligible for the discount. 


Single Supplement:
$400
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Privately on Request
Jun 13-22, 2016
Jul 11-20, 2016
Need to Know

Need to Know

Duration:
10 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Standard Western style hotels & traditional Japanese style inns
Activity Level:
●○○○○
(see full descriptions)
Easy walking
Group Size:
2-9
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, land transfers between components, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation and check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in Journeys Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: $500 per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. Custom trips and private departures require $800 per person deposit. A second deposit of $800 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 60 days prior to departure.  Any applicable permit fees required in advance are non-refundable as well.  Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted by fax, mail, or via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our Global Expedition Catalog, on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Air fares: Journeys can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

Kyoto-Nara Extension

Duration: 4 days

Join this post-trip extension to Kyoto and Nara.  Dates are from November 20-23.  Accommodations in Japanese-style ryokans.

Hiroshima and Miyajima

Duration: 3 days

If your schedule permits, consider spending an additional three days and two nights in Japan, easily reached from Kyoto or Osaka, so you can visit historic Hiroshima and the nearby lovely park island of Miyajima.

Download Trip Itinerary

Please tell us specifically the name of the website, publication or friend, or 'other' place where you heard about us.
×
×
comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
×
activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
×
Share