Offering a jam-packed fun and fact-filled adventure for all the family, this itinerary combines culture and excitement together perfectly. From kayaking around Miyajima Island to a hands-on experience practising Japanese calligraphy, the whole family will be able to learn on-the-go about Japan with bags of enjoyment along the way.
- General info - JP
- Miyajima Island
- See the 'cooler' side of Tokyo on a number of private tours in the city.
- Grab a kayak and circle Japan's most famous gate at Itsukushima Shrine.
- Learn to write Japanese characters using brush and 'washi' paper.
- Enjoy a private Taiko drumming lesson in Kyoto and practising how to become a 'ninja'.
- Stay in your own 'townhouse' in Kyoto with a visit later to see the 'geisha' in Gion.
➕ Day 1 International outbound flight
International outbound flight
Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Tokyo.
➕ Day 2 Tokyo
Upon your arrival at the airport in Japan, you will be met by a friendly meet and greet guide and receive your `Welcome Pack`. Your guide will help you get your Japan Rail Pass, exchange currency for you if you need, and escort you to your private transfer to your hotel. In your Welcome Pack you will also have the use of a PASMO pre-loaded travel card, one each for the family, to get around most cities in Japan.
➕ Day 3 Tokyo
In order to start your family adventure in earnest, you will have a private guide to see some of the more exciting sights of this capital city, including the scramble crossing of Shibuya, fun and fresh shops and cafes in Harajuku and views from the top of Roppongi Hills. Enjoy a relaxing first afternoon exploring at your own leisure. Take a stroll around the impressing Imperial Palace gardens for example.
➕ Day 4 Tokyo
Odaiba is a man-made island out in Tokyo which is easily reached by monorail, a fun way to see the city from above. Once in Odaiba, there is everything for the whole family to enjoy; trick museum, future driverless cars, walking robots, a super 'Science of the Future' museum, fantastic shopping and even a reconstructed traditional hot spring bath-house to relax in after all that! For the evening, you will board a 'yakatabune' or entertainment boat along the Sumida River enjoying Japanese food and drink while you sail under the neon lighting of Tokyo.
➕ Day 5 Tokyo
One of Tokyo's highlights and highly acclaimed studios is the Ghibli Museum, the mecca for all those anime (Japanese cartoon) lovers. It's an interactive display of design with fun displays for the young and old to enjoy. After lunch, you will meet with a private guide for a half day tour of another side of Tokyo, its arty and fashionista face, most apparent to the west of the city. This includes a visit to Akihabara, or Electric Town, noted for its wonderful array of neon lights and electronics as well as its cafe scene with a difference from cat cafes to maid cafes!
➕ Day 6 Hiroshima
General info - JP , Tokyo , Hiroshima
Using your Japan Rail Pass (included in the package), you will board your first bullet train along the main Sanyo line across the country to the city of Hiroshima, passing through the cities of Nagoya and Osaka, and on a good day, if you look to the right you will see Mount Fuji too. Once in Hiroshima, after a long but super-fast journey, rest easy this afternoon in this quiet compact city. The peace park and museum are very thought-provoking and the image of all the paper cranes, the symbol for peace, is one of melancholic beauty. In the evening, head out to "Okonomimura" to taste Hiroshima's speciality - okonomiyaki or savoury pancakes grilled right in front of you on big hot plates.
➕ Day 7 Hiroshima
Miyajima Island , Hiroshima
One of Hiroshima prefecture's highlights is the gate of Itsukushima Shrine, often referred to as Miyajima torii, particularly beautiful at high tide. What better way to see it at this time than from a kayak. For half a day you will enjoy kayaking toward the gate and around it (weather permitting). Once finished here, head onto the island to enjoy the shrine itself and the tame deer that enjoy the attention of visitors. Take a fast ferry back to Hiroshima city and through the canals up to the peace park.
➕ Day 8 Kyoto
Hiroshima , Kyoto
Your second bullet train journey takes you back east to Kyoto, the city of temples and gardens. It is here you can enjoy a unique stay in a 'machiya' (townhouse) if you wish right in the heart of the city, with your own amenities including kitchen, washing machine and living area. You could explore the immediate area around your townhouse or head over to the impressive International Manga (Japanese comic) Museum for a few hours.
➕ Day 9 Kyoto
A private experience, led by a taiko (Japanese drum) master, will happen this morning. After watching a show performed by the masters, you will learn some of the basic skills in making the authentic sounds of a taiko drum. The rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy the temples of Kyoto. A great introduction is the beautiful Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji) that sits amongst a relaxing garden to the north-west of the city.
➕ Day 10 Kyoto
You will be picked up at your hotel by your guide from the Women's Association of Kyoto (WAK). She will escort you to a Japanese woman's home where you will experience a private calligraphy lesson. This is a rare treat because you will get to interact with Kyoto locals and be shown a culturally-enriching experience that will give you a better understanding of Japan. WAK offers all different kinds of experiences from tea ceremony to cooking should you wish. Afternoon at leisure in Kyoto.
➕ Day 11 Kyoto
Kyoto is the seat of culture in Japan, and the 'ninja' conjures up this world of Japanese culture perfectly. Today you can learn the basics of ninja training, including 'shuriken' (star throwing) and meditation - equally as important in ninja training. After lunch, head 15 minutes by bullet train to Japan's 3rd largest city, Osaka, with its vibrant food scene, shopping and entertainment and with arguably Japan's best aquarium. There is an impressive cylindrical tank as its highlight. Back in Kyoto,you can enjoy an evening walk with private guide around the district of Gion, home to the hidden world of 'geisha' where you should have the opportunity to spot these elusive ladies shuffling between appointments with the help of your geisha expert.
➕ Day 12 Kyoto
General info - JP , Kyoto
Visit the Fushimi Inari shrine, famous for its never-ending vermillion gates. Then, visit Nara where you can see the Todaiji Temple (the largest wooden structure in the country) and see the bowing deer - they have learned to bow for food in typical Japanese fashion!
➕ Day 13 Hakone
Kyoto , Hakone
Your final bullet train east will take you to Hakone National Park, famed for its numerous hot spring resorts, traditional inns and viewing points of Mount Fuji. Using your Hakone Free Pass (included), you will circle the park on funicular train, cable-car (or bus if you prefer) and boat on Lake Ashi. On the way there are a number of open-air art museums too which are great for all the family. Check into your Japanese inn, or ryokan, for one night including the use of hot spring bathing - a staple of Japanese society - and 'kaiseki' evening meal, lots and lots of little tapas-style Japanese dishes using local seasonal ingredients.
➕ Day 14 Hakone
If time allows, head to Yunessun Spa resort, a hugely fun if not odd hot spring 'theme park' with baths that look like you're sitting in a noodle soup bowl amongst others. This is very popular with kids and kids at heart alike! Afterwards return to Tokyo for your final night in the capital. This is a good chance to see another part of the city, or do any last-minute shopping before heading home.
➕ Day 15 International return flight
Tokyo , International return flight
A private transfer will pick you up and return you to the airport in time for your flight home. Your return flight will arrive the same day.