10 daysActivity Level
breakfasts, lunches, dinners
This Japan family vacation takes your family to one of the most interesting places in the world. Explore its vast cultural contrasts, from contemporary city centers with thriving arts scenes and plentiful shopping, to quiet countryside vistas lined with rice paddies and defined by ancient temples and castles.
See Tokyo Like a Local
Explore some of the most unique neighborhoods in the city like the fashion district of Harajuku and the “low-city’ of Asakusa, the home of Senso-ji Temple.
Explore Osaka Castle
Osaka Castle dates back over 450 years and is one of the most famous landmarks in Japan. A modern-day symbol of Japanese history, you’ll get a chance to try on a samurai-style helmet or kimono to take some Instagram worthy photos!
Relax in Quaint Kyoto
Learn about the history of the renowned Geisha culture, explore the halls of Nijo Castle, and venture through the serene bamboo grove in Arashiyama.
Stay in an Authentic Ryokan
Spend time on the Kii Peninsula hiking parts of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail, a UNESCO Heritage Site, in the day and relaxing in an authentic serene ryokan at night.
Taste Delectable Japanese Cuisine
Don’t hold back during any meal during this family vacation, from perfectly rolled sushi to freshly made noodles served on a slide!
Fly to Japan
Arrive Tokyo/Transfer to Hotel
Welcome to Tokyo! After arriving at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport, meet a Thomson Family Adventures representative and transfer to the hotel.
Tour Tokyo’s Old Quarter
Explore Tokyo’s Old City and see some of its most famous sites: the large Buddhist Temple Senso-ji to Nakamise-dori, a walking street lined with shops selling Japanese snacks, arts and crafts, and souvenirs!
Tour Tokyo’s Harajuku Area
You’ll venture to Japan’s uber-trendy Harajuku, the hub of youth culture in the country. You’ll explore just off the bustling streets to a quiet wooded area, visiting the peaceful Meiji Shrine, dedicated to Japan’s first modern emperor, Emperor Meiji.
View the City (Optional)
Visit the Tokyo Metropolitan government offices and take in a magnificent view over the city.
Enjoy a quintessentially Japanese experience: singing in a karaoke box, where you’ll get your karaoke on!
Ride a Bullet Train to Osaka
Take a bullet train to Osaka, known as the country’s commercial center and for it’s legendary good food. In fact, the term “kuidaore” or “eat till you drop” is heard so often here, it’s practically the city’s motto!
Visit Osaka Castle
Visit Osaka Castle, a castle constructed in 1583 by warrior, general, samurai and politician Toyotomi Hideyoshi. A modern-day symbol of Japanese history, you’ll get a chance try on a samurai-style helmet or kimono to take some fun photos!
Tour Osaka’s Dotombori Area
In the historic, photogenic Dotonbori area of Osaka, filled with flashy neon signs featuring a 3D crab, you’ll explore all that is has to offer! You’ll have the chance to tour the area’s hidden shrines and markets, nestled quietly along the side streets.
Ride a Bike in Asuka
You’ll ride bikes through the rural town of Asuka — the first permanent capital of Japan — cycling in the quiet countryside past ancient burial mounts and mysterious stone monuments.
Lunch at a Local Farmhouse
Stop by a tradtional farmhouse and enjoy a delicious and delectable bento box lunch!
Take a Taiko Drumming Class
During a taiko drumming class, you’ll learn new “drum” or “taiko” rhythms under the enthusiastic guidance of a world-famous drumming troupe!
Walk in Nara Park
More than 1,000 tame deer roam freely through this green haven, and you can choose to feed them their favorite biscuit treats. According to ancient folklore, one of the four deities of the nearby Kasuga shrine was seen riding a white deer; since then, the animals were considered divine. Today, the Nara Park deer are protected as national treasures.
Visit Todaiji Temple
Visit Todaiji—the “great Eastern temple.” Its main hall, the Daibutsuden, is the world’s largest wooden building. Tour the temple and see the enormous, bronze, seated Buddha statue, one of the largest in Japan. Find the pillar with base the width of Daibutsu’s nostril – it is said those who can squeeze through will be granted enlightenment in their next life.
Visit Kumano Kodo
Explore part of the network of ancient pilgrimage trails known as the Kumano Kodo or Kumano Ancient Trail, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This has been part of a pilgrimage route for more than 1,000 years!
Learn Japanese Katakana
Take a lesson in calligraphy to write your name in Japanese Katakana, a 46-letter, phonetic alphabet used in modern Japanese handwriting.
Enjoy a Cultural Exchange with Your Friends Across Borders
As part of the Friends Across Borders program, your children will meet local students from the village and join in mutual games.
Hike Kumano Kodo Trail
Hike a short but scenic section of the Kumano Kodo trail, much like emperors did in the 11th Century! Along the way you’ll pass ridge-top villages and oji shrines, where nobles once rested and composed poems as they walked.
Make Washi Paper
You’ll learn traditional methods to make Japanese washi paper and you’ll present it to priests at the neighboring shrine, who will write a calligraphic emblem of the shrine for us on the paper, creating a one-of-a-kind souvenir of this unique experience.
Take an exciting ride on a jet-boat cruise along Doro-kyo Gorge, a valley carved by erosion on the slates and sandstone. Its emerald waters, precipitous cliffs and unique rock formations are a beautiful display of Japan’s landscape.
Drive to Kyoto
You’ll drive out to Kyoto, the former Imperial capital of Japan and one of the country’s most culturally rich cities, boasting 17 temples and shrines designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Visit Kiyomizu Temple
You’ll visit Kyoto’s Higashiyama area to see Kiyomizu Temple, founded in 778, and walk a street lined with vendors selling Kyoto’s famous pickles, kiyomizu-yaki pottery and traditional crafts.
Explore the Gion District
On a visit to the world-famous Gion District we will learn about the strict training undertaken by young women who hope to become geisha, known in Kyoto as “geiko.”
Visit Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
Explore Kyoto’s western region of Arashiyama, a beautifully scenic and serene area tucked at the base of the Arashiyama Mountains, renowned for its otherworldly and mesmerizing bamboo grove.
Tour Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle was the original Kyoto residence for the Tokugawa shoguns in the 17th century. The castle is most noteworthy for its nightingale floors, which “chirp” when walked on to warn of intruders. Try and walk the floors without making a sound, we’re willing to bet you can’t!
Transfer to the Airport
Arrive home in the US
Dates & Prices
03/24-04/02Adult $9890Teen $9890Child $9690
06/02-06/11Adult $9890Teen $9890Child $9690
06/23-07/02Adult $9890Teen $9890Child $9690
08/04-08/13Adult $9890Teen $9890Child $9690
Additional $1,450 for single accommodations
If you are a returning Thomson guest, please subtract $500 per family from these prices.
We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance. We’ve received great feedback about Travel Guard – you can learn more about the benefits of travel insurance there.
All entrance fees, accommodations based on two to a room, land transportation, private bilingual guide throughout, most meals, and snacks in the vehicle.
Depending on your flight schedule you may return home the following day.
Guaranteed departure. Surcharge applied to groups smaller than four guests.
Thomson Family Adventures will attempt to adhere to this itinerary and its hotels as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or availability) may necessitate changes in the accommodations.
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