Japan Family Adventure

  • Overview
    Starts at



    11 days

    Activity Level


    Our moderate adventures are similar to our easy adventures, but you’ll spend more time on your feet.
    Minimum Age


    Ideal Age



    8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 8 dinners

    This Japan family vacation takes your family to one of the most interesting places in the world. Together we’ll 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 the City of Osaka

    Discover the different underwater worlds at the Osaka Aquarium and the neon lights of the busy and exciting Dotonbori neighborhood.

    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!

    Extension: Stay in Japan a Bit Longer

    No need to end your adventure so soon! Spend some time in the bustling metropolis of Tokyo or go to Hiroshima to explore another Japanese city.



  • Itinerary

    Day 1

    Fly to Japan

    Days 2-3


    Tour Tokyo’s Old Quarter

    Explore Tokyo’s Old City and see some of its most famous sites like the large Buddhist Temple Senso-ji and Nakamise-dori and a walking street lined with shops selling Japanese snacks, arts and crafts, and souvenirs!

    Tour Tokyo’s Harajuku Area

    We’ll venture to Japan’s uber-trendy Harajuku, the hub of youth culture in the country. We’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.

    Karaoke Box

    Spend the night at a calssic Japanese Karaoke box! We’ll get our karaoke on!

    Days 4-5


    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

    Osaka Castle, a 16th-century castle originally constructed in 1583 by warrior, general, samurai and politician Toyotomi Hideyoshi is a modern-day symbol of Japanese history, we’ll get a chance try on a samurai-style helmet or kimono to take some fun photos!

    Tour Osaka’s Dotombori Area

    We’ll explore the historic, photogenic Dotonbori area of Osaka, with its flashy neon signs like a 3D crab, as well as it’s quiet side streets lined with markets and shrines.

    Ride a Bike in Asuka

    We’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.

    Take a Taiko Drumming Class

    During a taiko drumming class, we’ll learn new “drum” or “taiko” rhythms under the enthusiastic guidance of a world-famous drumming troupe!

    Days 6-7

    Kii Peninsula

    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.

    Friends Across Borders: Visit and Games

    As part of our Friends Across Borders program, your children will meet local students from the village and join in on all kinds of fun and games!

    Hike Kumano Kodo Trail

    Pass ridge-top villages and oji shrines, where nobles once rested and composed poems as they walked, as we hike part of the famed Kumano Kodo trail!

    Make Washi Paper

    Get a truly unique souvenir as we learn traditional methods to make Japanese washi paper and present it to priests at the neighboring shrine who will write a calligraphic emblem of the shrine for us on the paper.

    Jet-boat Cruise

    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.

    Days 8-9


    Visit Kiyomizu Temple

    We’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!

    Day 10

    Depart / Arrive Home

  • Dates & Prices

    2019 Dates


    Adult $7690
    Teen $7690
    Child $7490


    Adult $7690
    Teen $7690
    Child $7490

    2020 Dates


    Adult $8090
    Teen $8090
    Child $7890


    Adult $8090
    Teen $8090
    Child $7890

    Additional Info

    Smart Traveler Advantages

    Book a trip 9 months ahead of the day that you want to leave and get a free GoPro and Travel Protection.

    Triple Discount

    $600 discount for children under 12 sharing with 2 adults

    Single Supplement

    Additional $1,690 for single accommodations

    Large Group Discount

    Traveling in a party of six or more friends or family members? Call us about our large group discounts.

    Alumni Discount 

    If you are a returning Thomson guest, please subtract $500 per family from these prices.

    Travel Insurance

    We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance. We’ve received great feedback about Travel Insured – you can learn more about the benefits of travel insurance there.

    Price Includes

    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 4 guests.

  • Hotels

    Shiba Park 151 Hotel

    Fall in love with Japan and experience the true meaning of Japanese hospitality, omotenashi, at the Shiba Park 151 hotel. The rooms are relaxing and elegant environments featuring a taste of Japanese culture. On the second floor, there is a Japanese Culture Salon “SAKURA”, where, as the name suggests, you can experience Japanese culture, entertainment, and elements of lifestyle during your stay.

    Hotel Monterey Grasmere

    Conveniently located in central Osaka, this hotel’s stately rooms were fashioned after a British manor house, evoking the beauty of England’s Lake District. Open since 2009, the hotel offers modern amenities like in-room Wi-Fi, as well as four dining areas, including a tea lounge to enjoy tea time or evening drinks. Don’t forget to check out the on-site Sanno Art Museum and the All Saints Church Brock Hampton, a chapel inside the hotel modeled after one in the Cotswolds.

    Fujiya Ryokan, Kawayu Onsen

    On the Kumano Kodo we’ll stay in an authentic Japanese “ryokan,” a traditional Japanese hotel that adheres to traditional customs. We’ll stay in rooms with tatami (straw mat) flooring, and change into a typical yukata (robe) after taking an onsen hot-spring bath. At night, we’ll sleep on comfortable futon (bedding) placed on the tatami-mat floor. But worry not: Rooms also include modern amenities like a refrigerator, television and hair dryer, as well as Wi-Fi.

    Kyoto Granvia

    A modern architectural masterpiece the Granvia is part of the JR Kyoto Rail Station complex that includes a museum, theater, and sprawling underground shopping mall. The 535 spacious guest rooms are warmly furnished with amenities that include air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, refrigerator, hair dryer, and LCD TV. A health club, spa treatment and steam rooms, and eight dining options are also part of this stylish venue.

    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.

  • Extend Your Trip

From the Blog

Read the latest from our team, get inspired, and learn about the best family travel destinations.

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Starts at



11 days

Activity Level


Active trips revolve around multi-sport activities that keep your family outside and having fun! Your family will spend more time interacting with the elements and exploring than sitting on a beach or inside of a museum. These activities are not always physically demanding but they can be and do require a basic level of fitness.
Starts at



12 days

Activity Level


Your family will spend most of your time relaxing and not expending too much energy. These adventures are easy! Every member of your family will be comfortable and able to take part in this adventure no matter their fitness level.