Absolutely – Japan is a fun and fascinating country where children are respected and adored and the whole family can feel secure. A two-week family holiday to Japan can include the bright lights of Tokyo, the rolling rural mountains of the Japanese Alps and ancient feudal castles in Kyoto. Using public transport is key to a holiday in Japan and a really fun way to travel, so build in plenty for time for this and take advantage of some of the quirky ideas on offer – the kids will love it.
Culture and Education
Japan has an ancient and complex history and as such the country is awash with fascinating temples and culture. It is one of those fabulous destinations where the history is exciting making it easy to engage the children in learning. Explore temples and tea houses by bike and learn about the mysterious world of the geisha – educating and fascinating for all the family. Step into Japan’s feudal past, exploring castles once fiercely defended by shoguns and legendary Samurai warriors. In addition to the ancient sword skills of the Samurai, Japan is also home to many martial arts including judo, aikido, karate and of course the national sport of sumo.
In more modern history it is a country at the forefront of electronics and robotics and home to huge companies such as Toyota, Nintendo, Sony and Honda. The youth of the country have a unique style and older kids will love visiting Tokyo’s shopping districts, home to video games, latest fashion trends and figurine culture, as well as some delicious and fantastical eateries.
Getting Around Easily
Public transport in Japan is astonishingly efficient and is a stress-free and enjoyable way to travel with networks stretching across the country, plus bullet trains reach speeds of up to 360 kilometres an hour!
Tokyo for Families
One of the most futuristic cities in the world Tokyo is a wonderful place, full of fun for kids of all ages – meet a robot, learn samurai sword skills and take tea at a quirky cafe where cats or rabbits outnumber the humans.
Although Japan is not known for its beaches, it is home to remote island archipelagos which can make a fun and relaxing end to any holiday and the perfect spot for a few days swimming and snorkelling in turquoise waters. The tropical islands of Okinawa are the birthplace of Karate and home to white sandy beaches as well as migrating whales and manta rays at certain times of the year. The islands are also a place of festivities with Eisa Drum Dance celebrations taking place between July and September plus the worlds largest Tug of War Festival every October.
Much of Japans wildlife can be hard to find with the bulk of it hidden away in National Parks. However, a visit to see the snow monkeys can delight the whole family. These cheeky primates are probably most photographed as they bathe in the warm waters of the countries hot springs during the winter months, however they can be seen year round. Their distinct hierarchy mean the younger siblings dominate the older ones!
Family Friendly Activities
- Watch a baseball match or a sumo tournament
- Dine at a Monster cafe, entering through the stomach of a monster and watching a show while eating
- Photograph the futuristic, urban landscapes of Tokyo with a resident photographer
- Take a Bento making class (a traditional packed lunchbox) in a local Japanese house
- Learn to draw the classic Japanese cartoon style of Manga at a Japanese school
- Kayak around Miyajima, a sacred island in Hiroshima Bay
- Visit the Cup Noodle Museum
- Take a karate lesson
- Learn Samurai sword skills with Uma Thurman’s choreographer in Kill Bill