Tailor-Made Holiday

Family Holiday to Japan

Bullet trains, castles, samurai and ninjas

15 days

from £3,890pp (excluding flights)

One of the most forward-thinking countries in the world where bullet trains, robots and glittering skylines are the norm. Japan is a wonderful destination to immerse the whole family in a rich history and culture with some fabulously quirky, fun and fascinating pastimes. From Samurai swordsmen and sumo wrestlers to formidable castles, geisha and bullet trains, Japan really is a magical family destination.

  • Dine out at a Ninja restaurant in Tokyo with secret passwords and Ninja waiters!
  • Kayak around the floating Torii Gate, off the sacred island of Miyajima in Hiroshimo
  • Travel by bullet train reaching speeds of up to 360km per hour
  • Learn traditional origami, Manga drawing, karate and age-old sweet making techniques

Tokyo

Begin your family adventure in the magical city of Tokyo with a day in the company of a local guide who will introduce you to the weird and wonderful of the city. Create some of your own ‘plastic food’ which is present in the window of every restaurant in the city and stop for a drink in one of the pet cafes where cats, rabbits and even reptiles outnumber the customers. Spend time at leisure to explore independently using the astonishingly efficient public transport system as well as a day in the nearby international port city of Yokohama, home to the largest collection of model trains in the world as well as the cup noodle museum where the kids can make their own.

Bullet trains

Much of the travel during this family adventure to Japan will be done by train and public transport. Journeys onboard the Shinkansen train, otherwise known as the bullet train are super-efficient, speedy and fun. 

Kanazawa

Travel by bullet train to Kanazawa to explore imposing castles and charming traditional gardens where stone bridges criss-cross waterfalls and islands lined with colourful acers. Also visit the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, home to a fun exhibit, The Swimming Pool - an interactive piece creating the illusion of being underwater…

Hiroshima and Miyajima

A chance to learn about the tragic historical events of WWII. Visit the sacred island of Miyajima and kayak out to the iconic floating Torii Gate before hiking to the top of Mt Misen for wonderful views.

Kyoto

Kyoto is a city with over 2,000 religious buildings, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visit Nijo Castle, the private home of a powerful feudal lord and the surrounding gardens and take a walk through Nishiki market with its colourful array of traditional foods and spices. Spend time in a Japanese home creating your very own Bento box with food decorated to look like your chosen cartoon character or animal.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 3890 £ 725
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas

PLEASE NOTE THE COST SHOWN INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK, BASED ON AN APPROXIMATE AIR FARE. PLEASE ASK YOUR TRAVEL EXPERT FOR AN ACCURATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT QUOTE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Tokyo


Japan is an intriguing blend of the resolutely traditional and the restlessly innovative - and nowhere typifies this more so than Tokyo. Look beyond its futuristic façade and you will discover a different Tokyo, where ancient traditions and customs are quietly maintained. An enthralling and captivating city of many layers, it is an essential place to visit for any keen traveller.

Day 2

Day at leisure in Tokyo


You will be staying at Park Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 3

Family Day in Tokyo
Today explore Asakusa, one of Tokyo's shitamachi (old towns) where a traditional atmosphere still lingers in the air. Visit Senso-ji, the most famous temple in Tokyo where your guide will explain some basic temple customs and in the small stalls nearby try some Japanese snacks. A short walk from the temple is Kappabashi, the so-called Kitchenware Town lined with dozens of specialised stores for knives, Japanese tableware, and even food replicas. Try the art of crafting plastic replica food in one of the speciality shops, an interesting souvenir to take home!

Around noon, stop by one of the local restaurants for lunch. Although there's a variety of food to choose from, Asakusa is particularly known for its delicious tempura.

Continue to one of the city's many pet establishments where cats, rabbits and even reptiles join the humans for a cup of tea. These unique shops have quickly become a hit for many reasons, one being they're a good place to relax and relieve stress.

In the afternoon, embark on a river cruise to Odaiba, a man-made island with a stunning view of the city and its futuristic buildings. Conclude the tour with a ride on a giant Ferris wheel, enjoying the view of Tokyo from up high.


Dinner at the Ninja Restaurant
Your guide will drop you off tonight at the Ninja Restaurant. Their entrance is just as difficult to locate as that of the Ninja's secret hiding outpost. A long stretch of stairs takes you into the Ninja world. Reaching your table is a surprising and interesting experience. Tables are designed like the secret meeting coves of the Ninjas. The structure of the restaurant is truly unique, and so are the contents of menu. The dishes under the "Special" category are performed on the table by a Ninja.


Dinner is included in the trip cost


You will be staying at Park Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 4

Day at leisure
Tokyo is extremely easy to get around using public transport and there are a wealth of wonderful family friendly places to explore:

- Visit some of the many museums including Ghibli Museum and the National Museum of Science and Inovation

- Take a Samurai sword lesson

- Learn karate from a 6th Dan black belt holder

- Get to know the basics of Manga drawing with the guidance of a Japanese teacher


You will be staying at Park Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 5

Day trip to Yokohama
Today leave Tokyo and travel by train to the international port city of Yokohama. Visit Hara Model Railway Museum, home of the largest model train collection in the world. Next on the list is the Cup Noodle Museum, revealing the unique history behind this Japanese invention known around the world. There are fun and interactive workshops, including the Cup Noodle Factory where kids can create their own cup noodle.

For lunch, head to the Noodles Bazaar and try the noodles from eight different countries.

Within walking distance from the museum is Yamashita Park, the first seaside park to open in Japan in 1930. Take a stroll to nearby Osanbashi Pier, a beautiful open space where the kids can run freely surrounded by views of Yokohama. End the day with a short boat ride from the park to Yokohama Station before taking the train back to Tokyo.


You will be staying at Park Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 6

Spend this morning at your leisure before your train journey this afternoon.

Travel from Tokyo to Kanazawa (Rail Journey)


During the Edo Period, Kanazawa served as the seat of the Maeda Clan, the second most powerful feudal clan after the Tokugawa in terms of rice production and fief size. Accordingly, Kanazawa grew to become a town of great cultural achievements, rivaling Kyoto and Edo (Tokyo).

During World War Two, Kanazawa was Japan's second largest city (after Kyoto) to escape destruction by air raids. Consequently, parts of the old castle town, such as the Nagamachi samurai district and chaya entertainment districts, have survived in pretty good condition.

Today, Kanazawa remains an important city in its region and serves as the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture. The city boasts many historical attractions such as restored residences and districts, as well as modern museums. But Kanazawa's unchallenged main attraction is Kenrokuen, one of Japan's "three best landscape gardens" and by many considered the most beautiful of them all.


You will be staying at Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 7

An afternoon in Kanazawa
Begin the afternoon with a visit to Nagamachi, a historical village where top and middle-class samurais used to reside. Apart from well-preserved traditional houses, the area is also home to a few local craft shops such as Kaburaki (Kutani porcelain), Yuzen-kan (Kaga-yuzen dyeing for kimonos), and Nosaku (Kaga Maki-e painting on lacquerware).

Stop at Nomura-ke House, the only samurai residence open to the public. Freshly made green tea may be enjoyed on the second floor while viewing the small Japanese garden below.

End the afternoon at the 21st century Museum of Contemporary Art, designed by Pritzker Prize-winners, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa. The museum is known for its modern architecture and progressive exhibits, including Leandro Erlich's 'Swimming Pool', which gives an illusion of being under or above the water.


You will be staying at Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 8

Day at leisure.


You will be staying at Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 9

Travel from Kanazawa to Hiroshima (Rail Journey)


Hiroshima is notorious for its destruction when the first atomic bomb was dropped over the city during the Second World War in August 1945. The destructive power of the bomb obliterated nearly everything within a two kilometre radius. From this absolute annihilation, Hiroshima has emerged phoenix-like, and become a beacon of hope and peace for the rest of mankind.


You will be staying at Sheraton Hotel - Hiroshima, bed and breakfast

Day 10

Half Day Tour by Public Transport
Self guide your way around the rest of Hiroshima using the cities public transport system. Head to Peace Memorial Park. The area where the park now lies was ground zero for the Atomic Bomb on 6th August 1945. After the bombing the Memorial Park was created and dedicated to those who lost their lives in the attack.
Stroll through the park and discover the many memorials, monuments and statues in the park before heading into the Museum itself. Next, visit Shukkeien Garden, which can be translated into English as 'shrunken-scenery garden', which is also a good description of the garden itself. Valleys, mountains, and forests are represented in miniature in the garden's landscapes. Through carefully cultivated land and vegetation, the garden mimics a variety of natural formations and scenic views. Shukkeien has a long history dating back to 1620, just after the completion of Hiroshima Castle.
The garden displays many features of the traditional aesthetics of Japanese gardens. Around the garden's main pond there are a number of tea houses which offer ideal views of the surrounding scenery. The entire garden is connected by a path which winds around the pond at the centre of the garden. The path passes through all of Shukkeien's various miniaturised sceneries. Following this path around the garden is the best way to see Shukkeien.


You will be staying at Sheraton Hotel - Hiroshima, bed and breakfast

Day 11

Kayaking in Miyajima
Today travel by kayak from the mainland to Miyajima, a small sacred island located in the Seto Inland Sea. The instructor will provide a briefing on the day's course, and there will be a chance to get comfortable in the kayaks on the beach before entering the sea. It is possible to kayak all the way out to the Floating Torii Gate for a fantastic photo opportunity.

On arrival, visit a couple of shrines and temples with your guide and sample some local delicacies like oysters, saltwater eel, and maple leaf-shaped cakes. The port is also famous for its large number of tame deer wandering the area. There will also be an option to hike up Mt. Misen to see spectacular views of the surrounding islands.


You will be staying at Sheraton Hotel - Hiroshima, bed and breakfast

Day 12

Travel from Hiroshima to Kyoto (Rail Journey)


Kyoto is quintessentially Japan. Peaceful temples, lavish gardens, and majestic palaces combine to create a slice of Japan at its purest and most distilled. Witness Geishas darting from one liaison to the next, or amble through one of the famous bamboo thickets. The home of Japanese cuisine and wearing its rich culture on its sleeve, Kyoto is a truly magical city.


You will be staying at Hotel Granvia, bed and breakfast

Day 13

A Day in Kyoto
Start the day with a visit to Nijo Castle, an ornamental castle that was originally built to serve as the private villa of a powerful feudal lord. The main building was completed in the early 1600's and has since been known for its Momoyama-style architecture, decorated sliding doors, and 'chirping nightingale' floors.

Continue to the serene Ryoan-ji Temple, which is famous for its well-maintained rock garden and known to be the home of the Myoshinji School of the Rinzai Buddhist sect.

Just a short distance from Ryoan-ji is the stunning golden pavilion, collectively known as Kinkaku-ji Temple. The temple grounds are smaller than most temples and shrines in Kyoto, although the pavilion that is completely covered in handmade gold-leaf is impressive.

A visit to Kiyomizu-dera Temple follows and the view from the 13-metre high building is breath-taking. You will be standing on a veranda that was built without using any nails or joiners.

End the day with a stroll along the busy streets of Higashiyama district, a collection of narrow alleyways lined with local stores, souvenir shops, small eateries, and pottery centres.


You will be staying at Hotel Granvia, bed and breakfast

Day 14

Character Bento Cooking Class
Start today with an interactive class teaching you how to prepare a traditional Japanese bento box with a twist. Chara-ben ("kyaraben") is the short term for character bento, a style of preparing lunch boxes with the food decorated to look like a famous cartoon character or cute animal. On arrival at your designated machiya, a traditional Japanese wooden townhouse, meet your English-speaking local food instructor. After a brief introduction, begin the three-hour session of learning the basics in cooking and preparing an artistic yet delicious Japanese bento.

Finish today's activity with a lively conversation over a hearty meal.


You will be staying at Hotel Granvia, bed and breakfast

Day 15

Fly Osaka to Haneda - Tokyo

Fly Haneda - Tokyo to London

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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