Japan family holidays

The ever-compelling contrast between its ancient and modern culture makes Japan an outstanding destination for unique family travel adventures.

Watch kids’ minds whirl as you jump from sugar-rush theme parks to magical walks in the forest. Explore boundary-pushing digital worlds and exquisite works of art. Dine in fine kaiseki style and snack on Pokemon bento. Wander past shinto shrines and look out over high-rise rooftops. 

With exciting new experiences always on the horizon, Japan remains a firm favourite family holiday destination; even the transfers feel pretty epic when they’re via bullet train.

Highlights of a family holiday in Japan

  • Get dazzled by the neon showtime extravaganza at Tokyo’s Robot Cafe
  • Wander between the warmly-lit wooden houses along Takayama’s winding streets
  • Create your favourite cartoon character in edible bento box form.
  • Set the cute-o-meter to maximum at the Disneyland Tokyo and Ghibli kawaii wonderlands
  • Taste tongue-tingling flavours from Osaka’s world-famous foodie scene - baby octopus on a stick, anyone?
  • Share the sense of hope and poignancy at Hiroshima’s historic Peace Park

With a UK based team of Destination Specialists with offices and partners across Asia, ensuring we focus on staying really local in our approach.  Our specialists have travelled extensively in Japan and throughout Asia, many having also lived in the region.

Along with enjoying great travels, the team regularly inspect the best hotels, seek out new activities and design new routes – for inspiration we’d suggest taking a look through some of their Favourite Journeys. The weather during any of the school holidays is always an important consideration and we have that covered with our best time to visit Japan section.

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...and where to rest your head

Three of our favourite family-friendly hotels in Japan

Japan with your kids - what to expect

Tokyo gets your family holiday in Japan started in style. From manga comics and animation, to computer gaming, kawaii kitsch and cutting edge fashion, kids are bound to recognise a lot of contemporary Japanese culture, and Tokyo is the place to explore it.
Get hands-on with cutting edge innovation at the Miraikan museum, or spend a day of candy-coloured craziness at Tokyo Disney. Enjoy a subtler anime experience at the charming Ghibli Museum, or while away the hours in underwater magic at one of the city’s aquariums. Channel your inner warrior at a samurai sword fighting class, or watch the action ringside at a sumo wrestling match. Fulfill kids’ gaming dreams in the city’s arcades, and immerse yourselves in kawaii culture at character themed cafes.

Kyoto balances out Tokyo’s intensity, and is an ideal place to discover a more traditional side to Japan. Kids can create their own cartoon bento lunch at a kyaraben masterclass - great for fussier eaters who need a little encouragement to try something new. Let your mini-historian’s imagination run wild within the walls of Nijo castle, and take an enchanting wander among deer at Nara Park. Feel the rhythm, and get a full-on arm workout, at a part-dance, part martial art taiko drumming lesson.

Make a petrolhead pleasing pit-stop at the Suzuka motorsport circuit, en route to Osaka, then spend leisurely days introducing the kids to new flavors from the famous foodie scene, and squeeze in a little Hollywood glam at Universal Studios.

In Hiroshima, you can gently explore the extraordinary sense of hope now evident at the scene of such tragedy. Kayak out to Miyajima island’s striking red torii gate, and spend quiet time together in the Peace Park.

Give children a glimpse of Japan’s cosy rural side in Takayama, high in the Japanese Alps. Stay in a traditional ryokan, cycle and trek into the surrounding countryside, and watch the Old Town lights twinkle at twilight.

Things you’ll all love in Japan

What to do in Japan: Discover more with our hand-picked experiences & highlights
Taiko drumming workshop tokyo Japan

Make some serious noise with a traditional taiko drumming lesson

Get hands-on with this exhilarating Taiko drumming experience, which will teach you and the kids the ancient art of Japanese war drumming, with a demonstration by one of Japan’s leading drumming troupes. Ideal for kids and adults alike, the drum lesson can take place in Kyoto or Tokyo, and its grand finale will be you joining the kumi-daiko ensemble for a spine-tingling group drumming session

Be sharp with a Samurai sword fighting masterclass in Tokyo

Be sharp with a Samurai sword fighting masterclass in Tokyo

Be immersed in Samurai Japan with this traditional swordfighting lesson - taught by Tetsuro Shimaguchi, head fight choreographer of Kill Bill Vol I - that will plunge you right into the action and discipline you’ve admired from afar.

Visit a typical Japanese home in Kanazawa

Visit a typical Japanese home in Kanazawa

Being welcomed into a typical Japanese home gives you the chance to spend time with remarkable people and experience what everyday life in Japan is really like. No two visits will ever be the same, which shows just how extraordinary the ordinary can be.

 
 

Our Japan Specialists' top tips for families

With quite a few parents among our well-travelled Destination Specialists, we know how important it is to get the finer details sorted before travelling with kids, and we always go the extra mile to make sure they are. We want everyone to enjoy each moment without sweating the small stuff.

If you have any questions, or want to have a chat about planning your family holiday to Japan, we'd love to have a chat. In the meantime, here are a few FAQs to help you get started…

Stories from our latest Japan blog