Japan - A Family Adventure

We can't think of a better destination for an action-packed fun-filled family adventure! Our Japan Family Adventure holiday will let you get stuck into our favourite family-friendly experiences, and show you modern and ancient highlights of this exciting country.

At a glance
  • Marvel at the eye-popping Robot Restaurant
  • Admire the cosplayers in Harajuku
  • Explore a samurai castle
  • Spend a thrilling day at Tokyo Disney
  • Get stuck into taiko drumming
  • Learn how to make kawaii bento
  • Take a delicious streetfood tour of Osaka
  • Feel inspired by Hiroshima’s Peace Park
  • Kayak around a 1,500 year old shrine island
Itinerary
Price & Hotels

Tokyo - 4 nights

Tokyo is one of the world's most captivating cities, and has seen revolutionary changes over the last few centuries. The shogun’s castle has transformed into the Emperor’s Palace, the samurai dwellings have exploded upwards into gleaming skyscrapers, and millions of people have poured in from all over the country, animating their capital into a vast energising urban sprawl. Your stay here will include visits to the famous Meiji Shrine, trendy Harajuku, the gaudily exuberant Robot Restaurant, and the immaculate Tokyo Disney Resort.

Day 1 - Arrive Tokyo

On arrival in Tokyo, you’ll be met by a Selective Asia representative, who will accompany you to your accommodation via Tokyo’s excellent public transport system.

Day 2 - City tour

Includes:

Your guide will meet you at your hotel and accompany the family to Meiji Jingu, Tokyo’s most famous shrine. When you walk in the tranquil woodland that surrounds the shrine, it's easy to forget that you’re in one of the world’s largest cities! Take a stroll through Yoyogi Park, site of the Tokyo Olympic Village in 1964, pausing to admire Yoyogi National Gymnasium, a world-renowned architectural masterpiece. Nearby, visit Harajuku, the famous meeting place for teenagers in cosplay and eccentric outfits. Its cluster of lively boutiques and cafes are a shopping haven, and if you’re after easily carried souvenirs, it’s a great place to buy interesting socks that you definitely won’t find at home!

Day 3 - Explore independently, Robot Restaurant

Includes:

Your day will be at leisure to explore Tokyo, until the evening, when it's time to venture into Kabukicho, Shinjuku’s red-light district, in time to catch the famous Robot Restaurant - a rather bizarre performance which mixes neon, techno, robots and dancers in a flashy floorshow the likes of which you’ve probably never seen... at least outside Tokyo.

Day 4 - Spend the day at Tokyo Disney Resort

Includes:

Immaculate showmanship at its best, Tokyo Disney Resort is popular with local kids, so you’ll get to join Japanese families and school kids taking some time to have fun together. The resort runs like clockwork, with rides and shows to suit all ages, and the impressive electrical parade at dusk provides a mesmerising finale to your day - even Disney cynics will be dazzled!

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Takayama - 2 nights

Takayama - ‘tall mountain’ - is a beautifully preserved old town which used to be entirely cut off from the rest of Japan, due to its location high in the Japanese Alps. The town is a must-visit for hill-walkers, and a huge treat for those who love to feast their eyes on mountain scenery and traditional wooden architecture! Ancient Japan has been preserved more effectively here than anywhere else, largely because of the area’s remoteness and masterful historic carpentry, which is visible in many of the city’s buildings, some of which date back to the 1400s. You’ll explore the town by foot and bike, and with your tastebuds, on a tour of its thriving food scene.

Day 5 - Bullet train to Takayama

Includes:

Take a high-speed trip on the bullet train to Takayama, travelling at speeds of up to 260 kpm until you change onto the regional ‘Wide View’ express - one of the most scenic train journeys in Japan - for the final leg of your journey. When you reach Takayama, the rest of your day will be at leisure to explore the town. Tonight you'll be staying in a traditional Japanese-style ryokan, with its own hot spring bathhouse.

Day 6 - Food & culture walk, cycling tour

Includes:

Meet your guide for a walking tour of Takayama's old town. The Sanmachi Suji district is particularly well preserved, and its streets are lined with traditional houses, shops and restaurants. Some of the old merchant’s homes are open to the public and will give you an insight into Takayama’s rich history and culture. After your walk, you'll be driven out of Takayama for an afternoon of cycling through the region’s stunning landscape, along trails past waterfalls and the typical thatch-roofed houses that make this area so famous. There will be plenty of opportunities to get off the bikes, hike the trails, and photograph the impressive scenery.

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Kyoto - 3 nights

Kyoto has long played a graceful historic counterpoint to Tokyo’s unrelenting urban buzz. This is a city of ancient Shinto shrines and immaculate Zen temples, professional geisha and Noh theatre, and the evocative wooden architecture of ‘old’ Japan. It's home to an astonishing 2,000 shrines and temples, including seventeen UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The oldest was established in the 6th century AD, and for miles around you can find soaring pagodas, along with the superbly decorated shogunate Nijo Castle, and markets selling well-made traditional crafts and decent antiques. Aside from its historic architecture and deep cultural connections, Kyoto is renowned for its cuisine, and the city boasts some of the best restaurants in Japan, several of which enjoy Michelin-star ratings. You’ll try your hand at noisy traditional drumming and creating a cheerful Bento box, as well as exploring a samurai castle.

Day 7 - Train to Kyoto, Taiko drumming class

Includes:

Catch the train to Kyoto and get stuck in to a noisy drumming class! Taiko drumming started in ancient Japan as a form of long-distance communication, and has become a musical artform with choreography evolved from martial arts. Kumi-Daiko (taiko drumming groups) can be found throughout Japan, and your morning will be spent learning how to play, under the guidance of a Japanese taiko drummer. Start by witnessing a short performance to inspire you and see how it should be done! Then get hands-on with a step-by-step lesson, including plenty of opportunity to ask questions. Finally, you'll show off your new-found talent and play in your own kumi-daiko, before returning to your hotel.

Day 8 - Nijo Castle & city tour

Includes:

Meet your knowledgeable local guide for a tour of some Kyoto’s World Heritage Sites. Start with Nijo Castle, an ornamental structure surrounded by stunning gardens, built by the founder of the Edo Shogunate. The main building was completed in 1603 and is known for its distinctive architecture and chirping ‘nightingale’ floors. Continue to Ryoan-ji, the site of Japan's most famous Zen garden, and home to the Myoshinji School of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism. Visit the picturesque district of Arashiyama, a popular destination since the 8th century (!) thanks to its striking bamboo forest and elegant shrines, taking in Togetsukyo (‘Moon Crossing’) Bridge over Katsura River, and making your way to the bamboo forest path on the west side of the river, where you may well hear the bamboo creaking as it sways in the breeze.

Day 9 - Bento Box class, kimono wearing

Includes:

Bento boxes have been a tradition for centuries, but ‘kyaraben’, which roughly translates as ‘character bento’, is a more recent development. Featuring food decorated to look like cartoon characters, animals and sometimes even famous people, it started out to encourage children to eat their lunch, but has now become a popular art form. Today, guided by a kyaraben expert, you will learn how to prepare your own. The class will take place in a traditional Japanese wooden townhouse, where you'll be provided with special bento making tools - cookie cutters, rice shapers, and a seaweed hole-punch, to name a few! Learn the tricks of the bento trade, from the cooking to the final presentation, before sitting down with your teacher to sample your bento for lunch. In the afternoon, try on an authentic kimono, which consists of several parts - there’s quite an art to putting them on, as well as specific rules on when and how to wear them.

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Hiroshima - 2 nights

Perhaps more than any city in the world, Hiroshima is famous for one moment in history: on 6 August 1945, an atomic bomb was detonated above it, instantly destroying everything within a 2km radius. Since this infamous act, the city has rebuilt itself as one of Japan's most laid back, vibrant cities, full of wide boulevards and art museums, great restaurants and friendly, welcoming people. We recommend a visit to the Peace Park and Museum for a sobering reminder of the events of 1945. Far from being a depressing experience, the theme of the Museum and surrounding park is one of hope and peace. Nearby Hiroshima Castle is also interesting, albeit largely reconstructed; it was still being used as a Japanese military HQ in the 1940s, and its wooden structure and proximity to ground zero meant that all but the basement offices were obliterated in the blast. The castle houses an exhibition of regional life in the Edo era, and there's a good view across the city from its keep. In Hiroshima Bay, an hour from the city centre, sits Miyajima - 'shrine island'. Its 1,500 year old Shinto shrine sits embedded in the sand, so the huge red torii gate appears to 'float' on the water at high tide. The island is home to some very chilled out deer, and has a number of relaxing walking trails, and you’ll spend a morning or afternoon kayaking around it.

Day 10 - Train to Hiroshima

Includes:

Take the train through some of Japan’s most spectacular countryside to Hiroshima, where the rest of your day will be at leisure to explore the city.

Day 11 - Miyajima kayaking

Includes:

Head out to Miyajima Island today to enjoy views of the island and its famous shrine from a kayak. It’s up to you whether to do this in the morning or afternoon, and you’ll be accompanied at all times by an expert instructor, who’ll give you time to get comfortable in the kayaks on the beach before taking to the water. It will be possible to kayak all the way out to the ‘floating’ torii gate for a fantastic photo opportunity.

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Osaka - 1 night

Osaka is defined by its flamboyance, its fun-loving people, and fantastic food and drink; this is a place to indulge yourself and allow people to entertain you, rather than potter around temples. The city's food and sake are world-renowned, thanks to plentiful supplies of high quality ingredients, and long-established merchants with preferential connections. Dotonbori is the best known district for food and nightlife, but you'll enjoy a mouth-watering tour of the city’s best streetfood experience in a more authentic local atmosphere. You may wish to visit Osaka Castle, which sits atop sheer stone ramparts surrounded by cherry trees, offering stunning views of the surrounding gardens and city from the top floor.

Day 12 - Train to Osaka, local food tour

Includes:

Your afternoon will be at leisure to explore Osaka until it’s time to meet your guide in Tenma district for this evening’s food tour. A lively, unpretentious neighbourhood steeped in history, Tenma is home to Tenjinbashi-suji shopping street which claims to be the longest covered arcade in Japan, stretching more than 2.5 kilometres. The area’s maze of narrow streets and alleys come to life at night when locals flock to dine and relax in the many tiny bars and hole-in-the-wall eateries that open up. Forget Dotonburi - this is the place to get real local soul food, and your guide will show you where to find the classics. If you'd rather not head straight back to your hotel after the tour, Osaka is an excellent place to indulge in the most quintessential of Japanese experiences - a karaoke session!

Day 13 - Depart Osaka

Includes:

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

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We only provide privately guided holidays - meaning that you will not be expected to share guides or transport for the duration of your visit. You can also start on any day you choose.

Please click on the hotel category buttons below to view hotel details. These are recommended properties only - we have many alternative options for you to choose from if you would prefer. You can mix hotel categories throughout your holiday.

Hotel class Price per family (based on total # travelling)
1 Ad & 1 Ch 2 Ad & 1 Ch 2 Ad & 2 Ch
First Class £7,737US$10,088 £10,673US$13,917 £13,361US$17,421

Hotel Gracery Shinjuku

A brand new hotel addition in the heart of the up-and-coming, lively Kabukicho area of Shinjuku, the Hotel Gracery has the advantage of a wide and varied range of shops, bars and restaurants on its doorstep.… See more

Ryokan Asunaro

Centrally located in downtown Takayama, within 10 minutes’ walk of the train station and a short stroll from the Sanmachi Suji quarter, the Ryokan Asunaro follows the traditional Japanese inn style, with considered modern touches... See more

Hotel Vista Hiroshima

A stylish, good value hotel in the centre of Hiroshima, the Hotel Vista is within walking distance of the Peace Park and well located for access to other important must-sees, as well as a good range of restaurants…

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Noku Kyoto

Contemporary Japanese style, friendly service and its good location near many key sights make Noku Kyoto a great choice for anyone seeking a modern bolt hole in this ancient city...

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Cross Hotel Osaka

This modern urban property sits plum in the centre of Osaka, making it perfect for exploring Japan’s second largest city, with popular locations like Dotonbori and Osaka Castle within very easy reach... See more
Superior £8,835US$11,520 £12,710US$16,573 £15,374US$20,047

Park Hotel

As much of an art gallery as a hotel, the Park Hotel is a ‘Design Hotel’. Thought-provoking design and architecture are an essential element of the property.… See more

Honjin Hiranoya Kachoan Ryokan

This modern Japanese ryokan combines the main elements of a traditional Japanese inn – personalised service, hot-spring bathing facilities and multi-course dinner feasts - with the polished, up-market ambiance of a luxury hotel... See more

Sheraton Grand Hiroshima

When it comes to location you really can’t get more convenient than the Sheraton Grand Hiroshima. Occupying a prime spot next to the train station, with direct access to the bullet train, bus terminals and the city’s tram lines... See more

The Celestine

Located in the Gion district of Kyoto, the Celestine is a modern boutique hotel which combines chic interiors, well-designed facilities and high traditional service standards… See more

Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel

Located on the top floors of Japan’s tallest building, the Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel has a convenient central location, great facilities and absolutely jaw-dropping views over the city and beyond to Osaka Bay...

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Deluxe £12,305US$16,045 £17,336US$22,605 £22,259US$29,024

Palace Hotel

Originally built in the early 1960’s and an iconic property of the time, the Palace Hotel was razed to the ground in 2009 and completely rebuilt, re-opening in 2012 with a more up-to-date look... See more

Hidatei Hanaougi Takayama

Hidatel Hanaougi is located in a nature rich area with stunning seasonal views offering exceptional Japanese hospitality... See more

Sheraton Grand Hiroshima

When it comes to location you really can’t get more convenient than the Sheraton Grand Hiroshima. Occupying a prime spot next to the train station, with direct access to the bullet train, bus terminals and the city’s tram lines... See more

Hyatt Regency Kyoto

Situated in a secluded old district in central Kyoto, the stylish Hyatt Regency is conveniently close to several important temples and the National Museum, as well as key transport hubs for exploring the city and beyond... See more

Conrad Osaka

Occupying the top floors of the Nakanoshima Festival West Tower in the heart of the city, the Conrad Osaka is a sleek luxury hotel with sweeping views from all its guest rooms and public spaces…

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Solo travellers are always welcome - please contact us for a tailored quote.

These prices are shown in GBPUSD.
Selective Asia is a UK-registered company, but our client-base spans the globe, so we bank in both GBP and USD and can therefore provide a fixed price in either currency.
We also have payment facilities in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the EU, and can typically offer better-than-bank exchange rates on the date of payment in these currencies (against a booking priced in GBP).

Itinerary additions

  • Extend your holiday with a few days walking the trails of the pilgrimage routes on the Kumano Kodo in the Wakayama province.
  • From Kyoto, you can take very special trip up the mountain for an overnight stay in the seat of Shingon Buddhism.

At Selective Asia we specialise in creating unique, tailor-made experiences. The holiday itineraries provided on this website are intended to help you visualise what is achievable in your destinations of choice, over a given period of time and at an intended budget.

While many clients are happy with of our recommended itineraries in the current form (and at the price quoted), there are those that wish to personalise their holiday in some way, whether it be a change of hotel, an additional destination or even start from scratch. This is when our tailor-made specialists come into their own; with many years of experience both living and working in the region they are ideally equipped to advise on alternatives and to facilitate any necessary changes.

The important stuff

Please note: Japanese hotel contracts are extremely seasonal in comparison to most of their Asian counterparts and therefore you should expect surcharges at various times of the year, including weekends, not just during peak seasons such as Christmas, New Year and Cherry Blossom. Your consultant will be happy to advise you of these.


Please note: Family prices are based on the most cost effective option for the family size, be it a triple room, family suite or two rooms.


Inclusive:

  • English speaking, local guide
  • All accommodation listed
  • All train tickets and rail passes as listed
  • Luggage forwarding service as listed
  • 4G Wi-Fi To Go Package
  • Any domestic flights listed (unless marked otherwise)
  • All admission fees at attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All meals listed
  • International flight reconfirmation.

Exclusive:

  • Flights to/from Asia. We are an ATOL bonded operator and can arrange flights for all our clients, regardless of whether you are departing from the UK or from almost any other worldwide destination.
  • Entry visas
  • International airport departure taxes
  • Any meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Drinks, other than water on activity days
  • Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip...)
  • Travel insurance
  • All other services not listed in 'inclusive'

Please note

All prices are correct at the time of publishing. They are liable to change and can only be confirmed upon submitting an enquiry.

 

Extras

Flights

We will arrange all internal flights used within our holiday itineraries. We can also arrange discounted flights from all UK airports to Asia and we are a fully bonded ATOL operator. If you would like a quote for your international flights then please complete the required section on the enquiry form.

Visa

You will not require a visa to enter Japan. Your consultant will be happy to advise you on visa requirements.

Passport

Please ensure that you have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining after your return date. You will also need at least one blank page for each of the countries you are visiting.

Insurance

You will require a comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. We offer our customers a specially discounted insurance policy, ideally suited to the needs that a trip such as this creates. Tick the insurance box in the enquiry form and we will send you a quote to suit your needs.

Vaccinations and Malaria Prevention

You will undoubtedly require vaccinations for your visit to Asia. Please consult your doctor or a vaccination clinic for the most up-to-date advice. They will also be able to advise you of the most suitable anti-malarial medication if required. It is important that you do this well in advance of your departure date.

Booking Procedure

Only once you are completely happy with any holiday itinerary we create for you will we ask for a payment. In order that we can secure availability for your booking we would typically require a deposit of 20%.

Travelling Responsibly

We care about the places and the communities that you will travel through. It is important to us that we travel as responsibly as possible throughout Asia and that we are giving something back to the regions and the people that make these journeys so special. Full details on our approach to responsible travel can be found on a dedicated section of this website.

Make it yours!

Call us on 01273 670 001

Get in touch

Andrew – Japan tailor-made specialist

'Japan offers such a massive range of experiences it will keep every member of the family entertained and wanting to see more.'

AndrewJapan tailor-made specialist

Speak to Andrew on 01273 670 001

Make it yours!

Call us on 01273 670 001

Get in touch

Our tailor-made service costs you no extra

This itinerary is designed to work straight off the peg, but we'll happily tailor it until it's a perfect fit for you, to ensure we’re making the absolute best of your time and funds. All you need to do is ask...

What to expect from us in Japan

Japan's excellent public transport & exceptional safety allow us to offer a more self-guided experience than we do elsewhere. It's a famously expensive country, so we often suggest more independent exploration, with our exclusive self-guide app on hand to help you unearth our hidden gems. This helps to keep your costs down, and the data is on us.

Book With Confidence

For peace of mind when booking your future holiday to Asia, we have introduced flexible booking conditions & full financial clarity.