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Our Japan Family Holidays package consists of a superb 12 night itinerary which includes visits to Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and the nearby lovely Island of Miyajima. Japan itself is a very safe, child-friendly country with plenty of fun sights and activities to keep both children and teenagers amused and this Japan family vacation is one which you and your children will remember for the rest of your lives.
You will start off in the ultra modern, buzzing metropolis of Tokyo when you can take in the traditional sites as well as visiting the wonderful Tokyo Disneyland and the brilliant Ghibli (Animation) Museum. Then with your 7-Day Japan Rail Pass, you’ll take the superb Bullet Train to the beautiful island of Miyajima – home to the famous torii gate, considered one of Japan’s “three best views”. Whilst here you’ll have the opportunity to have a truly Japanese experience by staying in a traditional ‘ryokan’ (inn) where a delicious dinner is included. Then head on to Kyoto (the cultural heartland of Japan). Spend a few days exploring the many temples, shrines and gardens and dine on Kyoto’s famous cuisine.
It’s quite straight forward to travel independently as a family in Japan as so much of the signage is in English. Our independent Family Holiday in Japan itinerary is available for any departure date (with a few exclusions which coincide with Japanese National Holidays and some weekends). We’ll do all the work for you and provide you with an information pack to make your trip run as smoothly as possible. You can also add guided tours as indicated and if you do want your own personal guide we can arrange this too.
The itinerary below excludes international flights
Day 1: Arrival in Japan, Meet & Greet at Narita Airport (Tokyo)
Welcome to Japan! Our friendly Meet & Greet service representative will be waiting in the Arrivals lobby and holding a sign with your name on. The Meet & Greet will direct you to the limousine bus bound for Tokyo. Check in to your clean and comfortable hotel in central Tokyo for 5 nights on a bed & breakfast basis.
Day 2: Tokyo
Enjoy a full day of sightseeing by coach in Tokyo, with lunch included. Your guide will show you the highlights of this vast metropolis, from the Imperial Palace and serene Meiji Shrine to the ‘Electric City’ of Akihabara.
Day 3: Tokyo at leisure
Your options are unlimited in this incredible city. Why not visit the wonderful Ghibli Animation Museum in Mitaka, designed by one of the world’s top animators, Hayao Miyazaki – Academy Award winner for “Spirited Away”, then go on to the trendy district of Harajuku. Tokyo is relatively straightforward to navigate, and our Information Pack will make travelling around the city a breeze.
Day 4: Tokyo Disneyland
Enjoy the dreams and magic of the seven different themed lands in Tokyo Disneyland for one day! By day, experience the fantastic rides and attractions. By night, enjoy the superb Electric Parade.
Day 5: Tokyo at leisure
Enjoy a further day of exploring in Tokyo. You may wish to visit the futuristic district of Odaiba located in Tokyo Bay. Spend time gaming at Sega Joypolis – an indoor gaming theme park. Move on to Leisure Land – a huge entertainment complex complete with more games arcades, bowling alleys, a “ninja illusion house” and much more. Nearby is Toyota Megaweb – a gigantic car showroom featuring cars of the past as well as the future.
Day 6: Tokyo to Miyajima
(Start Using your 7 Day Japan Rail Pass)
It’s time to say goodbye to Tokyo for a few days and speed on the Bullet Train to Hiroshima. Make the short trip by ferry to the lovely island of Miyajima. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and fantastic views of the o-torii of Itsukushima Shrine, one of the most famous sights in Japan. By late afternoon the day-trippers will have left the island, and you will spend a magical evening in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) where a delicious Japanese dinner and breakfast are included for 2 nights.
Day 7: Miyajima at leisure
Spend the day exploring Miyajima Island. Board the cable car to the top of Mt Misen for great views of the surrounding area. There is also the wonderful aquarium to visit.
Day 8: Hiroshima to Kyoto
Enjoy the morning in the lovely surroundings of your ryokan before heading back to Hiroshima to visit the moving city of Hiroshima. The Atomic Bomb Dome and the moving Peace Memorial Park and Museum are sights not to be missed. Board the Bullet Train again to Kyoto, the soul of Japan. A rich history of religion, art and craft have combined to make this glorious city a spiritual home for the Japanese. For temples we recommend Kiyomizu-dera and Ginkaku-ji in the hills to the east of the city. Nijo Castle is also well worth a visit, and make sure you allow yourself plenty of time for the wonderful craft shops and delightful streets of Gion, the old geishaquarter. You will stay in a comfortable, spotless hotel in the heart of Kyoto for 4 nights on a bed and breakfast basis.
Day 9: Kyoto
Enjoy a day of sightseeing in Kyoto by coach. The tour will visit Nijo Castle, Kinkaku-ji (The Golden Temple) and the Imperial Palace. After lunch you head to Heian Shrine built to commemorate the 1,100th anniversary of the founding of Kyoto, before visiting the impressive Sanjusangen-do Temple, home to 1,030 unique standing Buddhist statues. Your final stop on the tour will be the UNESCO world heritage site Kiyomizu Temple. Perched precariously on a cliff top you will get to see a panoramic view of Kyoto city from the broad wooden veranda.Lunch Included
Day 10: Nara
Enjoy an afternoon of sightseeing by coach to the nearby town of Nara. Sights to be seen include Todaiji Temple – the largest wooden building in the world – containing the Great Buddha.
Day 11: Kyoto at leisure
Visit Toei Movieland – a movie studio where you can watch samurai/ninja dramas being made. Other attractions include a Haunted House, a Ninja Mystery House, the chance to dress up as samurai as well as lots of shows. Alternatively you may wish to venture a bit further afield and visit Arashiyama which is in the western part of Kyoto. Here you can take a brisk walk up a small mountain where you can see and feed wild monkeys and be rewarded with a beautiful view over Kyoto. Then make your way back down, where you can explore Gozu river in your very own rowing boats and take a walk through the serene bamboo forest
Day 12: Kyoto to Tokyo
Return to Tokyo by Bullet train for one night prior to departure. The journey takes less than 3 hours, leaving you plenty of time to enjoy the morning in Kyoto. Enjoy your final evening in the capital of manga, anime, shopping, eating and people-watching. You will stay in a comfortable, spotless hotel in the heart of Kyoto for a night.
Day 13: Depart Japan
Transfer from your hotel to Narita International Airport (Tokyo) by limousine bus.
Return to the UK (arrive same day).
Home to over 12 million people, the vast metropolis of Japan’s capital must be seen to be believed. Tokyo embraces the modern and ancient like no other city on earth and offers something for everyone who wants to delve into the Japanese phenomenon: the towering skyscrapers and frenzied neon of Shinjuku, the pop culture and gadget paradise of Akihabara, the sophisticated chic of Ginza, the biggest and liveliest fish market in the world, the old downtown area of Asakusa, and the tranquil, understated beauty of Meiji Shrine. Not to mention superb restaurants and great bars as well as fabulous shopping and museums befitting the capital of the world’s second-largest economy.
Kyoto is where you will find the Japan of silent temples nestling in bamboo groves, gardens of finely raked sand and bewitching geisha. This city is home to over 2,000 temples and shrines, exquisite crafts and some of the best cuisine in the country. In short, Kyoto is the heartbeat of traditional Japan.
Not to be missed are Kinkaku-ji, Ginkaku-ji and Kiyomizu temples, although be aware that these do become crowded. For a more peaceful, intimate temple experience we recommend the temple complex of Daitoku-ji, in particular Daisen-in sub-temple, and the Arashiyama area to the west of the city.
Hiroshima, Miyajima Island
The Torii at MiyajimaHiroshima is an attractive, cosmopolitan city which has risen from the ashes of the world’s first atomic bomb attack on 6 August 1945. The hypocentre of the explosion is now the Peace Memorial Park, a beautiful expanse of greenery housing monuments to the tragedy. The park is flanked by the A-Bomb Dome, the former Industrial Promotion Hall which is the only surviving building from the blast, and the Peace Memorial Museum which tells of the bomb and the devastation of Hiroshima.
A superb network of trams will transport you around the city to some of Hiroshima’s other attractions, namely Hiroshima Castle and Hiroshima Museum of Art. You can also take a ferry across to the scenic Miyajima Island.
Japan Rail Pass
The JR Pass allows you almost unlimited travel for 7/14/21 days on all Japan Rail lines throughout the country. It allows you to travel on the world-famous Bullet Train (Shinkansen) as well as the popular ferry from Hiroshima to Miyajima.
Not included in Price
BRONZE PACKAGE (Standard Accommodation)
from £6,575 per family (2 adults & 2 children*)
SILVER PACKAGE (Superior Accommodation)
from £8,275 per family (2 adults & 2 children*)
GOLD PACKAGE (Deluxe Accommodation)
from £11,895 per family (2 adults & 2 children*)
*To qualify for the child’s price, children must be aged 11 and under during the period of travel in Japan.
All price estimates are based on current rates of exchange and are subject to availability and exclude the blackout holiday period of Obon in Japan which takes place between 11-15 August 2017 and other Japanese national Holidays.
To make a booking, a deposit of £200 per person is required. The balance of the price of the trip must be made 12 weeks prior to departure.