From its famous natural sights like cherry blossoms and Mount Fuji, to its cutting-edge technology and mouth-watering cuisine, Japan is a magical destination to discover for adults and children alike.
When we think of family holidays we tend to imagine all-inclusive resorts with kids’ clubs and a sandy beach a stone’s throw away. But for the more intrepid parents among us, there’s no reason why youngsters should stifle our wanderlust. If you’ve got children with an adventurous streak and are looking to introduce them to a far-away culture in exotic climes, then the Land of the Rising Sun certainly fits the bill. We’ve dug deep and picked out 5 of the best Japan family tours currently on offer.
Japan Family Journey: From Ancient to Modern Times Tour (11 days)
This guided city sightseeing tour will see you travel through imperial Kyoto, dazzling Tokyo and the mountain city of Nagano. From its electrifying neon-lit neighbourhoods to tranquil hilltop temples, you and your family will discover why Japan is a veritable feast for the senses. Over 11 days, you’ll find yourselves immersed in Japanese culture, as you take part in authentic experiences like wandering Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, and watch wild snow monkeys bathe in hot springs. There’ll also be the chance to practice sumo wrestling and samurai swordplay, take part in a traditional taiko drumming class, and sample wasabi-infused culinary concoctions. From $4,440 per person.
Japan Family Holiday Small-Group Tour (12 days)
Gather up the brood and embark on an adventure through Japan on this 12-day small-group family tour. From the houses of ancient emperors to technological gizmos, the tour packs in the very best thing to see and do as a family, plus plenty of time to kick back and relax. Highlights include learning the art of calligraphy in Tokyo, feasting on sushi at the famous Tsukiji Fish Market, riding the Hakone ropeway for views of Mt Fuji and immersing yourself in Japanese culture in Kyoto. With the local expertise of your guide to draw on at every step of the way, this is a family holiday to remember. From $4,157 per person.
Asakusa, Tokyo’s #1 Family Food Tour (3 hours)
Every guidebook will tell you that the Asakusa area of Tokyo is a “must see”, but this foodie-themed tour invites you to get off the beaten track and discover hidden spots and culinary treats that most tourists will never find. Over three hours, you’ll travel back in time as you see rickshaws, red lanterns and nostalgic spots reminiscent of Asakuka’s entertainment culture during Japan’s samurai era. A local expert will share fascinating stories that make the district come alive in your imagination. You’ll also sample an array of local delicacies as you walk the rustic streets, such as must-try melon pan (melon bread) – one of Japan’s best-kept secrets. From $162 per person.
Splendours of Japan Tour (9 days)
Starting in the beguiling capital of Tokyo and ending in the large port city of Osaka, this 9-day tour allows you to discover the splendours of Japan. Highlights include visiting the old-time Tokyo entertainment centre of Asakusa, where you’ll encounter the colourful Sensoji Buddhist Temple, a trip to Oshino Hakkai, a small rural village in the Fuji Five Lakes district, renowned for its eight natural spring water ponds that are fed by melted snow from Mt. Fuji, and journeying back in time in the peaceful UNESCO-listed Gokayama, a mountain village set amidst five valleys. The tour ends with a farewell dinner in Kyoto with your guide and fellow guests. From $4,526 per person.
Iconic Japan Tour (12 days)
In Japan, tradition and modernity are celebrated side-by-side in ways that often appear contradictory, and this tour invites you to immerse yourself in this intriguing culture, beginning in sprawling Tokyo. You’ll then head by rail into the countryside to visit traditional villages and tranquil shrines, explore quaint geisha districts and inspiring gardens, savour the fresh flavours of Japanese cuisine, and get a glimpse of the ancient soul of this fascinating, futuristic country. There’ll also be the chance to ride a ferry to Miyajima to see the famous floating torii, and learn the art of meditation from a local monk. From $5,124 per person.