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Japan Family Adventure


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Enter a magical land of shrines, temples, tea and more during this nine-day family vacation through Japan, an archipelago comprising more than 6,800 islands. Explore its vast cultural contrasts, from contemporary city centers with thriving arts scenes and plentiful shopping, to quiet countryside vistas lined with rice paddies. From riding a bullet train to biking past ancient burial mounds, learning ancient paper-making traditions, and visiting the shrines and temples Japan’s geisha capital, your family will experience countless cultural highlights in the Land of the Rising Sun. 

2018 Dates
Dates Adult/Teen Children
(under 12)
06/22 - 07/01 $7,990 $7,690
07/13 - 07/22 $7,990 $7,690
08/03 - 08/12 $7,990 $7,690

Smart Traveler Advantages: book a trip 9 months ahead of the day that you want to leave and get free flight insurance, free cancellation insurance, and a GoPro Hero Session!

Triple Discount: $600 for children under 12 sharing with 2 adults

Groups: Traveling in a party of six or more friends or family members? Call us about our large group discounts.

Alumni Discount: if you are a returning Thomson guest, please subtract $500 per family from these prices.

Price includes: Accommodations based on two to a room, land transportation, most meals & snacks in the vehicle, Comprehensive Travel Insurance.

Days 1-2: Depart Home / Arrive Tokyo

Welcome to Tokyo, the capital of Japan and world’s largest metropolitan area with a population of more than 13 million and the first stop on your family vacation. 

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Tokyo is a shimmering feast for the senses and a perfect introduction to this cultural journey through mainland Japan. See the modern face of Japan where, when looking closely, you can see its ancient reflection staring back at you. From the Tokyo Tower to the crazy fashion and culture of the Harajuku neighborhood it will be a great way for your family to begin your journey.

Days 3-4: Explore "Old Tokyo" / Visit a 7th Century Temple / Ride the Bullet Train to Osaka

Experience Tokyo with a subway ride “back in time” to the “low city,” Asakusa, and visit its most famous attraction, Senso-ji, built in the 7th Century. 

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Senso-ji is a large Buddhist temple with a five-story pagoda dating back to the 7th Century that was rebuilt after its destruction during World War II. Then “fast forward” to modern-day Japan, riding a bullet train to the country’s commercial center, Osaka, to visit its stunning castle and the city’s world-class aquarium, complete with an impressive collection of jellyfish and Japanese spider crabs.

Days 5-6: Cycle Rural Asuka / Visit Kumano Kodo / Eat a Traditional Barbecue Lunch

Enjoy a change of scenery, cycling past mysterious ruins around Asuka, experience part of the Kumano Kodo or Kumano Ancient Trail and eat lunch at a community barbecue. 

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The rural town of Asuka, the first permanent capital of Japan, was founded around the 6th Century by Prince Shotoku after his journey to China. Home to some of the country’s first Buddhist temples and last resting place for the first Emperors of Japan, you’ll cycle past the area’s ancient burial mounds and mysterious stone monuments. Then journey to the Kii Peninsula, visiting part of the network of ancient pilgrimage trails known as the Kumano Kodo or Kumano Ancient Trail. End this leg of the journey with a community barbecue lunch, followed by a lesson in calligraphy to write your name in Japanese Katakana.

Days 7-8: Hike Kumano Kodo Trail / Make Traditional Washi Paper / Explore Kyoto

Kyoto is undoubtedly the cultural hub of Japan, was the former Imperial capital of the country, and the perfect place to end an adventure. 

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Before arriving to Kyoto take a short, scenic hike of Kumano Kodo trail, a sacred pilgrimage route from Kyoto made by Emperors in the 11th Century, now a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the afternoon, use traditional Japanese methods to make washi paper, which we’ll present to priests at the neighboring shrine who will inscribe notes on it, making it a unique souvenir. Finish with a visit to Kyoto, one of the country’s most culturally rich cities, boasting 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Day 9: Visit Arashiyma / Explore Nijo Castle / Enjoy a Special Farewell Dinner

This last full day of your family vacation includes a trip to Arashiyama’s legendary bamboo grove and a visit to Nijo Castle. 

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Explore Kyoto’s western region of Arashiyama, a scenic area tucked at the base of the Arashiyama Mountains renowned for its world-famous bamboo grove. In the afternoon, we’ll visit Nijo Castle, the original Kyoto residence for the Tokugawa Shoguns in the 17th century that’s known for its innovative nightingale floors, which “sing” to warn of intruders. In the evening, celebrate with a farewell dinner with the group before preparing to return home. 

Day 10: Depart Kyoto / Arrive Home

This is the last day of your Japanese family adventure. Head to the airport for your trip home!

Shiba Park Hotel

Set in the heart of Tokyo near four major train and subway stations, The Shiba Park Hotel provides convenient access to numerous city sights. Offering comfortable rooms with Wi-Fi, on-site laundry facilities and four restaurants, the hotel will be the ideal spot to begin your family’s Japanese adventure. 

Hotel Monterey Grasmere

Conveniently located in central Osaka, this hotel’s stately rooms were fashioned after a British manor house, evoking the beauty of England’s Lake District. Open since 2009, the hotel offers modern amenities like in-room wifi, as well as four dining areas, including a tea lounge for guests to enjoy tea time or evening drinks. Don’t forget to check out the on-site Sanno Art Museum and the All Saints Church Brock Hampton, a chapel inside the hotel modeled after one in the Cotswolds.

Fujiya Ryokan, Kawayu Onsen

Experience authentic Japan with a stay in a “ryokan,” a traditional Japanese hotel that adheres to traditional customs: living in a room with tatami (straw mat) flooring, and changing into a typical yukata (robe) after taking an onsen hot-spring bath. At night, sleep on comfortable futon (bedding) placed on the tatami-mat floor. But worry not: Rooms also include modern amenities like a refrigerator, television and hair dryer, as well as Wi-Fi.

Kyoto Granvia
A modern architectural masterpiece the Granvia is part of the JR Kyoto Rail Station complex that includes a museum, theater, and sprawling underground shopping mall. The 535 spacious guest rooms are warmly furnished with amenities that include air-conditioning, WiFi, refrigerator, hair dryer, LCD TV. A health club, spa treatment and steam rooms, and eight dining options are also part of this stylish venue.