The past and the future collide in present-day Japan on this eye-opening 11-day family adventure. It begins with a 2-day tour of the neon-bright streets of Tokyo that hits the city’s wonders, both modern and ancient. Later on, you’ll learn the secrets of the ninja in historic Uenoshi, explore shrines and wildlife parks in Nara and take a quiet moment to reflect in the peaceful grounds of Hiroshima Memorial Park. Rich with new experiences, exotic cuisine and compelling history, Japan appeals to the teenager in all of us. Bring yours!
- Experience the past in Kyoto's historic centre and the shrines of Nara
- Explore Kanazawa Castle
- Lose yourself in the picturesque Kenroku-en Garden and the 'Ninja' Temple
- Marvel at iconic Mt Fuji and Miyajima's floating Torii Gate.
- Duration: 11 days
- Start/Finish City: Tokyo to Osaka
- Service Level: Upgraded
- All the adventure you want, with a softer landing
- Handpicked, character-rich accommodations with upgraded amenities services
- Upgraded and private transport, including flights to maximize time
- More included meals, activities and transfers
- Physical Grading: 2
- There'll be some light walking and hiking. Suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
- Travel Style: Family
- Trips built for adventurers of all ages
Just because you’ve settled down and had kids doesn't mean your adventuring days are through. Family trips explore exciting locales — Tanzania, Thailand, the Galápagos, Europe and more — with age-appropriate activities and hotels that know how to cater to families on the move.
- Trip Type: Small Group
- Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.
Day 1 Tokyo
Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is one of the most modern cities in the world. It seems that every person on the streets has the latest version of everything. Ginza, is full of department stores selling the latest fashions, Akihabara is the place to try the latest new gadgets before they become available in the West and Shinjuku is the fast paced nightlife area. However, if you look under the glossy surface, Tokyo is still very traditional.
Ladies still wear kimonos around town, people go to temples like Senso-ji to say a few prayers on their way to work and couples get married in their traditional wedding gowns in the beautiful grounds around the Meiji Shrine. In spring, couples, families and friends sit beneath trees sipping sake and admiring the cherry blossoms. Catch a performance of the traditional Kabuki plays in the park or, if you are fortunate enough, see the Sumo wrestlers throw each other out of the ring during one of the few ‘Bashos’ held each year.
The trip itinerary does not include much time in Tokyo, so if your aim is to explore Tokyo in depth, please factor that into your personal travel time allotment.
Days 2-3 Tokyo (2B)
Day 4 Hakone
Day 5 Tsumago/Nagoya (1B)
Day 6 Uenoshi/Kyoto (1B)
From here we continue to Kyoto for the night.
Day 7 Kyoto (1B)
Day 8 Nara/Kyoto (1B)
After a day here, we return to Kyoto for the evening.
Day 9 Hiroshima (1B)
Since that time, Hiroshima has become a peace-promoting city hoping for the day when all nuclear weapons are abolished. A walk through the Peace Park, visiting the Monument to the Children, remembering Sadoko and her Thousand Paper Cranes, a moment in front of Gembaku Dome, the frame of the building which was nearly directly under the explosion, and a visit to the Peace Museum are forceful reminders of the power humans hold and the direction we can turn it.
We will also take a trip together to Miyajima Island, famed as one of Japan's most scenic spots, where you will have a free afternoon to explore. You will see the famous floating Torii Gate, set out in the bay, which glows extraordinarily at sunset. The island is dotted with shrines and temples, populated by deer and monkeys, and traversed with hiking trails for those who want to get the blood flowing. There are also lanes full of souvenirs and tasty treats. You can visit Miyajima at your own pace.
Day 10 Hiroshima/Kyoto (1B, 1D)
Day 11 Osaka (1B)
Kinkaku-ji Temple, Nijo Castle, Excursion to Miyajima Island, Tokyo Tower, Imperial Palace Plaza and Nijubashi Bridge, Meiji Jingu Shrine, Harajyuku & Shibuya district, Ginza, Asakusa Kannon Temple & Nakamise Shopping Arcade, Hakone, Ueno ninja museum, Nara sightseeing, Hiroshima peace park, airport transfers
Experience the past in Kyoto's historic centre and the shrines of Nara, explore Kanazawa Castle, lose yourself in the picturesque Kenroku-en Garden and the 'Ninja' Temple, marvel at iconic Mt Fuji and Miyajima's floating Torii Gate.
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
MT. FUJI CLIMBING SEASON is as follows.
From July 1 - August 27 - Groups will spend 1 night in Kawaguchiko and 1 night on Mt Fuji in simple guesthouse accommodation and climb to the top.
From May 1-Jun 30/Aug 28-Nov 1 - Groups will spend spend 2 nights in Kawaguchiko and drive to Station 5 and hike down the mountain (not up!)
From Nov 2 - April 30 - It is not possible to climb Mt Fuji as buses do not run up the mountain. Trips will spend 2 days in Kawaguchiko and do walks around the 5 lake region.
Please note that only foreigners traveling as a tourist are able to use a Japan Rail Pass. If you are a Japanese citizen/resident or traveling on a student/business visa please advise us at time of booking as you will not be able to take advantage of the Rail pass.
Group Leader Description
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officer (CEO). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.
While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.
Group Size Notes
Max 20, avg 12
10 breakfasts, 1 dinner
Eating is a big part of traveling. G Adventures knows that worldwide, local cuisines define the cultures. We think sampling regional delicacies are intrinsic to truly experiencing the country. We want you to be able to try foods according to your individual tastes, comforts, and budgets.
Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility. At times, meals will be taken together as a group. Other times, your CEO will point you in the direction of several delicious options, and you will have free time to pick and choose at will. Often in Japan it is fun to get some snacks and beverages with the salarymen in the evenings at small restaurants, and other times it is fun to sit with a few friends at a sushi train.
Your CEO will always strive to cater for all dietary requirements/preferences, but please keep in mind that Vegetarianism/Veganism is very uncommon in Japan so this may mean a more limited selection for you.
Please refer to the Meals Included and Budget Information for information regarding included meals on your trip. Japan's kitchen is at your fingertips!
Allow USD300-350 per person for meals not included.
Bullet train, tram, taxi, ferry, public bus, galleon, walking.
About our Transportation
On our tours in Japan we use public transport, making use of Japan's world famous transport system. From the super fast Shinkansen Bullet Train to Kyoto's extensive local bus network, we ride with the locals.
There are no internal flights on this trip itinerary.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hotels (9 nts), traditional inns (1 nt).
My Own Room
The My Own Room option is available on this tour, please inquire at time of booking.
Accommodation for family trips has been chosen to give the best location and facilities for your family. They may vary depending on the location and destination, but designed to give the most comfortable experience while travelling.
You and your family will generally be sharing rooms on a twin or triple share basis. These rooms will be either adjoining or located at close proximity to each other.
Families will be roomed together and not with other families everywhere we stay. If you have any special hotel requests at the time of booking, let us know and we will do what we can to accommodate them.
A mix of Western style hotels (9 nights) and Japanese traditional inns (1 night).
Japan is one of the most populous countries in the world and space is at a premium. Therefore, hotels rooms are small! Additionally, most Japanese hotels do not have designating non smoking rooms. Therefore, we ask hotels to deoderise rooms before check in.
All Comfort Trips include Arrival Transfer.
**Please note, the arrival transfer included occurs on Day 1 of the tour. If you plan to arrive prior to Day 1, you will be required to arrange pre-tour accommodation through G Adventures to be eligible for the transport from the airport. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous.
Airport Limousine bus
There are frequent limousine buses between Narita Airport and Shinagawa Prince Hotel. Price is 3,000yen, and takes approx. 90min.
Narita Express train
A direct airport train runs frequently from Narita Airport station to Shinagawa station. Price is 2,910yen, and takes approx. 75min.
On arrival at the station you need to use the Takanawa Exit, the Shinagawa Prince Hotel is directly across the street.
If the Narita Express train is scheduled to finish at Tokyo station then you need to get off the Narita Express train and change over to one of the JR Rail trains. The easiest train line to use in Tokyo is the Yamanote Circle Line which is bright green in color. Once on the Yamanote line platform you need to get on the platform side marked for Shinagawa, Shibuya and Shinjuku stations. The trains run every 2 minutes so you will never be waiting long. Once you reach Shinagawa station use the Takanawa Exit to get to the hotel.
At first glance you will think that the Tokyo train stations are completely chaotic and always filled with people. So take your time and read the signs as they are written in English and if you get lost just ask any of the train station staff who are always happy to help you find your way.
*Please note: in the airport you can receive a free wifi card that will work for 14 days while in Japan. Just present your passport at the kiosk in the airport.
We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Office (Japan)
During office hours, Mon-Fri 9:30-18:00 Local Time
From outside Japan: +81 3 5796 5421
From within Japan: 03 5796 5421
After office hours emergency number
Mr. Jack Kumada - Senior Sales Manager:
From outside Japan: +81 90 5495 5226
From within Japan: 090 5495 5226
Mr. Kota Yoshii - Sales Manager:
From outside Japan: +81 80-1176-3323
From within Japan: 080-1176-3323
Mr. Tomohiro Fukuda - General Manager
From outside Japan: +81 90-4733-0721
From within Japan: 090-4733-0721
G Adventures Asia Manager: Julie Fitzgerald
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time)
From outside Thailand: +66 2 381 5574
From within Thailand: 02 381 5574
After hours emergency number (SE Asia Manager)
From outside Thailand: +66 87 049 6074
From within Thailand: 087 049 6074
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as you are expected to carry your own luggage. Our trips in Japan use public transport and and most transport has limited luggage storage space.
You will also be walking with your luggage in busy public train stations to catch connecting trains, so it is highly recommended that you travel light and have easy to handle luggage and capable of walking up and down the stairs with your luggage without any assistance. A large bag will be an inconvenience to you and will slow you down!
We recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 10-15kg/22-30lb. Suitcases are not recommended for G Adventures trips! Most travellers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. You will also need a day-pack/rucksack to carry daily essentials like water, cameras, passport, i-pods etc.
Small backpack or luggage on wheels is best for this trip as there is a lot of walking involved.
Passport (with photocopies)
Travel insurance (with photocopies)
Airline tickets (with photocopies)
Cash and debit card (see personal spending money)
G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
Day pack for daily personal items
Sun hat, Sun block, Sun glasses
Toiletries (soap and shampoo are provided in all accommodation)
Sport sandals or other easy to slip on/off shoes (for temple visits)
Long trousers (and shorts in April - November)
Warm clothes for Nov-March
First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, aspirin, band aids, anti-histamine, imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking).
Mt. Fuji climb (if applicable):
Waterproof jacket and trousers
Warm hat and gloves
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels but this is very expensive. Your leader can show you self service coin laundries in larger cities. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveler.
The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. For the most up to date information please check your governments foreign ministry website or with you travel agent as rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself.
For most travelers there will probably be a Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country.
JAPAN: Most nationalities receive A 90-DAY PERMIT ON ARRIVAL
Detailed Trip Notes
Travel in Japan is easy, clean, fast and efficient, however please be aware that English is still not widely spoken, however a lot of patience, a sense of humour and a respect for the local culture goes a long way in any Asian country and will greatly enrich your experience.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
As currency exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com. As of April 2011 the exchange rate for JAPAN was 1 USD = 80 (Japanese Yen).
Every Post Office and 7-11 Convenience store has an ATM machine that accepts Visa, Mastercard and Debit Cards. At times, Maestro/Master Card/Cirrus have been problematic at these machines, so please bring a back-up card.
Credit Cards should not be relied upon for purchases as they are not widely accepted, except in some restaurants and department stores. Money can be exchanged at Post Offices and some banks and hotels in major cities, however it can be a very slow process.
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
Departure Tax is included in all International and Domestic tickets.
Tipping is not practiced in Japan. Leaving money at restaurants, in taxis etc will simply cause confusion!
Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is highly appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $5 USD per person, per day can be used.
We suggest you bring along USD50 for additional sightseeing.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical information pertaining to the country you are travelling to well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as a full supply of any personal medical requirements. In Asia, you will not find the same drugs as you get at home. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities. Also note that for legal reasons our Leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if, in the reasonable opinion of the CEO, they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Trip Specific Safety
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org
Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.
To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)
In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples, mosques or other holy sites.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that you'll receive a special discount code for free online prints and we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at email@example.com and we will send it on to you.
Travel Forum - The Watering Hole
Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.
14 day Japan Rail Pass now included in the price of the trip.
Minimum age of 6 years for this trip. Please see the activities for any specific minimum age requirements.
This trip is recommended for children aged 7-11 years old.