Japan is definitely an ideal destination for a family with children to spend a summer vacation, and it is also a popular destination for a son/daughter’s birthday or graduation gift.
Summer (June to August) is the festival season in Japan with various festival celebrations and awesome firework shows. Though it’s hot and humid in summer, Japan has lower costs and plenty of air-conditioned facilities offering urban/cultural experiences.
You could experience climbing magnificent Mount Fuji, explore an animation theme park or technology museum, do fun outdoor sports and in cool mountain areas, learn how to make sushi in a local home, feed lovely deer in Nara, and try on kimonos for family photos.
Do I Need a Visa to Go to Japan?
Japan restored its visa-waiver system from October 11th, 2022. If your country is on the Japan visa exemption list, like Australia, Canada, USA, UK and almost all European nations, you can visit Japan for 90 days (in most cases) without applying for a visa in advance.
What’s the Weather Like in Summer in Japan?
Summer in Japan is from June to August and the weather is hot and humid. The rainy season peaks from June to mid-July, but the rainfall only comes on around 12 days/month and rarely lasts a full day, so it wouldn’t affect your journey much.
The average daily temperature range for summer is from 20–32°C (66–88°F), and the average rainfall is around 150–200 mm (6–8 inches) — high moderate.
Abundant indoor activities in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka’s air-conditioned venues are unaffected by the hot weather conditions and moderate rainfall.
Summer is suitable for family-friendly outdoor sports and escaping the heat in mountain areas like Takayama and Karuizawa.
June is a relatively cooler month compared to July and August. We suggest you to come in June if you want to avoid heat and meet less travelers, but still have warm weather and moderate prices. Read more weather details about June, July and August>>>
Suggested reading: How Long Should You Spend in Japan>>>
98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+
Wonderful 10 day trip in Japan!!!
Well planned trip by Alisa . Everything was well scheduled, guides and drivers were excellent!! The cars were extremely comfortable and the hotel she chose for us was beautiful!! Enjoyed planning with her she was very professional and always offered other choices.More
Lianne Stone, May 2023
11 days trip to Japan
I am planning my trip to Japan in November with Sharon's help and she has provided amazing customer service.She is very responsive and put together very quickly an incredible plan for 11 days in Japan. She provided recommendations and made changes based on our interests and budget. She also provided information about visa restrictions and the best way to get tickets for transportation services. Thanks so much Sharon, looking forward to this trip!More
LE, May 2023
Hi Cathy! I just want to thank you for making our Japan trip so much fun & memorable! We loved everything that you had scheduled for us! All the guides and drivers were great & punctual! We love Japan so much that we’re planning to go back next year to different part of Japan! We’ll definitely contact Asia Highlights for our trip again! SereneMore
Serene Storslett, May 2023
Quick, easy and detailed service
Alisa was our advisor from Asia highlights and she prepared for us a wonderful 28 day trip to Japan, taking into consideration our needs and desire not to be traveling everyday and to have a mixture of slow and busy days. We've not yet taken our trip, but very much looking forward to it Thank you Alisa for the quick response and wonderful itineraryMore
Lynette Whittle, Apr 2023
Sharon Huang did an excellent job in planningour 15 day Cherry Blossom Japan tour. Shewas available during our trip to answer our questions and readily agreed to the itinerary changes.Everything was arranged - accommodation,breakfast, guide, car, entrance fees and train tickets. The guides were knowledgeable, and managed the tour very efficiently. The drivers were punctual and very patient. We visited must see places in and near Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima. We also got to experience Japanese Tea ceremony, Sushi making, Sake tasting, shopping etc.We highly recommend Asia Highlights for your travel needs.More
Madhu, Apr 2023
I organized a trip to Japan for my
I organized a trip to Japan for my parents who don’t speak English and Alisa was so amazing helping make an itinerary for them. They needed a Spanish guide and she coordinated everything so they wouldn’t have any trouble when they got there. She was so patient changing and adjusting the itinerary to their needs and wants, it’s been a total pleasure working with her and she always responds promptly to any question I have. I definitely recommend this company and if you can ask to work with Alisa.More
Luisa, Apr 2023
Trip to Japan. I have had the pleasure to book with…
For the reasons above, I decided to book again with Asia highlights for our trip to Japan this year in September. Until now it’s been a pleasure dealing with Albee Ning. She was so efficient and pleasant in adjusting our itinerary. Whenever I had any questions I could count on her to answer promptly. I am very lucky to have her as our organiser for our future trip to Japan. I have had the pleasure to book with Asia Highlights when we went to China in 2018. We were extremely satisfied with the exceptional services rendered by our organiser, Robert Hui and private guide William.More
Mrs Cristina Hidalgo Loris, Apr 2023
Albee Ning and Asia Highlights - wonderful to work with.
I and my daughter planned a trip to China and Japan. We worked with Albee Ning who was fantastic in developing a itinerary based on our desires and needs. She was extremely responsive, taking into account all of our requests and worked closely with us, it wasn't just selecting from one of several pre-developed itineraries. We decided to postpone the trip until next year and received the guaranteed refund, minus a small deposit on next years trip. We look forward to working with her again on next years trip and trips in the future. We highly recommend Asia Highlights and Albee NingMore
Nancy K, Apr 2023
Handcrafted tour of Japan by Asia Highlights
My initial inquiry to this company (based in China) was answered in under 10 hours by an amazing travel consultant, named Alisa. She is such a professional in the ways she conducts herself and serves her clients. Alisa is a great communicator and listener. She is very open to requests for additional experiences which require research on her part to arrange. Alisa also provides very detailed information about each experience, location, guides, private car transfers, trains, hotels. This approach is very appealing since detailed communication is so useful and important to me. Alisa also makes the process simple and easy to follow. Answered tons of questions and created the perfect tour for us. We are looking forward to this once in a lifetime visit to Japan and are so grateful we have had the chance to work with Alisa at Asia Highlights!More
Laurie Lee, Feb 2023
Great Overall Experience
Our guide in Tokyo, Fuki, was outstanding. We saw things we would never have otherwise seen, if Fuki had not been there.More
Todd Hankinson, Dec 2022
Plenty of options and personalized tours as needed
Monica Mo was very helpful from the beginning after I enquired about my travel plans to Japan. She listened with understanding and took careful notes and clarified things to make sure she got everything.More
Ginybel Belgira, Sep 2022
Asia Highlights especially Ms. Kanae Chida superb
Asia Highlights and particularly our Tokyo guide, Ms. Kanae Chida, were the best. When Kanae met us, she asked for details of what we wished to see and she constructed an outstanding combination of visits for the day.More
Geoff Rayner-Canham, May 2019
I have arranged a 27 day tour of China, Japan and Hong Kong China
Peggie's English is impeccable and she uses lots of nuances which usually only a native English speaker would know. I have found her very prompt in responding to emails and her knowledge is terrific.More
Ailsa West, Jul 2018
Very professional, great customer service
We travelled to Japan this May (2018). We had contacted Asia Highlights to organise our trip for us. Miss Peggie Lyoo was very helpful, super-friendly, very professional and very prompt with all her replies!More
Tibor Marton, May 2018
Great job!! We had an amazing vacation to Japan. We will use Asian highlights for all of our trips to AsiaMore
Joe, May 2018
In addition, I want to specifically mention the guides provided in certain locations. Rum, in Siem Reap, made the most memorable experience possible. His positivity was contagious - even when it felt like 1000 degrees and we were tired. He brought it all to life, and created a couple days of Ankor Wat, etc. that we will never forget! He heard my daughter's request for specific Cambodian food, and changed our itinerary to go to a village and eat at a locally known shop. He brought the dessert she asked about to us in the car! Overall, he and his driver "Lucky" were a reason to go to Siem Reap. In addition, the other guides (minus one which was switched out immediately) were stupendous. Mon in Bangkok was friendly and provided a great day there; Eak in Chiang Mai gave us a world-class food-tour and day touring the city and its surrounding temples with lots of laughs; Tommy in Hanoi kept us from getting killed in the traffic and gave a stupendous food and architecture/history tour - so very friendly and funny; the fishing village tour in Hoi An, as well as the side-car tour in Saigon, were both unforgettable! Thank you Sharon, and Asia Highlights. Would definitely use again for future trips!More
Teri Simpson, Apr 2023
Cambodia and Vietnam adventure!
Our guide in Cambodia, Meas Darapolaith (Pol), was absolutely amazing. He was knowledgeable, friendly and so helpful. His English was excellent and he shared important insights about history and the magnificent sites we visited. We highly recommend him!More
Jennifer Roth Krieger, Apr 2023
My daughter and I wanted to discover SE…
My daughter and I wanted to discover SE Asia. Being the first in that region, we wanted to use a tour service company. We ended up using Asia Highlights. From the beginning we were impressed with their services. We left home with of mind because all the pre-travel arrangements were taking care and communicate to us efficiently. All our questions were answered promptly. Once in the countries, we were welcome by our excellent tour guides. Everything was taking care for us. We did not have one issue. They selected the right tours guides for us, they were highly knowledgeable and so much attentive to our needs. We had Dhat in Vietnam and Borin in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I highly recommend Asia Highlights. I came back home so much rested, and with plenty of wonderful pictures and memories. I will definitely use Asia Highlights again for my next trip to Asia.More
Isabelle Dessaux, Apr 2023
Fabulous tour and guide in Cambodia
We have been touring Cambodia, guided by Borin ( and driver 007) for the last 2 days. What a fabulous experience! Borin has been a wonderful guide, the best so far in Southeast Asia, explaining the history and culture of Cambodia through his tours of the temples in and around Angkor, as well as the Landmine museum. He has answered all our questions, made sure we were comfortable, and that we have had great food. 007 made sure we always had enough water and cool towels for our face/neck.We highly recommend Borin as a tour guide for Cambodia!!More
Monica, Mar 2023
Best Travel Service for Asia Travel
Alisa Liu was in charge of making the arrangements and she helped us from the start to make all of the arrangements and also helped us when we had questions and requested some adjustments. Her service is of the highest professional level. We are 100% confident that our trip will be perfect. We’re also 100% confident that, if anything comes up during our trip, that Alisa will be there to guide us through and take care of us. We won’t even consider using another agency for travel around Asia and we would like to have Alisa work for us again.More
Leo Pospichal, Mar 2023
5 Recommended Places to Visit in Japan in Summer
Here are some recommended destinations that offer a blend of cultural experiences, historical buildings, natural wonders, and family-friendly activities.
1) Tokyo: Modernity and Anime Center
Tokyo is a place where centuries-old history meets modernity. Undoubtedly it is Japan’s must-visit city in any season, especially for first-timers, known for its food, temples, high-tech museums, anime theme parks, and proximity to Mount Fuji.
In summer, you could enjoy Tokyo’s charming summer festivals, gorgeous fireworks, and go to climb nearby Mount Fuji (open only from July to early September).
Summer heat needn’t be a big problem in Tokyo. We can arrange a rich array of indoor activities in air-conditioned places, like making sushi at a local home, visiting the Pokemon Center, and exploring the science museums.
Suggested reading: The Top 6 Day Trips from Tokyo>>>
2) Kyoto: Ancient Capital & Authentic Ryokans
Kyoto is the best city for getting to know traditional Japanese culture. It’s a culturally-rich city famous for geishas, ryokans, tea ceremonies, cute deer, and more. A ryokan (traditional inn) is one of the top experiences you should not miss in Kyoto where you can sleep on a cozy tatami and sample high-class kaiseki (time-honored multi-course cuisine).
Arashiyama and Kamogawa River are good places to cool off near Kyoto. You can enjoy cool breezes in Arashiyama's bamboo forest or beat the summer heat by dipping your feet into the Kamogawa River.
We could arrange for you to have an afternoon tea with geishas, which would help you to have a deeper understanding of Japanese culture — that while avoiding the hottest sun in the afternoon.
Contact our travel advisors and we can arrange it for you.
3) Osaka: The Flourishing Port City & Universal Studios
Osaka is Japan’s second-largest city and a prosperous port city, famous for its authentic street food.
Osaka has the only Super Nintendo World theme park in Japan, which is located at Universal Studios. It’s a great place for a family with kids: not only you can see the surreally wonderful game world, but also you can play interactive games in the motion-sensing facilities on the park.
To get away from the summer heat, you could head to Osaka’s family-friendly and air-conditioned places. For example, see a great variety of marine life in Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, and make bespoke cup noodles based on your preference in Cup Noodle Museum.
4) Karuizawa: Popular Summer Resort
If you want to find a place to escape the heat, then Karuizawa is a good choice. It’s a small town not far from Tokyo, which is not so hot in summer because it is surrounded by mountains. John Lennon and his wife Yoko went there almost every year for their holidays.
It has stunning views with lush forests, clear waterfalls, rivers, and green mountains. We would like to enable you to get closer to nature by visiting a national park and doing some light hiking there. It’s a summer outdoor activity that’s suitable for nature lovers and especially families with kids.
5) Mount Fuji: Natural Symbol of Japan
Speaking of a natural symbol of Japan, the first thing that comes to mind is spectacular Mount Fuji. As the most iconic mountain in Japan, the only time when it is permitted to climb Mount Fuji is from July to early September. The best place to see Mount Fuji is in Lake Kawaguchi, which is close to Mt. Fuji and only two hours from Tokyo.
Climbing Mount Fuji might be challenging for beginners, but you can choose how high you want to climb. If you get to the top of the mountain, you’ll see amazing scenery, particularly if you climb for a sunrise/sunset.
You enjoy 100% refund of any payments made to Asia Highlights prior to 3 weeks before departure (detail⇒).
Summer Itineraries in Japan: Best 3 Options
Here are three suggested summer itineraries that are well-organized and ideal for family holidays with three popular lengths of holidays (9, 14, and 17 days). We could arrange more hands-on fun activities for children such as sushi-making, ninja craft, and participating in a tea ceremony.
All the cities in the following itinerary are conveniently connected by Shinkansen bullet trains.
1) 9-Day Classic Route: Major Highlights of Japan and a Ryokan Experience
- Tokyo – Lake Kawaguchi – Kyoto – Osaka
This itinerary covers the main highlights of Japan: experience its old-vibe in Asakusa, visit the samurai museum in Tokyo, try on kimonos for a memorable family photo and participate in a classical tea ceremony in Kyoto, visit Mount Fuji or enjoy it from a great vantage point at Lake Kawaguchi, and sample street food in Osaka.
Here is a hand-picked itinerary of classics for you to consider:
- Days 1–3: Tokyo (make sushi, discover samurai, anime, and Disneyland)
- Days 4–5: Lake Kawaguchi (Mount Fuji, stay at a ryokan with an onsen)
- Days 6–8: Kyoto (geishas, Fushimi Inari Shrine, sample sake, and feed deer in Nara)
- Day 9: Osaka (Dotonbori district and Osaka Castle)
Suggested reading: The Top 5 Itineraries for One Week in Japan>>>
2) 14-Day Private Family Route: Learning Through Fun
- Tokyo – Takayama – Hiroshima – Kyoto
With this itinerary, you could visit the major attractions of Japan’s cities and breathe in the fresh mountain air. Experience anime elements and have a full view of the city at Tokyo Tower in Tokyo, enter a traditional folk village in Takayama, cherish peace at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, stay at a cozy ryokan, stroll through the bamboo groves in Kyoto, and have fun at Universal Studios in Osaka.
Here is the summary itinerary for you:
- Days 1–3: Tokyo (Meiji Shrine, Tsukiji Market, Pokemon Center, and Akihabara)
- Days 4–5: Takayama (Hida Folk Village, sample sake and Hida beef)
- Days 6–7: Hiroshima and Miyajima (Peace Memorial Park and the ‘Floating Torii Gate’)
- Days 8–11: Kyoto (geisha, ryokan, Nijo Castle, feed deer in Nara, and wander through the lush bamboo groves in Arashiyama)
- Days 12–14: Osaka (Cup Noodle Museum, Super Nintendo World, and Universal Studios)
Suggested reading: 2-Week Japan Itineraries for Family/Couple>>>
3) 17-Day Summer Family Vacation: Hands-on Experiences and Outdoor Activities
- Tokyo – Kamakura – Kawaguchiko – Karuizawa – Nagoya – Kyoto – Osaka
To take a good break from work and school, you and your children could spend a wonderful summer trip with the following experiences: immerse yourself in a ninja experience in Tokyo, take a light hike close to nature in Karuizawa, and have fun in lovely Ghibli Park or full-of-technology Nagoya City Science Museum in Nagoya, have a geisha dinner and feed deer in Kyoto, and make cup noodles in Cup Noodle Museum and enjoy the Osaka Aquarium in Osaka.
Here is the itinerary for your inspiration:
- Days 1–4: Tokyo (sushi-making, ninja experience, MORI Building Digital Art Museum)
- Day 5: Kamakura (giant bronze Buddha and Hasedera Temple)
- Day 6: Lake Kawaguchi (Mount Fuji)
- Days 7–8 Karuizawa (national park and light hiking)
- Days 9–11: Nagoya (Ghibli Park, Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, and SCMAGLEV and Railway Park)
- Days 12–14: Kyoto (geisha, Gion District, Kinkakuji Temple, Nishiki Market, Arashiyama, and feed deer in Nara)
- Days 15–17: Osaka (Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, Cup Noodle Museum, and Osaka Museum of Housing and Living)
Suggested reading: 3-Week Japan Itineraries: The 2 Smart Options>>>
How to Avoid Crowds on a Summer Trip in Japan
Japan’s school summer holidays are usually in July and August. So, crowds are predicted then, especially in popular destinations like Tokyo and Kyoto.
To avoid crowds and hotter temperatures, the smarter choice is to travel in June if you have the flexibility to take time off when Japan’s summer vacations haven’t yet started.
We’d also help you avoid crowds as much as possible, planning a crowd-avoiding itinerary for you, choosing less-crowded times of the day and arranging off-the-beaten-track places. You can just tell us your preferences and requirements and our travel consultant will customize a tour for you.
How Much Does a Japan Summer Trip Cost?
Japan rivals Europe both in terms of facilities and service standards, which means that travel in Japan costs more than in China or in Southeast Asian countries.
US$400 (and above) per person per day is the typical cost for a private tour with 4-star hotels, based on a group of 2–4 people. This includes a private guide, private transport, a bespoke itinerary, tickets for attractions, and a hand-picked 4-star hotel. An extra US$100 or more per day is required if you’re looking to stay in 5-star hotels.
Suggested reading: How Much Is a Trip to Japan>>>
Why Travel with Asia Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)
- Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
- Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
- Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.
Get Inspired with Our Sample Itineraries
At Asia Highlights, we create your kind of journey — your dates, your destinations, at your pace. You can have any trip tailor made for your travel.