How to Plan an Incredible Family Trip to Japan in 2024/2025. Learn more.

How to Plan a Japan Summer Trip

By Vicky LengUpdated Jan. 10, 2024

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.

Discover real reviews of Highlights Travel Family's best-rated service across trusted platforms.

Trip Advisor certificate of excellence 2024 tour rating

What's the Weather Like in Summer in Japan?

red traditional light pole in Kyoto Red traditional light pole in Kyoto

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.

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.

2) Kyoto: Ancient Capital & Authentic Ryokans

Feed deer in Nara, Kyoto Feed deer in Nara, Kyoto

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

Super Nintendo World Super Nintendo World

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

Shiraito Waterfall in Karuizawa Shiraito Waterfall in Karuizawa

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

Mount Fuji Mount Fuji

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
japan travel guide

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
japan travel guide

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
japan travel guide

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)

How to Avoid Crowds on a Summer Trip in Japan

Gion district in Kyoto Gion district in Kyoto

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?

cost of Japan

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$ 350-500 per person per day is the typical cost for a private tour with 4-star hotels, based on a family of 3–5 people. This includes a private guide, private transport, a bespoke itinerary, tickets for attractions, and a hand-picked 4-star hotel.

Suggested reading: How Much Is a Trip to Japan>>>

Why Asia Highlights (10,000+ reviews & 98.8% 5-star rating)

  • Save Your Time:
  • Less research, more enjoyment!
  • Real-time 1V1 expert planning
  • Maximize Your Flexibility:
  • Personal local guide and ride
  • Explore at your own pace
  • Celebrate Your Journeys:
  • Specially-crafted family adventures
  • Celebrate milestones with style!

Get Inspired with Some Popular 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.

More Travel Ideas and Inspiration

Start planning your tailor-made tour with 1-1 help from our travel advisors. Create My Trip
4.9 ExcellentTrustPilot rating TrustPilot Logo

Sign up to Our Newsletter

Be the first to receive exciting updates, exclusive promotions, and valuable travel tips from our team of experts.

Click to sign up

Why Asia Highlights

Customize Your Tour

Customize Your Tour

  • Travel Advisors Rooted in Asia
  • Instant Response, No More Waits!
  • Direct Connections, Supreme Values
Maximize Your Flexibility

Maximize Your Flexibility

  • Your own personal guide and ride.
  • Explore at your own pace.
  • Unparalleled flexibility, impossible on a group tour.
Ensure Your Satisfactory

Ensure Your Satisfactory

  • The Top 20% nationwide guides at your service.
  • 20% more space on your group's transportation.
  • 24/7 emergency support.
Celebrate Your Journey

Celebrate Your Journey

  • Family adventures
  • Celebrate milestones with style!
  • Photographer service for special moments

Where Can We Take You Today?

Rated 4.9 out of 5 | 98.8% Excellence
China Highlights International
Travel Service Co., LTD
Featured on
China Highlights was featured on these medias.

Address: Building 6, Chuangyi Business Park, 70 Qilidian Road, Guilin, Guangxi, 541004, China