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

17-Day Japan Summer Family Vacation

Experience Oriental Summertime with Your Family

Take a real break from work and school this summer with a family trip to Japan. Immerse yourselves in the beauty of Japanese nature, history, culture, art, and technology while enjoying best-value experiences. Explore the secrets of Japan while bonding with your loved ones on the adventure of a lifetime.
Embark on an epic journey across Japan lasting over two weeks, visiting Tokyo, Karuizawa, Nagoya, Kyoto, and Osaka. Get to know local customs by crafting your own sushi, mastering the ninja arts, exploring animation theme parks, and shopping. And discover some of Japan's most historic attractions.

  • Days:17±
  • Best For:First-timers, families, nature enthusiasts
  • Departure date:up to you, recommended in summer (June to August)
  • Sample Price:from US$ 11,099 each (2 people) and US$ 7,699 each (4 people)

This is an ideal tour for first-time visitors and families. Sign up for your favorite part of the tour or simply treat the whole tour as inspiration, designing each element specially for you.

This is a Vibrant and Engaging itinerary for the active families. If you're seeking an unforgettable Japan holiday that perfectly combines history, culture, and adventure, I am here to assist you.
Global Highlights' travel expert
  • Alisa Liu
  • 8 years of travel advisor experience
  • Has helped 8,000+ clients

Highlights

Experience peaceful and cooling nature during summer at Japan's top resort, famously adored by John Lennon and his wife Yoko.

John Lennon and his family in Karuizawa
the tag of ah hand picked

Embark on an exhilarating journey to view the stunning panorama of Mount Fuji. Take the cableway and even set foot onto the majestic mountain itself.

Mt. Fuji in summer

Discover the essence of Japanese culture by immersing yourself in Nipponese activities from ninja craft to sushi making.

wooden Ninja weapons for practice
the tag of ah hand picked

View priceless preservations of history, from the most iconic shrines and temples to castles and inns in ancient Japanese cities.

the Toris at Fushimi Inari Shrine

Step into the mesmerizing world of Japanese animation by exploring famous Ghibli Park and Akihabara with your kids.

a corner at Ghibli Park
the tag of ah hand picked

Explore Japan's cutting-edge technology by visiting kid-friendly museums.

inside the Museum of Emerging Science Tokyo - Miraikan
the tag of ah hand picked

Travel in style and comfort with your family on the world-renowned Shinkansen high-speed trains for an unforgettable journey.

Shinkansen train passing the city

Feed the wild deer at Nara Park and share in the idyllic scenery.

deer at Nara Park
the tag of ah hand picked

Indulge in the delectable flavors of Japanese cuisine, and treat yourself to a mouthwatering culinary experience.

the handmade Sushi with facial expression
the tag of ah hand picked

Savor the comfort of family-friendly accommodations all over Japan.

traditional style housing of Japan
the tag of ah hand picked

Journey Route

japan travel guide

Itinerary in Detail

We offer a diverse range of cultural activities to enhance your trip and leave a lasting impression. In addition, we provide opportunities to observe the wildlife in Joshin'etsukogen National Park, as well as feeding the deers in Nara Park - which considered by locals as divine messengers. We also visit several educational museums for an engaging and informative experience. Our itinerary is completely customizable based on your preferences for an unforgettable journey.

Day 1
Tokyo Arrival

Konnichiwa and a warm welcome to Tokyo, the vibrant and dynamic capital of Japan.

Our private transfer service will ensure a stress-free, comfortable journey from the airport to your hotel. New and exciting experiences await you in Tokyo. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy Japanese hospitality with your loved ones.

dusk of downtown Tokyo
The dusk of downtown Tokyo
Day 2
Tokyo Classical Highlights

Experience the most iconic attractions of Tokyo, and see the city from a unique perspective with a waterbus cruise on Sumida River:

  • Immerse yourself in traditional Japanese culture with a visit to Meiji Shrine, a significant Shinto shrine. Witness traditional Japanese rituals and deity offerings.
  • Embrace Tokyo's contemporary side in Ginza District, where upscale boutiques and designer stores offer an electric mix of high-end fashion, fine dining, and entertainment.
  • Discover the natural beauty of Tokyo with a visit to Hama-rikyu Gardens, a serene oasis of winding paths in the heart of the city.
  • Take a traditional Sumida River waterbus ride to historic Senso-ji Temple. Witness the bustling cityscape of renowned landmarks and stunning views of the city skyline.
  • Finish the day with the breathtaking panorama of Tokyo seen from Tokyo Skytree — the tallest structure in Tokyo, with an impressive height of 634 meters (2,080 feet).
Meiji Shrine
The Meiji Shrine in sunlight
Day 3
Japan cultural immersion

On day 3, we would learn the process of making sushi, and the basic skills of being a ninja:

  • Discover bustling Tsukiji Fish Market, one of the largest in the world. Browse the market's stalls, interact with the vendors, and learn about Japanese culinary culture.
  • Continue the adventure with a sushi-making class. Learning from a professional sushi chef, create delicious, nutritious, and aesthetically pleasing rolls. Then eat them!
  • Activate your inner ninja with an interactive and immersive ninja experience that takes you back in time to Japan's feudal era. Learn secret, advanced ninja skills.
Ninja Child!
Ever dressed in Ninja suit?
Day 4
Modern Japan

This day guarantees a unique experience for families who want to embrace the modern and trendy culture that Japan has to offer:

  • Immerse yourself in the innovative world of digital art, technology, and entertainment with a visit to MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM: EPSON teamLab Borderless.
  • Continue your exploration with a visit to the Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. Also known as Miraikan, it exhibits space exploration and robotics.
  • Lastly, embrace the fascinating pop culture of Japan by visiting Akihabara, the bustling hub for anime and gaming. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Pokémon Center.
teamLab Borderless
Lost yourself in teamLab Borderless
Day 5
Kamakura Highlights

Take a daytrip to Kamakura, a coastal resort town just an hour from Tokyo, and witness the ancient religious heritage of Japan.

  • Visit Great Kotokuin Temple. Its giant bronze Buddha statue of over 13 meters (44 feet) high is a national treasure in vast, serene temple grounds.
  • Then visit Hasedera Temple. Known for its stunning statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, it offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area and Pacific Ocean.
  • Next, visit Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, a significant, magnificent shrine founded in the 12th century with impressive architecture and tall, shady camphor trees.
  • End your Kamakura exploring with Komachi Street, a bustling street filled with shops, cafés, and restaurants. Experience traditional Japanese cuisine and/or pick up souvenirs.
  • Finish the day by transferring to Kawaguchiko — a mountainous area that offers exceptional views of Mount Fuji.
giant buddha
The giant bronze Buddha statue of over 44 feet
Day 6
Mt. Fuji and Kawaguchiko Lake

On day 6, we would embark on a journey to the beautiful Fuji Five Lakes and witness the majestic splendor of Mount Fuji:

  • Start your adventure by visiting Kawaguchiko, one of the five lakes, and enjoy the breathtaking views of Mt. Fuji while you walk along the serene lakeside.
  • Take the Kachi Kachi cableway on Mt. Tenjo for panoramic views of the lakes and Mt. Fuji, and visit beautiful Arakura Sengen Shrine, beginning the Mt. Fuji pilgrimage route.
  • Next, visit Mount Fuji's 5th Station and Fujisan Komitake Shrine. Learn about the mountain's geology and history, and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Mt. Fuji and binoculars
Mt. Fuji and binoculars
Day 7
Enter the world of Karuizawa

In the morning of day 7, we would drive 2 hours to Karuizawa. Along the way, you will see the beautiful countryside and the changing landscape:

  • Your first half-day nature tour would visit Joshinetsu Kogen National Park. Your guide would show you lush green forest, beautiful lakes, streams, and wildlife.
the national park in Karuizawa
Touch the nature in Karuizawa
Day 8
Light Hiking at Karuizawa

A second half-day Karuizawa Nature Tour, this time on the Shinano-ji Nature Trail, would be a great way to explore the natural beauty of the area:

  • The Shinano-ji Nature Trail is a well-maintained trail that runs through the central area of Karuizawa at 960 m (3,150 ft) to Mine-no-Chaya at 1,405 m (4,610 ft).
  • Along the trail, you will be surrounded by the natural beauty of Karuizawa, including rivers, streams, waterfalls, and stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
waterfall in Karuizawa
The waterfall in Karuizawa
Day 9
Karuizawa to Nagoya by train

Traveling from Karuizawa to Nagoya by train, experience the world-famous Shinkansen and see the diverse and beautiful Japanese countryside. Have a good rest after arrival at Nagoya.

train from Karuizawa to Nagoya
Enjoy the ride to Nagoya!
Day10
Comic Day at Ghibli Park

On day 10, have fun in nationally-famous Ghibli Park, only about 45 minutes outside Nagoya city. The park is based on the popular animated films of Studio Ghibli.

Ghibli Park
The top of Ghibli's Grand Warehouse
Day11
Education and Fun in Nagoya

On day 11, the visits would give you a great blend of educational and fun experiences. You'll get to learn more about the industrial and technological history of Japan:

  • Visit the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, showcasing Toyota history and Japan industrial technology with interactive exhibits.
  • After lunch, head to SCMAGLEV and Railway Park, about 30 minutes away by car. This railway museum that has a vast collection of trains, locomotives, and bullet trains.
  • Finally, head to the Nagoya City Science Museum. It has lots of interactive exhibits, planetarium shows, and even a large-screen theater.
Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology
Inside the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology
Day12
Nagoya to Kyoto, Enjoy a Geisha Dinner

Head to Nagoya Station and take the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto. The journey takes approximately 40 minutes.
After arrival, check-in at your hotel and have a rest before participating in a well-choreographed special dinner experience at a traditional tea house in Gion District. You will be treated to a feast of traditional Japanese cuisine while being entertained by a Geisha, who will sing, play musical instruments, and perform for you.

geisha
The Geisha
Day13
Classic Kyoto Highlights

The day offers a mix of cultural, natural, and culinary experiences in traditional Kyoto:

  • Enter Kiyomizu-dera Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and famous Kyoto temple. It offers a beautiful view of the city and has a history dating back to 778 AD.
  • Then, visit Kinkakuji Temple, also known as Golden Pavilion as it's covered in gold leaf. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is in a beautiful garden with a pond.
  • Have yourselves some local snacks at Nishiki Market. You'll find lots of interesting food stalls and shops selling anything from traditional Japanese candy to fresh seafood.
  • Finish the day's visits at Arashiyama, a mountainous Kyoto district famous for its beautiful bamboo groves, Togetsukyo Bridge over Katsura River, and serene atmosphere.
summer in Arashiyama
The summer of Arashiyama
Day14
A Trip to Nara and Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine

On day 14, we would pay a visit to Nara Park, which is only about 45 minutes' driving from Kyoto, and later visit Kyoto's most popular shrine.

  • Once we arrive in Nara, we'd head to Todaiji temple, one of Japan's most famous and historically significant temples, which houses the world's largest bronze Buddha statue.
  • After visiting the temple, head to kid-friendly Nara Park, where you can experience feeding the lovable deer that roam freely throughout the park.
  • In the afternoon, we'd return to Kyoto and head to Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates that line the trails behind the main temple.

Remember to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring some snacks for the day trip.

child feeding a deer in Nara Park
Feeding the deer in the Nara Park
Day15
Kyoto to Osaka; Aquarium and Cup-Noodle Museum

Check out from your hotel in Kyoto, and we'll travel to Osaka by private vehicle in around an hour:

  • Once you arrive in Osaka, we'd head to the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. This popular destination for families has a huge marine life variety: dolphins, whale sharks, penguins...
  • Then, head to Cup Noodle Museum. Learn the history of instant noodles, see their manufacture, and make your own personally-designed instant noodles (ramen)!
a child standing in the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
A Child in the Kaiyukan
Day16
Osaka Classic Highlights

On day 16, you would be able to gain a deeper knowledge of Osaka by visiting its classic attractions:

  • Begin your day by visiting Osaka Castle Park, a vast area of greenery allowing your family to enjoy fresh air and nature and take pictures with a historical Osaka Castle backdrop.
  • After visiting the park, head to Tempozan Ferris Wheel, which offers a panoramic view of the city and Osaka Bay.
  • Continue your adventure in fascinating Osaka Museum of Housing and Living, displaying different housing found in Japan and lifestyles in Japan throughout the ages.
Bridge and Osaka Castle
The Bridge to the Osaka Castle
Day17
Osaka Departure

On day 17 of the journey, you will be departing from Osaka to head back home.

  • Since the day is free and easy, you can sleep in or do some last-minute shopping.
  • Famous shopping districts, like Shinsaibashi or Namba are recommended for traditional Japanese souvenirs, food, and clothes.
  • You will be picked up by a private hotel to airport transfer to take you to Kansai International Airport (KIX) for your flight home.

Have a safe trip and we hope you enjoyed your family Japan adventure!

kansai international airport
The departure hall of the Kansai International Airport

Hand-Picked Hotels

We have selected hotels with different styles and for different budgets. Let us know your preferences and we will help you find the right one.

hotel in Tokyo
Hotel with Godzilla outside the window in Tokyo
Hotel in Kawaguchi
Hotel with nice view of Mt. Fuji in Kawaguchi
Hotel in Karuizawa
Excellent hotel with open-air baths in Karuizawa
Hotel in Nagoya
Centrally located hotel for family leisure in Nagoya
Hotel in Kyoto
Family-friendly traditional local style Ryokan in Kyoto
Hotel in Osaka
Elegant hotel with swimming pool in Osaka

Tour Price:

17 days from
US$ 11,099 p/p (with 4-star hotel options)
  • The price is based on a private tour for 2 people during the peak (summer) season.
  • The price varies based on program, travel date, number of people.
  • We could also price a tour including both 4-star and 5-star hotels for you.
  • We accept payments in multiple currencies (GBP, AUD, CAD, EUR...).

Price Includes:

  • Privately-driven air-conditioned vehicle with ample space (except where stated)
  • English-speaking local guide for the sightseeing
  • Attraction tickets and itinerary activities
  • Accommodation for all nights
  • Trains between itinerary cities
  • Hotel breakfasts and itinerary lunches/dinners
  • 24/7 helpline while touring
  • Governmental taxes

Price Excludes:

  • International flights not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Visa fee, if applicable
  • Tips for guides and drivers
  • Personal expenses

Tour code: ah-jp-16

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