Family holidays to Japan

It may not be your usual family holiday destination but a family holiday to Japan will wow you like no other. The archipelago comprises 6,852 islands in total so it’s not surprising that ‘The Land of the Rising Sun’ is very much one of great contrasts and diversity, in terms of landscape, culture and history: a beguiling hot-pot of ancient, cutting-edge modern and Hello Kitty-cute, making for a truly fascinating family trip.

Even if you’ve never travelled here before you’ll be familiar with the iconic scenes of Japan: the almost futuristic neon skyscrapers of Tokyo, avenues of cherry blossom in spring and ruby red maples in autumn, ancient temples, the snow monkeys warming up in hot springs in Yadanaka, the bullet trains linking not just cities, but sometimes it feels like centuries, and painted geishas walking around Kyoto.

Great Torii at the Itsukushima shrine on Miyajima island - Japan with kids holiday itinerary

Great Torii at the Itsukushima shrine on Miyajima island

Intriguing, enchanting and inspiring, on a family holiday to Japan we’ll show you not just the highlights of the four main islands, Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, but some captivating off-the-beaten track places and experiences too.

Why take the kids?

Japan is so much more than a sum of its parts and, less prohibitively expensive than it used to be, a place thoroughly deserving of the tourist upswing of recent years.

Our top activities on family holidays to Japan include:

  1. Explore the neon lit, futuristic city of Tokyo
  2. Meet a robot that’s almost human
  3. Be wowed at Kyoto’s Samurai and Ninja museum
  4. Travel on the Japan’s bullet trains
  5. See snow monkeys bathing in hot springs
  6. Walk a section of the ancient Nakasendo Trail
  7. Stay in a traditional ryokan
  8. Fish for your own meal in Tokyo
  9. Relax on a deserted beach in Okinawa
  10. Meet Mickey Mouse in Disneyland Tokyo

Kids will adore a family holiday in Japan. Whilst it’s probably as far-flung a destination as they may have been to, it’s reassuringly modern, clean and safe (for both kids and adults), well geared up for tourists and not as culturally different as some other Asian countries.

Traditional geisha experience - Japan with kids itinerary

Find out about the history of Geishas

As tempting as it may be to hop from temple to temple, your kids won’t thank you for it after the third one. Luckily, thanks to the Japanese tendency to ace just about everything they do, there’s a whole host of family friendly attractions that will keep even the non-manga reading or anime-watching members of the family entertained. Amongst many others, there are theme parks (and yes, that does include Disneyland), ski-slopes, animal and sea-life sanctuaries. Be inspired by our Japan with kids blog.

Giant Gundam robot against a blue sky - Japan family holidays

See the giant (20-metre high) Gundam robot on the man-made island of Odaiba, in Tokyo Bay

For less adrenaline-fuelled or western type adventures, slow the pace down and learn more about traditional Japanese culture. For maximum playground bragging rights, we can’t think of anything more compelling than learning how to use a samurai sword, but you can also engage in less terrifying propositions, from dressing up as a traditional geisha in Kyoto or learning to cook sushi, tempura or more.

Feeling more Zen-like? Japan’s beautiful surrounds are also a boon for those who love the simple things in life. On a family holiday in Japan you could partake in the Japanese healing art of ‘Shinrin-yoku’ (forest bathing) or enjoy a simple hike in stunning mountain or lowland countryside for restful, reflective, re-charge the batteries days. Soothe your muscles by relaxing in hotsprings, whether in private ‘onsens’ in a ryokan, or a communal thermal bath (men and women usually separate).

For more inspirations and photos, check out out Japan with kids blog.

Family holidays to Japan - busy street leading to Kiyomizu Temple, Kyoto

The route to the Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto

Japan itineraries

Most of our tours in Japan operate differently to holidays in the other destinations we offer as much of the trip is self-guided. See our example Japan itineraries section for more information on how this works or jump straight to Highlights of Japan or Japan in Nine Days . If you would prefer to be guided and escorted throughout, this can also be arranged, simply ring us or email via our contact page.

You can also read more about places to visit in Japan, where to stay and  check out the weather on our handy chart.

Family holidays to Japan, Sumo wrestlers training

Take the kids to watch wrestling in one of Tokyo’s sumo stables

If you’d like to talk about a possible trip, simply ring us or email using our contact page, and we’ll be delighted to advise you on the best Japan family holidays.


Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.

01728 752751

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