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 so it’s not surprising that it offers great diversity in terms of landscape, culture and history. It’s a beguiling hot-pot of ancient, cutting-edge modern and Hello Kitty-cute. This makes for a truly fascinating family trip.

Even if you’ve never travelled here before you’ll be familiar with the iconic scenes of Japan. There are the futuristic neon skyscrapers of Tokyo and there are exquisite ancient temples. You will see avenues of cherry blossom in spring and ruby red maples in autumn. There are snow monkeys warming up in hot springs in Yadanaka and painted geishas walking around Kyoto. And there are bullet trains that speed across the country, linking not just cities but also centuries.

Family on Japan holiday with the Great Torii shrine in background

Great Torii at the Itsukushima shrine on Miyajima island

The country is intriguing, enchanting and inspiring. On a family holiday to Japan we’ll show you not just the highlights but some captivating off-the-beaten track places too. This is a country that is so much more than a sum of its parts. Less prohibitively expensive than it used to be, it is a country thoroughly deserving of the tourist upswing of recent years and a new favourite for a family holiday.

Why take the kids?

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 it’s possible to visit, Japan is reassuringly modern, clean and safe. It’s also 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. These 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, and animal and sea-life sanctuaries. Be inspired by our Japan with Kids overview.

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

Alternatively you can slow the pace down and learn 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. You can also engage in less terrifying propositions, from dressing up as a traditional geisha in Kyoto or learning to cook sushi and tempura.

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 relax in some hotsprings. You could also enjoy a simple hike in stunning countryside for restful, reflective, re-charge the batteries days.

For more inspiration and photos, check out our top things to do with kids in Tokyo.

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

The ancient 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 hiking on Japan holiday - Kirishima National Park

Take in the dramatic volcanic views on the hike around Kirishima’s Onami-ike Crater Lake

If you’d like to chat about planning a Japan family holiday, simply ring us or email us using our contact form.  We’d be delighted to help.


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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