Japan Family Journey: From Ancient to Modern Times

Japan Family Journey: From Ancient to Modern Times
Japan Family Journey: From Ancient to Modern Times
Japan Family Journey: From Ancient to Modern Times
Japan Family Journey: From Ancient to Modern Times
Japan Family Journey: From Ancient to Modern Times
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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • FAQ
  • Dates
  • G Adventures

Japan is a feast for the senses, from its electrifying neon-lit neighbourhoods to tranquil hilltop temples. Experience an intriguing mix of modernity and tradition as we explore dazzling Tokyo, imperial Kyoto, and the mountain city of Nagano. Wander Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, practice sumo wrestling and samurai swordplay, and sample wasabi-infused culinary concoctions. In this fascinating land of anime, snow monkeys, and high-speed trains, there is something to delight every member of the family.

Highlights
  • Take part in a traditional taiko drumming class
  • Kyoto Your Family Journeys Moment: Traditional Taiko Drumming Class
  • Watch wild snow monkeys bathe in hot springs
  • Meet and train with a former sumo wrestler
  • Learn all about how wasabi is grown
  • Matsumoto Your Family Journeys Moment: Ramen Making Class
  • Delve into delicious Japanese cuisine while creating your own ramen
  • Learn about the health benefits of the Okinawan cuisine
  • Asakusa and Harajuku districts. Traditional taiko Japanese drumming class. Sumo class led by a former wrestler. Sleep in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) and enjoy a kaiseki dinner. See wild snow monkeys at the Jigokudani Monkey Park. Visit the Buddhist temple of Zenko-ji. Visit Matsumoto castle. Visit a local wasabi farm. Walk through the Nishiki Market and Gion Geisha District with your CEOs. Visit the iconic Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine. Take part in a ramen making class. Tour Nara including visits to the Todaiji Temple
  • Learn about the legendary swordsmanship of the samurai
  • Tokyo Your Foodie Moment: Wasabi Farm Visit
  • Tokyo Your Family Journeys Moment: Sumo Wrestling Class
  • Take part in a traditional taiko drumming class, Learn about the health benefits of the Okinawan cuisine, Meet and train with a former sumo wrestler, Watch wild snow monkeys bathe in hot springs, Learn all about how wasabi is grown, Delve into delicious Japanese cuisine while creating your own ramen, Encounter fearless deer in the gardens of Nara Park, Learn about the legendary swordsmanship of the samurai
  • Tokyo Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Kembu Masters
  • Kasuga Grand Shrineand the Naramachi district. Visit the famous Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Japan Rail (JR) pass (7 days). All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
  • Encounter fearless deer in the gardens of Nara Park
Transport
Bullet train, express train, local train, ferry, metro, taxi, public bus, walking
Accommodation
Hotels (9 nts), traditional Inn (1 nt)
Meals Included
10 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
Destinations
  • Kyoto
  • Tokyo
  • Nagano
  • Matsumoto
  • Japan
  • Far East
Tour Types
  • Family-Kids
  • Singles
  • Youth
  • Sightseeing
  • Walking
  • Art
  • Cultural
  • History
  • Wildlife
  • Small Group
  • Active
  • Adventure

Location: Tokyo, Narita International Airport, Tokyo

Arrive in time to meet your fellow travelers for a welcome gathering this evening. Your arrival transfer is included.<p><strong>Additional Information: </strong> On our tours in Japan we use public transport, making use of Japan's world famous transportation system. From the super fast Shinkansen Bullet Train to Kyoto's extensive local bus network, we ride with the locals. As well, there is a lot of walking on this trip, every day - please ensure you have an average level of fitness and can walk unaided for long periods of time. A good pair of walking shoes are highly recommended. Please note: We will use a baggage transfer service, which is included in the cost of your tour, so you will not have to worry about carrying your bags on and off trains as we travel. As such, you will not have access to your bags during the transfers from city to city, and will not be reunited with your luggage until the following day. On these days, we recommend using an overnight bag for anything you may need, including valuables.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. Check for the meeting time on the welcome note at the hotel. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> You will be transferred from the airport to your start hotel.</p>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Accommodation Name: Asakusa View Hotel (or similar)

Meals: ,No Meals,

Location: Tokyo

Today, we’ll see Tokyo from a local’s perspective, traveling by public transit. Experience the traditional side of the city with a visit to the serene Meiji Jingu shrine, dedicated to the spirit of Emperor Meiji. Then hit the streets of the buzzing Harajuku district, where kitschy-cute street fashion and candy-colored wigs are the order of the day. Later, make your way to the old part of town for a taiko drumming class. Hear how these traditional wooden drums are made and learn three different playing techniques. Put your newly acquired skills to the test during a group performance, then be wowed by a heart-pounding professional routine.<p><strong>Additional Information: </strong> Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public bus, metro and on foot.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Get around underground via public transit.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Visit this shrine dedicated to the 123rd emperor of Japan, Emperor Meiji and his wife. The shrine is a great place to escape the bustle of the city and wander the grounds along the wide walking paths.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> The Harajuku district is known as the centre of Japanese youth culture and fashion. Here, find dozens of shopping and dining options including independent boutiques and larger international luxury stores.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Take part in a Taiko drumming class facilitated by a professional Wadaiko drummer. Learn how wadaiko is made, the history of Taiko, how to stand (posture), kamae instruction (the stance), and how to hold the drumsticks. Learn and practice three different styles and then perform together as a group. At the end, enjoy a professional performance.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Discover this historic entertainment district on a guided orientation tour of the area with your CEO. Take in one of Tokyo's iconic sites with a stop at Sensoji temple.</p>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Accommodation Name: Asakusa View Hotel (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Tokyo

Learn Japanese secrets to longevity in a cooking class on Okinawa cuisine, originating from the Japanese island reputed to have the highest life expectancy in the world. Prepare a selection of dishes using typical ingredients and learn about the beneficial qualities of each. Sweet potatoes form a large part of the Okinawan diet, as do seaweed, fish, rice, and an array of herbs and spices. Savor your nutritious lunch and spend the rest of the day discovering Tokyo at leisure.<p><strong>Additional Information: </strong> Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public bus, metro and on foot.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Get around underground via public transit.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Learn about the Okinawan diet and lifestyle during a hands-on cooking class and demonstration. Residents of this Japanese island are known for their long lifespans; adopting their practises might improve your quality of life and help you avoid the onset of common diseases as you age. Prepare a selection of dishes and learn about the typical foods in this diet, which include sweet potatoes, seaweed, small amounts of fish and pork, and a fascinating array of herbs and spices.</p><p><strong>FREE TIME: AFTERNOON</strong> Enjoy some time to explore the city on your own. Opt to visit Ueno Park or head to the top of the Tokyo Tower and take in stunning views of the city.</p>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Accommodation Name: Asakusa View Hotel (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,Lunch,

Location: Tokyo, Shibu Onsen, Nagano

This morning, take a crash course in Japan’s national sport: sumo wrestling! Get initiated into this explosive martial art, which originated as a religious ritual more than a thousand years ago. Learn about the wrestlers’ rigorous routine and mindboggling calorie intake, and come away with a handwritten print of your name in Kanji script. Later, journey to Nagano, the beautiful mountain city that hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics. Settle into our historic ryokan — or traditional Japanese inn — located just outside the city, in the hot springs town of Shibu Onsen.<p>Ryokan are traditional Inns found across Japan. Featuring tatami floors (soft mats of woven straw), futon beds, Japanese-style baths, cotton kimono (casual robe worn to lounge around), and kaiseki meals (often served in the comfort of your own room); a ryokan is the perfect place to experience traditional customs and local immersion. The Ryokan is a simple, traditional Inn with few amenities and shared facilities, have fun and enjoy this relaxing opportunity to learn more about Japan’s unique customs.</p><p><strong>Additional Information: </strong> Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public bus, metro, train and on foot.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Get around underground via public transit.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Learn all about the history of sumo with a former Sumo wrestler. Wearing a traditional Sumo belt, go through sumo training and learn basic moves of this ancient martial art. Later, create a handwritten print of your name in Kanji script.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Get to your next destination faster than the speed of light (ok maybe not that fast) aboard a high-speed train.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Climb aboard, take a seat, and enjoy the ride.</p><p><strong>FREE TIME: EVENING</strong> Enjoy some free time to wander thought this traditional hot springs town.</p>

Accommodation: ,Sakaeya Ryokan (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,Dinner,

Location: Nagano, Shibu Onsen, Nagano

Nagano is home to the Japanese macaque, or snow monkey — one of the only primate species that can survive below freezing temperatures. Venture to Jigokudani Yaen Koen (Snow Monkey Park) to watch these furry simians scampering about the rocks or taking a soak in one of the thermal pools, fed by natural hot springs. Then head into Nagano city to explore the 7th-century Buddhist temple of Zenkoji, home to the very first Buddha statue brought to Japan.<p><strong>Additional Information: </strong> Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public bus, metro, train and on foot.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Visit the Jigokudani Monkey Park, where wild snow monkeys can be seen bathing in the natural hot springs. The pool where most of the monkeys soak is man made, fed by the hot springs. Along the walking paths up to the pools other monkeys tend to stop and watch visitors curiously.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Climb aboard, take a seat, and enjoy the ride.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Visit the Buddhist temple of Zenkō-ji, one of the last remaining pilgrimage sites. Built in the 7th century, the city of Nagano was built around the already standing structure.</p><p><strong>FREE TIME: EVENING</strong> Enjoy some time to explore the city on your own.</p>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Accommodation Name: Nagano Tokyu REI Hotel (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Nagano, Matsumoto, Nagano

Travel to Matsumoto for a visit to one of Japan’s most treasured castles. Known as the “crow castle” for its imposing black exterior, the Matsumoto fortress dates to the 16th century and was once a stronghold of the samurai, Japan’s elite military class. Later, we make our way to a wasabi farm to learn all about this fiery Japanese condiment and its laborious cultivation. Opt to taste a variety of wasabi products, including wasabi-flavored pickles, crackers, noodles, juice — even wasabi ice cream and chocolate. If you’re brave enough, take a nibble of wasabi in its purest form: fresh!<p><strong>Additional Information: </strong> Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by train, taxi (to/from the Wasabi Farm) and on foot.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Climb aboard, take your seat, and get around like the locals do.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Stop at the castle of Matsumoto one of Japan's most treasured castles, maintaining it's original wooden interior and stone exterior. Explore this castle where 16th century Samurai once roamed before venturing out with the group to wander Matsumoto's ancient streets and or dine in a traditional storehouse.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Visit a wasabi farm and learn all about how it's grown. Nagano is considered one of the best places in the world to cultivate wasabi and try it fresh due to the clear, flowing water from the Northern Alps. Get a chance to try a variety of wasabi related treats.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Climb aboard, take your seat, and get around like the locals do.</p>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Accommodation Name: Nagano Tokyu REI Hotel (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Nagano, Kyoto

Hop on the bullet train to Kyoto, which served as Japan’s imperial capital for more than a millennium. Delve into the aromatic alleys of Nishiki Market, one of the most popular food markets in the city. Opt to sample local specialties like barbecued quail, soy milk donuts, sesame ice cream, and more, taking your taste buds on a culinary roller coaster. This evening, venture to Gion, Kyoto’s renowned geisha district. As you wander its lantern-lit streets, you might catch a glimpse of a geisha — traditional female entertainers recognizable by their distinctive makeup.<p>As the Imperial capital, Kyoto is an essential part of any visit to Japan. Kyoto has some of the most magnificent temples in Japan which date back centuries. There are said to be 2,000 temples, shrines, palaces, museums and traditional gardens in Kyoto. Wander past huge wooden structures and multi-storied pagodas, all linked with famous walkways.</p><p><strong>Additional Information: </strong> Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by train and on foot.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Get to your next destination faster than the speed of light (ok maybe not that fast) aboard a high-speed train.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Take a walk with your CEO through the famous Nishiki Market renowned as the best place to get your hands on Kyoto’s most famous street food.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Walk through Gion, Kyoto's most famous geisha district. Visit shops, restaurants and ochaya (teahouses), where geiko (Kyoto dialect for geisha) and maiko (geiko apprentices) entertain.</p>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Accommodation Name: Hotel Monterey Kyoto (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Kyoto

This morning, pay a visit to the Fushimi Inari shrine, located just outside of Kyoto. Dedicated to the Shinto god of rice, this beautiful temple is known for its Senbon Torii — a stunning walkaway of vermilion-colored gates. Later, dive into another fun-filled cooking class, rolling up your sleeves to make a steaming bowl of ramen noodles.<p><strong>Additional Information: </strong> Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public bus, metro and on foot.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Visit the Fushimi Inari shrine, located just outside of Kyoto. Walk under the thousands of iconic torii gates (as seen in the film Memoirs of a Geisha) and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. The shrine itself is at the base of the Inari mountain but includes many trails up to smaller shrines in the area.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Learn about the history and cultural aspects of Ramen during a lunch time cooking class. This includes, Japanese life and Ramen, Ramen types and variety, brief explanation about the ingredients used and the cooking procedure, a “Ramen Making Experience” (making ramen from scratch under guidance of one or two guides depending on the group size) which includes: making/draining the noodles, mixing soup and broth from 2 types of broth and 3 types of sauces, making chicken chashu. The best part? Enjoy your creation for lunch!</p><p><strong>FREE TIME: AFTERNOON</strong> Enjoy some time to explore the city on your own.</p>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Accommodation Name: Hotel Monterey Kyoto (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,Lunch,

Location: Nara, Kyoto

Spend the day discovering ancient Nara, where Japan’s first capital was established in the early 8th century. Immerse yourself in the ornate halls of the Todaiji temple, and gaze upon the largest bronze Buddha statue in the world, standing nearly 50 feet tall. At Kasuga Taisha, Nara’s most celebrated shrine, stroll romantic walkways lined with hundreds of bronze and stone lanterns, and wander amid the gardens of Nara Park, where herds of semi-domesticated deer roam free. Check out the shops and galleries of the Naramachi district before returning to Kyoto.<p><strong>Additional Information: </strong> Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public bus, metro and on foot.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Climb aboard, take a seat, and enjoy the ride.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Explore the famed Tōdaiji Temple which features the largest bronze Buddha in the world.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Visit this Shinto shrine originally built in 768 AD by the Fujiwara family. This stunning shrine is famed for its hundreds of bronze and stone lanterns.</p><p><strong>FREE TIME: AFTERNOON</strong> Enjoy some time to explore the city on your own.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Climb aboard, take a seat, and enjoy the ride.</p>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Accommodation Name: Hotel Monterey Kyoto (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Kyoto

Unleash your inner warrior this morning with a lesson on samurai swordplay. Learn how to wield a Japanese sword and witness an unforgettable performance by masters of kembu, or sword dance. In the afternoon, explore the picturesque Kiyomizudera temple, perched on a hilltop near a sacred waterfall. There is much to keep you busy here: ring giant prayer bowls, sip holy water — said to have wish-fulfilling qualities — or muster the courage to walk through the Tainai Meguri, a lightless underground tunnel that symbolizes the visitor’s journey to enlightenment. This evening, celebrate your Japan adventure at a farewell dinner.<p><strong>Additional Information: </strong> Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public bus, metro and on foot.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Gain an understanding of kembu, an ancient art form that honours the culture of the Japanese warrior class, the samurai. Watch kembu masters practice this delicate artform and learn for yourself the basic moves of properly using a Japanese sword. It’s said that in feudal times, samurai would perform these traditional routines to build courage and improve concentration, thereby expressing the spirit of the warrior.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Visit the Kiyomizu Temple, a Buddhist temple in Kyoto and part of Kyoto's UNESCO listed sights. Originally built in 798, the current structures were built in 1633 without the use of a single nail.</p>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Accommodation Name: Hotel Monterey Kyoto (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,Dinner,

Location: Kyoto

Depart any time.<p>There are no planned activities today and you are free to depart at any time.</p>

Accommodation: ,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Included
  • Fully Guided
    -2 CEOs (Chief Experience Officers) throughout, local guides
  • TRANSPORTATION
  • Your Foodie Moment: Wasabi Farm Visit, Matsumoto
  • - Sleep in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) and enjoy a kaiseki dinner
  • - Walk through the Nishiki Market and Gion Geisha District with your CEOs
  • Your Family Journeys Moment: Ramen Making Class, Kyoto
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Okinawa Cooking Class, Tokyo
  • - Traditional taiko Japanese drumming class
  • - Visit the iconic Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine
  • Your Family Journeys Moment: Sumo Wrestling Class, Tokyo
  • - Visit a local wasabi farm
  • Accommodation
    -Hotels (9 nts), traditional Inn (1 nt)
  • - Japan Rail (JR) pass (7 days)
  • - Sumo class led by a former wrestler
  • - All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
  • - Visit the famous Kiyomizu-dera Temple
  • - Tour of Tokyo including Meiji Jingu Shrine, Asakusa and Harajuku districts
  • - See wild snow monkeys at the Jigokudani Monkey Park
  • Your Family Journeys Moment: Traditional Taiko Drumming Class, Tokyo
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Kembu Masters, Kyoto
  • - Visit the Buddhist temple of Zenko-ji
  • MEALS
    -10 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners Allow USD390-510 for meals not included.
  • - Take part in a ramen making class
  • - Tour Nara including visits to the Todaiji Temple, Kasuga Grand Shrine and the Naramachi district
  • - Visit Matsumoto castle

Not Included
  • International Travel
    -
  • Tipping and Gratuities
    -
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of people in the sex trade is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they utilize the services of paid sex workers, in any capacity.
Rooming is based on double occupancy (2 passengers / 2 beds per room); all other room configurations are on request and cannot be guaranteed. We will try to accommodate triples/quad requests whenever possible and it's important to note that rooming configuration can change from city to city and 2 single beds are the standard configuration in a room. Please remember that hotel/lodge standards can be different from what you are used to in your home country, which is part of the appeal of adventure travel. Japan is one of the most populous countries in the world and space is at a premium. Therefore, hotels rooms are small! Additionally, most Japanese hotels do not have designating non smoking rooms. Therefore, we ask hotels to deoderize rooms before check in.
On our tours in Japan we use public transport, making use of Japan's world famous transportation system. From the super fast Shinkansen Bullet Train to Kyoto's extensive local bus network, we ride with the locals.
Hotels (9 nts), traditional Inn (1 nt)
We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Departure Tax is included in all International and Domestic tickets.
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary. VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible. EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS Arrival shuttle bus representative: +81(0)479-85-7522 G Adventures Local Office (Japan) During office hours, Mon-Fri 9:30-18:00 Local Time From outside Japan: 1st contact +81 3-6432-0195 (2nd contact +81 80 2725 5133) From within Japan: 1st contact +81 3-6432-0195 (2nd contact +81 80 2725 5133) After office hours emergency number Primary phone (Tamaki): +81 70-3607-8937 (from within Japan: 070-3607-8937) Alternate phone: +81 703 607 8936 (from within Japan: 070-3607-8936) G Adventures Asia Manager: Julie Fitzgerald G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time) From outside Thailand: +66 2 381 5574 From within Thailand: 02 381 5574 After hours emergency number (SE Asia Manager) From outside Thailand: +66 87 049 6074 From within Thailand: 087 049 6074 If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below which will connect you directly with our Sales team who will happily assist you. Hours of operation by region can be found <a href='https://www.gadventures.com/contact-us/?ref=footer'>here</a>. Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100 Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000 Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000 Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618 Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307 Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.
All National Geographic Family Journeys with G Adventures group trips are accompanied by two of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense; you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical information pertaining to the country you are travelling to well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as a full supply of any personal medical requirements. In Asia, you will not find the same drugs as you get at home. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities. Also note that for legal reasons our Leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if, in the reasonable opinion of the CEO, they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Take part in a traditional taiko drumming class, Learn about the health benefits of the Okinawan cuisine, Meet and train with a former sumo wrestler, Watch wild snow monkeys bathe in hot springs, Learn all about how wasabi is grown, Delve into delicious Japanese cuisine while creating your own ramen, Encounter fearless deer in the gardens of Nara Park, Learn about the legendary swordsmanship of the samurai
1. TATTOOS Tattoos are not common or widely accepted in Japan. There is no cause for concern, but do your best to cover your tattoos when possible and note that you may not be permitted to enter public spas or onsens (hot springs). 2. RAIL PASS Please note that only foreigners traveling as a tourist are able to use a Japan Rail Pass. If you are a Japanese citizen/resident or traveling on a student/business/military/diplomatic visa, please advise us at time of booking as you will not be able to take advantage of the rail pass. 3. FAMILY INSURANCE Options for family travel insurance are available. Please enquire with your Family Trip Specialist for more information. 4. Luggage size restriction – Effective from May 2020 onwards All G Adventures tours in Japan use the world-famous Shinkansen bullet trains, which have a restriction on maximum luggage size. Any luggage brought on board the train must be less than 160cm in total. This is roughly the size that most airline companies consider as "carry-on baggage" and allow in overhead storage compartments. As this tour includes city-to-city luggage transfers, this restriction affects your carry-on luggage on board the train.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Prices are based on double occupancy; all other room configurations are on request and cannot be guaranteed. We will accommodate triples/quads whenever possible. Please call for further details. Family Journeys are designed for groups traveling with children between the ages of 7 and 17. Your group must include a child in order to book, and anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Luggage size restriction – Effective from May 2020 onwards All G Adventures tours in Japan use the world-famous Shinkansen bullet trains, which have a restriction on maximum luggage size. Any luggage brought on board the train must be less than 160cm in total. This is roughly the size that most airline companies consider as "carry-on baggage" and allow in overhead storage compartments. As this tour includes city-to-city luggage transfers, this restriction affects your carry-on luggage on board the train.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
An arrival shuttle bus is included when you arrive on Day 1, or if you arrive up to three days prior provided that you have booked your pre-accommodation through National Geographic Journeys in our joining hotel. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous. Our local representative will be waiting for you with a sign with your name on it outside of the luggage hall. Emergency Phone number : +81(0)479-85-7522 Transfer time from the airport to the hotel is approx 75 minutes, depending on the number of stops. Luggage restrictions on the included shuttle bus: Maximum 2 suitcases or boxes per person are allowed to be accommodated free of charge except below items: - Ski equipment - Golf set - Snowboard Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, so you may arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day in which no activities are planned. Your CEO will contact you at the hotel on Day 1 and make sure you are settled comfortably. If you arrive late, they will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning. Your CEO will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip.
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge or ask your CEO where the closest laundromat is. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry, so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
In Japan, the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. We ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples, shrines or other religious sites. Ask your CEO for more specific advice.
Eating is a big part of traveling and we encourage you to experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Its important to remember, that food may be different from what you are used to at home and that some things may not be available in other countries. Some meals are included in the trip price, while others are not, to allow flexibility and choice to you and your family. For non-included meals our CEOs will still make arrangements for the group to eat together, which allows you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and approximate budget (per person) for meals not included. Throughout this trip, breakfast is included daily (ranging from continental to buffet depending on the trip), as are healthy, local snacks. Tap water is safe and drinkable everywhere. Please remember to bring your own refillable bottle and refill at the start of each day. Note that any special meal requirements or dietary restrictions need to be specified at time of booking.
10 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
Minimum age of 7 years for this trip.
As currency exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com. Every Post Office and 7-11 Convenience store has an ATM machine that accepts Visa, Mastercard and Debit Cards. At times, Maestro/Master Card/Cirrus have been problematic at these machines, so please bring a back-up card. Credit Cards should not be relied upon for purchases as they are not widely accepted, except in some restaurants and department stores. Money can be exchanged at Post Offices and some banks and hotels in major cities, however it can be a very slow process.
Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops
Tokyo - Ueno Park Visit (Free) - Tokyo Tower Visit (900-2800JPY per person) Kyoto - Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion Visit (400JPY per person) - Tofukuji Temple Visit (400-800JPY per person)
Cold Weather: • Long-sleeved shirts or sweater • Scarf • Warm gloves • Warm hat • Warm layers Conservative Dress: • Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders) • Shawl or scarf (for temple visits) Documents: • Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border) • Insurance info (required) (With photocopies) • Passport (required) (With photocopies) • Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies) • Vouchers and pre-departure information (required) Essentials: • Binoculars (optional) • Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries) • Cash, credit and debit cards • Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights) • Ear plugs • First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking) • Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal) • Fleece top/sweater • Footwear • Hat • Locks for bags • Long pants/jeans • Moneybelt • Outlet adapter • Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.) • Reusable water bottle • Shirts/t-shirts • Sleepwear • Small travel towel • Sunglasses • Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable) • Watch and alarm clock • Waterproof backpack cover • Windproof rain jacket Health & Safety: • Face masks (required) • Hand sanitizer (required) • Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.) • Rubber gloves Warm Weather: • Sandals/flip-flops • Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended) • Sun hat/bandana • Swimwear Note: During the winter months (Nov-Apr) the mountains can be very cold, so please make sure you pack warm clothes. During summer, (Jun-Sep) temperatures are very hot and humid. Lightweight breathable clothing is recommended. It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, as well as a light waterproof jacket. Layering is essential. We’re working with our accommodation partners to reduce single-use plastic on our tours by providing safe drinking water for refillable bottles wherever possible. Find out more about our Plastics Partnership Project <a href="https://www.gadventures.com/about-us/responsible-travel/plastics-partnership-project/">here.</a>
Planeterra International Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to turning travel into impact by helping local communities earn an income from tourism. Planeterra connects underserved local communities to the benefits of tourism by developing and supporting small community-owned businesses. These businesses support Indigenous people, empower women, grant youth access to employment opportunities, and protect the environment. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating their projects into G Adventures’ itineraries globally. G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs, so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need. G Adventures Dollar-a-day Program - Make Every Day Count - Turn your travel into impact with <a href="https://www.planeterra.org">Planeterra Foundation</a>. Did you know? Most communities around the world do not benefit from tourism. Give back to the places you visit on your travels by creating opportunities for local people to earn an income, and protect the environment. Make every day count by donating $1/day for the length of your trip, and join us in empowering the communities you will visit when you travel. 100% of your donation goes directly to Planeterra projects.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions. Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s). Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. <a href="/travel-resources/safety/">Read more about travel safety</a> for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Odd number adult travellers in your family will be paired in twin accommodation with another adult traveller of the same sex for the duration of the trip.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Tipping is not practiced in Japan. Leaving money at restaurants, in taxis etc will simply cause confusion. However, at the end of your trip if you felt your two Chief Experience Officers did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline; per CEO $5 USD per person, per day can be used.
Bullet train, express train, local train, ferry, metro, taxi, public bus, walking
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labelled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase, sports bag, or backpack. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. There is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. Porters may not always be available, so be prepared to carry your own bags (at hotels). It’s essential to pack as lightly as possible for rail travel in Japan. All G Adventures tours use the world-famous Shinkansen bullet trains, which have a restriction on maximum luggage size. Any luggage brought on board the train must be less than 160cm in total (calculated as the sum of the height + width + depth of your luggage). This is roughly the size that most airline companies consider as "carry-on baggage" and allow in overhead storage compartments. As this tour includes city-to-city luggage transfers, this restriction only affects your carry-on luggage on board the train. This tour includes a city-to-city luggage transfer service known as "takuhaibin” in Japan, so you will not have to worry about carrying your large luggage on and off trains as we travel. Please note that you will not have access to your bags during the transfers from city to city, and will not be reunited with your large luggage until the following day. On these days, we recommend using an overnight bag (under 160cm in total) for anything you may need, including valuables.
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Okinawa Cooking Class, Tokyo Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Kembu Masters, Kyoto Your Family Journeys Moment: Traditional Taiko Drumming Class, Tokyo Your Family Journeys Moment: Sumo Wrestling Class, Tokyo Your Foodie Moment: Wasabi Farm Visit, Matsumoto Your Family Journeys Moment: Ramen Making Class, Kyoto. Tour of Tokyo including Meiji Jingu Shrine, Asakusa and Harajuku districts. Traditional taiko Japanese drumming class. Sumo class led by a former wrestler. Sleep in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) and enjoy a kaiseki dinner. See wild snow monkeys at the Jigokudani Monkey Park. Visit the Buddhist temple of Zenkō-ji. Visit Matsumoto castle. Visit a local wasabi farm. Walk through the Nishiki Market and Gion Geisha District with your CEOs. Visit the iconic Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine. Take part in a ramen making class. Tour Nara including visits to the Tōdaiji Temple, Kasuga Grand Shrine and the Naramachi district. Visit the famous Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Japan Rail (JR) pass (7 days). All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

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Touring Holidays with G Adventures

Founded in 1990 by Bruce Poon Tip, G Adventures is proud to offer the most awe-inspiring selection of affordable small-group tours, safaris and expeditions, all carefully created to appeal to adventure-craving travellers. G Adventures started as a one-man business and is now an award-winning escorted tour operator and the world’s largest adventure travel company of more than 2,200 people in 28 offices around the globe. The team is made up of people who believe in responsible travel and have a desire to create memorable trips that embrace authentic accommodation, exotic cuisine and local transport to ensure travellers get behind the scenes and experience the real world in an authentic and sustainable manner.

As the small group adventure travel experts, G Adventures is well-known for offering impressive escorted tours in the most fabulous destinations, such as Italy, Spain, Greece, Norway, Egypt, Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Kenya, South Africa, Antarctica, Canada and Australia. More than 150,000 keen travellers choose a G Adventures tour year on year, resulting from the overabundance of tours and destinations on offer to suit each individual style. You can pretty much travel anywhere with G Adventures and, no matter what kind of traveller you are, the company promises you a tour and a life-changing experience that you will never forget.

Travel styles include active tours, national geographic journeys, marine tours, rail tours, classic tours and family tours. G Adventures also offers wellness tours, 18-to-thirtysomethings tours and local living tours. This means you can enjoy yoga sessions in Thailand, get to know the quirky capital of Iceland or explore the sunny beaches and lush jungles of Central America. Alternatively, you can see southern India by rail, go on an Amazon riverboat adventure or climb the world’s tallest free-standing mountain on a Kilimanjaro escorted tour.

One of the nice things about booking a tour with G Adventures is that you don’t lose your deposit if you cancel or delay your trip. Your deposit remains valid until you’re ready to start your adventure, and you can even pass it on to a friend if you wish. Also, G Adventures offers escorted tours under ABTA protection, guarantees every single departure and has staff available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have about a tour. On top of all of that, the company can deliver the tour of a lifetime at a fraction of the cost and will pair up single travellers with a roommate of the same sex to avoid charging a single supplement fee.

G Adventures has won numerous awards to date, including Best Escorted Tour Operator, Best Adventure Travel Company and Best Sustainable Tour Operator, to name just a few. You can also rest assured that G Adventures is committed to doing the right thing all the time for not just the staff and travellers but also the people and the places that the team help you to visit. This includes working with small local businesses and entrepreneurs to strengthen their communities and to ensure your travel money stays where you have spent it.

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This tour is operated by G Adventures

10 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Start:Tokyo
Finish:Kyoto
Group size:1 - 20
Suitable for: Minimum age of 7 years for this trip.
Accommodation:Hotels (9 nts), traditional Inn (1 nt)
Physical rating:3 - Average
Meals:10 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
Diets:Vegetarians, Vegans
Tour operated in: English
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