National Geographic Family Journeys: Japan Family Journey: From Ancient to Modern Times (AJTNF)

Countries Visited: Japan
Trip Style: Information Not available
Service Level: Upgraded
  • All the adventure you want, with a softer landing
  • Handpicked, character-rich accommodations with upgraded amenities services
  • Upgraded and private transport, including flights to maximize time
  • More included meals, activities and transfers
    Physical Demands Rating: 1 - You'll have to walk around on your own, climb some stairs and carry your own bag. Easy does it.
    Group Size: 20
    Meals Included: 10 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
    Accommodations: Not Availaible

    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

    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.
  • Call (631) 757-8500 for more information or to book today! Mention code 14460937

    Tour Operator
    G Adventures
    11 Days
    Escorted - Yes
    Day 1TokyoDay 1 Tokyo
    Arrive in time to meet your fellow travelers for a welcome gathering this evening. Your arrival transfer is included. Additional Notes: On our tours in Japan we use public transport, making use of Japans world famous transportation system. From the super fast Shinkansen Bullet Train to Kyotos 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. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting Transport: Airport Transfer
    Day 2TokyoDay 2 Tokyo (1B)
    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. Additional Notes: Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public bus, metro and on foot. Included Activities: Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu) Visit Harajuku Visit Traditional Taiko Drumming Class Asakusa Walk Transport: Metro
    Day 3TokyoDay 3 Tokyo (1B, 1L)
    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. Additional Notes: Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public bus, metro and on foot. Included Activities: Okinawan Cooking Class Transport: Metro
    Day 4NaganoDay 4 Tokyo/Nagano (1B, 1D)
    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. Additional Notes: Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public bus, metro, train and on foot. Included Activities: Sumo Wrestling Class Transport: Metro Bullet train (3.00 hour(s)) Local train (1.00 hour(s))
    Day 5NaganoDay 5 Nagano (1B)
    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. Additional Notes: Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public bus, metro, train and on foot. Included Activities: Jigokudani Monkey Park Visit Zenko-ji Temple Transport: Local train (1.00 hour(s))
    Day 6NaganoDay 6 Nagano (1B)
    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! Additional Notes: Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by train, taxi (to/from the Wasabi Farm) and on foot. Included Activities: Matsumoto Castle Visit Wasabi Farm Visit Transport: Local train (1.50-2.00 hours) Local train (1.50-2.00 hours)
    Day 7KyotoDay 7 Nagano/Kyoto (1B)
    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. Additional Notes: Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by train and on foot. Included Activities: Nishiki Market Visit Gion Walk Transport: Bullet train (5.00 hour(s))
    Day 8KyotoDay 8 Kyoto (1B, 1L)
    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. Additional Notes: Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public bus, metro and on foot. Included Activities: Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine Visit Ramen Making Class
    Day 9NaraDay 9 Nara (1B)
    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. Additional Notes: Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public bus, metro and on foot. Included Activities: Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Complex Visit Kasuga Grand Shrine Transport: Local train (1.25 hour(s)) Local train (1.25 hour(s))
    Day 10KyotoDay 10 Kyoto (1B, 1D)
    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. Additional Notes: Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public bus, metro and on foot. Included Activities: Kembu Masters Kiyomizu Temple Visit
    Day 11KyotoDay 11 Kyoto (1B)
    There are no planned activities today and you are free to depart at any time.

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    Dossier Disclaimer: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.

    Itinerary Disclaimer: 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.
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