Japan Family: Sumo, Samurai and Sushi

8 days from $4500 based on a family of 4*
  • Cycle through a world of cherry blossoms in Kyoto with private guide.
  • Meet Japan’s famous sumo wrestlers at the Ryogoku.
  • Learn to make a Shokado bento during a cooking class.
  • Zigzag through the Hakone countryside by cable car, pirate ship, and train with expert guide.
  • Featuring expertly selected hotels.
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As two mighty giants of sumo come together in a room-shaking thud before your eyes, you and your family will be hit with a wave of instant new respect for this ancient Japanese art.

You’ll get a rare insight into this largely misunderstood sport as you and your kids attend a real training session at a traditional heya where brave young apprentices show no fear as they step up to challenge seasoned veterans of sumo. But this is just one of the many fun-filled experiences this family-friendly tour will deliver as you dive head first into all the color and eccentricity of modern-day Japan. You’ll visit one of Japan’s most famous animation studios; browse the weird and wonderful anime costume shops of Akihabara; ride the world’s second longest cable car over the steaming volcanic rivers of Mt Owakudani; try to catch a glimpse of the notoriously elusive Mt. Fuji; sail a replica pirate ship across Lake Ashinoko; cycle through the geisha districts of Kyoto; and ride the zig-zag train through the mountains of Hakone.

A team of experienced English-speaking guides will be at your side to help unravel the mysteries of this culturally complex country and to answer the many questions that will no doubt arise in curious young minds. There’s also an educational element to match the fun with a range of calligraphy, origami, flower arrangement and cooking lessons on offer for plenty of parent-child bonding opportunities. And your family-friendly accommodation offers a mixture of contemporary apartment living, cozy family-style inns and elegant modern hotels. ... Show More »

Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance. « Show Less

Day
Activities Hotel & Meals
Hotel & Meals
  • Day 1 Tokyo
    Tokyo
    • Japan - Welcome
    • Airport Meet & Assist - Meet & Greet-Narita 9:00-20:55(12)
    • Transfer - Private - Airport - Vehicle/Driver/Narita Airport(7)
  • Day 2 Tokyo
    Tokyo
    • Tour - Private - Ghibli Museum & Nakano Walking Tour (8hrs) - Guide/Public Transport
  • Day 3 Tokyo
    Tokyo
    • Tour - Private - 1/2 Day Sumo Wrestler Training with Lunch (3hrs) - Guide/Public Transport - Weekday
    • Private - 1/2 Day Tokyo - Imperial Palace, Asakusa, & Meiji (4 hr) - Guide/Public Transport
  • Day 4 Tokyo to Hakone
    Tokyo to Hakone
    • Tour - Private - Discover Hakone Mt. Fuji National Park Tour (9hrs) - Guide/Vehicle
    Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 5 Hakone to Kyoto
    Hakone to Kyoto
    • Transfer - Private - Train Station - Vehicle/Driver
    • Hakone - Kyoto [(2hrs)] - 1st Class
    • Self-Guided - Granvia Arrival from Train Station - Short Walk
    • 1/2 Day Home Visit with Cultural Experience: Tea Ceremony (2.5hrs) - Guide/Public Transportation
  • Day 6 Kyoto
    Kyoto
    • Tour - Private - 1/2 Day Morning Japanese Cooking in Machiya Townhouse (3.5hrs) - Bento Style - Guide
  • Day 7 Kyoto
    Kyoto
    • Tour - Private - 1/2 Day Cycling the Back Streets of Kyoto (3hrs) - Guide/Bicycle
  • Day 8 Kyoto
    Kyoto
    • Kyoto - Osaka [Kansai Airport] - Vehicle/Driver(2)
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
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Day 1: Tokyo

Welcome to Japan!

An English speaking assistant will meet and assist you upon arrival at the airport and take you to meet your driver.

Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle.

Accommodation: Park Hotel Tokyo (4*)

Park Hotel Tokyo is ideally situated in Shiodome, a flourishing center of business and culture. This luxury business hotel in Tokyo provides a superior level of service to satisfy the needs of all international clientele. A member of the design hotels TM group, Park Hotel Tokyo offers an extraordinary level of service and coordinated interior designs. Each room at Park Hotel Tokyo is decorated with Monique Le Houelleur's natural artwork and features color coordinated curtains and bedcovers. With its Atrium, Restaurants and Travel concept, art, the hotel is also unique in not only offering traditional Japanese hospitality throughout the year, but also stimulating the aesthetic senses of its guests.

Tokyo
Tokyo
Park Hotel Tokyo
Park Hotel Tokyo

Day 2: Tokyo

The Ghibli Museum is the animation and art museum of Miyazaki Hayao's Studio Ghibli, one of Japan's most famous animation studios. They have produced many feature length films with worldwide distribution such as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea. Located in Mitaka, just outside of central Tokyo, the museum is a must-see for fans of the films. The museum itself is whimsically designed in the distinct style of the studio's films, and many of their famous characters are there, including a life-sized robot from Castle in the Sky on the rooftop garden. The first floor of the museum exhibits the history and techniques of animation and has as a small theater which shows short movies by Studio Ghibli that are exclusive to the museum and are rotated monthly. The second floor houses special temporary exhibitions. The museum further has a cafe, children's play area, a rooftop garden and a gift shop. In the afternoon visit nearby Nakano, which has now surpassed Akihabara as the mecca for the anime and manga otaku (fans). Visit Nakano Broadway, a shopping complex overflowing with new and used comics and memorabilia from all ages and categories of Japanese pop culture, and end your day with a visit to a maid café, where the waitresses dress up and act like maids. You will also have the opportunity to take a souvenir photo with one of the maids.

Please note that with this tour you will have a private guide, but rather than travelling by private vehicle, you will make use of Tokyo’s efficient local transit system.

Accommodation: Park Hotel Tokyo (4*)
Ghibli Museum
Ghibli Museum

Day 3: Tokyo

Your guide for the morning will meet you at your hotel and take you to the Ryogoku, the center of Japan’s sumo world. As well as the Kokugikan Sumo Stadium, Ryogoku is home to most of Tokyo’s sumo heyas. All rikishi (wrestlers) belong to heyas, or sumo stables, where they live, train and eat.  We will be able to visit one of these heya to get up close and personal with these giant men and watch their asa geiko (morning training). The day begins in the early morning, when the lowest ranked men wake up and put in some practice before going about their assigned duties, which include cleaning the building and preparing the food for the main meal of the day. Higher ranked sekitori appear at a more reasonable hour, and they begin a practice session that runs from about 7am until about 10am. After several hours of warm up and technique practice, the wrestlers play an exciting "King of the Castle" game where one wrestler stays in the ring fighting bouts without any rest until he is defeated. The tour will finish in the Ryogoku area. 

Please note that with this tour you will have a private guide, but rather than travelling by private vehicle, you will make use of Tokyo’s efficient local transit system.

Take a half day tour of this fascinating city with a local guide, making use of Tokyo’s comprehensive and user friendly public transport system. The day begins with a visit to the Imperial Palace, home of Japan’s Imperial Family. Next is Asakusa, Tokyo’s old town where you can soak in the atmosphere of the Tokyo of old. Visit Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest temple and wander down Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries. Take the subway across town to Meiji Shrine, a shrine dedicated to the deified spirit of Emperor Meiji and a popular place for traditional Japanese weddings. If time permits, you can take a walk down Omotesando shopping street, a broad tree lined avenue home to the flagship stores of the world’s top fashion brands. Please note that with this tour you will have a private guide, but rather than travelling by private vehicle, you will make use of Tokyo’s efficient local transit system.

Accommodation: Park Hotel Tokyo (4*)
Imperial Palace
Imperial Palace
Sumo Training
Sumo Training

Day 4: Tokyo - Hakone

Today you will explore the Fuji/Hakone National Park, located only 90 minutes from Tokyo, by private car with guide.  You will drive along the spectacular Hakone Skyline road, providing scenic views of Mt. Fuji on clear days. A majestic replica pirate ship will sweep you across the Lake Ashinoko, a lake formed by a volcanic eruption 3000 years ago. Hakone used to be an important checkpoint to control traffic along the Tokaido highway which linked Tokyo with Kyoto during the feudal Edo Period. You can visit the Hakone Checkpoint to see the gates, fence, housing for officers and foot soldiers, a prison chamber and a lookout tower. Visit Hakone Jinja, a delightful mountain Shinto sanctuary close to the lake, which is known for granting harmony in relationships. Last stop of the day is the Hakone Open Air Museum, which successfully attempts to create a harmonic balance of nature and art by exhibiting various sculptures on its spacious grounds in combination with beautiful views of the surrounding valley and mountains. Besides the sculptures, the Hakone Open Air Museum features various indoor galleries, including a sizable Picasso Collection, consisting of paintings, prints, sculptures and ceramic creations. You can also relax your tired feet with soak in the hot spring foot bath! Throughout the day you will have the chance to get a glimpse of Mt Fuji, however please keep in mind that she is a notoriously shy mountain and it needs to be a clear day.

Accommodation: Gora Hanaougi (4*)

Gora Hanaougi is located at the most popular area in Hakone and surrounded by beautiful natural landscape. Guests can relax in comfort at open-air hot spring bath in their room looking at the magnificent mountains and beautiful sky. Easily accessible, 1-2 hours in distance from Tokyo, guests can experience traditional Japanese beauty and hospitality that will make your stay truly unforgettable. All rooms decorated in modern Japanese style are equipped with private open-air hot spring bath featuring a great view.

Hakone
Hakone
Japanese-Style Living Room
Japanese-Style Living Room

Day 5: Hakone - Kyoto

Meet your driver for a train station transfer with a private vehicle.

Transfer by train from Hakone (Odawara) to Kyoto. The train ride is approximately 2 hours.

The Granvia Kyoto is located directly above the Japan Rail train station. After exiting your train, please follow the below instructions to reach your hotel. This is a very short walk, and done easily on your own, so no guide service has been included.

When using the Shinkansen bullet train: Exit via the Shinkansen Main Exit, turn right and walk straight through Nanboku-Jiyu-Tsuro (North-to-South main corridor) until you reach the escalator to the hotel entrance on your right.

When using the Haruka Express from Kansai International Airport: Exit via the JR Chuo Main Exit and take the escalator on your right to the Lobby on the 2nd floor of the hotel.

This afternoon you will have the opportunity to visit the home of an instructor of one of Japan’s Traditional Arts. One of our assistants will meet at your hotel and escort you to the instructor’s house. You will learn all about the various types of tea and the instruments used to prepare it with the support/advice from the professional instructor and interpretation from our assistant. You will see how every movement has a meaning and what serving tea to guests means in Japan.

Accommodation: Hotel Granvia Kyoto (4.5*)

Hotel Granvia Kyoto is an integral part of the JR Kyoto Station Building, the visually striking architectural masterpiece which also includes a department store, museum, musical theater, and a vast underground shopping mall. From this convenient location, hotel guests have direct and easy access to and from Kansai International Airport and major metropolitan destinations across Japan. With its elegant accommodations, including beautifully appointed guestrooms, there is simply no better place to stay in Kyoto. The inclusion of 12 restaurants and bars and fitness facilities makes Hotel Granvia Kyoto the premier destination for international travelers.

Kyoto
Kyoto
Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Hotel Granvia Kyoto

Day 6: Kyoto

Japanese cuisine has such high reputation that it was declared UNESCO Intangible World Heritage. In this tour you will try your hand at making some of the dishes that made this cuisine so popular in the world. Choose your favourite class according to your interests and time needs. Bento is a boxed meal, common in Japanese cuisine. In this class you will cook and eat your own Shokado bento, a style of bento that originated in Kyoto, including familiar dishes such as tempura, miso soup, sushi.

Accommodation: Hotel Granvia Kyoto (4.5*)
Traditional Japanese Salad
Traditional Japanese Salad

Day 7: Kyoto

With your local guide, cycle through the Miyagawacho and Gion geisha districts, hoping to see a geisha or maiko (apprentice geisha) as they dash between appointments.  Continue along the Shirakawa canal lined with weeping willow trees, past traditional Kyoto style tea houses. Next stop is the Imperial Palace Park with its beautiful gardens.
Cycle back to Kyoto station along the Kamogawa River, whose riverbanks are popular with locals for strolling. Cherry blossoms bloom along the banks of the river in spring, and in summer restaurants open balconies looking out to the river.
If you wish to continue sightseeing in Kyoto on your bike after the tour has finished, we can arrange for you to keep the bike until 19:00 at no charge. Tours begins and ends at Kyoto Cycling Tour Project Terminal (near Kyoto Station).

Accommodation: Hotel Granvia Kyoto (4.5*)
Kyoto Cycling
Kyoto Cycling

Day 8: Kyoto

Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle.

Accommodation:
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

Trip Terms & Conditions

  • Your deposit is due immediately on booking (30% of program price, minimum $350). The balance is due 90 days prior to departure.
  • Cancellations of confirmed bookings 90 days or more prior to departure will receive full refund minus a $350 (per person) administrative fee and any non-refundable paid fees (e.g. non-refundable airfare, cruise or hotel deposits). 60-89 days will be subject to loss of 30% of program price. 30-59 days will be subject to loss of 50% of program price. 29 days or less will be subject to loss of 100% of program price.
  • Tour quotes do not include airfare to/from the trip start point unless noted on the itinerary
  • Cost increases in currency exchange, government fees, taxes, surcharges or hotel/lodge tariff increases between quote date and start date are payable by the client.
  • Availability cannot be guaranteed until booked. We will exercise best efforts to book hotels per the itinerary, however, in busy seasons and with client bookings made within 90 days of tour date we may be forced to offer substitutes.
  • Payment of the program price constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions set out at www.kensingtontours.com/terms-and-conditions
  • Living Standards and practices at destination may differ from those in North America with respect to provisions of utilities, services and accommodation.

Park Hotel Tokyo (4*): Tokyo

Park Hotel Tokyo is ideally situated in Shiodome, a flourishing center of business and culture. This luxury business hotel in Tokyo provides a superior level of service to satisfy the needs of all international clientele. A member of the design hotels TM group, Park Hotel Tokyo offers an extraordinary level of service and coordinated interior designs. Each room at Park Hotel Tokyo is decorated with Monique Le Houelleur's natural artwork and features color coordinated curtains and bedcovers. With its Atrium, Restaurants and Travel concept, art, the hotel is also unique in not only offering traditional Japanese hospitality throughout the year, but also stimulating the aesthetic senses of its guests.

Park Hotel Tokyo
Park Hotel Tokyo

Gora Hanaougi (4*): Hakone

Gora Hanaougi is located at the most popular area in Hakone and surrounded by beautiful natural landscape. Guests can relax in comfort at open-air hot spring bath in their room looking at the magnificent mountains and beautiful sky. Easily accessible, 1-2 hours in distance from Tokyo, guests can experience traditional Japanese beauty and hospitality that will make your stay truly unforgettable. All rooms decorated in modern Japanese style are equipped with private open-air hot spring bath featuring a great view.

Japanese-Style Living Room
Japanese-Style Living Room

Hotel Granvia Kyoto (4.5*): Kyoto

Hotel Granvia Kyoto is an integral part of the JR Kyoto Station Building, the visually striking architectural masterpiece which also includes a department store, museum, musical theater, and a vast underground shopping mall. From this convenient location, hotel guests have direct and easy access to and from Kansai International Airport and major metropolitan destinations across Japan. With its elegant accommodations, including beautifully appointed guestrooms, there is simply no better place to stay in Kyoto. The inclusion of 12 restaurants and bars and fitness facilities makes Hotel Granvia Kyoto the premier destination for international travelers.

Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Hotel Granvia Kyoto
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
  • Elizabeth W — June 24, 2015 — Asia

    Excellent trip. All of the guides were professional and top quality. We were able to see many sights due to their knowledge of the train system and they also taught us how to get around on our own. The guides also recommended places to see on our own time and all worth while. In addition they taught us local customs and foods that we needed to try in that region. Very helpful. Special day was with our guide on the Fish Market and sushi making tour, made sushi personally with her. She made it a very special day. Great tour for those who want guides but also some free time on our own. The guides were always on time, the transportation on time and everyone was so nice and helpful. We also appreciated not having to be in a large group of strangers and the one on one quality of the tour. Was not sure what to expect but the trip met all expectations and then some. Will use Kensington again and will refer friends.

  • Lynn m — June 18, 2015 — Asia

    We booked all accommodation ourselves so not rated on survey. Kensington did a perfect job for us customizing all our transportation needs at the airport, ferry, hotel or boat transfer. There was always someone waiting with a sing on the correct day, time and place. As well the guides we used were friendly, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and spoke English well. Our travel consultant Marc Sison was excellent always prompt returning my call or email as well as making fabulous suggestions like going to Oslob to snorkel with the Whale Sharks, an absolute highlight of our trip. Our trip to the Philippines was primarily to snorkel and we were not disappointed, the water was warm and clear with lots of fish, coral, sea snakes, sting rays and even a couple of black tipped reef sharks. Of course there were turtles but we have seem many in our past snorkeling. This has created another way of traveling. Thanks! All the categories on the survey I rate as 10.

  • Maynard Fossum — December 12, 2014 — Asia

    My trip to China proved to be an outstanding experience. Each location provided excellent learning and entertainment opportunities. The country was very impressive both in its deep history and in the huge modernization that has taken place in recent decades. The tour guides at each location were well informed and able to answer questions while also offering detailed information at all sites. It was a pleasure to be so well taken care of. The guides and drivers were always helpful. The meals on the tour were delicious and varied. I was pleased with the choice of restaurants. The hotels were comfortable and well located. I will recommend Kensington Tours.

  • FayeLaing — December 12, 2014 — Asia

    I was a bit nervous about visiting Myanmar. Thanks to the outstanding help and planning via Kensington Tours, everything went off without a hitch!! It was a fantastic experience, that I would recommend to anyone with a spirit of adventure.

  • Craig Gelman — December 12, 2014 — Asia

    Fabulous trip. Every aspect from the planning to execution was excellent.

  • Ruth Reinhard — December 12, 2014 — Asia

    The trip was fantastic!!!Each guide and driver gave us so much information and were so helpful. They made sure that they took good care of our well being and requests. My husband, who we all call "the reluctant traveler" said, halfway through the trip, where are we going next? He said if he can go with Kensington then he will go anyplace. Thanks for making our trip to China a memorable experience.

  • SixtoCastenada Jr. — December 12, 2014 — Asia

    100% satisfied! We had a wonderful trip. Our travel adviser, Tony Newman put together a tour that included everywhere we wanted to visit and within our very limited time frame. Conrad, who booked our transportation was very professional. The tour guides, hotel accommodations and transportation arrangements were all excellent. We will be using Kensington Tours again!

  • TerryCreighton — December 12, 2014 — Asia

    We were so impressed with all aspects of the trip that Kensington arranged for us - even at short notice. The itinerary was perfectly planned, full of extra activities like riding an elephant and a water buffalo cart ride. The guides were wonderful in all the places we went and the travel was easy between locations. Vietnam is a wonderful destination and Angkor Wat is amazing too. We loved the overnight on the boat in Halong Bay and the train ride to Sapa. The day we spent trekking between indigenous villages in the mountains of Sapa was one of the most interesting days of my life! We have travelled a lot and this was one of the best trips we have ever taken.

  • Olive Ramchand — June 03, 2014 — Asia

    I have to admit, this was the BEST vacation I ever had. The tour was nothing less than Fantastic! The hotels were great, the guides were great, the transportation was great, the places were great, the people were great, the food was great and last but not least China, itself was out of this world. I'm so glad I booked this tour and would recommend this to anyone. Thanks so much for all your help, your interest and your recommendations. Steve in China was so attentive, he called constantly to make sure everything was fine. We really had a fabulous time and even my jaded husband who normally only seems to care about where the nearest golf course is, was impressed and had a wonderful time.

    Thanks again, and unto the next vacation (although I don't know how we would top this one!!)

  • Jeanne Tarvin — April 21, 2014 — Asia

    The tour was absolutely fabulous. It all started with the planning. Kathryn graciously accommodated our tight schedule and multiple needs, including a mid-trip change in plans. The tour guides and drivers were all great and extremely knowledgeable. The accommodations and meals were fantastic. I was apprehensive about going to China not knowing the language but it worked out great!

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

* USD per person, double occupancy. Custom designed personal tour. Prices subject to change.

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