Japan Family: Sumo, Samurai and Sushi

8 days from $4500 based on a family of 4*
  • Cycle through Kyoto's geisha districts with private guide.
  • Learn to make a Shokado bento during a cooking class.
  • Zigzag through the Hakone countryside by pirate ship, and train with expert guide.
  • Explore the sights of buzzing Tokyo with private guide.
  • Featuring expertly selected hotels.
Request a Quote

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 a train through the mountains of Hakone; try to catch a glimpse of the notoriously elusive Mt. Fuji; sail a replica pirate ship across Lake Ashinoko; and cycle through the geisha districts of Kyoto.

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
    • Tour - Private - 1/2 Day City Highlights (4hrs) - 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 outside 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*)
Sumo Training
Sumo Training
Sensoji Temple
Sensoji Temple

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.
  • Steven T. — June 15, 2016 — Asia

    We found Kensington of great assistance in helping us extend our recent trip to Japan with days on private tour to Nagasaki, Hiroshima and Miyajima. Astrid Di Paolo was our Kensington travel designer and was a delight to work with - very conscientious and attentive to every detail of our trip.

  • Sydney L. — June 08, 2016 — Asia

    This trip was unforgettable. I start medical school in July and wanted to do one last family trip before starting school (and no longer having summers). China and Tibet were unbelievable. The Holy Lake and Great Wall pictures alone were worth the money spent on the trip. My father loved the monasteries in Tibet as well. He is a history nerd and loved hearing the stories from 600 AD and witnessing the great stupas. Nepal was amazing as well, although I would have loved to have seen the sites before the earthquakes. All of our guides were friendly, knowledgeable and took the time to make sure we had enough water and were safe. Would recommend Kensington Tours to all of my friends and will definitely book again using them!

  • Ma. Cecilia J — June 01, 2016 — Asia

    Everything was great!

  • Loretta H. — May 19, 2016 — Asia

    Very enjoyable trip. We had a private guide and driver. All very knowledgeable. Always met us at the airport and even waited for us when our flight was delayed. The price was well worth the money spent. Thank you Kensington Tours!

  • Marnie T. — May 19, 2016 — Asia

    The local guides were very sweet, knowledgeable and accommodating to our itinerary desires.

  • Diana S. — May 19, 2016 — Asia

    The local guides in Japan were all so pleasant and very knowledgeable of the areas we visited. They often shared personal stories which further enhanced our enjoyment of the tours.

  • Byron M. — May 19, 2016 — Asia

    That was the single greatest experience of my life.

  • James G. — May 19, 2016 — Asia

    We were very impressed by the quality of the tour. Everything worked as planned - our guides met us on time every time, the hotels were well selected and met our needs precisely, the itinerary was well chosen. We would like to call out the expertise and friendliness of our guides. They added immensely to the success of the trip. All of the guides were great but we want to especially express appreciation for the guides in Ho Chi Minh City and Angkor Wat. They helped make us feel like we were speaking with friends about the countries and places they lived in.

  • Jessica A. — May 19, 2016 — Asia

    My guide, Michi, was an absolute doll! She was so helpful and so accommodating when I wanted to alter the itinerary. She went above and beyond to ensure I had a great experience. Jessica Clements is a saint. I don't know how she deals with me and my 1,000,000 questions and tendency to change my mind every other day. Rock on.

  • Ann S. — May 18, 2016 — Asia

    Fabulous Japan tour! Loved our stays in Tokyo, Hakone and Kyoto. Superior hotels! Top-notch guides! Exciting sites! Thank you to our outstanding agent, Sunita Singh, for this extraordinary experience! We've already booked out next Kensington Tours trip.

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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