Product Line Code
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. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
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
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.
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.
There are new Health & Safety Protocols for National Geographic Journeys tours. Please see here
for full details and up-to-date requirements as they may change.
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.
5. Please note that on all Family Adventures one adult can only accompany up to two minors. If you have over two minors planning on travelling then a second adult will be required to attend.
Group Leader Description
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.
Group Size Notes
10 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
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.
Bullet train, express train, local train, ferry, metro, taxi, public bus, walking
About our Transportation
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.
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.
Hotels (9 nts), traditional Inn (1 nt)
My Own Room
Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for some night stops with the below exception.
Rooming and "My Own Room" Exceptions
Night 4 in Nagano
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.
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
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.
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.
What to Take
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 (Excluding national holidays) 9:00-18:00 Local Time
From outside Japan: 1st contact +81 3-6659-9074 (2nd contact +81 80 6779 1851)
From within Japan: 1st contact +81 3-6659-9074 (2nd contact +81 80 6779 1851)
After office hours emergency number
Primary phone: +81 80 6779 1851 (from within Japan: 080 6779 1851)
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 here
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
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.
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers
• Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders)
• Shawl or scarf (for temple visits)
• 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)
• 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
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• 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.)
• Quick Covid Test/Antigen Test
• Rubber gloves
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
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 here.
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.
Visas and Entry Requirements
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check the information yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.
Visa information specific to your destination and nationality can be found in our Important Pre-Departure Information page here
IMPORTANT UPDATE (from Aug 22, 2022): Japan has suspended its visa waiver. Depending on your nationality, you will either be eligible to apply online for an eVisa (with a turnaround of less than a week), or you will be required to apply with the Japanese consulate (turnaround time of up to 6 weeks). Please contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements.
Within 3 business days of receiving all required information following confirmation of your tour, G Adventures will provide you with a certificate for completion of registration to the Entrants, Returnees Follow-up System (ERFS) along with a summary of your upcoming tour. These two documents are required as part of the visa process.
Upon arrival to Japan, you will be required to sign a Japan Tourism Agreement Form acknowledging your agreement to follow current tourism regulations in Japan.
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.
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 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!
Departure Tax is included in all International and Domestic tickets.
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.
- Tokyo Tower Visit (900-2800JPY per person)
- Ueno Park Visit (Free)
- Tofukuji Temple Visit (400-800JPY per person)
- Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion Visit (400JPY per person)
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.
Safety and Security
Trip Specific Safety
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. Read more about travel safety
for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
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.
A Couple of Rules
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.
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.
Planeterra Foundation - the non-profit partner of G Adventures
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 Planeterra Foundation
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send it on to you.
Minimum age of 7 years for this trip.
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.
2 CEOs (Chief Experience Officers) throughout
National Geographic Family Journeys