Kid-Friendly Japan Private Tour

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Why You Should Go

During our Lynch family travels, we are always on the lookout for kid-friendly travel opportunities (especially when Zen was growing up). We found that Japan consistently ranks at the top of our list! Japan’s technological development and its roaring entertainment industry captivate curious minds, both young and old. Being big fans of Hayao Miyazaki’s award-winning animated films (Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo – among others), we feel the Ghibli-centered attractions included are a must-see. However, the true breadth of Japan’s character is not limited to its sleek innovations. For an up-close view of Japan’s unique Shinto and Buddhist-based culture, ancient shrines and temples with lively grounds and merchant stalls are exemplary sites. Old castles with pasts riddled with ninjas and samurai provide a fun opportunity for everyone to engage in this country’s rich history.

This kid-friendly itinerary showcases what Japan has to offer, including activities, excursions, and historical sites for travelers of all ages!

Best Travel Time: Spring Summer Fall

Shinkansen bullet train pass Mountain fuji
Shinkansen "Bullet Train"

Sample Itinerary

12 Days

Each private luxury tour is custom to the wishes of each client. This itinerary is a sample. Partnering with our long-established relationship with United Airlines, our sister company, TRAVNET, may provide competitive Polaris/Business Class international airfare, along with mileage points conversion.

1

Day 1

Fly to Tokyo
Through our sister company, premium air provider TRAVNET, we may assist with your international airfare, as well as with mileage points conversion.

Meals:
Accommodations: 

Aerial photograph of Tokyo Bay Area
Tokyo, Japan
2

Day 2

Arrive Tokyo
Upon arrival in Tokyo, you will have the chance to check-in and freshen up at The Peninsula Tokyo where you may spend the remainder of your day enjoying the hotel’s amenities.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: The Peninsula Tokyo

china-japan-peninsula-tokyo
The Peninsula Tokyo
3

Day 3

Tokyo Private Touring
Your touring today will begin with a visit to the Meiji Shrine, where, based on Shinto tradition, you can write your prayer on a wooden block just outside of the shrine. You will continue on to the Harajuku shopping district full of trendy shops and cafes. You will also visit the Miraikan (“Future Museum”), an interactive museum centered around technological progress, global environment, space exploration, and life science.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: The Peninsula Tokyo

Harajuku – Takeshita Street. Tokyo, Japan.
Harajuku District
4

Day 4

Tokyo Private Touring
This morning, start your day with a hands-on Taiko Drum Experience and a visit to the Art Aquarium at Ginza, where thousands of goldfish swim about large glass vessels under multicolored lights and projections. A 35-minute drive from Tokyo will then bring you to the Ghibli Museum, which features a projection room, an exhibit room showcasing original works, and replicas of characters from the iconic animated films. Afterward, you will take a trip to the Akihabara District and stop by the Yodobashi Camera Multimedia Akiba, Japan’s largest electronics store.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: The Peninsula Tokyo

ghibili-museum-2
Ghibli Museum
5

Day 5

Tokyo Private Touring
Today, you will take the Sumida River Cruise from Hinode Pier to the riverfront district of Asakusa. Here, visit Sensoji, a 17th-century Buddhist temple, and mix in with the worshipers and sight-seers. Explore the temple grounds and the surrounding arcade of merchants’ stalls, including Nakamise Dori, a market street just outside the temple where you will find a variety of traditional crafts and senbei, rice crackers often flavored with soy sauce.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: The Peninsula Tokyo

cloudy_senso-ji
Sensoji Temple
6

Day 6

Drive Tokyo/Hakone + En route Touring
Following breakfast at The Peninsula Tokyo, you will be privately transferred to Hakone. En route, eat your way through ramen history at the Yokohma Ramen Museum, and visit the 59-foot moving Mech from the popular franchise, Gundam. You will also stop at Odawara Castle, a 15th-century fortress with a castle museum and a small amusement park filled with luscious fruit gardens, a mini train, a zoo, and roller coaster rides. Your tour will conclude with your evening arrival at Gōra Kadan.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Gōra Kadan

Odawara Castle
Odawara Castle
7

Day 7

Hakone Private Touring
Following breakfast at Gōra Kadan, your private tour options will include a Lake Ashi boat excursion, Jinja Shrine, and the Hakone Ropeway over Owakudani Valley, an active volcanic valley famous for blacked-boiled eggs! Another stopover will be the Hakone Open Air Museum and its vast collection of modern sculptures and art, including three giant climbing centers to explore.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Gōra Kadan

Hakone robeway at owakudani volcanic valley with active sulphur vents and hot springs in Hakone
Owakudani Valley
8

Day 8

Drive Hakone/Odawara + Shinkansen (Bullet Train) Odawara/Kyoto
This morning, you will be transferred to Odawara and assisted by our representative in boarding the Shinkansen to Kyoto Station. Upon arrival in Kyoto, you will check in at Hotel the Mitsui before your visit to Kiyomizu Temple (Pure Water Temple), a UNESCO World Heritage site above Otowa Waterfall. This evening, you will also embark on a two-hour Gion walking tour alongside the Shirakawa River.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto

kiyomizu-dera
Kiyomizu Temple (Pure Water Temple)
9

Day 9

Kyoto Private Touring
With your private guide, embark on a 1.5-hour train ride to experience the highly anticipated Ghibli Park! Opened in November 2022, the 17.5-acre amusement park transports guests into another world with highly-detailed, life-sized replications of characters and settings from some of the most beloved Ghibli films.

Upon your return to Kyoto, you will stroll along the Philosopher’s Walk, a two-kilometer-long path that covers five temples and two shrines, paralleling a beautiful canal. Additionally, you will visit both Ginkakuji Temple (Silver Pavilion) and Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion), and there will be an optional Samurai & Ninja Museum experience.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto

ghiblithemepark
Ghibli Park
10

Day 10

Arashiyama Private Touring
You will enjoy a full-day tour in Arashiyama including Iwatayama “Monkey Park” (touristy but fun!), the surreal and vibrant Bamboo Grove, Togetsukyo Bridge, and Tenryuji Temple. For a fun break from the temples and shrines, you will also have the opportunity to visit the Toei Studio Theme Park with a ninja training dojo and samurai fight demonstrations.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto

Japanese macaque Kyoto.
Monkeys at Iwatayama "Monkey Park"
11

Day 11

Kyoto & Nara Private Touring
Today, you will visit the Kyoto International Manga Museum, which features over 3,000,000 manga (Japanese graphic novels). Enjoy the “What is Manga” exhibit, relax in the tea room, or have your portrait drawn by mangaka (manga artists). After, you will begin your excursion to Nara and visit Todaiji, the head temple of all Japanese provincial Buddhist temples and the world’s largest wooden building. Constructed in 752, Todaiji sits directly across from Nara Park, a large, beautiful park with hundreds of free-roaming deer, who are believed to be messengers of the Shinto gods.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto

nara-deer-park-2
Nara Deer Park
12

Day 12

Fly Osaka/Home
Following breakfast, you will be privately transferred to Osaka International Airport for your flight home.

Meals: Breakfast

View of Tokyo skyline at sunset
Tokyo, Japan

Hotels

The 24-story Peninsula has the best luxury hotel location in Tokyo, directly across from the lovely Hibiya Park (think 5K run!), Imperial grounds, and adjacent to the amazing Ginza shopping district. Envisioned by architect Kuzukiyo Sato to look like a giant Japanese stone lantern, the freestanding Peninsula combines subtle Japanese hospitality with the Peninsula tradition of understated luxury. The rooms are among the largest in Tokyo, starting at 544 sq. feet. Cool amenities range from bedside consoles that control the drapes to Lavazza espresso machines. The rooms even offer the ladies a personal nail dryer! For our jogging friends, the Peninsula offers a nice 5K start to your day. Beginning across the street on the Imperial Palace’s grounds, a full 5K jog runs through the grounds and back through Hibiya Park. Zen rates the hot chocolate and the Peninsula’s amazing “vitality” pool as the best in all of Japan!

The Peninsula Tokyo

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The 24-story Peninsula has the best luxury hotel location in Tokyo, directly across from the lovely Hibiya Park (think 5K run!), Imperial grounds, and adjacent to the amazing Ginza shopping district. Envisioned by architect Kuzukiyo Sato to look like a giant Japanese stone lantern, the freestanding Peninsula combines subtle Japanese hospitality with the Peninsula tradition of understated luxury. The rooms are among the largest in Tokyo, starting at 544 sq. feet. Cool amenities range from bedside consoles that control the drapes to Lavazza espresso machines. The rooms even offer the ladies a personal nail dryer! For our jogging friends, the Peninsula offers a nice 5K start to your day. Beginning across the street on the Imperial Palace’s grounds, a full 5K jog runs through the grounds and back through Hibiya Park. Zen rates the hot chocolate and the Peninsula’s amazing “vitality” pool as the best in all of Japan!

Gōra Kadan is a superb ryokan (traditional inn) that has managed to compromise gracefully with the modern Western world. Proprietress Mikawako, the third generation of Fujimotos to run Gōra Kadan, has blended traditional Japanese ryokan hospitality with modern Western design in creating a luxurious ryokan spa experience. The Gōra Kadan’s original building dates back 300 years and was the summer home of the Kan’in-No-Miya imperial family. With its airy east-west fusion aesthetic, its wonderful (Kaiseki) food service, and total relaxation spa, Gōra Kadan is definitely on our A-list for high-touch ryokans in Japan!

Gōra Kadan

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Gōra Kadan is a superb ryokan (traditional inn) that has managed to compromise gracefully with the modern Western world. Proprietress Mikawako, the third generation of Fujimotos to run Gōra Kadan, has blended traditional Japanese ryokan hospitality with modern Western design in creating a luxurious ryokan spa experience. The Gōra Kadan’s original building dates back 300 years and was the summer home of the Kan’in-No-Miya imperial family. With its airy east-west fusion aesthetic, its wonderful (Kaiseki) food service, and total relaxation spa, Gōra Kadan is definitely on our A-list for high-touch ryokans in Japan!

With the Hyatt Regency Kyoto having been the only western 5-star luxury hotel in Kyoto for quite some time, we were excited about the February 2014 opening of the 134-room The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto. Living in a Mies van der Rohe high-rise in Chicago, we feel a particular affinity to the Hyatt Regency’s simple, clean, architectural design. Nevertheless, The Ritz-Carlton’s rectangular, low-slung property ideally situated in the Kamogawa River has definitely piqued our interest. Replicating the aesthetics of a traditional Meiji House, the design and amenities of The Ritz are quite impressive (including a French Haute Patisserie!). Though we are not big fans of the Ritz global brand (prefer AMAN/Peninsula/Mandarin/Four Seasons), we feel the Ritz to be currently the highest quality luxury “western” hotel in Kyoto.

The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto

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With the Hyatt Regency Kyoto having been the only western 5-star luxury hotel in Kyoto for quite some time, we were excited about the February 2014 opening of the 134-room The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto. Living in a Mies van der Rohe high-rise in Chicago, we feel a particular affinity to the Hyatt Regency’s simple, clean, architectural design. Nevertheless, The Ritz-Carlton’s rectangular, low-slung property ideally situated in the Kamogawa River has definitely piqued our interest. Replicating the aesthetics of a traditional Meiji House, the design and amenities of The Ritz are quite impressive (including a French Haute Patisserie!). Though we are not big fans of the Ritz global brand (prefer AMAN/Peninsula/Mandarin/Four Seasons), we feel the Ritz to be currently the highest quality luxury “western” hotel in Kyoto.

Though we are big fans of Aman in China and Southeast Asia, we initially felt a bit ambivalent about the 84-room Aman in a noisy, urban environment like Tokyo. Located in the 40-story Otemachi Tower, within walking distance of Ginza shopping and dining and the Otemachi Forest (Marunouchi’s Naki-Dori tree-lined avenue), perhaps the most impressive sight of the Aman Tokyo is its magnificent 33rd-floor lobby entrance featuring huge floor to ceiling windows with a view of the Imperial Palace grounds and even Mt. Fuji on clear days! The Shoji-lanterned area is centered on a large garden and a washi-like ceiling that gives the area a Zen-like Japanese feel. Many clients feel the views from the lap-pool to be among the best in the world! Unlike Aman’s in most parts of the world that ban TV’s in the rooms, the Aman Tokyo includes a flat-screen TV for those of us that need a daily BBC fix!

Aman Tokyo

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Though we are big fans of Aman in China and Southeast Asia, we initially felt a bit ambivalent about the 84-room Aman in a noisy, urban environment like Tokyo. Located in the 40-story Otemachi Tower, within walking distance of Ginza shopping and dining and the Otemachi Forest (Marunouchi’s Naki-Dori tree-lined avenue), perhaps the most impressive sight of the Aman Tokyo is its magnificent 33rd-floor lobby entrance featuring huge floor to ceiling windows with a view of the Imperial Palace grounds and even Mt. Fuji on clear days! The Shoji-lanterned area is centered on a large garden and a washi-like ceiling that gives the area a Zen-like Japanese feel. Many clients feel the views from the lap-pool to be among the best in the world! Unlike Aman’s in most parts of the world that ban TV’s in the rooms, the Aman Tokyo includes a flat-screen TV for those of us that need a daily BBC fix!

With Kyoto being our favorite city in Asia, we are most excited about the new 24-room Aman Kyoto, just opened in November 2019. The 80-acre site includes 72 acres of native forest and eight acres of traditional Japanese gardens. We are particularly impressed with the property’s location in the Takagamine district, walking distance to Kinkaku-ji (Golden Temple)! The property features spacious and light-filled interiors, similar to traditional ryokans; natural hot springs; and spectacular dining celebrating the unique culinary traditions of Japan using the finest local produce. With large floor-to-ceiling windows, the outside is brought in, allowing for a complete escape in total luxury.

Aman Kyoto

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With Kyoto being our favorite city in Asia, we are most excited about the new 24-room Aman Kyoto, just opened in November 2019. The 80-acre site includes 72 acres of native forest and eight acres of traditional Japanese gardens. We are particularly impressed with the property’s location in the Takagamine district, walking distance to Kinkaku-ji (Golden Temple)! The property features spacious and light-filled interiors, similar to traditional ryokans; natural hot springs; and spectacular dining celebrating the unique culinary traditions of Japan using the finest local produce. With large floor-to-ceiling windows, the outside is brought in, allowing for a complete escape in total luxury.

Evian Spa at Palace Hotel Tokyo - Tokyo Spas - Tokyo, Japan - Forbes Travel GuideReceiving five stars in the Forbes Travel Guide, the Palace Hotel Tokyo is quickly emerging as one of the best luxury properties in Tokyo. Just five minutes from The Peninsula Tokyo (!), the Palace is located directly in front of the Imperial Palace and gardens, “Otemon Gate,” neighborhood of Aman, perfect for quick excursions, shopping, sight-seeing, and night-walking. While we prefer the quiet serenity of properties with less than 200 rooms total, the Palace features 266 rooms and 18 suites that make up for its busyness with spacious contemporary designs and balconies with breathtaking views of the Imperial Palace. Additional amenities include ten (!) in-house restaurants and bars, a sizeable pool, and wellness center with fitness and gym options. Don’t forget to visit the alpine-inspired evian SPA, which features a giant private pool with floor-to-ceiling views of Tokyo (with Mt. Fuji in the distance!), daily yoga sessions, and a variety of facial, body, and ritualistic massage treatments.

Palace Hotel Tokyo

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Evian Spa at Palace Hotel Tokyo - Tokyo Spas - Tokyo, Japan - Forbes Travel Guide

Receiving five stars in the Forbes Travel Guide, the Palace Hotel Tokyo is quickly emerging as one of the best luxury properties in Tokyo. Just five minutes from The Peninsula Tokyo (!), the Palace is located directly in front of the Imperial Palace and gardens, “Otemon Gate,” neighborhood of Aman, perfect for quick excursions, shopping, sight-seeing, and night-walking. While we prefer the quiet serenity of properties with less than 200 rooms total, the Palace features 266 rooms and 18 suites that make up for its busyness with spacious contemporary designs and balconies with breathtaking views of the Imperial Palace. Additional amenities include ten (!) in-house restaurants and bars, a sizeable pool, and wellness center with fitness and gym options. Don’t forget to visit the alpine-inspired evian SPA, which features a giant private pool with floor-to-ceiling views of Tokyo (with Mt. Fuji in the distance!), daily yoga sessions, and a variety of facial, body, and ritualistic massage treatments.

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Thank you for your interest in Kipling & Clark. We look forward to serving you!
Please note we specialize in global private luxury travel, including private guides and drivers throughout,

high quality accommodations, inclusive of safari lodges and ryokans, in-country rail/air, and all taxes/service fees.

Dependent on destination and seasonality, our comprehensive private tour costs are upward of USD3K-5K per couple per day.



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Location

Overview

Japan
Temperature
Highs: High 70’s
Lows: Mid 60’s
Area
 377,864 SQ KM
145,894 SQ MILES
Capital
Tokyo
Population
126.4 Million
Language
Japanese
Currency
Japanese Yen

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