Family adventures in Japan
Japan's cities are a flashing, whirring paradise for kids of all ages. In Tokyo alone, your family can enjoy anime masters at Studio Ghibli, take a masterclass in manga drawing, meet Hello Kitty at Sanrio Puroland and get lost in the amusement arcades of Akihabara "electric town".
In the countryside, your family can cycle through rural villages, kayak across to Miyajima Island or feed the friendly deer in Nara Park. There are also endless hands-on activities to try, from martial arts to origami or taiko drumming - inspiring, educational experiences for any age.
One of the safest and cleanest countries in the world, Japan boasts superb amenities and excellent family accommodation, making travelling with children wonderfully stress-free. What's more, dining options encompass everything from all-you-can-eat ice cream parlours to fishing restaurants where you can reel in your own meal - so if your child doesn't take to kaiseki, you needn't worry.
The whole family can get stuck in to Japanese culture with this hands-on activity holiday.
Golden Route (Superior)
This superior week-long itinerary introduces the best of Japan's iconic sights - from the skyscrapers of Tokyo to the ancient temples of Kyoto.
Family accommodation across Japan
Keio Plaza Tokyo (Tokyo)
You will be staying at the Keio Plaza Hotel located in the very heart of Tokyo's bustling Shinjuku district and just a couple of minute's walk from the station.
This 170m skyscraper has great views of the city, especially at night from the hotel's sky bar - perfect for a cocktail after a hard day of sightseeing! This 5 star hotel has no less than 29 restaurants and English speaking staff on hand.
Dating back to 1883, The Mikawaya is a traditional Japanese style inn with a proud heritage. There are 40 guest rooms spread across the main building, new building and 2 private guest residences.
Most are classic Japanese-style meaning you'll be sleeping on futon mattresses placed directly on the tatami mat floor, however some rooms do have Western style beds. Some of the larger suite rooms have sliding doors so you can partition the space into two separate rooms; ideal for families. The Mikawaya has lovely hot spring baths (indoor and outdoor) including one bath which can be reserved for private use. The ryokan is well known for its excellent cuisine; dozens of intricate kaiseki dishes for dinner while for breakfast there is a choice of Japanese or Western food. The ryokan is located in the centre of Hakone National Park, near a road which does make it a little noisy at times. However the ryokan also has great access to the outdoor sculpture museum, the cable car to Owakudani volcano and the boat cruise across Lake Ashi. Best of all, Yunessun water park is just a few minutes away on foot.
Kyoto Machiya Townhouse Stay (Kyoto)
InsideJapan are delighted to offer self-catering stays in a range of Kyoto machiya or traditional townhouse.
These machiya, all located in the city centre, have been lovingly restored as comfortable holiday rental cottages that sleep 2 to 8 people. This is your chance to slide back a traditional screen door and live like a real Kyotoite in the comfort of your own space for a few days. Each machiya has a small kitchen, dining area, bathroom, two washrooms and a discreet computer corner (laptop provided). Bedrooms may be Western style with low beds or Japanese-style tatami rooms with futons. Facilities include a Skype phone and plasma TV, washing machine and dryer, kitchenware & tableware, a microwave, fridge and air conditioning in all rooms. The houses are usually 2 storey traditional buildings with a lovely Japanese garden.
Cross Hotel Osaka (Osaka)
The Cross Hotel is a smart hotel is located on Dotombori, one of the most famous and lively streets in all of Japan never mind just Osaka.
The hotel has been recently refurbished in a sleek, modern design, giving it something of a boutique feel. Rooms follow the same theme and are generously sized. Bathrooms offer a deep soaking tub, separate shower and a small 'powder room'. The hotel's great location means you have a plethora of restaurants and bars to choose from in the streets around the hotel, making it a perfect place for indulging in one of Osaka's main attractions; good food and drink! Despite its lively location the hotel itself is a quiet and peaceful place, so should you be looking for an early night you will not be disturbed!
Conrad Tokyo (Tokyo)
The Conrad Hotel offers luxurious accommodation from the top of a Tokyo skyscraper.
The contemporary interiors fuse traditional Japanese elements with cool minimalism, while huge windows throughout the hotel make the most of the panoramic views; sweeping over Ginza & Shiodome in one direction and across to Tokyo Bay in the south-east. Guest rooms begin at 48sqm and all are subtly decorated with a light cherry blossom motif and traditional lamps so you won't forget you are in Japan. Bathrooms are spacious with double white marble wash basins, and each room has a comfortable sofa area, work desk with adjustable lamp and ergonomic desk chair. The Conrad has four restaurants including the Michelin-star China Blue restaurant, and a sky bar and lounge where guests can enjoy live music and cocktails with a view. The Mizuki Spa is one of the largest of its kind in Tokyo, offering a full range of massage and body treatments. A large fitness studio has a full programme of pilates, ballet classes and yoga, and there's also a 24 hour gym, sauna and steam rooms. There is a swimming pool but please note, as is often the case at Japanese hotels, there is an additional fee to use the pool (2,500 yen per person per day).
Kerama Beach Hotel (Zamami)
The Kerama Beach hotel is a simple but comfortable western style hotel in a quiet location with beaches to the east and west.
Guest rooms are a bit on the bland side, but comfortable with good beds and en-suite bathrooms. All have sea views. The hotel staff are exceptionally friendly, will pick you up from the main port and can arrange diving and snorkelling trips around the Kerama Islands. The hotel has a good restaurant serving simple food including steak and chips! There's also a nice bar and lovely terrace area.