Japan

  • Japan School Trip
    Views over Tokyo from the Metropolitan Building.
  • Japan School Trip
    Japan is dominated by Mount Fuji, visible from Tokyo on a clear day.
  • Japan school trip
    The Toshogu Shrine in Nikko.
  • Japan school trip
    Shibuyu, one of Tokyo's most colourful districts and a Mecca for youth fashion and culture.
  • Japan school trip
    Enjoy a cruise on Lake Ashi aboard a pirate ship on a day trip to Hakone.

It is by far the best educational trip I’ve taken students on. In fact, it has been one of the highlights of my teaching career (13 years and counting!). SD, Redbourne Upper School

Where gentle, ancient tradition meets fast-paced, modern technology, Japan is a seamless fusion of culture and a thoroughly unique destination to discover. With its reputation at the forefront of trendsetting technological development, its sleek bullet trains, urban pop culture, manga and anime, it might come as a surprise that Japan has a long history dating back to 30,000 BC and is actually a slender, two-thirds-mountainous Pacific archipelago, comprising close to 7,000 volcanic islands and dominated by Mount Fuji. Indeed, travel outside Tokyo and you’ll uncover centuries-old traditions and stunning landscapes so at odds with the high-rise, kaleidoscopic frenzy of its capital and cities.

Naturally, most groups opt to stay in the Japanese capital, Tokyo, where sightseeing opportunities abound in endless supply, particularly for students of Business Studies, Art, Design Technology, Science, ICT and Computer Science. Yet we can easily customise your Japan school trip to include other major centres such as Yokohama, Nagoya and Osaka.

Equally, combine and contrast Tokyo with the diverse landscapes, traditional shrines and temples as exemplified in Kyoto, Nikko, Hakone and Narita, and around the Fuji Five Lakes. The options are, quite literally, endless.

Whatever your preference, combine Japan’s diverse natural, technological and manmade attractions into one mesmerising, magical itinerary and you’re guaranteed to give your pupils the ultimate educational adventure of a lifetime.

All tours are tailor-made to suit each individual group with a couple of suggested options shown below. Other visits and destinations can easily be combined, please contact us to discuss your ideas.

Typical Accommodation

A variety of hostels/hotels are used in all cities, all of which offer a high standard of accommodation, in twin-bedded rooms with private facilities, air conditioning and TV. Lunches and dinners will be taken in local restaurants.

Please contact us for further information about the facilities and location of all available accommodation and we will be happy to advise you on the best hotel to suit your group.

Japan School Trip – Subject Suitability

Travel Options

  • By air from London Heathrow direct to Tokyo Narita or Haneda Airports.

Flight time from London is approximately 12 hours to Tokyo (slightly longer on the return leg) with daily flights operated by British Airways or Japan Airlines.

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Japan School Trip Sample Itinerary – 8 Days to Toyko, Nikko & Hakone

Day 1 – Overnight flight to Tokyo.

Day 2 – On arrival at Tokyo Haneda Airport, you will be met by a local English-speaking guide and transferred into central Tokyo. This afternoon, enjoy a visit to the Hamarikyu Gardens, a ride on the Sumida River Bus to Asakusa a trip up the 634-metre-high Tokyo Skytree Tower. There’s time too to wander through the Solamachi Mall.

Day 3 – Take the monorail across the rainbow bridge to the man-made island of Odaiba where you’ll visit the National Museum of Emerging Science (Miraikan), home of the famous humanoid robot “Asimo”.

Continue to the Panasonic Center, a showroom for Panasonic’s new products and technologies. Visit RiSuPia  – an interactive museum focussed on mathematics hidden in nature as well as general science – before letting students loose in the Nintendo Game Front.

Next is Fuji Television HQ, one of Japan’s private, nationwide TV stations where you’ll see exhibits on popular programs and access the building’s observatory deck before taking a ride on the Ferris Wheel. End the day at Leisureland, a huge entertainment complex. 

Day 4 – Today experience a ride on the Shinkansen Bullet Train. Travel at high speeds to Utsunomiya, changing onto a local train for the remaining transfer to Nikko.

In Nikko you’ll visit many UNESCO World Heritage sites including Tosho-gu (and the ‘Nemuri Neko’ sleeping cat), the shrine of Taiyunbyo, site of the mausoleum of the third Shogun Iemitsu Tokugawa, and the sacred Shinkyo Bridge. Nikko is home to one of Japan’s most beautiful waterfalls and the stunning Lake Chuzenji so spend the day exploring this beautiful area.

Day 5 – Head out of Tokyo today and into the mountainous countryside just south of Mount Fuji to Hakone. Highlights today include the Open-Air Museum, also known as Chokoku no Mori, set deep in Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, a trip on the Hakone Ropeway and a cruise on Lake Ashi aboard a pirate ship.

Day 6 – Today visit the Studio Ghibli Museum. Founded by master animator Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli has produced some of the finest animated works ever to come out of Japan. Continue to the National Science Museum before heading to Akihabara “electric town”, Tokyo’s Mecca for geek culture. Spend this evening at Sunshine City where you’ll find the Pokemon Center, J-World Tokyo & Namja Town theme parks.

Day 7 – Today’s tour starts at the Meiji shrine, tucked away in a tranquil forested park in Shibuya. In stark contrast, you’ll then head into the Harajuku district, home of Japan’s youth culture. Take a view of Tokyo from the towering Tokyo Metropolitan Government buildings.

Experience Shibuya’s iconic pedestrian crossing before heading to the bright neon-spangled skyscrapers of Shinjuku! This is the Tokyo of the imagination with flashing kanji signs, screaming pachinko parlours, karaoke bars, cat cafés, department stores, restaurants and izakaya all straining for space.

Day 8 – Transfer to the airport for your homebound flight, arriving back in the UK early this afternoon.

Popular Visits & Excursions

Tokyo

Asakusa – One of Tokyo’s more traditional districts, Asakusa was heavily bombed in World War II. Since rebuilt, you’ll find the Buddhist Sensoji Temple, Asakusa Shrine, Sumida Park (famous for its cherry blossom) and Skytree tower located here. Take a cruise along the Sumida River from here on the Tokyo Water Bus.
Tokyo Skytree – A Tokyo landmark, this TV broadcasting tower is the tallest in Japan (634 metres) and the centerpiece of the Tokyo Skytree Town, a short distance from from Asakusa. A large shopping complex with aquarium is located at its base.
Tokyo National Museum – Featuring one of the largest and best collections of art and archaeological artefacts in Japan, this is the oldest and largest of Japan’s top-level national museums, located in Ueno Park.
National Science Museum – Devoted to both science and natural history with hands-on physics and robotics experiments, an impressive collection of mounted animals and a 360 degree virtual theatre.
Edo-Tokyo Museum – Housed in a striking building in the Ryogoku district of Tokyo (famous for its sumo), the museum’s permanent exhibition highlights the history of Tokyo from the Edo Period to the recent past.
Shibuya – One of Tokyo’s most colourful and frenetic districts, Shibuya is a Mecca for youth fashion and culture, its streets the birthplace to many of Japan’s fashion and entertainment trends. Be sure to brave the iconic Shibuya pedestrian crossing.
Meiji Shrine – Situated in a quiet, forested park in Shibuya, this shrine is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken.
Harajuku – Epicentre of Japan’s youth culture, browse the stores of Takeshita Dori, selling some of Tokyo’s more extreme fashion trends.
Shinjuku – Home of Tokyo’s famous neon-spangled skyscrapers with flashing kanji signs, pachinko parlours, karaoke bars, cat cafes, department stores, restaurants and izakaya all jostling for position in this high-rise neighbourhood. You’ll find the Metropolitan Government Office located here, where the (free) observation deck overs great views over the city.
Akihabara – Tokyo’s electronics centre, Akihabara is also a hub for manga and anime devotees, with the Tokyo Anime Center found here.
Odaiba – A manmade island set in Tokyo Bay and accessible by the Rainbow Bridge, Odaiba plays host to a large number of attractions including the Fuji TV Building, Panasonic Center, Telecom Center, the Museum of Maritime Science and the National Museum of Emerging Science & Innovation.
National Museum of Emerging Science – this museum, also known as the Miraikan, is the home of the famous humanoid robot, “Asimo” and hosts exhibits about environmental issues, information technology, biology and space exploration.
Fuji TV Building – Home to the headquarters of one of Japan’s private, nationwide TV stations, Fuji Television, a visit here includes exhibits on popular programs, an opportunity to purchase Fuji TV goods and access the building’s observatory deck housed in the sphere shaped part of the building.
Telecom Center – A major hub on the information highway with several large satellite antennas on its observation deck. The observation deck also offers views over the bay area and, on a clear day, as far as Mount Fuji.
Panasonic Center – Essentially a showroom for all the latest products and technologies by the Panasonic Corporation. You’ll see the newest cameras, TVs, computers, Nintendo games, home appliances and more. Be sure to pay a visit to Risupia, set on the third floor of the Panasonic Center, an interactive mathematics and science museum.
Toyota Mega Web – A giant Toyota showroom that showscases all of Toyota’s latest models, car accessories and technologies. Attractions include test driving of cars (for those with a license valid in Japan) and a museum exhibiting cars from the past.
Ferris Wheel – One of the world’s largest ferris wheels, measuring 115 metres high, a 15-minute ride gives lovely views over Tokyo Bay and Odaiba below.
Leisureland – This huge entertainment complex features a large games arcade, bowling alleys, slots, batting cages, karaoke, darts, table tennis and sports games. There is also a ninja illusion house, a haunted house and food court.
Sunshine City – Situated in Ikebukuro, this is a large shopping and entertainment ‘city within a city’ comprising a 240-metre-tall observation deck, aquarium, Nanja Town and J-World Tokyo indoor theme parks and Pokémon Center.

 
Disneyland – Opened in 1983 as the first Disney theme park outside of the United States, Tokyo Disneyland is made up of seven themed lands: World Bazaar, Tomorrowland, Toon Town, Fantasyland, Critter Country, Westernland and Adventureland.
Ghibli Museum – The animation and art museum of Miyazaki Hayao’s Studio Ghibli, one of Japan’s most famous animation studios and producers of many feature-length films including Spirited Away.
Suginami Animation Museum – Offers interactive activities such as a dubbing booth and a digital workshop where you can bring your own creations to life.
Sumida Hokusai Museum – Dedicated to the ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai, commonly referred to as Hokusai. His most well-known works include The Great Wave off Kanagawa and Red Fuji.
National Museum of Modern Art – Displays works of Japanese modern art from the Meiji Period to the present day.
Hara Museum of Contemporary Art – Showcases a collection of modern art in the form of paintings, sculptures, videos and installations by Japanese and international artists.
National Museum of Western Art – Displays works of Western art, predominantly by European artists.
Mori Museum – Dedicated to contemporary art.
Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum – Focuses mainly on 19th-century Western art.
Tokyo Photographic Art Museum – Also known as TOP Museum, this museum is located inside Yebisu Garden Place near the Beer Museum.

Elsewhere

Toshiba Science Museum – Situated just outside Tokyo in Kawasaki, this museum provides an introduction to the history of Toshiba’s technical innovation and interactive experiences with the latest inventions and technology.
Nikko – Take the bullet train part-way to Nikko, for centuries a centre for Shinto and Buddhist Worship. There are a wealth of UNESCO World Heritage Sites here to explore including Toshogu, Japan’s most lavishly decorated shrine, Lake Chuzenji, and the sacred Shinkyo Bridge, as well as stunning landscapes and waterfalls.
Hakone – Famous for its hot springs, natural beauty and the view across Lake Ashinoko of nearby Mount Fuji, Hakone is one of the most popular destinations among Japanese and international tourists on a daytrip from Tokyo. Highlights here include the Hakone Open-Air Museum, the Hakone Ropeway and a pirate boat cruise on Lake Ashi.
Kyoto – Once the capital of Japan and seat of the Japanese Emperor from 794 until 1868, Kyoto is Japan’s seventh largest city and home to a wealth of palaces, temples and shrines. There’s no shortage of options to visit in Kyoto but possible itinerary inclusions could be the Imperial Palace and Nijo Castle and the temples of Kiyomizudera, Ginkakuji, Nanzenji, Daigoji, Toji, Tofukuji, Kinkakuji, Ninnaji and Daikakuji. Other options could include the Kyoto National Museum, Railway Museum, Nishiki Market, Fushimi Inari Shrine and Sake District, and the historic district of Higashiyama.
Osaka – Japan’s second largest metropolis after Tokyo, this city boast a whole host of attractions including Universal Studios, Osaka Aquarium, Shittenoji Temple, Osaka Castle, Sumiyoshi Taisha, tranquil Minoo Park and the tallest skyscraper in Japan, Abeno Harukas. Explore the districts of Minami and Shinsekai, or visit one of Osaka’s museums devoted to history, art and science.
Nagoya – Japan’s fourth largest populated city, Nagoya is HQ for the Toyota Motor Corporation. Visit the Toyota Kaikan Museum (new models and new technologies), take a plant tour, discover Toyota’s classic models at the Toyota Automobile Museum or a trip to the Toyota Techno Museum, presenting Toyota’s history from its origins as a textile machinery manufacturer and featuring many exhibits on automotive technologies and the process of car production. Outside of Toyota, other options include Nagoya Castle, the Korankei Valley, Science Museum (boasting one of the world’s largest planetariums, Railyway Museum, Nagashimi Amusement Park and Legoland!
Nara – Less than one hour from Osaka and Kyoto, Nara plays host to some of Japan’s oldest and largest temples. The National Museum meanwhile contains an excellent collection of Buddhist Art.
Narita – Worth a day trip from Tokyo, Narita is situated 60km northeast of the Japanese capital and is famous for its Naritasan Buddhist temple, with a history dating back over 1000 years. Why not combine with the Museum of Japanese History in nearby Sakura?

Japan school trip images courtesy of JNTO, Yasufumi Nishi, Odakyu Electric Railway.