Day 1 (Tokyo)
The theme of today reflects the overall theme of the entire trip. Seeing two areas of Earth’s largest city that epitomize the modern sides, and the traditional sides of Japan so well will get the students excited for everything else that is in store for the rest of their trip. Akihabara houses everything in the city for all of your students’ anime, manga and video game wants, and our guide will show them where the best places to experience these are located. Sensouji is the spot of one of the oldest, and most well-known temples in the entire city, and our short food tour that we combine with the temple visit is sure to be memorable for everyone.
Day 2 (Tokyo)
With visits to both the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, and TeamLab’s interactive Borderless digital art space, this day is guaranteed to be one that really gives the students a glimpse into Japan’s futuristic settings that is both fun and educational. In addition to that, all of these activities are set to take place on a man-made island out in the middle of Tokyo Bay. Travel back to Tokyo city proper can be arranged via a short ferry ride that will allow the students to see the city lights and the Rainbow Bridge at night.
Day 3 (Tokyo)
Physical activity is important for children, and so today we will take the kids to Japan’s largest obstacle course, so that they can enjoy themselves with some outdoor fun. There are multiple courses within the park, with some even including a water area, that is Wipeout-esque for them to enjoy. The rest of the day will be a chance for them to rest up for tomorrow’s adventures. Alternatively, as a fun activity that will get everyone excited, we can arrange for a stunt man to film an action sequence for all of the students to take part in. Let your students’ imaginations run wild as they create a short, action-packed film with real stunt men, and their own action sequence choreographer.
Day 4 (Tokyo)
IREX is one of the largest robot exhibitions in the world that showcases all of the latest advances in robot technology. This is a great chance for children to learn firsthand about all of the latest cutting-edge technology. We will counter balance this modern activity with a visit to the Edo-Tokyo Museum, and Samurai museums to add a historical perspective to the day’s itinerary. The Samurai museum will also include a kenjustu martial arts demonstration, and also give the kids a chance to dress up like a samurai warrior, or in an ornate kimono.
Day 5 (Tsukuba)
Tsukuba is just north of Tokyo, and is a location that would be stellar any student to visit. It is where Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency is located and has so much to offer, including its astronaut training facility, metallurgy workshops where kids can learn about the different properties of metals and shape-memory alloys, and is even home to Cyberdyne, where your kids can put on a robot suit! This day trip will be completed dedicated to the sciences that go into making space exploration possible.
Day 6 (Nagoya)
Nagoya is an excellent in-between location before the students head to Kyoto. Travel to Nagoya will be done by bullet train, and when they arrive they will also make a visit to the Maglev bullet train center to go over the technologies that go into creating the levitating train systems. This day will also include a visit to one of the Toyota factories in the area to get a glimpse into the processes and organization that goes into creating some of the safest cars in the world. This day will also include a visit to one of the world’s largest planetariums!
Day 7 (Kyoto)
Kiyomizudera Temple and ending at Fushimi-Inari Shrine, today will also be a good chance for the students to learn about the differences between Buddhism and Shintoism with their guides. Fushimi-Inari is the most popular shrine in all of Japan, and is one that most of your students will undoubtedly be familiar with, as it is well known for its 1000’s of red gates, that cover the mountain of the same name.
Day 8 (Kobe)
Kobe is known for many things. This Kansai area destination is covered in many engineering marvels, including the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, and the unfortunately-named, Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution where kids get the chance to experience earthquake prevention methods used in Japan. There are earthquake simulators here as well. The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge also rests at the Maiko Marine Promenade which is an excellent place to try different foods as well.
Day 9 (Kyoto)
Himeji Castle is the most majestic castle in the entire country. Just a short distance from Kyoto, this castle is also known as the White Crane Castle, because its shape resembles a white crane taking flight. Your guide will give you all of the history about the castle as you walk through the castle grounds. The rest of the day will be for free time in Kyoto. Kyoto has an e Pokemon Center for the students would be interested in that kind of activity while there. Otherwise, we can make arrangements for dinner at a restaurant or even add an activity to this day.
Day 10 (Kyoto)
Arashiyama is one of the best places to visit in Kyoto. Filled with temples, shrines, and lovely places to both eat and shop, we will make a grand entrance into this famous district, by taking a cruise down the Hozugawa river in a traditional, 3-manned boat ride experience that is sure to amaze with its beauty during any season. Upon arriving the kids can enjoy a short hike up a small mountain that is filled with adorable Japanese macaques, and stunning views of Kyoto. After that, the kids will get their first chance to visit one of Japan’s famous zen gardens at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tenryuji. Masterfully designed, Tenryuji is again a place that is awe-inspiring during any season. The tranquil bamboo grove that connects to the zen garden is something that they won’t want to miss. We will end our day’s activities with a traditional lesson in calligraphy, so that your students can get a glimpse into the meaning, and evolution of the kanji character syllabary.
Day 11 (Hiroshima)
It is mandatory for all students in Japan to visit Hiroshima during their primary education. Japan is a country of peace, and Hiroshima has taken the torch on embodying this resounding message, not just within Japan, but throughout the world. The Peace Memorial Park is not just an important place to visit for Japanese kids, but is an important place to visit for all people of both current and future generations. The lessons taught by the informative guides (most of whom have been directly impacted by the events in Hiroshima), will impress upon the hearts of your students, not only the importance of peace, but the devastation that war can bring. The visit to the park will also include a stop at the A-Bomb Dome, which was intentionally left in its state as a reminder to the world. At night the students will enjoy okonomiyaki, Hiroshima-style at the famous Okonomimura.
Day 12 (Miyajima)
Miyajima literally means, ‘shrine island’. It is a sacred place that has a very fascinating history that extends beyond the UNESCO World Heritage Shrine, and the beautiful torii gate that appears to be floating on the sea. Miyajima is also special in that its structures have been largely untouched by natural disasters, and thus the temples and shrines that your students are visiting here are mostly original, and in some cases date back as far as the late 1500’s! The island is also home to many adorable deer which roam the streets freely amongst the people. There will be a short hike on this day to the top of Mt. Misen, which is a sacred mountain in the Shinto belief system, and has been worshipped for over 800 years. The view of the Seto Inland Sea from the top of the mountain is spectacular, and a great finale to your time in Hiroshima.
Day 13 (Tokyo)
On your final day in Japan, we want to make sure that we send you off with a proper farewell. Back in Tokyo, dinner on the bay in a yakatabune boat will be arranged for all of the students, so that they can enjoy a traditional Japanese meal, while watching the sunset give way to Tokyo’s endless city lights. This is the perfect chance for everyone to reflect upon what they have seen and learned while here in Japan before sharing that with their friends and family back home.