Japan School Trip Overview
Show your students the Land of the Rising Sun and watch as their perspective on the world changes forever as they appreciate Japan’s culture and global influence. On this immersive tour, students will learn about both ancient Japanese history and its ultra-modern society as we travel through three of its most important cities: Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima. This journey is filled with fun, interactive activities, such as a Taiko lesson, tea ceremony, bike tours, and of course, a night of karaoke!
Our mission is to provide an authentic experience rooted in “teaching teens to be travelers, not tourists.” Language students will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Japanese and practice what they have learned in the classroom. Our guides will help students discover that foreign languages are an exciting tool they can use wherever their travels might take them.
TFT’s years of experience bringing students to Asia means that we know exactly how to educate, excite, and inspire. After experiencing everything from elegant temples to the hustle and bustle of Harajuku, your students will come away with a new appreciation for Japanese culture. Join us on this one-of-a-kind cultural experience and leave them with memories to last a lifetime!
Did You Know? Teachers travel for free! Enroll just six paying participants and your trip is covered. Learn more about the Benefits for Teachers.
During this trip, you and your students will…
- Visit the Sensoji Temple, one of Tokyo’s oldest and most colorful temples
- Discover one of the oldest traditions in Japan at an authentic tea ceremony
- Soak up modern Japanese culture at the world’s most famous anime center, the Ghibli Museum
- Experience a sensory overload in Shibuya and Harajuku, the fashion hub that’s famous for the busiest street crossing on the planet
- Try your hand at making your own sushi, with some of the freshest seafood straight from the fish market
- Attend a presentation at the Hiroshima Peace Museum
- Be like the Japanese and spend an evening singing popular hit songs with your friends at a karaoke bar
- Visit the Kyomizu-dera temple, a Buddhist temple that is a registered UNESCO World Heritage site dating to 778AD
- Stroll through the Arashiyama bamboo forest, a popular tourist destination since 749AD
- Take a private Taiko lesson
- Spot Maiko and Geisha during a night walk through Gion
DAY 1: Hello, Japan!
Flight from your preferred airport to Tokyo.
DAY 2: Discover Tokyo
Upon your arrival in Tokyo, you’ll be greeted at the airport by your Travel For Teens guides, who will accompany you for the duration of your journey. After getting settled into the hotel, we’ll have our first dinner of traditional Japanese cuisine at one of our favorite local restaurants.
DAY 3: Temples, Gardens & Virtual Reality Arcades
On our first day on the ground in Tokyo, we’ll begin with a visit to the Sensoji Temple, one of Tokyo’s oldest and most colorful temples. After lunch, catch the water bus to Hamarikyu Gardens, a beautiful green oasis in the middle of urban Tokyo. Attend a traditional tea ceremony to discover one of the oldest cultural practices in Japan. This afternoon, try your hand at Virtual Reality in the world capital of technology and video games.
DAY 4: Ghibli Museum & Tokyo Views
This morning, visit the most important collection of anime culture in Japan, the Ghibli Museum. After lunch, explore the vibrant neighborhoods of Shibuya and Harajuku, famous around the world for their funky fashion scene, as well as for having the world’s busiest crosswalk. This evening, we’ll head to the top of the Observatory Building for some of the best views in all Tokyo.
DAY 5: Tsukiji Fish Market
Delve into traditional life in Tokyo with a visit to the Tsukiji outer fish market. Later, try your hand at making your own sushi, with some of the freshest seafood straight from the market. In the afternoon, we’ll depart for Kyoto. Upon our arrival, we’ll get settled into our accommodation before heading out for dinner and a walk through the city.
Day 6: Kyoto
Get to know Kyoto like a local this morning on our popular bike tour around the city. We’ll visit seasonal temples and off-the-beaten-path sites. Have some free time for souvenir shopping this afternoon at the Shinkyogoku shopping arcade. We’ll also visit the Kyomizu-dera temple, a Buddhist temple that is a registered UNESCO World Heritage site. After dinner, take a night walk through the Gion district and see if you can spot Maiko and Geisha.
And after dinner, do as the Japanese do and spend an evening singing popular hit songs with your friends at a karaoke bar!
Day 7: KYOTO
Stroll through the incredible Arashiyama bamboo forest, which has been a popular tourist destination since 749AD. Then, have a private Taiko lesson. Learning from the experts at an authentic Taiko studio is always a student favorite!
This evening, celebrate the end of an incredible trip with an upscale final dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Kyoto.
DAY 8: Depart Japan
Your TFT guides will accompany you to the airport and assist you with check-in for your flight. Wave goodbye as you head through security and sit back and relax on your flight home.
Make your adventure longer- add on 2 days at Hiroshima and Miyajima
This itinerary can be adapted to a ten-day adventure by adding a trip to both Hiroshima and Miyajima.
In Hiroshima learn about the devastating effects of the atom bomb at the Peace Museum. Afterwards, the group will have time to explore Himeji Castle to discover traditional Japanese architecture.
Miyajima is a student favorite! A short ferry brings you over to this little island with some of the most beautiful scenery in Japan! Visit the Itsukushima Shrine, the iconic floating torri gate, make friends with the friendly deer that roam the island and spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach!
The TFT Difference
We Never Combine Groups
Your tour should be special and just for you and your students! We will never combine two or more groups on the same bus or tour. We will lead a trip with as few as six people and a teacher. Your Trip Director travels with you for the duration of your program.
Stress-Free Planning and 24/7 Support
We are there for you every step of the way, and our support begins the moment you decide to do a TFT trip! We will provide you with a team member who will help bring your tour to life, along with everything you need to help get students to sign up for the adventure! On the tour you will have 24/7 dedicated staff with you to ensure everything runs smoothly and because we know travel is full of surprises, solve anything that may pop up along the way.
Photos and Email Updates
Your trip is special and you and your students should have those memories captured forever! Expect frequent personal email updates and hundreds of photos from your TFT staff shared with you and your students’ families so everyone can follow along on the journey. We are the only teen travel program to offer this in-depth trip communication and it truly makes all the difference!
Central Accommodation and Local Meals
Authenticity is engrained in everything we do. We stay at locally owned accommodation in the city center so you don’t waste your valuable time commuting. We dine at charming authentic restaurants to get a real flavor (literally!) for the local culture. The best way to travel is like a local. So ditch the tour bus and have a real traveler’s experience with us!
Authenticity is engrained in everything we do. Eat, stay, and travel like a local.
Check out what past travelers have to say about TFT and discover why we are consistently winning awards for Top Youth Travel Organization.
"I had been wanting to go to Japan for years prior and getting the chance to go and be fully immersed was amazing! We got to walk through a national forest and see a beautiful waterfall that I wouldn't have even thought to do. We also went to the Studio Ghibli Museum and got to experience city life but also get out of the crowds and go to towns farther out. I got pushed so far out of my comfort zone that I wouldn't have allowed myself to do if I decided to go to Japan by myself on my own terms. I would go back on this trip in a heartbeat. It was so much fun and I got to meet such amazing people. Truly is something that you should do if given the chance."
"This past summer I traveled to Thailand on TFT’s Thailand Elephant Service and the Islands program. This trip was by far my favorite trip that I’ve been on with TFT. The combination of working with elephants, the breadth of activities, as well as the great counselors and campers made it by far one of the most memorable two weeks of my life. One of the highlights of the trip was the service we did with elephants. We volunteered with elephants at sanctuaries learning about proper elephant care, we got to bathe them, prepare food and feed them, cleaned their enclosures, and went on a walk with them. This trip as a whole pushed me out of my comfort zone, it helped me become much more comfortable with trying new things. Each day was filled with new activities which enabled us to experience and learn about the Thai culture. The activities included exploring traditional Thai markets, cooking classes, exploring Thai temples, and much more. Our counselors were amazing, they were always understanding, were easy to come to with any issues, and were just really fun to travel and hang out with. Not only were the counselors great but I met some of the best people on this trip. I’m certain that I will be friends with a few of them for the rest of my life. I’m so grateful to have been able to go on this trip and I wouldn’t trade this trip for the world."
""I've been traveling with TFT since I was 13, and it has been one of the best learning and growth experiences in my life. Through TFT, I've met great friends from all around the world, experienced amazing places, and was pushed out of my comfort zone and grew so much. It even helped me pick my career. In the summer of my 11th year of high school, I went on the Japan Discovery & Service trip. I had recently picked up an interest in digital photography and it just so happened that the trip director for my trip was a professional travel photographer. After traveling with him for only 2 weeks and seeing my photographic growth, I started taking courses in photography at my school and have ended up going to college for Fine Art Photography. Without the experiences TFT allowed me to have, I never would have found one of my biggest passions. The people I've met on the trips are good friends of mine to this day, and the experiences I had with them on the trips I've been on were unforgettable. Karaoke in South Korea with a crew of wacky friends, doing a two hour hike up one of the steepest mountains I've ever seen to take one picture, and other once in a life time experiences like that have made the TFT experience so special to me.""