This trip has students experiencing the hustle and bustle of Japan’s cities, as well as learning about religion and culture, visiting Buddhist temples, and volunteering with local farmers. This itinerary offers an exciting mix of creative challenges, exploration, and opportunities for service.
The trip begins in Tokyo, Japans ultramodern capital city. Here students will make sushi, create a Japanese pop culture & fashion documentary, take language classes, visit temples, marvel at Mt Fuji and take cable cars through Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. They’ll also explore Kyoto, known for its serene picture-perfect gardens and historical temples. Lastly, they’ll take to Chino, where the students will get to engage with farmers and volunteer as part of the service aspect of the trip.
Our school trips are completely customizable and can be tailored to meet your requirements. Want to visit Tokyo but with a different subject-focused theme such as culture, Mandarin, geography, STEM, art or music? Speak to a specialist now to find out which additional destinations, itineraries and are available for this trip.
*Prices based on groups of 20 students with 2 free teacher spots.
Day 1: Arrive and take in incredible views of the city
Arrive at Tokyo’s Narita/Haneda airport where you will meet your Learning Adventure guide. Hop on board a private coach as you transfer to your accommodation.
Listen to a trip briefing from your guide, who will give you all the information you need to have a safe and smooth adventure through Japan.
Later, take in the cityscape with an incredible view from atop the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Once back on firm ground, call in at the batting cages to experience first-hand one of the most popular sports in Japan – baseball! (One round per person.)
Day 2: Sushi making and documentary filming
Enjoy a sushi-making class led by a master sushi chef. Learn how sushi evolved from a Southeast Asian technique of preserving fish in fermented rice. Afterwards, enjoy your delicious creations for lunch!
Take part in a documentary video competition, based on the subject of Japanese Pop Culture & Fashion. Videos will be taken in the Harajuku and Shibuya areas, after which 2 hours will be given to edit the videos with a mobile phone app. The winner will be chosen by the group and a reward prize is waiting for you!
Later, enjoy an afternoon of traditional-modern contrast in the Harajuku area of Tokyo. Experience Japanese Youth Culture including maids, punks, goths, and fashionistas – anything goes in Harajuku!
Finish off the day seeing the famous Shibuya Crossing. When the lights turn red at this busy intersection, pedestrians surge into the junction from all sides, like a floodgate opening.
Day 3: Visit a local school and then take a trip to Sensoji Temple
This morning, pay a visit to a local school, selected to be an appropriate match for your school. Have a school tour and join various lessons alongside local students, before engaging in sports and other team-based activities. These provide a chance for students to interact with their new friends. (Exact plan decided by local school, cannot be guaranteed if visiting time is during an exam or holiday period.)
Later, students will have the chance to take part in a Japanese language class, designed by local school students. In exchange, the group will be asked to design an English language class to interact with local students (Depend on the local school).
In the afternoon learn about Buddhism as you visit the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa and explore the district’s charming streets.
Day 4: Explore Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and cruise Ashi Lake
Hop on board a private coach as you transfer to the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Enjoy views of Mt. Fuji (weather dependant), an iconic volcano which has come to symbolise Japan, with a perfectly symmetrical cone that rises to 12,388 feet.
Take a series of cable cars and mountain railways through the park, before descending for a cruise on scenic Ashi Lake. Today, you can also sample black eggs – a local delicacy coloured by the sulphuric spring waters they’re cooked in..
Day 5: Wander around Kyoto
This morning, experience Japan’s famous bullet trains as you travel from Tokyo to Kyoto (roughly 158 minutes).
Upon arrival, spend the afternoon getting a better understanding of Shinto and Buddhism, the two biggest religions in Japan as you explore Kyoto. Visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine, a major Shinto shrine complex in wooded hills. To get onto the beautiful walking trails at the back of the complex, you’ll pass through corridors of thousands of bright red gates.
Later, walk through quaint city side streets to the 1,200-year-old Kiyomizu Dera Temple, from where you’ll enjoy postcard-worthy views over Kyoto.
Day 6: Raft down Hozugawa River and navigate Arashiyama’s forests
Enjoy a two-hour boat trip down the Hozugawa River in a traditional wooden raft driven by trained specialists. cruise through rocky ravines and experience the rush of rapids as you meander through the Arashiyama Hills (weather dependent).
In the afternoon, pay a visit to the district of Arashiyama, on the Western outskirts of Kyoto. Navigate through Arashiyama’s lush bamboo forests, before starting the 30-minute climb up to Arashiyama Monkey Park. At the top, feed mischievous monkeys or simply enjoy the panoramic views of Kyoto below.
Next, head to the Tenryu-Ji Temple, the most important of Kyoto’s five great Zen temples with spectacular gardens. Designed in the 14th century, they have survived the fires and wars that damaged the buildings and have remained in pristine condition for centuries. Whilst there, make sure to look into the Dharma Hall to see the dragon’s eyes on the mural – they’ll follow you as you walk past.
Day 7: Calligraphy lesson and trip to the iconic Golden Pavilion
This morning, you will experience Japanese culture first hand with a calligraphy lesson, led by a Japanese master of calligraphy in her personal work shop.
Then head to one of the most iconic sites in Kyoto, The Golden Pavilion at the Kinkaku-ji Zen Buddhist Temple. Walk around the lake and be prepared to be mesmerized by the shimmering golden reflection of the pavilion on the water.
Later, explore Gion District to learn more about geishas and if you are lucky you will see some professional geisha in the alleys.
Day 8: Volunteer at a local farm
Transfer from Kyoto Station to Chino Station in the Nagano Prefecture by series of bullet train and public trains (roughly 3 hours total). Upon arrival in Chino, the group will have the chance to get to know the local community and agricultural industry.
After lunch, spend the afternoon volunteering at a local farm. Learn how rice is planted and cultivated from a local farmer. (Specific farm work is season dependent.)
Day 9: Cook a dinner for the local farmers
Make your way to the Venus Line, a sightseeing road and popular free driving course connecting Nagano Prefecture’s Chino City and Ueda City Utsukushigahara Highlands. Here, you can observe different types of flowers in bloom (summer only).
Spend the rest of the day continuing your volunteer work at the local farm. After a day of hard work, invite the local farmers back to the community centre, where you will cook them dinner and enjoy eating it together! (This might be limited by group numbers; confirmation will be provided after the trip is booked.)
Day 10: Say goodbye to Japan
Check out of your accommodation and say goodbye to your Learning Adventure guide before taking a private transfer to Tokyo Narita or Haneda International Airport (roughly 5 hours). Leave excited to apply what you have learned in Japan, back at home!