Over the course of 7 days, our Japan history school trip provides students with a fascinating window into the country’s rich and storied past. They’ll explore key sites in Tokyo, as well as the National Museum, before transferring to Kyoto, Japan’s imperial capital. Along the way, students explore castles, temples and shrines, while still leaving plenty of time to explore the country’s modern cultural offerings.
To learn more about the Japan history school trip, read the full itinerary. But don’t forget – all of our itineraries are customizable to your needs, so feel free to get in touch with our specialists to learn about how you can tailor this tour for your students.
See all our Japan tours here.
*Prices based on groups of 20 students and 2 free teachers, not including flights.
✓ All accommodation costs
✓ Full board meals for the entire trip
✓ All transportation costs, including airport pick-up and drop-off
✓ All activities listed in the itinerary
✓ 1 free teacher per 10 paying students
✓ 24-hour emergency contact support during the trip
✓ Detailed pre-departure summary & briefing
✓ Full financial failure protection
✓ Public liability insurance
✓ Our trips are fully risk-assessed
Day 1: Tokyo
Welcome to Tokyo, and the start of your Japan history school trip! You’ll land at the airport, where you’ll be greeted by your Adventure Leader. They’ll help you transfer to your accommodation, where you can check in and get yourself settled. After that, meet them for a trip briefing. In this, they’ll talk about your plans for the week, give you cultural advice, and provide tips on safety while travelling.
Then it’s time to get your first view of the city – from above! You’ll head to the top of the dramatic Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building for an astonishing view of the city skyline.
Day 2: Tokyo
- Get to know the city with a half-day private bus tour around Tokyo! Your guide is a local expert, who’ll know the ins and outs of your route and will teach you all about the city’s history as you go. [Notes: we can customize the route to your preference, in case you’ve got any must-sees!]
- Visit the beautiful Meiji Shrine! It’s dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife who, in the early 20th century, began Japan’s transformation from a feudal to a modern society. You’re then perfectly placed to head into the Harajuku district, known as the hub of Japanese pop culture. Goths, fashionistas, and punks – anything goes in Harajuku!
- Then pay a visit to one of Japan’s enduring images – the Shibuya Crossing. It’s the world’s busiest intersection, with up to 3000 people crossing as soon as the light turns red… so stay well back and watch the madness happen!
Day 3: Tokyo
- Today, students will explore the gigantic Tokyo National Museum. The Museum houses one of the world’s largest collections of artworks and archeological objects from across Asia, with a specific focus on Japanese artefacts. They hold over 100,000 individual items – and almost 100 designated national treasures! Parts of the six-building complex date back to the early 1900s, and many of the buildings were designed by leading architects. Then, after you’ve finished wandering around, venture out into Ueno Park to explore the ponds, cherry blossom trees, and shrines.
- Explore the Asakusa District, which provides students with a window into an ancient Tokyo from time gone by. They’ll wander the charming streets, which are lined with traditional craft shops and food stalls, and pay a visit to the iconic Sensoji Temple. It’s one of Tokyo’s most vibrant, popular Buddhist temples – and one of the best photo opportunities on the trip!
- You’ll also explore the vibrant Akihabara District. Nicknamed Japan’s ‘Electric Town’ thanks to its post-war industry boom, it’s now a culture epicentre in Tokyo. It’s perfect for lovers of anime, managa, and J-Pop – and is home to the most famous group in Japan, AKB48.
Day 4: Tokyo
- Today, we’ll venture out of Tokyo to Odawara Castle, which sits at the gateway to Hakone. Originally built in the 15th century, it’s made up of a 4-storey castle keep and 3 major gates. Alongside internal exhibits on the castle’s history, armor and sword displays, the grounds also house an interactive Ninja Museum and a Samurai Museum too. Spend sometime exploring this fascinating area, uncovering Japan’s storied past.
- Back in Tokyo, you’ll take an unmissable cruise up the Sumida River. Here, you’ll spot all the city’s best landmarks from an entirely new perspective.
Day 5: Kyoto
- This morning, you’ll transfer via high-speed bullet train – the Shinkansen – to the beautiful city of Kyoto!
- Once you’ve checked in to your new accommodation and dropped your bags, you’ll head out onto the streets to explore. Walk through the quaint side streets until you reach Kiyomizu Dera Temple, which is over a millenium old! Founded on the site of the Otowa Waterfall, it derives its name from the fall’s pure waters. These days, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site and is world-renowned for the incredible views of the landscape that surrounds it.
- You’ll also explore the Higashiyama District. One of the city’s best-preserved historic areas, you’ll be able to wander these beautiful streets and peruse the traditional merchant shops.
- For history-lovers, no trip to Kyoto is complete without discovering the bustling Hanamikoji Dori. This street runs from Sanjo Dori in the north to the Kenninji Temple in the south, and is lined with beautiful examples of temples and shrines from Japan’s history, including the Toto Temple. It’s also home to traditional facilities for the performing arts like the Gion Koubu Utamai Neriwa, and many restaurants serving Japanese staples.
Day 6: Kyoto
- For a final window into Japan’s history, explore Kinkakuji – the Golden Pavilion. This world-famous pavilion overlooks the Kagayako Pond, and is a representative exmaple of a Muromachi-period pavilion. The most amazing sights of all are the opulent gold-leaf which adorns the second and third floors, and the pavilions gardens. It’s no wonder they’ve been designated both a Special Historic Site and a Special Place of Scenic Beauty by the Japanese government!
- It’s time to bid farewell to Kyoto, as you board the Shinkansen and transfer back to Tokyo. You’ll settle here for the last night, and there’s time for you and your students to engage in a reflection session. Here, you’ll process experiences, digest new ideas, and discuss what you’ve learned about Japan – and yourselves – during your time here.
Day 7: Farewell
Sadly, today your Japan history school trip comes to an end. You’ll head to the airport, ready to fly home.
Gain an insight into Japan’s modern culture and how it has developed.
Learn more about Japan’s religious and social history.
Understand Japan’s contribution to art history, both on a national and global scale.
Speak to a specialist
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