Whether a family of 4 or a multi-generational family of 18, we are specialists in creating just the right experience for everyone traveling.

Yamanoue Okura (660-733)

When I eat a melon,
I think of my children.
When I eat chestnuts,
I long for them even more.
Where do they possibly come from?
Their mischief flickers before my eyes
And keeps me from my sleep
What do I need
With silver,
With gold and gems
Could the most precious jewel
Be equal to my child?

One of the most important and bonding experiences we can have as a family is to travel together.  Yet when planing a family trip, certain stresses arise: figuring out just the right order of places to visit, the right amount of activity, making sure to include something of importance to everyone in the family, accounting for jet lag and making sure that you have had a truly unique experience and one that is only possible in the place you are visiting, just to name a few!

Our family-focused special tour planners have created a specialized set of knowledge and skills that allows us to combine Esprit Travel’s unique cultural immersion experiences with loads of family-friendly activities and destinations.  We know just the right ryokan to suggest for your party–maybe the one where you can stay in a grass-roofed cottage?  or perhaps the one that serves western-style breakfasts for your picky eater?  We know how to make sure that your days flow logically based on where you are arriving from, what time your kids will likely be jet-lagged, when they’ll get “templed-out” and how much time you have in Japan. We know which activities are appropriate for which ages and genders, how to make sure that food allergies and health-concerns are addressed, which hotels have pools, where to take sword or taiko drum classes, and so many more things of primary interest to parents that might not be considered by a regular custom travel planner.

But the most important thing for us is that we are passionate about making sure that you and your family come to have a profound appreciation for the Japanese people and its culture. We do that by introducing you to our many friends in the country who demonstrate the Japanese concept of shokunin – the time-honored discipline of deep dedication to a craft that stands alone in today’s fast-paced world as a unique testament to the Japanese culture.



Sketch Itinerary

We start by finding out what is important to you, from where you want to go to what you want to see, experience and remember from this trip. Whether helping a couple get married in a Buddhist temple in Kyoto, arranging an overnight stay and private viewing at the Benesse House Art Site, or getting reservations at a special inn during the festival in Takayama, we make dreams come true. Our deep expertise in Japanese culture, built over years of studying, living and working in the Japan, and our mastery of the Japanese language allow us not only to craft the journey you want, but find innumerable ways to make it rich and memorable. Once this is complete, we prepare a sketch itinerary proposal for your review.

  • Understanding
  • Daily Plan Layout
  • Experience Options

Tour Preparation

Esprit’s prepares a complete custom tour package for you.  We want your experience in Japan to be seamless so you can relax and enjoy the culture, the food, the private introductions and all that this fascinating culture has to offer, without sweating the details. To that end, we focus on only a few clients at a time and we do not sell partial packages or guide-only days.

  • Tour Planning Handbook
  • Suggested Reading List
  • Airport-to-Airport Logistics

Enhanced Itinerary

A few months before you travel, we take our initial sketch itinerary and lay out the details of what you will be able to do, day-by-day, so that you can determine the right schedule and pacing for yourself. This enhanced itinerary gives you a good idea of what can reasonably be done each day so that you can truly live in the moment while in Japan.

  • Pacing
  • Timing
  • Event Selection

Detailed Review Itinerary

We are meticulous (some might say obsessed) in planning every detail, so you can enjoy the people, places, experiences, learning and adventures you travel to find. We make sure you have information, introductions, guides, interpreter, reservations, plans and support when and where you need them — effortlessly. Our Kyoto office is there to offer assistance with reservations, tickets to cultural events and to answer questions. Our Japanese guides are deeply knowledgeable and a pleasure to spend time with.

  • Reservations
  • Guide Planning
  • Logistics Management

Final Documents

About 2 weeks before you travel, you’ll receive one of Esprit’s fabulously detailed itineraries, all printed up into an easy-to-carry booklet, along with a full set of documents to make your trip go smoothly. Our final package includes maps, restaurant suggestions, detailed sightseeing information for when you are on your own, tourist information and lots of little goodies, all included in a beautiful package that you can just take and go.

  • itinerary booklet
  • maps
  • sightseeing suggestions

Experience Japan!

Finally, we will send you to Japan with introductions to our friends — the artists, craftspeople, artisans, cultural experts and sensei we have had the good fortune to share friendship with for years. Each of these introductions is a special gift and is made to open a unique door on your interests. We have arranged access to private workshops in Kyoto’s weaving district, cooking classes, a workshop in indigo dying, shakuhachi flute lessons, introductions to Japanese artists for collectors and much more. In most cases, an interpreter is required and we will have arranged for that too.

  • Special Visits
  • Private Introductions
  • Personalized Service

Choose from a range of exciting destinations and experiences!

Let`s Work Together