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HomeCouple TravelLearn how to Journey Japan with a Child (Up to date 2023)

Learn how to Journey Japan with a Child (Up to date 2023)


Blogger Kristin Addis of Be My Travel Muse with her partner and baby at Fushimi Inari Shrine in Japan
Posted: 10/9/2023 | October

I really like Japan. It’s one among my favourite nations on the planet. However is it an acceptable vacation spot to go to with a child? Solo feminine journey professional Kristin Addis from Be My Journey Muse was just lately there together with her child and has tons of suggestions and recommendation for vacationers pondering of taking a child with them to Japan.

Japan was our first main worldwide journey with our then six-month-old. I’d heard combined issues about how child pleasant Japan could be, from DMs telling me it wouldn’t be a fantastic journey to the full reverse with folks gushing about how child pleasant it was.

We determined to go for it, hitting 4 spots in two weeks, taking public transportation and staying in a mixture of residences and lodges. Touring with a child in Japan comes with some particular issues, however general, it may be a fantastic journey IF you propose it proper. Right here’s every part to know:

 

Japan Child and Toddler Friendliness

Blogger Kristin Addis of Be My Travel Muse with her partner and baby looking into the mirror at an art installation in Japan

With a number of unusual exceptions, like the shortage of cribs, Japan is without doubt one of the most child and family-friendly locations I’ve been. It began after we had been personally escorted to the plane by a Japan Airways gate agent when boarding our flight to Osaka. They even provided me a spot to sit down with the child whereas I waited. It felt like first-class remedy.

Every time we encountered an airport queue in Japan, whether or not it was for safety or boarding, they at all times had a household line, which is unfortunately lacking from each US airport I’ve encountered.

There are household restrooms all over the place as nicely, and I actually imply all over the place. Even the smallest metro and practice stations had them, and I by no means encountered one which wasn’t glowing clear. Folks revered that they had been solely meant for these with disabilities and younger kids, as nicely. I by no means needed to wait to make use of one and by no means noticed an able-bodied single particular person stroll out of them, which I see on a regular basis within the US.

The bogs are additionally stuffed with helpful gadgets like a child holder, which I’ve solely in any other case seen in Singapore, altering tables, and padded benches for nursing. I’ve actually by no means seen a household toilet as geared up as those in Japan.

The locals additionally LOVED our child. All over the place we went, folks would play peek a boo with him, smile at him, and light-weight up once they noticed him. We felt very welcome all over the place we went with him.
 

Getting Round Japan with a Child

Blogger Kristin Addis of Be My Travel Muse with her infant son in a baby carrier as they stand in a snowy landscape in Japan
Usually, planning fewer issues is less complicated than a packed itinerary when touring with a child anyplace on the planet. That is very true for Japan the place you’re almost certainly taking a mixture of trains and buses across the nation. The extra distant you’re going, the extra connections you’re prone to have as nicely.

Though they’re costlier, we tended to want practice journey to bus journey in Japan in order that we may make use of the altering tables on the trains. They had been extra spacious, and the buses hardly ever had a spot to alter diapers.

Should you’re touring throughout excessive season, you should definitely e book practice tickets forward of time and reserve seats to keep away from having to face along with your child.

Alternatively, contemplate renting a automotive to get round. They are often expensive, and should you’re North American you’ll be driving on the alternative aspect of the highway, but it surely additionally provides you final flexibility.
 

Packing Mild is Smart for Japan

Blogger Kristin Addis of Be My Travel Muse with her partner and baby under a torii arch in Japan
Should you’ll be taking the Japan Rail and/or metro to get round, you’ll need to pack as gentle as doable. Realistically, solely what you and whoever you’re touring with can carry goes to work. This appears to be the largest difficulty for households touring in Japan. They pack an excessive amount of and it impacts their journey enjoyment.

We opted to go away the stroller at residence and simply journey with a delicate child provider. Whereas a stroller will be useful at instances, Japan has plenty of stairs and a few metro stations, even in Tokyo, don’t have elevators. We at all times discovered them at JR stations, although.

I’ve combined emotions about this choice as we had been aching by the tip of the journey. If I had been to do it with a toddler or older child I’d in all probability go for a mountaineering child provider as a substitute. It distributes weight higher and is a extra snug expertise, plus they’ve space for storing. Simply remember that they’re cumbersome and also you’ll almost certainly must take away it when utilizing public transport.

Should you completely should deliver greater than you possibly can bodily carry, there are baggage forwarding companies in Japan that may assist transport your baggage from lodge to lodge for you.
 

Renting Child Gear in Japan

Since our child was a bit youthful and never but cellular after we visited Japan, we felt OK with not having a devoted sleeping house and using the ground beds as a substitute. Nonetheless now that he’s older, he wants a devoted sleeping house and ideally a stroller. If we had been to go to now, I’d make the most of rental companies to maintain our suitcases gentle and nonetheless have entry to the gadgets we’d like for security and luxury.

It’s doable to hire strollers in varied cities in Japan, relying on how distant you’re going. You can even hire different child gear in some elements of Japan, notably within the extra main cities.
 

Shopping for Child Necessities in Japan

One approach to pack lighter is to plan to purchase child necessities in Japan. It’s straightforward to search out diapers, system, and child meals if the place to look.

Should you’re doing baby-led weaning, which we had been on the time, you possibly can store at any Japanese grocery store for fruit and veggies.

It was really a deal with to go to the grocery shops there since they’d nearly totally completely different snacks and types than I’ve seen elsewhere. The produce was additionally approach higher, because it was principally regionally grown. Even within the winter, we had been consuming completely ripe, locally-grown strawberries.

Should you want diapers, child meals, or system, you received’t discover them at a grocery retailer. These things are on the market in drug shops solely. Matsumoto Kiyoshi (with brown lettering) is the one we got here throughout essentially the most typically.

Diapers had been straightforward to purchase. They are going to have the burden clearly displayed in kilograms. Jarred child meals and system had been in the identical part of the shop. Should you want a specialised (non-cow) system, which may be more durable to search out. Since we did for my child, we introduced sufficient with us from residence for the entire journey.

Obtain the Google translate app to be able to maintain your telephone digicam as much as the Japanese Kanji and browse what the elements and child meals flavors are. Don’t count on to see English translations in shops.
 

Selecting The place to Keep in Japan with a Child

Blogger Kristin Addis of Be My Travel Muse with her partner and baby sitting next to a window in Japan with a snow-topped mountain in the background
We did a mixture of lodges and residences in Japan and so they each had their advantages.

Until you’re prepared to pay up a bit extra, particularly in Tokyo, you possibly can count on lodge rooms to be on the smaller aspect. Nonetheless they have an inclination to incorporate breakfast, which makes life simpler for folks with younger kids.

Residences, which you’ll e book on Airbnb, normally have two flooring and a kitchen. The kitchen was useful for meals prepping for the child, and the 2 we stayed in had microwaves. I journey with microwave steam baggage to sanitize our bottles, so this was a pleasant shock.

The 2 flooring additionally gave us a spot to hang around whereas he took his naps. Condo leases are nearly at all times bigger, and in my expertise, extra reasonably priced than lodge rooms will be. Generally they’ve washers and dryers as nicely.

Scorching water kettles are a pleasant function whether or not you’re in an residence or lodge room. They appear to be the usual in Japan, which makes sanitizing, washing, and heating water for system simpler. Faucet water in Japan is mostly secure to drink and wash with.
 

Child Sleep in Japan

Probably the most bewildering and disappointing factor about touring in Japan with our child was the shortage of cribs. Even within the 5-star ryokan we stayed at in Kawaguchiko, there was no child crib on provide. It made me marvel what locals do. Do they convey their very own? Do they co-sleep?

In half of the locations we stayed, the beds had been traditional-style mattresses on the ground, so it was tremendous for our child to sleep on the ground mattresses, nonetheless now that he’s extra cellular, I’d need to deliver alongside our journey mattress.

 

Feeding and Meals in Japan

One of many detrimental issues I heard was that we’d be turned away from eating places in Japan with our child. Whereas I’m positive it occurs, I didn’t encounter this, even at kaiseki (which is the very best degree of eating in Japan) eating places. Generally they even had toys they’d deliver out for our son.

We had been informed that the lounge within the lodge we stayed at in Tokyo wouldn’t be obtainable to the child within the evenings when alcohol was served, nonetheless. Some eating places, together with the Michelin star ones you may be hoping to eat at, may maintain the identical coverage. There are some eating places in Japan which can be particularly geared in direction of households. The commonest you’ll discover are Bikkuri Donkey, Joyfull, and Gusto.

Most eating places in Japan may have excessive chairs, however when at extra informal ramen or yakitori eating places, you’re much less prone to come throughout them.

Should you’re nursing, my sense in Japan was that it’s greatest completed in non-public. I by no means noticed anybody overtly nursing in Japan, although I noticed loads of bottle feeding. The household restrooms are in all probability your greatest wager for a cushty and personal expertise. I noticed a nursing pod (just a little room that gives nursing privateness, much like the Mamava pods at US airports) at a number of main practice stations in Japan as nicely.
 

Medical Providers in Japan

As a father or mother, I’m extra involved with the provision of healthcare companies than I ever was earlier than touring with a child. Fortunately Japan has an exquisite medical system with completely succesful medical doctors.

I do know this firsthand as I wanted to go to a health care provider in Kyoto when my bronchial asthma flared up. I used to be capable of go to a world physician at a clinic that companies foreigners the identical day. The entire medicine the physician prescribed was obtainable there as nicely. Most often they’ll need a money fee which you’ll then undergo your journey insurance coverage for reimbursement.

In non-emergency conditions, search for a health care provider that makes a speciality of worldwide sufferers as there will be language limitations. I used to be capable of finding mine simply on Google Maps. In any other case, hospitals are extensively obtainable, even in smaller cities.

***

General, I liked touring in Japan with our child. The clear household bogs supplied a straightforward place to alter him, feeding and shopping for provides had been straightforward, and getting round was easy with such a well-connected rail system.

I used to be frightened with so many stops and logistics that it may be a nightmare, however every part is so well-organized in Japan, all of it labored out. Plus, the lovable interactions between our son and the locals made it a heartwarming expertise.

Kristin Addis is a solo feminine journey professional who conjures up girls to journey the world in an genuine and adventurous approach. A former funding banker who offered all of her belongings in 2012, Kristin has been touring the world ever since. Yow will discover extra of her musings at Be My Journey Muse or on Instagram and Fb.

E book Your Journey to Japan: Logistical Suggestions and Methods

E book Your Flight
Discover a low-cost flight through the use of Skyscanner. They’re my favourite search engine as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe, so that you at all times know no stone is left unturned!

E book Your Lodging
You may e book your hostel with Hostelworld as they’ve essentially the most complete stock so they’re greatest for reserving a hostel. If you wish to keep in a lodge or guesthouse in Japan, use Reserving.com because it constantly returns the most affordable charges for guesthouses and lodges.

Don’t Neglect Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will shield you towards sickness, damage, theft, and cancelations. It’s complete safety in case something goes fallacious. I by no means go on a visit with out it, as I’ve had to make use of it many instances previously. My favourite firms that provide the perfect service and worth are:

On the lookout for the Finest Firms to Save Cash With?
Take a look at my useful resource web page for the perfect firms to make use of once you journey! I record all those I take advantage of to economize after I journey — and I feel they’ll assist you too!

You should definitely take a look at the Japan Rail Cross should you’ll be touring across the nation. It is available in 7-, 14-, and 21-day passes and may prevent a ton of cash!

On the lookout for Extra Journey Suggestions for Japan?
Take a look at my in-depth Japan journey information for extra methods to economize; info on prices; recommendations on what to see and do; prompt itineraries, studying, and packing lists; and far, far more!



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