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Tips on how to Journey Japan with a Child (Up to date 2023) Get hold of US

Posted: 10/9/2023 | October

I like Japan. It’s one in all my favourite international locations on this planet. However is it an acceptable vacation spot to go to with a child? Solo feminine journey professional Kristin Addis from Be My Travel Muse was not too long ago there along 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 can be, from DMs telling me it wouldn’t be an ideal journey to the overall reverse with individuals 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 flats and inns. Touring with a child in Japan comes with some particular issues, however total, it may be an ideal journey IF you intend it proper. Right here’s every thing 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 just a few unusual exceptions, like the dearth of cribs, Japan is likely one of the most child and family-friendly locations I’ve been. It began once we had been personally escorted to the plane by a Japan Airways gate agent when boarding our flight to Osaka. They even supplied me a spot to sit down with the infant whereas I waited. It felt like firstclass 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 in every single place as effectively, and I actually imply in every single place. Even the smallest metro and prepare 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 effectively. 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 loos are additionally filled 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 rest room as geared up as those in Japan.

The locals additionally LOVED our child. In all places we went, individuals would play peek a boo with him, smile at him, and light-weight up once they noticed him. We felt very welcome in every single 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 simpler than a packed itinerary when touring with a child wherever on this 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 effectively.

Though they’re dearer, we tended to desire prepare journey to bus journey in Japan in order that we might make use of the altering tables on the trains. They had been extra spacious, and the buses not often had a spot to alter diapers.

If you happen to’re touring throughout excessive season, make sure you e-book prepare tickets forward of time and reserve seats to keep away from having to face together with your child.

Alternatively, contemplate renting a car to get round. They are often dear, and should you’re North American you’ll be driving on the alternative facet of the street, nevertheless it additionally provides you final flexibility.
 

Packing Mild is Clever for Japan

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

We opted to depart the stroller at dwelling and simply journey with a soft baby carrier. Whereas a stroller will be useful at instances, Japan has quite a lot 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 hiking baby carrier as an alternative. It distributes weight higher and is a extra comfy expertise, plus they’ve cupboard space. Simply take into account that they’re cumbersome and also you’ll almost certainly have to take away it when utilizing public transport.

If you happen to completely need to convey greater than you’ll be able to bodily carry, there are luggage forwarding services 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 once we visited Japan, we felt OK with not having a devoted sleeping house and using the ground beds as an alternative. 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 providers to maintain our suitcases mild and nonetheless have entry to the gadgets we’d like for security and luxury.

It’s potential to rent strollers in various cities in Japan, relying on how distant you’re going. You too can rent other baby gear in some elements of Japan, significantly within the extra main cities.
 

Shopping for Child Necessities in Japan

One option to pack lighter is to plan to purchase child necessities in Japan. It’s simple to seek out diapers, formulation, and child meals if the place to look.

If you happen to’re doing baby-led weaning, which we had been on the time, you’ll be able to 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 virtually solely totally different snacks and types than I’ve seen elsewhere. The produce was additionally method higher, because it was largely regionally grown. Even within the winter, we had been consuming completely ripe, locally-grown strawberries.

If you happen to want diapers, child meals, or formulation, you gained’t discover them at a grocery retailer. This stuff are on the market in drug shops solely. Matsumoto Kiyoshi (with brown lettering) is the one we got here throughout probably the most usually.

Diapers had been simple to purchase. They are going to have the load clearly displayed in kilograms. Jarred child meals and formulation had been in the identical part of the shop. If you happen to want a specialised (non-cow) formulation, which may be tougher to seek out. Since we did for my child, we introduced sufficient with us from dwelling for the entire journey.

Obtain the Google translate app so as to maintain your cellphone digicam as much as the Japanese Kanji and skim what the components and child meals flavors are. Don’t anticipate 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 inns and flats in Japan and so they each had their advantages.

Until you’re keen to pay up a bit extra, particularly in Tokyo, you’ll be able to anticipate lodge rooms to be on the smaller facet. Nonetheless they have a tendency to incorporate breakfast, which makes life simpler for folks with younger kids.

Residences, which you’ll be able to e-book on Airbnb, normally have two flooring and a kitchen. The kitchen was useful for meals prepping for the infant, and the 2 we stayed in had microwaves. I journey with microwave steam luggage 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. House leases are virtually at all times bigger, and in my expertise, extra inexpensive than lodge rooms will be. Generally they’ve washers and dryers as effectively.

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

Child Sleep in Japan

Essentially the most bewildering and disappointing factor about touring in Japan with our child was the dearth of cribs. Even within the 5-star ryokan we stayed at in Kawaguchiko, there was no child crib on supply. It made me marvel what locals do. Do they carry 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 high quality for our child to sleep on the ground mattresses, nonetheless now that he’s extra cellular, I’d wish to convey alongside our journey mattress.

 

Feeding and Meals in Japan

One of many adverse issues I heard was that we’d be turned away from eating places in Japan with our child. Whereas I’m certain 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 convey out for our son.

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

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

If you happen to’re nursing, my sense in Japan was that it’s finest executed 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 finest wager for a cushty and personal expertise. I noticed a nursing pod (a little bit room that gives nursing privateness, much like the Mamava pods at US airports) at just a few main prepare stations in Japan as effectively.
 

Medical Companies in Japan

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

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 in a position to go to a world physician at a clinic that providers foreigners the identical day. The entire medicine the physician prescribed was accessible there as effectively. Generally they’ll need a money cost which you’ll be able to then undergo your travel insurance for reimbursement.

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

***

General, I beloved touring in Japan with our child. The clear household loos offered a simple place to alter him, feeding and shopping for provides had been simple, 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 is perhaps a nightmare, however every thing is so well-organized in Japan, all of it labored out. Plus, the cute interactions between our son and the locals made it a heartwarming expertise.

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

E-book Your Journey to Japan: Logistical Suggestions and Methods

E-book Your Flight
Discover a low cost flight by utilizing 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 probably the most complete stock so they’re finest for reserving a hostel. If you wish to keep in a lodge or guesthouse in Japan, use Booking.com because it constantly returns the most affordable charges for guesthouses and inns.

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

On the lookout for the Greatest Firms to Save Cash With?
Try my useful resource web page for the perfect firms to make use of once you journey! I checklist all those I exploit to save cash after I journey — and I believe they may make it easier to too!

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

On the lookout for Extra Journey Suggestions for Japan?
Try my in-depth Japan journey information for extra methods to save cash; info on prices; tips about what to see and do; urged itineraries, studying, and packing lists; and far, far more!


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