Why Japan should be top of your family travel bucket list

Why Japan should be top of your family travel bucket list

When you think of family friendly holiday destinations, Japan may not be top of your list but it really should be. Here are our top 8 reasons why we think Japan should be top of your family travel bucket list. 

How Accessible is Japan for families

We found Japan, especially big cities such as Kyoto and Tokyo to be really accessible for families. We aren’t really baby wearers so travel most places with a stroller. Japan was really easy to travel around with a stroller with most places being flat and many of that stations and public transport stations having elevators.

Familidoo Air Stroller at Tokyo Imperial Palace

TOP JAPAN FAMILY TRAVEL TIP: Have a stroller that folds down compactly. Space is at a premium in Japan, especially on public transport so a compact stroller is a must. We used the Familidoo and loved it!

You can read our full review here

Getting Around Japan with Children


I don’t know why, but when I thought about using public transport with children in Japan, I thought it would be a terribly stressful experience. How wrong I was! Japanese public transport is easy to use and very safe.  We used taxis, trains, underground and went on the Shinkansen and found them easy to use and very accessible with children.

TOP JAPAN FAMILY TRAVEL TIP: Try and avoid rush hour commuting.

How Safe is Japan with Children?

While I never thought Japan would be a dangerous place to travel, I was amazed by how safe it felt. While we were at tourist destinations such as Disney and disney sea people would often leave their strollers and in some cases, even bags unattended with no worries about theft. We walked around Tokyo and Kyoto at all hours and never once felt threatened.

Are there family friendly tourist attractions in Japan?

Wandermust Family at Fushimi Inari Taisha

I don’t think we travelled to any tourist site in Japan and thought it wasn’t family friendly. From palaces, shrines, parks and shopping districts we found that everywhere was welcoming to families.

Wandermust Family at the Golden Pavillion

One of my favourite memories from the trip is of our little one played with Japanese children at the shrines. No one was bothered by their playing and it was lovely to see how play transcends language barriers

What are family friendly food options in Japan?

Food was perhaps the thing that worried me most about travelling to Japan with a toddler but I shouldn’t have worried. We trialled our little one with some of the flavours before we went which I am pleased we did but our little one simply loved the food. Many people just think of sushi when they think of Japan but there is so much more. My little one particularly love Tonkatsu.


TOP JAPAN FAMILY TRAVEL TIP: For fussier children, there are more Western eateries and Italian restaurants are plentiful and good.

For more tips about Japanese food and restaurants with children then check out our guide.

The people


Again, there was no where in Japan we went without feeling entirely welcome. The Japanese were great hosts and plied our little one with loads of attention. Friendly locals can be a huge factor in making a family holiday a success and the locals in Japan couldn’t have been more accommodating.

The toilets

I’m not just talking about the traditional high tech toilets. Though they are fab if not slightly intimidating.

I’m talking about family friendliness. I never found a public toilet that wasn’t spotless clean with good baby change facilities. On top of that I found children’s urinals, potty boosters and even seats for children so parents could pee in peace. I don’t think I will ever change our little one in such good public toilets ever again!

Disney in Tokyo

And last, and certainly by no means least, for when your child tires of shrines, gardens and Japanese culture, head to a Japanese theme park or more specifically Tokyo Disney or Disney Sea. A sure fire hit with children of any age.

Disneysea

You are can our full reviews of Tokyo Disney and Disney Sea here!

Have you visited Japan with children? What were your favourite things to do?
Part of #mondayescapes

48 Comments

  1. October 9, 2017 / 12:46 pm

    So glad to see how friendly it is to travel in Japan with kids. Lovely photos, thanks for sharing your journey .

  2. October 9, 2017 / 1:30 pm

    Japan has been top of my wanderlust list for a long time. I can’t wait to take my girls there one day.

  3. October 9, 2017 / 2:33 pm

    We’ve always wanted to go to Japan and it is definitely at the top of our bucket list…so this was a really useful post. One day!!!

  4. October 9, 2017 / 3:42 pm

    Great tips! I travelled to japan with my (then) two year old twins. In advance I’d been told not to being a buggy because we wouldn’t be able to get around. This wasn’t true and I was glad we ignored it because we wouldn’t have been able to get around with too tired and jet lagged 2 year olds. We managed the pavements and public transport (including at peak rush hour!) with a double side by side umbrella stroller and it was fine. Japan is an amazing country to explore with kids – safe and loads of exciting things for them to do.

  5. October 9, 2017 / 5:54 pm

    I never though of Japan as being super family-friendly but it certainly sounds like it is. Public toilets with kids always make me break out in a sweat as you never know what you’re going to find or what they are going to touch. The ones you cam across sound like the gold standard! Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes

    • October 9, 2017 / 6:43 pm

      Yes toilets and toddlers is my worst nightmare too but not in Japan

  6. October 9, 2017 / 6:10 pm

    What an informative post on what to expect from Japan, thank you. Sounds like a perfect place for family travel!

  7. October 9, 2017 / 9:03 pm

    I’ve always been impressed by the Japanese! this article is just great! definitely give me an idea of where to go once I have a family.

    glad to hear you had a good time.

  8. October 9, 2017 / 9:20 pm

    I had no idea they had a Disney there! It’s not somewhere I’ve ever considered as a family holiday, but reading this I was clearly wrong

  9. I have never considered Japan before with kids but it certainly sounds very child friendly. I’ll be honest I didn’t realise there were two Disney parks there either! Learn something new every day. Thanks for linking to #MondayEscapes

    • October 9, 2017 / 10:08 pm

      I hadn’t realised until we had booked about the disney parks. It really was a fab place for families

  10. October 10, 2017 / 1:21 am

    I have never been to Japan before but I am loving that it is family friendly. I like the sound of Disney in Tokyo x

  11. October 10, 2017 / 6:40 am

    This makes me want to go even more now!

  12. October 10, 2017 / 11:19 am

    I had never thought of Japan as being somewhere to travel to with children, I would never have imagined it was so child-friendly x
    Newcastle Family Life recently posted…September 2017My Profile

  13. October 11, 2017 / 8:12 pm

    We have two travel bucket lists….one short haul and one long haul and Japan is top of the latter. We’d love to go, my folks are just waiting for me to grow up a bit so I can remember x

    • October 11, 2017 / 9:35 pm

      It is fab travelling. We want to travel with our little one at all ages. We’ll remember enough for all of us 😉 And we can always go back

    • November 1, 2017 / 10:44 am

      Tough choice but Kyoto I think. My lo would vote Disney

  14. November 1, 2017 / 10:42 am

    I went to Japan in 2013, withoutmy kids to visit my friend (military family) and we had her 5 month old with us. He was so easy to transport, and everywhere was so welcoming to him! I agree, Japan is a great place for kids. I have to admit though, I personally had trouble with the food. I dont eat meat or fish, so yeah not my culinary destination!
    Harmony, Momma To Go recently posted…Stress Busting Tips for Traveling with Young ChildrenMy Profile

  15. November 1, 2017 / 11:48 am

    Japan is very high up on our ultimate bucket list. This post was great and answered a lot of my questions about its suitability as a family travel destination. will bookmark it for sure#fearlessfamtravel

  16. November 1, 2017 / 6:48 pm

    I love Japan but we went pre-kids so great to hear the other perspective. The public transport is brilliant (except in the rush hour) and wonderful to hear your little one was playing with all the other kids. My children always get loads of attention in Asia. They’re so friendly. #fearlessfamtrav
    Elizabeth (Wander Mum) recently posted…City Tripping #93My Profile

  17. November 1, 2017 / 8:38 pm

    Sounds like a fun trip. Not sure why but I hadn’t thought about Japan having other cuisines like Italian but I guess everywhere does these days. #fearlessfamtrav

  18. November 1, 2017 / 8:39 pm

    Japan is one of the top of my bucket list -looks so amazing, thanks for the post!

  19. November 1, 2017 / 9:40 pm

    I had never really thought about taking my little one to Japan, but it sounds like a fantastically family-friendly place #fearlessfamtrav

  20. November 1, 2017 / 10:08 pm

    I have no idea why we have never been to Japan. It’s always been off our radar for some reason. But what compelling reasons to visit – you have made me so excited about their toilets!! Also, what a fab idea it was to introduce your lo to some of the flavours before you left for your trip. #fearlessfamtrav
    TraveLynn Family – Jenny recently posted…Is Doha worth a stopover with young kids?My Profile

  21. November 1, 2017 / 11:10 pm

    Japan looks so fun! I was supposed to visit a few years back on a long layover, but ended up skipping it when I found out I was pregnant during my trip and always regretted it! So now I definitely have to go back with my little and I’m sure he will love it! #fearlessfamtrav
    Laura recently posted…Six great U.S. destinations for a weekend getawayMy Profile

    • November 2, 2017 / 10:21 am

      We had to cancel when I was pregnant because of horrendous morning sickness. So glad we got to go with our lo

  22. November 2, 2017 / 5:46 pm

    We were in Japan last year around this time with our (then) 3 yr old and 14 month old. I agree with everything you said about it being safe and family friendly! As for the stroller, we did find there were a few places that you couldn’t explore with a stroller (especially in Kyoto), so a baby carrier would be useful if you had a baby/toddler who wasn’t walking. #fearlessfamtrav

  23. November 5, 2017 / 2:48 pm

    My dad use to travel to Japan on business all the time when i was a kid. He always use to come back saying how amazing it was. I love the building style over there. Great post #fearlessfamtrav

  24. November 12, 2017 / 4:18 pm

    Japan is definitely on our family bucket list but it’s great to hear it is so family friendly! Our only problem with going to Japan is whether to go in spring for the cherry blossoms or autumn for the colours of the acers as I’m not sure we could stretch to two trips! #fearlessfamtrav

  25. November 25, 2017 / 6:08 pm

    Great to know that children are welcome everywhere in Japan. Disney in Japan should be of great attraction.

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