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.

And if you are looking for travel hacks for trains to save you money then check out his handy post!

Another destination that can be easily reached by train is Osaka! If you are going to Kyoto, you might want to consider s visit to Osaka

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.

It is also a great place to visit whatever he weather! We went in summer and it was hot but bearable and I’ve heard great things about japan in winter!

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.

And there is a plethora of speciality food streets which are brill to explore with families! Read more here!


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 DisneySea. A sure fire hit with children of any age.

Disneysea

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

And if you are looking to maximise a couple of days in Tokyo then we have itinerary suggestions for you here and seven day itinerary suggestion here

Have you visited Japan with children? What were your favourite things to do?

Part of #mondayescapes

51 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!!!

    • October 9, 2017 / 2:55 pm

      Aww thank you. It’s is amazingly family friendly

  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 / 7:24 pm

    Disney?? How did I not know this?! Japan looks amazing, I had no idea that there was so much to see and do there for families!

    • October 9, 2017 / 7:28 pm

      Not one but two Disney’s. It is a great family destination

  8. 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.

  9. October 9, 2017 / 9:18 pm

    We are keen to explore Japan. Great to hear that it is so child friendly #MondayEscapes

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. October 10, 2017 / 3:27 am

    I love Japan! I never went with children, but I can see it being very child friendly. Love that you mentioned Disney Sea. I love that place!

  14. October 10, 2017 / 6:40 am

    This makes me want to go even more now!

  15. October 10, 2017 / 9:04 am

    I would love to visit Japan, it looks like a beautiful country. My only fear was how busy it looks, but your post has put my mind at ease

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. November 1, 2017 / 9:22 am

    Japan is high on our list of places to visit. Its great to hear that it is so family friendly. What was your favourite place that you visited? #fearlessfamtrav

    • November 1, 2017 / 10:44 am

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

  19. 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!

  20. 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

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. November 1, 2017 / 8:39 pm

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

    • November 1, 2017 / 8:52 pm

      Sorry above comment should have #fearlessfamtrav

  24. 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

  25. 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

  26. 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

    • 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

  27. November 2, 2017 / 2:36 am

    Japan sounds even better after this post. We had put it on our bucket list for next year but unfortunately I don’t think the budget is going to stretch! But your post has made me go “oh we really want to go!” #fearlessfamtrav

  28. November 2, 2017 / 1:00 pm

    I love places with excellent public transportation, and Japan definitely fits that bill. So much easier to get around with the kiddo that way.

  29. 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

  30. 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

  31. November 6, 2017 / 3:45 am

    These are great tips! We’ll be visiting as part of our round-the-world trip this spring, so it’s good to know there are food options for Mr. and Miss Picky Eaters 😛

  32. 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

  33. November 25, 2017 / 6:08 pm

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

  34. April 6, 2018 / 7:07 am

    So nicely elaborated! Japan is best for the family trips that this blog describes each place so nicely. Hope to see more useful posts from your side.

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