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 with a toddler and even Tokyo with a toddler 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.
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?
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!
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!
For more tips about Japanese food and restaurants with children then check out our guide.
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.
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.
Have you visited Japan with children? What were your favourite things to do?