One of our biggest questions when we were looking to travel to Japan with a baby was “Can I use a stroller in Japan?”. In this guide we will tell you where is and isn’t stroller friendly in Japan, along with out recommendations for the best stroller for Japan travel.
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Do people use strollers in Japan?
We would recommend using a stroller with both a toddler and a baby in Japan. This is because it gets very busy and a stroller is a great way of protecting your little one from the crowds, help them when suffering from jet lag and will save their legs on some of the longer walk days.
However we did find that some places where more stroller friendly than others.
Is Japan stroller friendly (pram friendly)?
Generally speaking I would say that Japan is a stroller friendly place. however there are some notable exceptions and other things to be aware of when bringing a stroller to Japan.
For instance, we never had an issue traveling with a. stroller on the subway in Tokyo when we travelled outside of rush hour. However there are some stations, as with using a stroller in London or other places around the world, that are not accessible.
In these locations we either had to carry our little one in their stroller down the stairs or fold it up to get up or down to the platform.
Where to Use a Stroller in Japan
We used stroller in every place that we went which included:
- Tokyo with a baby
- Kyoto with a toddler
- Hokkaido with a toddler
WE found that Tokyo was much easier to get around with having a stroller with us because it made it easier to navigate the crowds.
We also found the museums, shopping malls and newer sites around the cities easier to use a stroller at instead of the more ancient and cultural sites.
Places in Japan that are not stroller friendly
Now I don’t want to say that anywhere is completely stroller unfriendly but some of the more difficult places we used a stroller in were the shrines and temples.
We used our stroller at Fushimi Inari and the Golden Temple in Kyoto however the ground was uneven and there were lots of steps that had to be navigated. So therefore I would say it isn’t impossible to use a stroller there but you do have to be prepared for a bit of rough terrain.
Why you should take a stroller to Japan?
So now you know if the locals use strollers and how stroller friendly Japan is I thought it would be worthwhile to say why we think you should take a stroller to Japan with toddlers or babies.
Firstly if you are traveling internationally to get to Japan then there is a chance that you will be experiencing a a large time difference and you will find your baby or toddler will suffer with jet lag. Strollers are definitely handy for kids suffering from jet lag.
And even once they are over the jet lag you can use the strollers for your toddler or baby’s day time naps. And if you little one will sleep in it at night it means that you may also get chance to have a nice dinner.
They are also handy for when you are in some of the busier places with a toddler. Places like Shibuya are some of the busiest places you can visit in the world. It can get a bit overwhelming for toddlers and babies but having them in a stroller can reduce yours and their stress.
For a stroller friendly Japan itinerary for families check out this post.
Best Stroller to Use in Japan?
There are four main things that I look at when consider the best stroller to use in Japan. They are:
- how lightweight it is
Firstly you may have heard that space is at a premium in Japan. When travelling with a baby there are a lot of baby travel essentials that you have to take with you. To make sure you maximise the space in your Japanese accommodation you want to make sure that your stroller can be packed away.
Also not everywhere in Japan is accessible i.e. not all Japan travel stations have elevators. Therefore having a stroller that is compact and that folds down easily as this will save you a lot of hassle.
Reclinability is also important if your little one is suffering from jet lag as you will want them and they will need to have plenty of naps during the day in your stroller.
It is also worth noting that high chairs are not all that commonplace in restaurants in Japan. Therefore you may have to use your stroller as a high chair in some locations so it is worth considering when packing your stroller.
When you talk about travel strollers no discussion is complete without mentioning the Babyzen Yoyo. The Babyzen Yoyo is a light weight but is also reinforced so it is one of the sturdier travel strollers on the market.
It weighs in at just 6.6kg which isn’t the lightest option on the list but does make it durable. It also has great storage which makes it perfect for long days exploring the beautiful Japan.
The only downside of the babyzen yoyo is that it is one of the more expensive travel strollers on the market so you really need to be sure that you will get good use out of this if this is the stroller you decide on purchasing.
Familidoo Air Stroller
The Familidoo Air Stroller is the stroller that we used on our trip to Japan.
The Familidoo Air Stroller weighs only 5.2kg and folds down into an over head locker which means it packs away perfectly even in the smallest Japanese accommodation. The stroller is suitable from birth though I personally prefer to use it from a slightly older age.
For our full Familidoo Review click here!
Mountain Buggy Nano
Another of the big boys in the travel stroller market is the Mountain Nano. The great thing about this is that it is another super compact stroller that will fit easily into even the smallest Japanese hotel room.
One of the great things about this stroller is that is has a good recline option which is perfect for those that want to use the stroller for napping toddlers or babies. It can also be used from birth without additional purchases to convert the stroller.
The GB Pokit can only be used from aged 6 months so if you are going with a younger baby this isn’t the stroller for you. If your baby is older however this good be the perfect fit.
We considered this stroller however my 6ft5 husband found it just a bit low for him but on the plus side this stroller is one of the lighter ones at 5.8kg.
The only other downside to this stroller is that the sun shade does not come fully over the child which means that this stroller might not be the best for those visiting Japan in the summer and will certainly an added shade for those visiting during sunnier months.
Another lightweight stroller which can be used with from birth with a newborn attachment.
This stroller is fantastic as it has a one hand fold which is very helpful if you ever find yourself traveling solo with your baby. But t is not the cheapest on the market so again you want to make sure you can use it in your everyday life not just for travel.
Kolkraft Cloud Plus
Diono Traverse Edition
The Diono Traverse Stroller is a great choice for those looking for a light weigh and compact stroller. The Diono Stroller weighs less than 5.6kg. On top of that the stroller folds down neatly but also has a useful handful when packed away which makes it easy to pull along.
Other Stroller Products to Use in Japan
On top of a stroller we also recommend you bringing the following accesories with you to Japan.
If you decide not to use your stroller in the airport and decide to check it rather than putting it in an overhead locker then a stroller bag is an essential to keep it safe in the hold. There are lots of stroller travel bags on the market but we recommend using this one.
Japan can be rainy whatever season you are traveling in so we recommend always having a rain cover for your stroller with you.
If you are traveling to Japan during the summer months, or even some of the shoulder seasons you will find that the heat can at times be pretty unbearable.
To make sure your baby or toddler is comfortable in Japan we recommend taking a stroller fan with you.
If you have opted for a travel stroller that doesn’t have a deep shade then I would recommend buying an additional sun shade to ensure you baby is fully protected from the sun.
Whether you are at home or on vacation toys for a stroller are an essential that will keep your baby or toddler amused as you enjoy your shore excursion.
Have you taken a stroller to Japan? What one did you take and what are your tips for using a stroller there?