6 Tips for Traveling with Children in Japan | Expert Travel Tips
Whether it’s your first time or your twentieth time, you never know what to expect on vacation with those lovable scamps! With its reputation as a safe country and its well-organized public transportation, Japan is already an ideal place to spend quality time with your family. Nonetheless, our travel experts compiled a list of tips to make your Japan Family Adventure with children a total breeze.
1. Make sure your kids are active participants
Remember to ask your children what they enjoyed about a certain activity or what they thought of a certain food. Not only will it give you insight to better organize future family holidays, but it’s also a great opportunity to bond and learn more about your child’s interests. If you have older kids, give them a taste of responsibility and let them help you choose the day’s sites and meals. Asking them to take an active part in the trip will give you and your kids a rich and unforgettable experience in Japan.
2. Snack often
As all parents know, hunger can trigger the worst of meltdowns in children (and adults, if we’re being honest!). In between meals, we recommend that you stock up on some onigiri (white rice with savory fillings, wrapped in dried seaweed), edamame pods and Pocky. Convenience stores like Lawson, FamilyMart and 7-11 always have these portable and affordable snacks on hand.
3. Plan outdoor activities
Kids run, kids scream, kids play; it’s just the nature of the beast. Luckily for them, there are some excellent green spaces in Japan. Let them roam freely in Shinjuku Gyoen while you’re in Tokyo. You can admire the beautifully maintained grounds as you keep an eye on them. In Kyoto, there is plenty to explore in the Imperial Palace Gardens, safely tucked away from the hustle and bustle of traffic behind its stone walls.
4. Resist the urge to over-pack
Bring comfortable walking shoes and clothes that can be easily mixed and matched. If you aren’t particular about what brands you use, Japan will probably have all the toiletries your family needs. You’ll feel better moving from place to place with children in tow if your luggage is as light as possible. Of course, if your toddler can’t bear to eat breakfast without his or her green Paw Patrol sippy cup, you best make space in your luggage!
5. Pre-book admission before you arrive
Getting kids to stay still while waiting in a long line should be an Olympic sport! For any tickets that haven’t already been conveniently booked by your favorite tour company, see if you can pre-book them online or by phone. Don’t forget to check if they have a child discount!
6. Have your children carry your contact information
Fill out a couple of laminated cards with your name, hotel address and contact information in the rare case that they get separated from you. The idea is that your children will have these in their pockets/clothing at all times. Even though Japan is known as a very safe, family-friendly country overall, this will give you peace of mind as you enjoy your time with your family in Japan.
Feeling ready to spend a relaxing and fun vacation in Japan with your kids? Check out our 12-Day Japan Family Adventure or get in touch with one of our specialists about customizing your perfect family getaway!
Hailing from Boston, Elisha has traveled to over 20 countries and has lived in Germany and South Korea. Her first trip to Japan was in 2014 and she has gone back every year since. Past destinations include Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Nagano, Matsumoto and a little village called Ono. Tsukemen is her go-to Japanese dish and for fun, she likes to learn foreign languages, hike for good views and crochet while listening to podcasts. She’s happy to help you plan your next vacation to Japan!
If you’re thinking about taking your nearest and dearest on a holiday to Japan but are worried about keeping everyone entertained, we’ve compiled this handy guide to some of Japan’s best family-friendly activities. All of the outings included can be experienced on our Japan Family Adventure – our itinerary created specifically with family groups in mind.