Japan is a place visited by many from abroad each year. But, what about traveling to Japan with kids? What about traveling to Japan with a baby? There are many things to worry about when traveling with a baby, so if you know some things ahead of time it can make your trip easier. This time we will give you tips on traveling to Japan with a baby.
When is the Best Time to Travel to Japan with a Baby?
Japan has four seasons and you can enjoy different views and nature depending on the season. Because Japan has nice facilities any season is ok for traveling, but if you are traveling with a baby we would recommend spring or fall. From March to June and from September to November the climate is nice and you can wear thin long sleeved t-shirts. It isn’t too hot or too cold, so even with a baby you can enjoy sightseeing during those seasons.
3 Things to Bring When Traveling to Japan with a Baby
1. Carrier or Sling
When traveling with a baby one thing that may concern you is getting around. In other countries many parents use strollers to get around with their babies, right? If you can bring a small stroller on your trip, it may be useful. However, a baby carrier or sling would probably be even more useful. Some areas in the cities, in and around the stations, and in some facitilities may be quite narrow and hard to maneuver with a stroller, even a small one. So we recommend using a baby carrier or sling as much as possible when getting around.
2. Baby’s Favorite Snacks and Toys
If you find that you didn`t bring enough of something, you can always visit a shopping mall to get more. There are also convenience stores open 24 hours around the cities. Of course convenience stores aren’t so big and therefore the number of products available is limited. The area for products made for babies is especially small, so it may be hard to find what you need. If possible we recommend bringing your child’s favorite snacks and toys. A happy baby will help you have a happy trip!
3. Cash and Coins
Japan is just recently starting to become a more cashless society, so there are still some stores which only accept cash. One instance in which you will need coins could be if you are out sightseeing and baby becomes thirsty. You quickly find a vending machine, but it only accepts coins. Thankfully, you have some coins in your purse and can get water for baby! Note: most vending machines accept bills, but if the stock of coins in the machine has run low it may be limited to only accepting coins temporarily. Occasionally smaller shops will only accept cash, so it’s best to keep some cash on you when traveling in Japan.
Diaper Changing and Nursing when Traveling in Japan with a Baby
Diapers in Japan
The quality and price of disposable diapers in other countries compared to Japan may differ slightly, but these days you can find foreign diaper brands such as Pampers in Japanese stores. The biggest difference in diapers is probably the way they are sized. There are five sizes of diapers in Japan: newborn, S, M, L, BIG. On each package, it says what weight of child the size should fit (usually in kilograms since Japan uses the metric system) so you can find the size that’s right for your child. Another difference is that from a pretty small age the diapers are pants type rather than tape. When changing the pants type diapers, you can lie the baby down and just rip the sides to remove the diaper.
Nursing in Japan
When nursing in Japan, feel free to nurse anywhere, but we recommend using a cape or blanket to cover yourself as best as you can. If possible, see if there is a nursing room where you are. Most shopping malls have nice nursing rooms these days. If you start nursing without covering up a bit it may be shocking to people around you, so please keep that in mind.
3 Restaurants We Recommend for Travelers in Japan with a Baby
1. Kyoto – Zezekan Pocchiri
Zezekan Pocchiri is centrally located, within walking distance from Karasuma Station. You can enjoy unique Chinese cuisine here. The interior has an Asian feel and if you make reservations in advance, you can get a private room with a view of a Japanese garden. They have serving ware for kids and the staff is very friendly, so you are sure to be able to enjoy a nice meal there with your baby or children.
2. Tokyo – Crayon House
This is a popular organic restaurant located in the Omotesando area of Tokyo. With terrace seating as well as hori-gotatsu (tables over an open space so that you can sit on the floor, but drop your legs down as if sitting in a chair), it is always crowded with families. They have storybooks and toys for sale in the shop, so kids really enjoy going there.
3. Osaka – Tsumiki Shokudo
Tsumiki Shokudo seems to be bustling with diners and their kids daily. Why is this a popular spot for dining with kids? It’s because they have a large kids’ space which includes a big slide! Kids are so excited to play before and after eating. And parents can enjoy relaxing in the cafe while watching their kids play.
3 Hotels We Recommend for Travelers in Japan with a Baby
1. 5 Star Hotels
The Ritz Carlton, Hyatt Regency, and other 5 star hotels have locations in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, as well as other cities around Japan. Because they have many guests from abroad, you can feel comfortable staying in a hotel like this. Also, some places offer babysitting services so you can enjoy a couple of hours out if you would like.
2. MIMARU Apartment Hotel
In MIMARU hotels, the rooms are spacious and equipped with a kitchen and dining room. For a longer trip to Japan, you can really relax in your room at a MIMARU hotel. They currently have locations in Tokyo and Kyoto and their hotels are located near sightseeing spots so it’s easy to get around even with kids!
3. Kyoto Ryokan – Watazen
Since you have traveled all the way to Japan, perhaps you would like to stay in a Japanese style hotel called a ryokan. If so, we recommend Watazen Ryokan in Kyoto. The rooms have tatami flooring and you can see a Japanese style garden among other things. You can have dinner served in your room, so even when traveling with a baby you can enjoy a relaxing meal in the comfort of your own room.
3 Things to Be Careful of When Traveling to Japan with a Baby
1. Kids Wandering Around
The roads in Japan are sometimes quite narrow and are often crowded with people walking or even bicycles. Please be sure to keep your children near you so they aren’t injured by pedestrians or cyclists.
Depending on the season, the temperature difference over a day can be quite big. Please try to bring clothes which can be easily adapted to different temperatures and weather. Even if it is hot outside, restaurants and indoor facilities can be cold. If you bring several changes of clothes for baby, you should be ok!
3. Getting Around
When moving from one sightseeing location to the next, the trains and buses are convenient. However because these forms of public transportation are used by not only travelers but also locals making their daily commutes, they can be crowded at times. If possible, avoid the rush hour times for a more pleasant journey. Also, if you are able to leave your bags at your hotel or in a station locker, it may be easier to get around.
Services You Want to Use When Traveling to Japan with a Baby
Kyoto with Kids Babysitting
I’m sure some of you thinking of traveling to Japan with a baby are still a bit unsure. For you, we would like to recommend Kyoto with Kids Babysitting service. Our staff is made up of English speaking professional babysitters. Upon requesting our service, our babysitter will take care of your child in your hotel room. We accept children from 3 months and up. If you would like to go out for a nice dinner for two one evening, this service is perfect for you!
KWK Family Tour
For the traveler who wants to make unforgettable memories with their family, we recommend Kyoto with Kids Family Tour. Local moms have designed these tours visiting locations which will be fun for the whole family. We reduce the stress usually felt while traveling by arranging transportation and helping you communicate with locals. For a memorable day with your family during your trip to Japan, go on a Family Tour with Kyoto with Kids! You can find more information on our website below.