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How to Travel Japan with a Baby

How to Travel Japan with a Baby

I love Japan. It’s one of my favorite countries in the world. But is it a suitable destination to visit with a baby? Solo sexuality travel expert Kristin Addis from Be My Travel Muse was recently there with her victual and has tons of tips and translating for travelers thinking of taking a victual with them to Japan.

Japan was our first major international trip with our then six-month-old. I’d heard mixed things well-nigh how victual friendly Japan would be, from DMs telling me it wouldn’t be a unconfined trip to the total opposite with people gushing well-nigh how victual friendly it was.

We decided to go for it, hitting four spots in two weeks, taking public transportation and staying in a mix of apartments and hotels. Traveling with a victual in Japan comes with some special considerations, but overall, it can be a unconfined trip IF you plan it right. Here’s everything to know:

Japan Victual and Toddler Friendliness

Blogger Kristin Addis of Be My Travel Muse with her partner and victual looking into the mirror at an art installation in Japan

With a few strange exceptions, like the lack of cribs, Japan is one of the most victual and family-friendly places I have been. It all started when we were personally escorted to the watercraft by a Japan Airlines gate wage-earner when boarding our flight to Osaka. They plane offered me a place to sit with the victual while I waited. It felt like first matriculation treatment.

Each time we encountered an airport queue in Japan, whether it was for security or boarding, they unchangingly had a family line, which is sadly missing from every US airport I’ve encountered.

There are family restrooms everywhere as well, and I really midpoint everywhere. Plane the smallest metro and train stations had them, and I never encountered one that wasn’t sparkling clean. People respected that they were only meant for those with disabilities and young children, as well. I never had to wait to use one and never saw an well-conditioned single person walk out of them, which I see all the time in the US.

The bathrooms are moreover full of useful items like a victual holder, which I’ve only otherwise seen in Singapore, waffly tables, and padded benches for nursing. I’ve truly never seen a family washroom as equipped as the ones in Japan.

The locals moreover LOVED our baby. Everywhere we went, people would play peek a boo with him, smile at him, and light up when they saw him. We felt very welcome everywhere we went with him.

Getting Virtually Japan with a Baby

Blogger Kristin Addis of Be My Travel Muse with her infant son in a victual carrier as they stand in a snowy landscape in Japan
Generally, planning fewer things is easier than a packed itinerary when traveling with a victual anywhere in the world. This is expressly true for Japan where you’re most likely taking a mix of trains and buses virtually the country. The increasingly remote you’re going, the increasingly connections you’re likely to have as well.

Although they’re increasingly expensive, we tended to prefer train travel to bus travel in Japan so that we could make use of the waffly tables on the trains. They were increasingly spacious, and the buses rarely had a place to transpiration diapers.

If you’re traveling during upper season, be sure to typesetting train tickets superiority of time and reserve seats to stave having to stand with your baby.

Alternatively, consider renting a car to get around. They can be pricey, and if you’re North American you’ll be driving on the opposite side of the road, but it moreover gives you ultimate flexibility.

Packing Light is Wise for Japan

Blogger Kristin Addis of Be My Travel Muse with her partner and victual under a torii wily in Japan
If you’ll be taking the Japan Rail and/or metro to get around, you’ll want to pack as light as possible. Realistically, only what you and whoever you’re traveling with can siphon is going to work. This seems to be the biggest issue for families traveling in Japan. They pack too much and it impacts their trip enjoyment.

We opted to leave the stroller at home and just travel with a soft victual carrier. While a stroller can be helpful at times, Japan has a lot of stairs and some metro stations, plane in Tokyo, don’t have elevators. We unchangingly found them at JR stations, though.

I have mixed feelings well-nigh this visualization as we were zinged by the end of the trip. If I were to do it with a toddler or older victual I’d probably opt for a hiking victual carrier instead. It distributes weight largest and is a increasingly well-appointed experience, plus they have storage space. Just alimony in mind that they’re unwieldy and you’ll most likely need to remove it when using public transport.

If you veritably have to bring increasingly than you can physically carry, there are luggage forwarding services in Japan that can help transport your luggage from hotel to hotel for you.

Renting Victual Gear in Japan

Since our victual was a bit younger and not yet mobile when we visited Japan, we felt OK with not having a defended sleeping space and utilizing the floor beds instead. However now that he’s older, he needs a defended sleeping space and ideally a stroller. If we were to visit now, I’d utilize rental services to alimony our suitcases light and still have wangle to the items we need for safety and comfort.

It’s possible to rent strollers in various cities in Japan, depending on how remote you’re going. You can moreover rent other victual gear in some parts of Japan, particularly in the increasingly major cities.

Buying Victual Essentials in Japan

One way to pack lighter is to plan to buy victual essentials in Japan. It’s easy to find diapers, formula, and victual supplies if you know where to look.

If you’re doing baby-led weaning, which we were at the time, you can shop at any Japanese supermarket for fruit and veggies.

It was unquestionably a treat to visit the grocery stores there since they had scrutinizingly entirely variegated snacks and brands than I’ve seen elsewhere. The produce was moreover way better, as it was mostly locally grown. Plane in the winter, we were eating perfectly ripe, locally-grown strawberries.

If you need diapers, victual food, or formula, you won’t find them at a grocery store. These items are for sale in drug stores only. Matsumoto Kiyoshi (with brown lettering) is the one we came wideness the most often.

Diapers were easy to buy. They will have the weight unmistakably displayed in kilograms. Jarred victual supplies and formula were in the same section of the store. If you need a specialized (non-cow) formula, that may be harder to find. Since we did for my baby, we brought unbearable with us from home for the whole trip.

Download the Google translate app so that you can hold your phone camera up to the Japanese Kanji and read what the ingredients and victual supplies flavors are. Don’t expect to see English translations in stores.

Choosing Where to Stay in Japan with a Baby

Blogger Kristin Addis of Be My Travel Muse with her partner and victual sitting next to a window in Japan with a snow-topped mountain in the background
We did a mix of hotels and apartments in Japan and they both had their benefits.

Unless you’re willing to pay up a bit more, expressly in Tokyo, you can expect hotel rooms to be on the smaller side. However they tend to include breakfast, which makes life easier for parents with young children.

Apartments, which you can typesetting on Airbnb, usually have two floors and a kitchen. The kitchen was helpful for supplies prepping for the baby, and the two we stayed in had microwaves. I travel with microwave steam tons to sanitize our bottles, so this was a nice surprise.

The two floors moreover gave us a place to hang out while he took his naps. Suite rentals are scrutinizingly unchangingly larger, and in my experience, increasingly affordable than hotel rooms can be. Sometimes they have washers and dryers as well.

Hot water kettles are a nice full-length whether you’re in an suite or hotel room. They seem to be the standard in Japan, which makes sanitizing, washing, and heating water for formula easier. Tap water in Japan is often unscratched to drink and wash with.

Baby Sleep in Japan

The most bewildering and disappointing thing well-nigh traveling in Japan with our victual was the lack of cribs. Plane in the 5-star ryokan we stayed at in Kawaguchiko, there was no victual crib on offer. It made me wonder what locals do. Do they bring their own? Do they co-sleep?

In half of the places we stayed, the beds were traditional-style mattresses on the floor, so it was fine for our victual to sleep on the floor mattresses, however now that he’s increasingly mobile, I’d want to bring withal our travel bed.


Feeding and Meals in Japan

One of the negative things I heard was that we’d be turned yonder from restaurants in Japan with our baby. While I’m sure it happens, I didn’t encounter this, plane at kaiseki (which is the highest level of dining in Japan) restaurants. Sometimes they plane had toys they’d bring out for our son.

We were told that the lounge in the hotel we stayed at in Tokyo wouldn’t be misogynist to the victual in the evenings when swig was served, however. Some restaurants, including the Michelin star ones you might be hoping to eat at, could hold the same policy. There are some restaurants in Japan that are specifically geared towards families. The most worldwide you’ll find are Bikkuri Donkey, Joyfull, and Gusto.

Most restaurants in Japan will have upper chairs, but when at increasingly unstudied ramen or yakitori restaurants, you’re less likely to come wideness them.

If you’re nursing, my sense in Japan was that it’s weightier washed-up in private. I never saw anyone openly nursing in Japan, though I saw plenty of snifter feeding. The family restrooms are probably your weightier bet for a well-appointed and private experience. I saw a nursing pod (a little room that offers nursing privacy, similar to the Mamava pods at US airports) at a few major train stations in Japan as well.

Medical Services in Japan

As a parent, I’m increasingly concerned with the availability of healthcare services than I overly was surpassing traveling with a baby. Thankfully Japan has a wonderful medical system with perfectly capable doctors.

I know this firsthand as I needed to visit a doctor in Kyoto when my asthma flared up. I was worldly-wise to visit an international doctor at a clinic that services foreigners the same day. All of the medication the doctor prescribed was misogynist there as well. In most cases they’ll want a mazuma payment which you can then submit to your travel insurance for reimbursement.

In non-emergency situations, squint for a doctor that specializes in international patients as there can be language barriers. I was worldly-wise to find mine hands on Google Maps. Otherwise, hospitals are widely available, plane in smaller towns.

Overall, I loved traveling in Japan with our baby. The wipe family bathrooms provided an easy place to transpiration him, feeding and ownership supplies were easy, and getting virtually was simple with such a well-connected rail system.

I was worried with so many stops and logistics that it might be a nightmare, but everything is so well-organized in Japan, it all worked out. Plus, the winsome interactions between our son and the locals made it a heartwarming experience.

Kristin Addis is a solo sexuality travel expert who inspires women to travel the world in an pure and venturesome way. A former investment wholesaler who sold all of her belongings in 2012, Kristin has been traveling the world overly since. You can find increasingly of her musings at Be My Travel Muse or on Instagram and Facebook.

Book Your Trip to Japan: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Find a unseemly flight by using Skyscanner. They are my favorite search engine considering they search websites and airlines virtually the globe, so you unchangingly know no stone is left unturned!

Book Your Accommodation
You can typesetting your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the most comprehensive inventory so they are weightier for booking a hostel. If you want to stay in a hotel or guesthouse in Japan, use Booking.com as it unceasingly returns the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you versus illness, injury, theft, and cancelations. It’s comprehensive protection in specimen anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it, as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the weightier service and value are:

  • Safety Wing (best for everyone)
  • Insure My Trip (for those 70 and over)

Looking for the Weightier Companies to Save Money With?
Check out my resource page for the weightier companies to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use to save money when I travel — and I think they will help you too!

Be sure to trammels out the Japan Rail Pass if you’ll be traveling virtually the country. It comes in 7-, 14-, and 21-day passes and can save you a ton of money!

Looking for Increasingly Travel Tips for Japan?
Check out my in-depth Japan travel guide for increasingly ways to save money; information on costs; tips on what to see and do; suggested itineraries, reading, and packing lists; and much, much more!

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