Important Suggestions For Visiting Japan With Children (on A Finances!)

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Japan will not be the simplest nation to journey to, particularly with children. Regardless of being one of the crucial technologically superior nations on the earth, English will not be extensively spoken, the expertise could be so superior that it turns into complicated, and it’s additionally costly.

For first time guests, Japan could be overwhelming. It’s a really protected nation, however it’s additionally very etiquette oriented with loads of cultural norms and customs embedded of their traditions.

aerial vie of toky city at sunset with red tower

All of us have nightmares of our youngsters screaming in a temple or disturbing the ambiance of a Japanese backyard, and the way that may mirror on the locals and the way they may react.

However that doesn’t imply you must keep away from visiting Japan with children. It may be an enriching, rewarding and extremely fascinating nation for them to go to. Seeing different cultures and exhibiting them how different folks dwell is among the fundamental causes to journey with children.

Don’t let fears and anxieties maintain you again, simply ensure to comply with the following tips…

Suggestions for Visiting Japan With Children (On A Finances)

We had been all very excited to go to Japan, however I did have some quiet reservations – would the youngsters eat the meals? would we have the ability to get round with out understanding the language? would every thing in Japan be tremendous costly?

After visiting, I now really feel like I can actually reply these questions. Beneath I’ve shared some suggestions for visiting Japan with youngsters and learn how to plan to your journey so you may go feeling much less confused and excited in regards to the journey.

1. Be ready for the flight to Japan

kkds on flight

We flew with a low-cost airline from Asia to Japan. There are a number of airways that fly to Japan, reminiscent of Cathay Pacific, Japan Airways, British Airways, LATAM Airways and ANA (All Nippon Airways) all fly direct to Japan.

It may appear formidable to fly on a price range airline with children, however it’s utterly manageable when you put together for it nicely.

Most price range airways embrace the fare solely, which suggests you’ll want to plan meals, leisure and luxury packages.

For the flight to Japan, meals was a should for us. Even if you are going to buy the meals possibility along with your ticket, I extremely advocate taking alongside extra snacks.

With children, you may by no means assure they may just like the airline meals, so they may almost definitely nonetheless want extra to eat if they’re like my children. I made ziplock snack packs for the youngsters, which got here in very helpful in direction of the tip of the flight.

For leisure, the youngsters had their particular person iPads. They are often shared and you may all the time deliver your individual as nicely.

2. Use public transport in Japan (keep away from the Shinkansen / JR Go)

CROWDS At train station in japan

Most individuals will get a Japan Rail Go to journey round Japan, which lets you journey the enduring shinkansen – the bullet prepare.

Should you had been staying in Japan for longer than every week and plan to journey to greater than 3 cities, it is likely to be price it to save lots of on time and comfort, however for round $450 per grownup and $250 for a kid – these on a price range can save a HUGE quantity by taking buses and slower trains as a substitute.

With the JR Go, it’s essential to purchase them earlier than you get to Japan, after which choose them up from a station in Tokyo. 

We had an inside flight booked to get us from Osaka to Japan, and from Osaka to Nara or Osaka to Kyoto, it’s solely a brief prepare journey, so it doesn’t make economical sense to get the JR Go.

We simply purchased tickets from the ticket machines on the prepare stations as we would have liked.

The Japanese public transport system is the very best I’ve come throughout. The trains run steadily, they run on time, and the trains and stations are all so nicely offered.

Indicators are in Japanese and English, and the Tokyo metro even has color-coded traces and numbered stops, so when you’re undecided what the identify of your cease is, you may a minimum of determine the place you’re going by wanting on the numbers.

It appears complicated at first, however after your first day, you get the hold of it and bless the Japanese for arising with such an easy-to-use metro system.

Although we couldn’t converse any Japanese, we managed to navigate our manner round each Osaka and Tokyo with ease.

Don’t be afraid to ask station workers or different passengers politely for assist. We did many instances and everybody was improbable at serving to us get to our desired vacation spot.

3. Plan what to eat prematurely with children

bag with snacks
Pack your snacks

Feeding 5 children away from dwelling could be very costly, and difficult, when everybody has completely different tastes.

We wished to expertise Japanese meals, but in addition ensure the youngsters had been nicely fed to have the ability to gas our lengthy days of sightseeing and exploring.

For essentially the most half, that is how we deliberate our meals in Japan for the day:

  • Lodge buffet breakfast – Select a lodge that gives breakfast, as Japan doesn’t actually do breakfasts. We might have a later breakfast round 9ish and the youngsters would eat no matter they preferred. Having an enormous breakfast saved them fortunately nicely fed for hours, so we didn’t have to fret about snacks an excessive amount of.
  • Snacks and water bottle – Every day we might cease by locations like Household Mart or 7-Eleven and choose up snacks for the next day. We might purchase issues like popcorn, rice muffins, and muffins. We introduced our personal massive water bottles from dwelling and took 4 of them and stuffed them up on the lodge every day. As we had been in Japan in September the climate was nonetheless very heat, particularly in Osaka, and with all of the strolling we did we would have liked to ensure the youngsters saved hydrated. As soon as children begin to get thirsty, the whinging begins and the eager to cease occurs. Preventive measures are greatest!
  • Cultural dinner – We did strive some regional specialities reminiscent of okonomiyaki in Osaka and Tempura in Tokyo. We additionally went to ramen eating places and sushi eating places. The youngsters had been prepared to strive sushi, however had been extra fascinated within the conveyor belts and expertise of the place. These had been truly highlights for each adults and children as we received to expertise a brand new meals tradition. This was actually a two for the worth of 1 deal; we had been nicely fed and entertained on the similar time!

Locations to eat in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan

chefs cooking japanese pancake on grill
Okonomiyaki- Japanese Pancake

In Osaka, we went to Okonomiyakiya “Kiji”, which is positioned within the “Takimi-koji” restaurant mall on the basement of Umeda Sky Constructing.

We went to the Floating Backyard at Umeda first, then had our late lunch right here. It is vitally in style among the many locals, so I like to recommend visiting outdoors of conventional meal instances. We might have waited for about 25 minutes earlier than we had been seated and had our orders taken.

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savoury pancake and is so scrumptious. You possibly can watch the chef’s whip up the Okonomiyaki they usually serve them on a grill that’s embedded in the course of the desk.

In Tokyo, we went to Shinjuku Tsunahachi and we additionally needed to wait to be seated – in all probability nearer to 40 minutes. No photographs had been allowed contained in the restaurant, so sadly, I can not present you the attractive meals we ate.

This was truly the primary time the youngsters had eaten tempura and if hadn’t been for the worth they’d have simply eaten extra.

This tempura bar was slightly dearer than others, however having the ability to sit at a bench and watch the chef’s put together and prepare dinner the meals was price it.

The youngsters had been utterly fascinated by it and sat quietly for the complete time their meal was being ready simply watching it.

Additionally they had a western menu with directions on learn how to eat your meal which made life simpler too.

5. Select your Japanese theme park properly

Tokyo DisneySea ride
Tokyo DisneySea

As we had been visiting each Osaka and Tokyo, we had three choices for theme parks – Common Studios Japan, Tokyo Disney Land and Tokyo DisneySea.

Touring Japan on a price range with children meant we would have liked to select about which theme park we might go to as we had been solely going to see one.

We discovered that Tokyo Disneyland is 100% like Magic Kingdom in different nations, however TokyoSea is the distinctive Disney expertise for Japan. The place else will you get soy sauce popcorn?

I did additional analysis and located that for the ages of our youngsters (14 – 4), DisneySea was the very best guess.

For youthful children and in case you have not visited a Disney Land earlier than, it could be Disney Land. For older children, Common Studios might be higher.

Suggestions for Visiting DisneySea Tokyo

You possibly can simply spend a complete day (till 10pm) at DisneySea, however we didn’t. As such to get essentially the most out of it, we opted to overlook the reveals and parades and let the youngsters select the sights to go on.

We cut up into two teams for a lot of the day – three children with dad who preferred the extra adventurous rides and two children with me who wished to take it a bit tamer. Not one of the rides are significantly wild although.

Whereas it appears slightly costly to purchase the refillable popcorn tub, it’s an expertise my children liked and are nonetheless speaking about.

DisneySea is organised into themed areas, all of that are extremely detailed and nicely thought out (like Mediterranean Harbor, American Waterfront. and many others). Every space sells a special taste popcorn and the youngsters thought this was so nice. We tasted strawberry, curry and black pepper.

6. Be Conscious of Japanese tradition and customs

wooden archway entrance with wooden and green roofed meiji shrine in background
Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, Japan.

Whereas this isn’t a tip to save lots of you cash, embracing the tradition of Japan will definitely improve your go to to Japan with children.

It’s well mannered to bow while you greet somebody and say thanks. The deeper the bow, the extra respect you present.

Japanese folks don’t stroll round and eat or drink. When utilizing public transport, keep away from consuming, consuming or speaking on the cellphone.

In the case of escalators, all the time stand on the precise facet. You must also take off your footwear when strolling into houses, and a few tea homes. Normally there’s a signal telling you when to do it.

7. Don’t tip

Tipping is seen as disrespectful in Japan. Should you go away a tip, the waiter will run after you considering you’ve by accident left your cash.

It makes service workers really feel uncomfortable while you tip, so simply say an enormous thanks as a substitute!

8. Take out money

Japan runs totally on money. Nearly all of locations around the globe take bank cards, and that’s what we’re used to utilizing, so do ensure to withdraw from an ATM while you see one.

It’s additionally price noting that ATMs will not be generally discovered both, so when you see one, attempt to withdraw as a lot as you want.

9. Study some primary phrases

English will not be extensively spoken in Japan, so studying a couple of easy phrases will go a great distance that will help you along with your journey. Ensure that to obtain Google Translate, as you’ll seemingly use it quite a bit all through your journey.

Listed below are some primary phrases to be taught:

  • Hiya – Kon’nichiwa
  • Thanks – Arigatō
  • Please – Onegaishimasu
  • Excuse me – Sumimasen
  • Sorry – Gomen
  • Sure – Hai
  • No – Īe
  • Goodbye – Sayōnara

10. Be respectful at shrines and temples

Normandale Japanese Garden

When visiting shrines, keep in mind to inform your children to be respectful and quiet. This isn’t the place to have a soften down!

Additionally keep in mind to take off your footwear. Normally there are slippers so that you can put on as you stroll round inside.

11. Carry a bag to your garbage

Trash cans will not be widespread in Japan, so that you’ll seemingly have to hold your trash round all day earlier than you discover a bin to throw it in.

12. Disguise your tattoos

This can be extra for mother and pa, however anybody visiting Japan ought to know that tattoos are taboo, and in case you have any, you must disguise them as a lot as attainable.

There are onsens (sizzling springs) who will deny you entry in case you have tattoos, or make you get a personal tub.

Unmissable Issues To Do in Japan With Children

Among the best issues about visiting Japan with children is there was a lot to do and see that was both free or very fairly priced (except DisneySea).

Beneath are a few of our favourite sights for teenagers to get pleasure from in Japan

Nara Deer Park

boy feeding deer at Nara Deer Park
Nara Deer Park

Nara Park was an absolute spotlight for all of us. It’s turn into one of the crucial well-known issues you are able to do, as you may method and feed the pleasant deer.

We took a few trains to reach at Nara station from Osaka, and it took us solely 50 minutes in whole.

It’s a 15 minute stroll from the station to the park, the place not solely are you able to stroll amongst roaming deer, however it’s also possible to see stunning temples. All of which is free to go to.

Osaka Fort

family standing outisde Osaka Castle
Osaka Fort 

Osaka Fort was definitely price seeing. It’s a first rate stroll from the prepare station, so be sure to have good footwear for strolling and snacks and water for the youngsters.

The citadel is among the most well-known websites in Japan and showcases the luxurious and chic design of Japanese structure from the Azuchi-Momoyama interval (sixteenth century).

There’s a beautiful backyard and garden area outdoors that you would be able to calm down on after exploring the citadel.

Children can enter without cost and adults should pay solely a small charge.

Tsukiji fish market

people at Tsukiji fish market
Tsukiji fish market

Tsukiji Fish Market was not someplace I believed to take my children however after going, fortunately I used to be improper.

The Tsukiji Market is the most important wholesale fish and seafood market on the earth. The height of the market exercise is earlier than 9am and vacationers will not be allowed available in the market earlier than that, however entry is free.

You aren’t allowed prams, massive luggage, open footwear, pets and on an indication on the entrance of the market, it additionally mentioned, young children. We took all 5 children with us, the youngest being 4 and we had no issues.

We had been all fascinated by the buzzing and buzzing of the exercise and the way amongst the chaos of individuals and automobiles it simply all labored with out incident!

There’s additionally an outer market promoting items and eating places the place you may pattern the recent seafood.

Sumo Wrestling in Tokyo

Sumo Wrestling In Tokyo DSC03803
Sumo Wrestling In Tokyo

We had been so fortunate that there was a Grand Event on after we had been visiting. We purchased tickets earlier than we left for Japan as these occasions are highly regarded and promote out rapidly.

Ticketing has various choices and we might have liked to have a field seat, however the associated fee was prohibitive for us.

Single tickets had been a fraction of the worth of a field, which solely seats 4 folks so we might have wanted two. Whereas we had been a lot farther from the motion, we may nonetheless see very nicely.

It was nice to see the traditions and customs that kind a part of the sumo wrestling.

Tickets assist you to keep all day, however we opted to attend solely the final half. This was wonderful for the older children, however fortunately we had packed actions (and snacks) for the youthful ones who discovered it slightly boring after the primary couple of hours.

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and Monkey Park

Bamboo Groves in Arashiyama, Kyoto

One of many largest sights in Kyoto is the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and Iwatayama Monkey Park.

The bamboo grove is strictly what it says on the tin. It’s an enormous bamboo forest the place bamboo timber attain between 5-10 meters. Some as excessive as 20 meters.

The monkey park is a enjoyable attraction the place you may feed and work together with playful monkeys. It’s a great 20 minute stroll by way of the bamboo grove to the forest, with loads of steps, so put on sturdy footwear and convey plenty of water.

Senso-ji Asakusa

Sensoji Temple Tokyo wiyh cherry blossoms outfront
Tokyo, Japan at Sensoji Temple’s Hozomon Gate within the Asakusa District

Senso-ji is essentially the most well-known temple in Tokyo and likewise the oldest. This Buddhist temple attracts 30 million guests a yr, and is among the most architecturally gorgeous temples within the nation.

A singular factor to do right here is to get your fortune. It has a self service fortune field, the place you may place your cash in a set field, after which a stick to a quantity slides out.

Pay shut consideration to the quantity, as you’ll then have to match the quantity to a set of drawers on the wall.

Open the drawer along with your quantity and pull out a slip of paper to disclose your fortune.

If unsure, watch everybody else do it.

Ueno Park and Zoo

lanterns in Ueno Park okyo, Japan

Ueno Park is dwelling to Ueno Zoo, the oldest zoo in Japan. Right here you may see the large pandas, who’ve lived within the zoo since 1972.

The park itself is a inexperienced oasis away from the hustle and bustle of town.

Calm down by Shinobazu Pond and admire the lily pads, or discover one of many museums within the park, such because the Tokyo Metropolitan Artwork Museum or Nationwide Museum of Nature and Science.


Akihabara tokyo

Akihabara is a district identified for its digital buying and arcades. Take your children to a manga or anime retailer or go to Tokyo Anime Heart to play some video video games.

Go to Radio Kaikan and discover 10 flooring of Japanese toys, collectables and extra.

There’s a lot to see and do on this district. It’s additionally well-known for maid cafes, which opposite to widespread perception, are largely household pleasant – although you employ your greatest judgement about whether or not you’d need to take your children there.

Should you’ve not heard of them earlier than, it’s the place the hostess costume up as maids and serve you utilizing cute, cute voices. Additionally they serve cute muffins, generally within the form of bears or different cute characters.

Last Ideas

Visiting Japan with children exceeded all our expectations. It was such a improbable household journey to Japan and we might have liked to remain longer.

The Japanese folks had been so extremely useful to us – folks went out of their manner to assist us if we requested them for instructions or help.

All of us look again on our household holidays and assume Japan was one among our favorites.

Japan is so nicely organized, clear and environment friendly, making it so nice and straightforward to get round with children, and general I might say it’s a really kid-friendly nation.

From the robots serving your meals to the world class theme parks and manga tradition, there isn’t a lot your children gained’t like about Japan!

Excursions of Japan

Extra Japan Journey Suggestions

Want extra inspiration to your journey to Japan? Listed below are another useful guides!

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5 tips for visiting Japan with kids
Bio: Nicole Avery is the grasp organiser behind the favored parenting weblog Planning With Children, the place she shares suggestions and tips to organising the chaos of household life and with 5 children aged 14 – 4. You possibly can learn extra about her household journey to Japan right here.

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