There is nowhere on earth quite like Japan. It is modern, yet jam-packed with history and rich culture, there is incredible food everywhere you turn, the most modern technology seen just about anywhere and oodles of quirkiness on every street corner. Japanese people are also some of the most friendly and welcoming people in the world, treating visitors and guests with respect and helping them to embrace the Japanese culture.
For this reason, Japan is a great place to visit, especially with kids in tow. It might not be the first place many people think of when they think of travel destinations with children, but that needs to change! Here, we look at some tips to help you get the best out of visiting Japan with kids.
Have an itinerary in place before you go
We definitely recommend having an itinerary in place and knowing exactly where you want to go and what you want to see when you visit Japan. There is so much to see and do that waiting until you get there and winging it can be more than a little overwhelming. There are lots of Japan travel groups on Facebook that can give you advice on some of the best things to do, so check those out. Do not forget to schedule in some all-important downtime to relax as well.
Think carefully about where you are going to stay
You will be more than likely to use trains to get around in Japan, so you will want to stay in hotels or accommodation in fairly close proximity to a train station to avoid the problem of kids moaning about their legs aching!
It is also important to remember that in Japanese culture, it is pretty standard for children to sleep in the same bed as their parents up until the age of four or five, so when booking accommodation, bear this in mind when it comes to making sure that you have an appropriate number of beds.
Find out about traditions before you go
Japan is a country steeped in rich culture and traditions, so to avoid inadvertantly offending anyone, do some research into the expectations and etiquette before going. For example, learn how and when it is appropriate to bow, and perhaps learn some key words and phrases with Memrise. This will be particularly helpful, as English is not commonly spoken in many areas and things like train maps are all in Japanese, so the more you can understand, the better.
Have plenty of cash available
Japan is still very much a cash-based society, so having lots of cash to hand is important. There are ATM’s on every street corner to withdraw cash, so it is easy enough to get hold of. It is also great for some of the amazing vending machines that you will find in railway stations and on the streets – you can find them selling just about anything!
Japan is a great place to visit, with or without kids. Follow the tips above to make it a relaxed and enjoyable experience for you all.