Last Updated on June 27, 2022 by Nellie Huang
Japan is a great family travel destination, with its neon streetscapes and kid-friendly amenities. This is my detailed guide to traveling Japan with kids.
There’s nowhere else like Japan. It is ultra modern yet traditional, and highly urbanized yet filled with nature. The multi-faceted country is truly unique in every sense of the word.
We’ve recently returned from a two-week trip to Japan with our 3.5-year-old daughter. This was our second trip to Japan, but a first for Kaleya. It turns out Kaleya is just as crazy about Japan as we are.
Japan is a great destination for kids. The country is home to psychedelic neon cities, bizarre themed cafes, and ancient towns. The great infrastructure in the country means it’s easy to get around and explore without worrying for your kids’ safety. For those planning to travel Japan with kids, I’m sharing details of our trip to help you plan your Japan family trip.
Japan with Kids
In general, traveling Japan with kids is easy and fun thanks to the great infrastructure and kid-friendly amenities. The whole country is organized, clean and efficient.
Ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) are great places to stay with kids. The tatami rooms have plenty of space for kids to run around. You get to all sleep on futons laid out on the floor, which is a fun experience for kids (though a back-breaking one for adults). Many ryokans have their own onsens (hot springs), which are super fun for both kids and adults alike.
Tokyo is an exception though: Many izakayas (bars) tend to be tiny and not suitable for kids. Most subway stations don’t have elevators, and the Tokyo subway is possibly the deepest underground subway I’ve ever seen. That said, almost everywhere else in Japan is easy and superb for travel with kids.
How to Get Travel Insurance for Kids
It’s important to have travel insurance for travel during the pandemic. Safety Wing is the most popular travel insurance company for COVID19-coverage. They cover kids for free as long as you’ve got a plan with them. I use their Nomad Insurance plan, which covers COVID-19 as any other illness as long as it was not contracted before the coverage start date. Refer to my travel insurance guide for more details.
When to Travel Japan with Kids
Spring (March-May) and autumn (September-October) are the most popular months to travel Japan due to the mild weather and moderate humidity.
Some spots can get overcrowded, especially during the cherry blossom season. Each year, the sakura season varies (usually around April), so make sure you check the predicted dates before you book your flights.
We traveled to Japan in late September and still found many places quite crowded, particularly Kyoto. During our trip, we experienced mostly warm days of 21-25 deg C, with some rainy days. In the mountainous areas like Takayama and Nagano prefectures, temperatures ranged around 10-15 deg C, but a light