Japan: Tokyo – Full days and family fun

Some people will tell you that it’s really easy to get around in Japan – and they’re right the rail network is one of the world’s best.  The only catch is if you are travelling with babies and toddlers and specifically those in strollers. When we visited we had two children, two strollers and a baby carrier (nb. we spent most of the time trying to take this off and on adjustIMG_6967ing to changing indoor and outdoor temperatures).   There’s not many escalators or lifts at stations and so there was a lot of carrying up and downstairs to be done – Michelle Bridges would have been proud of my efforts!  Having said that I was not going to let that stop us and we had a nice entourage of over 20 helpers (our nearest and dearest) there to help because we were visiting for my brothers wedding.  We visited during the month of April, which also happened to be Cherry Blossom season – bliss, beauty and so worth all the effort!

On our visit, my brother was on a mission to show us all that he had come to know and love about Tokyo – and what a city.  It really is fantastic.  Some of our highlights in no particular order were:

– Tokyo Disney for their annual character Easter Egg hunt, Cars Land and the nightly electrical parade.

-The Mickey Mouse themed monorail and bus system that takes you around the Disney Resort.  This was super cute, we purchased mini Tomica versions of these as souvenirs.  All these little touches made travelling with the kids so much easier. Wow factors and distractions a plenty.

– Character Street at Tokyo Central Station.  Here you’ll find everything Hello Kitty etc. Mind blown…and so will the budget.

– A bus trip to Mt Fuji which lead to a lunch stop at Fuji-Q-Highland which also happens to be the home of ThomasLand! The only other Thomasland is at Dreyton Manor in the UK. 

– The Qantas and Smiggle Kids packs provided on the plane – score! This helped make light work of the 9.5 hour flight from Australia.

– Tokyo DisneySea for a unique Disney experience (great for older kids) and Arial’s Underwater Playground for our boys (everything glows in the dark in this underground playground – very special).

– Watching the pedestrian scramble at one of the world’s busiest crossings at Shibuya.

– Shinkansen spotting as they fly through the station. NB. Children under 5 travel free on the bullet trains.

– Staying on a themed floor at Hilton Tokyo Disney. More on this in another post – but wow-oh-wow. It made such a difference to our boys who were genuinely excited to go back to the room and fall asleep. NB.  Finding hotel accommodation in Japan for a family of 4 can be a challenge. You either have to hire two rooms or look out for apartments.  My sister came up against this problem and stayed in a traditional Ryokan with her husband and older two boys. This was a completely different experience to ours and one that she says is a must do.

– The beauty of the Imperial Palace and stroll through the gardens

– The Rainforest Cafe for our very first meal where the boys sat still (more shocked by the sheer amazement of the place) and we got to relax for 5 minutes.

– UNIQLO for cute character tees for the boys (now also in AU Melbourne…yeehar)

– and attending our first traditional Japanese wedding courtesy of my brother and beautiful sister in-law. This was the highlight of our trip and it wasn’t just because our then 3 year old fell asleep at the start of the reception and slept right through to the closing ceremonies!

The Japanese are a very friendly, welcoming people and they love children.  Our youngest (9 months) on this trip is fair haired with blue eyed it was like travelling with a celebrity everywhere we went.   At no time did we feel uncomfortable travelling wIMG_6470ith such young children and it was very easy to care for them on our trip and offer them a unique experience in life.

 

 

  • Japan is on my 2015 travel list (just haven’t told the husband yet). I’ll be watching your posts for top tips and items for our Kid Bucket List.

  • Bec Goodwin-Parry

    Great timing. We’re currently booking our trip to Japan