Strollers, baby food, changing rooms. There’s a lot to think about when taking your baby or toddler on holiday with you. It may feel a little daunting deciding to take your little one with you to Japan; however, the Japanese love children and with a little extra preparation your holiday can be a fun family trip.
To make thing’s easier, I’ve listed some tips and ideas on what to pack, feeding and baby change rooms.
TIP Pack as lightly as you can. Japan is a very busy place, and your trip is likely to include a lot of walking and the use of public transport. Packing lightly will make transit more manageable, especially with babies and children.
What to pack
You may want to bring your own baby food, formula, wipes and nappies/diapers. These are available in shopping centres, pharmacies and convenience stores; however, they probably won’t have the brands you are used to and the ingredients for the baby food will be written in Japanese. Bring any medications you or your baby takes regularly.
Should I bring a pram or stroller?
This is a personal choice, though I recommend if bringing a pram or stroller make it one that will fold easily and is light to carry. There are many stairs in train and subway stations and not many have elevators. You’ll be needing to carry the stroller up and down the stairs. Another aspect to be aware of is Japanese side streets do not usually have sidewalks or footpaths. Many attractions such as temples and shrines do not have ramps for your stroller.
Strollers can be hired by the hour from major department stores and some museums and art galleries if you do not want the trouble of bringing your own.
Breastfeeding in public
Breastfeed in generally not done in public in Japan, though you may be able to find a quiet place and use a shawl to cover. Many department stores have special nursing rooms and baby changing facilities where you can breastfeed in private if you prefer. Many also supply hot water to make baby formula.
Baby changing areas
Department stores, museums and larger train stations have baby changing rooms available for customers to use. Icons on the store floor map will show which floor they are located on or ask at the customer service counter, usually located on the first floor for assistance.
Many Japanese restrooms have a baby seat inside one of the cubicles to sit your baby in while you use the toilet. Much easier than having to balance your child on your lap!
Baby seat inside toilet cubicle
Japanese hotel rooms are generally very small compared to Western rooms; however, most hotels will provide a cot for an extra fee providing there is enough room for one. Some hotels have triple rooms but there are rare.
Japan is a safe, clean, amazing place to visit and with a few adjustments, travelling with your baby can be a fun holiday.
If anyone has any other tips for travelling in Japan with your baby, list them in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.