JAPAN – the complete guide for families with kids
Japan is a small, yet fascinating Asian country. Despite that, there is a lot to see and do.
It’s one of the most populous countries in the world, and yet, the people have a high life expectancy and quality of life. It’s a highly developed country, and its technological side is a huge plus for travelers.
The great transport system works wonders, is highly reliable, efficient, and being so, it’s fantastic to travel all around the country.
The historical parts, with its temples and nature, are also a great attraction. I mean, who hasn’t heard of Kyoto’s temples and geisha and the onsen (hot pools)? Or, well, ninja?
And, of course, the neon lights, the high-tech, the crazy busy part of the country, so alive, so interesting!
Safety is not a problem, and the food is great, which makes it a perfect place for a holiday.
Except, well, for hurricanes and earthquakes, quite common in the area. It just couldn’t be perfect, now, could it?
And the food, well, there’s a lot we can say about it and you’ll find 2 posts I’ve written just about the food. Who doesn’t love Japanese food? And it’s just so different from what we get in Japanese restaurants all over the world! Did you know that sushi is an expensive food, that’s consumed mostly in celebrations, funerals, and special dates? Well, now you do.
It can, though, be a bit confusing for Westerners, as things are quite different: trash needs to be apart from recycling, and even recyclables are different: paper, cardboard, plastic types, aluminum, other materials, they should all go into different bags. You shouldn’t eat while walking, nor talk inside trains and buses. Toilets are also a bit different. How about Point Cards? Every little store and restaurant have them – and they’re just so useful! Not if you don’t plan on returning, though.
The kids tend to love all the anime and manga related stuff (from shops, cafés, restaurants, to theme parks), and the amazing theme parks.
And also all things related to robots, which are everywhere in Japan.
We’ve lived there for 2 years, my dad lives there, and we love it, so we go back as often as we can.
It is one of our favorite places in the world!
Below is the guide to all things Japan on the blog!
Vacation Planning and Tips
Especially for those planning a trip to Japan, with everything you need to it!
- One month in Japan: review and budget
- Guide to planning a trip to Japan
- Japan: curiosities and tips
- Trains, buses, bullet trains, and other transport options in Japan
- Bullet Train trips with kids
To and from Japan
Airline reviews to and from Japan that we’ve used
- Etihad Airways (from Tokyo to Sao Paulo, Brazil – 30 hours + of travel, with 4 kids.)
- AirNZ (Auckland to Tokyo – one of the best flights we’ve had)
Eating and Shopping
Food is a big part of every travel, and Japan is great for it! Japanese food beyond sushi and sashimi – know it all! OK, so we’re not big shoppers, but we’re big eaters.
Tokyo is the most populous and famous city in Japan, It’s fascinating and it has it all, from temples to neon lights. It’s sure to satisfy everyone!
- Tokyo – the ultimate guide for families
- Ghibli Museum
- Tokyo Disney Sea
- Tokyo Disney Resorts – the complete guide
Yokohama was new to us, and we fell in love with it! What a stunning place!
Osaka is another one of the big cities in Japan, but it’s located in Kansai area. Osaka food is one of the best in the whole world!
Nara is one perfect day-trip from Osaka or Kyoto: close enough for a regular train trip. It’s beautiful and seriously worth a visit!
Nagoya is a big city, but we had a reason to visit it: Satsuki and Mei (from the movie My Neighbor Totoro) and their house. Well, we had a blast!
- Nagoya with kids
- Satsuki and Mei’s house and other Ghibli Experiences in Japan
- Japanese Cooking Class with Bonza!
Mie is an unknown destination. It’s in the countryside and incredible! Ninjas, anyone?
Theme and Amusement Parks
Theme parks are everywhere in Japan. There is at least one in each city and there is sure one for every family!
- Universal Studios Halloween
- Tokyo Disney Sea
- Universal Studios during Christmas – now winter version!
- Tokyo Disney Resorts during winter and with kids – ultimate guide!
Incredible Museums for families
Museums aren’t very different around the world, but these three below are. Make sure you visit them as they are worth it! They’re great for those who have kids and those who don’t!
- Tokyo Trick Art Museum
- Ghibli Museum (THE MOST AMAZING MUSEUM IN THE WORLD!)
- Iga-Ueno Ninja Village
- Ghibli Experiences for families
From Angelo and Thais, the parents
From the kids
The kids wrote quite a lot about Japan. It is, after all, one of their favorite countries in the world. Choose one and travel with them!
- The best and the worst of Japan, by Jose
- Top 10 on this trip, by Jose
- Jose’s favorite things in Japan, by Jose
- Universal Studios, by Jose
- 2 must-go restaurants in Japan, by João
- Trick Art Museum, by João
- Eleven things I like most about Japan, by João
- The flight from Tokyo to São Paulo, by Melissa
- Cute and Strange things in Japan, by Melissa
- Ghibli Studios by Melissa
- Tokyo Disney Sea, by Melissa