need advise travelling with a 4 yr old to Japan
Replies: 17 - Last Post: Mar 8, 2013 9:41 AM Last Post By: 3onthegoblog
Oct 12, 2012 9:36 AM
need advise travelling with a 4 yr old to JapanHi Everyone.
My spouse and I went to Japan about 5 yrs ago and loved it so much we went again the year after. It was just the 2 of us then. Now we have a wee little guy and we haven't travelled beyond our own city since he was born. We would like to go back to Japan with him either by May or Dec 2013 for about a month. He will be about 3 1/2 or 4 years old (depending on when we go, if we go) by then.
We do not have any experience travelling with a toddler. We're looking to travel from Okinawa, making our way up to Tokyo (and the surrounding areas). I need lots of advise, please.
Should I bring a stroller? On a daily basis, we expect to be out of the hotel by 9ish am and not come back until 8ish pm like we did on our previous trips. I expect he will be tired and want to sleep. He is too big to be in a carrier and too heavy to carry in our arms for too long. I heard Japan may not be so stroller-friendly.
Should I avoid anything in Japan while travelling with a Todller?
Where should I buy diapers just in case he is still not 100% toilet trained?
Any good child-friendly hotels?
Please send me your recommendations, your travel suggestions for toddlers, your stories, your experiences etc.
We hope to find lots of encouragements to do this trip.
Oct 12, 2012 1:13 PM
1"He is too big to be in a carrier and too heavy to carry in our arms for too long."
You just answered your own question. You'll need a stroller. It will be a life saver.... if your son will agree to get in.
Hotel rooms in Japan can be very small. If you want more space, you'll have to look for hotels that have rooms for 3 people. On hotels.com and booking.com you can search by number of people in the room.
Oct 12, 2012 4:02 PM
2We just got back from a trip to Singapore and Indonesia with our 3 1/2, 2 and 6 month olds, some things to consider are his dietary and nap needs, do you eat out much currently with him and does eat a varied range of foods? Otherwise you might find yourselves at mcdonalds each day. 9-8 is a big day with a lot going on, he may want and need sleep but don't expect it. You may find him staying awake fighting the sleep and getting very cranky or sleeping during meals when you stop. If you haven't stayed in hotels with him before I'd suggest one or two weekend trips to get him used to the idea. We gave our elder one a daily itinerary so she knew what was coming up and could mark off what we had done each day so she wasn't so surprised or disappointed about where we went or what we did and made sure that she had somethng to look forward to each (which was pretty easy mostly as they love a swim in the pool) consider the weather as well December will be cold which may or may not be a problem depending on where you are from.
Oct 12, 2012 7:31 PM
Oct 12, 2012 10:36 PM
Oct 13, 2012 12:18 AM
Oct 14, 2012 1:41 PM
6Personally, I don't think it is appropriate to drag such a young child off to foreign locales if that is not the life they have lived since birth. They won't get anything out of the trip. I think it's better to wait a few years until your child can enjoy it as you do. Do some travel in your own region first. Yes, you can take your stroller on the train but it can be awkward if the train is busy and many stations do not have elevators yet. Consider whether it's difficult to get around with a stroller and no car in your own area and then assume it won't be any easier in Japan. Have you tried keeping your child out of the house from 9-8 day after day in your home city? If they get cranky there then it will only get tougher in foreign location.
Oct 15, 2012 9:01 PM
Nothing about travel with a child is that same as travel without a child. Children this age don't tolerate museums, they like to get out and run around on occasion, they aren't interested in architecture, they want to eat regularly, they want familiarity, etc. Often children this age don't want to try new foods, won't sleep in strange beds, may want to take naps or run around at times that you aren't appropriate, may regress so that previously potty trained kids have frequent accidents.
Whatever you hope to accomplish in a day will likely take two or more days to accomplish. Your choices of what to see and do, need to take your child's interests and activity level into consideration.
You might find this website: Tokyo with Kids and this thread: Tokyo with young children useful.
I repeat what others have said, get some experience closer to home traveling with your child before you plan an expensive trip like this that a child this age won't remember and probably won't meet your expectations either.
Edited by: everbrite
Oct 16, 2012 4:10 AM
8"Personally, I don't think it is appropriate to drag such a young child off to foreign locales if that is not the life they have lived since birth."
#6, This is generic advice that I hope people don't take too seriously.
I have amassed a lifetime of important memories of taking my kids to far flung places - as well as trips around the corner- so I am certainly glad I didn't listen to you. From what I have read on TT, so have many others.
Just one example: before my mother passed away, I was able to take the entire family (the kids were 4 and 8) to where she grew up in Vienna, Austria. This was tremendously meaningful to me. People on TT are grown up enough to make these decisions for themselves. They don't need a lecture from you.
Oct 19, 2012 2:27 AM
9I have a similar experience of travelling to Japan with a young child when we went to Osaka. Not gonna lie, it is not easy, because the Japanese are really big on things like maintaining silence/peace in public places, so you might get some less-than-friendly attention should the child misbehave in public! Prepare some nice treats for your kid, either candy or small toys in case he/she gets a little difficult. We had a stroller for our kid (2 years old) back then, but it really depends on your own preference. I'd go with the stroller. During our vacation, we stayed at Fraser Residence Osaka, where it was a lot more spacious than regular hotels. They also have many useful facilities like a Kitchen, and it helps that their staff speak decent English. All the best, and most importantly, remember to have fun. You deserve it!
Oct 19, 2012 3:52 AM
10Big on maintaining silence/peace in public places??? I have no idea what you mean here. Japan has got to be one of the noisiest places. Kids run rampant. Announcements pierce the air in all shops. People use cell phones unashamedly everywhere.
Oct 20, 2012 7:35 PM
Thank you for all the information. Pros and Cons, they were all very useful. Thank you for all the links Everbrite/Ruth. They were quite interesting.
I think from what I can gather, the trip will be "different" from when we use to go pre-parenthood. And also (Thank you Shelemm) that it could be very rewarding.
So IF we chose to go, when we are ready to go (maybe I'll postpone it for another year! I'm chickening out already!), we should just bring our patience and sense of humor and be realistic about not being able to see everything, but enjoy what we can see.
I am so going to try and do some local short vacation too. Great idea everyone. Let's see if the little guy can handle hotels.
Curious to know about those who did travel with kids that still napped: Did you constantly go back to the hotels or just let the kids nap in their strollers?
Thank you again. I never expected I would get so much replies.
Oct 21, 2012 1:55 AM
Oct 21, 2012 10:05 AM
Oct 21, 2012 11:47 AM
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