I’m back from Japan and still getting adjusted to the time. Looking back at our trip, here are some reasons why Japan is a smart first international trip for babies.
- Japan certainly favors cartoons and animated characters in advertising and other public canvases. Everything is so cute!
-Super clean family friendly bathrooms almost everywhere even in their subway stations. Not only can you appreciate the TOTO high tech toilets with warm seats and bidets, but most Japanese bathrooms are baby friendly. Many restrooms have a full-on hybrid adult/child bathroom with a big person’s toilet and mini toilet for the little ones. Plus the musical device that masks your "bathroom" sounds is an experience!
-Every restaurant immediately offers your baby a kid’s bowl and utensils. Good to share meals and also can be used as a distraction while you eat. Plus baby loves slurping up ramen, udon, and soba!
-Subway and buses have plenty of seats that are clearly designated for lap babies, pregnant women, and seniors. I never saw anyone who didn't fit those categories sit in those areas. Elevators are normally near those cars.
-Biking in places like Kyoto is pretty safe with babies. Bikers can ride on the sidewalks or scenic river pathways. We rented bikes with the Kyoto Cycling project. They have baby seats and helmets.
-Tokyo and Kyoto have an awesome international toy store and playland...
Bornelund which will keep your child entertained for a good few hours.
- In the city of Nara, deer roam freely in the temples and grass parks. They're very friendly and aren't scared of us. For rainy days, you can duck into a cool mom's group and activity center at the Nara train station on the second floor.
The only bad aspect is that smoking is still allowed in restaurants. We had to leave 2 restaurants because there were smokers near us. Other thing is that nursing isn’t normally done in public. I did it anyways but very discreetly.
Overall Japan is a super fun and safe place for your little one to explore a different culture. Happy travels!
Related Links: Flying International with Baby