Japan with 16months old

(10 Posts)
Alligatorpie Sun 27-Jan-13 06:45:14

I second visiting food halls in the basement of department stores. And going to 100 yen stores.

Kyoto is a beautiful city.

It has been 10 years since I lived I Japan (Kobe ) so can't offer any current advice, but wanted to say I am jealous. Enjoy the sushi!

We went wehn DS1 was 7 mo. It was fine, but a challenge! I went to buy food for him in a supermarket, and hadn't got a clue....at least bananas looked the same!! He survived, as did we (would love to go back).

Also found everyone incredibly polite and helpful.

The transport network was difficult though - I am sure it is superb if you speak Japanese, but we weren't there long enough to "get" it!

exexpat Thu 24-Jan-13 12:57:21

Oh, and if your DD is still on formula, then yes, take it with you, but you can get cartons of cow's milk in every convenience store, and you rarely have to walk more than 5 minutes to find a convenience store in a Japanese city.

exexpat Thu 24-Jan-13 12:55:07

What's your budget? If you're looking to keep costs down, the Toyoko Inn group has a big chain of medium-sized no-frills hotels all over Japan, and they do family rooms, buffet breakfasts, have laundry facilities (very handy if travelling with a toddler) and so on.

But if it's likely to be a one-off trip to Japan, I'd really recommend staying at least a night or two in a traditional ryokan to get a taste of traditional Japanese-style living. There aren't many ryokan in Tokyo, but lots in Kyoto, and if you only have a week, then splitting it between Tokyo and Kyoto (new v old Japan) would make sense.

On our last trip to Japan last year (we used to live there and go back to visit most years) the DCs and I spent a couple of nights in this place - Yoshi-ima Ryokan - which is a traditional but foreigner-friendly ryokan right in the middle of Gion in Kyoto. We had a huge tatami room, divided into two, with private bathroom. One good thing about the Yoshi-Ima as far as I was concerned was that you can opt to just have bed and breakfast, rather than dinner being included in the room rate as at most ryokans - we're vegetarian, and most ryokans don't cater for that. It also worked out cheaper to eat out, and gave us more flexibility with timing, as ryokan dinners are usually quite early. But we did get a full Japanese breakfast served in our room, which was great.

The cost of return shinkansen tickets Tokyo-Kyoto is usually a bit more than a week's Japan Rail Pass, which makes it worth getting the pass as you can also use it on overground trains in Tokyo and some other short excursions (though bear in mind you can't use the rail pass on the very fastest, newest shinkansens to Kyoto).

I agree that everything in Japan seems very expensive these days - I remember when it was Y200 to £1, but now it's more like Y140. Hundred-yen shops are still good value, though (like pound shops but much, much better).

Which Tokyo airport are you flying into, I ask this as there are two. A regular coach service operates from Narita airport to take pax into central Tokyo.

Take enough formula with you in the suitcase to last you the week.

Taxis are hideously expensive; do not use a taxi to take you from the airport to Tokyo. Infact the whole city is expensive.

The basement foodhalls in the department stores are well worth a visit.

Suica cards are easily obtainable out of the ticket machines in the subway station and instructions are also in English (as are the station names).

We also stayed in Shinjuku at the Hilton.

RatherBeOnThePiste Thu 24-Jan-13 09:33:36

This time we stayed at the Hilton near Shinjuku station for no other reason than we got a really good deal with Lufthansa.

I agree travel is easy, you just need a suica or pasmo card.

It is madly expensive at the moment, thats what we did notice. shock

RatherBeOnThePiste Thu 24-Jan-13 09:28:58

We went to Japan at Christmas, my bro lives there, but we have been going since our daughter was 16 months, mine are teens now

piemaker Thu 24-Jan-13 09:26:39

Thanks so much OldBeanbagz! That is very helpful.

MyDD is a milk monster too, I will pick more of her formula.

OldBeanbagz Wed 23-Jan-13 11:16:13

We went to Japan when DS was 22 months old (DD was 5). We flew in Osaka, visited Kyoto and then took the bullet train to Tokyo.

We stayed in a combination of hotels & serviced apartments (these were great because we could have breakfast in). Food wasn't a problem at all though DS did miss his milk as he was (and is still) a bit of a milk monster.

Found it really easy to travel around too. Just take a lightweight pushchair for carrying down the stairs to the subway.

piemaker Tue 22-Jan-13 14:43:37

Hi,

DH and I m going to Japan for 7 days at the end of March with my 16 month old DD.

We are flying in and out of Tokyo, has anyone got any suggestions of some sort of an itinerary and good places to stay please? Apart from Tokyo, we would like to stay in another city possibly Kyoto.

I have been to Japan once when I was 9 years old and can't remember much of it. Really looking forward to the trip though!

Thanks a lot in advance :-)

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