Exploring Japan with Kids: A Family-Friendly Adventure

Japan is a magnet for many travellers especially for those Exploring Japan with Kids, and why wouldn’t it be? Its intricate history intertwined with a unique philosophy makes it a fascinating destination. In this post, you will find insider tips and essential information to make your Japanese journey unforgettable especially if you travel with children.

Whether you’re a family traveling with kids or a group of friends, this guide will help you navigate the Land of the Rising Sun with ease and enjoyment.

Getting a Train Pass While Exploring Japan with Kids

If you wish to explore this island country, we highly recommend getting the Japan Rail Pass. The train pass lets you travel throughout the country.

The JPR includes rides on the famous bullet train, the Shinkansen. It’s a cost-effective option for families. The pass lets you hop on and off trains without having to get new tickets for each ride.

Passes cover a vast network of routes. You can explore any place, from Kyoto to Hokkaido.

  • Why Get a JR Pass: Cost-effective and convenient for long-distance travel. This pass offers unlimited travel on most JR trains nationwide.
  • How to Use: Buy the pass before arriving in Japan. Activate it upon arrival and book your seats in advance, especially during peak seasons.

1. Tokyo Disney Resort, Tokyo

Why Visit: A magical experience for kids and adults alike, Tokyo Disney Resort offers two parks: Disneyland and DisneySea. Each park is brimming with rides, shows, and Disney characters.

Tokyo Disneyland offers a blend of classic Disney with unique Japanese influences. The cultural fusion is evident in the park’s design, entertainment, food, and merchandise.

The park also boasts attractions not found anywhere else. For instance, “Pooh’s Hunny Hunt” is a highly acclaimed ride, lauded for its innovative trackless ride system. The park’s parades and seasonal shows are worth a watch. They often incorporate Japanese traditions and holidays.

  • Getting There: Easily accessible by train from Tokyo Station, it’s a convenient day trip.
  • Prices: Tickets start around ¥8,200 for adults and ¥4,900 for children. Consider multi-day passes for extended fun.
  • Spending Time: Plan at least a day for each park. Use the FastPass system to avoid long queues.
Tokyo Disney Resort

2. Universal Studios Japan, Osaka

Universal Studios Japan, in Osaka, is home to one of the most immersive Harry Potter experiences worldwide. The attention to detail in recreating locations like Hogwarts Castle and Hogsmeade will mesmerize any fan.

The “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” ride is a standout attraction, offering a thrilling experience.

Some attractions are unique to Japan. For example, the “Attack on Titan” and “Evangelion” themed experiences, are based on popular Japanese anime series. These attractions offer an insight into Japanese pop culture.

The park also hosts shows and parades throughout the year.

  • Getting There: Located in Osaka, it’s reachable via train from the city center.
  • Prices: One-day passes are about ¥8,400 for adults and ¥5,600 for kids.
  • Spending Time: Allocate a full day to cover the major attractions.
Universal Studios Japan

3. Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, Okinawa

The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium’s crown jewel is the Kuroshio Sea Tank, one of the largest in the world. While visiting you see giant whale sharks and manta rays.

Beyond the Kuroshio Sea tank, the aquarium hosts a myriad of marine habitats. They range from colorful coral reefs to deep-sea wonders. Each exhibit is designed to showcase the diverse marine life found in and around Okinawa.

Interactive displays, informative panels, and live demonstrations help families better understand marine biology and conservation.

The building itself is breathtaking. It blends with the surrounding landscape. Large glass panels on the Kuroshio Sea Tank give a cinematic view of marine life.

  • Getting There: Rent a car or take a bus from Naha.
  • Prices: Entry is around ¥1,880 for adults and ¥590 for children.
  • Spending Time: Spend half a day exploring the aquarium and nearby beaches.
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

Savvy Tips on Food and Dining

Japanese cuisine is diverse and kid-friendly. You will not have an issue finding dishes for your little humans. From sushi to ramen to fried rice, there are multiple alternatives.

  • Eating on a Budget: Conveyor belt sushi and ramen shops offer delicious meals at reasonable prices. Look for family restaurants like ‘Ootoya’ for affordable set meals.
  • Kid-Friendly Options: Many restaurants provide high chairs and kid’s menus. Try street food like takoyaki (octopus balls) and okonomiyaki (savory pancakes).

Accommodation Recommendations

Family-Friendly Hotels

  • Tokyo: The Tokyo Disneyland Hotel offers themed rooms and easy park access.
  • Osaka: Hotel Universal Port is a great choice for its proximity to Universal Studios and spacious rooms.

General Accommodations

  • Ryokans: Traditional Japanese inns offer a cultural experience. Many have family rooms and serve local cuisine.
  • Airbnb: Ideal for larger groups or families wanting a home-like environment.

Money-Saving Tips

  1. Eat Like a Local: Enjoy inexpensive yet delicious meals at local izakayas (Japanese pubs) and convenience stores.
  2. Use City Passes: Many cities offer unlimited passes to use on public transportation and have discounts at attractions.
  3. Stay in Business Hotels: They often offer competitive rates and basic amenities suitable for families.

Final Thoughts For Exploring Japan with Kids

We guarantee that traveling to Japan as a family will be an unforgettable adventure. With careful planning and these insider tips, you can make the most of each day.

Embrace the adventure, and you’ll find that Japan is a playground for all ages.

Author Bio: 

Cathy Slater is an experienced content writer. She is associated with many renowned travel blogs as a guest author where she shares her valuable travel tips with the audience.

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