It’s easier than you think to travel to Tokyo with a little one. The city is well-equipped for kids and with a bit of planning, your trip to Tokyo will be remembered for all the right reasons. Read on for our top tips for travelling to Tokyo with a baby.
1. Pack light
It’s easy to purchase many necessities in Tokyo, so packing light is completely doable. Keep in mind that many of Tokyo’s streets are very narrow when deciding which stroller to bring with you. Many of Tokyo’s subway stations don’t have elevators, so you’ll need to be able to carry what you bring with you up and down stairs if you take public transportation. Keep it light and getting around Tokyo will be easy. Do pack plenty of diapers. They’re hard to find in Tokyo and can be outrageously expensive.
2. Plan your arrival
The long flight to Tokyo can be taxing, especially on little ones. Make your arrival as easy as possible by either booking a hotel near the airport so your family can get a good night’s sleep before taking on the 1-hour plus trip into Tokyo, or book a shuttle from the airport to your Tokyo hotel, so you can put off maneuvering through public transportation until you’re feeling well-rested.
3. Stay near one of Tokyo’s transport hubs
Staying near one of Tokyo’s major hubs will make getting around the city even easier. Stay near the Ikebukuro, Shibuya, Shimbashi, Shinjuku, or Tokyo stops for the most well-connected areas of the city. When boarding the metro, follow the priority access signs for train cars with plenty of stroller space and take advantage of priority seating. With each fare-paying adult, two kids between ages 1 and 6 years old can ride Tokyo’s public transportation for free. Infants less than one year old are always free of charge.
4. Stick to a routine
Avoid meltdowns by making sure baby is well-rested and well-fed. Kids can adapt easily to new environments, especially when their normal day-to-day routine remains the same. This means sticking to regular nap, bed, and meal times as much as possible while travelling.
5. Hire a babysitter
If you would like to fit in some adult time while exploring Tokyo, consider hiring a babysitter to help out after your child has gone to bed, so you can go out for some adult conversation over dinner or get some late-night shopping in. If you’re not staying in a hotel that offers sitter services, book a sitter through a reputable site like Care.com, where you can review potential candidates’ profiles and request background checks.
6. Rent extras
Most hotels will provide a high chair and cots, but any extras you may need and not want to pack in your quest to travel light (like a play mat or bouncer) can be rented once you arrive in Tokyo from Nice Baby.
7. Visit department stores
Tokyo’s department stores are well-equipped for parents and babies. Most have private rooms for breastfeeding, as well as nursery rooms with changing tables. They’re also clean, which makes changing your baby when the need arises even more stress-free. If you’re travelling with toddlers or older children, most department stores also have fantastic play spaces where kids can let loose for a bit.
Flytographer Daniel in Tokyo