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Travelling with infant during golden week 2018/2/5 01:11
I will travel with my wife and my son (16 m.o) during 26 april - 5 may. We heard that golden week is quite tiring if we bring an infant with us (at least according to my inlaws). May i ask for tips or any experience from parents or japan expert? We will went to osaka, kyoto, hiroshima, kobe, hakone and tokyo during our trip. I really have a lot of questions since this is my first time bringing an infant overseas. Such as:

1. What japanese food that i can give to my son? (Are sushi safe for toddler?)
2. Baby foods, stuff(e.g. diapers) or snacks! Where can i find it?
3. We would buy a JR pass during our trip, should I book a reserved seat for my child?

Thanks in advance!
by Princegoh  

Re: Travelling with infant during golden week 2018/2/5 10:34
I can only answer about the seat bookings. Your child will not require a JR Pass or a seat reservation as they are so young. They can sit on your lap; or, if you have an empty seat next to you, they can sit there (unless the train is full and someone else needs the seat). During Golden Week, it will be unlikely that there is a free seat.
by / (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling with infant during golden week 2018/2/5 11:02
Hi!

I think one problem you have is you have 10 days in Japan including arrival and departure days and a rather impressively long itinerary. I know when my daughter was that age she would have gotten awful cranky with that much travel. She really liked to have sometime to move around and nap in an actual bed. I think your schedule is awful ambitious and you might need to scale it down. I would do either Kansai for 10 days with maybe a side trip to Hiroshima or do Tokyo for 10 days with a trip to Hakone and/or maybe Kamakura/Enoshima. Maybe other parents would be comfortable dragging their child to so many destinations for 10 days, but I know my child would have rebelled and been super cranky. You have 6 destinations listed.

The problems with traveling during Golden Week are: trains can be crowded (so unless you get your child a rail pass they are likely going to have to sit on your lap for travel) ; accommodations can book up; and tourist sights might be crowded as well. All of these things can be issues outside of Golden Week, it just increases the likelihood.

If you're concerned about the raw fish, have your son eat kappa maki (cucumber sushi.) There is no fish in it. I am pretty sure most big drugstores carry diapers. Matsumoto Kiyoshi is a big chain and I bought cough medicine for my daughter there last trip. They should carry everything you might need in terms of diapers and diaper creme and wipes.

I honestly don't know what you consider an appropriate snack for your child. I think what is considered a good snack is somewhat country and culture dependent. If it were me, I would bring Cheerios and goldfish crackers from home, heck, I might do that and my daughter is 7, because I like having snacks I know she likes and both don't make a huge mess.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling with infant during golden week 2018/2/5 11:44
Thanks rkold! Yeah ill definitely change it to kyoto 4 days(osaka as side trip). And 6 days in tokyo (hakone and nikko as side trip).

I will also buy jr pass for my son as well.

I just found out they have toys r us for babies (babies r us) which is cool btw ( we didnt have that in our country)


Regards
by Princegoh rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling with infant during golden week 2018/2/5 11:59
Hi!

If you can do an open jaw ticket where you arrive in KIX and leave from Tokyo, you don't need to get any pass.

I don't know you, and I don't know your child, if the only long trips you are doing are Kyoto to Tokyo, I would probably not get a pass and hope for the best, but it also depends on your child's size. I've seen some enormous young children vs. my child was tiny. It's important to just be aware someone else is likely to have the seat next to you.

Yeah, there are Babies r Us, but when you need diapers right away you are probably better off going to a drugstore. I know there is a Babies r Us in Kyoto not far from the station and one in Ikebukuro.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling with infant during golden week 2018/2/5 13:26
Another store that handles everything for babies, from strollers, to food, to clothing etc, is Akachan Honpo. There is a big one in Gotanda, Tokyo, and Lazona Mall Kawasaki, but I think they are throughout the Kanto region.
by LoveJapan (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Securing Shinkansen seats in the GW season 2018/2/5 15:07
I will travel with my wife and my son (16 m.o) during 26 april - 5 may.

One thing I can suggest is that you will travel
to Kyoto or Shin-Osaka Station by the morning of Saturday, 28 April
and back to Shinagawa or Tokyo Station by the morning of Thursday (holiday), 3 May,
avoiding the expected peaks of the crowdedness on the Tokaido Shinkansen (Tokyo -- Nagoya -- Kyoto -- Shin-Osaka).

You can save the railway cost by not reserving train seats separately for your 1-year-old son.
However, as you already know, your days in Japan will mostly overlap with the Golden Week season; on the Tokaido Shinkansen, depending on days and time zones, train cars with non-reserved seats (= seats not requiring reservation) may be packed with passengers.
Selecting the timing of your rides may be a good solution.

A Japan Rail Pass can reduce your chances to secure seats in Shinkansen trains, especially on the Tokaido Shinkansen.

A Japan Rail Pass does not allow you to choose the fastest Nozomi or Mizuho train service.
On the Tokaido Shinkansen, Hikari is second fastest, but because Nozomi trains are much more frequently available, Hikari trains have a definitely smaller total capacity.

When you travel directly from Tokyo or Shinagawa to Kyoto or Shin-Osaka during a busy tourist season, this limitation regarding Japan Rail Pass may make it hard to secure your seats.
When you have a Hakone side trip from Odawara on your way to Kyoto, this limitation may not highly affect your Shinkansen trains rides, because Odawara Station is skipped by Nozomi trains; however, you might struggle with other Japan Rail Pass users for seats.

Your child will not require a JR Pass or a seat reservation as they are so young.

That is half correct, but half not correct.

Here "Little Kid" refers to a kid who is 1 or more years old but still under the Japanese elementary school age, i.e. under around 6 (#).

When one or two Little Kids are on the lap of his/her/their parent having a reserved seat or,
when one or two Little Kids use a non-reserved seat while he/she/they is/are accompanied by his/her/their parent,
he/she/they can travel free from JR fees.

When a Little Kid solely uses a JR train seat which is to be reserved,
he/she cannot be exempted from the seat reservation,
and JR child-rate fees should be paid for that train ride;
otherwise he/she is not allowed to sit on the seat,
even if the seat is not reserved by anyone else.

(#) Regarding Japan Rail Pass, the upper age limit for gLittle Kid" is different; JR child-rate fees apply to any kid who is six years old at the time when the Exchange Order for the pass is issued, regardless of whether he/she reaches the elementary school age by the day of his/her actual train ride.
by omotenashi rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling with infant during golden week 2018/2/5 15:51
Food:
At Kaiten-zushi restaurant your son can eat Tamago (cooked egg, taste usually little sweet), Inari-zushi (sushi rice wrapped by fried tofu, little sweet, brown color), Also there are a lot of other foods than sushi, like Udon-noodle, Ramen-noodle, fruits or packed 100% fruit juice, etc these days.
If you go Sushi restaurant, not Kaiten-zushi, just ask the chef. He will make some for your son.

At many family restaurants, they have kidsf special menu (Okosama-lunch). You will find some pictures if you google gokosama lunch picturesh to get some ideas.

Other baby stuff:
At the big drugstores, they also sell formula, baby foods and snacks, baby powder, even toys. Basically, you can buy most of baby stuff you need during your trip.
Also middle to big sized super markets/grocery stores, they also sell baby stuff.
by Chococo (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling with infant during golden week 2018/2/5 16:11
Thanks Omotenashi and Chococo for the advice!

One thing I can suggest is that you will travel
to Kyoto or Shin-Osaka Station by the morning of Saturday, 28 April
and back to Shinagawa or Tokyo Station by the morning of Thursday (holiday), 3 May,
avoiding the expected peaks of the crowdedness on the Tokaido Shinkansen (Tokyo -- Nagoya -- Kyoto -- Shin-Osaka).


We will certainly back to Tokyo Station on 3rd May. Since i heard that travel activity is anticipated to peak on May 3rd with people leaving Tokyo.

At Kaiten-zushi restaurant your son can eat Tamago (cooked egg, taste usually little sweet), Inari-zushi (sushi rice wrapped by fried tofu, little sweet, brown color), Also there are a lot of other foods than sushi, like Udon-noodle, Ramen-noodle, fruits or packed 100% fruit juice, etc these days.
If you go Sushi restaurant, not Kaiten-zushi, just ask the chef. He will make some for your son.


Thanks a lot for this food information, We really appreciated it since we don't really know about which japanese food he can eat.

Anyone ever bring an infant (1 y.o) to japan? We would love to hear about the experience (So we can learned)

Thanks!
by Princegoh rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling with infant during golden week 2018/2/5 18:26
16mo age is probably the most difficult ages to holiday with. Too small to be somewhat independent and too big to carry all the time.

Prams are near useless in Japan, so get used to carrying your little one a lot.

At 16mo, you child should be walking, sitting up and eating some solids. So simple stuff like veges and rice (common Japanese foods) will be easy to find and supply for your child.

It might be a good idea to visit a Japanese restaurant when you get closer to you holiday to trial foods your little on may like. some children are stubborn eaters, so they earlier they try something, the easier it will be on you while in Japan.

We shopped at Kids-R-Us while in Japan for a 11mo on a trip. the nappies were confusing on their sizes as we didn't understand the sizing system. But all the foods eg jar and snacks were plentiful. Just bring enough food to last a few days and hit Kids-R-Us to stock up.
by hakata14 rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling with infant during golden week 2018/2/5 18:30
Anyone ever bring an infant (1 y.o) to japan? We would love to hear about the experience (So we can learned)

Nothing extra to add to the above except at 11mo, they are small enough to carry fulltime while sightseeing in a baby chest carrier. It will make sightseeing much easier as you don't need to worry about steps and excess luggage (eg pram being one more thing to carry) while moving around.
by hakata14 rate this post as useful

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