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Itinerary for 7 days in Japan with kids 2019/3/6 02:02
Hello, my family of 3 girls (9, 12 and 14 year old) and 2 adults just booked a flight to Japan for mid April. Any suggestions on where to start for a fun and great itinerary for 7 days/7 nights in Japan for first timers (my husband went many years ago).

The only thing we have set are we will be spending time in Tokoyo, Kyoto and Osaka (not sure how much time in each. We fly into Tokyo and then plan to spend time in Kyoto and then Osaka, last as our plane leaves from Osaka.

I haven't planned or researched much yet, besides looking at videos and blogs but our kids already declared they want to do:

1. Universal Studios

2. Disneyland

3. Disney Sea

4. Ramen Cup of Noodle Musuem

5. The Ghibi Museum

6. See the cherry blossoms - where? I know there is a high possibility the blossoms will be gone by the time we arrive in mid April ;(..

7. Visit cool techno sights in Tokoyo - especially the vending machines ;)

8. Eat all the awesome food - perhaps a food tour - but my girls are limited they don't like seafood and won't eat anything weird and unusual - they love seaweed, noodles and rice - they will only eat sushi that has - only seaweed, rice, avocado, cucumber, or egg (no seafood) ;). I know that is limited but in NY always possible to find ;).

9. A safe biking tour would be great - any recommendations??

10. I would like to visit the famous architectural structures in Japan (Fuji too but I know that isn't possible during this time (or is it ;)).

My girls don't like museums that much but they are very active girls and love adventure, seeing and doing unique and fun things.

**So my question is can anyone suggest a cool itinerary for a family with kids, 7 days, 7 nights with Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka built in and visits to:

Universal studios, disneyland, disney sea, Ghibi Musuem, Musuem of Cup of Noodles, visit cherry blossoms, visit to cool techno and vending machines, safe biking tour for kids, visit to nice architectural sites in Japan, possible food tour (that includes no seafood for kids (but husband loves raw sushi ;)

Also, any recommendations for must visit restaurants, specific must eat foods in Japan - best place to try them and etc.Thank you!!

Any cool blogs, pages to visit on tips for a itinerary to follow with something similar to my ideas above?

Thank you so much in advance!!
by Yin w (guest)  

Re: Itinerary for 7 days in Japan with kids 2019/3/6 08:50
Hate to be a downer, but 7 days in all those places is going to feel like you never actually went to any of them. Especially with several theme park visits. There really is no itinerary to suggest beyond what you already wrote (in fact, youfll have to cut a lot of that).
by Gregalor rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary for 7 days in Japan with kids 2019/3/6 09:25
Your list is too overwhelming for a 7day trip. Please prioritize the list, then a more realistic plan will emerge.
by murimuri (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary for 7 days in Japan with kids 2019/3/6 10:05

I can't fit everything in and this is assuming money is no object and you are not concerned about any sort of budget. You will be takyuubinning your suitcases or traveling super super light.

Day 1 arrive from NY (night Tokyo Disney hotel of your choice)
Day 2 Tokyo Disneyland (night Tokyo Disney hotel of your choice)
Day 3 Tokyo Disney Sea ( night Tokyo Disney hotel of your choice
Day 4 Ghibli Museum in the morning (must make reservations 1 month out, afternoon out ramen museum night Yokohama)
Day 5 whatever Techno stuff you want to do in Tokyo or take day trip to Hiraizumi to bike ride and see sakura, should you pick this option you will fly from Sendai Airport to Itami, otherwise you will take the train to Osaka) night hotel in Osaka near USJ, you might want to try the Park Front or the Singulari
Day 6 USJ night (your Osaka hotel)
Day 7 see as much of Osaka as you can before you fly back from KIX I guess if you want to see architecture you can see Abeno Harukas

If your 7 days doesn't include arrival and departure day then you change things around.

There is sakura in Mid April in Japan. It's all north of Tokyo and not near Osaka at all.

Good luck that is the best you are going to do.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary for 7 days in Japan with kids 2019/3/6 13:52
WOW - First of all enjoy
But looks hectic - and coming all the way to Japan for seeing USA... ( Disney and Universal...)
Id like to suggest some Japanese experiences
Maybe a Nagomi Visit(google it) (meeting a family - when I visited this was our most memorable experience -and yes new tastes - another culture - my daughter played with the families kids )
The other fun experience (touristy - but common also for Japanese youth ) renting a kimono costume - and going to nice places taking photos
If you like animals maybe going to Nara seeing some shrines and the free deer -I do not see in your itinerary the nice gardens and shrines that Japan is famous for
and last ...some technic experience - look at Teamlab borderless and the Shinjuku VR - each one can take a few hours

by 2ndtime japan (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary for 7 days in Japan with kids 2019/3/6 14:18
Thank you everyone for your suggestions! I did some more research and will cross off Disneyland and Universal Studios. For now the only thing I will keep is Disney Sea since that is exclusive to Japan.

Definitely want to visit Nara Park and feed the deers.
Definitely want to visit the Shrines and Temples in Kyoto.
Ifve reviewed a blog for 16 must do things in Japan and all look so great - donft think I can do all 16 but I think we can manage quite a bit. I do worry about too much time traveling and though I love nature and would love visiting shrines and temples, I donft think my kids (especially my 9 yr old) will enjoy it being a majority of our trip.
The techno lab I think will be a hit, saw something about robots and vending machines too, so will look into it.

Any suggestions for must do food?
I read the giant rainbow cotton candy is epic and japan also has a famous shop for pork cutlet sandwiches. Would love to try.
Any other suggestions that donft involve seafood would be great!

Now I just have to see how many days to do Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka (flying out from there late evening). Ifm thinking 3 days in Tokyo, 3 in Kyoto and 1 in Osaka?
FYI: we have 7 nights and 7 days - first day will be 9 pm at night so we start day 1 the next day fresh early morning.

Thank you everyone for all your suggestions!! Keep them coming as I start getting my itinerary ready!
by Yin W (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary for 7 days in Japan with kids 2019/3/6 15:06
Hi. My daughters were around that age when we started going. Big hits were Disneyland (kill me now, please), Ghibli Museum (we were into Miyazaki, no point going otherwise), rabbit cafe, extraordinarily expensive shopping, Nara (our favorite place in Japan), Takayama and the squirrel park there (second favorite place), Enoshima and the dragon themed caves, temples etc. Other than that, big hits were grape fanta, tonkatsu etc and some temples, eg Kiyomizudera in Kyoto, Todaiji in Nara, Zozoji in Tokyo, the maiko dress up etc. It is all a lot busier now, personally I wouldnt even bother with Kyoto for a short trip, I'd go to Kamakura instead.

I would try to keep to around Tokyo or within a couple of hours. 7 days isnt enough really to go to Osaka as well. I'd also consider Matsumoto for a nice castle, though maybe that is more a boy thing. So I'd be looking at 3 - 4 days in Tokyo, maybe a day at Kamakura/Enoshima, maybe the zoo on Izu peninsula that has capybaras in it (gotta love them capybaras), maybe one at Matsumoto or Nikko, then your disneysea day.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary for 7 days in Japan with kids 2019/3/6 15:26
@rkold the OP has already booked a flight out of Osaka, so I guess Tokyo + Kansai makes sense for them. (Obviously all the places you cite are very nice, but maybe more confusing for the OP).

@OP: 3 days Tokyo to do a few of the things you listed for Tokyo make sense. (if you want to go to Ghibli make sure you read ASAP how to buy the tickets. Youfll need to buy them within the first hour(s) of becoming available to have a chance. )
I canft see how you could fit a bicycle tour into your busy itinerary but if you like cycling and seeing some non touristy spots of Tokyo I can recommend my friends here: http://freewheeling.jp/

Then spend the remaining 4 days in Kyoto with side trips to Nara and Osaka (I personally wouldnft bother with Osaka but if you have a specific interest, go ahead). Both are so close to Kyoto that changing hotel for a night is not the best use of your time. There is also a direct express train from Kyoto station to KIX. Ifd try for a hotel close to Kyoto station for easy transport.

Staying in only two locations will also make it a easier to decide afresh each day where to go.

I canft comment on Disney at all, but I am reading always of large crowds. There is a crowd checking calendar out there on the www.

Btw, you didnft tell us your exact travel days? Doesnft it include golden week?

Enjoy your trip to Japan!
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary for 7 days in Japan with kids 2019/3/6 15:32
Thank you so much Lazy Pious!! Thank you for all your wonderful suggestions!!!
Will look into them and very happy to hear your kids enjoyed Disneyland 😂:). Since we are so limited on time and I read DLJ itfs super crowded and pretty much the same as the one in US, we will skip for now.
Thank you thank you for all your other suggestions and breaking down what your girls loved most and etc. Helped a lot.
My kids are not that into zoos but love any live interactive animal interactions so Ifm sure Nara will be a hit and also the squirrel park you mentioned.
We have to travel to Osaka anyway as our flight departs from Osaka on the last day, was planing on doing USJ there but we will probably now skip since too many things on our list and not enough time. :(. Not sure what we will do with our luggages, wefll probably stay at a hotel in Osaka the night before so we can store our luggage and explore Osaka. I hear Osaka has the best food in japan? Not sure about anything else besides USJ there but we will prob just make it a food tour day;).

Now research to come..
by Yin W (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary for 7 days in Japan with kids 2019/3/6 16:21
Hello Like Bike!!

Thank you so much for your suggestions!! We will be in Japan on 4/19, 9pm in Tokyo then depart in Osaka on 4/26, 10 pm.
I think we just avoided the Golden Week, I read about it but will check the dates again.

Thank you so much for all the details. It makes sense to just stay in Kyoto then and take transport to airport, but wasnft sure about distance and etc.
I guess all Ifve been reading is Osaka is good for food, so maybe wefll just spend a few hours before departure in Osaka trying food 😂. Any recommendations on must try epic food /restaurants in Osaka?

As for biking, Ifll see if we can fit that in. My kids love biking and they are in the cycling team - we had a very good experience doing a biking tour in Paris, so thinking a biking tour in Japan might work well too (a few hours) so they donft have to walk all day.

We will skip DLJ and USJ 😢
by Yin W (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary for 7 days in Japan with kids 2019/3/6 17:05
After I read above, I would travel like this...

Day 1: If you arrive in Narita airport at 9pm, youfd leave AP around 10pm. So itfs better stay in Narita area (if you havenft booked the hotel yet.)
If you arrive in Haneda airport, you can stay the hotel in Tokyo.

Day 2-4:
*Disney Sea OR Ghibli Museum if you can buy ticket.

*Harajuku and Meiji-shrine
Takeshita street for girls. Itfs a popular street especially for teenagers.
And just other side of the station, there is Meiji-Shine where you can relax after busy street.
There is famous Tonkatsu restaurant gMAISEN (܂)h in Omotesando, same area as Harajuku.
You can get katsu-sandwich or have Tonkatsu lunch there.

*Enoshima and Yokohama (Cup Noodle Museum)
It depends on the weather, but as Lazy Pious recommended, Enoshima is a good place to enjoy nature. Youfll enjoy little hiking to the top of the island.
Kamakura is also really nice (I like a lot) but many temples and shrines. You girls may be bored.
After Enoshima move to Yokohama Minato-Mirai district for Cup noodle Museum and dinner.
You can either stay in Yokohama or back to Tokyo. Only 1-1.5 hour train ride.

Day 5-7 book hotel in Osaka and day trip to Nara (and Kyoto)
1 day in Nara for deer park
1 day in Kyoto, 2 or 3 shrines and temples if you like any.
Last day Osaka, do some shopping, walk around market and eat local food.
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary for 7 days in Japan with kids 2019/3/6 21:06
Hello by...

Thank you for your detailed information and sample itinerary, looks great. Actually the night we arrive I didnft count that as day 1, I counted the next day as day one. So we have one more extra day! Maybe add in some more techno/visiting vending machines etc in Tokyo or perhaps a day trip to see cherry blossoms ?
Someone mentioned cherry blossoms will probably still be in effect when I attend (April 19 - 26). Any idea where it is possible and how I can fit it in the itinerary, would also love to get a view of Mt Fuji.

Thank you!!
by Yin W (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary for 7 days in Japan with kids 2019/3/6 23:10
@LikeBike, the only new place I threw out was Hiraizumi and that was because OP stated they wanted sakura originally, but only as a possible option. Every place else I mentioned was someplace OP already wanted to go. Perhaps you are responding to someone else?

OP, there really are no 16 or 10 or 25 Must Dos, it's all about what you think your group is going to enjoy and finding a way to enjoy Japan. It's OK to go to Japan and just do amusement parks. People do. None of them are the same as US ones. I'm from NY and yes, I've gone to USJ and Tokyo Disney. USJ is cheaper for me than going to the Universal in FL or CA. My entrance ticket for me and my daughter is the same price as my entrance ticket for just me in the US and there are rides in all 3 parks that are unique to Japan. But I also don't go to Japan with only 7 full days with a kid or a long list of things I want to do. My daughter's shortest trip was 10 days, and the last two trips have been over 2 weeks. So it's easier to fit in an amusement park as well as other touring ideas and I always try to balance what we do since I know we will be back. There is also plenty I've done in Japan without my daughter since I went from 1999-2010 on a regular basis. So this trip she will finally go to Fushimi Inari, but I've already gone 2x.

This is the crowd calendar for Disney Sea: http://www15.plala.or.jp/gcap/disney/ You want to go to Sea on either the 22nd or 23rd. Sea gets crazy crowded because it's both a family park and a date park. You would need to pay me to ever go on a week end again.

A hint for traveling with kids, get them their own cameras and encourage them to take their own pictures. My first trip with my daughter (when she was 5) she got super whiny at shrines and temples because she got bored quickly. Now she loves visiting them with me (as well as gardens) because she has her own camera and gets to take her own pictures.

You could try renting bikes for getting around Kyoto. It's not going to be super relaxing since you'd be biking in a city, but it's a way to try to fit biking in. There are some wonderful places to bike, but again, you only have 7 days which really limits what you can accomplish.

My daughter and I didn't enjoy the Ghibli Museum and my daughter loves Miyazaki films and I'm glad we don't need to go back.

No, there is no sakura in Tokyo that late in the season. You'll be getting azaleas and possibly wisteria. The only places to see sakura that late are several hours north of Tokyo and with 7 days you don't have the time unless you drop something like Disney Sea. I think Kurama in Kyoto has some late cherry blossoms but it's pretty far from central Kyoto so you would need to decide that is where you are going your Kyoto day. I went in late April about a decade ago and there was a special type of late blossom that grows there, it doesn't look like the traditional sakura though, look up Yaezakura or Kanzan to get some idea. Azaleas are quite pretty and so is wisteria.

I would stay in Kyoto vs. Osaka. If you book quickly I've seen more apartment hotels in Kyoto vs. Osaka and you are a large 5 person group. There are a bunch of really cute looking places meant for families there. I 'm just going by images on websites though. I'm a party of two (me and my daughter my husband stays home) so renting a large unit is overkill.

If you get up early you should be able to see Mt. Fuji looming over Tokyo. You also go past it on the shinkansen between Tokyo and Kyoto. Actually visiting Mt. Fuji is going to take a lot from your schedule and you don't have the time.

My daughter loved the cloud coffee shop in Kyoto. We also went to the official Pokemon Cafe in Tokyo. Whenever we are in Tokyo Station we buy the 400 yen donuts that are super cute. I keep meaning to take the 30-40 minute trip to buy Totoro cream puffs.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary for 7 days in Japan with kids 2019/3/6 23:22
It looks like some places in Tokyo do have the late variety but again, they do look different than the type most people think of when they think sakura.


I would think Hama rikyu or Shinjuku Gyoen are the best bets from the list.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary for 7 days in Japan with kids 2019/3/7 10:50
Sukura, Cherry Blossom
Around Mr. Fuji, Kawaguchiko Lake, one of Fuji 5 lakes, Sakura will bloom till Mid. April!
You can see Mt. Fuji and Sakura at the same time.
Take a train to Kawaguchiko station or highway bus from Shinjuku, Tokyo about 2 hours.

It really depends on the weather, so either 1st day or after Tokyo. You can decide with the Cherry Blossom Forecast 2019. (Forecast only for Sakura!, You can ask hotel concierge, too)
This area is between Tokyo and Osaka/Kyoto, so if you go after Tokyo, you can send big luggage to the hotel in Osaka/Kyoto by delivery service (Takkyubin}).
It will take 1 day so you bring clothes or other stuff for 1 night. You can send from (most of) the hotels in Tokyo.

Shinjuku Gyoen park in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
There are 65 different kinds of Cherry trees in this park and bloom different time, so if you are lucky, you can see in Tokyo.
https://sp.jorudan.co.jp/hanami/spot_110.html (Only in Japanese, but you can see more pictures of the different time in April)
Shinjuku Gyoen park is not only for Cherry trees but Azalea or other flowers, so even you donft see much Cherry blossoms, you can see Azaleas which is also very beautiful.
(I really like this park.)
by c (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary for 7 days in Japan with kids 2019/3/7 18:29
You have enough things on your itinerary for 7 days.

If you may able to free a day or two from your already very busy schedule, don't forget to see:

1) Ueno zoo park, I am not certain whether they still have this new born Panda Cub there, (Tokyo).

2) Go to Electric city in Akihabara for duty free shopping, you will find nice bargains (Tokyo).

3) The night Tokyo from birds-eye view from Sky Tree or Tokyo tower (Tokyo).

4) Sapporo Beer Factory Chiba [http://www.sapporobeer.jp/brewery/english/] (Tokyo suburbs)

5) Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise [http://www.seaparadise.co.jp] (Yokohama)

6) Lunch at Yokohama China town (Yokohama).

7) Go to a Japanese barbecue buffet (Yakiniku Thabehodai).

If you buy anything in Akihabara, don't forget to check the compatibility of the electric stuff to your country's electrical grid (110v~240v).
Sopporo beer factory will not allow minors to take their free tour!!!
*Use Google Chrome if you want to translate any above given links.

Enjoy your stay! ;)
by SRJ rate this post as useful

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