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2 weeks in Japan with 3 young children

almost 3 years ago
1 response

Hi, we are planning a trip to Japan in end June 2015 for a family of 2 adults and 3 children (6 year old, 2.5 year old and 11 months old). This is a draft itinerary for our trip.

Please advise if:
1) the itinerary will work for our family, in terms of ease of accessibility as we will have one or two strollers with us, so if the attractions cannot be accessed with stroller then it may be difficult for us to get there with the children.
2) are the attractions child friendly and worth a trip? or would you have other recommendations suitable for young children?
3) recommended hotels or apartments in Tokyo, Hakone and Kyoto for our family size, as it seems like most hotels in Tokyo have a 3 person maximum limit per room.
4) should we get the 7 or 14 day JR Pass?
5) do we need a JR pass for the children?

Day 1 - Arrive Tokyo Narita Airport - check in hotel. (6) which train station should we stay near in Tokyo?
Day 2 - Explore Tokyo
Day 3 - Day trip from Tokyo to Yokohama - visit Cup noodle museum
Day 4 - Tokyo - visit Legoland Discovery Center
Day 5 - Tokyo - visit Studio Ghibli Museum
Day 6 - Depart Tokyo to Hakone (7) do we purchase Hakone Free Pass? (8) do you have a recommended ryokan for families?
Day 7 - Hakone
Day 8 - Depart Hakone to Kyoto (9) Do you have a recommended hotel/apartment in Kyoto?
Day 9 - Kyoto - visit Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Monkey Park Iwatayama and Fushimi Inari Shrine (10) are these places easily accessible for children and stroller?
Day 10 - Day trip from Kyoto to Nara - visit Nara Park and feed the deers
Day 11 - Day trip from Kyoto to Osaka Aquarium
Day 12 - Depart Kyoto to Tokyo Disneyland - check in Disneyland hotel (11) would you recommend the 3 Disney hotels or just the 6 Disney official hotels will do (maybe the Hilton Tokyo Bay?)
Day 13 - Disneyland
Day 14 - DisneySea
Day 15 - Tokyo Disneyland to Narita Airport to home

Apologies for the rather lengthy post and would really appreciate your help. Many thanks!


12232 posts
almost 3 years ago
Expert button 2

Hello TW,

1 & 2.) I think your itinerary looks great for a family plan (wish my parents would have taken me on a similar trip). Disneyland is great and so is Disney Sea. A great addition would be a visit to Universal Studio and the harry potter village. The places you wish to visit all have good accessibility, the Ghibli museum is located outside of Tokyo and does need a bit of extra attention. Be sure to read their access page. Just in case you are not familiar with this, tickets for the Ghibli museum have to be purchased ahead of time, online or via a resale point. This can for instance be done at a convenience store.

3.) I am generally a solo traveler or travel with a friend. So I am not familiar with family bookings. I would look at renting an apartment, this may be more relaxing to stay at with a family than a hotel and you don't have to worry about other guests. The Disney Hotels sound good as they are build around family visits.

You can use the JR Pass for travel to Hakone, just take a bullet train from Tokyo station to Odawara. From there you can use a Hakone Free Pass.. the value is good if you plan to make a round trip in Hakone.

4.) A 7 day JR Pass would be the best, especially if you use it from day 6 - 12.

5.) Children below the age of 6 (0-5) travel for free, given that you place them on your lap if trains are busy. Children between 6-11 can buy a child JR Pass. These cost half the price of a normal JR Pass. More about traveling with Childeren van be found here.

Hope this helps,

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