A helpful guide on planning a trip to Japan with kids.

Table of Contents

Beyond the Facebook groups, there were lots of things throughout the trip that I think everyone (especially parents) should know about before they go.

Toilets.

As someone who has travelled quite a bit, I’ve seen my fair share of disgusting toilets, so this was a concern of mine, especially travelling with fussy children who need a toilet break every 10 minutes. 

Thankfully, toilets were not something we had to worry about as they were EVERYWHERE and impeccably clean. I’m talking train station bathrooms with light-up mirrors and seat warmers, even the public toilets in parks were cleaner than the ones you find in Westfield. 

They also have one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen; a built-in toddler seat attached to the wall so that you can go to the toilet in peace, or without a two-year-old trying to wipe your bum as mine does. 

Bins.

A random one but this is something we learned pretty quickly – there are no bins anywhere! And if there are, they are impossible to find. For this reason, I recommend taking a plastic bag out with you to collect your rubbish throughout the day.

Trains.

We had a JR Rail Pass which I highly recommend to people who intend to see a lot of sights in different cities. We stayed in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka and were able to use that JR Pass everywhere, it even covers the Bullet Train. 

There were only a few places in Kyoto and Osaka that were difficult to get to on the JR lines, so we had to use the metro which was cheap and easy to navigate, anyway. The train stations are hard to navigate at first but like everything once you work them out, they are quite easy. The staff throughout the stations are also incredibly helpful, whether you find someone who works for JR Rail or not, they will point you in the right direction.