Yes we did it: traveling with a 10 month old in Japan! It wasn’t as scary as people warned us and it was a very good opportunity for us to spend some quality time together as a family of 3. The trip has also opened up a whole new lot of experiences for our little friend. We have never seen her so happy before! We are so glad that our baby enjoyed herself in Japan, and so did we.
Traveling with a baby is definitely different from traveling without one. Many have also dissuaded us against bringing our baby for a holiday. Concerns raised were that we will tire ourselves out, we wouldn’t enjoy ourselves because we need to take care of the baby, baby will be fussy in an unfamiliar environment, and the list goes on. Truth to be told, I was a little wavered but the husband and I are so glad that the decision to go on this trip is one of the best decisions that we made. Since this trip worked for us, I am going to share some of our experiences with you, based on questions that our friends have raised before and after the trip. They will be shared over 4 weeks, in 4 different posts. Once again, these are experiences that worked for us. They are not formulas for traveling with a baby. Our experiences are specific to this trip to Keihoku-Kyoto-Osaka, with a 10.5 month old baby.
Before you travel with your baby
To travel (and fly) with our little friend was a decision that we made. It was our choice, which means that we accept that there will be times our little friend enjoy herself and times she might be cranky during the flight or any part of our trip. So we read up a little on traveling with babies, and found that blogs are especially helpful. They are experiences from other mummies and daddies after all! Travel forums are also useful for specific concerns e.g. should we bring a stroller to Kyoto-Osaka. We did whatever preparation we could, and prayed for the best!
We were planning to go somewhere else for 2 weeks but decided on 8 days in Japan (Kyoto-Osaka) eventually. 8 days were just nice for us. Any longer we might tire ourselves out.
Since we have our little friend with us, we wanted our itinerary to include a little more nature and activities that might possibly interest her, and spend lesser time in the city. So we planned to spend 5 days in Kyoto: do a little more sightseeing, and possibly day trips to Nara and Uji, and about 3 days in Osaka. Then we chanced upon this mountainous region of Keihoku while searching for our accommodation, and decided to spend 2 days there instead of Nara and Uji. It was at Keihoku that babystingrui enjoyed herself the most. It was slow paced at Keihoku so it was good for the adults to recuperate from the traveling while doing some sightseeing too. Generally, our little friend enjoyed the nature and sightseeing, and became bored when we were shopping in the city. She got to be connected with nature which is not as abundant in Singapore. She also got to see and touch lots of flowers which excites her. So while planning for a holiday with your little one(s), you might like to consider your destination/itinerary to include activities, sights and/or sites that might interest or is educational to your little one. This time round, nature and sightseeing worked for us.
A rough 8 day itinerary looks like such:
Day 0: International flight to Tokyo for transit
Day 1: Domestic flight to Osaka, bus to Kyoto and bus to Keihoku, rest and relax
Day 2: Tailor-made tour of Keihoku
Day 3: Travel to Kyoto, Ginkakiji and The Philosopher’s Path
Day 4: Kinkakuji, Nijio Castle, (Fabric) shopping at downtown
Day 5: Fushimi Inari, Kiyomezu-dera
Day 6: Arashiyama, travel to Osaka
Day 7: Kaiyukan, shopping at downtown
Day 8: Dotonbori, home sweet home
After planning the itinerary, your next consideration should be accommodation and food for the baby, which I will be sharing next!