We just got back from a Spring Break trip to Japan. It can be tricky traveling on long-haul trips like that with kiddos, but our kids love being on the airplane, and know how to entertain themselves when necessary. Add to that the fact that we’ve been traveling with them (San Diego, Florida, New York, Disneyland, the Outer Banks, etc…) since they were wee little ones, and they are used to it.
Japan marks the first time we dragged them around to cultural sights over and over again (although there were several of those in New York as well). They did remarkably well. Of course, Japan helps with cool castles, big impressive temples, and trains and subways, which they like even better than airplanes!
Travel Japan with Kids
I’ll be firing up several in-depth articles about traveling in Japan with kids, as well as general kid travel advice over at my parenting website, so look for those in the coming days (weeks?).
My main advice though is to take plenty of fun stuff. Don’t use the trip as the time to train your kids not to use electronics too much. And, make sure that when you are planning your trip that you include some fun stuff for them, even though that might take a bit of time away from more “serious” sites.
Check out this look at Credit Karma.
Also, don’t hesitate to point out what you think is cool about things you are seeing. Don’t forget, your kids don’t have the historical, cultural, and artistic context that you do. For example, at the Tokyo National Museum they have several Rodin sculptures outside. My kids were excited to recognize The Thinker, but knew nothing of the Burghers of Calais or the Gates of Hell sculptures that were also there, and weren’t all that interested.
However, when we pointed out details like how realistic the hands look, the anguish on the Burghers faces (and why there were so upset), that sculpture grew more interesting. After talking about the Gates of Hell sculpture one kiddo spent several minutes analyzing whether those people were getting out of hell through the gate, or if the gate acted more like a window that people could see into as a warning.
The other kiddo was very interested in the process of bronze sculpting and the fact that because of the way that kind of sculpture works, that the Rodin works we saw in New York were just as “real” as the ones they had in Tokyo.
Art doesn’t care how you look at it, as long as you look.