I have had so many requests about Japan as a destination for kids so here is our first post about it, finally! While I haven’t personally been to Japan with my own tots, I do know someone who frequents this famous and well-loved Asian destination and she happens to be half-Japanese!
Mommy globetrotter Kai Nakanishi Lim is one of my core friends from grade school up until today. Most of you living in Manila will recognize her graciously attending social gatherings or featured in fashion and lifestyle magazines. In contrast, she is actually a very private person. (I’m actually glad she agreed to this interview!) She is also a doting mother to her children: Yumiko who is 7 and Aki who is 5. Just over a month ago she also birthed her youngest child, Kenji.
What is your most memorable trip?
Niseko last January. It was their second time to see snow. The first was in Whistler, Canada in 2013 but somehow they enjoyed Niseko a lot more. Perhaps they were too young to take skiing lessons in Whistler.
Why visit Japan?
For me, Japan is the best place to visit if you’re traveling with kids. It’s only 4 hours away, the city is so clean, people are polite and courteous, they have special lanes for adults with kids, food is great, the city is safe, everything is so orderly and again, I can’t stress on how clean everything is. Your trip is stress-free as you don’t have to worry as much.
Tokyo, Osaka and Niseko
Best Season To Go
For Osaka and Tokyo, it would be the Cherry blossom season in April and then again on end of November- December to view the holiday lights, shows and parades for the kids. For Niseko, December – February.
Kid-Friendly Things To Do
1. DisneySea, of course, which is unique to Japan.
3. Tokyo Sky Tree and Aquarium
4. Ueno Zoo and Park
5. Visit parks within the city – Meiji
6. I like taking my kids to Tsutaya (bookstore) in Daikinyama. They have a wonderful kids section.
1. Osaka Aquarium
2. Osaka Castle
3. Universal Studios
4. You can also do day trips to Kyoto for the temples and Narra to see the reindeers.
Winter activities such as:
4. Snow mobile
Places To Stay
1. Swissotel in Namba (www.swissotel.com/hotels/nankai-osaka/)
2. Intercon Hotel in Umeda
3. Fraser – They have two bedroom suites which is very convenient for families. (www.osaka.frasershospitality.com/en)
1. Shangri – la Tokyo (www.shangri-la.com/tokyo/shangrila/)
I highly recommend renting a chalet for families. For those who prefer to stay in a hotel, there’s Hilton Niseko Village and Shiki (www.shikiniseko.com).
Top Eats For Kids
Food is fantastic almost anywhere you eat. We’ve never had a bad meal in Japan.
Plan ahead, there’s so much things to do in Japan for kids and adults that you have to divide your time wisely. From theme parks to trying out fantastic eats, shopping, and simply getting lost and immersed in the japanese culture.
Same as with Niseko, since it’s only in season for 3 months (Dec-Feb), plan and book lessons, activities and restaurants in advance.
Kai Nakanishi Lim is one of the 5 owners of CURA V, a lifestyle concept store with an eclectic mix of under the radar brands, up and coming designers together with established artists in fashion and design. Visit their store in Rockwell, Makati for some of her favorite travel finds.
Just adding Kai’s official Japanese wedding photo because it is pure love. ❤
(Photos from Kai Lim and Nicole Whisenhunt)