Travelling with a Baby in Japan: My Experiences
Travelling in a new country or a new city is always been a tricky and diverse experience. But when you are travelling with a baby, it adds a new level to the tour’s complexity. The bunch of extra logistics you carry and the care child needs makes a difference.
I am an Indian, who lived in Japan for many years. Japan probably has the best baby facilities in the world, so it had to be awesome. I was personnel of a multi-national company. As a part of work, I had to visit a few western and eastern countries in the world. Gathering my experiences of those travels and stays, I found Japan the best country from the perspective of a mother.
I raised my elder son for his first 2 years in Tokyo and Nagoya. I have heard somewhere that it takes a village to raise a child. When I got pregnant, I realized these words in reality. The environment and society which surrounds you need to be supportive at every step from the pregnancy time to the time when a child is being raised.
I and my husband used to roam in Japan with our little newborn. Once, I saw a board saying “Kids are Treasure of the country; let’s raise them with extra care”. Thoughts like these show the positive attitude of the country towards the children. It was looking more effective in the Japanese. Translations may carry the same meaning, not the essence.
Here, I will share my fabulous experiences about the beautiful country Japan as it is an awesome new-mother-friendly place.
The best part of the travel is that you have enough Nursing Rooms all over the places where you will feel comfy while feeding the baby.
A new breastfeeding mother knows the importance of nursing homes. It is difficult finding a good place to feed the baby. Many of us do not prefer to feed the baby in open. Before having a kid, you never had bothered about finding a proper place for nursing. However, all priorities are changed now, with the arrival of this little baby in the world.
But, if you are in Japan, unlike other countries, you will find the nursing rooms everywhere. Malls, train stations, and restaurants, everywhere people will be happy to help you in finding a corner where you can feed your kid, even if there are not exact nursing rooms.
Izakaya (informal Japanese gastropub) always my favorite places to get relaxed. After having a baby, I didn’t stop going to such places. In fact, I found them best outdoor places due to its cozy and comfy sitting. It is easy to feed a baby there as most of the Izakaya have cozy rooms instead of all open table arrangement. The soft Zabuton (flat floor cushion for sitting) will help you get comfortable while feeding your baby.
I never had to feed my baby at a public place. But I am sure I would not get weird reactions anywhere if I had to. The covered feeding is acceptable in Japan.
The mothers, breastfeeding their child, needs higher nutritional values and thus the healthy food. The notable thing is that it’s not necessarily the tastiest food on the earth but is definitely the healthiest in the world. In fact, I loved the taste and representation too.
I had a variety of options for the low-oil cooked foods along with the seaweeds, fish, veggies and healthy dairies.
The Ramen, soba or grilled fish and Chicken stews all were available to choose from. Even the Chinese restaurants or other countries’ cuisines are available in Japan, which is quite adapted to Japanese people's liking. Also, these are super tasty and obviously healthy.
Hygienic and Safe Diaper Changing Tables
Japan is an exciting and rewarding place when you are travelling with a baby. The parenting is easy when you find a helping surrounding. The place is amazing for touring purpose. You will find the hygienic and safe Diaper changing tables everywhere in the Japan. Even the remote and rural places are not abandoned.
The Stroller Friendly Travel
It is tiring to carry baby in the carrier for the whole day. It may feel easy to go upstairs and travel in the crowded areas but at the end of the day, your body will fall apart and you will regret it.
The strollers, on the contrary, weigh nothing on the mother. In Japan, you can go anywhere with the strollers. There are some rare occasions, like railway stations in rural parts of the country, where we didn’t find the elevators and hand carried the strollers. Otherwise, every part is stroller-friendly for a safe and ease travel with the kid.
The Japanese shops are rich in cultural and modern products. Do not enter the shop if you have no plans of buying something. The cause is, you will not be able to resist yourself from buying those innovative products, crafted with care and have quality at its par.
The Japanese do not like heavy or bulky things due to the small wooden houses. But it never meant the compromise in the comfort and the quality of the product!
The Only Problem with Non-natives
Fortunately, I am well aware of the Japanese language so I never found it difficult to communicate with the people living there. But, if you are a foreigner and do not know their language, it might be a little difficult as you cannot easily convey your message to them. But Japanese people are very caring and very helpful, they will try their best to help you.
There are many other things like priority to mothers, friendly environment, helpful nature of people and the amazing climate which makes it the best place to visit with a baby.
Travelling with a baby is not daunting at all if you are in such a good place. If you are planning to go out on vacation with the baby, you should go to Japan. It is an amazing place for the mother and baby. You will enjoy their rich culture too!
Author: Sapana is a mother of 2 boys and is a software engineer. Besides running a small company of websites and graphics designing she loves to write on her blog: www.gomama247.com about parenting, healthy lifestyle, and about meditation.