We recently journeyed from our happy home in NYC (with our 3 kids under the age of 5, including twin toddlers) to Japan for 10 days to visit my husband's family in the rural valley of Yamaguchi-cho Nishinomiya (about an hour from Osaka). We lived (barely) to tell the tale!
In case you missed it, I'm embedding our 4 ten-minute long YouTube videos below for your viewing pleasure! (Links at very bottom to products and other things mentioned / recommended in the videos!)
Featuring our 30-hour travel day to Japan via 3 flights (2 of which got rescheduled during our travel!) and the beginning of a horrible stomach bug (i.e. me being puked on for 4 hours of our 2nd flight, yippee!)
Featuring our first few days in Japan (with no clothes, thanks to our flights being rescheduled our luggage didn't catch us for 3 days!!), a tour of a 7-11 convenience store (I LOVE Japanese "Combini"), the beautiful scenery of mountains and rice fields near my husband's home, and a typical experience at a "kaiten" (conveyor belt) sushi restaurant! (The nasty stomach bug that hit our youngest on the flight returned to hit 3 more of us the night after our sushi adventure, and 3 more family members in the next couple of days...)
Featuring our adventures after recovering from the stomach bug, including a fun afternoon at the Anpanman Children's Museum in Kobe (Anpanpan is a Japanese superhero just about EVERY Japanese toddler is OBSESSED with, including all 3 of my kids), a nature walk near my husband's home (we found frogs, kiwi, tomatoes, pumpkin, a praying mantis, and more!), shopping at the mall (always a tricky endeavor with toddler twins!!!), library and children's play center, and how amazing a typical Japanese public toilet is (with electric bidet toilet and child seat on the wall to contain your little one while you do your business!)
Featuring our visit to neighboring natural hot spring town of Arima Onsen, a big family and friends BBQ at my husband's home (and my first odd and exciting experience with "Nagashi Somen" / "flowing somen noodles" / "water noodles"!!), a tour of the amazing bathrooms and nursing rooms at Kansai International Airport, and our 24-hour door-to-door travel home back to NYC, including our sweet ride with the kid-friendly car service Kidmoto that provides top of the line car seats and drivers TRAINED to install them properly (get $20 off all rides using code "USJAPANFAM"!!)
So, the stomach bug put a major damper on our time, taking us out of commission for a good 2-3 days. On the bright side, it kept us more local and relaxed, giving us more chance for good quality family time rather than running around trying to jam in as much touristy stuff as possible! We plan to take the kids every 2-3 years, and eventually they may start going and spending summers over there, even going to local public schools for a month or so! That's the plan, anyway... we'll see how things pan out!!
So, what do you think? Did you enjoy following along with us!? What's the furthest you've traveled with your kids? Any hilarious horror stories, or fabulous tips to share?? Leave a comment below!!!
In case you're new to the blog, I should preface this post with the fact that my husband is from Japan. As in, I met him clubbing in Tokyo one night while I was teaching English in Japan for 2 years! We did a year and a half of long distance, then I moved back over there, we lived together in Yokohama for 3 years together, got engaged, married in Hawaii, moved to good ol' NYC, popped out 3 kids, and the rest is history!
Suffice it to say, raising our kids to know Japanese language and culture is extremely important to both of us. Also important is taking a family trip back to Japan every other year (we would go more often if budget wasn't an issue...one ticket costs about $1500!!)
We had decided this summer my husband would take our 4 year old son alone, and I would stay behind with the girls because we just couldn't fathom the difficulty of the 24 hour door to door journey and a week of jet lag in each direction with TWO toddlers! It was a nightmare when we took Kenzo in 2014 when he was 20 months old. Multiply that times TWO??? Ugh.... But, when hubby broke the news to his parents, apparently they weren't too thrilled, so we have decided we will suck it up and all 5 of us will be making the trek this coming summer (just before the twins turn 2, so they can get cheap lap child tickets, which cost 10% of the regular fare!!).
So, as I embark on planning this epic journey with three children, I realized I never did a blog post or video recapping our last family vacation to Japan in 2014!! So, without further ado, check out our short and sweet video montage!!
I'll be coming back and posting more articles about what to do in the various cities, tips for traveling to Japan with kids, and much more. So, stay tuned!!
Please feel free to leave a comment below with any questions about where we went, places or things you are curious about in the video, recommendations for places you've been in Japan, etc!!
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!