Guide to a Perfect Family Holiday in Japan - Updated 2024

Guide to a Perfect Family Holiday in Japan - Updated 2024
Daryl
Daryl  
Updated
| 22 min read

Imagine a land embraced by the beauty of Mother Nature. A land where, each morning, sunrise on the shores of Sendai and the slopes of Shizuoka heralds a bright new day. This same land, inhabited by kind and courteous people, was also the home of fierce and valiant warriors who fought for their territories. And this land, with its pioneering technology, is also a land where gods and spirits continue to dwell side by side with their mortal children.

That land is Japan, and despite the fog of mysticism and dazzling neon lights, it is also a country rife with adventure for visitors of all ages and from all walks of life. Couples looking for romance can slink away to Yamagata’s Ginzan Onsen, while those happy in their solitude can make a pilgrimage to the temples of Kamakura.

Visitors to Japan would likely have iconic spots such as Mount Fuji on their itineraries, but there are other places worth visiting, especially if you’re traveling with your family. Kyoto, for example, is home to numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites as well as ancient traditions such as the tea ceremony. There’s also the TOEI Kyoto Studio Park, a combination theme park and Edo period film set where guests can dress up in period costumes and visit exhibits of popular TV shows and movies. For those who prefer a winter wonderland, Hokkaido is a paradise for snow lovers and offers plenty of snowboarding and skiing opportunities. The region also boasts numerous wildlife sanctuaries and nature preserves.

With so many places to see and things to do, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed. You’ll also need to consider where to stay in Japan with your family. Our advice? Keep reading our guide to a perfect family holiday in Japan.

How to plan your trip

There’s an old adage regarding the “best-laid plans of mice and men” but that shouldn’t mean you should shy away from designing an itinerary. To help with that, we’ve got a collection of tips and strategies to help you prepare and make the most of your dream holiday.

Plan your trip around festivals or big events

With a bit of research, you can discover events or attractions you can fit into a single itinerary. As an example, two out of the three biggest festivals in Japan are held in the Kansai region, both in the month of July. Kyoto’s Gion Festival ramps up around the middle of July, with parades and processions held around mid to late July. The Tenjin Festival in Osaka is held during the 24th and 25th of July, so you can actually participate in both during the same trip as both cities are just a train ride away from each other.

This way, you can book travel tickets and accommodations well in advance, as you have an expected timeline to follow. It also helps you save a bit on the budget as you can book during the off-season when airline tickets or even travel packages are discounted.

Reserve your accommodations in advance

With the advent of online bookings, travelers have much more leeway when it comes to looking for a place to stay, as well as making reservations. Information is also more readily available, with websites and social media able to provide pictures and even videos of the establishment. By booking in advance, you can set a route as well as a timeline for your itinerary on which sights and activities you can prepare for.

Get your documents in order

Since you’re planning well in advance, you’ve got plenty of time to go over your travel documents such as your passports, visa, and medical papers. If some of them need updating or renewals, you can work on them and prevent stress or headaches later on.

Here’s a quick checklist of necessary and recommended documents and things to do before traveling to Japan:

  • Check your visa requirements. The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website has an electronic visa system available to certain countries, including the USA and countries in the UK.
  • Book an appointment via Visit Japan Web for quicker and smoother document processing upon arrival to the country.
  • Check exchange rates to see if you'll get better value exchanging in Japan or in your home country. After which, do some research on trusted currency exchange establishments you can go to.
  • Get travel insurance. Japan has a much different culture in handling medical needs and emergencies, as well as when it comes to pricing medical care.
  • Keep yourself updated with the weather and news reports. Japan is also known for its typhoons and earthquakes, so you may need to cancel the trip if certain natural forces are at play.

1. Cherry Blossom 2024 Forecast

Cherry Blossom 2024 Forecast In Japan
Source: Trip101

Tokyo

Tokyo Japan City Skyline
Source: Photo by Flickr user Derrick Brutel used under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you’re visiting Japan for the first time, be sure to spend a few days in Tokyo. The massive capital is full of places to go and things to do. Check out our recommended Japan attractions and must-try foods below! We’ve also included some of the best Minn accommodations that are perfect for families.

Top family-friendly destinations in Japan: what to see, eat, and where to stay

Top family-friendly attractions in Tokyo

Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea

The House of Mouse boasts Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea as two of its greatest theme parks in the world. Situated along Tokyo Bay in what is called the Tokyo Disney Resort, families can look forward to days of nonstop fun and excitement while they’re here.

Hop aboard rides such as Splash Mountain or meet Captain Jack Sparrow at the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Tokyo Disneyland. At Tokyo DisneySea, aim to ride the Raging Spirits Roller Coaster at least once. Loads of delicious snacks and dining options are also available, ready to reenergize you so you can go on more incredible rides and adventures. Though both of these attractions are technically located in Chiba, the country’s capital is just a drive away.

Ueno Park and Ueno Zoological Gardens

Tokyo’s Ueno Park draws plenty of comparisons to New York’s Central Park and for good reason. Though smaller than its American counterpart, Ueno Park is still a massive green space that hosts its own zoo as well as several museums. It’s a popular seasonal destination for viewing the spring cherry blossoms and the autumn leaves. The zoo, on the other hand, is home to rare and exotic species such as pandas, gorillas, and tigers.

Tokyo Sea Life Park

Part of Kasai Rinkai Park along Tokyo Bay, Tokyo Sea Life Park is a large aquarium complex that features marine life from all over the world. Each aquarium features a simulated habitat of its resident animals. There are also habitats for penguins and other seabirds such as puffins and auks.

Ghibli Museum, Mitaka

Travelers will find Ghibli Museum, Mitaka, inside Inokashira Park. Families can enjoy short film showings of Ghibli originals as well as special exhibitions. And for those feeling peckish, the on-site Straw Hat Cafe offers sweet treats as well as savory snacks such as cutlet sandwiches and hot dogs.

Must-try food in Tokyo

Sushi

Perhaps the most iconic dish that represents Japan, sushi is an example of complexity in simplicity. It uses a combination of staple ingredients such as vegetables, seafood, and egg or tofu, along with vinegared rice and dried seaweed, creating vibrant bursts of flavor that are a product of its preparation as much as its ingredients.

Ramen

If burgers and pizza are the standard symbols of American fastfood, ramen would be their equivalent in Japan. Consisting of broth, seasoning, noodles, and toppings, these easy-to-make but hard-to-master noodle dishes dominate the kitchens of Japanese restaurants in the country and around the world. Even the instant variants are a staple of hardworking professionals and students everywhere.

Tempura

Crunchy and exploding with flavor, these deep-fried favorites are said to be the product of cultural exchange with the Portuguese. Over the years, new types of tempura dishes were developed, including ones that use eel, pumpkin, and fish-paste cakes called chikuwa.

Yakitori

Grilled chicken has been around since mankind learned how to make fire and cook fowl over it. Yakitori, Japan’s version of skewered chicken, is a type of dish that’s often eaten by children as an afterschool snack or by adults relaxing after a hard day’s work. It’s best eaten with a tall glass of beer or warm cup of sake.

Okonomiyaki

Actually a staple of the Kansai region, okonomiyaki is also a favorite for those in Tokyo. Its name actually means that you can prepare it “however you like”, meaning you can prepare this griddle-fried savory pancake with whatever ingredients you prefer.

Best family-friendly apartment hotels in Tokyo

2. Minn Nihonbashi

Minn Nihonbashi is perfect for train travelers as well as train enthusiasts as it’s surrounded by multiple railway lines that are all within a 5 to 10-minute walk away. Their selection of apartments can accommodate a family of four or six, and they all include a kitchenette with a cooktop and microwave, as well as a washing machine. The comfort and convenience they offer is comparable to other family hotels in Japan.

Minn Nihonbashi

Address: 5-1 Hisamatsucho, Japan Bridge, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

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3. Minn Kappabashi

Guests staying at Minn Kappabashi can enjoy an easy walk to Senso-Ji, Tokyo’s oldest temple, as well as to Asakusa Hanayashiki amusement park, as both are just 10 minutes away. While the apartments all come with a nice kitchen where you can prepare family meals, don’t miss out on dining at the numerous restaurants that line Kappabashi Street.

The deluxe six-bed room offers enough space for the whole family. There’s a dining table so you can all gather for meals just as if you were home.

Minn Kappabashi

Address: 3-25-13 Nishi-Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo

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4. Minn Ueno

Minn Ueno has a nice selection of stylish yet cozy accommodations, including family rooms with loft beds. If you’ve got a large group in tow, make sure to take a look at the Superior Family Loft Bedroom and Deluxe Family Loft & Queen Room configurations.

There are plenty of sights to enjoy in Ueno, such as the expansive Ueno Park that is home to a zoo as well as several museums. If you’re heading somewhere else in Tokyo, Ueno Station, Naka-Okachimachi Station, and Shin-Okachimachi are around a 5-minute walk from this apartment hotel.

Minn Ueno

Address: 1-19-5 Higashiueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo

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5. Minn Kamata

Built in 2020, Minn Kamata offers six types of guestrooms, ranging from loft rooms which are equipped with bunk beds to cozy suites that can sleep a family of six. All rooms feature a special Nanoe air purifier.

After settling in, head to the nearest train station, Kamata Station, which just 5 minutes away, and start exploring Tokyo!

Minn Kamata

Address: 5-18-18 Nishi Kamata, Ota-ku, Tokyo

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6. Minn Akihabara

A fairly recent addition to the Minn line of apartment hotels, Minn Akihabara was built in 2022 in the bustling district of Akihabara. Its nice rooms and amenities make it one of the best hotels for families in Tokyo.

Those among you who have come for gadgets, computer parts, as well as anime and video game merchandise would do well to visit Akihabara Electric Town, just 15 minutes from here. After a day of shopping and walking, you can relax with a nap in the loft bed, or hang out with a cool drink on the balcony.

Minn Akihabara

Address: 1-22-3 Taito, Taito-ku, Tokyo

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Hokkaido

Ichiko of Shiretoko Goko Lakes in Hokkaido
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user 663highland used under CC BY 2.5

Hokkaido is Japan’s winter wonderland and a veritable Eden of unique animal and plant species. We’ve listed some of the top family-friendly attractions and delicious food you shouldn’t miss out on.

When it comes to accommodation, don’t worry! You’ll find the best hotels in Japan for families. But we’ve also got a Minn apartment hotel option that’s perfect for you and your family. Keep reading to learn more.

Top family-friendly attractions in Hokkaido

Salmon Hometown Chitose Aquarium

Located in the river town of Chitose, this aquarium offers many undersea spectacles. In the underwater observation room, children can catch a first-hand look at the seasonal migrations of salmon from September to October, as well as their spawning period during the winter months.

Lake Shikotsu

Lake Shikotsu is a caldera lake formed due to a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago. Because of the geothermal forces running beneath the area, the lake and its hot springs are a popular retreat for Hokkaido vacationers.

Historical Village of Hokkaido

Historical Village of Hokkaido consists of restored and relocated buildings dating all the way back to 1868. It is an open-air museum arranged into different sections: Farm Village, Fishing Village, Mountain Village, and the Town. The interiors of each building are decorated and furnished to accurately and authentically depict the lives and livelihoods of the locals during certain periods.

Royce’ Chocolate World

Adults with a sweet tooth may be more familiar with this premium chocolate brand. However, that doesn’t mean kids won’t enjoy this amazing and sweet experience. Take a tour of the museum and learn about the history of chocolate. After, see how this extravagant treat is made in their factory. There’s also a souvenir shop with many delicious products so you can share it with friends back home.

Sapporo City Center

As Hokkaido’s largest city, Sapporo is a hub for activities and excitement for both locals and tourists visiting in the region. Travelers can find historic buildings such as the Clock Tower, which was built back in 1878. Odori Park, on the other hand, is a large green space where families can enjoy yearly festivities such as the Sapporo Snow Festival.

Must-try food in Hokkaido

Hokkaido seafood

The seas of Hokkaido are as bountiful as they are beautiful. Winter visitors will find cod and oysters to be plentiful during the cold season. Meanwhile, local favorites such as sea urchin and horsehair crab are available year-round.

Genghis Khan (jingisukan)

Curiously named after the historic Mongolian conqueror, jingisukan is a grilled dish made using mutton and occasionally sika deer venison. Each restaurant has its special marinade they use for enriching the flavor of the meat before grilling it, so make sure to try different variants.

Hokkaido ramen

Hokkaido-style ramen comes in various forms, such as Hakodate ramen. This version keeps things simple with a salt soup base. Meanwhile, Sapporo ramen is mostly known for using miso stock instead.

Soup curry

While Japanese curry is a dish more commonly known to have a thick sauce, plenty of Hokkaido locals prefer theirs as a hot soup that they can slurp to ward away the cold. Instead of having the curry and rice served in one plate, the soup curry is served in two separate bowls. You’re meant to take a spoonful of rice and dip it into the soup and enjoy.

Hokkaido dairy products

Hokkaido alone is said to produce around 50% of Japan’s milk, so it makes sense to take advantage of its abundance while you’re visiting this region. Despite the cold climate, soft serve ice cream and yogurts are highly recommended desserts and snacks. Cheese is also a popular item to grab as a souvenir.

Best family-friendly apartment hotel in Hokkaido

7. Minn Chitose

Minn Chitose is a fantastic choice for families and groups traveling to and from Hokkaido. The property is less than 10 minutes away by car from New Chitose Airport, and about a 10-minute walk from JR Minami-Chitose Station. These inter-connected railways are the best method to travel around the island and will take guests through various scenic routes along the way.

Minn Chitose is a great choice if you’re traveling with a lot of people. The apartment hotel offers rooms that accommodate medium-sized families of 5 or 6, as well as large groups consisting of up to 12 individuals. The Superior room 2LDK has a living area where the family can gather and watch some TV to wind down after a busy day.

Minn Chitose

Address: 2-1-1 Kashiwadai Minami, Chitose City, Hokkaido

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Kyoto

Tō-ji Temple, Kyoto
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Zairon used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The ancient capital of Old Japan carries a dignified elegance that’s both enchanting and intimidating. Carry yourself with grace but be sure to indulge your interests with these amazing family-friendly attractions and exquisite cuisine! Treat yourself and your loved ones to a cozy and luxurious stay at Minn’s Kyoto accommodations.

Top family-friendly attractions in Kyoto

Kyoto Aquarium

Despite being located inland, Kyoto boasts a massive aquarium complex that aims to study, educate, and entertain. It’s an edutainment-oriented aquarium that focuses on making guests not only smile but also learn to treasure Mother Nature. Part of the Aquarium’s initiatives also include breeding rare and at-risk species.

Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Founded 1,250 years ago, Kiyomizu-dera Temple is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It’s also called Kannon Reijo, named after a deity of mercy, and therefore encourages visitors to offer prayers of compassion and thanksgiving.

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

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Posted by Tokyo Samurai Museum on Thursday, December 10, 2020

Samurai and Ninja Museum with Experience

The samurai and their code of conduct are well-known parts of Japanese history. It’s the goal of the Samurai and Ninja Museum with Experience to impart this history as well as educate visitors regarding these incredible warriors. You can enjoy a fully guided tour and view some impressive armor and weapons.

Must-try food in Kyoto

Kaiseki ryouri

This is a traditional multiple-course meal commonly experienced in fancy Japanese restaurants, and it’s also a part of the traditional ryokan (Japanese inn) experience. It consists of many different platters, each its own dish that’s meant to complement its companions on the table.

Yudofu (tofu hot pot)

Yudofu is a simple yet nutritious and filling nabe (hot pot) dish made primarily with tofu, dashi kombu (kelp broth), and vegetables. It’s a popular option for weight-watchers, as well as vegetarians and vegans.

Matcha-flavored sweets

While matcha has its detractors, its unique flavor makes it a favorite for many dessert-lovers around the world. The tinge of leafy bitterness goes really well with sweet foods such as ice cream, chocolate bars, and even cheesecakes.

Obanzai ryouri

Obanzai ryouri is simply home-style cooking with a requisite that half of the ingredients used to prepare the meal have to be locally produced or processed in Kyoto. There is also a philosophy to obanza ryouri, especially an emphasis on avoiding waste.

Yuba (tofu skin)

Yuba is popularly used in nabe (hot pot) dishes. Other ways to prepare it include rolling it like a dumpling or breading and deep-frying it much like katsu.

Best family-friendly apartment hotel in Kyoto

8. Minn Gion

The accommodations of Minn Gion have been given extra work and care. As a result, it offers spacious rooms with a pleasing ambiance that also reflects the posh and refined nature of Kyoto. They are glad to accommodate short-term and long-term stays and have rooms equipped with washing machines and kitchens.

Sanjo Keihan Station is a 4-minute walk from the property. There are also a number of popular attractions nearby, such as Maruyama Park and Yasaka Shrine, both of which are about 8 to 10 minutes on foot from Minn Gion.

Minn Gion

Address: 342-3 Miyoshicho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto

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Ishikawa

Kanazawa Castle Park
Source: Photo by Flickr user Tomoaki INABA used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Ishikawa is a veritable garden of delight due to its bountiful valleys, rivers, and seas. Indulge in delectable Kanazawa cuisine and visit the awesome attractions with your beloved family. Book a stay at Minn’s family-friendly accommodation and enjoy a relaxing and refreshing rest between excursions.

Top family-friendly attractions in Ishikawa

Kanazawa Castle

Kanazawa Castle served as the home of the powerful Maeda clan, remembered fondly for famous samurai personalities such as Maeda Toshiie and Maeda Toshimasu. Many parts of the castle have been rebuilt, with areas of the complex open to the public. This is also a popular spot for cherry blossom viewing.

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Dolls Museum

Dolls Museum is a treasure trove of traditional Japanese dolls and doll-like figures from all over Japan. Guests can also sign up for an activity and enjoy painting a kokeshi (wooden Japanese doll) or a matryoshka which they can take back as a souvenir.

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Karakuri Memorial Museum

Kanazawa Port’s Karakuri Memorial Museum was built in honor of Ohno Benkichi, a karakuri (traditional Japanese puppets) craftsman who specialized in building these amazing automatons. Guests can try solving wooden mosaic puzzles and watch a karakuri demonstration.

Kanazawa walking tours

Kanazawa is a timelessly beautiful city. It offers a blend of modern and ancient structures that create an ambiance unique not just to Japan, but to the whole world. To further discover the beauty of Ishikawa Prefecture’s capital, tourists can sign up for walking tours led by local volunteer guides.

Must-try food in Ishikawa

Kaga ryouri

Ishikawa prides itself in its abundance of culinary delights, and Kaga ryouri offers the best of what this prefecture has to offer. Each item in this feast is made with locally sourced ingredients. Some typical inclusions are jibuni (usually simmered duck with a thick broth) and deep-fried gori fish.

Kanazawa sushi

Because of its unique location, Kanazawa is blessed with an abundance of ingredients from the sea. It’s no surprise that they have a wide range of sushi that are made with ingredients such as red grouper and blackthroat seaperch, resulting in a wide range of flavors.

Jibuni

This is a local dish that has been a favorite since the Edo period. Deceptively simple, this meal of simmered duck or chicken, wheat flour, and seasonal vegetables is considered soul food by the locals.

Hojicha soft serve

Inspired by matcha-flavored food items, Ishikawa made use of their specialty of hojicha (Japanese roasted green tea) and applied it to their desserts. The result is a unique and refreshing flavor that’s perfect for re-energizing. If you pass by cafes or dessert spots, look for the hojicha soft serve so you can try it at least once!

Kanazawa wagashi

Wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) are as much a work of art as they are a delicious snack. Made with seasonal ingredients, some types of wagashi tend to be available only during certain times of the year, making this food item one not to miss. Some Kanazawa wagashi that are must-tries include fukusa mochi (red bean rolled into a fluffy grilled batter) which are best bought from a store called Murakami in downtown Kanazawa, and rice crackers with ginger honey from Shibafune Koide.

Best family-friendly apartment hotel in Ishikawa

9. Minn Kanazawa

Each accommodation at Minn Kanazawa is designed exquisitely and comes complete with soft ambient lighting that creates a warm and relaxing mood.

They offer a variety of suites and Japanese-style rooms. Some of the rooms come equipped with a kitchen, and while not all rooms have washing machines, guests can still make use of this facility in the common area. Guests can also expect full bathrooms and comfortable beds. If you’re traveling as a group of six, book the Premium Suite, which is fully equipped.

Minn Kanazawa

Address: 2-28, Kamitsutsumi-cho, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture

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Osaka

Osaka Dotonbori Ebisu Bridge
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Type specimen used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Busy, bustling, and happy-going are some words that best describe Osaka. This prosperous port city isn’t just a thriving business hub - it’s also a prime destination for families seeking fun and excitement. There are plenty of delicious foods to enjoy and electrifying attractions to visit. For your lodgings, Minn apartment hotels offer unique accommodations that will keep the family happy and comfortable.

Top family-friendly attractions in Osaka

Osaka Castle

While many castles from the Sengoku period have been lost to time, Osaka Castle remains standing, having been faithfully rebuilt each time it has been destroyed or damaged. The castle is open to the public, with free admission for children 15 years and younger. Meanwhile, Osaka Castle Park is an expansive green space that’s highly popular for springtime ohanami (cherry blossom viewing picnics).

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Besides being a great place to view marine life such as whale sharks and penguins, kids will learn a lot at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. Its concept is driven by the Gaia hypothesis, which is a theory that all of earth’s living creatures interact and function as a single complex organism. This is great for teaching younger minds that we all have our place in the environment and we should care for each other.

Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan is wonderland with numerous sections dedicated to various franchises and series. Its most famous areas include the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (where even grown-ups can done House robes and wield magic wands) and Super Nintendo World, based on famous Nintendo videogames such as Super Mario and Donkey Kong.

Osaka Tennoji Zoo

Osaka Tennoji Zoo is part of Tennoji Park, which is also right next to Shinsekai shopping district. The zoo features enclosures and habitats for animals from all around the world, such as rhinoceroses, lions, and giraffes.

Must-try food in Osaka

Takoyaki

Takoyaki is often associated with summer escapades and festivals as this is a tasty snack that can be enjoyed on the go. They’re named thus for the octopus meat that is used for its filling. Despite the association with festivities, these can be enjoyed all year round with numerous shops and eateries having their own spin.

Okonomiyaki

While it’s colloquially called a pancake in the west, it’s actually quite far from the sweet and fluffy breakfast item the word is generally associated with. The name roughly means “fried however you want it”, and it’s made with various ingredients, from vegetables, meat, and even seafood. The pancake comparison comes from the way it’s cooked flat on a hot griddle.

Kushikatsu

Osaka locals sure love their comfort food, and kushikatsu is among their top favorites. These are basically skewered meat or vegetables smothered in batter and panko (Japanese bread crumbs), then deep-fried until each piece is perfectly crisp. Kids love it as a tasty snack while adults tend to pair each bite with some beer or sake.

Houtou

Although houtou originates from Yamanashi, the people of Osaka also have a special spot for this filling, ingredient-loaded dish in their hearts and stomachs. This hearty meal is an udon noodle soup filled with savory seasonal fare such as pumpkins, negi (Japanese long green onion), and shiitake mushrooms.

Osaka street food at Kuromon Ichiba Market

Kurumon Ichiba Market is mainly a wet market with stalls upon stalls selling fresh seafood, local harvests, and seasonal products. That said, it’s also a hub for foodies looking for tasty delights. Some of the stores sell cooked or prepared portions of their wares as snacks. These range from crab legs, curry cutlets, and even strawberry daifuku (Japanese sweet made with strawberries and mochi).

Best family-friendly apartment hotel in Osaka

10. Minn Shin Osaka

Minn Shin Osaka is situated close to Shin Osaka Station, thus making traveling around the city much easier. But that’s not the only thing that makes this Minn apartment hotel special. At this accommodation, everyone can enjoy watching their favorite shows and movies as the rooms feature a projector and speakers.

Their configurations are suitable for small families and medium-sized groups. Some rooms are equipped with a tatami area for dining and relaxing.

Minn Shin Osaka

Address: 1-21-29, Higashinakajima, Higashiyodogawa-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

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Getting around with kids or large groups

Haneda Airport 20140723 085046
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ka23 13 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Globe-trotting with your loved ones

Japan travel with children, especially toddlers and small kids, is an undertaking all on its own, with plenty of planning and preparation needed on top of the ones you have to do for the actual destination.

  • Prepare your travel shots. Japan has relaxed its immunization and vaccination requirements, but it's better to err on the side of caution.
  • Bring allergy medication. Hay fever season in Japan is from February to April.
  • Take note of the safety measures for children. For example, kids aged 0 to 6 must be buckled into a child seat when riding a car.
  • Be aware of changing and nursing stations. These stations are typically in public restrooms, malls, train stations, and public attractions in Japan.
  • Make sure your accommodations are kid-friendly. Japan has adults-only hotels and inns, so see if your destinations have places that allow children.
  • Plan mealtimes. Take your kids to a Japanese restaurant before the trip so they know what to expect. Another option is by eating at a famiresu or "family restaurant", which has a more Western approach to their menu items and service.

If your children are in their teens or older, they might be more eager to engage with the country and its culture. Elders might be craving an atmosphere they’ve never experienced before. Here are a few tips when traveling with teens and elders:

  • Embrace Japanese culture. With Japan's influence when it comes to videogames, music, and anime, expect your teens to want Shibuya and Akihabara on the itinerary. Worry not, though, everyone in the family will have fun shopping and visiting shrines and temples. Japan's culture is incredibly fascinating and well worth exploring.
  • Book unique experiences. Try bathing in an open-air hot spring or joining the revelry during an annual matsuri (festival).
  • Let them explore. Japan is a safe country, so grant your teens a bit more freedom while they're here.
  • Designate a meet-up spot. This is also useful if anyone in the group gets lost or wanders off.
  • Learn how to navigate your destinations. Get a prepaid train card (IC card) and learn how to navigate your way around Japan's various cities. Google Maps and specialized city map apps are available to help, and Uber is also quite popular in big cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka.

Why Minn apartment hotels?

Japan is a land rich in culture and filled with attractions both modern and ancient. You and your family will have so many choices on where to go, what to eat, and where to stay. Fortunately, for any intrepid traveler heading to Japan, Minn provides a wonderful solution to all these questions.

Convenience is an important factor when it comes to choosing an accommodation. Each Minn apartment hotel is situated close to attractions and modes of transportation. Guests will find train stations within walking distance from the property. Places to eat, as well as landmarks to visit, are accessible on foot or with a short ride via public transport.

The suites and rooms are well-appointed and can sleep groups of varied sizes. Not only that, each property astutely incorporates the aesthetics and culture of its location. Guests visiting Kyoto will find apartment units in Minn Gion that include cozy tatami rooms where they can enjoy tea and wagashi (Japanese sweets). Travelers staying at Minn Chitose will find warm and homey spaces that are perfect for keeping comfy during winter in Hokkaido.

Once you’re decided on your itinerary, make sure to book a Minn apartment hotel. They’re perfect not only for short-term stays but also for extended bookings. You can enjoy in-unit amenities that will make your family trip to Japan more convenient.

Minn apartment hotels

Check out more Minn apartment hotels here

Enjoy the best family vacation in Japan

So now that you know what Japan has in store for you, are you ready to take the plunge?

Despite being a country steeped in tradition and history, Japan is also quite a forward-looking nation, eager to pioneer the footsteps humanity will take tomorrow. This land, where the past walks hand-in-hand with the present and the future, creates a vast range of opportunities and experiences for travelers.

Visit the massive metropolis of Tokyo to participate in modern concerts and traditional festivals. Walk the ancient streets of Kyoto just as the Japanese of yore once did, or tread through the snow-covered forests and hills of Hokkaido. When you get to Ishikawa or Osaka, don’t miss out on the incredible culinary delights that await.

Refer to our guide whenever you need reminders or if you need tips on where to stay and what to do. And don’t forget to book a stay with Minn apartment hotels because they offer the best apartment hotels in Japan for families, and they will definitely make you feel right at home.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Daryl loves seeing and learning about new places, be they real, written, or digital. His experiences both as an ESL teacher and as an academic tutor proved to be a good refresher for his writing...Read more

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