Why a mom and daughter trip to Japan? Traveling has always been part of our life. We love to visit different countries and travel to places we have never seen before. We always find a way to move around and discover unknown beauties.
We are a family of four and we can’t imagine life without adventure.
This year was a special travel year. We had a separate Easter holiday. The girls went on one side of the globe and the guys on the opposite side.
I decided it was time to go abroad with my daughter as she was old enough to appreciate the places we would visit as much as I would. Also, a great occasion to spend quality time and show her everything is possible when you decide to.
Destination for the girls: JAPAN!
I already went to Japan a few years ago with my husband. It was amazing, I loved it so much, I really wanted to go again. And this was the time.
As you can imagine, flights during school holiday are much more expensive, way too much. I had a look at Skyscanner, my favorite flight booking website, and some flights were really cheap if leaving a little before school holidays and coming back the day after the school holidays.
I did what I had to do before booking anything, asked the school if it was possible to have some days off for my daughter. I truly think it is important to do it the right way with the school, especially for your children. We educate them the best we can, we teach them it’s bad to lie, so why would we put them in the situation where we would ask them to lie. And on the other hand, if they can’t share their happiness with their friends, what’s the point ?!
Luckily, the school accepted our request. I then headed to Skyscanner and booked the flights from Geneva to Tokyo, a two weeks holiday. Our flights were booked in November for March/April.
Do you know Skyscanner?
A few years ago, a good friend told me about it. I gave it a try and loved it. It is really easy to use. The website is very fast and it is super user-friendly, you don’t lose time searching for filters. It is simple and effective. You will have the lowest price per person for the dates and destination you chose, you can decide if you want to see the quickest flights, the lowest price or the best option when combined. This is a cool option! Then, when you have chosen the result that corresponds to your desire, you see all the prices for each provider that sells tickets and you decide with which one you want to book.
Skyscanner is simple, fast and effective ! I can only recommend you to give it a try 🙂
We had our flights booked. We had to decide where and what we would do in Japan. We like to move and visit places, so it was evident to buy the Japan Rail Pass. It is a train pass for tourists traveling in Japan. It isn’t cheap at first sight but if you like to visit many cities it is truly the best choice that will, in fact, be economical. As in this case, you won’t worry about transport as you will be able to take most of the trains and buses in many cities. Not all transport, but most.
Then, I had to decide on accommodation. That was a bit difficult to make a choice because we often only book the first night and live day by day while traveling. This time I didn’t want to worry about accommodation so I could enjoy 100% of our mom and daughter trip.
As usual, I did research on the internet, looked at a map and planned our trip.
I bought the guide Japan Lonely Planet, it was helpful but not much information, but looking back now I’m not sure I would buy another paper guide for traveling. It is bulky and heavy. Now we can access a lot of information on the internet on our phones, I think it isn’t as useful as before.
I was so excited to travel to Japan and with my daughter, maybe I planned a little too much 🙂
From Tokyo to Takayama
We arrived in the evening in Tokyo Haneda. Unfortunately, we couldn’t exchange our Japan rail pass vouchers as the travel centers were all closed. That’s why I had to book a hotel in Tokyo for our first night.
We woke up early the next day to go to a travel center to exchange the vouchers and get our rail passes. Then, we took the train from Tokyo to Nagoya, and from Nagoya to Takayama. The weather was cloudy so we didn’t see Mount-Fuji.
Takayama is a beautiful little old city. We only stayed one night and if I hadn’t planned everything in advance we would have stayed longer. It was charming and relaxing. We wandered around and visited old houses and a museum.
If I’m not mistaken, there is one of the most beautiful festivals held twice a year and also a food festival once a year in Takayama.
We enjoyed our most delicious Hida beef meal on our night out. A wonderful place to visit!
We left Takayama at the end of the afternoon as Kanazawa wasn’t too far by train. We stayed in a nice Japanese minimalist style apartment for two nights. We walked a good 20 minutes to get to it from the train station. We were jetlagged and tired. We had a Japanese McDonald’s and went to bed.
A whole day in Kanazawa isn’t enough!
We visited the market, the castle, the amazing and beautiful Kenrokuen park, and the contemporary museum. And of course a peaceful and stunning temple.
The market and the park are absolutely worth it. This park is wonderful and beautiful. There is a plant that has a weird addicting kind of food smell. Of course, we were there when the cherry trees blossomed. It was the very beginning of what they call ‘Sakura’ and it was amazing.
One week in Osaka
After Kanazawa, we had our headquarter in Osaka for a whole week. A sweet and super convenient apartment 5 minutes walk from Shin-Osaka station. It felt like home.
We didn’t actually stay and visited Osaka for one week. It was so centered that I thought it would be a good idea to have a place where we could leave our stuff. The places I wanted to visit weren’t that far by train, always less than 2 hours. We would just get up in the morning, more or less early, and leave our home. It truly was a great idea!
I’m not going to go deep in detail here because I have so much to say. It would maybe be much too long 😉
We went from Osaka to Kyoto, to Nara, to Hiroshima, to Noashima island, and of course, we visited Osaka itself.
All these cities are beautiful and exceptional. We saw amazing temples, walked all the way up through the Fushimi Inari Taisha sanctuary, my daughter dressed up in traditional kimono and enjoyed walking around Arashiyama. We laughed a lot in Nara because of the stressful cookie eaters deers, we saw the whale sharks in Osaka aquarium, visited the Hiroshima memorial museum, rented bicycles on Naoshima to see all the amazing art around the island, and much more…
One day we stayed in. We were exhausted and needed a real rest.
Last stop: Tokyo
After all these amazing days, we had to go back to Tokyo. We stayed in a hotel for 3 days and visited Tokyo. It is a big city and there is much to see. We went to Harajuku, enjoyed wandering and some shopping. We also went to the zoo and have a look at the view from the Tokyo Tower.
My daughter was craving for an outdoor park. She was missing our outdoor playground and needed to have fun on games. I did my best to find an outdoor free playground but did not find anything. If you have some tips on this, I would love to know them. Where do kids play?
We had to return to reality and return home. Yes, we were absolutely missing our family, but we loved our mom and daughter adventure.
This won’t be the last time
On the very first day, we already experienced Japanese organization. Everything is clear and if you need help, simply ask. Never worry about food or drink, there’s always a small shop or a vending machine not far.
My daughter is picky about food, even if she loves sushi, it wasn’t that easy to find the perfect food. She loved noodles but depending on the broth, sushi but no wasabi so that meant not the ones from the supermarket, she was hooked on the tuna onigiris. Not sure she ate a lot of vegetables in the end 😉
Never did I feel we were in the wrong place, never did I feel stressed because of traveling only with my daughter. It was uplifting to be able to do that. People are kind and helpful. Everything is organized and correct so you don’t feel overwhelmed when you go from one place to another. Japan is a great country for traveling.
The weather was exceptional during all our stay. It was perfect!
It was a great adventure with my daughter. And for sure, it won’t be the last one!
Have you already experienced mom and daughter or mom and son trip?
Don’t hesitate to ask for some tips if you are planning to go to Japan, I would love to help 🙂
Don’t forget to Pin it 🙂