Osaka and Kyoto with small children

Jun 25th, 2006, 07:18 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3
Osaka and Kyoto with small children

Hello! I've looked at other forums and was very impressed with all the friendly advice, and the wealth of information people are generously sharing with each other. We are travelling to Osaka for 4 days at the end of July with two kids (ages 4 and 6), and I was wondering if any of you can recommend family friendly sites. While I would like to visit some of the temples and museums, I am not sure if it would be too exhausting for them (ie boring). We are willing to do side trips outside of the city if anyone have any suggests - Nara worth doing for viewing of the deers? Ok, thank you in advance for any responses!
hbunches is offline  
Jun 25th, 2006, 10:21 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,034
It will likely be very hot. And I mean very hot. I don't know where you are coming from, but know in advance it will be hot. At the end of July, Japanese school is finished, so places like Universal Studios will be crowdes. Nara might be fun for them with the deer.

In Kyoto, Kiyomizu is nice and the roads leading up to it are lined with souvenir shops and a few restaurants. Stop often for browsing and have kakikori (shaved ice with colorful flavored syrup and if it's fancy ice cream, bean paste, or sweetened condensed milk).

In department stores, look for the kids floor. They have toys set out for kids to play with/try, it's air conditioned, and your kids can play as long as they like.

The Osaka Aquarium is very nice. They have a good exhibit of turtles among other things. It's also in a cute area with some restaurants, shops and a huge ferris wheel.

I'd maybe plan one sightseeing thing for each day, and go in the morning. Stay in a hotel with a pool...most are indoor pools, but still very nice and enjoyable.
KimJapan is offline  
Jun 25th, 2006, 11:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 263
I have taken my 3yr old. The temple is not necessarily boring as many things are new. They let you hit a giant gong for a price at some temples. There are depictions of hell in statues that can be scary to small kids, however.

Castles in general are quite interesting to kids. The squeeky (nightingale) floor at Nijo castle, oubliette and other anti intruder devices at Nijo jinya are some interesting things.

Walking thru Nishiki Shijo food market area lets you see the Japanese food before they make it to the kitchen. Trying out hot just grilled sweet manju was also a fun thing to do.

Eating sweet dango over tatami mat at an outdoor tea house was a fun experience for my kid.

Deers can be agressive and scary. I ended up feeding the deers as even the small ones were taller than my kid.
nickn is offline  
Jun 27th, 2006, 07:08 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3
Thanks so much for your thoughts and suggestions. We are coming from Singapore (now THAT'S a hot place!), so we certainly be doing a lot of ices, drinks, and indoor-with-a/c stuff. Two years ago we stopped in Tokyo on they way back to New York and you are right, nickn, the kids liked a lot of things just because they were new. Even a train ride would be fun to them. I am just worried that, well -"when the kids are happy, the parents and happy and when the kids are not happy, the parents..." - you get the idea. After an exhausting trip in Singapore and Malaysia, I think a stressfree trip would be nice.

KimJapan, do I remember correctly from other forums that you live in Kanazawa? I apologize if I am wrong. The name Kanazawa brings back fond memories of my first Japanese experience - I was a JYA student and I stayed with a family in Kanazawa who didn't speak any English. It was only one week (eventually I ended up in Nanzan University in Nagoya), but it was a fun and memorable experience - it was nice to read how fondly you wrote about Kanazawa.

I am going to email this to my husband and see if he has any other questions for you guys. You have been most helpful. Talk to you soon!
hbunches is offline  
Jun 27th, 2006, 07:53 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,498
In Kyoto there is the Kyoto Handicraft Museum in the basement of another museum. It's in the Heian temple complex.
I saw children doing hands on crafts when we were there. It did not look like something you had to sign up for, rather like something you could just jump into.
It's a newer building and I'm pretty sure it's air conditioned.
There are tv's where different craft processes are shown too. I think this is probably more interesting to small children than looking at an exhibit.
angethereader is offline  
Jun 27th, 2006, 02:12 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,034 remember correctly. We have lived in Kanazawa for 11 years.
KimJapan is offline  
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