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Kyoto Guide with small children

A trip to Tokyo would not be complete without a few days spent in Kyoto, especially if it is your first time to Japan!

So the question is, how to create a well-balanced travel plan to Kyoto with shrines, temples, cafes, and relaxing with your baby?

I recently visited Kyoto with my children and I did a great amount of research in advance of all the child-friendly locations and in particularly how to get around the shrines and temples with a stroller.

As I expected, there was very little information available in English. So I did most of my searching in Japanese. This is something I am hugely thankful that I am able to do after 15 years of living and working in Japan!

So if you are planning to visit Kyoto, make sure you check my itinerary below for tips!

Key points about my trip to Kyoto:

  • Month: May
  • Season: Spring
  • Events: Golden Week in the first week of May, which is one of the busiest times of the year for domestic travel in Japan
  • Hotel: Hotel Keihan Kyoto Grande, 3min walk from Kyoto Station and in an excellent location

My itinerary (3 days, 2 nights):

I went to Kyoto with my children in May 2017. It was absolutely beautiful.

This was my schedule in Kyoto. I kept it quite simple (didn’t try to fit in too many sites) so that we could enjoy relaxing:

  • Day 1 – catch shinkansen to Kyoto in the morning, afternoon check-in to hotel and have early dinner
  • Day 2 – Kiyomizudera in the morning, and Kyoto Station area in the afternoon. Here are the details:
    • a.m. catch taxi from hotel to Kiyomizu Dera. It was amazing – on top of a hill and with lots of gorgeous little streets to stroll around.
    • p.m. my kids had a nap in the hotel, and then in the afternoon we went to see Kyoto Station department stores and shops. Kyoto Station is really unique with a cool rooftop.
    • Dinner at a restaurant in the Isetan department store above Kyoto Station
  • Day 3 – Toei Kyoto Studio Park in the morning, and shinkasen back to Tokyo in the afternoon. Here are the details:
    • a.m. catch taxi to Kyoto Studio Park and spent the morning here. It was hilarious and funny traditional shows about Samurai, ninjas, and traditional entertainment. Very baby-friendly. Kind of a kooky touristy place to go, but I enjoyed it as much as my kids. It was all in Japanese though, so if you don’t mind the language barrier then this can be fun.
    • p.m. returned to Tokyo. (If you have 2 full days in Tokyo, you could go into the cafe area in Kyoto for a stroll.)

Transport tips:

  • If you are going to go to Kyoto from Tokyo, it is best to buy a JR Rail Pass. For example you can buy a 7 day JR rail pass.

Luggage courier service:

  • Note that you can send your luggage by courier from your hotel or the airport to your hotel in Kyoto (this is much easier than trying to take it on the bullet train with you if you have alot of luggage).

More posts coming soon with videos of each location. Make sure you check all my Kyoto guide advice!

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