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Tokyo With A Toddler

We used to live in Tokyo and for me, it is a captivating, exotic city.  When my daughter was 18 months old we decided to take her for a long weekend to revisit old haunts (read restaurants!) and friends

BOOKING THE TRIP

  • My travel agent, Concorde Travel found us a good deal flying ANA business class and staying at the Shibuya Excel Hotel
THE FLIGHT
  • Tokyo Haneda Airport had just opened its international terminal which makes a huge difference to your journey.  Tokyo Narita Airport is over an hour out of the city by Narita Express but you can get from Haneda into the city in 30 minutes
  • I was impressed by ANA (part of Star Alliance), a very clean plane, delicious food and efficient staff.  Our 18 mth old was too big for any bassinet but she slept on me for the journey (approx 4 hours).  The business class seats were old school cradle style rather than flat bed but for that short journey it was fine
THE HOTEL
  • We wanted to stay in the heart of the city, Shibuya.  From here you can easily hop on the tube/train links across the city.
  • I highly recommend the Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu.  Yes it’s not one of the fanciest hotels in town but rooms are decent sized, clean and nicely furnished.  You also can’t beat the location with direct access into Shibuya station
  • They do speak good English but we had a Japanese friend call the hotel to confirm our baby cot as there was some confusion over this intitially
  • There is a bus direct from Haneda Airport to Shibuya Excel Hotel
WHAT TO DO
  • As ex city residents our prime goal was to revisit all our favourite restaurants and catch up with friends.  However, I found this great site with recommendations for kids: 

     

  • Tokyo is super stroller friendly with wide streets, few steps and expanses of flat ground.  Just wandering the Shibuya/Omotesando/Harajuku areas can provide hours of excitement
  • The Tokyo subway and train system is easy to navigate and in English.  Tokyo is a big system and taxis expensive so take advantage of public transport
WHAT TO EAT
  • For me, Tokyo is the gastro capital of the world.  Despite living in HK now, my favourite Chinese restaurant is in Tokyo.  Here are a few favourites: 

     

    • Gonpachi for yakitori
    • Gyoza Lou for succulent and cheap dumplings
    • Rainbow Roll Sushi
    • Teppanyaki Ten
    • Il Mulino – yes i know you think i’m crazy but it’s amazing Italian!
 Shrining it up
 What a view from the hotel window!
Gluttonous delight with a Harajuku crepe

 

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