We traveled to Japan when I was 11 weeks pregnant, in the midst of some pretty challenging morning sickness in my first trimester. We booked the trip several months ahead knowing that if things worked out, I would be pregnant on this trip. Unlike a lot of destinations, there isn’t too much you can’t do while pregnant. However, there are definitely things to be aware of before making your trip to the land of the rising sun. Japan makes a perfect babymoon for the couple who isn’t too keen on spending day after day laying on the beach. Beautiful sights, amazing culture, excellent food. It is also a destination that might be more of a hassle with a little one, making pregnancy a perfect time to knock Japan off your bucket list.
While Osaka is a one-of-a-kind city, offering an atmosphere unique from Kyoto or Tokyo, it does lack the number of attractions those other cities have. What Osaka does provide is a perfect transportation hub to allow you to make multiple day trips throughout the Kansai and Chügoku regions. One of the best day trips from Osaka, if you are short on time, is visiting both Himeji and Hiroshima. These two cities highlight some of the distinct eras in Japanese history. From Himeji Castle, a symbol of Japan’s feudal period, to Hiroshima, the site of WWII devastation and the eventual rebounding of Japan. Both cities can be visited easily along the same Shinkansen route.
A small district on the outskirts of Kyoto, Arashiyama is where you want to go to explore the famous bamboo grove, see wild macaques, and enjoy gorgeous cultural gardens. After a short 20-minute transit trip from central Kyoto, Arashiyama can be completely explored on foot. All of the main attractions, shops, and restaurants are within a short walk of each other. This DIY walking tour can be done at a slower pace to fill up a whole day or can easily be a half-day excursion.
Japan is notorious for being on the pricey side, especially for a popular time like Cherry Blossom season. While accommodations and food are definitely more expensive than most tourist destinations – we were pleasantly surprised that we were able to keep the total cost of the trip down without sacrificing experiences. To put it in perspective, we spent the same amount on our 13 day trip to Japan as our 9 day trip to Peru. Japan is relatively inexpensive when it comes to occupying your time and even internal transport. Most gardens and shrines are free to visit and cheap convenience stores and vending machines are aplenty. There is still the initial shock of hotel prices and the cost of a rail pass, but Japan doesn’t have to be the ultra-expensive travel destination it is made out to be.