Have kids, will adventure: Japan

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Walking the cedar lined avenue towards upper Togakushi Shrine, Nagano Prefecture. Image: Dave Lock

Our love affair with Japan began nine years ago when my husband, Dave, and I spent a month honeymooning in Tokyo and snowboarding the mountains of Hakuba. We returned for a similar length trip with our daughter, Milla, when she was 20 months old, dividing our time between Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Kochi [Shikoku Island] and Nozawa Onsen. Earlier in 2016 we returned from our third trip, this time travelling with our two children, Milla [now aged 7] and Ari [3].

I've received a number queries about these trips and taking kids to Japan, so thought I'd share the places and highlights of our recent adventures, as well as some of the tips we've picked up travelling with younger kids in the country! This post covers our main destinations on this past trip - Tokyo, snow areas Nozawa Onsen and Myoko Kogen, and Gankoyama Treehouse Village - and concludes with our travel tips. Please note: this is a longer blog so if you're not interested in all the destinations just skip ahead! Please feel free to contribute to the conversation or sing out with questions in the comments section below!

Gankoyama treehouse: an 'off the grid, off the ground' nature play experience in Japan

Saturday, 27 February 2016

“Back when we were kids, we used to build and play in ‘secret bases’ out in the mountains. I initially started Gankoyama to bring back all the fun I used to have as a child.”

- Yoshinori Hiraga, ‘Master’ and founder of Gankoyama Tree House Village (as quoted in Outdoor Japan Magazine)

Hello! We recently enjoyed a wonderful 3.5 weeks holidaying as a family in Japan. One of the absolute highlights of the trip was our treehouse stay at Gankoyama. I hope you enjoy this blog I wrote on our experience, which was originally written for Nature Play SA (where I work as Social Media Manager and in nature play event support). I'm looking forward to sharing more on our trip, including the incredible natural places we visited and some cool Tokyo playgrounds! All the best, Claire