Kyoto with a Toddler (Tips for the Shinkansen Ride)

Going to Kyoto from Tokyo station via Shinkansen isn’t as daunting as it sounds.
I’m no expert but here are some tips on riding the shinkansen with a toddler.


1 Bring a stroller and a carrier
You never know when you’ll need one or the other. Don’t be lazy! Hahaha! Bring both!

The stations are very stroller friendly. They have elevators and escalators everywhere.

Compact strollers fit in front of the seats (2 paying seats). Little A was sleeping on the cart during the ride so we just positioned her in front of our seats. You could also fold the stroller and keep them at the back (near the doors) or put it on the overhead luggage compartment.

2 Food and drinks.
You can make your own bento or buy from the station.  The options are numerous. If you have time to spend, there are also lots of restaurants available inside. We took the earliest available train so we only bought food just in case we get hungry (we always are!)


Bento Box Artwork



They also sell food inside the train but your choices will be limited. On the upside though, they sell ice cream if you’re craving for one.

Drinks are available, too!

3 Entertainment
The train ride took less than 3 hours but some sort of entertainment might be required to keep your little one occupied.

Two little girls and one baby boy, who were seated beside us, provided Little A onboard entertainment. They were eating, giggling, whining, playing, and crying. Little A was amused by them all.

Books, pencils, toys. Anything that could make those tiny hands and curious minds busy.

4 Be early
The trains leave on time. You lose your reserved seats if you don’t go on the correct time.

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Babies don’t read time, do they? Elevators might be farther than where your coach is, so that’s extra walking or in our case, sprinting time required.

5 Consider sending your luggages ahead
Kuroneko has takyubin services where you can send your luggage ahead of time so you’re not lugging your…uhmmm…luggages. You already have your hands full with your baby.

6 Watch for Mount Fuji
You can see Fuji on the right side (seats c and d) some time past Shin Yokohama. About 50 to 60 minutes into the ride.

7 Prepare your things (and baby) when the music chimes
The trainstop is really jusy short enough to offload passengers and load new passengers. If you are anything like us, you’ll have tons of things to put back (jackets, unfinished bento boxes, water bottles, toys). So, prepare ahead of time. Also, see number 5 to make things easier for you!

8 Don’t be rude
Return your seats to the upright position. While you’re at it, make sure you didn’t leave any trash. If you turned the chairs to face your companions, be sure to return the chairs front facing.

Remember the 3 kids? The mom brought a trash bag with her to stuff all the bento boxes and bottles they used! Brilliant!

If you have other tips, feel free to leave a comment!

Follow our adventures in Kyoto (and later, Osaka)!