Off to Japan tonight

Tokyo Tower

We’re leaving Dubai (temporarily) tonight.

The flight is long, an hour from Dubai to Doha, then three hours of layover at Doha Airport and then onwards to Narita (Japan) for 11+ hours. Fifteen hours after leaving our apartment in Dubai you’d think it would be great to hit the bed, no? No. We have to take a train from Narita Airport to our accommodation in Tokyo, give or take 2-3 hours more.

Sounds exhausting no doubt but never mind, it’s been four years since Pristine and I have been back to Japan (the husband has been traveling there frequently so he might not be missing anything) and first time for Benjamin so I’ll endure everything.

I’ve mentioned about my ‘worries’ about this travel. I can assure you they’re real.

The fears and worries and anxieties range from small, petty things like “how many diapers would I bring on the plane?” or “what happens when he poops?” to big things like how am I going to go through the subways in Tokyo with two kids in tow, alone? And the crowd – this is not a child friendly city at all – for example, I have not seen a lot of escalators in Shinjuku (Tokyo’s main thoroughfare station) for moms with strollers. Elevators are almost non-existent. It’s like the city is not built for those with small children. No wonder Japan is having trouble with its declining population.

And the crowd. People who are literally scampering around, running like it’s the last day of the world.You don’t want to mess up with that crowd, not when you’re carrying a small child with you!

For the first week of our stay in Japan, my husband will be on an official business trip so it’s only me and the kids. No biggie, really as I know the way + I have Google maps. But there’s a little boy involved and I may just faint in exhaustion while carrying him, the diaper bag and most probably the folded stroller when I reach the train platforms if I can’t find an elevator.

We could play it safe and just stay at the hotel but I am bent on taking these kids to Tokyo’s beautiful parks. There are huge green patches in the middle of the big city.

Meiji jingu and Tokyo on the background

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Let them bask in the summer sun that is not hot enough to burn them (hello Dubai, I’m looking at you!) and release them barefoot to feel the green grass on the earth. Typhoon and rainy season is not yet over in Japan right now but peculiarly, I am also looking forward to that!

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

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I have been waiting for this moment to come, for years.

After Tokyo, we will be going to Niigata to renew my Japanese driver’s license and visit Kono bachan‘s resting place. Then to Matsumoto where we lived before we relocated in the UAE.

Another worry comes to life: we will be staying in our previous house – the one we left and rented out. The tenant left a couple of months ago so we decided to stay in that house.

There is nothing on there. NOTHING. No curtains, no beddings. Nothing but the roof, floor and walls.

Bare house in tatami

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Great former neighbor friends have offered to lend us beddings, a small table and some cutlery. Other than that, we will be living minimally. No TV, no microwave, no chairs (thankfully, we can sit on the wooden floor and tatami mats in Japan).  Other necessities we have to buy. We will be living as basic as we can {that strikes a bit of fear chord in me}. We don’t have a car as well – so plan on renting/borrowing bicycles!

Thankfully, there will be internet on my phone. That is important.

Because we can’t stay at my in-law’s house due to personal reasons. Logistically, it would be better there but my in-law is not feeling well and asked for privacy. Moving on…

Pristine will be attending Japanese elementary school (taiken nyuugaku) as a visitor for three weeks. It’s a great chance for her to immerse in the culture, language and general feel of being with other Japanese kids at school. I am so excited for her. Japanese schools boasts of the best school lunches called “kyuushoku” – yummy and very homely Japanese food for children. Kyuushoku is also very healthy – it is very rare to find an obese child in Japan!

Top photo credit


  1. Bon voyage!

    Hope all your travelling goes smoothly with the kids. I’m excited to learn of your impressions of being back in Japan and how it has changed. Lots of pics please 🙂




  2. I am so excited for you and the kids. A bit jealous too. 🙂

    Can’t wait to read all about it later. Especially Pristine’s experience in the school. Have a great time!



  3. What a great adventure! I know Benjamin will not remember this, but Pristine will and to her this is the equivalent of a camping trip! Don’t look too hard for perfection. Just enjoy the crazy adventure! PS: Airlines almost always have an extra diaper on board.



  4. I can imagine your worries.. thankfully you have Pristine. Can’t wait for you to share pictures while the kids enjoy the greens and the weather. have a wonderful vacay.



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