Cultural Rules When Dining With A Baby In Japan

Are there any cultural rules when dining with a baby in Japan?

Updated November 15, 2019 | by Chad A. Thiele, 23 year veteran of Tokyo.

Dining with a baby, or even a young child can be a challenge anywhere, let alone Japan where you probably can’t read the signs around you.

Are there any specific rules when dining in Japan with a baby? Here’s a nice simple answer for you:


Not really.

But… you will need to be careful of a couple things:

  1. Smoking — there are still a lot of restaurants in Japan that allow for smoking and often don’t really offer good separation from patrons who don’t smoke. You’re probably going to want to avoid them with your baby. Update 2019, smoking restaurants are being less and less, but there are often closed off smoking sections to be aware of.
  2. Pubs — many “restaurants” are izakaya (Japanese pubs) and can have loud, boisterous, fun, amazing atmosphere — but not suited for babies, unfortunately. Though I highly recommend finding a sitter and enjoying an izakaya when you can.

Video time

This is a video of a mom showing her baby dining at a conveyor belt sushi restaurant. One thing to notice is the baby seat that hooks to the edge of the table. This is common in large Japanese restaurant chains. 

Hand-picked articles to help more

There aren’t really any cultural rules to worry about while dining, so I did some extra research to find the experiences others had while traveling around Japan with a baby — you may find these helpful:

Adventures with Baby in Japan

If you are planning a holiday with your baby in a safe, clean and friendly country with lots of cultural experiences, then consider Japan!

Three generations – grandparents (that’s us), my daughter and her husband and our little grandson recently spent a few weeks in Japan. Felix was then 11 months old and already an intrepid traveler. It helped that he wasn’t walking yet!

My top 10 tips for travelling with a baby in Japan are –

Continue on Japan National Tourism Organization


For any grown-up visitor, Japan is an exotic destination. It is a unique country that offers an exciting escape from the familiar surroundings with its peculiarity being part of the captivating appeal.

The big question, however, remains; what about taking your baby or even a wide-eyed six or eight-year-old kid on his/her first long-haul holiday to Japan?

Continue on Wanderlust Storytellers

Baby Formula Milk in Japan: The Complete Guide (2019)

Whether you’re traveling in Japan and simply ran out of formula milk, or you’re new parent and expat with no clue which formula you should buy, this article is here to help.

Continue on Sightsee and Sushi

Why Japan Is One of the Most Unique Destinations With A Toddler

Bebe Voyage recently had the pleasure of hearing from travelers Gyongyi and Jurgen; Hungarian and Dutch parents living in Amsterdam.

They chose to take a sabbatical after their daughter Mirin was born to travel, meet other people, and experience different cultures.

They shared with us their stories of the unique delights and challenges they experienced while traveling through Japan

Continue on BeBe Yoyage

2 thoughts on “Are there any cultural rules when dining with a baby in Japan?”

    • Hi Ada!

      Thanks for the heads up. I’ve updated the article.

      Yea, I think I’m permanently going to be here now. Been 23 years already, no signs of leaving yet. 🙂

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