How well-equipped is this city for those raising infants/toddlers? Specifically, are there public places to change diapers, maintained playgrounds, etc?
There are playgrounds in many neighborhoods. There are diaper-changing facilities in some department stores.
Where can I get a list of reliable childcare providers/nannies?
Contact Crown Tokyo for a list of providers.
Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.
Many neighborhoods have narrow streets, with many cars and motorcycles. In addition, there are many bicycles on the sidewalks. Pedestrian smoking is illegal in central Tokyo, but can still be seen elsewhere.
What are the most popular kid-friendly attractions in the area?
Zoorasia and Sea Paradise are popular in Yokohama, along with the tall-mast ship Nippon-Maru near Sakuragicho station and the 1920s Hikawa-maru ship docked next to Yamashita Park. There are historical sites on the Bluff, and a prehistoric village at the Yokohama History Museum in Center Kita on the municipal subway blue line. Inquire at the Yokohama Country & Athletic Club concerning their soccer program for children as well. For parents with Japanese language ability, Kidzania in Tokyo is popular. Yokohama has many good libraries, many with a section of books in English and other foreign languages.
What are the most popular activities for kids after school or on weekends?
School clubs and sports.
What's it like to be a teenager in this city? Are there any particular challenges I should be aware of as a parent?
There are many interesting places for teens to go and public transportation makes it easy. Social activities tend to group by school.
Are there any organizations/social groups in the area that cater exclusively to young people ages 12-17?
School sports clubs, private clubs such as Yokohama Country & Athletic Club and church youth groups offer a lot for this age group.
I want my child to get the most out of our stay in this country. Are there any specific opportunities to teach young people about the local culture?
Japanese language study is a good way to learn about the culture. "Kumon" school is an after-school activity with Japanese language and math.
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