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What type of stroller should you use for two children in Tokyo?

Japan With Kids - Forums: Suggest a Main Topic: What type of stroller should you use for two children in Tokyo?
By Kristin Thomas on Thursday, January 20, 2005 - 5:05 am:

I am moving to Tokyo with a two year old and a baby. What type of double stoller is best? A side by side or a Tandem? I have never even visited Tokyo, so I have no idea what walking around is like. Does anyone have an opinion?

By Bethan Hutton on Thursday, January 20, 2005 - 10:35 am:

Pavements here (when they exist) are very narrow, and doorways/aisles in shops are also very narrow, so I think you would probably do better with a tandem, though they can also be difficult to get around cramped shops, and are pretty much impossible on the subway system unless you are absolutely sure that every station you use has working elevators.

You don't see many double strollers here, other than for actual twins; usually the older child walks, or the baby is carried. In general children here stop using strollers by the time they are three. We got a lot of funny looks when my son was three, though admittedly big for his age, and was still riding in a stroller sometimes.

Depending on how good at walking the two-year-old is, and how big and heavy the baby is, you could think about using a buggy board most of the time, and carry the baby in a sling when the two year old needs to sit down.

By Suzanne on Thursday, January 20, 2005 - 4:17 pm:

Hi Kristin,

I moved here in Oct with a 10 1/2 month
old and a 2 1/2 year old (now 1 & 3) I
have a side by side stroller and think it's
great. I am able to get into most elevators
and through most doorways. There are
many stores I can't enter with my double
stroller and it can be difficult on the
subway. But I don't think that a tandem
stroller would be any easier.

In fact, I think a tandem stroller may be a
bit more difficult - the elevators tend to be
short here, so they may be difficult getting
into them and it would be difficult, if not
impossible, to get your a tandem stroller
on an escalator. There are many
escalators that are too narrow for my side
by side as well, but it fits on some.

I have a Maclaren Twin Traveler and I
would recommend it. As for a buggy
board, it's not a bad idea and many people
use them. I haven't used one yet, but my
3 year old daughter wants to sit down
when she's tired, especially if her sister is
sitting down.

I also tried wearing my younger daughter
in a sling and pushing my older daughter
in the stroller. That killed my back, my
youngest is quite big.

It can be challenging, but so can
everything when moving to a new country.

Hope this helps.

By Julie Barry on Thursday, January 20, 2005 - 9:18 pm:

I just moved here at the end of December. I have a 2 year old and a 3 year old. They are both very used to riding in the stroller for long walks so letting them both ride allows me to explore large sections of our neighborhood without any fussing. Priceless for a newcomer!

I use a side by side stroller. I bought a new Maclaren Twin Traveler before we moved. I am very glad that I did. I have used both tandem and side by sides in the past and feel that a side by side is easier to maneuver, especially if you are walking a lot, which you will be. Some of the sidewalks are very bumpy, and I don't believe tandems do as well with bumps.
Anyhow, we are not able to enter some of the very small stores, but we have had no problems in the western supermarkets. You would not be able to get around in those stores with a tandem stroller either.
You tend to see a lot of Maclarens here.
After being here, I realize that I need to buy a cheap single umbrella stroller for those times that it is not easy to take the double stroller. That way, I can let a sleepy child ride and let the other one walk.
The stroller question was heavy on my mind before we moved here. I feel I made the right decision.
Hope this helps!

By Caroline A. on Friday, January 21, 2005 - 9:38 am:


The MacLaren twin stroller is quite popular here in Tokyo and seems to work very well. It is light and fits on most sidewalks, elevators, shops, etc.

If you're baby is younger than 3-6 months you might want something more 'sturdy' than the MacLaren. Dreamers design ( a double jogger - The Ditto - which seems really good as well - you might want to compare its measures (w-l-h) to others such as the MacLaren.

Hope this helps

By Julie Osborn on Friday, January 21, 2005 - 7:07 pm:

One of the best things about living in
Tokyo is going everywhere with my
son in a carrier--no carseat, no bulky
stroller, no muss, no fuss. When it's
raining, I strap him on me, grab an
umbrella and go--no plastic covers
to attach, no extra blankets to get
caught in the wheels, etc. He is 2,
and I've been using the Ergo Baby
carrier since he outgrew the Bjorn at
6 months. His older sisters walk and
ride their bikes, but they are 6 and 8.
If you have a comfortable carrier for
your little one, then you can push
your older child in a stroller (the
more compact the better) until he
can walk longer distances. I mention
"compact" because store aisles can
be quite narrow (I feel for people in
wheelchairs!). I've seen foreign
moms with standard-size (American)
single strollers get stuck in the
produce aisle: double strollers
wouldn't have even made it in the
door! I mentioned the brand of my
baby carrier because I've fallen in
love with its comfort (there are hefty,
padded straps that rest on your hips,
so you carry the child's weight on
your hips, not your shoulders). Also,
flexibility, since you can carry your
child in front or on your back, piggy-
back style. My husband uses it too.
Check out their website
( if you have a
chance. Hope this helps!

By Caroline on Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 11:30 am:

What about a bycicle? That's THE way to go around where I live. Just an idea...

By Jason Crowe on Monday, July 17, 2006 - 9:09 am:

I'm not sure if they are in Japan yet but have you seen the phil & teds e3 stroller. it's a 3 wheel stroller which can be used as a single or double with the second seat just clicking in behind the first one. It's great as it is not wide like the twins and can accomodate both new borns and toddlers (4 positions). I brought mine over from New Zealand and it has been great.

By Jellund on Monday, July 17, 2006 - 9:52 am:

Jason - I heard that the Phil and Teds is a little bit too wide to fit through a lot of the Tokyo station gates, is that true? How have you found it at stations?

By Jason Crowe on Monday, July 17, 2006 - 11:04 am:

The times I have taken it through Tokyo I haven't had any issues but I tend to take the Smartbuggy by phil&teds and a back pack if I'm taking both kids into central Tokyo.

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