The special Chugginton train-themed room (Photo: Mandy Bartok)

Family-Friendly Epinard Nasu

A resort that keeps kids in mind

The special Chugginton train-themed room (Photo: Mandy Bartok)
Mandy Bartok   - 4 min read

It's not always easy to escape as a family, when the number of suitcases threatens to outnumber the members of your party or the demands of caring for younger kids are not well accommodated. That's why Naqua's Epinard Nasu resort is a breath of fresh air for vacationing families, as the hotel goes out of its way to accommodate even its littlest guests.

The kid-friendly service starts at check-in, when guests are offered a wide range of baby or child gear. Such equipment as strollers, child seats for toilets, bottle warmers and bath chairs are available, all provided free of charge.

Families who want a unique resort experience should book one of the rooms on the 3rd floor of the hotel's Annex Tower. This floor is known as the kids' floor, and guests are greeted by colorful murals and animal silhouettes on the walls as soon as they exit the elevators. Large suites cater to extended families, with low beds and soft corners perfectly tailored to the under-6 set, while older family members and even grandparents can sleep comfortably on futons in the separate tatami area. Picture books and toys are a fun diversion, while parents will appreciate the in-room diaper pails and soft corners on all furniture. Other rooms cater particularly to babies, with plenty of padded floor space and a crib situated next to the large bed. These rooms even provide all the appliances needed to prepare food or heat up milk. For a truly memorable vacation, book your little train enthusiast into the Chuggington suite. From pillows and wall murals - even over the bathtub! - of the famous character to an actual train set in the corner of the room, this kid-friendly room is a real crowd pleaser.

For families, the buffet restaurant is among the best options for meals, where all members are treated to fresh local produce, beef and dairy products in a variety of preparations. Children can help themselves from the kids' corner buffet, where a selection of palate-pleasing foods (think fried shrimp, hamburg steak, and pasta) are accompanied by fresh vegetables, sushi rolls, rice and soups. The buffet is actually sized for toddlers and up, making kids feel independent as they fill their own plates. If parents want to indulge linger a bit over the buffet or indulge in a special night out at the hotel's 13th floor French restaurant, a babysitting service is offered on the 1st floor.

There are plenty of activities to keep young visitors busy. In the main building, the heated pool is a hugely popular perk for families, while the game room just opposite is filled with many characters kids will recognize. For those seeking some quieter pursuits, the second floor book corner just above the lobby provides picture books, blocks and crayons and paper.

Kids are welcome to try their hand at jewelry or pottery making in the craft cabin. In winter, a popular hands-on activity is the make-you-own snow globe, the perfect souvenir. In warmer weather, the mini-golf course provides an afternoon of entertainment while pedal-less bikes and a ropes course are also available. Nearby, youngsters will enjoy the Teddy Bear Museum, the Alpaca Farm or the Nasu Zoo. In winter, a few of the zoos residents actually come to the lobby of the hotel for a meet-and-greet with guests (Mondays and Fridays from December to March).

Unlike some resorts, where amenities for children can often be an afterthought, Epinard Nasu makes every effort to accommodate their youngest guests, while making sure the family as a whole has a memorable experience.

Mandy Bartok

Mandy Bartok @mandy.bartok

Japan resident for 10 years, with time spent in Okinawa, Kumamoto and Tokyo.