Travel restrictions continue to stall our family trip to Tokyo

  • Yurina Yoshikawa holds an M.F.A. from Columbia University and teaches fiction and non-fiction writing at The Porch Writers’ Collective.

A few weeks ago, my husband found a fancy travel crib online that folded up into a backpack and met the airlines’ carry-on restrictions. We have two sons, a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old, and we were planning on traveling to Tokyo for Christmas.

Our youngest son was born in May 2020, and he has never set foot outside of Nashville due to the pandemic. This baby is a good sleeper—but his older brother is not.

Although we have tried every trick in the book, our three-year-old can only fall asleep sandwiched between me and my husband on what used to be the parents-only queen-size bed. I wake up most mornings with his feet on my face. 

So when I imagined what it would be like to travel internationally with these two children, I knew we had to invest in this travel crib.  

Around the time the travel crib arrived, the Omicron variant was discovered and the Japanese government closed its borders to non-citizens—including my Japanese-American husband. 

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COVID-19’s impact on my family’s travel plans to Japan 

Yurina Yoshikawa

I am a Japanese citizen, and our boys have dual citizenship— which meant that the three of us could still use our tickets and go to Tokyo. Again, I tried to imagine the trip: the travel crib on my back and the boys on the double-stroller. The three of us squeezing into an Economy Class bathroom. It was possible—but unfathomable.   

The last time I was in Tokyo, I was pregnant with our second son around Christmas-time in 2019. We spent most of our time with my parents in their little apartment with their two Yorkshire terriers. 

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