Japan is a safe and family-friendly travel destination. There’s no shortage of activities and attractions to keep kids of all ages entertained.
Here are 12 things to do in Tokyo with kids on your next visit.
1. Shop: Tokyo Character Street, at JR Tokyo Station
Located in the basement of JR Tokyo Station, Yaesu North Exit, Tokyo Character Street is a collection of themed stores featuring popular characters like Rilakkuma, Pokemon, Miffy and Moomin. Take a break from shopping and visit nearby Tokyo Ramen Street or Tokyo Okashi Land. At Tokyo Ramen Street, you can try ramen (egg noodles) from popular shops all across Japan. At Tokyo Okashi Land, try the Poteriko hot chips from Calbee+ or take home some giant rainbow Pocky from Glicoya Kitchen.
Opening hours: 10:00-20:30
2. Shop: Kiddy Land
Kiddy Land is one of the biggest and most well-known toy shops in Japan. There are a few stores throughout the country including one at Harajuku. Shop your favourite toys from Disney, Hello Kitty, Rilakkuma, Miffy and much more tax-free.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 11:00 to 21:00 and Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10:30 to 21:00
Address: Harajuku Store, 6-1-9 Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
3. Experience: Studio Ghibli Museum
Studio Ghibli is an animation house often touted as the Disney of Japan. It’s famous for producing hit films including Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro and Howl’s Moving Castle. The museum in Mitaka is a magical place for kids of all ages.
You must buy tickets in advance as they’re not available at the door. Advance tickets can be bought from the authorised overseas sales agent JTB Australia. Tickets through JTB go on sale from the 1st of each month for the following four months (e.g. tickets for June 1 through September 30 go on sale on June 1).
They can also be bought online from Lawson Ticket. Online tickets go on sale from the 10th of the month prior (e.g. tickets for July 1 through July 31 go on sale on June 10).
Plan your trip accordingly, as you can only enter on the fixed time and date of your ticket.
Tip: For a complete experience, head to Shiro-hige’s Cream Puff Factory for a Totoro-shaped cream puff before or after your visit!
Studio Ghibli Museum
Address: 1-1-83 Simorenjaku, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo 181-0013
Shiro-hige’s Cream Puff Factory
Opening hours: 10:00-19:00 (closed on Tuesdays, except on public holidays). If Tuesday is a public holiday, they will close on Wednesday.
Address: 5-3-1 Daita, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 155-0033
4. See: Tokyo Skytree
At 634 metres high, Tokyo Skytree is the largest free-standing broadcasting tower in the world. There are observation decks at 350m and 450m above street-level. Enjoy a cup of tea or an ice-cream with a birds eye view of the sprawling Tokyo metropolis. After visiting, explore the 300 shops and restaurants at nearby Solamachi – Skytree Town. There is a Pokemon Center there.
Tip: It’s best to visit on a clear day. You can get same-day tickets, or for those that don’t want to spend too much time queuing up, you can buy a Fast Skytree Ticket, available only to tourists from a separate counter.
Opening hours: 8:00-22:00 daily (Last admission : 21:00)
Address: 1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida, Tokyo 131-0045
5. Experience: Tokyo Disney Resort
Tokyo Disney Resort is made up of two parks: Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea. The former is like the Disneyland in Anaheim, with characters walking around and familiar popular attractions in themed ‘lands’. The latter is a theme park inspired by ocean tales legends, with seven themed areas called ‘ports’. It’s unique to Japan. Tokyo Disney Resort also uses the FastPass system for popular attractions at no extra cost. Insert your ticket into a FastPass distribution machine so you can return and ride it at your allocated time.
If you want to enjoy both parks, consider staying at one of the hotels in the area. Some of the official Disney hotels have themed rooms.
Opening hours: Check the Park calendar
Address: 1-1 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture 279-0031
6. Experience: Sanrio Puroland
Sanrio Puroland is a Hello Kitty indoor theme park located in Tama, in outer Tokyo. Enjoy parades, shows, meet & greets with your favourite Hello Kitty and friends characters, shopping and dining.
Tip: For an extra special experience, stay at a Hello Kitty themed room at the Keio Plaza Hotel Tama.
Opening hours: 8:30-20:00
Address: 1-31 Ochiai, Tama, Tokyo 206-8588
7. Experience: The Cupnoodles Museum
The Cupnoodles Museum is an interactive museum located in Yokohama, about 30 mins from Tokyo by train. Learn all about how cup noodles are made and even make your own special flavoured cup noodles to take home with you!
Tip: To try the hands-on experiences like make your own chicken ramen or cup noodles, get there early as they hand out numbered tickets on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Opening hours: 10:00 – 18:00 (Last admission is at 17:00)
Address: 2-3-4 Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama 231-0001
8. Experience: Legoland Discovery Center
Legoland Discovery Center was Japan’s first LEGO attraction, located in Decks Mall in Odaiba. This attraction is made for smaller children (aged 3-10) and everything is kid-sized. There are displays, rides, a building centre for LEGO and DUPLO, a cafe, 4D cinema and more.
Tip: All adults must be accompanied by a child to visit.
Opening hours: Weekdays: 10:00 – 20:00 (Last admission 18:00), weekends & public holidays: 10am- 21:00 (Last admission 19:00)
Address: 1-6-1 Decks Tokyo Beach Island Mall 3F, Odaiba, Minato-ku,Tokyo 135-0091
9. Experience: KidZania
KidZania is a city founded by children of the world, where children can role-play as adults in over 100 occupations. Learn about society while having fun and earn kidZos (the local currency). As an adult, you are not allowed to participate in activities, but can watch from monitors or special viewing areas.
Most of the activities are in Japanese, but limited English language programs are available daily. Check the website for more details.
- 1st shift: 9:00 – 15:00
- 2nd shift 16:00 – 21:00
Address: Urban Dock LaLaport, 2-4-9 Toyosu, Koto, Tokyo 135-0061
10. Eat: Kawaii Monster Cafe
Try rainbow-coloured food at Kawaii Monster Cafe in Harajuku, surrounded by art by Sebastian Masuda. Harajuku girls will guide you to your table!
Monday – Saturday & day before public holidays lunch: 11:30 – 16:30 (last order 16:00)
Monday – Saturday & day before public holidays dinner: 18:00 – 22:30 (last order 22:00)
Sunday & Public holidays 11:00 – 20:00 (last order 19:30)
Address: YM square building 4F, 4-31-10, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001
11. Eat: Zauo
Zauo is a unique restaurant where you catch your own fish! The restaurant’s main area is shaped like a boat, lined with tanks. When seated, hosts will give you rods and bait. If you catch a fish, staff will come to your table, and cook your fish how you like (e.g. grilled, deep-fried, sashimi or sushi). No luck at fishing? You can still order off the menu.
In Tokyo there are several branches, including one at Shinjuku and Shibuya. See the full list here. Online bookings available in English via OpenTable.
Opening hours (Shinjuku branch):
Weekday lunch 11:30-14:30 (last order 14:00)
Weekday dinner 17:00-23:00 (last order 22:00)
Weekends and holidays lunch 11:30-14:30 (last order 14:30)
Weekends and holidays dinner 16:00-23:00 (last order 22:00)
Address (Shinjuku branch): 3-2-9, Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0023
12. Experience: Fuji Q Highland and Thomas Land
Take your older kids to Fuji Q Highland, a theme park located in the Fuji Five Lakes region of Yamanashi Prefecture. The park boasts views of Mt Fuji. From Tokyo, you can get there by train or bus in around two hours. Fuji Q Highland is home to some terrifying and thrilling rides and attractions like Takabisha with one of the steepest drops in the world, Dododonpa with the fastest acceleration and the Super Scary Labyrinth of Fear, a walk through house of horrors.
For families with smaller children or the elderly, Thomas Land is a good option. Thomas Land, part of Fuji Q Highland, is the only Thomas and Friends-themed park in Japan, with ten different attractions, restaurants, cafes and stores.
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