Tokyo’s best places for kids
The Happiest Place on Earth is one of the best destinations to enjoy Tokyo with kids. Home to all of Disney’s most iconic attractions including Splash Mountain, Alice’s Tea Party ride, Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride and Peter Pan’s Flight, Tokyo Disneyland is fun for the whole family.
As a popular place for travelling families, reserving tickets in advance is a good idea with a multi-day passport offering the best value for families that want to visit the park several times over a few days. Staying onsite at one of the Disney hotels is also a smart way to minimise travel time and enjoy the convenience of being a stone’s throw from all the attractions.
A mini city made especially for children, KidZania enables children to role play at being an adult for a day. With a range of ‘jobs’ on offer, kids can move from station to station learning how to become a baker, police officer, pilot, banker, scientist and more. A highly interactive experience, children will be kept busy learning about all the different professions and life paths that can be taken in life while having fun dressing up as a firefighter, watercolour artist, chef or dentist. Book tickets online before arrival to avoid queues.
Dominating Tokyo’s skyline, the Tokyo Skytree offers the ultimate view of the city from above. Children will love ascending to the viewing platform area in the lightning-quick elevator and little daredevils will enjoy getting their photo taken standing over the city centre on a glass platform. Taking time out in one of the on-site cafes or restaurants is a great way to dine with city views like no other, while heading to the retail precinct below is a good idea if souvenir shopping is on the family agenda.
Legoland Discovery Centre
Lego lovers will get a kick out of spending a day indoors at the Legoland Discovery Centre. The perfect rainy day destination or place to visit after you’ve seen the sights, Legoland is the type of place both adults and children will enjoy in equal measures. Featuring a 4D cinema, factory tour, creative workshops and a range of rides, Legoland has enough attractions to keep big and small kids entertained for hours.
Located near Harajuku Station, this large urban park offers a slice of serenity when the crowds of Tokyo get overwhelming. Featuring wide lawns, ponds filled with koi fish, a bird sanctuary and landscaped gardens, this is the ideal spot for young children to burn off some energy in nature. Whether you choose to wander around the park at a relaxed pace or pack a picnic and linger for a long lunch in the sunshine, Yoyogi Park is one of Tokyo’s finest outdoor spaces for families.
Tokyo Character Street
Apart from getting people where they need to go, Tokyo’s main railway station is also a thriving retail precinct. Known as Tokyo Station City, this massive area is filled with stores selling everything from fresh food to clothing.
One of the biggest drawcards is undoubtedly Tokyo Character Street – an area filled with shops selling character-themed merchandise. A real winner for kids of all ages, Tokyo Character Street is one of the best places to find all things Pokemon, Snoopy, Hello Kitty and Miffy. With more than 15 stores dedicated to popular animated characters, it’s hard to leave Tokyo Character Street without making a purchase so be sure to pack your pocket money!
Tweens and teens will love the bright colours, loud music and fun energy of the Harajuku area, especially the shops, cafes and food outlets lined along the pedestrian thoroughfare known as Takeshita Street.
While fashion is a focus here, food is also a big part of the experience, with sugary snacks like pastel-coloured fairy floss sticks, chocolate-filled crepes and matcha-flavoured soft serve ice cream on offer. As an area well-trodden by tourists, this place can get very crowded during peak periods, so isn’t the best choice for families travelling with babies or small children, but older children will simply love it.
With cuisine featuring unfamiliar ingredients and many menus only available in Japanese, finding appropriate places to eat with children can sometimes be challenging in a place like Tokyo. Thankfully, there are plenty of child-appropriate options if you know where to look. Kids will love visiting one of Tokyo’s many character-themed cafés and restaurants.
From a Hello Kitty-themed café, to an Alice in Wonderland restaurant, Snoopy Café and an eatery dedicated to Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit, Tokyo knows how to deliver meals with a side serving of fun. Menus at character cafes typically feature the type of fare popular with children (pancakes, omelettes, French toast and ice cream sundaes) so put one of Tokyo’s cute character cafés on the list if travelling with fussy eaters.
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