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30 best things to do in Tokyo with children on a Tokyo family trip
In this Tokyo family trip blog you can find:
- The best Tokyo kids attractions
- Tips for Tokyo travel with kids
- How to get around in Tokyo with kids
- Best kid friendly hotels in Tokyo
The perfect Tokyo itinerary with kids: 30 fun Tokyo family attractions
Tokyo is a brilliant city for kids and the most favored destination in Japan for families. There are numerous attractions and things for kids in Tokyo, that could easily keep a family busy for a week or more.
A fun and easy way to introduce a new culture to the children. This is a terrific tour of the energetic Shibuya neighborhood, packed with iconic sites and a great opportunity to try Japanese food (and quite kid-friendly).
Highly recommended if you can only do one tour during your family trip to Tokyo and a perfect way to explore Shibuya for kids!
A private tour is excellent for families wondering where to bring kids in Tokyo. A private guide can create the perfect Tokyo itinerary for family and include many kid-friendly attractions.
This will allow you to see a lot in a short time, and create a perfect family friendly Tokyo trip!
3. National Museum of Nature and Science
You can find an array of hands-on fun at this attraction and it may well be the best science museum in Tokyo. It’s also hands-down one of the best family things to do in Tokyo, as almost every floor of the museum houses kid-friendly exhibits, which are as much about learning as there are about having fun.
The National Museum of Nature and Science is only a short 5-minute walk from JR Station and Ueno Subway.
Please note the museum is closed on Mondays. However, if Monday is a national holiday, the Museum stays open and will be closed on the following Tuesday.
4. Tokyo Disneyland
Disneyland is always an amazing experience for the kids. Your kids can’t miss the dreamland version of Tokyo while visiting Tokyo on a family trip. While it’s not cheap and gets crowded, it;s certainly an experience your kids will love.
Travel tip: buy your tickets online to skip the queue!
5. Fire Museum
Here you and your little ones can freely explore traditional and modern exhibits, learn about firefighting through media, and take part in hands-on activities. Let them try on a uniform of a Japanese firefighter, gawk at trucks and ride in a helicopter – there’re so many things to do!
The Fire Museum is easily accessible from Yotsuya 3-chome stop and is closed on Mondays. If Monday is a national holiday, the Museum stays open and will be closed on the following Tuesday (as is the case with several of the kid friendly Tokyo museums on this list).
6. Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan)
There is so much going on at the Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (all with English signage!), families should plan on at least a half day visit. The exhibitions targets a wide range of ages, many of them are very interesting for adults as well.
The Miraikan will offer lots of kid-friendly fun for families looking for interesting things to do in Tokyo for kids. The talking robot, Asimo, has demonstrations several times per day.
The Miraikan museum is located near Fune-no-Kagakukan station and is closed on most Tuesdays. More information can be found here.
7. Museum of Maritime Science
The Museum of Maritime Science is a large museum that showcases everything and anything to do with boats. With indoor and outdoor exhibits, this place is a terrific day out for boat lovers.
While this is not specifically a child destination, there are lots of things that will keep your kids intrigued. For starters, the museum building looks like a giant ship, as it’s modeled after a British ocean liner.
8. Legoland Discovery Center
One of the great places for kids in Tokyo is the Legoland Discovery Center! A hands-on destination with various building blocks (from small to large), models of Tokyo, indoor playgrounds and a short ride where you can shoot at different targets.
The best thing in the Legoland Discovery Center might be the game where you try to pass through a hallway as fast as possible, while avoiding the laser beams that can be easily overlooked.
The Legoland Discovery Center is open 7 days a week and an excellent destination regardless of the weather.
9. RiSuPia Panasonic Digital Network Museum
Another hands-on museum, devoted to math and science (and Panasonic products). Each visitor receives a handheld tablet upon entering the museum, something which your kids will surely love.
These tables can be scanned at each exhibit and will display an explanation about the science behind the artifacts and games.
10. Ghibli Museum
A brilliant and whimsical museum from Miyazaki Hayao, an animator making films like Ponyo and Spirited Away. This museum is fun to visit for both kids and adults alike.
Important: as this is one of the most popular places to visit in Tokyo with kids, you need to book tickets a few months in advance! Note that the museum is closed on Tuesdays.
11. The Railway Museum (Saitama City)
The Railway Museum is awesome for both young kids and train buffs! This brand new museum is situated in Saitama, a suburb of Tokyo. While it will take a bit of time and effort to get here, the museum is well worth the trip.
As can be expected from a Railway Museum, you and your kids can learn about lots of different trains (freight vehicles, imperial carriages, passenger carriages, diesel railcars, electric railcars, locomotives, etc). However, kids will also love the mini train and the train simulators.
Take a JR train from Ueno to Omiya and than a shuttle to Tetsudo-Hakubutsukan. The journey takes about an hour. Note that the museum is closed every Tuesday.
12. The Tokyo Tower
One of the best Tokyo attractions for kids is without a doubt the Tokyo Tower! The Tower is a perfect spot for you and your little ones to take in the dazzling cityscape below.
While the iconic red structure can be appreciated from below (especially when it lights up at night), the real thrill comes from climbing to the top to catch the 360° views of the city.
The Tokyo Tower is open 7 days a week. Buy your ticket online to save your family some time!
13. Hato Bus Tokyo Tours
Hato Bus is the most well-known tour bus in Tokyo. This famous bus tour has provided Japanese and foreign tourists with interesting and convenient tours in Tokyo for over a half-century.
There are also tours conducted in English. The 1-hour open-air bus leaves from Shinjuku and is a highly recommended Tokyo activity for kids!
14. Science Museum (in Kitanomaru-Koen)
Situated in Kitanomaru Park, this is one of the three science museums found in Tokyo. Your kids will surely enjoy the well-designed interactive exhibits in this great museum.
The museum has numerous demonstrations led by the knowledgeable museum staff. When you arrive, do a quick walk through the museum to see which shows are scheduled for that day, so you can select the most interesting ones for your child(ren) and base your visit upon these showtimes.
The museum is closed on Wednesdays. However, if Wednesday is a national holiday, the Museum stays open and will be closed on the following day.
This is an awesome Tokyo kid-friendly destination and particularly recommended for kids in ages 4-12 years old. Kids can play-act their favorite careers with uniforms and lots of real-world accessories.
From engineers to firemen, dentists to cooks, there are around 40 different careers in total! Everything is a bit smaller than in real life (about 2/3 of the actual size).
Important: as this is also one of the most popular and fun things to do with kids in Tokyo, you have to book tickets at least a month in advance!
15. Joypolis Entertainment Center
Still wondering where to go in Tokyo with kids? No worries, we are only halfway through this list! The Joypolis Entertainment Center is an indoor amusement park in Odaiba. There are lots of games and even a couple of small scale rides, your kids will very much enjoy this place.
16. Tokyo Edo Museum
The Edo-Tokyo Museum is considered one of the best museums in Tokyo. Housing replicas of Tokyo home life and street life, your kids can learn about life in Japan. Free tours are conducted in English, more information can be found here.
18. Tokyo Dome City (Amusement Park)
Another good example of fun things for kids in Tokyo is Tokyo Dome City. Located in central Tokyo, you don’t have to make the trip all the way to Disneyland for lots of games and rides in a lively kid-friendly atmosphere. Open 7 days a week.
19. Toyota Mega Web
If your kids are into cars, they will love this place. There is a car simulator, race cars and a mini-car racetrack.
Don’t make a special trip for this activity, however, if you are already in Odaiba (for activity 15 or 22), it’s well worth a visit.
20. Baseball Games
Sporty kids (or even kids who aren’t that into sports) will have a blast watching a basketball game. Japanese fans are quite crazy, they chant, sing and wave huge flags during the entire game! However, don’t worry, the atmosphere is very friendly making this a fun activity on a Tokyo family vacation.
21. Imperial Palace & Gardens
Not every kid may be interested in the palace and the details of the lives of the royal family. However, the gardens and grounds make a good open-air place to wander with your kids and let them run about, while adults can enjoy the impressive views of the palace.
The imperial palace is open only two days a year, on January 2nd and December 23dr. It is a 10-minute walk from Tokyo stop. The gardens are closed on Mondays and Fridays.
22. Boat tour around Tokyo
The best way to make a boat tour around Tokyo is to take the Water Bus from Asakusa to either Hama Rikyu or Odaiba (all 3 piers have subway stops nearby).
Combine a boat trip with exploring the streets of Asakusa and Nakamise Shopping Street, the famous Sensoji temple and by going up to the observation decks of the Tokyo Skytree (read more below).
23. Ninja Restaurant
The Ninja restaurant is one of the most child-friendly restaurants in Tokyo. Disappear through the door of this restaurant and enter a dark labyrinth of hidden bridges, caves and a replicated ninja village from the Edo era. This is a dining experience your kids won’t easily forget!
They will feel like little ninjas the entire time and don’t worry, there is a huge draw for the adults as well as the food is amazing. Book a table at least one week in advance.
24. Tokyo Skytree
From the Tokyo Sky Tree, your family can admire the extensive city of Tokyo and surrounding areas. While the Tokyo Tower offers excellent views as well and is closer to Shibuya and Shinjuku, going up the tallest building in Japan is definitely one of the things to do in Tokyo with family. You can buy Fast Track tickets online to skip the (long) lines.
25. Cup of Noodles Museum in Yokohama
Here you can find typical Japanese weirdness and wackiness, making this Museum extremely fun for kids. You can even make your own ramen and noodles! There is a large indoor playground and interactive kids’ classes.
From Tokyo, take a JR train to Sakuragicho, from there it’s a 10-minute walk.
26. Inokashira Park
Considered as one of the top dating places in Tokyo, Inokashira Park is a terrific venue for families visiting Tokyo with children as well. You can enjoy a picnic here and of course the highlight of this site: the lake.
There are three different kinds of child-friendly paddle boats. Choose your favorite one, enjoy the scenery and spend some quiet, relaxed time with your kids in this lovely park.
The address of the park is 1-18-31 Gotenyama, Musashino-shi, Tokyo. You can easily get here from Kichijoji and Inokashirakoen stations.
27. Heiwanomori Park
Do you have a kid who loves pretending to be a ninja warrior? At the Heiwanomori Park, your little rascals can walk over swinging bridges, fly through the air via ziplines, climb nets and let all that energy out. There are over 40 different obstacle courses so the kids can push the limits of ninja play to a whole new level!
28. Kodomo no Mori Park
Also called ‘the Monster Park‘, this excellent park features eight life-size dinosaur statues and some other playground equipment. Your kids can hop into a dragon boat or climb one of the dinosaurs. Either way, they are bound to have fun at this family-friendly Tokyo park.
The address is 3-10-13 Kita Shinagawa, Shinagawa-Ku, Tokyo.
29. Hikawa Campsite
A great escape from city life (while still staying in the city), Hikawa Campsite is an excellent place for families to spend a day! Visit the onsen or enjoy a BBQ and campfire with the locals, while letting your kids run around and play until dawn.
The address is 702 Hikawa, Okutama, Nichitama, Tokyo.
Harajuku is not just known for its youth culture, one of the things you can’t miss in this vibrant Tokyo neighborhood are the sweet crepes, a snack your kids will love for sure!
The jam-packed crepes are loaded with cheesecakes, strawberries, ice cream – you name it. You can find a wide range of stalls along Takeshita Street, just outside of the Harajuku station.
Tips for visiting Tokyo with kids
When is the best time to visit Tokyo?
There is no single best time to visit Tokyo! Even when it rains, you can always visit one of the many museums or an indoor playground.
Tokyo does get pretty hot and humid during the summer months, so best to avoid these. Winter can be cold, though not often freezing cold.
Generally, the best months to visit are during spring (April and May) and in the fall (September, October, and November). However, Tokyo has so many indoor and outdoor attractions, it makes an ideal destination for kids and families most months of the year!
Buy a Pasmo or Suica card
The number one tip is to buy a Pasmo or Suica card. These are purchased at subway stops and can be used on buses, subways and on JR trains in Tokyo and Japan (but not the Shinkansen).
Scan the cards when you enter the station. If you do not have a card, it’s necessary to calculate the fare for the trip and purchase the ticket from a kiosk before you enter. This isn’t hard, but you will probably be riding the subway a lot. Buying a Pasmo/Suica card will save you lots of time and hassle.
Riding the subway
If you are unsure about taking the MRT, don’t hesitate to ask fellow MRT travelers or the train staff for help. They will gladly help you find the right train and tell you if it’s going in the right direction.
Note that not nearly everyone in Japan speaks English, however, people are very helpful and often use their phone (Google translate or maps) to answer your question or explain something.
ATMs that accept American or European bank accounts are very rare. However, 7-11s and post offices will usually have ATMs that will accept western bank cards.
If you are traveling outside of Tokyo, Kyoto, or Osaka, get enough cash before leaving the city. In rural areas and more off the beaten track places in Japan, ATMs that accept your card are even harder to find!
Opening times of Tokyo tourist attractions
Many of the top tourist attractions are closed on Monday. If you are enjoying an extended Tokyo trip, this isn’t much of a problem. However, if you only have a few days and one of them is a Monday, it’s difficult to visit all the attractions on this list.
Most tourist destinations have good, reliable lockers for rent. There are often different sizes, the biggest one usually fits a large backpack. Upon entering an attraction, you can ask at the Information Desk if lockers are available and where they are located.
Maps in Japan
Maps found on pamphlets or city streets can easily confuse you. Why? Because in Japan, they place north sometimes at the bottom, sometimes at the top and even occasionally off to the left or right.
This makes finding your destination and how to get there particularly difficult. So, always check where the north is on any map to make sure you are going in the right direction!
Best toy store in Tokyo
Definitely visit Kiddyland in Harajuku. This 4-floor toy store is heaven for your children. While toys aren’t cheap you can always spend some time wandering around this place. If you like you can buy one or two Japanese toys for your children (western brands such as Lego are available as well.
Department play areas
Good to know: most department stores provide a play area for toddlers and preschoolers.
What are the best hotels in Tokyo for families?
Tokyo is packed with great hotels, though many target business travelers and don’t put much effort into pleasing kids.
Triple and quadruple rooms large enough to fit a family are rare. It is often necessary to book two rooms for a family of four or more.
Two good hotels in great locations are the Hotel Wing in Yotsuya and Hotel Sunroute in Shinjuku. Both are reasonably priced; and although rooms are small, they are simple, clean, and have nice beds and bathrooms.
More great family hotels in Tokyo Japan
A modern hotel with beautifully decorated rooms and an unbeatable location. It’s only a 4-minute walk to Shimbashi Station which is well connected with Narita and Haneda airport and only 1 stop from Tokyo Station.
The best thing about the hotel is their fabulous Sky Spa on the top floor (level 12) of the hotel, which is not suitable for children but a great place to relax for both parents.
Children below the age of 12 years old are free of charge if they sleep on the existing beds in the room. Alternatively, there is a sofa in several of the rooms which can be used as a bed. For this, you can pay a 3rd pax rate upon booking.
There are high chairs in the breakfast area for smaller children and our 1 year old very much enjoyed trying out the different breakfast foods (bread-pudding was his favorite).
Click here to book the Candeo Hotels Tokyo Shimbashi.
Hilton Tokyo Bay at Disneyland
If you plan on spending several days at Disneyland this is the place to stay! It’s the official Tokyo Disneyland Hotel and only a 5-minute walk from the Bayside Monorail Station on the Disney Resort Line. The Narita Airport limousine bus also stops at the hotel, so you can go directly to Disneyland straight from the airport.
The Hilton has an indoor and outdoor pool (fun for the kids) and five different restaurants (fun for the adults). The rooms themselves have also been designed for kids, with interactive features and fun decor featuring different Disney figures. Your kids will have a very memorable stay here!
Click here to book the Hilton Tokyo Bay at Disneyland.
Important note about where to stay in Tokyo with family
Hotel demand in Tokyo is based on a complex business, holiday and student exam calendar which is almost unknowable to foreigners. Hence, you need to get a hotel booked early! Alternatively, you can stay at an Airbnb and enjoy the luxury of having an entire apartment for your family.
Accommodation discount: if you have never traveled with Airbnb before you can get €30 of your first Airbnb stay with this link!
Tokyo family holiday: what to do on a Tokyo trip with kids
I hope you have enjoyed this list of what to do in Tokyo with kids. As said before, you could spend weeks or months exploring the endless number of kid-friendly places in Tokyo. However, this list should give you a nice starting point for your family vacation in Tokyo.
Happy travels and arigato gozaimasu for reading this post!