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The joy of Japan

The top ten things to do with children in Tokyo


Posted: 20 April 2010
by Gordon Kanki-Knight

Tokyo may be a vibrantly cosmopolitan city, but it also offers some brilliant adventures for children. Try these ten fun activities.

  1. Visit the Mori Tower Venture to the top of the 53-storey Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills for the fantastic 360-degree panorama of Tokyo. The floor-to-ceiling windows ensure even pint-sized visitors get a clear view of the world’s biggest city. Go at sunset. Allow 1-2 hours. For more information, visit www.roppongihills.com/tcv/jp and www.mori.art.museum/jp 
  2. Play with Japan’s latest digital games and gizmos Head to the NTT Inter Communication Center in Tokyo Opera City Tower in the city’s Nishi-Shinjuku district. (best for ages 4+; allow 2 hours). For more information visit www.ntticc.or.jp 
  3. Browse through some books. There are more than 10,000 children's books from all corners of the world at the International Library of Children’s Literature in Tokyo’s leafy Ueno Park. While children have their noses in a picture book, check out the decorated ceiling, turn-of-the-century chandeliers and extension by star architect Tadao Ando. (best for ages 3-12; allow 2 hours. Visit www.kodomo.go.jp 
  4. Let off some steam. At the Children’s Castle in Tokyo’s upscale Aoyama district there are eight floors of fun, including a pool, gym, roof garden and Waku Waku Land (excitement land) filled with cubby houses connected by rope bridges and tunnels. (best for ages 2+; allow 2 hours. Visit www.kodomono-shiro.or.jp/english 
  5. Make a pilgrimage. Visit Tokyo’s most popular Buddhist temple, Senso-ji, with its impressive 12-metre tall, bright red Kaminarimon gate and shops selling traditional goods. A few streets away is Hanayashiki, a fun fair that boasts Japan’s oldest roller coaster – dare you ride it? (best for ages 5+; allow 4 hours. Visit www.senso-ji.jp 
  6. Cultivate culinary skills At the 72-year-old Sometaro restaurant – a short walk from Sensoji temple – you can create your own okonomiyaki (Japanese savoury pancake) on a hot plate at your table. The waiters are always happy to help. (best for ages 5+; allow 1.5 hours). Visit www.sometaro.com 
  7. Run, play and skate.  Meijijingu Gaien Park features an ice-skating rink, children’s playground, art gallery and paths lined with ginkgo-trees. (best for ages 4+; allow 3 hours. Visit www.meijijingugaien.jp/english 
  8. Be Spirited Away Enter the fantasy world of Oscar-winning animator Hayao Miyazaki, the director of Spirited Away, at the Ghibli Museum, located in an enchanted forest in Mitaka, less than one hour by train from central Tokyo. (best for ages 3+, allow 3 hours at the museum, as well as 2 hours for return travel. For more information visit www.ghibli-museum.jp 
  9. Visit Crayon House Feast on sashimi, noodle and tofu dishes, then let the children explore the Japanese toys and 50,000 children’s books for all ages at Crayon House in fashionable Omotesando. (best for ages 0+; allow 1.5 hours). Visit www.crayonhouse.co.jp 
  10. Stop off at Meal Muji Visit this store in Yurakucho, central Tokyo – it is so child-friendly, there are children’s chairs, space for baby buggies and a kids menu. Children’s clothes and toys are available in the store. (best for ages 2+; allow 1.5 hours. Visit www.muji.net/shop/cafemeal.html

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family travel, Tokyo, Japan, toy shops, children's entertainment
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