The BEST Things to do in Tokyo with Kids | WITH PHOTOS!
If you’re looking for things to do in Tokyo with kids, we’ve got a detailed list of ideas to suit every family!
Finding kids activities in a big city like Tokyo is not difficult. What IS difficult is determining which ones are right for you and your kids. You also have a short amount of time, so you want to make sure you see the best attractions in Tokyo for kids and your family!
Kids activities in Tokyo range from temples and museums to art galleries and exhibits, from indoor play centres to shopping centres and from towers with a view to roller coasters with thrills at Disneyland and Disneysea.
Yes, Tokyo has it ALL… but what is right for your family? Planning a trip to Tokyo with kids is as easy as… well, reading this article!
This fantastic, amazing part of the world truly is a must see – here’s everything you need to know to plan your next adventure.
Why visit Tokyo with kids?
Tokyo is an absolutely bustling city, ripe with culture and history whilst being connecting to the pulsing heartbeat of technological advancements. It’s a city teeming with life and experiences; one that’s sure to be a treat for the senses.
There’s so much to see, do, touch, taste and smell that you’d truly need a couple of months to experience all that it has to offer. If you’d like information about going on long haul flights with kids head over here to see our recommendations.
Things to do in Tokyo with kids
As there aren’t many of us who can afford a months-long holiday trip, we thought we’d bring together some top recommendations for thing to do in Tokyo with kids from a number of bloggers who agreed to contribute their thoughts.
You can find their recommendations for Tokyo attractions for kids below.
Maxell Aqua Park
Maxell Aqua Park is a hidden gem in Tokyo. From colourful and interactive displays to excellent animal shows and exhibits, it is something to be enjoyed by all members of the family. Children will get excited right from the start with the first fish tank that features fireworks digitally displayed among the fish.
The theme continues with colour-changing lights shining throughout all of the exhibits. Maxell does a great job of mixing Japanese culture with modern technology.
Another highlight for the kids are the interactive tanks. These tanks have a simple design inside, but an interactive touchscreen on the front. The screen allows you to interact with the fish by tapping ‘bubbles’ but also educates kids about the fish inside the tank. The screen offers accessibility in both English and Japanese.
Throughout the aquarium, the exhibits and displays continue to impress, and the adults can enjoy a fun break at the Coral Café with aquatic-themed drinks. Go around the next corner and you’ll enter the jellyfish room – which was incredible! The jellies are all in cylindrical tubes that are lit with colour-changing lights amidst a dark room.
The interactive and educational experience is highlighted with the best dolphin show I’ve ever seen and more animal encounters in the outdoor area.
Kids will enjoy getting their photos taken with the sea lion after watching him do tricks!All in all, Maxell Aqua Park was definitely the most beautiful and most entertaining aquarium I’ve ever been to, and I’d recommend it to anyone visiting Tokyo – with or without kids!
Suitable for ages: All!
Hours: 10 am – 10 pm
Price: Adult (Age 13+) – 2200 yen | School-age Child – 1200 yen | Small child (4-6) – 700 yen
Attractions are available for 500 yen each. A yearly pass can be purchased for less than the cost of two admissions! A discount on admission is also available if you are staying at one of the neighboring hotels.
Address: 4-10-30 Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8611 (Within Shinagawa Prince Hotel)
Website: click here
Head to Asakusa for a taste of old Japan. In its side streets you can walk in the footsteps of monks and geisha, along with those of the tourists teeming around the striking 7th century Sensō-ji temple and the Kaminari-mon Gate, the district’s main attraction.
Kids will love donning traditional attire from one the many kimono rental stores in the area to explore the historical monument. Or perhaps they’d prefer their own personal walking tour of Asakusa and neighbouring Ryogoku with a sumo wrestler and English translator as their guides?
Bustling Nakamise is the traditional shopping street linking the symbolic Kaminari-mon Gate and Sensō-ji. It is a big hit with kids thanks to its many trinkets, dolls and toys, as well as plentiful snack’s including Ningyo Yaki, a warm cake filled with sweet red bean paste. Be sure to check out the rear of the Sensō-ji temple grounds too for food vendors hawking kid favourites like kaarage (Japanese fried chicken) and green tea ice-cream.
Just a short walk from Asakusa’s low-rise loveliness, you’ll find the entire city dwarfed under the Tokyo Skytree, Japan’s tallest tower at 634 metres. It’s well worth takin the kids up to one of its two observation decks for killer views over the city. And be sure to leave a little time for a leisurely stroll along the Sumida River to Sumida Park for great views of Tokyo Skytree and a fabulous playground for little ones.
Suitable for ages: All
Hours: Sensō-ji temple visiting hours are 6:00am – 5:00pm
Address: Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0032
Thank you so much to the fabulous Aleney from Boy Eats World for this incredible writeup.
The Pokemon Cafe and Pokemon Centre
TeamLab: Borderless at the Mori Digital Art Museum
Located on the man-made island of Odaiba in Tokyo Bay, TeamLab: Borderless is the one museum that I’d suggest you take kids of any age. The displays here consist of dazzling digital creations that you can interact with and change as you like. The whole place is a bit like a darkened maze, with corridors connecting rooms with different displays (so do keep an eye on your kids).
One of the main rooms has a digital waterfall that you can climb up to and watch the water divert around you. Touch figures in a procession on the walls and they’ll bow to you.
TeamLab: Borderless is unsurprisingly fantastic for kids, even small ones. Upstairs we found a large space with several areas designed especially for little kids. There is an interactive play area where toddlers under 5 can build digital roads between objects, and even a baby area. Kids can also chase and stamp on digital lizards and insects in the main area. Our favourite thing here was bouncing on trampolines to create stars which burst in supernovas.
You should allow at least two to three hours for your visit. You can buy tickets in advance online for a particular day (no time slot) and it’s best to arrive as early as possible to miss long queues. The Mori Digital Art Museum building is in the Palette Town complex. The nearest station is Aomi Station, Odaiba.
Hours: TeamLab:Borderless is open from 10am to 7pm Monday to Friday and until 9pm at weekends and on holidays. It’s closed on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month.
A big thank you to Emily from Kids and Compass for this excellent post.
Tokyo’s concrete jungle can be tiresome at times, especially for kids. So a visit to the Imperial Palace might prove a pleasant escape from all the hustle and bustle of the city.
While the castle is the emperor’s private residence and can’t be visited (except on New Year and the Emperor’s birthday), you can glimpse a tower or two from street level. Plus the perfectly manicured lawn and trees are a sight to behold, and the kids will be happy to see the cute swans and ducks giving themselves a bath in the surrounding moat.
The Imperial Palace East Gardens, on the other hand, are open to the public. They are part of the inner palace grounds and the entrance is a short walk from Otemachi Station. You can also get off at Tokyo Station if the kids aren’t too tired and willing to walk a bit extra.
The East Gardens is where during the Edo period the old castle used to stand. However, all that’s left today are the moats, some gates, and the guardhouses. You can’t enter any of the buildings, but they are interesting to look at from the outside.
Near the garden’s entrance, you can visit the Museum of the Imperial Collection (free). To the kids’ delight, you’ll also find a vending machine selling ice cream here.
A bit further down, you’ll spot a gorgeous Japanese garden with a lily pond and several seating areas. It’s a wonderful place to relax and let the kids do their own explorations.
Suitable for ages: All
Hours: Imperial Palace East Gardens can be visited from 9:00 to 16:30 (last entry is 30 minutes before closing) except Mondays and Fridays.
Address: 1-１ Chiyoda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 100-8111, Japan
With thanks to Laura from Travelers Universe
The sprawling Shinjuku Gyoen Park is located in the heart of Shinjuku and the serenity of the park is a fabulous contrast to the surrounding neighbourhood. It’s the perfect escape from the towering skyscrapers, neon lights and chaotic streets of Shinjuku!
The original purpose of Shinjuku Gyoen was as an imperial retreat but, today, it is accessible to the public. Shinjuku Gyoen is one of Tokyo’s largest parks and is comprised of three distinct gardens: a traditional Japanese Garden, a formal French Garden and a landscaped English Garden.
The Japanese Garden, with its pretty ponds and bridges, is a highlight and kids will love trying to spot koi carp in the water. The tropical greenhouse is also a hit together with the garden’s tea shop. The manicured lawns are the perfect spot for a lazy afternoon picnic in a tranquil setting. There are over 20,000 trees and plenty of wide open spaces. After keeping kids close in the busy streets of Shinjuku, the park affords them the opportunity to run free!
If you visit Tokyo during cherry blossom season make sure to visit Shinjuku Gyoen. The hundreds of sakura trees in Shinjuku Gyoen make it one of Tokyo’s most popular spots.
Suitable for ages: All
Hours: (March 15 to June 30 and August 21 to September 30 9:00 to 18:00 (July 1 to August 20 9:00 to 19:00) (October 1 to March 14 9:00 to 16:30) Admission ends 30 minutes prior to closing
Price: 500 yen
Address: 11 Naitomachi-Shinjuku City, Tokyo, 160-0014
Website: Click here!
Thank you so much to Elaine and David from Show Them The Globe.
Tokyo Samurai Museum
When thinking of Japan, many children immediately conjure up thoughts of ninjas and samurais. In particular, the Samurai have an incredible allure about them, rightly considered the elite of warriors in Japan. As such, a trip to Japan isn’t complete without a brush with a samurai or two.
The Tokyo Samurai Museum is one of the easiest ways to encounter a samurai and learn a little about the history of this warrior class, their culture and what has become of them in modern times.
Situated in Shinjuku, the Tokyo Samurai Museum is easily accessible by foot from the major station. It is here that you can explore two floors of carefully curated examples of amazing samurai armour, weapons and artifacts.
For children, the opportunity to learn a few sword moves during the daily Samurai demonstration sessions is likely to be something they talk about when recounting their trip. Make sure you check the website for the daily schedule as it’s not to be missed.
For my children, being selected to participate in the sword demonstration was one of the highlights of their visit alongside the opportunity to be kitted out in a full samurai suit where they were able to discover exactly how heavy it was for these elite warriors.
Opening hours: 10.30 am to 9.00 pm
Address: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Kabukicho 2-25-6
Ticket Prices: 1,800 yen (Adult) | 800 yen (12 & under) | Free (3 and under)
With thanks to Leah from Kid Bucket List.
Calling all parents, here’s one thing that your children will absolutely love about Japan : Tokyo DisneySea.
There are two Disney Parks near Tokyo. Tokyo Disneyland is more or less a replica of the Disneyland amusement parks that can also be found in Paris and California. Because we have visited those already but mostly because of all the raving reviews about DisneySea we opted to visit the latter during our last days in Tokyo.
We wouldn’t call ourselves die hard Disney fans but there is something about the parks that keeps us coming back. There’s always a pleasant ambience and by the end of the day I always have a big smile on my face. I also love the scenery of the parks, it’s done with such an eye for detail that it makes you feel you have travelled to a different place.
The scenery is where DisneySea really excels. The park even won the Thea Award for concept, design and construction. The park has attractions for all ages. There’re some really fun rides that cannot be found in other Disney parks like the Journey to the center of the earth, Indiana Jones and Toy Story.It’s easy to get to Tokyo DisneySea. In Tokyo station you need to take the JR Keiyo line to Maihama Station. When you get out you can either walk to the entrance, it’s about a 20-minute walk, or hop-on the Disney Monorail.
Opening hours: The park’s opening hours vary by season but on most days the park opens at 8 or 9 in the morning and closes again at 10 pm.
Price : Children (4-11) : 4,800 yen
Juniors ( 12-17) : 6,400 yen
Adults : 7,400 yen
Website: Click here!
Have a great day at DisneySea!
Thanks to Sylvia from Wapiti Travel for this fantastic post!
Miraikan (or the Museum of Emerging Science and Inovation) is one of the best science museums we’ve ever visited. It’s a huge museum talking about a lot of things related to technology: from Asimo, the robot, to experiments on how the internet works, realistic robots, and even stories on how technology can help with world crisis.
It’s on Odaiba, which is an entertainment island in Tokyo (and it’s worth visiting anyway) so even getting there is fun – you can get there with the Yurikamome, the driverless tram!
My kids had a lot of fun in most of the museum. Some enjoyed playing screen games to see if they could survive something or the other; others liked ‘talking’ to the super realistic robot (that actually talks and answers); everyone had lots of fun sending out coded messages and receiving on the other end of a funny coding machine, and we all wanted to ride the UNI-CUB. If you’re around at the right time, there are workshops and activities (included on the price) that you or your kids can take part in.There are some special exhibits and the Dome Theatre, a 360 theatre that sounds fun – they cost a little extra, but may be worth it if they interest your family.
Studio Ghibli Museum
So why Studio Ghibli Museum and what is it?
Mount Takao is considered the best day trip from Tokyo. While it’s still technically within the city limits, you wouldn’t know it; Takao is (literally) a breath of fresh air, with beautiful views of both Tokyo and various mountain ranges (including Mt. Fuji in the distance).
Located at the end of the Keio train line, it’s easy to get to; less than an hour from Shinjuku station. This accessibility along with the great views explains why 2.6 million people visit Mount Takao annually! (So be prepared for some crowds, and stay away on weekends).
There are many routes up Mount Takao, so you can choose the difficulty level that best suits your family. If your kids are young and/or you have a stroller, then you can take a cable car most of the way up; the rest of the way from the top of the cable car is paved and relatively stroller-friendly. The monkey park at the top cable car station is also sure to be a hit with the kids.
To round out the day, there are hot springs and a free museum at the bottom, and a popular all-you-can-eat restaurant at the upper cable car station. Ambitious hiking families can explore further extensive trails from the top of Takao; just make sure you have a current map/guidebook as some routes aren’t particularly well-marked (don’t do what I did)!
Suitable for ages: All
Price: Free (there’s a fee to take the cable car, access monkey park, etc)
Address: End of the Keio train line, Takaosanguchi station
Suitable for ages: All ages
The Very Best Things to do in Tokyo with Kids
We hoped you liked reading these perspectives as much as we did! If this has left you desperately scrounging for some spare cash to book a trip straight to Tokyo, you’re not alone. Definitely feeling a bit of FOMO after reading these.
Have you been to Tokyo? Is there anything missing from this list that you’d recommend? We’d love to hear about your experiences travelling to Tokyo with kids so please feel free to leave a comment in response.