Taking The Kids To Tokyo: 5 Must-See Attractions For Families
As one of the world’s largest cities, Tokyo has many attractions to offer for children and adults of all ages. It’s a great place to visit if you want a true cultural immersion experience or if you are looking to enjoy the vibrant sights and sounds the city has to offer. It’s a great family-friendly destination with never-ending attractions from the moment you land at Narita International Airport. Here are 5 must-see attractions with kids in Tokyo.
Tokyo’s Shrines and Temples
Sensoji Temple is by far Tokyo’s grandest temple, with its big, bold red gate and five-story pagoda. The Meiji Jingu Shrine is also a must see. While making your way in, you’ll see interesting sights including decorated burgundy wine barrels and sake barrels on display. It’s such a beautiful forest in a busy city that you’ll feel like you are no longer in Tokyo. Also, the Meiji Jingu Shrine is conveniently located near Harakuju.
If you are looking to beat the crowds, check out the Nezu Shrine or the Gotokuji Shrine. The Nezu Shrine has roots with 2,000 years of Japanese history and is famed for it’s Torri archways and tunnel-like paths. The Gotokuji Shrine, meanwhile, is a must-see, and not just for lucky cat lovers. Prepared to see waving cats everywhere.
Ueno Park is Tokyo’s most popular place if you want to see Sakura in full bloom. The park is also by far Tokyo’s most significant culture center, with over 300 acres of temples, shrines, natural attractions and even several of Japan’s top schools. Each year over 10 million people from all over the world visit Ueno Park.
If you are in the mood for a little extra fun, check out the large pink duck boats near Shinobazu Pond. In addition, Ueno Zoo is home to new baby pandas. Also, the park is surrounded by many museums, including the Tokyo National Museum. It houses a vast collection of cultural items and national treasures. You can buy a museum pass at nearby Ueno station.
Takeshita Street is Tokyo’s premier pedestrian shopping street lined with fun boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. Kids will love the brightly colored (and huge!) cotton candy from Totti Candy Factory. You can also buy everything from boots to earmuffs and accessories. There’s also a great selection of bubble tea, crepes and takoyaki stand along with other various Japanese snacks.
Also, if you have one hour of time, check out the Harry Hedgehog café although mind you, it’s not really a café. Instead, it’s a hedgehog playground with just one coffee vending machine. It’s a unique experience and a fun one for small kids.
The Tokyo Skytree
It might look a little like Paris’ Eiffel Tower in design, but trust us when we say that the views are different. Located in the heart of Asakusa, the Tokyo Skytree offers two observatories at 350 (Tembo Deck) and 450 (Tembo Galleria) meters above the ground. Arrive early as the observatory decks tend to get busy by mid-day. It’s a “tick in the box” experience, but worth it if you truly want to see the best views that Tokyo has to offer.
What’s more, kids will also be surprised to see just how spread out Tokyo is. On a good day, prepare to see stunning scenery that extends all the way to Mount Fuji and even the North Pacific Ocean.
If you have Mickey Mouse and the gang as a top priority of things to see, Tokyo DisneySea is a bucket list must. Many tourists call it a similarly unique experience to Epcot in Orlando’s Walt Disney World. The nautical-themed resort features 3D movies, gondola rides and so much more.
It’s a Disney Park influenced by Japan’s culture, and it shows. Expect to see everything from Japanese jazz artists, garlic shrimp, and blueberry-flavored popcorn and a memorable water show at night.
And Don’t Forget…
Akihabara is a neighborhood that is famous for its many electronics shops and the cultural epicenter for Otaku. Check out the Super Potato, a video game store known for its collection of retro games.
The Tsujiki market has an endless selection of quick bites, groceries, dried food, gifts and of course, fresh fish. It’s also one of the largest fish markets in the world. Visitors are encouraged to get there before 5:30 am for the famed tuna auction. According to reports, a massive bluefin tuna fetched for a whopping $323,000 earlier this year.
The Samurai museum in Tokyo’s electrifying Shinjuku neighborhood features costumes that can be worn by visitors, regular sword battles and much more. It’s a well-organized curated museum with a number of swords, armor, helmets and more.
Tokyo’s Odaiba neighborhood is home to family-friendly thermal springs (called onsens), the interactive Fuji TV building, a marine park, a giant Ferris wheel and a replica of the Statue of Liberty. If you visit the Aqua City Odaiba shopping mall, check out the resident trilingual robot, Chihira Junco.
Have you been to Tokyo with your family? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!