Odaiba Tokyo – The Ultimate Family Destination in Tokyo Odaiba is a giant island of reclaimed land across the Rainbow Bridge from the centre of Tokyo, built initially for defence purposes in the 1850s. Mid century, plans were established to change it to a seaport district, and from there, it has now grown into […]
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Our Tokyo Travel Blog is chockablock FULL of SUPER DOOPER FUN ideas & activities for family travel in Tokyo with Kids.
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READ MORE: Click here to find our Ultimate Family Guide to Tokyo.
Highlights of Tokyo for kids?
- Without a doubt, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea!
- The crazy busy and colourful Harajuku
- Shinjuku pedestrian crossing, with thousands of people passing through daily
- Kidzania Tokyo (top of our "things to do in Tokyo with kids" list)
- Odaiba - so good for kids. Plan for at least 1-2 full days! Here's 44 things you can do in Odaiba Tokyo plus another whole bunch featured on our list of Odaiba Points of Interest!
- Asakusa shrine and the market stalls lining the route
- Ikebukuro Sunshine City - the best shopping mall in Tokyo for kids
We love visiting Tokyo with kids. It's our FAVOURITE city in the world for family travel.
It's the food, the people, the culture, the care, the attention to detail, the cleanliness, the orderliness, the vending machines, the beauty, and their way of adding a dose of 'cute' to everything, including fire hydrant covers!
We could move there tomorrow.
Roam the Gnome's Tokyo Travel Blog - The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Tokyo with Kids
Before you go.
Organise pocket wifi rental for Japan. We recommend Wilh-ma pocket modems. Their service is fantastic, hassle-free and budget friendly.
Hot tip: Tuck this one into the bra strap. Narita Airport has a kids play area to keep the little ones busy while you wait for your plane to depart. See you there!
If you are desperate to go (or go back) and can't make it this year, send your teddy bear instead! Yes, you read right.
Where to stay in Tokyo?
This totally depends on what is on your itinerary of course, but we'd definitely peg Odaiba as one of the most central, yet under-rated places to stay in Tokyo with kids.
There's SPACE to roam and run around, and it's way less hectic than other popular places to stay in Tokyo with kids, such as Shibuya, Shinjuku, Asakusa, or Ueno. Check out our list of the best hotels in Odaiba for families, including the latest prices.
Tokyo Family Hotels
- Stay the night in a Hello Kitty themed room in Tokyo. It's Japan. You must! Check latest prices. Read full review.
- The family-friendly Richmond Hotel Tokyo Musashino is right near Studio Ghibli AND the swan boat lake. Check latest prices. Read full review.
- The budget-friendly Super Hotel in Shinjuku Kabukicho is in the middle of the action. Great for single parents travelling with kids, but if there's two parents, you'll have to split up. Awesome breakfast AND an onsen onsite too. Check latest prices. Read full review.
Eating in Tokyo
EVERYONE tells me Tokyo is so expensive and that's why they don't go. But strangely, we find Tokyo to be one of the best places to go on a budget. It's SO cheap to travel in Japan with kids.
The reason? Japanese convenience stores, or Conbini, as they are called in Japan.
Unlike in Australia, where a 7-11, Star Mart, or any shop attached to a petrol station charges exorbitant prices for everyday products (did they confuse exorbitant with extortion?), a convenience store in Japan is a mini version of a supermarket, but better. While we don't eat every meal here, we love them for a quick but healthy breakfasts, lunches, and snacks.
Convenience Stores Japan - What you can buy
You can buy onigiri rice balls with all kinds of fillings for about $1 AUD. One or two of these, and you are full for hours. There's curry rice, noodles, bento boxes and they'll even heat it up for you right then and there, for FREE!
They have ATMs, phone cards, and every flavour of Pocky you can imagine. And HOT SWEET MILKY TEA in a bottle for 130 yen ($1.40 AUD). I'm addicted to this stuff.
You'll find a Japanese convenience shop like Lawson or Family Mart on every street corner, in every town, in every region - there's even one at the airport so you can stock up on last minute souvenirs and snacks with your last remaining handful of yen.
There's also HEAPS of budget-friendly family restaurants in Tokyo. Check back here soon for a full run-down.
Shopping in Tokyo
Looking for a gorgeous traditional Japanese souvenirs shop? Don't miss a visit to this one. You can pretty much pick up everything you need (something for everyone) in this one shop right near Harajuku.
If you love cute kawaii Japanese stationery as much as we do, then you must visit Loft. We think it's the best Japanese stationery shop around.
Right next to Loft in Shibuya, you'll find our FAVOURITE shop in the world, Muji. This place is an ode to stylish minimalism and organisation, aka Marie Kondo. Our two favourite spots in Muji, other than gazing longingly at the oak dining tables on the basement floor or dreaming of buying up the entire rack of their simple dresses, is the food hall selection downstairs, or taking the tribe to the dedicated kids playroom space. We NEVER visit Tokyo without stopping in here for a browse.
First Avenue Tokyo Station is not just a hub of transport. It's a shopping destination in its' own right, perfect for kids and families. Take the kids to Tokyo Character Street for the best of Japanese anime and well-known brands such as Hello Kitty, Miffy, Snoopy, Pokemon and Studio Ghibli characters. Stop for a slurpy noodle lunch break at Tokyo Ramen Street. Follow it up by trying famous Japanese snacks at Tokyo Okashi Land. Best of all, visit the Tokyo Food Hall TokyoMe+ to collect all your wrapped desserts gift boxes to take home!
Stop by the Tokyo Toy Museum for the best toys and gifts for children in Japan. See below for details.
Pick up all your bento supplies in Tokyo at Loft in Sunshine City
SUPER DOOPER FUN things to do in Tokyo with Kids
- Practice your moves by taking part in an bone-shattering Earthquake Simulation at the Tokyo Earthquake Training Center. (This museum is great fun!)
- Ride the Inokashira Park Swan Boats on a beautiful lake near Kichijoji - it's a must do!
- The Gotokuji Cat Temple is a quirky ones kids love, plus it's a bit off the beaten track so way less tourists than the Asakusa shrine.
- Sanrio Puroland Tokyo is in my Top 10 most beautiful 'theme parks' in the world. I cried when I walked in! (Roam the Gnome did look at me strangely!)
- The Tokyo Toy Museum is the most elegant AND wholesome museum in Tokyo, and possibly the world. The entire place is filled with handmade and hand-carved wooden toys made by local and retired craftsmen and women. Kids LOVE this place. It's three-storeys of hands-on puzzles, games, dress ups, imaginative play opportunities, with the best toy shop in Japan on the ground floor as you leave. Stock up on toys, gifts and souvenirs to take home.
- You'll walk past the Tokyo Fire Museum on your way to Tokyo Toy Museum. 7 levels filled with hands-on interactive activities, buttons to push, videos, cartoons, vehicles to climb in, and more. It's a find.
- Check out our 10 things to do in Asakusa Tokyo with kids. It's a full day out!
- Sunshine City in Ikebukuro has tonnes of stuff for kids. CHeck out the Nippon Animation Store, anime characters Dragonball Z and more at J-World Tokyo, poke your head into the Pokemon center, pretend you are a Japanese kid and enjoy games and rides at Namco Namja Town - don't miss the best ice-cream shop in Tokyo with over 50 flavours of icecream including gross stuff like eel!
- Tokyu Hands Sunshine City is a must do - we love the one in Ikebukuro best. Get up close and personal with purring felines at the Cat Cafe at Tokyu Hands and visit the Hands Cafe upstairs to see the gallery of handmade craft. Then spend hours making your way from top to bottom, checking out the handy tools and supplies for all kinds of creative hobbies. You won't walk out empty handed!
Disneyland and Disney Sea in Tokyo
There's a myth that Disneyland is for young kids and families, and Disney Sea is for teenagers and 20-somethings. We disagree!
There's plenty of stuff at Disney Sea attractions for the Under 7's, including the not-to-be-missed highlight of Disney Sea, the shimmery magical Mermaid Lagoon!
Harajuku with Kids
The cat cafe craze started in Japan, and not long after, came the Rabbit cafe craze. Roam the Gnome, Grandma and I visited this Harajuku Rabbit Cafe and enjoyed afternoon tea in their company. Such fun for all ages.
Give the kids free-rein when buying souvenirs for friends and family at Daiso Harajuku 100 yen discount store. Everything is only 100 yen each!
Fun Playgrounds in Tokyo for Kids
- The Tyre Playground in Tokyo is about 45 minutes from Ueno on the way to Haneda airport. It's worth a look if you are heading that way.
- This aquarium in Sunshine City has a jelly fish tunnel!
More Fun Places to Visit in Japan
Holidaying in Asia with Kids
Visiting more of Asia with kids? Take a look at these other cities below.
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Join in the fun of the exciting city of Tokyo by exploring our posts below...
Sunshine City Ikebukuro. Updated 2018. Where in Tokyo can you find a rooftop aquarium, TWO indoor theme parks, a planetarium, a Pokemon shop, AND the chance to try EEL flavoured ice-cream? You can find this AND SO MUCH MORE at our favourite family friendly shopping mall in Tokyo – Sunshine City Ikebukuro. Sunshine City Ikebukuro […]
Pocket Wifi Rental Japan. Two years ago, on a trip to Japan, I left my internet access up to the Gods, and relied upon free wifi. Despite Japan being one of the world’s most connected countries, known for it’s advanced technological status, free wifi was impossible to find or access, and my Instagram game suffered. […]
Japan Aquarium – Sunshine City. Updated 2018. There’s a super cool Jellyfish Tunnel at this super cool aquarium in Tokyo, and a ring-shaped roof top exhibition full of swimming sea lions too! If you are looking for things to do in Japan with kids, head to this Japanese aquarium to see what other surprises lie […]
Ikebukuro Things to Do – Updated 2018. Hidden away in the backstreets of Ikebukuro, you can ride a REAL LIFE Earthquake Simulator raging up to 7.0 magnitude earthquake! If you are visiting Tokyo with kids, a trip to this free life skills centre in Ikebukuro is a must-do for this unique and one-off experience alone. Ikebukuro […]
Odaiba Points of Interest 2018. Where in Tokyo can you ride a GIANT FERRIS WHEEL overlooking a Rainbow Bridge, stand next to a giant replica of the Statue of Liberty, AND be immersed in a breathtaking theatre spectacle following the WATER CYCLE while lounging on super soft pod chairs? Odaiba is the place. (Locals also […]
Inokashira Park Swan Boats. If you are heading to the Studio Ghibli Museum in Kichijoji (devoted to the work of Hayao Miyazaki’s much-loved anime films such as Spirited Away, and My Neighbour Totoro), then plan a few extra hours to take advantage of the super fun things to do in Tokyo at Inokashira Koen. Ride […]
Japanese Stationery. Do you Love Japanese Stationery? Then put THIS on your List of the Best Places to Shop in Tokyo! Wondering where to buy stationery in Japan? Lovers of cool Japanese stationery better not miss this cool stationery shop. It’s one of our favourite places to go shopping in Tokyo and we could easily […]