It’s big, it’s noisy, it’s crowded and frantic, but that won’t stop us loving Tokyo, Japan’s ‘Electric Town’ and biggest city.
Packed with a ton of family-friendly attractions, an ever-growing list of cultural sights and a bucket load of incredible food, Tokyo really is one of our favourite family-friendly city breaks.
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If you are looking to splurge on your family getaway, The Imperial Hotel – one of the oldest and best hotels in Tokyo – is a great base from which to explore, and is located within walking distance to several metro stations and the popular shopping district of Ginza.
Alternatively, opt for the Family Getaway Package at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi, which offers 10% off their rom rate, includes breakfast, discounted spa treatments, as well as a welcome amenity for kiddies on arrival! The premier room offers sweeping views of the city with rolling beds or cribs and babysitting services are available for those much-needed date nights!
For families planning to spend a few days of fun at Disneyland Tokyo, Hilton Tokyo Bay offers a monorail directly to both the theme park and DisneySea. Rooms are super-sized to accommodate families, or treat the children to the Happy Magic Suite splashed with colorful and fun décor. Amenities include children’s menus, highchairs and cribs, and even an outdoor pool for a splash of fun on those hotter days!
For something a little more fun, stay at the Tokyo Disney Resort Toy Story Hotel, a newly opened themed hotel that immerses you into the Toy Story world. Everything in and around the hotel has been renovated and decorated to make you feel like you've entered a Toy Story movie, and there are colorful features on every wall and at every corner. There's no way a kid wouldn't feel excited staying in a hotel like this!
The Imperial Hotel, 1 Chome-1- Uchisaiwaicho, Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-8558, Japan, website
Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi, 1-11-1 Pacific Century Place, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo, 100-6277 Japan, website
Hilton Tokyo Bay, 1-8 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture 279-0031, Japan, website
Tokyo Disney Resort Toy Story Hotel, 1-47 Maihama, Maihama, Urayasu 279-8511 Chiba Prefecture Japan, website
More family-Friendly hotels in Tokyo
Park Hyatt Tokyo, 3-7-1-2, Nishishinjuku, Tokyo 163-1055, Japan, website
Keio Plaza Hotel, 2 Chome-2-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-8330, Japan, website
Richmond Hotel Premier Tokyo Oshiage, 1 Chome-10-3 Oshiage, Sumida, Tokyo 131-0045, Japan, website
If your little ones are new to Japanese cuisine, Teppanyaki is a great place to start. At Teppan Baby, simply choose your favourite dish/meat and then sit back and be entertained by the chef’s cooking performance that will have you laughing the night away.
Sushisiro is a fantastic family-friendly place to experience the conveyor belt sushi service with convenient digital displays attached to your table for easy-ordering.
Alternatively, if you’re kids are big noodle fans, head to Ramen Street where you can choose from a bunch of restaurants and flavours varying from pork broth and chicken broth to seafood!
For a truly wild and whacky experience, book a table at Kawaii Monster Café. With beautiful surroundings, bizarre food and magical performances, your little ones are in for a real treat!
Teppan Baby Shinjuku, 1-17-4 Kabukicho Shinjuku, Tokyo, Pocket Building B1F, www.teppanbaby.com/shinjyuku
Sushiro (several locations), www.akindo-sushiro.co.jp/en
Ramen Street, Tokyo Station, 1-9-1, Marunoichi, Chiyoda, Tokyo, www.tokyoeki-1bangai.co.jp/street/ramen
Kawaii Monster Café, 4-31-10 Jingumae | 4F, YM Square Bldg, Shibuya 150-0001, Tokyo, www.kawaiimonster.jp
Other family-friendly restaurants in Tokyo:
Organic Café Lulu, 5-6-30 Kiba, Koto-ku, Tokyo, www.growing-trees.com/organiccafelulu
Saizou, 1-29-1, Higashiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, 170-0013, www.saizou-ikebukuro.tokyo
Straw Hat Café, 1-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka 181-0013, Tokyo, www.ghibli-museum.jp/cafe/menu
Chano-Ma, 1-34-17 Ebisu Nishi, 2F, Shibuya 150-0021, Tokyo
To give your kiddies a sense of the culture and cuisine, a trip to the fascinating Tsukiji Fish Market is a great place to start! While it's wet, smelly and sometimes chaotic, the wholesale fish and seafood market lends a great insight into the different types of fish on sale. If you’re lucky, you may even witness the great tuna auction!
If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, head directly to the Tsukiji Outer Market where small narrow lanes are packed with restaurants. Here, you can try some of the city’s most delightful bites including butter scallops, grilled unagi and delicious crab.
For the perfect picture opportunity, head to Meiji Shrine, one of the city’s major attractions. Located on the edge of Yoyogi Park, the walk into the shrine is just as beautiful as the shrine itself, though little legs may get tired so a stroller is highly recommended.
Once you have had some time to explore the site, kids can go for a run in the beautiful park, spotting the duck pond and playing hide n’ seek among the forest trees, followed by some ice cream or snacks from the café.
In the evening, pop over to Shibuya to see the famous Hachikõ Memorial Statue (famous dog) and of course the Shibuya Crossing, said to be the busiest intersection in the world. Be sure to head to the rooftop at Mag’s Park where you will be rewarded with amazing views of the Shibuya scramble against the bright neon lights of the bustling city. Caution: With little ones in tow, it’ll be a lot easier to do the Shibuya Crossing in the daytime (but equally as breathtaking in the evening too!)
Tsukiji Fish Market, 5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Ch??-ku, T?ky?-to 104-0045, Japan, www.tsukiji-market.or.jp
Meiji Shrine, 1-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya, Tokyo 151-8557, Japan, www.meijijingu.or.jp
Yoyogi Park, 2-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya, Tokyo 151-0052, Japan, website
Hachiko Memorial Statue, 1 Chome-2 Dogenzaka, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0043, Japan, website
Shibuya Crossing, 2 Chome-2 D?genzaka Shibuya-ku, T?ky?-to 150-0043, Japan
For sun, sand and entertainment, Tokyo’s artificial Island of Odaiba will tick all the boxes. Complete with a beach, a Rainbow Bridge, boat rides, Tokyo Trick Art Museum, Legoland Discovery Centre and even a Statue of Liberty (yes, really!) there is plenty to keep your days filled with fun and laughter.
Let the little ones run wild at Joypolis, a great indoor amusement park featuring a roller coaster, arcade games and virtual-reality experiences.
For something more educational, head to Miraikan for its hands-on exhibits and classes that explore the future of science and technology.
Of course, a trip to Tokyo might feel incomplete without a visit to Tokyo Disney Resort, which features seven themed lands, and Tokyo DisneySea, inspired by tales of the ocean.
For something more unique to Japan itself, Ghibli Museum is not one to be missed! The popular attraction showcases the work of the Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli, the makers of Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle. Kiddies can learn about how their favourite movies were made before spotting their favourite characters in the form of replicas. Catbus from My Neighbour Totoro still stands a firm favourite! Top tip: These tickets sell like hot cakes and are not sold on site so be sure to book in advance!
Last but not least, don’t miss out on visiting one of the many animal cafes dotted around the city. From cats and owls to hedgehogs and dogs, there is a fluffy animal for every one!
Tokyo Art Trick Museum, 4F 1-6-1, Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan 135-0091, www.trickart.info
Legoland Discovery Centre, 3F Decks Tokyo Beach Island Mall, Odaiba 1-6-1, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan, website
Joypolis, DECKS, Tokyo Beach 3F-5F, 1-6-1 Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo, http://tokyo-joypolis.com
Miraikan, 2 Chome-3-? Aomi, Koto, Tokyo 135-0064, Japan, www.miraikan.jst.go.jp/en
Tokyo Disney Resort, 1-1 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture 279-0031, Japan, www.tokyodisneyresort.jp
Ghibli Museum, 1 Chome-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-0013, Japan, www.ghibli-museum.jp
Parents, brace yourselves as Tokyo is truly a haven for kiddies shopping! From electronics and comics to anime and cheap ¥100 souvenir shops, Akihabara is one spot not to miss when travelling with older kids.
If you are looking for all things quintessentially Japanese, Harajuku has got you covered. From Kawaii (cuteness) to alternate and fun, this is the place where you will spend the most time (and money!).
Begin with a family snap outside the Takeshita Street sign before following the crowds heading towards Kiddy Land. Featuring five floors of toys brimming with everything from Snoopy and Star Wars to Hello Kitty and vintage anime, this store will have everything your kids are looking for.
Along the way, don’t forget to stop off for some huge rainbow coloured cotton candy! End your shopping spree with a trip to Don Quijote or Tokyu Hands to experience the ultimate Japanese department store, packed with everything from arts and crafts to Kit Kats in over 7 delicious flavours!
Kiddy Land, 6 Chome-1-9 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan, www.kiddyland.co.jp/harajuku/
Takeshita Street, 1-19-5 Jingumae, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo
Don Quiote (several locations), www.donki.com/en/
Tokyo Hands (several locations), www.tokyu-hands.co.jp/en/
Tips For Travelling In Tokyo With Kids: