Tokyo, Japan’s capital and the world’s most populous metropolitan area, offers a range of shopping, sightseeing, and dining options.
If you’re traveling to Asia, you may end up passing through Tokyo. It’s worth spending a few days here with your family. Getting around Tokyo is relatively painless, there are many family-friendly hotels in Tokyo, and it’s a great opportunity for kids to begin learning about Asian culture and Japanese history.
Here are the best things to do in Tokyo with kids.
Kids Will Love Riding Public Transportation in Tokyo
Tokyo’s subways and trains are efficient, easy, and a great way to see firsthand how locals travel. Kids will love seeing the famous “white-hand-glove” transport employees pushing passengers into the subway cars during rush hour!
Historic Temples Teach Kids About Japanese History
Tokyo’s beautiful temples and shrines are impressive, with Sensoji and Meiji among the most popular in the city. Visiting these temples is like taking a step back in time.
Take time to enjoy the street leading up to the beautiful Sensoji shrine as it is lined with souvenir shops and eateries offering interesting snacks. Considering visiting at 6pm, when you can hear the bells ringing here at Tokyo’s oldest temple.
Kids will love watching the traditionally dressed Japanese people paying their respects in these living museums. You’ll be able to take part in a cleansing ritual before entering these sacred places of prayer.
Let Kids Run Around in Tokyo’s Amazing Urban Gardens and Parks
East Gardens is a popular park in Tokyo and perfect for kids. Be sure to join the 75-minute Imperial Palace tour for the best way to view the park. The perfectly trimmed hedges and trees, koi pond and expansive grass areas are perfect for playing, picnics and leisurely family strolls. You’ll also find guardhouses and museums on these castle grounds.
Monkey Park is also a great option for families. Located about one hour outside of Tokyo in the countryside by Mt Takao, here the monkeys roam freely and are fun to watch. You’ll also find a beautiful garden to walk through. Consider taking the chair lift or cable car up the mountain and go for a hike on one of the trails with the kids.
Hop on the Subway and exit at Harajuku station to get to Yoyogi Park on Sundays for some of the best people watching in Tokyo. Kids will love watching people practicing tai chi, dancing and sword fighting. Don’t be surprised to see locals dressed from the 50s with slick back hair and poodle skirts.
Finally, consider spending an afternoon at one of Tokyo’s beaches. Most travelers are surprised to learn that there are several beaches near this massive urban area that travelers and locals enjoy. The only beach within Tokyo city limits is called Odaiba. This is an artificial beach roughly 1/2-mile long. Every July the Marine Lantern Festival is held, where candles are lit and spread across the beach to create various shapes and patterns. Climb up the observation deck near the beach for some of the best views of the Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Tower.