Having recently completed our own amazing Tokyo with kids itinerary we wanted to share our favourite sights, experiences and things to do. With its towering skyscrapers, quirky restaurants, theme parks and neon lights, it’s an awesome city to explore with kids. For those of you planning your own Tokyo with kids itinerary, we wanted to share our Tokyo travel guide including our recommended Tokyo with kids itinerary!
Tokyo with kids Itinerary Essentials
From transportation to sim cards, these are our essentials for navigating Tokyo with kids.
Klook Tokyo Pass
If you are planning to visit a few of Tokyo’s top attractions then the popular Klook Tokyo Pass is a great option – it includes discounted access to up to 5 of the attractions we visit in our itinerary (you can include attractions including TeamLab Planets, Tokyo Disneyland, Shibuya Sky Observation Deck, Tokyo DisneySea and Legoland Discovery Center) as well as add on transport options for the subway and airport transfers – check prices here!
Tokyo is most easily navigated by a mix of trains and walking.
- Tokyo Skyliner: train from Narita Airport to downtown Tokyo in 41 minutes – check prices here
- Airport Bus: bus to Downtown Tokyo from Narita or Haneda Airport – check prices here!
Getting around Tokyo
Depending on the duration of your stay, a 24, 48 or 72 hour subway pass is invaluable for navigating Tokyo. We saved so much money using our 3 day subway pass. The passes can be picked up at one of the designated arrival airports in Japan and work for unlimited rides on Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway lines – check prices now!
Tokyo with kids itinerary tip: After we’d used our unlimited passes we switched to a rechargeable Suica or a Pasmo card. The cards are swiped at the ticket barriers to pay for the train fare instead of buying individual tickets for each train ride. We found them much quicker and more convenient than individual journey tickets.
Where to stay in Tokyo with kids
Tokyo is best explored by a combination of trains and walking so we recommend choosing a hotel within a short walking distance of a subway station, the Yamanote Line or one of the major train stations such as Tokyo Station.
- Mitsui Garden Hotel Koyobashi: close to both Tokyo Station and the Koyobashi Metro Station, the Mitsui Garden Hotel is a great base for exploring the city. Standard rooms are a reasonable size and there is coin-operated laundry– check prices here!
- Shibuya Excel Hotel, Tokyu: close to Shibuya Station the hotel’s 25th-floor restaurant level offers the best views of Shibuya and the location is excellent for exploring the city – check prices here!
- Keio Plaza Hotel:a 5 minute walk from Shinjuku Station, Keio Plaza has comfortable rooms and awesome views of Shinjuku – check prices here!
Sim Cards and Internet
One of the best investments for a Japan trip is to obtain a sim card or 4G hotspot for internet access while on the go. A sim card is perfect if you just have your phone while 4G hotspots are great if you have multiple devices or if you’re travelling in a group.
We used the Klook app to order our sim cards. The app is great as you can order in advance, pick up on arrival or from various departure cities and the price is usually discounted.
- The best 4G hotspot on offer for pick up in Japan is provided by Softbank with unlimited data – check prices now!
- This is one of the best sim cards and offers multiple pickup locations – check prices now!
Tokyo with Kids Itinerary
We’ve outlined our day-to-day Tokyo with kids itinerary as a starting point for planning your own Japan experience.
Day 1: Harajuku and Shibuya
From food to fashion to the unexpected, Harajuku is a fun and quirky spot for kids.
Start the day with a visit to the Meiji Shrine, dedicated to Emperor Meiji, the first Emperor of modern Japan. One of the most tranquil spots in Harajuku, it is surrounded by over 100,000 trees.
The shrine is accessed via two huge torii gates and visitors can make offerings in the main hall and write their hopes and wishes on an ema.
There is a huge display of sake barrels along the entrance path which signify a gift to the gods.
Adjacent to the Meiji Shrine, Yoyogi Park is a hangout for locals and visitors alike and a great place for a run around.
Tokyo with kids itinerary tip: on Sunday’s the Rockabilly dancers often perform at the Harajuku entrance of Yoyogi Park.
Take a stroll down Takeshita Street. Harjuku’s main thoroughfare is lined with shops selling everything from crepes to vintage clothes to candy floss. It’s often possible to spot the incredible kawaii inspired fashion looks that Harajuku is famous for.
Capture some fun memories with a quick photo booth session at a purikura store on Takeshita Street. The themed photo booths and crazy edits are a great souvenir of Japan.
Another Takeshita Street stop, Daiso is a Japanese discount store stocking a fun range of products for 100 yen or less. Kids will love exploring the aisles which are jam packed with weird and wonderful creations including sushi and cake erasers, lucky cats and origami sets. At around $1 a purchase it’s a fun and inexpensive treat.
Kiddyland is a great place to pick up a Japanese toy or character as a souvenir. It opened in Harajuku in the 1950’s and is popular with locals and tourists in the area. Each of its 5 floors is a treasure trove of traditional toys, new trends and popular characters including Hello Kitty, Disney, Star Wars and Snoopy.
Pop into the entrance of the Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku shopping center across the street from Kiddyland. It’s an intriguing kaleidoscope of mirrors, where you can check out your reflection from every angle imaginable!
If you’ve worked up an appetite, pop into Le Shiner in Harajuku and order one of its famous rainbow grilled cheese sandwiches. Although it tastes like regular cheese, the fun factor for kids (and adults!) is huge!
Other great options include the circus-inspired candy floss at Totti Candy and, if the wait time is short, indulge at the donut and croissant delight known as a cronut at the Dominque Ansel Bakery.
A food, drinks and shopping mecca, there are some fun and quirky things to do in Shibuya with kids.
Start with a visit to the iconic Shibuya Crossing where a staggering 3,000 people crossing at peak times. A maze of zebra crossings zig-zag the streets at the intersection and its fascinating to observe.
The best ways to experience Shibuya Crossing are by joining the crowds and crossing the intersection and viewing it from above.
Shibuya Sky is a 360-degree panoramic observation deck located at the top of the Shibuya Scramble Square skyscraper, 229m above the streets of Shibuya.
It has one of the best views in Tokyo and is a must-visit when in Shibuya. We recommend buying your tickets in advance to save time queueing when you visit – check prices now!
Another great option is to grab a window seat at Starbucks Shibuya Tsutaya, directly overlooking the crossing.
Pop across to the statue of Hachikō, the loyal dog who awaited his dead master’s return from work for over 9 years at Shibuya.
Dinner in Zauo Fishing Restaurant
Zauo Fish Restaurant, where guests fish for their dinner and dine on their catch, is a guaranteed hit with kids! A giant boat opens onto a moat filled with sea bream, flounders and lobster and a drum beats when a fish is caught! The fish is then served as sushi, tempura, fried or in a soup. Don’t worry, if you don’t catch a fish you can still order off the menu.
Things to do in Tokyo with kids tip: Zauo is super touristy and really popular. Make sure to reserve in advance and request a boat seat so you can fish directly from your table!
Day 2: Tokyo Disneyland
A day at Tokyo Disneyland is an essential inclusion in our Tokyo with kids itinerary! Modeled on Disneyland California and Magic Kingdom in Florida, Tokyo Disneyland is one of the best Disney parks in the world.
The Cinderella Castle is amazing and the parades fantastic. The best rides include Pooh’s Honey Hunt, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, the Haunted Mansion and Monster’s Inc Ride and Go Seek.
Tokyo Disneyland attracts big crowds so plan to arrive as early as possible and make the most of your time in the park.
If you’ve visited Disney in the US and want to focus on Tokyo’s unique rides then check out:
- Pooh’s Honey Hunt: the honeypots travel seamlessly through a trackless system making for a unique and surreal experience.
- Monster’s Inc Ride and Go Seek: riders are given a flashlight weapon to search for monsters, scoring points on a sighting. The level of detail is mesmerizing
- Parades: Dreaming up and Dreamlights
- Space Mountain: the single rider queues are usually a breeze in Tokyo Disneyland. On the day we visited the wait time was less than 15 minutes for a single rider.
Make sure to buy tickets in advance as Tokyo Disneyland can sell out – check prices here!
Tickets for kids aged 3 and under are free at Tokyo Disneyland.
How to get to Tokyo Disneyland: At Tokyo Station, switch to JR Keiyo Line or JR Musashino Line and go to Maihama Station. If you have a JR Pass, this journey is covered with your pass.
Tokyo with Kids Itinerary Tip: Tokyo’s Disney Resort is made up of two theme parks, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, together with a shopping mall and hotels. You will need to allow two days if you wish to visit both – check below for our suggested optional days if you wish to include DisneySea.
Day 3: Ueno, Asakusa and Roppongi
Ueno is best known for its museums and the green space of Ueno Park.
Start the day with a stroll through Ueno Park. Japan’s first public park is a huge space with temples, museums and a zoo.
The swan boats on Shinobazu Pond were our highlight along with the food and craft stalls lining the entrance path!
The National Museum of Nature and Science is another great stop for kids in Ueno Park. There are over 10,000 exhibits covering dinosaurs, nature and space with some interactive experiments to keep kids engaged.
The nearby Asakusa neighbourhood is known as the traditional area of Tokyo and is home to some of its famous landmarks.
The ancient Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa is the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo and draws millions of tourists to Asakusa. The highlights for kids include the huge red and black paper lantern which marks the entrance to the temple at the Kaminarimon Gate, having their fortune told and shopping in the surrounding Nakamise Street.
Holding the title of the tallest structure in Japan, the Tokyo Skytree is visible from all across the city and is a short walk/train ride from Asakusa. The Skytree is a television broadcasting tower and houses a shopping complex, an aquarium and two observation decks – click here for tickets!
Tokyo with kids itinerary tip: kids will love exploring Asakusa by rickshaw and it’s an awesome way to travel around the iconic sights of the neighborhood ––click here to book a Rickshaw tour!
Finish up the day with a visit to Roppongi Hills and its Observation Deck. The Roppongi district is Tokyo’s expat hub and is popular for nightlife, entertainment and art.
The Tokyo City View observation deck is located in the Mori Tower, one of Tokyo’s tallest buildings. The views are incredible from both the 52nd Floor indoor observation deck and the rooftop Sky Deck, an outdoor observation deck 270 metres high. We watched the sun set over Tokyo and spotted its most famous landmarks – click here for tickets!
Day 4: Shinjuku and Toyosu
Shinjuku is Tokyo’s hub for eating, drinking, entertainment and shopping. Many of its attractions are aimed at adults but there’s plenty of things to do with kids in the neighborhood.
The Samurai Museum in Shinjuku is a great way for kids to learn about the history of Japan and its combat and conflict. There are over 70 samurai displays with armor, helmets, guns and swords. Visitors can dress up in replica armor of Japanese warriors, hold a Samurai sword and watch battle reenactments
The sprawling Shinjuku Gyoen Park is a slice of tranquillity and nature in the middle of the chaotic city streets. The huge park has 20,000 trees, beautiful gardens and a picturesque pond and it includes English, French and Japanese Gardens.
Having worked up an appetite with the morning adventures, the Robot Restaurant is a Tokyo icon and the eclectic mix of neon lights, techno music, laser beams and warrior princesses riding giant robots into battle make for a great show.
The Robot Restaurant is currently closed but we hope to see it reopen soon. Klook sells discounted tickets which we used to save some yen on the admission fee– click here to book your spot at the Robot Restaurant!
Things to do in Tokyo with kids: there are mixed views on the suitability of Robot Restaurant for kids and it’s a wholly personal choice. The show has become much more family friendly and the robot fights are too exaggerated to be taken seriously in recent years. There is no minimum age for tickets. If you are bringing kids, make sure to pick a daytime weekday show as evening and weekend shows tend to be rowdier.
Toyosu shot to fame as the new location of the Tokyo fish market. It is also home to Kidzania, one of the best things to do in Tokyo with kids.
TeamLab Planets is a magnificent museum and a magical world of colour, light and sound. – check ticket prices here!
Tokyo with kids itinerary tip: we visited the TeamLab Digital Art Museum which is currently closed due to relocating. The TeamLab experience is magical and an awesome stop with kids in Tokyo.
Kidzania is a mini city where kids can try out adult jobs and get paid for their work! Each job is sponsored by real companies and kids sign up for a role and report to work at an allocated time. They can become doctors, pilots, vets, firefighters and cheerleaders after completing a training session and dressing in the uniform. Payment takes the form of Kidzania dollars which they can lodge in the bank, withdraw from the cash machine and use to purchase items at Kidzania. It’s so cute and an absolute hit with kids!
Kidzania is open until 9pm most nights so it’s possible to schedule this for later in the day.
Tokyo with kids itinerary tip: if you wish to visit the Toyosu Fish market (which recently replaced the longstanding Tsukiji Fish Market) then you will need to switch the itinerary around to reach Toyosu earlier in the day. The tuna auction takes place from about 5:30am to 6:30am, although we visited the original tuna auction and wouldn’t recommend taking young kids! The rest of the market and the restaurants are in full swing at 7am and the market is at it’s best in the morning.
Additional Tokyo with kids Itinerary Days
Below are some ideas for additional days or days you might want to swap out during your Tokyo with kids itinerary.
1 | Hakone
Easily accessed by train from Shinjuku, Hakone is famous for its hot springs, outstanding natural beauty and stunning Mount Fuji backdrop. It is an awesome choice for a family adventure and there are lots of fun and adventurous things to do in Hakone with kids
Ride the Hakone Ropeway over the volcanic Owakudani Valley and sample the regions famous black eggs which are add 7 years to the life of those who consume.
Visit the Hakone Open Air Museum with works by Henry Moore and Joan Miro as well as a permanent exhibition hall with over 300 Picasso pieces. There’s also a novelty onsen park with a wine bath, a green tea bath, a sake bath and a coffee bath.
Tokyo with kids itinerary tip: if you are travelling from Hakone make sure to purchase a Hakone Free Pass. The pass covers the return train journey on the Express train between Shinjuku and Hakone-Yumoto together with transport in Hakone. It allows for free travel on the bus, the Hakone Ropeway, the Hakone Tozan train and the pirate ship on Lake Ashi. There are also discounts on entry to many Hakone attractions – –purchase a Hakone Free Pass here!
2 | Tokyo DisneySea
Located next to Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea is a unique Disney park based around the tales and legends of the sea. It’s an absolute must for Disney fans seeking a unique Disney experience. The park is split into 7 ports and the park is famous for the shows that take place at the Mediterranean Harbor.
The best rides include 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage and Journey to the Center of the Earth. For younger guests, the Mermaid Lagoon has a great selection of kid friendly rides – check prices here!
Things to do in Tokyo with kids: Tickets for kids aged 3 and under are free at Tokyo DisneySea.
3 | Tokyo Sanrio Puroland
Dedicated to Sanrio characters including Hello Kitty, the Tokyo Sanrio Puroland is a hugely popular theme park just 60 minutes by train from Tokyo Station. It’s extremely cute and the theme park is indoors making it an awesome option for rainy days. With a Hello Kitty house, parades and character meet and greets, it is an absolute must for Hello Kitty fans! – check prices here!