Tokyo with Kids Itinerary: the Ultimate Guide!

by | Sep 22, 2019 | Asia, Blog, Japan

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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

Tokyo fun!

 

 Tokyo with kids Itinerary Essentials

From transportation to sim cards, these are our essentials for navigating Tokyo with kids.

Tokyo Transport

Tokyo is most easily navigated by a mix of trains and walking.

Airport Transfers

  • 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!

Click here to order your Tokyo subway pass

 

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 – check prices now!

Tokyo itinerary tip

The Suica card

 

 

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!

Click here for the best Tokyo hotel prices

 

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.

Click here to order your sim card or 4g hotspot now

 

 

Tokyo with kids itinerary

We’ve outlined our day to day Tokyo with kids itinerary as a starting point for planning your own South Korea experience.

Tokyo with kids itinerary

Exploring Shinjuku with kids

 

Day 1: Odaiba

Odaiba is one of the best neighborhoods in Tokyo for kids. A man made island in Tokyo Bay, it is a shopping and entertainment mecca and has some really fun and quirky attractions.

Tokyo with kids itinerary

Odaiba

 

TeamLab Borderless

Start the day with one of the most incredible things to do in Tokyo with kids, the TeamLab Borderless Digital Art Museum.

Tokyo with kids itinerary

The Forest of Resonating Lanterns at TeamLab Borderless

 

TeamLab Borderless is a magical world of colour, light and sound. It is divided into 5 distinct sections: Borderless World, Athletics Forest, Future Park, Forest of Resonating Lamps, and EN Tea House.

The Athletics Forest, located on the second floor, is the highlight for kids and we had a blast exploring it with J.

Tokyo with kids itinerary

Having fun!

There’s a Sketch Aquarium where aquatic drawings are animated and projected onto the walls, an interactive trampoline, a climbing wall and a climbing frame made from hanging swings.

There’s also gushing digital waterfalls, exhibits filled with crystal and lanterns and a rock where crowds gather to enjoy the display.

Tokyo with kids itinerary

The rock where crowds gather at TeamLab Borderless

 

TeamLab Borderless sells out almost every day so it’s essential to reserve tickets in advance. Entrance is only by official ticket and luckily you can reserve your tickets in advance on Klook – check prices here!

Click here to order Team Lab Borderless tickets

 

Tickets are reserved for a specific day but there are no assigned entry times – ticket holders can visit at any time during the museum opening hours. 

Tokyo with kids itinerary tip: we highly recommend visiting TeamLab Borderless on a weekday, either first thing in the morning or late afternoon, as it can get uncomfortably busy at peak times.

Family fun at TeamLab Borderless

 

After TeamLab Borderless, there are some great attractions in Odaiba depending on your interests. We’ve included a lowdown on each so you can pick and choose what to do:

  • Oedo-Onsen Monogatari
  • Legoland
  • Miraikan, The National Museum of Science and Innovation

 

Oedo-Onsen Monogatari

An Onsen is a quintessential Japanese experience and the Oedo-Onsen Monogatari is both family friendly and the largest in Japan. It is a great place to experience an onsen for the first time and to bring kids.

There are 13 different types of hot spring baths, pools which offer fish therapy and foot baths to revive tired feet. Visitors dress in colourful yukata, a casual kimono, and the rental is included in entry.

It’s easy to spend a few hours in the Onsen: as well as the hot springs there are on site restaurants, an arcade with festival style games and sprawling grounds to explore.

Discounted tickets are available on Klook – check prices here!

Click here to buy Odaiba Onsen tickets

 

Tokyo with kids itinerary tip: If you have a tattoo note that tattoos are usually not allowed in public onsen although sometimes it is possible to cover them. We noticed that Oedo-Onsen Monogatari had signs stating no tattoos are allowed.

Legoland

The Legoland Discovery Centre is a fantastic place to visit with kids in Tokyo. It is the ultimate Lego playground! There are over 3 million Lego blocks, 2 rides and 10 play zones, Lego classes and a 4D cinema – check prices here!

Click here to buy Legoland Discovery Center tickets

 

Tokyo with kids itinerary tip: the Legoland Discovery Centre in Tokyo is aimed at kids aged between 3 and 10. Adults must be accompanied by children and a visit takes around three hours. 

Miraikan, The National Museum of Science and Innovation

Created by Japan’s Science and Technology Agency, Miraikan is one of the most popular things to do in Tokyo with kids. Exhibits include a full size model of the International Space Station living quarters, the 10million pixel Geo-Cosmos globe and a section of rock core which recorded the meteorite impact that led to the demise of the dinosaurs. Recent special exhibitions have included the Mammoth exhibition which showcased frozen specimens from the extinct mammoth population.

Explore Odaiba

After checking out the big attractions, there are some other fun things to do in Odaiba.

Make sure to check out Tokyo’s version of the Statue of Liberty. It’s 7 times smaller than its New York counterpart but, against the Rainbow Bridge backdrop, it is still  spectacular.

A 20 meter tall Unicorn Gundam Robot stands next to the DiverCity Tokyo Plaza Mall in Odaiba.

Tokyo with kids itinerary

The Gundam Robot in Odaiba

 

The Palette Town Ferris Wheel is 115 meter tall and offers awesome views of Rainbow Bridge and iconic Tokyo landmarks including Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree.

Tokyo with kids itinerary

The Palette Town Ferris Wheel in Odaiba

 

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!

Click here to buy Tokyo Disneyland tickets

 

 

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.

Tokyo with kids itinerary

Tokyo Disneyland

 

 

Day 3: Harajuku and Shibuya

Harajuku
From food to fashion to the unexpected, Harajuku is a fun and quirky spot for kids.

Meiji Shrine

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.

Tokyo with kids itinerary

Meiji Shrine

There is a huge display of sake barrels along the entrance path which signify a gift to the gods.

 

Tokyo with kids itinerary

The sake barrels at Meiji Shrine

 

 

Yoyogi Park

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.

Tokyo with kids itinerary

The Rockabilly dancers at Yoyogi Park

 

Lunch at Monster Café

With its psychedelic decor and Kawaii theme, lunch at the Kawaii Monster Cafe is one of the most fun things to do in Harajuku. Based around the Kawaii culture of cuteness, kids will love the bizarre food and drinks, the kaleidoscope of color and the crazy atmosphere! A giant cake themed merry go round is surrounded by the aptly named Mushroom Disco and Milk Stand as well as a tea room adorned with ice cream and macaroons.

Tokyo with kids itinerary

Robot Restaurant

Advance tickets to Monster Cafe are only sold via Voyagin, their official partner, or, if available, walk-in tickets can be purchased on arrival. You can book your package (entrance only, food and drink or themed and premium packages) and time slot via and have tickets sen via email. We used them and it was super easy and reliable– click here to book now!

Book your ticket for the Monster Cafe now!

 

Tokyo with kids itinerary

Monster Cafe

 

Tokyo with kids itinerary tip: the Monster Cafe welcomes kids to day and evening shows with the exception of the burlesque and drag evenings which are adults only. We visited in the afternoon with J and he was mesmerized!

Tokyo with kids itinerary

Robot Restaurant fun

 

Explore Harajuku

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.

Tokyo with kids itinerary

Purikura memories!

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.

Tokyo with kids itinerary

Choosing our treats at Daiso

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.

Kiddyland fun

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!

Tokyo with kids itinerary

Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku

 

Snacks!

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!

Tokyo with kids itinerary

Good enough to eat! Le Shiner, Harajuku

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.

Tokyo with kids itinerary

Having fun at Totti Candy

 

Shibuya

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.

Tokyo with kids itinerary

Shibuya Crossing

The best ways to experience Shibuya Crossing are by joining the crowds and crossing the intersection and by grabbing a window seat at Starbucks Shibuya Tsutaya, directly overlooking the crossing.

Tokyo with kids itinerary

The view from Starbucks

 

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.

Tokyo with kids itinerary

Hachiko

 

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 – click here to book now!

Book your ticket for Zauo Restaurant!

 

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 4: Ueno, Asakusa and Roppongi

Ueno

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.

Leafy Ueno Park

The swan boats on Shinobazu Pond were our highlight along with the food and craft stalls lining the entrance path!

Tokyo with kids itinerary

The Swan Boats at Ueno

 

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.

Asakusa

The nearby Asakusa neighbourhood is known as the traditional area of Tokyo and is home to some of its famous landmarks.

Tokyo with kids itinerary

Asakusa

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.

Tokyo with kids itinerary

Senso-ji Temple

 

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

Tokyo Skytree

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!

Click here to book Asakusa by Rickshaw

 

Roppongi

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!

Click here to book Roppongi Hills Observatory tickets

 

 

Day 5: Shinjuku and Toyosu

Shinjuku

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 – click here to book your spot at the Samurai Museum!

Click here to book Samurai Museum tickets

 

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.

Tokyo with kids itinerary

Shinjuku Gyoen

 

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.

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!

Click here to book 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.

Tokyo with kids itinerary

Robot Restaurant fun!

 

Toyosu 

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.

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.

Tokyo with kids itinerary

The Hakone Ropeway

 

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!

Book your Hakone Free Pass now

 

 

Things to do in Hakone with Kids

Exploring the Hakone Open Air Museum

 

 

#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!

Click here to buy Tokyo DisneySea tickets

 

Things to do in Tokyo with kids: Tickets for kids aged 3 and under are free at Tokyo DisneySea.

Tokyo with kids itinerary

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!

Book your Sanrio Puroland tickets now

 

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