Making plans for a trip Tokyo with young children? Tokyo may be a cosmopolitan hub abuzz with fashion and fancy eats, but it also has many kid-friendly sights to see!

Tokyo Travels With Kids

Photo by David Edelstein on Unsplash

Our family has been to Tokyo twice with our boys (age 8 and 6), and we enjoyed both trips immensely. Here are places to add to your holiday itinerary, as well as a few tried-and-tested tips for traveling with children in Japan!

1. CUPNOODLES Museum – Yokohama

Kid-Friendly Places To Visit In Tokyo Cup Noodles Museum

Don’t let its name fool you, there’s so much more to cup noodles than just the act of eating noodles! Here, children will hear the story of Momofuku Ando, the founder of Nissin Food Products and inventor of Chicken Ramen, the world’s first instant ramen that revolutionised the global food industry.

They’ll get to see how instant noodle packaging has evolved over the years, and be amazed to see how even astronauts now eat this up in space!

No trip would be complete without a visit to My CUPNOODLES Factory, where they can design a unique cup packaging, and customise their very own Cup Noodle combination of soup, toppings and noodles.

And last but not least, the children will enjoy burning off some energy at the indoor CUPNOODLES Park which has roller slides, interactive screens, climbing net and a ball pit to keep them amused, while the adults take a coffee break.

Address: 2-3-4 Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama 231-0001 Japan

Nearest Station: Minatomirai Station (Yokohama Minatomirai Railway)

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 18:00 (Last admission is at 17:00)
* Non-Business Days: Tuesday (in case Tuesday is a National Holiday, the following day will be a non-business day), Year-end through New Year Holidays

Admission Fee:

  • Adults: 500 yen
  • High school age children and younger: Free

Do note that additional charges apply for certain activities within the museum

www.cupnoodles-museum.jp/en/yokohama

2. Odaiba

Tokyo Kid-Friendly Places To Visit Odaiba

Spending a day at Odaiba is a must whenever our family travels to Tokyo. From taking a cruise down Tokyo Bay, to seeing the iconic Rainbow Bridge which connects Odaiba to the rest of Tokyo, the journey to Odaiba itself is worth the trip.

Odaiba is actually a man-made island reclaimed in Tokyo Bay, that is now a popular shopping and entertainment district.

Besides the Odaiba Seaside Park which all children will love – think lots of clean sand and space to run –there’s also kid-friendly attractions like the Legoland Discovery Center in Decks Tokyo Beach and a life-sized Gundam statue in front of DiverCity Tokyo Plaza.

Older children will be excited to take the giant ferris wheel in Palette Town. Best of all, almost everything is within walking distance once you’re on the island.

Traveling to Odaiba

Take the Rinkai Line, Yurikamome Line (elevated train), Tokyo Water Bus, or even walk across the Rainbow Bridge on foot!

3. Maxell Aqua Park Shinagawa

Tokyo kid-friendly places Aqua Park

Be completely mesmerized by the creative pairing of amazing sea creatures and beautiful lights. A combination of an aquarium and a theme park, Aqua Park provides a fun and unique way of introducing children to the underwater world!

Our family’s favourite exhibit was the Jellyfish Ramble, which consists of various eye-catching jellyfish on display, amidst a relaxing combination of music and lights.

There are lots of interesting sea animals to see, as well as interactive stations for children to learn fun facts about the different creatures. But be sure to make time to catch one of their dolphin shows at The Stadium – you won’t regret it!

Address: 4-10-30 Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8611 (Within Shinagawa Prince Hotel)

Nearest Station: Shinagawa Station

Opening Hours: 9:00 – 22:00 (Last admission is at 21:00, opening hours may change so best to check website)

Admission Fee:

  • Adults (High school and over): 2,200 yen
  • Elementary/MiddleSchool students: 1,200 yen
  • Children 4yo or older: 700 yen

Do note that additional charges apply for rides within the park

www.aqua-park.jp/aqua/en/index.html

4. Ueno Zoo

Kid-Friendly Places To Visit In Tokyo Ueno Zoo

While our Singapore Zoo is certainly one of the best in the region, a visit to Japan’s Ueno Zoo is still a special affair, as children will get to see animals not kept in Singapore.

For instance, our boys were excited to see a polar bear again – we had all been saddened by the loss of our Inuka earlier this year – and to spot many different varieties of native Japanese birds. Panda lovers, you might want to queue to meet Xiang Xiang, the resident female panda cub.

But the icing on the cake is really the Children’s Zoo section, where kids can get pretty close to a family of pigs, watch a turkey gobble, say hi to a sheep and learn all sorts of interesting animal facts at the Children’s Zoo Center.

Address: 4-10-30 Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8611 (Within Shinagawa Prince Hotel)

Nearest Station: Shinagawa Station

Opening Hours: 9:30 – 17:00 (Last admission is at 16:00; Zoo is closed on Mondays and December 29 – January 1)

Admission Fee:

  • Adults (16-64yo): 600 yen
  • Seniors (65+ yo): 300 yen
  • Students (13-15yo): 200 yen
  • Children (0-12yo): Free

www.tokyo-zoo.net/english/ueno

5. Robot Park

Known also as Sakurazaka Park or Robo-Robo Park, Robot Park is a small robot-themed park nestled in Roppongi Hills. Children will love zipping up and down ten colourful covered slides, riding on cute spring robots and chugging down the hill on a long rolling-pin slide (which we don’t have in Singapore). Meanwhile, parents can rest or picnic in the shade while they keep an eye on the children.

The park is also close by to the Roppongi Hills mega complex, so there’s shopping, dining and events to enjoy after some outdoor play!

Address: 6-16-46 Roppongi, Minato-ku

Nearest Station: Roppongi Station

Admission is free!

https://matcha-jp.com/en/4591

6. Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea

Kid-Friendly Places In Tokyo Disney Land

Of course, no travel itinerary to Tokyo would be complete without a day or two spent in the happiest place in the world.

Children will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of their favourite cartoon characters, have their fill of exciting rides and shows, and enjoy snacking on different flavours of popcorn in Disney’s unique range of popcorn buckets!

Then, there are the daily parades and evening fireworks that are sure to wow the socks of everyone – adults and kids alike! You might even want to stay a couple of nights at the Tokyo Disney Resort to fully take in all that the parks have to offer, and avoid the hassle of traveling to and from your hotel every day.

Address: 4-10-30 Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8611 (Within Shinagawa Prince Hotel)

Nearest Station: Maihaima Station (JR Keiyo / Musashino Line)

Opening Hours: 8:00 – 22:00 (Opening hours subject to change so best to check website)

Admission Fee:

  • Adults (18-64yo): 7,400 yen
  • Junior (12-17yo): 6,400 yen
  • Children (4-11yo): 4,800 yen
  • Seniors (65+ yo): 6,700 yen
  • Children aged 3yo and below: Free

www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/index.html

Traveling in Tokyo with Young Children

Traveling in Tokyo with Young Children

Photo by AC De Leon on Unsplash

#1 Travel light

If you’re planning to take public transport around, do note that not every station exit has a lift or escalator. Instead, there are more stairs than lifts to be found in Japan, based on our experience.

So leave the bulky pram and bring along a lightweight stroller. Or better yet, use a carrier (if your child is small enough) to keep your hands free.

#2 Bring your own ‘dustbin’

We’re so used to having a dustbin everywhere we turn here in Singapore, but in Japan, you might be hard-pressed to find a dustbin just when you need it.

Furthermore, many of the public dustbins are categorised into combustibles, incombustibles, and bottles/cans, so you might not be able to find the bin you are looking for.

This is why we always carry a couple of plastic bags with us when we go out, so that we can throw our rubbish in our own ‘bins’ during the course of the day, and dispose of the trash appropriately when we come across an actual bin.

#3 Plan your trip

While this might seem like stating the obvious, it’s certainly an essential point for parents to keep in mind. The more intrepid travellers among us might think nothing of turning up at the train station with no itinerary for the day and just winging it along the way by asking for directions or relying on Google Maps.

But when you have restless young children in the equation + a crowded train station + many different train lines that intersect at several point + a language barrier with the service staff, you’ve got a recipe for a disaster right there.

We have always tried to plan our routes beforehand, and it has really helped us to cope with navigating our way around Tokyo on our own with the kids. Through such planning, we’ve also come to realize how intricate the Tokyo transport system is, and that while different routes may lead to the same destination, the travel time and cost incurred can vary quite greatly.

Text and photos by Dorothea Chow

Like what you see here? Get parenting tips and stories straight to your inbox! Join our mailing list here.

Want to be heard and seen by over 100,000 parents in Singapore? We can help! Leave your contact here and we’ll be in touch.