What can I do for my child in Tokyo and Kyoto?

If you come to Tokyo with kids, how do you entertain them?

Here are some tips and a list of activities that might be fun in Tokyo for your children from 4 to 13 years old:

Because of the time zone change, your child will wake up late and go to bed late the first few days . The discomfort of jet lag is more pronounced in children and lasts longer than in adults.

If you have a small child who sleeps during the day, take the stroller with you when you travel, in which the child can rest and sleep. There is no problem with a stroller in Tokyo, all subway stations are equipped with elevators and ramps, all public places (restaurants, museums, hotels, stores) have parking for baby carriages. Tourniquets in the subway are made so that even the widest wheelchair can pass through a certain turnstile (calculated on the width of a wheelchair). In subway cars at the extreme doors of each car there are places for passengers with children and baby carriages, go to the car through these doors: you and the place will give way and you do not disturb other passengers. Try not to go to the subway with children in the morning rush hour (8:30-9:30) – at this time of day on many lines cars full of passengers.

There are toilets almost everywhere – in the subway, in department stores, hotels, stores, cafes. Toilets everywhere are free and clean. In many major stores and subway stations there are toilets for the disabled and children, where you can quietly behind a closed door on a hinged board to change the baby or put him on the potty.

Tokyo’s maritime climate is very different from Russia’s continental climate: for example, in summer in Tokyo it is especially humid, hot and stuffy outside. Your child may feel uncomfortable because of the unfamiliar climate: sweating more, getting tired faster, wanting to sleep more often, suffering because of the bright sun and the change in temperature when you go from an air-conditioned room (store, hotel) to a hot street. If you’re traveling in the summer, bring lots of lightweight summer clothes, as if you were going to beach resorts in Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, or Bali.

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Studio Ghibli Museum

Hello Kitty Museum

Interesting for those who are familiar with Sanrio’s Hello Kitty image. In Japan, it is the second most popular cartoon character after Winnie the Pooh. The museum is small, the entrance fee is quite expensive. Located near the station Tachikawa in a suburb of Tokyo.

Oedo-onsen Monogatari bathing complex on Odaiba

Located in central Tokyo on the bulk island of Odaiba. It is interesting for both children and adults to plunge into the Japanese exoticism of the medieval city of Edo (as Tokyo was called in the Middle Ages). Forsaken, magicians, Japanese baths, massages, food, drink, relaxation. The best place to relax in the evening after a long flight.

LegoLand on Odaiba

LegoLand Discovery Center on Odaiba is a great entertainment center for kids. There are game rooms, a movie theater, rides. Swings, merry-go-rounds. For the little ones and the big ones.

Miraikan at Odaiba

Tokyo: Ueno Zoo

The largest zoo in Tokyo. Located in Ueno Park near the Ueno station of the Yamanote Circle Line. It is a large and popular zoo, but if you have the desire and ability, it is better to visit Tama Zoo in the suburban Tachikawa district.

Hakone: Yunessun Bathing Complex

Located in the mountainous Hakone area. A very popular aqua complex with pools, slides, massages, food and relaxation.


A good small aquarium is located at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel . Dolphin and SEAL shows are held there regularly. The aquarium is closed for renovation from January 5 to summer 2015.

There is the Sumida Aquarium near the world’s tallest TV tower Sky Tree in the Asakusa area, so you can conveniently combine a visit to the observation deck and the aquarium nearby.

There are a lot of good reviews about the aquarium in the Shinagawa Seaside area, but it’s not very convenient to get to.

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In Tokyo, the steepest slides are near the Tokyo Dome sports complex. There are slides for all tastes at Disneyland and Disney City, too. In Yokohama, the central Minato Mirai area also has slides with a great Ferris wheel. Outside of Tokyo, there’s a great slide at Fuji-Q Highland Park at the foot of Mount Fuji. It’s pretty hard to get to (by bus from Tokyo’s Shinjuku and Tokyo stations) and the hours of operation depend on the weather – they are closed when it’s windy or raining.


We will talk about the parks that are oriented to children. The best in my opinion is Tachikawa Park in the suburban district of Tachikawa. The huge space of the former airfield has a nice, well-groomed, comfortable park that’s to everyone’s liking: there’s a Japanese garden and a park with swings, jumping and climbing rings for children, a picnic area and an open-air pool (open only in July and August).

Farther away from Tokyo there’s a huge popular park called Kodomo-no-kuni (“Children’s Land”). There’s a swimming pool, a small menagerie where kids can touch animals, bouncing climbs, merry-go-rounds, and rides.


The anime kingdom is now located in the Akihabara district (Akihabara station of the Yamanote Circle Line). Lots of bars, souvenir stores, exhibition halls. Be careful – some of the stores advertise pretty violent and lewd anime.

What to see in Japan with a child – planning your itinerary

Japan itinerary photo

Japan is diverse, but homogeneous. Japan is a country where on your left is a thousand-year-old temple and on the right is an ultra-modern high-rise. What to see in Japan, going there for the first time on your own? How to plan an itinerary that captures the spirit of the country without drowning in impressions? What to see when you are there with a child?

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Someone correctly trusts the standard tours, passing on the main tourist routes. That might be enough for starters. But if you have even a little experience in independent travel – don’t be afraid to visit Japan on your own! This article was written by the author of this site based on my own trip to Japan with a school child. I give recommendations from my own experience, you can follow them if you wish.

When to go to Japan?

The best time to visit Japan is during the fall and spring school vacations ! For travel to European countries, in other articles I’ve recommended shifting dates because of the mass travel of families with children during these days (and accordingly, more expensive tickets), luckily this does not apply to Japan. It’s not a mass “school” destination, so feel free to plan your trip by the vacation deadline. Especially because the weather conditions are the best time. Spring – blossoming cherry trees and plums. Autumn – bright colors of deciduous plants. It is a time of “nature watching” in Japan. You can join them too.

Japan itinerary photo

How many days to go? At least a week, optimally 10 days. Because of the long flight you will need time to adapt, as well as “adapt” to the surrounding reality. It is the same, but different ))) On the other hand, planning a long trip (more than 2 weeks) for the first time does not make sense either. A child will be saturated with information and impressions. A longer trip makes sense if you, for example, want to spend some time in Okinawa.

Itinerary of Japan

For the first acquaintance with the country it will be enough to plan acquaintance with the two main cities of Japan – Tokyo and Kyoto. Not enough? Not at all. Especially since we do not only explore their centers, but also travel to the surrounding area. We walk and enjoy the views, we contemplate, we marvel. We don’t run around taking in all the sights “for a tick.”

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Plan about equal time for each city (for example, if you have 10 nights, then 5 in Tokyo and 5 in Kyoto). We had 9 nights, so we put 4 days in Kyoto and 5 days in Tokyo. We regretted it later – we should have spent more time in Kyoto.

The best place to start is Kyoto. And then your trip will be not only by city, but also through time, from antiquity to modernity – and this is very interesting! Kyoto is the oldest city in Japan, it’s as if the old traditions are frozen (and that’s not an exaggeration!). Tokyo is more modern, dynamic and austere.

What to see in Kyoto photo

Arriving from Russia to Tokyo, it is better not to immediately settle in a hotel in the capital, and take a high-speed train to Kyoto and settle there. Planes from Moscow arrive Tokyo in the morning, the day of arrival is usually somewhat “hectic,” so it is easier and more convenient to spend it on the road. What to see in Kyoto After staying in a hotel (or better – in a rikan, to get a fuller sense of classic Japan), the first evening, take a walk around the neighborhood. Understand where you are )).

And then plan 3-4 days at your disposal to visit the following places: – trip to Nara (an hour outside the city, a full day, Nara must be visited! A visit to Inari (near Kyoto, take several hours), – a walk along the Philosopher’s Path from Ginkakuji Silver Pavilion to Kiyomizuzero Temple (east of Kyoto, a leisurely walk with sightseeing may take a whole day), – a walk in the north-west of Kyoto – Golden Pavilion, Ryoanji Stone Garden, – a visit to the Imperial Palace and/or Nije-je Castle (center of Kyoto. If there is little time, it is better to choose Nijie-je). – Sanjusangen-do Temple (Highly recommended. in Kyoto, relatively close to the train station. A visit can be scheduled in the morning for the day of departure)

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The question may arise – would children be interested in exploring all of these complexes? The answer to that I gave in my article To Japan with a Child. Of the children’s attractions in Kyoto, we could mention the KYOTO AQUARIUM Aquarium or the Toei Kyoto Studio Park (www.toei-eigamura.com/).

More details about the route will be written in a separate article about Kyoto attractions.

Once again, don’t spare any time for Kyoto. Its ancient temples, palaces, and parks are many times more “authentic” than similar ones in Tokyo. Enjoy Japanese antiquity in Kyoto.

What to see in Tokyo Plan your trip to Tokyo so that it is convenient for you to check out of one hotel and check into another.

Tokyo Hachiko Japan photo

In Tokyo your family entertainment program could look like this: – a trip to Nikko (the outskirts of Tokyo, for a full day), – a tour of the Imperial Palace (the center of Tokyo, if you have already been to the Kyoto Imperial Palace, it is generally not worth going here) – a visit to the observation tower (a choice – there are several), – Ueno Park, Tokyo National Museum, National Science Museum (for a child), – entertainment on Odaiba – Maritime Museum, MeSci National Museum of Science Development and Innovation, Toyota Demonstration Center, – Tokyo Disneyland (full day). – Go out in the Shibuya district to see the monument to the faithful dog Hachiko. Well, and shopping in Japan will require your time, as without it. Toy stores in Tokyo are definitely worth a visit!

As you can see, the program can be very rich. You’ll start your introduction to the country with the old temples of Kyoto and Nara, and end with views of skyscrapers and a tour of the Science Museum’s state-of-the-art robots. For more information about the sights of each city, see other articles on the site. Article and all photos by the author of the site

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