HOME Tokyo and Surroundings Ikebukuro Traveling to Japan with Kids? 8 Things to Do in and Around Tokyo for Families!
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Traveling to Japan with Kids? 8 Things to Do in and Around Tokyo for Families!

Traveling to Japan with Kids? 8 Things to Do in and Around Tokyo for Families!

Update: 12 October 2018

For both tourists and locals alike, Tokyo doesn’t always seem like a child-friendly city. Of course, adults won’t have any issue filling their day with exciting sightseeing activities, but which charms does the Japanese capital have to offer for its smaller visitors?

From flight simulators to the largest ball pool in Japan, there’s much to do, discover, and enjoy for the whole family in and around Tokyo! We have compiled 8 must-do activities that will make unforgettable memories for your Tokyo family trip.

1. Sky Art Japan: Become a Real Pilot!

1. Sky Art Japan: Become a Real Pilot!

Sky Art Japan is a flight simulation experience just a 10-minute walk from JR Shinagawa Station. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a flight simulation is a fairly standard thing to do – at Sky Art, you’ll get the authentic virtual experience of piloting a Boeing 777, a once-in-a-lifetime chance!

Currently, there are only 20 flight simulators worldwide used to train actual pilots, and Sky Art is one of them. While this may sound intimidating at first, Sky Art offers easy-to-navigate menus and explanations that will make this experience fun and exciting no matter which age you are!

On top of the flying, you can also reserve the “Cabin Mockup.” This is a realistically sized cabin that features actual aircraft parts, offering a unique space for parties, photo opportunities, celebrations, and even cabin crew training. Let your little ones taste the skies and be pilots for a day!

2. Kodomo no Yu: Japan’s Largest Ball Pool Directly under the Scenic Tokyo Skytree

2. Kodomo no Yu: Japan’s Largest Ball Pool Directly under the Scenic Tokyo Skytree

Kodomo no Yu, literally meaning children’s bath, is located in Solamachi, the area directly underneath Tokyo Skytree. This wonderful indoor playground is Japan’s largest ball pool, designed in the theme of a traditional Japanese public bath house. One of the greatest things about Kodomo no Yu is that even adults are allowed to enter the ball pool – as long as they accompany a child – so playing together is absolutely encouraged!

Apart from the giant ball pool, Kodomo no Yu also features a shuriken dojo and a shooting range, allowing children to slip into the shoes of ninja and warriors of Old Japan. A mock-up shopping mall makes playing shopkeeper and shopper particularly exciting! For the grownups, rest spaces and massage chairs provide relaxation in a great atmosphere. By all means, drop by!

3. Tobu Zoo: A Big, Fun Place Filled with Animals and Attractions

3. Tobu Zoo: A Big, Fun Place Filled with Animals and Attractions

Zoos are prime examples for spots that are fun for the entire family. At Tobu Zoo in Saitama Prefecture, over 1,200 animals of 120 species prowl, flutter, and swim happily about – one of the zoo’s VIPs is the white tiger, one of only around 250 of such animals worldwide. Tobu Zoo offers special experiences and guides to learn all about the zoo’s inhabitants, making this trip especially fun.

Next to the zoo, the area also features an amusement park. Look forward to over 30 kinds of attractions for all ages, from jet coasters to spooky mansions! A large Ferris wheel offers an amazing view over the entire area – how many animals can you spot from high above?

  • tobuzoo
    東武動物公園
    • Address 110,Suka,Miyashiro-machi,Minamisaitama-gun,Saitama,345-0831
    • Nearest Station Tobu-Dobutsu-Koen Station(Tobu Isesaki Line (Tobu Sky Tree Line) / Tobu Nikko Line)
      10 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 0480-93-1200

4. Tokyo Sushi-Making Tour: Become a Real Sushi Pro!

4. Tokyo Sushi-Making Tour: Become a Real Sushi Pro!

Just a 3-minute walk away from JR Kitasenju Station lies a real fun experience: Tokyo Sushi-Making Tour is a sushi classroom that’ll teach you how to make your own sushi like a pro! The teacher has instructed over 4,000 eager students so far and, with his positive and fun attitude, left many a great impression! Even beginners who have never made a dish for themselves in their entire life will have a blast here.

The Tokyo Sushi-Making Tour won’t only teach you how to make awesome sushi, however, you can also look forward to learning about the history of sushi, related etiquette, the right way to make and form rice, and all kinds of trivia in a very fun and engaging way. Such a sushi lesson can be booked via reservation for your entire family, so don’t miss out on this uniquely Japanese experience.

5. Studio EVE and Stringraphy: Experiencing a Very Special Kind of Music

5. Studio EVE and Stringraphy: Experiencing a Very Special Kind of Music

Stringraphy is a unique and new kind of Japanese performance art created by Studio EVE. The name also refers to a special kind of instrument that is made only out of string and paper cups – and you wouldn’t believe what kind of magical tunes the artists of Studio EVE manage to make with this simple yet complex setup! It’s like a fairy dance. From classical music to favorite pieces from Japanese anime, Studio EVE’s repertoire of songs to play on Stringraphy is large.

Of course, the Stringraphy ensemble has performances all over the world and thus boasts many an international fan. At Studio EVE, the headquarters of said ensemble, allowing visitors both old and young to try their hands at the enigmatic musical experience themselves. As such, a visit to Studio EVE is especially recommended to children who enjoy making and listening to music.

6. Myoho: The Real Japanese Bathing Experience!

6. Myoho: The Real Japanese Bathing Experience!

Japan is famous for its rich and unique bathing culture and taking part in this piece of history is on the top list of many a tourist. At the public bath Myoho in Ikebukuro, entire families can have a great day exploring this very bathing culture! Just a two-minute walk away from Shiinamachi Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line, Myoho even still heats their bathing water by burning firewood. With baths and saunas, look forward to a full day of fun and relaxation with Japanese bathing culture.

After soaking and sweating, why not spend some time in one of the atmospheric, open resting spaces? It’s a Japanese custom to drink a cold beverage like fruit juice, milk, or beer after a hot bath – that’ll make your body tingle pleasantly! The best thing about Myoho is that everything, from towels to shampoo, can be rented, so you can just hop by whenever you are free, without any planning!

  • Myouhou: Japanese public bath
    • Address 4-32-4, Nishiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, 171-0021
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Ikebukuro Station (JR Shonan Shinjuku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Saikyo Line / Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line / Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line / Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line / Seibu Ikebukuro Line / Tobu Tojo Line)
      15 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 03-3957-8433

7. Tokyo One Piece Tower

7. Tokyo One Piece Tower
One Piece: ©Amusequest Tokyo Tower LLP ©Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha,Toei Animation

Opened in March 2015, One Piece Tower is the first large-scale One Piece theme park, with nine different attractions across four floors, each based on the main characters of the Straw Hat Crew, and includes character photo ops, and a puzzle game that has you traveling around the entire building to solve it. Even if you're new to the series, it's a to of fun for kids - and each section even has signage and hints in English as well!

8. Japan Limousine Service: Sightseeing, the Luxurious Way

8. Japan Limousine Service: Sightseeing, the Luxurious Way

For super convenient and especially luxurious sightseeing in Tokyo, we highly recommend Japan Limousine Service. As the name suggests, this service offers comfortable sightseeing via limousine, including your own tourism concierge who eloquently introduces you to landmarks and sights in and around Tokyo. If you want to get a taste of the famous Japanese hospitality, this is the right way to go!

Various kinds of sightseeing plans invite to discover different facades of Japan, from touring Japan’s biggest, active volcano Mount Fuji, to exploring Japanese Buddhism in Kamakura. Even places that are a tad further away, like Nikko Toshogu Shrine, the gravesite of Japan’s first shogun, can be conveniently visited by limousine! Numerous languages are supported as well, the main ones being English, Chinese, and Korean, but also French, German, Thai, Russian, Italian, and Spanish.

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The fun and unique activities we introduced aren’t just attractive for both young and old, they also allow to get a first-hand experience of Japanese history and culture. Learn new things and make great memories as a family!

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.

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