Five Great Activities for You and Your Family
Tokyo is a very family-friendly city. The Japanese capital is bright and full of amazing sites from observation towers to amusement parks to busy shopping streets. There are a lot of activities and attractions to hit during your stay. Here are five things to do in Tokyo that you and your kids will love.
Take in the View at Tokyo Tower
For an amazing view of Tokyo, ascend the Tokyo Tower (4-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato, Tokyo), the second-tallest structure in Japan at 1,090 feet high. Head up to the main observatory to snap photos and try to spot your hotel. The tower is illuminated with 180 lights from sunset until early morning. It's open all year regardless of weather, and you can visit in the daytime, or at night to see the city lights. Tickets for children cost between $3.50 and $4.40 depending on age, and tickets for adults run around $9.00.
Shop Along Takeshita Street
If your kids like colorful fashion and trendy cafes, take a stroll along Takeshita Street (1 Chome Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo), a thoroughfare known for its Harajuku culture, a youth-oriented street culture with a colorful, cartoonish style. Grab some Japanese sweets or stuffed toys (they make everything from Hello Kitty to Godzilla) for the folks back home, and let the young ones enjoy the cat cafes, where real cats roam around the tables. The street is one of those must-see places in Tokyo year-round and it's free to visit if you just window shop.
Visit the Ueno Zoo
The Ueno Zoo (Ueno Park, Taito, Tokyo Prefecture) was founded in 1882, making it the oldest zoo in Japan. It's home to several unusual animals, which your kids may never have seen before, like Hokkaido brown bears and Japanese macaques. TripAdvisor users suggest taking along a lot of water and sunscreen if you visit during the warmer months and recommend spring and fall as the best time of year to enjoy the animals. Children under 12 are free.
Explore Tokyo Disney Resort
Tokyo Disney Resort (1-1 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture) is unlike any Disney resort you've visited in the past. Some of the attractions will be familiar, like Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean, but Japanese culture makes its way through the park as part of the costumes of the Disney characters. You can also check out DisneySea, with its nautical-themed attractions—best during the summer when you won't mind getting wet. A one-day pass for Tokyo Disney Resort about $42.00 for children ages 4 to 11; $56.00 for children 12 to 17; and $65.00 for those 18 and over.
Play Around at Sanrio Puroland
One of Tokyo's best spots for kids is Sanrio Puroland (1-31 Ochiai, Tama, Tokyo Prefecture), an indoor amusement park that features all the Sanrio characters. It's perfect for anyone who loves Hello Kitty and her friends, and because it's inside you don't have to worry about weather. It's open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and the family will enjoy an entire day exploring whimsical rides and enjoying live shows, which include a magical illusion act and the popular Alice in Wonderland-themed performance, Hello Kitty in Wonderland. You can even ring Hello Kitty's Bell of Happiness, which is meant to give you good luck.