Tokyo is a big bustling city full of excitement and colour, but how easy is it to tackle with kids?
With the help of Anne Sutherland-Smith from Pre-Traveller, we have put together this fabulous 3 day Tokyo Itinerary for Families to make sure you get all the very best out of a short trip to Tokyo, Japan
You can listen to an interview between our editor Marianne and Anne on our City Travel with Kids Podcast below – full show notes can be found here.
Day 1 Tokyo with Kids Itinerary
Spend the morning indulging in the art of Sumo in the Ryogoku area. This can be watching a sumo tournament, or watching a sumo training session if your children are old enough (they need to be able to sit still and quiet).
Explore the Asakusa area of Tokyo, here you will find the Senso-Ji Temple, the oldest Buddhist Temple in Toyko.
You can also head into the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Centre. Not only a fabulously designed building with great city views, but you can also arrange city walking views from here as well as enquire (in English) on local sightseeing, cooking classes and kimomo-wearing experiences.
Look for some unique foodies experiences – from the convenience stores to the street stalls, get to know your local streets and sample local delicacies.
Where to stay in Tokyo with Kids
There are many places for families to stay in Tokyo, depending just how deep into the action you want to be, or if you’d prefer a suburban experience away from the crowds which can be a little overwhelming with little ones.
Top areas to stay in for families include:
- Asakusa: An atmospheric older part of town has a lot of good cheap Tokyo hotel options including larger rooms in triples and quads.
- Shinjuku: Close to one of Tokyo’s main transport hubs and is on the Yamanote line, making it easy to get everywhere from here.
- Shibuya: Also has easy transport options, a huge choice of restaurants and good shopping options. A fun option for families with older kids and teenagers.
- Hilton Tokyo Bay: If your primary aim is the Disney theme parks
It’s important to check out exactly how much space you will actually get; even if advertised as a family room there may be an exceptation that children share with an adult which does not work with older kids Family rooms at a hostel can be a good budget alternative.
Some top Tokyo family-sized hotel rooms include:
- Ryokan Kamogawa Tokyo – for an authentic Japanese experience
- Park Hyatt Tokyo – for a luxury stay in the heart of the action
- Asakusa View Hotel – A modern western-style hotel in the heart of Asakusa, just a 5-minute walk to Senso-ji temple
Check out our complete selection of Tokyo hotel rooms to suit all budgets here.
Day 2 Tokyo with Kids Itinerary
Do a Harajuku food tour! A great taster of Tokyo’s Pop Culture, exploring and tasting your way around Harajuku.
Day 3 Tokyo with Kids Itinerary
Head on an early morning train out west of the city to visit the Ghibli Museum and Hayao Miyazaki Movies Tour.
Arrive back into Shinjuku Station on the western side of Tokyo
- See the Big Godzilla towering over the Toho Building.
- Catch a show at the Robot Restaurant.
- With younger children, explore the Tokyo Toy Museum – including indoor and outdoor play areas.
Further family activities in Tokyo
If you have more than 3 days to spend in Tokyo and surrounding areas, you could add these activities:
- Disneyland Tokyo if you have younger children or love the original themed Disney Parks.
- DisneySea Tokyo is more thrill rides, better for older kids and a more unique Tokyo experience
- Attend a baseball match
- A day trip west to Mount Fuji
- Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park
- Oshino Ninja Village
- Kyoto also makes a good add-on to a Tokyo trip, though with kids we’d recommend you allow an extra two days for everything that Kyoto has to offer in addition to Tokyo, including:
How to get around in Tokyo
Tokyo is a very large city to navigate so you are best to base yourself near to a Metro line and avoid travelling with kids during peak commuter rush hour times.
You only need to invest in a Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) if you are intending to travel beyond Tokyo, otherwise, you will only need a Tokyo Metro Pass.
What to pack for Tokyo
We suggest packing light so you are not dragging too much luggage around with you, but you do need to pack appropriately for the seasons with summers being very hot and winters cold.
Remember to pop on over and listen to the podcast if you would like to learn more about all the places we mention from Anne & the Little City team.
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