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Our tween and teen planned our recent visit to Japan. They planned a ton of things to do in Tokyo. So many things that we spent 10 days, just in Tokyo.
There are so many things to love about visiting Toyko. You can walk downtown (in the middle of a huge city) and run into a shrine or a garden. You can taste amazing Japanese foods and a few that scared us (aka Fish Market). You can try unique experiences like the Digital Museum and animal cafes. There is something for everyone in Tokyo!
To help make visiting Tokyo with kids a little less overwhelming, we put together a list of the best of the best.
Before we dive in, you can watch a shorter version of our Things to Do in Toyko on YouTube.
Let’s dive into our list of Things to Do in Tokyo with Kids.
#12 Pokemon Center
Do you have any Pokemon fans in your family? If you do, you have to make a trip to the Pokemon Center. Be prepared for crowds, because it is busy. You may get to meet a Pokemon character at the meet and greet, buy your fav Pokemon merch, or get selfies with the Pokemon statues throughout the store.
#11 teamLab Borderless Digital Museum
This museum is unlike any museum you have ever been to! Your kids will love you for visiting this museum. This museum comes to life!
Your kids can slide, jump, climb, and just experience the sites and smells of this unique digital museum. It is hard to explain this museum, but you can come with us as we experience it.
#10 Shinjuku Gyoen
In the middle of Tokyo, sits the beautiful Shinjuku Gyoen. Our family thought this park reminded us of Central Park in NYC. You would not expect this amazing garden in the middle of such a huge city.
There is a lot of area to let the kids run and play. We spent a few hours wandering around the garden getting pictures, playing, and just relaxing. It was a nice way to start our morning in the city.
After spending the morning at this garden, we hopped on a subway to the next one on our list called Shibuya Crossing.
#9 Shibuya Crossing
Imagine one street where up to 3,000 people cross at one time. What? Sounds crazy – right? There is a street called Shibuya Cross in Tokyo. This one street can have up to 3,000 people crossing once the light turns green for pedestrians. It is wild!
This one section is just fun to watch from up high (at Starbucks) or actually crossing the street with everyone else. We had so much fun, the kids wanted to do it a few times.
Besides this one street, there are a lot of restaurants and shopping to just wander with the family. We even combined our day at Shinjuku Gyoen. You can watch our video below from this day on YouTube.
#8 Toyko Skytree
While you are visiting Tokyo, you may want to spend a day at the world’s largest tower called Tokyo Skytree. This amazing tower is breathtaking from below and at the top of the tower.
There is also lots of dining and shopping is this area. You can order from food trucks or restaurants. One of the kids favorite restaurants was the Kirby Cafe.
If you are visiting this area, be sure you book your tickets before you leave. The Tokyo Skytree is quite popular and can get long lines or even sell out.
#7 Tokyo DisneySea
As you may already know, we live right down the road from Disney World in Florida. Our family goes to Disney World so much that we have logged over 1,000 visits. Yes, I did say 1,000!
On our trip to Tokyo, we almost did not go to the Disney Parks. For us, we figured “been there done that” before with the Disney Parks. Boy, am I glad we still planned a visit to Tokyo DisneySea.
This is now our favorite Disney Park (anywhere in the world). Tokyo DisneySea was amazing! It was so unique and different from all of the other Disney Parks. We even got to ride 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which was a childhood favorite for my hubby and myself. This ride no longer exists in Florida, so we were thrilled we got to ride it in Japan.
We did not get the opportunity to go to Tokyo Disneyland, because it was sold out. We happened to be visiting Tokyo during the popular Golden Week. Unfortunately Disneyland was sold out during the rest of our vacation. I am glad we got to experience Tokyo DisneySea.
#6 Harajuku Takeshita Street
For our tween daughter, this was THE MUST DO in Japan. She wanted to shop and eat down the popular strip called Harajuku. This is just a street with shops on either side. This area is the popular shopping spot for teens and young adults.
Our daughter did find a lot of great clothes, socks, and accessories in Harajuku. Our son loved the food with huge cotton candy, rainbow grilled cheese, crepes, spiral fries, and so much more. There were a ton of really cool foods to try in this area.
This section does get super crowded, so hold onto your kids and make sure you have a meeting spot (just in case you get separated).
#5 Eat at a Convenience Store
We have lot of convenience stores in Florida (where we live). We even have one of our favorites called 7-11. When we swing by 7-11, we are usually there for one reason…the epic Slurpee!
We may also grab a quick snack, but we never eat our lunch or dinner at a convenience store. How about you?
In Tokyo, the 7-11 convenience stores are a bit different. First off, there are NO SLURPEES! What?!? Instead, they have a ton of grab and go meals. You can get rice, ramen, rice balls, dumplings, and so much more. They are all grab and go meals and a ton of them.
This was not my favorite spot for a meal, but the kids loved it. We would grab a quick meal and melon soda. These are delish! We would then take it back to our room to eat. This was also a super inexpensive way to enjoy a meal in Japan.
#4 Experience Japan Like a Local
When we travel as a family, we like to experience the destination like a local. This means we look for non-touristy areas. This could be shopping at a local restaurant, dining outside of the tourist areas, or even seeing a movie.
During our trip to Japan, one of the highlights of our experience was actually “going to the movies.” At the movie theater, we were the only tourists, so you truly got a more local experience.
We still laugh about our experience at the movies. For the moving going experience in Japan, you do not enter the theater until about 5 minutes before it starts. They have sitting areas, so you can sit and munch on your popcorn until your movie is called on the loud speaker.
We did see the movie in English with Japanese subtitles. This was great for us, because we understood the whole movie. Another fun fact was at the end of the movie. After the movie ended, we stood up to leave. We noticed quickly that no one else was moving, so we sat back down.
Everyone in the theater waited until the end of the credits and then got up to leave. This was certainly something different for our family. Most people in the US, just leave after the movie ends…with the exception of Marvel movies!
We had so much fun watching Marvel End Game in Tokyo that we went to see Pikachu in Kyoto. It was such a unique experience to do something the locals would do during our vacation.
#3 Tsukiji Market
Get ready to laugh and giggle at the Tsukiji Market! We had a lot of fun at this fish market, getting selfies and trying local foods.
Tsukiji Market was at one time the largest fish market in the world. This market was originally the wholesale market for restaurants and businesses. Now, it is a local market and tourist hot spot.
You just walk up and down the rows at this outside market. You can eat anything from sushi to Mochi. You can get amazing meals, right from the vendors or stop at one of the many restaurants throughout the Tsukiji Market.
We loved wandering this fish market with the kids. Many of the vendors have samples that you can try, like dried sea weed. If you are more adventurous, you can try octopus, eel, or rice balls.
Besides food, you can also find a few souvenirs (like chopsticks, bowls, or even clothes) to take home. We spent a few hours at the Tsukiji Market sampling foods and even dined for breakfast at a rotating sushi bar. This market gets busy quickly, so arrive early in the morning.
#2 Bullet Train
The transportation system in Japan is incredible. They are always on time, to the second! During our Japan vacation; we took a plane, train, subway, and taxi.
One of the best experiences was the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto. You get assigned seats and they are very comfortable for your trip. They even have rest rooms on board.
The bullet train was an incredible experience for the parents and kids. It was fun to look outside the window to see the Japan cities and countryside. We even pulled up an app to show how fast we were going. At one point, we tracked 175 miles per hour. It certainly did not feel like we were going that quickly, it was a nice smooth ride.
The bullet train was one of those must do experiences for the whole family. For our trip, we pre-ordered the Japan Rail. The Japan Rail includes transportation from the airport to Tokyo, select trains throughout Tokyo/Kyoto, and select buses. It also included the bullet train. We priced out paying as we go, but pre-ordering the Japan Rail was a much better deal. Our one trip to Kyoto via the bullet train was the price of the Japan Rail, so it was a no-brainer for us.
#1 Animal Experiences
We love animals in our family! Whenever we travel, we try to find any animal experiences. In Tokyo, there are so many different animal experiences.
Many of these experiences are called animal cafes. The name is a bit misleading. You do not eat in these cafes. Many do offer beverages in a vending machine. Watch out, because the animals will knock over your beverages.
There are many animal cafes throughout Tokyo; including dog cafes, cat cafes, hedgehog cafes, and owl cafes. I think our favorite is the hedgehog cafe! This is a really fun experience!
We ended on our favorite thing to do in Tokyo with kids. Did we miss something that you think is a must do? Leave a comment below.
You can watch all of our videos on YouTube from our Japan vacation.