Japan is such a fabulous country to take kids on holidays! Great service, fantastic food and being amazingly clean are all plus factors for having children along. If you’re heading to Tokyo and unsure of how to entertain the kids, come read about how we kept our little brood entertained on our trips!
Our No. 1 recommendation for families with kids is definitely Tokyo Disneyland! We have taken our kids there twice and each time, we were reveling for more after! A full Disney experience is guaranteed in this park. The infamous Japanese service is displayed throughout the park by all members of the staff. To top it off, the local Japanese enhanced the entire Disney experience with their dress ups and enthusiasm! We were transported into a whole new world. We just had to join in with the dress up too!
In Tokyo, they have 2 parks. Disneyland and DisneySea. In my opinion, Disneyland is suitable for families with younger children, while DisneySea is suitable for older ones. M (my 2 year old) was able to join in on most rides in Disneyland! She had so much fun going on all the rides! If you ask her about Disneyland today, she would tell you that her favourite ride was Monsters Inc. We all enjoyed ourselves regardless of the ride we were on.
DisneySea, on the other hand, had more rides requiring a minimum height of 130cm. When we were there, DisneySea also had longer queue times. This may be due to the fact that it is the smaller of the two parks and there are fewer rides in it. Z and M had to wait around for quite a bit during our time there. Ariel’s Playground in DisneySea was a great area for the little ones though. It was completely sheltered with rides that all of us could enjoy. We also kept the 2 younger ones entertained in there while we took turns to ride the rides with height restrictions with E.
Disney had impressed us with their awesome baby facilities too. The baby facilities were so clean and immaculate. They were also well-heated (we went in winter). We had to hide in there a few times from the winter chill. In each baby facility, there were changing stations, where staff was on site to lay a disposable liner on each changing station before you laid your baby down and would sanitise the station when you were done with changing the baby. There were also dining areas for babies, complete with tables and high chairs. In the event that you ran out of diapers or baby food, there was a counter selling them. Staff were always around to lend a helping hand, whenever needed. They were all able to understand and communicate in basic English. It was also a safe area, where we could park the stroller and enable the older kids to take a toilet break safely.
We all had a fantastically wild time in Disney. The 3 days flew by and my kids are asking when we can go again!
The 2nd recommended destination is Odaiba. Odaiba is a district on a man-made island in Tokyo Bay. It is a beautiful and spacious area for families with kids. There was so much space in the different malls and a very large, open and beautiful area to walk around in the day! Loads of entertainment made available for all ages and an unending amount of dining options throughout. We took our boys (5 years and 3 years then) to Odaiba and we had such a great and unforgettable day out there! Try to take the train into Odaiba via the Rainbow Bridge on your way to Odaiba!
We visited the Legoland Discovery Centre, as it was perfect for their age then. It is an indoor play centre located in Decks Tokyo Beach. There were lego models on display and an indoor play area. There were also a couple of rides within the centre. It was well-maintained, clean and fun for the boys! However, in our recent trip (8 years and 6 years), they would have outgrown it.
Within Decks Tokyo Beach, there is also the Tokyo Joypolis, Madam Tssusards Wax Museum and a Trick Art Museum. We wished we had time to visit them all!
For children who love cars or vehicles, the Toyota Mega Web is a must go! It is a giant Toyota showroom that features all of Toyota’s latest models, car accessories and technologies and a museum exhibiting cars of past decades. With a license (valid in Japan), test driving is available too! It was impressive.
During our time there, we took the kids to DiverCity Tokyo Plaza too. The boys were ecstatic to meet a “life-sized” Gundam robot! We were also lucky to have caught a screening of the anime on the walls of the shopping centre during the night. Some of the actions of the huge Gundam was coordinated with the anime screened. Boys were mesmerized (including the father 😉) (According to online sources, the Gundam robot was removed in March 2017 and a new one would replace it in autumn 2017)
After night fell upon us, we took the kids onto the Ferries Wheel. The view was spectacular, though, the boys were more amazed at how high we were going and how the wind was howling if we opened the window. Well, I have a fear of heights and was glad to be back on solid ground at the end of that 15 minutes.
There was so much that could be done in Odaiba with kids and we felt that we were just scrapping the surface in that 1 day. We wished we had another day there to do it all!
More places of fun for kids in Tokyo coming up in Part 2!