Tokyo is not a city that immediately springs to mind when thinking of child-friendly places to take the kids. While parks and playgrounds may be thin on the ground in Tokyo, there’s plenty to keep the little people entertained.
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Okay, so we’re starting with the obvious, but this place really does top the bill if you want an entire day of non-stop kid-friendly entertainment. There are seven themed worlds within Tokyo Disneyland. If you’re staying in Tokyo for a while, at some point your kids will beg you to take them to Tokyo DisneySea right next door too.
Studio Ghibli Museum
Studio Ghibli is of interest for adults as well as children and an absolute must for all fans of Hayao Miyazaki’s work. Expect to see the loveable Totoro, a squishy, climbable cat bus (from the movie Totoro), and plenty of wonderful exhibits and animations. Booking ahead is recommended.
Shinagawa Aquarium & Tokyo Sea Life Park
Aquariums are an obvious choice when looking to entertain the kiddies. These two aquariums aren’t as large as some of the other aquariums around Tokyo, but are the most central. Shinagawa Aquarium has a walk-through clear tunnel, a touch pool and a wide variety of aquatic life. Tokyo Sea Life Park has one of the best penguin enclosures (and happiest penguins) in Japan and also features a massive tuna tank and water birds.
National Museum of Nature
Almost every floor of this museum has hands-on kid friendly exhibits. Make sure you visit Theater 360, a movie theater that shows 360-degree short film features on dinosaurs and the universe. Viewers stand on a central bridge as the images and sound completely surround you.
Ueno Park and Zoo
Ueno Park is Tokyo’s oldest and largest park in the city. You could spend the whole day here exploring temples, shrines, pagodas, and some of Japan’s finest museums. A Ueno Park Zoo tour offers the chance to see gorillas, tigers and pandas. There’s also a petting zoo.