The 11 Best Things To Do In Tokyo With Kids

Have you ever met anyone that has been to Japan? You’ll know if you have, because they’re sure to tell you. ????

We recently flew with Jetstar to Tokyo for a family getaway. Generally when we fly overseas we have to drive to Brisbane to fly to our destination, but we loved with this trip we could fly right out of the Gold Coast hotel. We flew economy, and opted for the Starter Plus bundle so that our meals were pre-paid and we didn’t have to worry about ordering anything during the flight.

Before I get to what you need to do when visiting Tokyo, I want to share some tips. These will help you have the best trip possible with your family.

Tip one: Stay at a central hotel

We stayed in Hatchabori at the Mimaru Hotel. It’s a great hotel for families, and has family rooms {equipped with bunks, a lounge room, kitchen and bath}, which meant we could buy dinner from a 7-Eleven and eat at our hotel, and also have quiet time and actually have space to hang out as a family. Hatchabori is a business district so nice and quiet, but also central to everything that we did. We were also close to some western restaurants like Denny’s so we could grab an easy, familiar breakfast for the kids before heading out. We had lots of cute traditional Japanese restaurants around our hotel too, so it was great to wander and find places to eat.

Tip two: Book your attractions before you go

I booked our tickets for most events before we even left Australia. It meant I could work out a basic itinerary for our stay before we left, and save money too {and work out a budget for our trip quite easily too}. I booked using Klook.

Tip three: Also book your transport before you go too

Having visited Osaka earlier in the year, I realised constantly buying train tickets numerous times a day took time {running up to the station from trains to get more tickets} was actually stressful, so having a 4 day pass for our stay made things so much easier. We just purchased on Klook and then picked up our passes at the airport when we landed.

Tip four: Grab a Japanese sim

Traveling by train and foot meant relied heavily on Google Maps {it will tell you what trains to catch in the most simplest way}, so I knew I didn’t want to use the Australian data on my phone, so having a Japanese sim {purchased also through Klook and picked up at the airport} meant it cost me hardly anything, but I didn’t have to stress at all when using my phone throughout the day. Make sure you pack a portable charger too, so you don’t lose battery while you’re out and about.

Tip five: Wear comfortable shoes

We did, on average, around 25,000 steps a day, so comfortable shoes for everyone was the only way to go.

Tip six: Pack a coin purse

Japan is a cash society, and you’ll end up with LOADS of coins. Take a coin purse so you have room to put them all.

Tip seven: Eat an egg sandwich from the supermarket

Because they are the best you’ll ever taste and has some kinda of magic in the mayo. I miss them, incredibly.

The 11 Best Things To Do In Tokyo With Kids

1. Pop into the Hedgehog Cafe

Just a short walk from Shibuya Crossing is the cutest little cafe that homes sweet little hedgehogs. When we were planning our Tokyo trip, I knew I had to add a visit to The Hedgehog Cafe for the girls and it was so worth it. We stayed for an hour, and also purchased little worms to feed the hedgehogs. Each little hedgehog lives in a little dollhouse, and well, it’s the cutest, most surreal thing ever.

TIP: This one can be challenging to find, but worth popping into Google Maps and making the effort. We visited Shibuya Crossing on the same day, and then also nearby Harajuku too.

2. Head to the Robot Restaurant

We can not rave about this enough. The Robot Restaurant is good. Before we visited though, I read through the reviews and I worried that we were wasting our time by visiting. The reviews were so mixed, so I wasn’t sure how we’d receive it. We actually loved it. It was completely bonkers, and over-the-top but also everything I’ve come to love about Japan and the Japanese {the juxtaposition of this sweet, conservative side that we see so often and then this brilliantly colourful, creative side that seems to be hidden… this time in a hidden restaurant, underground, filled with cobras, warriors and handfuls of dancing people in costumes}.

TIP: Don’t worry about getting dinner here. Grab a drink in the bar beforehand, and popcorn if you like, but there’s so many great restaurants you can eat at afterwards, so do that. Also, if you have kids and are taking them to this, they do hand out protection for their ears {which was great because I have one particularly sensitive kid}, because it can get noisy, but not overly so.

3. Be inspired at teamLab Borderless

When I shared on Instagram that I was in Tokyo, there was one place that people recommended over and over and over, and it was teamLab. It’s a modern art gallery, with rooms filled with light-up art installations. From the moment you walk in, you’re surrounded by art and you move from each room to each room, but you can never tell which door you came from or where you’re going. It’s a trip, but a beautiful, illuminated trip! I’ve never experienced anything like it, and I hope I get to return to experience it again, because I’m sure each experience will always be different.

TIP: This is a popular attraction in Tokyo, and wait times can be quite long. We went in the middle of the day and it was about 45 minutes wait to get inside, so maybe think about going early to avoid waiting so long, or be prepared to wait a little while {totally worth it!}.

4. Take a walk through Harajuku

I love Takeshita Street Harajuku and we visited twice because it’s so much fun. There’s so much to see and do, that you can walk down many times and still find new things. You can shop, eat, snap amazing Instagram shots, eat at sushi train and so much more. We stopped into one of the many eateries to have crepes {banana, caramel and cheesecake, yes!} and also stopped to have sushi at the sushi train {the only one we could find in Tokyo!} and it even has a bullet train that delivers orders to your table.

TIP: To find the sushi train, walk to the end of Takeshita Street and on the right hand side, down some stairs, you’ll find the sushi train.

5. Walk Shibuya Crossing

You will have seen the world famous Shibuya Crossing in movies, such as Lost In Translation and Fast and the Furious, among others, so it’s a treat to visit as well and take a walk across the Scramble Crossing. It’s the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world, and slightly chaotic, but fun to walk and be part of the hustle.

6. Take a walk in nature at the Meiji Shrine

Tokyo is one of the world’s biggest, busiest cities, so it’s amazing to find an oasis in the heart of the city, filled with trees and nature, and the beautiful Meiji Shrine. Just up the road from Takeshita Street,, Harajuku is this shrine, where you can walk throughout and pay your respects {take coins with you} and be ready to feel completely peaceful. You’ll need comfortable walking shoes for all of your time in Tokyo, but especially when you’re visiting Meiji Shrine.

7. Play with pigs at the iPig Cafe, Harajuku

The kids loved the animal cafes so much that we visited a few during our stay in Tokyo, but this one was the darn cutest! While I’m not sure how I feel about the animal cafes personally, the pigs were so happy and friendly, and wanted to be near us, which was so much fun. Definitely put this on your to-do list, because it’s so fun.

TIP: Visit animal cafes early if you can, because they are most excited to see you. Animal cafes aren’t technically cafes {you don’t sit down to eat}, it’s simply a drink {tea or water usually} and a play with the animals.

8. Get a fortune at Sensoji Temple

While the Meiji Shrine is in the middle of nature and absolutely stunning, the Sensoji Temple is in the middle of the City and among the hustle and bustle. Located right in Asakusa District, the Sensoji Temple is really busy, and awe-inspiring. Place some coins at the entrance, and get a fortune. Ours was a bad fortune, but it’s quite common so we tied it up and left it at the shrine and got rid of our bad luck. The Asakusa was one of our favourite areas. It’s a really easy area to stroll around, and find authentic eateries. We visited a Rabbit Cafe here too, there are a few on offer, including an Owl Cafe and Dog cafe too.

TIP: Make sure you stop by Tiger Gyoza Hall and get into some Gyoza. We stumbled across this spot and have been dreaming about them since. So stinking good!

9. Have a colourful treat in Harajuku

Ever had a rainbow cheese toastie? Or a fairy floss bigger than your head? We did! Harajuku is the place to grab yourself an out of this world treat of the colourful kind. You’ll see signs for shops, so keen an eye out. Sometimes it means popping down a little lane, or going up some stairs to find them, but when you do it’s a whole lotta fun.

10. Shop a little at Ginza

Ginza is a little more upmarket, but still beautiful to shop even if you don’t have the budget. I stop at Ginza because it has THE best stationery store, Ito-ya. It has multiple levels, and so much stationery that it will blow your mind. It even has a little farm on the top level, which doesn’t make sense, but it’s Japan so you just embrace it and enjoy it, and stock up on pens and all the good things.

11. Play at Disneyland and Disney SEA

Who can go to Tokyo and not get a little dose of Disney? Not me, that’s for sure. I am a big Disney fan and our Disney experience in Tokyo didn’t disappoint. Let me tell you the difference between Disneyland and Disney SEA. We preferred Disneyland {my kids are aged 6 and 11}. It’s more traditional Disney and had all the rides that we like best. Disney SEA is brilliant too, and is like traveling to different parts of the world. The wait for lines at both parks was longer than I’d experienced than in other Disney Parks, but we used our Fast Passes and made it work. The longest line we saw was 2 hours long, so we just skipped that ride. We stayed at the Disney Celebrations Hotel for our last night in Tokyo, so that we could be close to the parks, and so that we could also buy our park tickets without lining up.

Have you been to Tokyo? What did you do? What do you recommend?

We flew as guests of Jetstar as I’m one of their Culture Crew. We stayed as guests of Mimaru Hotels, and we’re given some opportunities from Klook for editorial consideration.