Answers from Our Experts (1)
You’ll have no trouble finding plenty for kids of all ages in a city as vibrant and fascinating as Tokyo. Here are Forbes Travel Guide editors’ picks for the best things to do with kids in Tokyo:
1. Shop in Akihabara. This is the mecca for geeks (otaku) in Japan. Located east of the Imperial Palace, right below Ueno and Asakusa, this district features bookstores loaded with manga (Japanese animation), costume shops and multilevel stores selling any type of electronics imaginable. Check out Thanko, a shop that sells wacky electronics such as shoe coolers, recording binoculars, and a cap with a solar panel that fuels a built-in fan.
2. Visit Tokyo Sea Life Park. Also called Kasai Rinkai Suizokuen, this three-story complex on Tokyo Bay showcases more than 540 species of fish and marine creatures including hammerhead sharks, Humboldt and rockhopper penguins, bluefin tuna, giant ocean sunfish and puffins. This aquarium — the city’s largest — also features a touch tide pool, beach and a bird sanctuary.
3. Play at Hanayashiki. While it’s not Tokyo Disneyland, this little amusement is charming and worth a visit. Opened in 1853, Hanayashiki in Taito is Japan’s oldest amusement park with a roller coaster, a small Ferris wheel, a merry-go-round and a haunted house.
4. See Ueno Zoo. The oldest zoo in Japan, Ueno opened in 1882. It now covers 35 acres and is home to more than 2,600 animals from 464 different species including rare white rhinos, Asiatic elephants, snow owls, Indian lions and American bison. The zoo also features a petting zoo, a five-story pagoda and a teahouse. Giant pandas, though, are the biggest draw.
5. Explore Tokyo Disneyland. The Japanese outpost of Disney will be a surefire hit with kids and nostalgic adults. The 115-acre theme park has the many of the same coterie of Disney characters, rides and themed areas as the California and Florida parks. But here you’ll also find Tokyo DisneySea, another 100 acres of nautical-themed areas. A one-day pass costs 4,100 (yen) for children ages 4 to 11; 5,300 for those 12 to 17; and 6,200 for adults.