Things to Do in Tokyo with Family
Tokyo is packed with things to do as a family. Use our guide to find the best family-friendly sightseeing spots, museums and theme parks which are sure to keep the whole family happy.
Every corner of Tokyo offers unique attractions for tourists. So much so it can be hard to decide where to start. We’ve put together a definitive list of the best things to do and see in Tokyo with a family to help you out.
First up we’ve got some of the city’s best sightseeing options and museums and then we’ll take a look at Tokyo’s top family friendly theme parks.
Sightseeing and Museums
Sensoji Temple & Sanja Matsuri
Sensoji is one of Japan’s oldest Buddhist temples and an enduringly popular spot for tourists and worshippers alike. The temple sits at the heart of the city’s Asakusa district, renowned for its old-world charms and excellent shopping and dining options. The whole area is abundantly family friendly and kids are sure to be amazed by the size and decadence of the temples. In the third week of May, check out the Sanja Matsuri (festival) in which the streets are flooded with enthusiastic revelers and a whole host of entertainment and food options last for the whole day. An excellent family day out.
Details on Tokyo shrines and temples as well as guide to Japanese festivals, here:
Hours: The temple ground is always open but the main hall opens from 6:00 to 17:00 (October to March from 6:30 – 17:00)
Although established in the early of 20th century, this Shinto shrine is strongly tied to Japanese history as the memorial of the people’s gratitude to Emperor Meiji and his wife Empress Shoken. The shrine is situated in the heart of Tokyo and is surrounded by 100,000 trees gifted from around the country and overseas to the Emperor. The shrine and its gardens make for the perfect place to take a breather from the fast pace of central Tokyo, especially when with kids.
Find out more about Meiji Shrine, here.
Hours: Meiji Shrine Opening Hours
Another giant green area in the city, Ueno Park is made up of various different family-friendly components. Relax under the shade of the trees, visit Ueno Zoo (the oldest zoo in Japan), the National Museum of Nature and Science or indeed any one of the parks museums and galleries. Most require an entry fee but with child discounts it is often well worth it for the entertainment factor. Moreover, Ueno Park is a prime venue for local events from hanabi (sakura viewing) to several food and cultural events throughout the year.
Hours: 5:00 – 23:00 (park only)
Access: Uenokoen, Taito, Tokyo, Japan
The residence of Japan’s imperial family and within walking distance of Tokyo Station, this is a sightseeing must. Getting inside the grounds themselves requires booking onto one of the daily guided tours which although in Japanese, do offer English audio headsets. To make a reservation, click on the link and follow the instructions: Imperial Household Agency.
If you fail to make a booking – don’t despair. There is also the beautiful Imperial Palace East Gardens which are open to the public throughout the year. What’s more, you can walk or rent a bike (for free!) and follow the moat around the palace’s perimeter.
Hours: 9:00 – 17:00
Closed: Monday and Friday
Access: 1-1 Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan
A huge mixed-use complex featuring entertainment, culture, shopping and dining options plus much more. Families flock here for the safe, all-inclusive atmosphere and foreigner/child friendly restarants. For more details, check out our detailed guide to Roppongi Hills here.
Tokyo Toy Museum
A former elementary school building in Shinjuku that has been transformed into a fun, experimental place for both kids and adults. The museum is home to traditional and modern Japanese and international toys and features zones used for workshops, exhibitions and even a playground.
Hours: 10:00 – 16:00 (last admission at 15:30)
Closed: Thursday / the New Yearʼs holidays and special holidays in February and September
Admission: 800 yen for adults (junior high school and above) / 500 yen for children (6 month old baby through elementary school) / 1200 yen (child + adult pair ticket)
*Group discount: groups of 15 or more can get 100 yen discount per person
The art museum of Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli, the world famous Japanese animation studio. This is a must visit destination for Ghibli fans. The museum themes and designs are derived from the studio’s famous animations including My Neighbour Totoro, Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea and Spirited Away. Hardcore fans will get the most out this place but the general whimsy and playfulness is sure to delight all (especially kids).
Hours: Everyday 10:00 – 18:00
Closed: Tuesday & the New Yearʼs holidays
Admission: 1000 yen for adults over 18 / 700 yen (13 – 18 years old) / 400 yen (7-12 years old) / 100 yen (4-6 years old) / free for child under 4 years old
*Tickets are sold only online.
Tokyo DisneyLand & DisneySea
The most popular theme park in Japan and a classic holiday destination for families. Disney prides itself on providing visitors with an unforgettable fantasy journey replete with rides and attractions aplenty.
Hours: Everyday 8:00 – 22:00 (Tokyo DisneyLand) / 8:30 – 22-00 (Tokyo DisneySea)
Admission: Several ticket types and reservation are available on Disney’s official website.
An indoor amusement park chain run by giant video game developer SEGA now with branches in several cities across Japan and China. The park is made up of arcades, virtual reality attractions and fun rides. The closest location to Tokyo is in Obaida.
Hours: Everyday 10:00 – 22:00 (last entry 21:15)
Admission: Several ticket types are available on Joypolis’ official website.
Tokyo Dome City Attraction
A large entertainment complex located in the heart of the city. The area consists of the Tokyo Dome baseball statium, an outdoor amusement park (Tokyo Dome City Attraction), a grand spa center (LaQua) and Tokyo Dome Hotel.
Hours: Everyday 10:00 – 22:00
*Operating hours can be changed depending on the season and events. Some attractions may close early if crowded.
Admission: Several (amusement park) ticket types are available on Tokyo Dome City’s official website.
Another popular indoor theme park featuring cute Japanese characters from Sanrio including the world famous Hello Kitty and My Melody. The park features attractions, live shows and parades from Sanrio characters. This is a great destination for families with small children.
Hours: Weekdays 10:00 – 18:00 / Weekend 10:00 – 20:00 (operation schedule may change depending on seasons. See more from Sanrio Puroland’s official website. )
Admission: Weekday 3,300 yen and weekend 3,800 yen (for adult over 18) / weekday 2,500 yen and weekend 2,700 yen (for child under 18) / free for child under 3 years old.
Access: 1−31 Ochiai, Tama, Tokyo, Japan
Claimed to be the oldest amusement park in Japan, Hanayashiki was first opened as a flower park back in 1853 and later was slowly transformed into an amusement park in the mid 1900s. With several vintage attractions, this is a theme park for parents as much as children. There are extra activities to take advantage of outside the park as well (by the entrance area), including Hanashiki Ninja Challenge (a ninja training class) and a Kimono and Tea Ceremony Experience. Reservations can be made via Hanashiki’s official website.
Hours: 10:00 – 18:00 (operating hours can be changed depending on the season and weather)
Admission: Several ticket types are available on Hanashiki’s ticket page.