My daughter Jefri has been studying Japanese for 3 years at a full-time language immersion school. She is a six-year-old who equally loves Pokemon, Hello Kitty, and Totoro. Traveling to Japan, for the most part, was a reward for completing Kindergarten. This list is kid approved things to do in Tokyo created by a child for a child. Learn the top 5 things to do in Tokyo for kids.
1. Lunch at Kawaii Monster Cafe
Delightfully disturbing decorations adorned every surface of the Kawaii Monster Cafe. To enter you pay 500 yen in addition to your food and beverage charges. Upon entering the restaurant you are transported into a wildly imaginative world of craziness coupled with cartoons. Before you order stand up and take a lap around the restaurant. Food is mass produced and will be sitting cold at your table by the time you look around if you order prior to your perusing.
When it comes to the food, don't expect to be raving about the taste. The real enjoyment, by and large, comes from the dessert, drinks, and dancing. At some point during your visit, there will be a mass commotion in order to find a viewing spot for the performance. The dance show is the main event so grab your purse and find a front row spot. Performers pump up the crowd and ask for volunteers to come on stage. My daughter volunteered and was one of two children chosen to join the show. Both kids were quite small so the dancing was less than music video worthy, but it was an adorable photo opportunity.
2. Shopping at Kiddyland Toy Store
Five levels of toys make Kiddyland, in short, every kid's dream. Areas are clearly themed to make finding appropriate sections easier. My daughter was less enthused about the Snoopy Town on the bottom floor mostly because her generation doesn't know that character. Every other floor, however, had countless things she simply had to have. Prior to entering the store, we had set a budget for her to spend. Thank goodness for the budget since she probably identified fifty things she couldn't live without. From a parents persective Kiddyland can easily become a nightmare. But through the eyes of a child this is easily one of the top things to do in Tokyo for kids.
3. Playing at Kidzania
My daughter's friend Chloe spent the summer in Japan and we arranged to meet her at Kidzania for the day. Make advance reservations because Kidzania is one of the top things to do in Tokyo for kids, including locals. You will find Kidzania where you least expect it, on the top floor of a mall. Kidzania is a minature city designed to teach children about a variety of professions. Kids earn money for completing activities at each station. By the end, my daughter worked at a radio station, served soft cream, performed a veterinary checkup, and learned laboratory procedures. Learning how all kinds of professions contribute to society helps to demonstrate collaboration and cooperation.
At the end of the day, children can spend their money at the gift shop or deposit it for later use in the Kidzania bank. Parents are not allowed to enter the gift shop or bank. The goal is to empower the kids to make financial decisions without the pressure of parents input. Both my daughter and her friend were outwardly proud of their work accomplishments and financial earnings.
4. Enjoying the View at Tokyo Skytree
Another school mate named Koji was in Japan at the same time as well. We met up at Tsukiji fish market, walked over to Hamarikyu Gardens, and water taxid over to Tokyo Skytree. Seeing the tallest tower in the world is of course breathtaking. The view from the ground is one thing, but the view from the top is truly once in a lifetime. Ride the elevator to the observation deck specifically to stand on the glass floor.
Photos are very difficult to take on the observation level if it it sunny. Additionally there are swarms of people constantly disturbing your ability to capture the perfect photograph. Take the time to be sure you have all the photos you want. Your time on the Tokyo Skytree observation deck may be short, but the photos you take will last forever.
5. Viewing Animals at Ueno Zoo
The Ueno Zoo is not your average zoo. Put this zoo on your things to do in Tokyo for kids list immediately. Animals here are particularly active. The lion enclosure and tiger pen are located directly next to one another. Their proximity causes lots of roaring, pacing, and lunging at the barrior. The polar bears fur was white as snow and they were exploring the habitat as if it was a brand new. Monkeys were cleaning each other and the red pandas looked like they were playing tag. I have never seen a zoo with animals looking so happy.
Top 5 Things to do in Tokyo for Kids
My daughter is an amazing traveler. She helped her non-Japanese speaking mama on multiple occasions as we explored Tokyo. At seven years old she has traveled to seven countries. You can always keep up with our travel adventures by finding us on social media. Check out more of our Tokyo adventures on 13 Things to do in Tokyo : A Baker's Dozen Series.