fun things to do with kids in tokyo japan - family travel   Travel for Kids
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Tokyo

Daruma dolls Tokyo

Edo, ancient capital Japan, was founded in 1603 by Ieyasu, the first Tokugawa Shogun. In the late 1700's, Edo was one of largest cities in the world, populated with daimyos (feudal lords) and their families, samurai, merchants, craftsmen, and artists. After 1868, Edo was renamed Tokyo, and it's an ultra modern city today. Traveling around Tokyo, kids will be impressed by contrasts – glass skyscrapers next to centuries-old temples and shrines, crowded underground shopping streets and peaceful landscaped gardens.

Tokyo Photo Album
    Asakusa
    Ueno Park
    Imperial Palace
    Tokyo Station - Nihonbashi
    Shiba Park - Tokyo Tower
    Tokyo Bay - Odaiba
    Shibuya
    Tokyo day trips
Themes
  Old City - Edo
  Shogun & Samurai
    Kimono & Costume
Tips for Tokyo before you go and while you're there – ordering in restaurants, taking the subway, restrooms, and more.
Inari shrine Tokyo
  Inari shrines – Throughout different areas of Tokyo, are numerous Inari shrines, identifiable by stone fox sculptures decorated with red bibs. In the Shinto religion, the fox (kitsune) is a guardian spirit of Inari, the god of rice. The fox figures protect the shrine and also assist people who make offerings. Look for Inari shrines everywhere you go, in residential neighborhoods, and also in Buddhist temples, such as the Sensoji, and Fudo-do.
Ride the subway – The subway is Tokyo is modern, very speedy, and goes everywhere. Subway stations have kiosks where you can purchase tickets, use the "English" option so you can read the menus. The ticket with most flexibility is the One Day Ticket, with unlimited rides on the two major subway lines (Tokyo Metro and Toei). Additionally, the Tokyo Round Tour ticket includes unlimited rides on these subway lines, plus the JR train line (convenient if your hotel is located near a JR station e.g. Shinagawa or Tokyo Station).
   

Fun food

Desserts in Tokyo
   

At the big department stores (e.g Mitsukoshi, Daimaru, Matsuya, Takashimaya), go to the food halls, usually on the basement floor (B1), and check out an amazing variety of sweets, chocolates, baked goods, and desserts, just let kids try what looks appealing to them. In Asakusa, try the traditional freshly made ningyo yaki (in the shape or birds or lanterns), and okoshi (popped rice bars) and freshly made senbei crackers.

   

Shopping

      Hakuhinkan Toy Park (near Shimbashi station) is our favorite toy store, with lots of Japanese toys, including the tortoros and the cat bus from the movie My Neighbor Totoro. Also for toys, visit Tokyo Character Street at Tokyo Station, and the shops at Tokyo Skytree.
     

In Asakusa, kids can shop for kokeshi dolls, cotton yukata in kids' sizes, miniature samurai and ninja figures, drums and more at the Nakamise shopping street.

family hotels tokyo japan
Travel for Kids has plenty of fun things to do with kids in Tokyo, but you'll need a fun place to stay.

Here's our own Travel for Kids hand-picked list of family hotels in Tokyo, all styles and price ranges, in neighborhoods comfortable for families, and near to places you'll want to explore:

    Tokyo family hotels
kids books tokyo
     
I Live in Tokyo childrens books  
I Live in Tokyo
Mari Takabayashi

Seven year old Mimiko lives in Tokyo with her five year old brother. Her story, daily life and events each month, is honestly told from a kid point-of-view. On wearing kimonos, "The kimono makes me feel like a princess, but after a while it's uncomfortable." (Picture book)

 

     

Two children spend the day in Tokyo (Edo) with their grandfather, the artist Hokusai, famous for his wood-cuts. The story is beautifully mixed with Hokusai drawings and prints. (Picture book)

 

 
A Day in Japan with Hokusai tokyo artist ukiyoe kids
     
Grass Sandals basho kids tokyo  

When Basho wasn't traveling around Japan, he lived in Edo (Tokyo) on the east side of the Sumida River. Lovely introduction to the haiku poetry of Basho. (Picture book)

After Grass Sandals, keep on going. Read out-loud the full version of Basho's poems and travels, The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

 

     
Dragon of the Red Dawn
Mary Pope Osborne

Annie and Jack travel back in time to Edo, where they explore the Imperial Garden and the fish market, sample sushi at a teahouse, and learn why a great poet lives in a dinky house. (Easy reader)

 

 
tokyo edo easy reader Dragon of the Red Dawn kids
     
Sam Samurai easy reader kids tokyo edo
 
Sam Samurai
Jon Scieszka, Adam McCauley

Hilarious adventures of the Time Warp Trio, Fred, Joe and Sam as they beat up a suit of armor, join the Red Devils samurai on the road to Edo (Tokyo), and entertain Lord Tokugawa with haiku poetry. (Easy reader)

 

     
The Demon in the Teahouse
Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler

In 18th century Japan, teenage Seikei helps Judge Ooka solve a mystery in the geisha "floating world." A silk shop is burned and geishas mysteriously disappear. Seikei goes undercover to find out what is going on in the Teahouse of the Falling Cherry Blossoms. (Chapter book)

Don't miss Seiki's first mystery adventure, The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn.

 

 
     
Neil Flambe and the Tokyo Treasure action adventure book
 

Neil Flambe is a talented boy chef with an incredible sense of smell and a nose for danger. He comes to Tokyo to track down his missing cousin Larry, solve the clues in the online manga comic, and try not eat life-threatening ingredients in a cooking duel. Action-packed, humorous adventures. (Chapter book)

 

     
Now and Zen
Linda Gerber

Nori Tanaka thinks summer study in Tokyo is the perfect escape from her parents, with new places (Akihabara shopping, karaoke clubs), new food (rice for breakfast), new sports (sumo wrestling), new nickname (Seaweed), and a boy named Atsushi. (Chapter book)

 

 
tokyo kids books Now and Zen
   
kokeshi dolls Yumi Aoki tokyo kids books  
Aoki (Kokeshi series)
Yumi
Annelore Parot

Absolutely delightful adventures of Aoki and Yumi, two Kokeshis (little wooden dolls). When Aoki comes to Tokyo to visit her friend, they ride the subway (packed like sardines), go shopping, have a picnic lunch under the cherry blossoms, and relax in a tiny zen garden.

Yumi and her friends are having a costume party – help her find a lost pet, pick out a special costume (so many choices), and try all the delicious sushi and treats. (Activity books)

 

     
Hachiko
Pamela S. Turner, Yan Nascimbene

"There is a statue of my old friend at the entrance to the Shibuya Station …" Heart-warming story of the dog Hachiko, told through the eyes of a young child. Each day, Hachiko walks to the station with Dr. Ueno and waits all day for him return. Lovely illustrations. (Picture book)

 

 
Hachiko kids books tokyo dog
     
Dodsworth in Tokyo  

Delightful adventures of Dodsworth and his friend the duck when they visit Tokyo. The duck eats sushi (but doesn't take off his shoes, as he never wears them), jumps into the moat at the Imperial Palace, tries Japanese brush painting, and swings over the crowd at the Sanja festival in Asakusa. (Picture book)

 

(More children's books on other Japan pages)
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