fun things to do with kids nihonbashi bridgge tokyo station tokyo japan   Travel for Kids
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Tokyo – Tokyo Station & Nihonbashi (Nihombashi)

Painting Nihonbashi (Nihombashi) Bridge

In the Edo period (1603 - 1856), Nihonbashi Bridge was the starting (and ending) point for the five highways of Japan, including the Tokaido Road between Edo and Kyoto. The wooden bridge was also the commercial center of the city, where boats came up the river to unload their cargoes, fisherman sold their catch in the large fish market, merchants had warehouses and stores. In 19th century ukiyo-e (woodcut) prints, Nihonbashi is a familiar scene.

  Nihonbashi Bridge – Today the wooden bridge is long gone, replaced in early 20th century with a stone bridge. Kids will have to imagine boats on the Nihonbashi River, as they hear sounds of cars from the Shuto expressway overhead. Tip: To walk over a life-size replica of the Nihonbashi Bridge, visit the Edo-Tokyo Museum.
Dragons on Nihonbashi Bridge
    However, it's still fun to walk across the bridge. At both ends of the bridge stand fierce Chinese-style bronze lions, and in the center are four very spiffy bronze dragons (in legend, the Dragon King lived in the river underneath the Nihonbashi Bridge).
    On the north west side of the bridge, on the left on a pedestal is a round bronze milestone marker, "mile zero" for highways in Japan. (The middle of the bridge is actually mile zero, but with traffic, it's not practical to rush out to see it.)
      On the northwest side of the bridge is a white statue of Princess Otohime, daughter of the Dragon King.
    Mitsukoshi Department Store Nihonbashi – Kimonos were sold when the store was started in 1673 (on the same site). It's worth nipping in the luxury department store Mitsukoshi just to see the dazzling three-story high "Statue of a Celestial Nymph" in the center of the store. If you're a fan of English tea, there's a Fortnum and Mason tea room on the third floor, or stop into the food hall in the basement to pick up snacks and take-out lunch.
      Tip: At the Edo-Tokyo Museum, kids can see the scale model of Mitsukoshi dry goods store.
    Kite Museum (1-12-10, Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku)
    Kite flying has been national pastime for over 1,000 years (not just flying kites on holidays; in ancient Japan, kites were used as signals in wartime).
Kite Museum Tokyo
    The Kite Museum is chock-full from floor to ceiling of kites from Japan and other Asian countries. The bamboo and paper kites are in the shapes of animals, others are painted with fierce samurai or lovely ladies in kimono, mythical creatures, cats and roosters. We love the ones with angry faces. The museum also has a shop where kids can buy kites.
      Take the elevator to the 5th floor for the museum. Museum is closed on Sundays.
    Tokyo Station – Tokyo Station, a landmark red-and-white brick building built in 1914, is a central railway station in Tokyo (bullet trains depart from this station).
      Underneath the station is a complete underground shopping area. Head over to Tokyo Character Street to shop for toys and characters from Japanese TV, Hello Kitty, miniature cars and more. Tokyo Ramen Street serves ramen of all kinds, but kids will certainly want to stop at Tokyo Okashi Land with sweets galore (try fresh potato chips with chocolate sauce and ice cream).
      If it's lunchtime, Daimaru department store (B1 level) has a super "food garden" to get take-out lunch, then go out eat it in the grassy area west of Tokyo Station.
travel for kids | japan | tokyo | tokyo station and nihonbashi
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