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


tokyo skytree cherry blossoms

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
    Ueno Park
    Imperial Palace
    Tokyo Station - Nihonbashi
    Shiba Park - Tokyo Tower
    Tokyo Bay - Odaiba
    Tokyo day trips
  Old City - Edo
  Shogun & Samurai
    Kimono & Costume
Tips for Tokyo – 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 (symbol of good luck). In the Shinto religion, the fox (kitsune) is a guardian spirit of Inari, 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.



      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
Tokyo City Trails
Lonely Planet Kids

Nineteen different themed trails through Tokyo – up in the air, spooky stories, yummy food, busy and noisy, royal residences, fishy city, kawaii cute stuff, techno Tokyo, unusual buildings, and more. (Illustrated chapter book)



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 festival in Asakusa. (Picture book)


Dodsworth in Tokyo

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)


The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn
Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler

18th century Japan. Seikei, a merchant's son, sees a puzzling theft while traveling to Edo. Seikei assists Judge Ooka to find the thief, joins a traveling kabuki troupe and uncovers the real story behind the theft of the precious jewel, a gift for the shogun. (Chapter book)


The Ghost at the Tokaido Inn mystery 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)



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)


Neil Flambe and the Tokyo Treasure action adventure book
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.



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
Hachiko kids books tokyo dog  
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)


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)


I Live in Tokyo childrens books
tokyo a book of senses  
Tokyo: A Book of Senses
Ashley Evanson

the cherry blossoms
in the beautiful gardens.
peaceful inside
the ancient Sensoji Temple

Lovely introduction to Tokyo. (Board book)

(More children's books on other Japan pages)
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