Things to do in Tokyo, Japan with Kids

crowds with Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo

We've designed our Tokyo for Kids tour to create unforgettable memories that your family will cherish for a lifetime.

Colorful electric lights, arcades everywhere, new sights and sounds on every corner – Tokyo is an incredible place to travel with kids in Japan. There is a never-ending stream of attractions, museums, technology, and historic places for kids to explore in this magnetic and effervescent city.

That’s why we designed our Tokyo for Kids Tour with young travelers in mind. The tour kicks off in the Harajuku district, a pop culture wonderland. The next stop on the tour is an animal-themed cafe where kids can interact with animals and learn about the deeper cultural significance of these one-of-a-kind places. Kids will be immersed in Japanese culture, from the stylish streets of Harajuku to the manga stores and arcades in the Shibuya district.

We curated two tour experiences for kids – our Tokyo for Kids Tour is perfect for children ages 13 and under, and our Otaku Culture Tour is a great option for teenagers. Led by a local expert, the two-hour Tokyo For Kids Tour is more than a walking excursion; it is an interactive, fun, engaging experience designed to deepen kids’ understanding of Japan’s culture.

Tips for Traveling with Kids in Japan

Japan is well-known as one of the safest countries in the world, making it an excellent choice for those planning a trip with kids.

Any international trip can present its own challenges, so we asked our experts for their top tips for traveling with kids in Japan. Here’s what they said:

  • Plan ahead: Research and plan your itinerary ahead of time, considering your children's interests and energy levels. Guided tours are a great way to structure your day, and make sure to build downtime into your itinerary for rest and relaxation.
  • Bring snacks: Kids can be wary of new foods (or just long for a taste of home), so bring some kid-friendly snacks and drinks to keep your children fueled and hydrated throughout the day.
  • Learn about cultural differences: Japan has unique cultural customs, and it's essential to prepare your children ahead of time so they understand what to expect. For example, they should know to remove their shoes when entering a traditional Japanese house or temple.
  • Consider renting a pocket Wi-Fi: A pocket Wi-Fi can be a lifesaver when traveling with kids in Japan. It allows you to stay connected, use GPS navigation, and search for information on the go.
  • Use public transportation: Japan has an efficient public transportation system, including trains, buses, and subways. This can be a fun and affordable way to explore the city, but just remember to follow local rules and etiquette.
  • Bring a stroller: If you're traveling with younger children, bring a stroller. Japan's streets and sidewalks can be crowded, and a stroller can help keep your child safe and comfortable.

It’s easy to find child-friendly accommodations in Tokyo, as many hotels offer family-style rooms designed specifically for travelers with kids. These rooms are larger than standard hotel rooms and often include amenities such as cribs, bunk beds, and toys.

You can also look into apartment rentals or theme park hotels (like Tokyo Disneyland). Another great option is a ryokan – a traditional Japanese inn that offers a unique cultural experience for families. Many ryokans in Tokyo offer family rooms and kid-friendly amenities, such as tatami mats, futons, and Japanese-style baths.

There are also many transportation options for families with kids in Tokyo, including:

  • Trains: Tokyo has an extensive train network, and this is the fastest and most convenient way to travel around the city, but it can be crowded during peak hours. Some trains have reserved seats, which can be a good option for families with young children.
  • Subway: The subway is an efficient and affordable option, and it's especially useful when visiting popular tourist attractions. Many subway stations have elevators and escalators, which makes it easy to navigate with a stroller.
  • Buses: Buses are a convenient way to travel around Tokyo, but they can be slower than trains and subways, especially during rush hour.
  • Taxis: Taxis are readily available in Tokyo, however they can be expensive.
  • Rental cars: Rental cars are available in Tokyo, but drive at your own risk! Driving in Tokyo can be challenging, and parking can be expensive and hard to find.

8 More Things to Do With Kids in Tokyo

A trip to Japan will be a lifelong memory for your kids, and the best part is that there’s a never-ending list of things to do in Tokyo! Check out some of these travel-tested favorites.

1. Take a Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony Class

Learn about the art of tea-making and experience Japanese hospitality by attending a traditional tea ceremony class. Many venues offer classes suitable for families with children, and it’s a fantastic cultural experience for kids.

2. Tour the Tokyo National Museum

What kid doesn’t want to learn about everything from kimonos to samurai swords? Take a two-hour guided tour of the Tokyo National Museum and get a deep dive into Japanese culture and history with an art expert or historian.

3. Get Hands-On With Japanese Cuisine

Many cooking schools in Tokyo offer classes where you can learn to make traditional Japanese dishes like sushi or ramen. It's a fun and educational experience for the whole family – and you can impress your friends and family back home with your newfound skills.

4. Visit the Ghibli Museum

This museum is dedicated to the works of Studio Ghibli, one of Japan's most famous animation studios. Visitors can watch short films, see exhibitions, and learn about the history of animation.

5. Attend a Traditional Japanese Festival

Experience traditional Japanese culture firsthand with one of the many festivals in Tokyo, such as the Sanno Festival, the Kanda Festival, and the Asakusa Samba Carnival.

6. Try Your Luck at a Japanese Arcade

Japan is famous for its arcade culture, and it’s not hard to find an arcade to check out. Challenge your family to some friendly competition at one of Tokyo’s arcades.

7. Check out Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea

Tokyo Disneyland has seven themed lands with attractions and entertainment for the whole family. DisneySea is another great attraction, and it is geared more toward teens and adults.

8. Explore Ueno Zoo

Ueno Zoo is Japan's oldest and most famous zoo, home to over 3,000 animals from 400 different species. It's a great place to learn about wildlife and conservation while snapping some fantastic photos.

Learn About Japanese Pop Culture

Japanese popular culture is an essential part of the country's identity and history. From anime and manga to video games and music, Japanese pop culture has gained international recognition for its unique and creative expression.

By exploring Japanese popular culture, children can gain a better understanding of Japan's art, language, and values. Pop culture offers a window into Japan's history, mythology, and social issues. Ultimately, learning about Japanese pop culture can help children develop a broader perspective and appreciation for different cultures and ways of life.

Resources for Families Traveling to Japan

As with any (big or small) excursion with kids, planning is key. Whether you want to deepen your understanding of Japan’s cultural customs or manage the more tactical logistics of your trip to Tokyo, here are some great resources to help you plan a trip to Tokyo.

  • Official Tokyo Tourism Site: Learn about customs, weather, travel tips, and more.
  • Travel Japan: Your guide to major cities, tourist recommendations, food and drink, among other things.
  • Context Learning: Our on-demand courses and seminars offer insights into history, culture, and art throughout Japan’s history.
  • Tokyo Metro: Offers subway ticket information and maps
  • Google Translate: Communicate and translate quickly – this certainly comes in handy in a pinch!

Explore Tokyo with Kids

Tokyo effortlessly blends its incredible history with its futuristic feel, making it a whimsical and educational place for kids to visit.

A guided Tokyo tour for kids is the perfect way to see the sights with a local expert and learn about Tokyo’s incomparable pop culture on a hand-selected tour of Tokyo’s most intriguing sights. And the best part – it’s all family-friendly and designed to ensure young travelers leave Tokyo with a newfound reverence for its culture and history.

Ready to Learn More?

Context Learning has expert-led online courses on Tokyo, so you can do a deep dive before you go. Kids might love to learn about the history of zen gardens or an anime exploration of Japan.

Check out more Japan online courses if you want to know before you go!