Things to do in Tokyo as a family

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Tokyo is one of the greatest cities in the world.  In every sense.  There are so many things to do in Tokyo as a family that you’d probably not get around them all in one trip.  At least, not unless you’re staying for more than a couple of weeks!  If you’re planning a visit, hopefully this post will help give you a flavour of some of the things to see and do.

Senso-ji

Senso-ji (also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple) is Tokyo’s oldest and most famous Buddhist temple.  It is truly stunning and just a 5 minute walk from Asakusa Station.

A huge lantern hangs from the main Gate and the buildings and five storey pagoda are beautiful.  There are huge incense burners outside too which are believed to make body aches feel better.  You may be lucky enough to see a ceremony taking place here and it’s a great place to see local families wearing traditional costume.  Said to be the most widely visited spiritual site in the world, it can be busy. 

Admission  Free

Opening hours  24hours 365 days of the year

Location  Asakusa

Visit the Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty Things to do in Tokyo

Yes you read that correctly!  This is Tokyo not New York but there really is a Statue of Liberty here.  It’s a lot smaller but fantastic nonetheless.  And it makes for great photo opportunities!

Admission  Free

Opening hours  24hours 365 days of the year

Location  Odaiba 

Rainbow Bridge

Rainbow Bridge Things to do in Tokyo

Just beyond the Satue is the Rainbow Bridge.  You can get a fantastic view of it and the Tokyo Skyline from the Decks shopping mall in Odaiba.  Spectacular sights at nighttime. 

Admission  Free

Opening hours  24hours 365 days of the year

Location  Odaiba

Shibuya Crossing

Apparently the busiest in the world, you can feel the busyness even before you see it.  This could be partly because Shibuya station is one of the busiest in the world.  Don’t let this put you off.  It’s busy without feeling crowded and you don’t get swamped or feel in danger of being trampled underfoot!  This could be down to local people being some of the nicest and most polite in the world.

One of the best views of the crossing is from the overlooking Starbucks.  It may take a while to get a seat but it’ll be worth it.  You can sit here and watch for as long as you want.  

Admission  Free

Opening hours  24hours 365 days of the year

Location  Shibuya

Meiji Shrine

Dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, Meiji Jingu is one of the main shrines in Tokyo.  The First Torii Gate leading to the to the Meiji Shrine complex is located close to Meiji Jingu Harajuku station.  After passing through this gate you can walk through a forest and pass by Barrels of Sake and Burgundy donated by France.

Yoyogi Park is a quiet and peaceful contrast to the shops and crossings.  Another Torii gate takes you through to the main courtyard.  Sit here for a while to enjoy the peace and tranquillity.  

Admission  Free

Opening hours  Sunrise to sunset no closing days

Location  Shibuya

Electric Town

If you have any sort of interest in technology or gaming a visit to Electric town should be top of your list.  Akihabara is also known as Electric Town due to the quantity of electric stores.  Crowds of gamers fill the large 6 story Sega gaming store, amongst others, and there is every kind of arcade experience you can imagine here. 

Location  Akihabara

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is one of Tokyo’s landmarks and it has a 45th floor observatory.  Time your visit to take in the spectacular view of Tokyo by day and by night.  It’s well worth the wait.  The view of Tokyo by night is really special.  www.metro.tokyo.lg.jp

Admission  Free

Opening times  9.30am-11pm (last admission 10.30pm).  South Observatory is closed on the first and third Tuesday of every month.  North Observatory is closed on the second and fourth Monday of every month.  Also closed during the New Year’s holiday season.

Location Shinjuku

Imperial Palace

The Imperial Palace, the primary residence of the Emperor of Japan, is well worth the visit.  With so much history, it’s a fascinating place. The gardens are fantastic and in April full of colour.  There are plenty of things to keep you interested here.  You need a ticket for entry but do not have to pay!  www.sankan.knaicho.go.jp

Admission  Free (but token is required which must be returned on exit)

Opening times  9am-4pm (4.30pm from March 1st to April 14th and until 5pm from 15th April to 31st August).  Closed Mondays and Fridays and from 28th December to 3rd January and some special occasions.

Location Marunouchi

Get hands on at Nissan Crossing

Visit the Nissan Crossing to satisfy the petrol heads amongst you.  Here, Nissan exhibit luxury, high performance vehicles with an opportunity to get inside or listen to an informative presentation.  www3.nissan.co.jp/crossing

Admission  Free

Opening times  Daily 10.00 – 20.00 (closed irregularly)

Location  Ginza

The Mega Web

And if you are into cars you’ll also enjoy this place.  Described as “an interactive theme park for seeing, riding and feeling the fun of cars” it’s packed with things to see and do.  

The Toyota City Show Case houses a sports zone where you can experience Paralymic sporting activities, a Technology Zone a History Garage which has its very own DeLorean and for the younger travellers has a Ride Studio where you can learn about driving and traffic rules.  You can take advantage of the driving instruction on offer and even take driving tests!  www.megaweb.gr.jp

Admission  Free

Prices  Ride Studio Training Y300.  Driving experience from Y200

Opening times  11am–9pm everyday (irregular closing days)

Miraikan

The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation is well worth a visit.  Highlights include ASIMO (a human like robot created by Honda), part of the ISS and taking part in experiments.  You can also have a go on a personal Honda mobility device.  There’s also a great cafe here and drinks are very reasonably priced.  We think this was one of the best things to do in Tokyo as a family.   www.miraikan.jst.go.jp

Admission  Adults 630 Yen under 18 210 Yen 

Opening times  10am–5pm December 28 to January 1. Closed Tuesdays (open on national holidays)

Location  Odaiba

Waterfall Plaza

Near to the Miraikan is this quiet sculptured garden made from carbon fibre.  It’s well worth a walk around if you’re in the vicinity anyway.

Admission  Free

Opening hours  24hours 365 days of the year

Location  Odaiba

Play Mario Kart - For Real

Yes, you really can!  This is Tokyo!  You’ll see them whizzing around all over the city.  Particularly around Odaiba, Shibuya Scramble and Tokyo Station Tokyo.  If you fancy it you can have a go yourself.  kart.st/en/tokyobay

Tokyo Station

A very big and busy, impressive looking building.  Outside, there’s a good chance of seeing Mario Karters.  Inside, the station is huge with lots of different fast food options including chocolate covered pancakes. 

Admission  Free

Opening hours  24hours 365 days of the year

Location  Marunouchi

Yoyogi National Gymnasium

Yoyogi National Gymnasium Things to do in Tokyo

Constructed for the 1964 Olympic Games this impressive looking arena is famous for its suspension roof.  The venue will stage handball, Badminton and wheelchair rugby at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. www.jpnsport.go.jp/ 

Location  Shibuya

Planning things to do in Tokyo as a family

If you’re thinking of visiting Tokyo check out our Tokyo pages.  They cover how to get there, where to stay, how to get around and food, drink and money.

Thoughts

We hope this post on Things to do in Tokyo as a family has helped you.  Feel free to share it or leave a comment below.  If you enjoyed it why not check out some of our other posts like the ones below or the pages on the right hand side.

More Things to do in Tokyo as a family

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