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Japanese Culture: What You Need to Know【A great spot for kids!】

10 recommended hands-on excursion spots in Tokyo that you can enjoy with your kids!

For those of you who are wondering where to go out with your children in Tokyo, here are some hands-on outings that parents and children can enjoy together. We'll introduce you to various types of hands-on outings, including popular standard spots that require reservations, spots where you can enjoy the whole day for free, and spots where you can experience traditional Japanese culture and the latest in manufacturing.

Children's and classic hands-on museums!

First, let's take a look at some of the classic hands-on museums and theme parks that kids can enjoy.

KidZania Tokyo

KidZania Tokyo is a theme park where children can enjoy learning about the workings of society while trying their hand at various jobs in a city about 2/3 the size of Tokyo. There are about 100 jobs to choose from, such as police officer, candy factory staff, etc. If you choose a job you want to do, you will receive "Kidzo" as your salary. The KidZo can be used in department stores, restaurants, and other places within KidZania, and can also be used to receive services.

Parents and guardians can observe their children during the experience through the glass and monitors, and can also enjoy the theater and magic house as spectators. The hours of operation are completely changeable between the first part (9:00 to 15:00) and the second part (16:00 to 21:00), and reservations are required. It is located in LaLaport Toyosu, so you can enjoy shopping and dining after your experience.


Name: KidZania Tokyo

Age range: 3 to 15 years old

Price: Preschoolers (3 years old and up) from 3,245 yen, Elementary school students from 3,575 yen, Junior high school students from 3,685 yen, Adults (16 years old and up) from 2,145 yen 

Address: North Port 3F, Urban Dock LaLaport Toyosu 1, 2-4-9 Toyosu, Koto-ku, Tokyo

Access: 8-minute walk from Toyosu Station (Tokyo Metro, Yurikamome) 

Closed: Open all year round

Opening hours: Part 1: 9:00 - 15:00, Part 2: 16:00 - 21:00

Contact number: 0570-06-4646

Website: https://www.kidzania.jp/tokyo/


Children's Museum of the Future Galax City

The Children's Museum of the Future Galaxity is a hands-on complex facility that develops children's creativity. You can enjoy Japan's largest net play equipment and a full-scale climbing wall for free. In addition, the Maruchitaiken Dome, the largest planetarium in Tokyo's 23 wards, offers a powerful view of the universe using the latest projection system.

There are also a variety of workshops and events for infants, elementary school students, parents and children, making it a facility that can be enjoyed by young and old alike. There is also a café inside the facility where you can enjoy a delicious lunch. Most of the workshops and events require advance registration, so if you are interested, please check the website for the schedule and fees.


Name: Kodomo Mirai Souzoukan Galak City

Age: 0 years old and up

Fee: Free admission to Maruchitai Ken Dome (planetarium): 100 yen for elementary and junior high school students, 500 yen for adults

Address: 1-3-1 Kurihara, Adachi-ku, Tokyo

Access: 3-minute walk from Nishiarai Station on the Tobu Skytree Line.

Closed: 2nd Monday of the month, New Year's Day (If the 2nd Monday is a national holiday, the museum is open on that day and closed the following day.)

Opening hours: 9:00 - 21:30 (Children's Experience Area closes at 18:00)

Contact: 03-5242-8161

Website: https://www.galaxcity.jp/future-creation-hall/


Mitaka no Mori Ghibli Museum

The Mitaka-no-Mori Ghibli Museum, located in a corner of Inokashira Onshi Park, is a museum where you can immerse yourself in the world of Studio Ghibli's masterpieces such as My Neighbor Totoro and The Witch's Delivery Service.

Ghibli characters are depicted throughout the museum, offering a variety of fun discoveries. In the permanent exhibition room, "The Place Where Movies Are Born," you can learn about the struggles that go into the completion of an animation, and in the video exhibition room, "Saturn," you can watch original short films that can only be seen here.

You can purchase tickets at the Lawson Ticket website from 10:00 a.m. one week prior to the day you wish to visit the museum. You can purchase tickets at the Lawson Ticket Website from 10:00 a.m. one week before your desired date of visit.


Name: Mitaka no Mori Ghibli Museum

Age: 0 years old and up

Price: Free for children under 4 years old, 100 yen for infants (from 4 years old), 400 yen for elementary school students, 700 yen for junior high and high school students, 1,000 yen for adults

Address: 1-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka City, Tokyo

Access: 15-minute walk from JR Mitaka Station

Access: JR Mitaka Station, 1 minute walk Closed: Tuesdays (other holidays and long-term closures vary from year to year)

Opening hours: 10:00-17:00

Contact number: 0570-05577

Website: https://www.ghibli-museum.jp/


Sanrio Puroland

Sanrio Puroland is a theme park where you can interact with popular Sanrio characters such as Hello Kitty, My Melody and Little Twin Stars. As an indoor facility, you can enjoy live shows, parades, attractions, and events without worrying about the weather. A variety of shows and events are held every day, so it is recommended to check the schedule on the website. The museum also has a wide variety of restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy menus inspired by popular characters. There are also stores where you can purchase original Puroland goods.


Name: Sanrio Puroland

Age: 0 years old and up

Weekdays: Child (2 years old and up) 2,500 yen, Adult 3,300 yen, Senior (65 years old and up) 2,500 yen / Weekends: Child 2,800 yen, Adult 3,900 yen, Senior 2,800 yen / Afternoon: Child 2,000 yen, Adult 2,200 yen, Senior 2,000 yen

Address: 1-31 Ochiai, Tama City, Tokyo

Access: 5 minute walk from Tama Center Station on the Keio Line, Odakyu Line, or Tama Monorail.

Closed: Open irregularly

Business hours: Weekdays 10:00-17:00, Saturdays-Sundays and holidays 9:00-17:00

Contact: 042-339-1111

Website: https://www.puroland.jp/


Tokyo Toy Museum

The Tokyo Toy Museum is a multi-generational museum where visitors can play, enjoy, create and learn with the theme of toys.

Inside the museum, many toys, including traditional Japanese toys and toys from around the world, are displayed according to different themes, and some of the toys and games can actually be picked up and played with, which will fascinate both children and adults. In addition, there is an exhibition room dedicated to 0-2 year olds called "Baby Mokuiku Hiroba" where babies can play freely. There are also a variety of workshops and events where you can try your hand at toy making, so you can have plenty of fun without getting bored. At the store, you can buy cute wooden toys made by artists from all over Japan.


Name: Tokyo Toy Museum

Age: 0 years old and up

Admission: 800 yen for children (6 months to elementary school), 1,100 yen for adults (junior high school and older)

Address: 4-20 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

Access: 5-minute walk from Yotsuya-sanchome Station (Tokyo Metro)

Closed: Thursday (If Thursday is a national holiday, the museum is open on Thursday and closed the following day.)

Opening hours: 10:00-12:00, 13:30-15:30

Contact: TEL: 03-5367-9601 E-mail: yotsuya@art-play.or.jp

Website: https://art-play.or.jp/ttm/


TeamLab Borderless / Digital Art Museum

TeamLab Borderless is a digital art museum created by Mori Building and the art collective TeamLab, which opened in 2018 in Palette Town in Odaiba. In a vast area of about 10,000 square meters, 520 computers and 470 projectors are used to create a vivid and fantastic world. Visitors can enjoy the feeling of being a part of the work.

The "Forest of Lamps," which changes color depending on where the viewer stands and how many people are present, is a popular photo-op spot and is famous worldwide. The various effects using light and mirrors will captivate children and adults alike, and stir their imagination. Advance ticket purchase is required for admission.


Name: TeamLab Borderless

Age: 0 years old and up

Price: Children (4 years old to junior high school students and younger): 1,000 yen, Adults (high school students and older): 3,200 yen

Address: Odaiba Palette Town 2F, 1-3-8 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo

Access: 3-minute walk from Aomi Station on the Yurikamome Line

Closed: Check the official website

Opening hours: Varies depending on the season.

Contact: 03-6368-4292

Website: https://borderless.teamlab.art/jp/


Ueno Zoological Gardens

The Ueno Zoological Gardens was opened in 1882 and was the first zoo in Japan. In 2020, the zoo will open a new breeding and exhibition facility, "Panda Forest," which will house giant pandas, as well as red pandas and pheasants that live in the alpine region of southwestern China, their habitat. In 2020, a new breeding and exhibition facility for giant pandas, as well as red pandas and pheasants from the high mountains of southwestern China, their habitat, will open. At the Children's Zoo Stoppe, there is a corner where you can interact with rabbits and guinea pigs, allowing families to have a fun time with animals. In the zoo's store, you can buy a variety of cute animal goods and original souvenirs from the Ueno Zoo.


Name: Ueno Zoological Gardens

Age: 0 years old and up

Admission: Free for children (elementary school students and younger) and junior high school students living or studying in Tokyo, 200 yen for junior high school students, 600 yen for adults, 300 yen for seniors (65 years old and older)

Address: 9-83 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo

Access: 5 min. walk from JR Ueno Station

Closed: Mondays, year-end and New Year holidays (if Monday is a national holiday, substitute holiday, or Tomin no Hi, the park will be closed the following day)

Business hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Contact: 03-3828-5171

Website: https://www.tokyo-zoo.net/zoo/ueno/

Kids will get a kick out of it! Monozukuri experience spots in Tokyo

The experience of making things, which is not easy to do in daily life, is sure to get children excited and energized. Here are some popular spots where you can experience making things and Japanese traditional culture.

Matcha Cafe Chazen / Hands-on Japanese Cafe

Opened in 2021 near Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) in Asakusa, Matcha Cafe Chazen is the result of the strong desire of its owner, a master of the tea ceremony, to convey the beauty of traditional Japanese culture through the tea ceremony. At the cafe, parents and children can try their hand at making Japanese sweets without making a reservation. The staff will teach you everything from how to make the sweets to how to make green tea, so even first-timers and children will feel at ease.  

In collaboration with a kimono store, Chazen also offers a kimono dressing experience. In addition, Chazen offers a kimono dressing experience in collaboration with a kimono shop, where you can dress up in your favorite kimono and enjoy an authentic tea ceremony.


Name: Matcha Cafe Chazen

Age range: --.

Price: 1,500 yen (tax included) for children and adults for making Matcha and Japanese sweets.

Address: Benkyodo Building 5F, 1-4-7 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo

Access: 3 minutes walk from Asakusa Station (Tokyo Metro)

Access: Tokyo Metro Asakusa station, walking distance

Opening hours: 11:00 - 16:00 (varies depending on the experience menu)

Contact:  info@chazen-co.jp

Website: https://teaceremony-tokyo.jp



AkeruE, which just opened in April 2021, is a museum where you can experience "making things" and "learning" as a place to nurture "inspiration" by tapping into children's latent intellectual curiosity. For example, in the "TECHNITO" area, visitors can touch 3D printers and laser cutters, and experience making things by combining programming and electronics. In the "GAIA" area, visitors can learn about eco-systems that enable people and nature to live together in abundance while experiencing nature such as plants. You will need to purchase a ticket in advance to enter this area as well.


Name: AkeruE

Target age: 0 years old and up

Price: Free for preschool children, 700 yen for both children and adults

Address: Panasonic Center Tokyo 2-3F, 3-5-1 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo

Access: 2-minute walk from Kokusai-Tenjijo Station on the Rinkai Line.

Closed: Mondays, Year-end and New Year holidays

Business hours: 10:00-18:00

Website: https://www.panasonic.com/jp/corporate/center-tokyo/akerue.html

Contact: 03-3599-2600


Shirokane Pottery Workshop

The Shirokane Pottery Workshop is a pottery workshop where parents and children can enjoy making tea bowls, teacups, and plates together. There are a total of five courses available, from a simple one-day course to a three-day course where you can enjoy a full pottery experience. The recommended course is the 2-day course, which also includes coloring, and takes only about 1 hour and 30 minutes per day, so even small children can enjoy the experience without getting bored. Everything you need is provided, so you don't need to bring anything.


Name: Shirogane Ceramics Workshop

Age: 3 years old and up

Price: "Family pottery experience" from 3,960 yen for both children and adults, plus firing fee

Address: 5-13-4 Shirogane, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Access: 10-minute walk from Tokyo Metro Hiroo Station and Shirokane-Takanawa Station

Closed: Wednesday (If Wednesday is a national holiday, the shop is open from 10:00 to 18:30)

Business hours: 10:00-18:30 (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday), 10:00-22:00 (Friday-Sunday)

Contact: 03-6318-5858

Website: https://www.sirokanetougei.com/

The store information, product information, and business hours introduced here are subject to change. All prices include tax.


In this article, we have introduced some of the best hands-on spots in Tokyo that you can enjoy with your children, from the standard spots to the newest ones. For parents, there is no greater happiness than seeing their children engrossed in play and learning. Also, by experiencing things that are difficult to do in everyday life, you will be able to reconfirm your child's growth. Why not make some fun memories for parents and children at the experience spots I have introduced?