Tokyo is a great place to travel with children: It's safe, clean and there are lots of kid-friendly attractions. This itinerary is the perfect 1-day itinerary for those traveling with children.
Tokyo Kids © alberth2
Itinerary Summary and Important Notes
- This itinerary includes Asakusa, Ueno, Shinjuku and Shibuya.
- Base yourself somewhere central to save time (see the Notes section below).
- Don't try to do too much with kids in Tokyo. Just moving around the city is tiring for them (and parents, too).
Full Tokyo 1 Day Itinerary With Children Itinerary
See the district pages linked below for full details on the attractions mentioned here.
- 9:00am: Asakusa – Senso-ji Temple
In the morning, head up to Asakusa and visit Senso-ji Temple. This is your chance to check out something of interest to adults as well, before the children get too tired and need kid-friendly entertainment. This bustling temple is stimulating enough to keep most children occupied for a little while. The Ginza subway line is a good way to get to Asakusa from many parts of Tokyo.
- 10:30: Ueno – Ueno-koen Park and Museums
Ueno is just three stops west of Asakusa on the Ginza subway line. Walk into Ueno-koen Park. Consider visiting Ueno Zoo. Another great spot is the National Museum of Nature and Science. And, if your kids are a bit older, they just might be convinced to enter the Tokyo National Museum – the swords here are sure to interest boys.
- Noon: Shinjuku – Lunch
Take the Toei Oedo subway line from Ueno Okachimachi Station west to Shinjuku Nishiguchi Station (eight stops). Once you arrive in Shinjuku, walk south to the Takashimaya Times Square Complex, which is just south of Shinjuku Station (connected by a pedestrian walkway). The restaurant floors on the 12th, 13th and 14th floors here have a big selection of easy-to-enter restaurants that should please finicky eaters. When you're done, consider a quick look in Tokyu Hands, a great DIY and hobby shop that might interest older kids.
- 1:30pm: East Shinjuku – Fire Museum and/or Toy Museum (play area)
There are two excellent child-friendly attractions in East Shinjuku. After lunch at Takashimaya Times Square, take the Marunouchi subway line three stops east from Shinjuku Station to Yotsuya Sanchome Station. Within easy walking distance of this station you'll find the Fire Museum, which is guaranteed to be a hit with kids who love fire engines etc. Within walking distance from this is the Tokyo Toy Museum, which is really more of a big play space than a museum – it's great for younger kids. The Toy Museum is closed on Thursday. The Fire Museum is closed Monday.
- 4:00pm: Shibuya – A Walk and Early Dinner
If you and your kids still have energy, return to Shinjuku Station and take the JR Yamanote Line three stops south to Shibuya. Here, you can do some strolling and shopping amid some of Tokyo's biggest department stores. The bright lights and presence of other kids is enough to keep older children entertained (but be warned: they'll be pestering you to buy them all the little toys and sweets they see everywhere!). Shibuya has tons of restaurants, including kid-friendly places in the food floors of the big department stores, so you can grab an early dinner here before heading back to the hotel.
Other Great Places for Kids in Tokyo
- Odaiba: Odaiba, located on an artificial island in Tokyo Bay is an all-day destination that has several kid-friendly attractions including the Miraikan: National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, Daikanransha (Ferris Wheel), Sony Explora Science and Decks Tokyo Beach (restaurants).
- Ghibli Museum: Located in Mitaka, a short train ride west of Tokyo, this is a must for fans of Japanese anime. Visit the Ghibli Museum English site for details.
- Tokyo Disneyland: A short train trip east of the city, this is Japan's biggest child-friendly attraction. Visit the Tokyo Disneyland English site for more details.
- My Little Nomads Tokyo With Kids Page: This site has an awesome list of 24 kid-friendly attractions in and around Tokyo
- Tokyo With Kids Blog: Produced by a long-term resident of Tokyo with kids, this is a great resource for parents bringing children to Tokyo. In addition to covering attractions, it covers things like kid-friendly shops, hotels and health. Highly recommended.
- If you're only going to be in the city for one day, you should try to base yourself in a central location so you don't waste time moving around. I'd suggest Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ginza or the Tokyo Station area. For more on where to say, check out my Where to Stay in Tokyo page.
- Don't try to do any more than this in one day in Tokyo – you'll tire yourself and your kids out. If you want to relax, subtract one or two places from this itinerary. As usual, it's better to enjoy a few places properly than to sprint through many places.
Tokyo Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Tokyo guide
- Check Tokyo accommodation availability and pricing on Booking.com - usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too.
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Tokyo
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings on Skyscanner
- If you're visiting more than one city, get your Japan Rail Pass
- Get travel insurance for your Japan trip - book online with World Nomads