Activities for Kids Under 5 in Kobe

ByJustin Hanus
Oct 24, 2022

Activities for Kids Under 5 in Kobe

If you have kids under 5, you’ll know how tiring it can be to keep them occupied throughout the day. Children don’t start school in Japan until the age of six, and although there is nursery and daycare provision, not all kids attend full-time. Plus, of course, there are weekends to consider. Fortunately, parents in Kobe have plenty of great activities to choose from at reasonable prices. Depending on the weather and what your little ones are in the mood for, you might want to give the following a try.

Parks and Playgrounds

Fun play areas in parks are great for keeping young kids entertained for an hour or two when the weather is nice. Plus, it’s a great way of letting them burn off energy and tire them out to make them ready for bed in the evening. Many of Kobe’s parks have children’s or under-5s areas fitted with equipment such as slides, swings, and climbing frames. Meriken Park is one of the most popular and has an earthquake memorial area where children can learn about the 1995 earthquake in the city. Orakuyama Park has some cool and colorful equipment, while Wakamatsu Park, a bit further out, has a 59-foot Tetsujin 28 robot statue.

Children’s Museums

Although kids under five are a bit young for the whole museum experience, there are a couple of facilities in Kobe that are toddler-friendly and will keep them occupied for a while. The go-to place is the Anpanman Museum. For the uninitiated (i.e., anyone from outside Japan), Anmanman is a super-popular Japanese superhero character and is as loved as Spiderman or Cocomelon by local tots. The museum is actually more of a mall, complete with shops, restaurants, games, and a themed play area. Another place worth checking out is the Akashi Municipal Planetarium which has special shows for toddlers and babies. Adults pay 700 yen, but kids get in for free.

Animal Attractions

You can’t go wrong with animals when it comes to entertaining young kids. Kobe has a few places worth visiting. Oji Zoo not only has creatures such as pandas but also a big amusement park with rides, including carousels and a Ferris Wheel. Animal Kingdom, located about 15 minutes from Sannomiya, has many animals, including penguins and alpacas. Head to Aqualife next to Suma Beach for water-based wildlife, where children can feed the dolphins. Rokkosan Farm is a bit further afield, a 30-minute drive into the mountains, but you can get up close to the farmyard animals and even take part in cheese-making classes.

Shopping at Kobe Harborland

Want to combine keeping the children amused with a shopping trip? Head to Harborland, a large shopping complex on the Port of Kobe. The mall has enough kids’ stores and toy shops to thrill the little ones. Additionally, there are children’s amusements, restaurants, and even a large cinema if your children are old enough to sit through a 90-minute feature.

Website: Kobe Harborland

Swimming Pools

It’s never too early to get kids used to water and teach them to swim. Many of the city’s sports centers and gyms have swimming pools where you can book a session with kids for free or at a discounted rate. The Port Island Sports Center is recommended as a kid-friendly venue. It has a heated pool in addition to the Hyogo Prefectural Gymnasium, a 25-meter pool approved by the Japan Swimming Federation. Worth bearing in mind, too, that Aqualife has a water park if you fancy more fun water-based activities.

そらみみ, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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