Summer Activities in Tokyo For Kids

ByMichael Stigall
Jun 26, 2024

Summer Activities in Tokyo For Kids

Tokyo is big. Really big. One significant upside to its massive size is that there is something for everyone to enjoy. Obviously, the metropolis is a Mecca to anime and manga fans. Similarly, lovers of technology have several sights and neighborhoods to enjoy. Let’s also not forget nightlife considering that you won’t find many better places in the world. From food to music, excitement to beauty, Tokyo has it all. But alongside Tokyo’s glitter and frenetic pace, you will find children, parents and a wide variety of activities for the family. Tokyo is not just a tourist-attracting metropolis but a home for many. As summer starts up and summer break is on the horizon, those of us with kids need to start thinking about how to keep them occupied during their days off.

If you are looking for a child-friendly activity or two, we can’t come close to telling you everything available to you and your children here, but we can give you some samples to get you started on your next weekend adventure with your little ones. 

Sanrio Puroland

Sanrio Puroland is a theme park run by the Sanrio company, creators of the global phenomena Hello Kitty and Aggretsuko, My Melody, Jewelpet, and other popular characters. Unlike Japan’s other character-based amusement parks such as Disneyland, Sanrio Puroland focuses less on rides and roller coasters and more on interactive events such as musicals and audience participation shows.

It is an all-weather park, meaning that in both the chilly winter and the stifling summer, families with young children can comfortably enjoy the uber-cuteness of the Sanrio world, including a near full-scale creation of Kitty chan’s home. Children whose birthday falls in the month of their visit are given a birthday card to wear so they can be given special treatment from the Sanrio characters and take part in birthday party celebrations. Of course, there are extensive shopping opportunities, with all manner of products and souvenirs bearing the various characters’ likenesses, as well as a family restaurant complete with branded cutlery and condiments.

Sanrio Puroland

Prices vary depending on when you go. Tickets available at website
Opening times vary. See schedule for details.
1-31, Ochiai, Tama-shi, Tokyo

Ghibli Museum

The Ghibli Museum is an animation and art museum created for lovers of the world-renowned Studio Ghibli, the imaginative geniuses who brought us such animated classics as Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, Ponyo, and others. The museum was designed by the studio’s most famous director, Hayao Miyazaki. As you enter the building, you will be greeted by Totoro himself and feel like you have been whisked away into one of the worlds from Ghibli’s films.

There are all kinds of Ghibli excitements on show in this museum dedicated to the history and science of animation, such as permanent exhibitions like the 3-D zoetrope of ‘Bouncing Totoro’ designed to explain the principles of animation and historical devices. A Rooftop Garden also features a life-size version of the robot guardian from Castle in the Sky and a Catbus playroom for children under 12 to play in. There are also seasonal exhibitions, but perhaps the most exciting aspect for fans of Ghibli is showing an animated short exclusive to the museum. The gift shop sells original animation cells for those wanting to bring some of the magic home with them.

Ghibli Museum

100 JPY young children (4-6), 400 JPY children (7-12), 700 JPY teens (13-18) 1,000 JPY adults (19+); Tickets can only be purchased at Lawson convenience stores. For instructions, see here.
10:00-18:00; Closed Tuesday and year-end holidays.
1 Chome-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-0013

The Tokyo Toy Museum

The Tokyo Toy Museum in Shinjuku is three stories of toys. Toys to be touched and played with, toys to be created from recycled materials, and toys to be enjoyed by you and your family. On top of three stories, you will find a playground outside with… more toys.   You can also go for more formalized fun, in the form of classes and workshops ranging from building your own toys to origami and a lot of different events in between.

I could write on about this location, but if you are interested in learning more, please follow this link to, where they have a very excellent article on the museum.

Tokyo Toy Museum

800 JPY children, 1,100 JPY adults.
10am to 4pm, closed on Thursdays
160-0004, Tokyo, Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, 4-20 Yotsuya Square
Brochure in English

Legoland Discovery Center Tokyo

LEGOLAND® is a theme park experience dedicated to families with children between the ages of 2 and 12 that features interactive rides, shows, and attractions based on the LEGO® toy brand. The parks are marketed to families, and although they have some rides, they are not as numerous or as extreme as those in other parks, as there is a greater emphasis on rides suitable for younger children. The park is split into various areas, including a Lego miniland, a model village featuring models of iconic landmarks made from millions of Legos. The description on their site sums it up very well, in my opinion; “Legoland  Discovery Center Tokyo – it’s like you’ve just jumped into the biggest box of LEGO® bricks ever!”

Legoland Discovery Center Tokyo

Full prices are discounted in various ways; see the site for details
10 am to 4 pm
3F Decks Tokyo Beach Island Mall, Odaiba 1-6-1, Minato-ku, Tokyo

The Aquariums

Tokyo and its surrounding areas have more aquariums than you might expect! There are at least 7 in Tokyo itself and a few more in the surrounding areas.

  • Sunshine Aquarium
  • Sumida Aquarium
  • Tokyo Sealife Aquarium
  • Epson Aqua Stadium
  • Tokyo Tower Aquarium
  • Inokashira Shizen Bunkaen Aquarium
  • Shin Enoshima Aquarium
  • Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

Shinagawa Aquarium

At the Shinagawa Aquarium, you can experience a real “walk underwater” while  sea bream, stingrays, and turtles swim overhead and around in their famous “sea tunnel!”  Or visit the  “Shark Hall” where sand tiger sharks, grey reef sharks, and other sharks from all over the world are displayed in an oval tank which puts you in the middle of a three-dimensional school of sharks!

If sharks are a bit too much for you, how about the Dolphin and Sealion Show, which includes all that has come to be expected from such shows, jumping, “humorous gestures,” etc.?

Shinagawa Aquarium

Adult (16+): ¥1,350 / Student or child (6 through 15): ¥600 / Child (under 5): ¥300
10am-5pm  Closed: Tuesday
Shinagawa-kumin Park, 3-2-1, Katsushima, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
 03-3762-3431 (Taped information), 03-3762-3433 (Office) /(Japanese)

Escape the Heat of Tokyo at the Aquarium!

There is plenty of information out there about the remaining aquariums. There’s definitely enough that there is probably one near you to enjoy. 

氷鷺 at the Japanese language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Michael Stigall editor

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