So - if you're heading out to Tokyo for spring and you're travelling with kids in tow, this itinerary features attractions that are both kid-friendly and features the best spots for hanami/sakura viewing.
SHARE THIS ITINERARY WITH FRIENDS!
Head to Ueno Park. Ueno Park is one of the best spots in Tokyo for hanami. Amongst the park’s 8,800 trees are several varieties of sakura that bloom in spring. Inside Ueno Park are Shinobazu Pond, Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum for Western Art, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and the National Science Museum.
Access: The Ueno Park Exit of JR Ueno Station is the most direct route to Ueno Park, however going out the Central Exit is recommended if you want to pick up English-language information about the park beforehand.
After some rest, proceed to Omotesando neighborhood and head inside the 5-story building of Kiddyland on Omotesando Street – the headquarters of the toy store chain with over 80 branches nationwide.
When you’re done, continue your stroll along Omotesando Dori (Street) – the neighborhood’s main street which is often compared to Paris’ Champs-Élysées. The area is home to some of Tokyo's most interesting architecture. Moreover, several fashion brands like Prada, Louis Vuitton and Dior have flagship buildings here.
Drop by Tokyo Tower to cap off your day. Reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower, this landmark features observation areas & other attractions. It is usually open until 23:00H.
Access: Take Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line from Omotesando Station to Aoyamaicchome Station then transfer to Metropolitan Subway Toei Oedo Line from Aoyamaicchome Station. Tokyo Tower is a short 5 min walk from Akabanebashi Station Akabanebashi Gate.
Proceed to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (opens at 09:00H). Comprised of 3 different gardens – Japanese, French and English, this park is one of Tokyo’s largest and most popular parks. It is home to a large number of cherry trees of more than a dozen different varieties. From late March to early April, more than 400 somei yoshino trees blossom around the English garden turning the lawns into one of Tokyo's most popular and pleasant hanami spots.
Access: 5 min walk from Metropolitan Subway Toei Oedo Line Kokuritsu Kyougijyou Mae Station A5 Exit
Cross the other side of the park and head to the Fire Museum by foot (10 mins) or via a quick train ride. The museum features exhibits which visitors will find interesting and will give a good insight as to how the fire department responds to earthquakes, typhoons, etc. The tenth-floor features an observation deck which offers a decent view of the surrounding area.
Access: Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line Yotsuyasanchome Station (only 1 station away from Toyo Metro Marunouchi Line Shinjukugyoen Mae Station)
Afternoon to Evening
After some rest, proceed to Sanrio Puroland (open 10:00H – 20:00H). Sanrio Puroland is a theme park where visitors can mingle with popular characters like Hello Kitty and My Melody. Watch the characters perform in musicals, parades, and other attractions. Enjoy meals and buy merchandise only available here.
Access: Take Keio Express bound for Hashimoto from Shinjuku Station. (Approx. 29mins) and get off at Keio Tama Center Station Central Exit. Then take the South Exit of Keio Tama Center・Odakyu Tama Center Station and walk straight toward Parthenon Tama. Turn left at the Okanoue Plaza crossing, you will see Sanrio Puroland in front of you.
For your final stop, head to the statue of the dog Hachikō, adjacent to Shibuya's famous pedestrian scramble crossing.
Meiji Shrine opens at sunrise and closes at sunset. Dedicated to the late 19th-century emperor who opened Japan to the West, Tokyo's most famous Shinto shrine is wonderfully serene and austere. On Sunday mornings you are likely to see a traditional wedding procession (or two) through the courtyard. Tokyo shrines typically feature a Japanese garden or at the very least a wide open space which is perfect for kids to run around.
Access: South Shrine Gate is a 1 minute walk from JR Yamanote Line Harajuku Station, Station Exit.
At your convenience (and discretion), head over to Asakusa for souvenir shopping. Nakamise Dori (usually open until 19:00H) is the street leading up to Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest temple. The street is lined up with around 90 shops selling snacks, street food and souvenirs.
Late Afternoon to Evening
Proceed to Akihabara as your final stop for the day. Akihabara is a shopping area of Tokyo that specializes in electronics and Japanese culture items. It is very popular with tourists and otaku.
Rainbow Bridge connects Odaiba with Tokyo. It's an iconic part of Tokyo's waterfront. People are allowed on the bridge but air quality may not be good due to its proximity to the highway.
You will find the Legoland Discovery Center inside Odaiba’s Deck’s shopping mall. (Last entry at 19:00H). “The LEGOLAND® Discovery Center is a world of colour, creativity and fun for children aged 3-10. We offer a wealth of attractions, a LEGO ride, 4D cinema and more. A typical visit takes 2-3 hours, but you are welcome to stay as long as you like.” - https://www.legolanddiscoverycenter.jp/tokyo/en/
The larger-than-life sized Gundam Statue stands in front of DiverCity Tokyo Plaza. This shopping, dining and entertainment complex opened in 2012, with Gundam Front Tokyo (closes at 21:00H) as its most unique attraction. You can find the schedule of the statue’s performances here.
Note: No info regarding toddlers’ admission fee
Odaiba features a 110 meter (360 foot) tall Ferris wheel (Daikanransha in Nihongo) in Palette Town.
Note: No info regarding toddlers’ admission fee
Spend the day on the happiest on Earth!
Children’s Playroom - Terminal 1, Central Building, 3rd Floor
Kids’ Park - Terminal 1, 3rd Floor; Terminal 2, Main Building, 2nd Floor
Observation Deck – Terminal 1, 5th floor
For airport pay lounges in Narita, a list is available here.
EXTRA VISUAL TREAT FOR TODDLERS
When: When you have time going/coming from Shinjuku Station
Where: Around Shinjuku Station’s Southern Terrace Exit
There’s a walkway that crosses the tracks that offers a great view of all sorts of trains coming and going from Shinjuku station. The easiest way to find it is to go to Starbucks Shinjuku Southern Terrace then walk south (away from Shinjuku station) for another 100 meters and you’ll see the walkway to your left such that, if you’re arriving at Shinjuku Station, take the Southern Terrace Exit to get you heading towards Starbucks.