10 REASONS TO VISIT TOKYO
Whether you’re a foodie, shopaholic, culture buff or animal-lover, Tokyo has something for everyone. Here are the top 10 things that should be on your family’s must-do list.
1. Feel on top of the world at Tokyo Skytree
Head to the 450-metre-high observation deck of the tallest structure in Japan for the best views over Tokyo. On a clear day, you can even catch a glimpse of snow-capped Mt Fuji. Keep an eye out for the tower at night, as its lighting alternates daily.
2. Pose in a Kimono
You haven’t been immersed in Japanese culture until you’ve worn a kimono. You’ll find places all across the city where you can dress up for photos and even participate in a traditional tea ceremony, such as Kimono Sakaeya near the Meiji Shrine or Nadeshiko at Hanayashiki.
3. Step into another world at the Robot Restaurant
A visit to this crazy show in Shinjuku’s Kabukichō district is like nothing you’ve seen before. Prepare for a night of bright lights, techno music, dinosaurs, dancers and robots.
4. Brush up on your history
Learn about Japan’s rich culture, its beliefs and traditions when you visit two of the most extraordinary religious sites in Tokyo: Sensō-ji Buddhist temple in Asakusa and the Shinto Meiji Shrine in Shibuya.
5. Go Crazy at Kiddy Land
Kiddy Land in Harajuku is five levels of heaven for kids and kids-at-heart. Stock up on all your favourite characters, from international phenomena Hello Kitty and Pokémon, to the Japanese fandoms of Rilakkuma and Studio Ghibli.
6. Embrace quirk at Japan's oldest amusement park
Hanayashiki has been many things since its opening in 1853 – a flower park, a zoo and now an amusement park – and boring has never been one of them. With plenty of attractions and experiences, its one of the best places to embrace Japanese quirk.
7. Get lost in a sea of pink
If you’re lucky enough to visit in spring (late March to early April in Tokyo), head to the park of Shinjuku Gyoen and wander through more than one thousand blossoming cherry trees. It’s a popular spot to host a hanami flower-watching picnic under the falling petals. japan-guide.com
Children as young as three can learn the art of making sushi at its birthplace in Tsukiji, the world’s largest fish market. Not only will the 90-minute cooking class be loads of fun, but you get to feast on scrumptious sushi at the end.
Meet your favourite characters, shop for souvenirs, take your pick of the rides and attractions, and hop on over to the sister park, Tokyo DisneySea. Whether you go for one day or four, it’s bound to be a highlight of your trip.
10. Get lost at Shibuya crossing
It would be a shame to leave Tokyo without experiencing the madness of the famous intersection that rivals Times Square: Shibuya Crossing. Little ones can watch mesmerising phenomeon from the safety of Starbucks.
This article appeared in volume 9 of Five Star Kids magazine. To subscribe to the latest issue, click here.