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Boy Eats World

7 Reasons Why You Must Take Your Kids To Kyoto

Better known for its temples and traditions, turns out that Kyoto has plenty of fun activities on offer for visiting kids.

1. Ninja nights - At Ninja Kyoto Restaurant and Labyrinth my ninja-obsessed offspring came face to face with “real” ninjas while dining on edible shuriken and escargot bombs. And a butt kicking live-action show by the choreographer of Kill Bill Vol. 1 combining magical imagery, acrobatic dancing and wire-stunt battle action had our wannabe warriors on the edge of their seats.

2. Seven (year old) samurais – No, it’s not a prequel to the Kurosawa movie. At Samurai Kembu Theater the kids learn that the ancient Samurai way of life was about more than razer sharp katanas and epic battles when our eldest frocked up in a styling Samurai suit, to learn samurai sword skills and etiquette in an hour-long one-on-one class with a kembu master.

3. Amateur dramatics – Speaking of Kurosawa films, Toei Movie Park is a working TV and movie set that doubles as a uniquely Japanese theme park and is a huge hit with our wee warriors. With Ninja performances, dramatic swordfights and samurai skirmishes waiting around every corner – our kids found themselves starring in a live-action Samurai battle sequence.

4. Burning love - Menbakaichidai is famous for “Fire Ramen”. Blackened by the explosive addition of burning onion oil, these soupy noodles are as spectacular as they are delicious. My seven-year old noodle addict was particularly enamoured with Menbakaichidai’s hands on Ramen University where he honed his soup skills.

5. Monkey Magic – More than 120 Japanese macaques roam free at Arashiyama Monkey Park while the people stay behind bars! Our kids adored the antics of the funky monkeys on this particular mountain top. But, as cute as the monkeys are, I’d recommend keeping a safe distance and carrying kids under two-years of age in a backpack or carrier as the mischievous monkeys have been known to bite.

6. Shrine of the times – Even amongst Kyoto’s thousands of incredible shrines, Fushimi Inari is a stand out. Keep the kids busy counting their way along the trail of 10,000 bright orange tori gates or in a game of spot the foxes – the symbol of Fushimi Inari.

7. Dreamy digs – The luxurious and family-friendly Hyatt Regency Kyoto welcomes wee warriors with open arms. In fact, the charming manager – tongue firmly in cheek - went as far as offering my newly trained junior samurai ramen chef a job working dual shifts in the kitchen and on security. Ideally located in the historic area of Higashiyama Shichijo, in the heart of Kyoto, the hotel is conveniently nestled between dozens of stunning temples and the fascinating Kyoto Museum - full to the brim with fascinating antiquities dating back thousands of years. Don’t miss the Hyatt Regency’s in-house pastry shop for irresistible éclairs with a distinctly Japanese twist.

When she’s not treading on Lego and being forced to watch Frozen on loop, Aleney de Winter is a travel, food and parenting writer. She shares tales of travelling and eating along with the hilarious antics of her globetrotting six-year old foodie son and daredevil three-year old daughter on her blog, Boy Eats World

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