Here are the top five family fun experiences to enjoy with your kids that are a little outside the box!
Smith's Holiday Road spent two weeks exploring amazing Tokyo with three young kids aged 10,7 and 4. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of things to do. Here are the top five fun experiences to enjoy with your kids that are a little outside the box:
1. Meiji Shrine
The Meji Shrine is situated in Yoyogi Park and best visited on a Sunday to catch a glimpse of a traditional wedding. Although it is the busiest time, it is beautiful to see people in traditional dress and witness traditional ceremonies. We followed the traditional ways of entering the shrine by copying what the Japanese people were doing, which was really interesting for us and the kids. Before you enter the shrine you need to cleanse your hands in the water by using the ladel.
“It is beautiful to see people in traditional dress and witness traditional ceremonies. ”
2. Rooftop gardens
In such a big city and travelling with kids we often needed to find some green space to run around. On the ground there are parks but we decided to explore above and found some great spaces on top of buildings. Our favourite was on top of the Isetan Shopping Centre and even though it was raining when we visited it gave a great view of the city and a very different feel to the busy city down below.
3. Puri Kura
The Japanese photo booths are so much fun! They can be found in game centres and are big machines crowded with teens and couples taking fun photos! We loved testing them out and I especially loved the child like complexion the images gave me. Each photo session is 400Y. Pop your money in and follow the onscreen prompts which are mostly in Japanese but the visuals give you a great clue to what you are pressing! Then jump in the booth and pose away. Afterwards go in to the editing booth to add pictures to your pictures on screen! It took us a few turns to work out these screens and not put stamps all over our faces but they made a great souvenir from our holiday.
4. Shinjuku Gyoen Gardens
These amazing gardens are perfect for families. They were completed in 1906 and are divided into English, French and Japanese gardens. We visited in springtime and on a Saturday so many families were enjoying the grounds for picnics and relaxing. It is not a play park like Yoyogi so there are no games or bikes allowed.
5. Explore the Castles
Just an hour train ride out of Tokyo there is so much more to explore. We loved discovering Odawara Castle that was built in the mid 15th century. The kids got to dress up in traditional costumes and make many new friends.
Bron Leeks leads the adventurous team at Smithsholidayroad.com where she shares her families adventures with a focus on wheelchair access and inclusion. Based in Melbourne, Australia and exploring far and wide.