Family Travel Ideas in Tokyo

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The sheer number of activities suited for Tokyo family travel is so grand that there isn't a family of travelers in the world who could possibly do it all in one visit. Visiting some family-friendly locations like Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, for example, could take up entire trips by themselves. Here are a couple of less well-known suggestions that won't take up more than a day each:

Sanrio Puroland

If you have little girls, or older ladies in your group who grew up with Hello Kitty, a day at Sanrio Puroland will be a memory they cherish for years to come. Japan is the home of Hello Kitty, so what better way to enjoy the country with the family than heading to a theme park with Hello Kitty and other Sanrio character mascots. Attractions include musical performances, parades, Hello Kitty's house, games, arts and crafts activities and Sanrio-theme restaurants and cafes. However, the only "ride" is a boat ride through animatronics of the characters. (There's a larger Sanrio theme park with rides in southern Japan.)

"Welcome Tickets" allow visitors access to free shows and shopping while "Passports" cover most attractions. The Welcome Tickets are ¥3000 for adults (U.S. $34), ¥2700 for youth ages 12-17 and ¥2000 (U.S $30) for children ages 4 to 11 (U.S. $22), while the Passports are ¥1000 (U.S. $11) extra. Children under the age of 3 are free. If you print out a coupon at the official website before yo go, you can save ¥200 (U.S. $2).

The theme park is completely indoors, so it makes a great backup plan for rainy days. If you're staying at the Keio Hotel Plaza in Tama New Town, the park is within walking distance, making it simple for boys to go off with Dad and Grandpa and girls to go off with Mom and Grandma if the boys can't stomach all of the cuteness.

Inokashira Park

A completely free location to visit, Inokashira Park makes a great destination for families of any size. Kids can play at the petting zoo with hamsters and guinea pigs or you can take a row boat out onto the vast pond. The park is the perfect location for a picnic, as the foliage is beautiful and classically Japanese, particularly the cherry trees, which are bright pink in the springtime. There's also a Ghibili Museum in the park, where kids can play in the midst of tributes to Japan's answer to Disney, the Ghibli Animation Studio. Advanced tickets for the Ghibili Museum are required but cost only ¥100 (U.S. $1) to ¥1000 (U.S. $11), depending on the age of the family member.

Inokashira Park is located in Kichijouji, which is easily accessible via the Shibuya-Keio Inokashira line, the Shinjuku-Chuo line or the Chiba-Tozai line.

February 19, 2010 change by schitti
February 08, 2010 new by amymc

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