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Tokyo - A Playground for Kids of all Ages

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Tokyo is a world capital of video games and comic books. Classic cartoon characters and futuristic robots populate theme parks, while the cityscape offers dazzling views and restful green spaces for picnics. Even public transport is an adventure, as you transfer from subway lines to monorails to boat rides on the Sumida River.

Tokyo's imaginary worlds

 

The Japanese love of cartoons spills onto the streets of Tokyo. Harajuku district is lined with toy and sweet shops where young fans hang out dressed as their favorite characters from anime and manga (animated films and comic books). The electronics quarter of Akihabara is buzzing and beeping with digital figures from video games. The city has arcades, showrooms, and theme parks dedicated to some of the most beloved franchises in global pop culture - miniature worlds built by Sony, Sega, Lego, and The Walt Disney Company.

 

Tokyo Disney® Resort

 

This vast theme park incorporates Tokyo Disneyland® Park and Tokyo DisneySea® Park, plus adjoining Ikspiari shopping and dining complex. You can easily spend a full day in each section, or buy a multi-day pass and do them all.

 

1-1 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba 279-0031. Tel: +81 45-330-5211

 

Tokyo Disney® Resort website

 

Ghibli Museum

 

Master animator Hayao Miyazaki designed this gallery of exhibits, drawing on much-loved Studio Ghibli movies like "My Neighbor Totoro." The result is like a funhouse inside a fine art museum.

 

1 Chome-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-0013. Tel: +81 570-055-777

 

Ghibli Museum website
Odaiba Island

 

This man-made entertainment island is accessible by boat, rail, or on foot across the Rainbow Bridge. You can relax on the beach, battle digital zombies at Tokyo Joypolis, and meet ASIMO the robot at Miraikan, also known as the Future Museum.

 

1−6−1 Daiba, Minato, Tokyo 135-0091. Tel: +81 3-5500-1801

 

Odaiba Island website

 

Finding fresh air in Tokyo

 

Neon, glass, and concrete sprawl in all directions, but that doesn't mean there's no space for greenery in Tokyo. Families can stretch their legs and sit for picnics in well-tended parks and gardens from Shinjuku to Kitanomaru. These are lush spots for hanami (cherry blossom) parties in the spring, when the peace and quiet turns to gentle revelry. In one lesser-known zone of this busy city, you can even get back to relatively untamed nature.

 

Shirokanedai National Park

 

This is a vast reserve of wild wood and marshland. Always hushed and never crowded - visitor numbers are restricted to 300 people per day - it makes a refreshing break from the surrounding city.

 

5-21-5 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0071. Tel: +81 3-3441-7176

 

Shirokanedai National Park website

 

Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum

 

Time travel seems almost possible as you wander the wooden buildings of a bygone Tokyo, restored and relocated to Koganei Park. After visiting the 17th and 18th centuries, you can return to the present day for an ice cream on the grass.

 

3-7-1 Sakuracho, Koganei, Tokyo 184-0005. Tel: +81 42-388-3300

 

Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum website

 

Tokyo wildlife

 

The Japanese word kawaii means "cute," and you'll hear it constantly at Tokyo's zoos, aquariums, and coastal marine parks. From the dolphins and sharks of the adjoining Pacific Ocean to the ever-popular pandas of neighboring China, the city makes room for close encounters with your favorite creatures.

 

Ueno Zoo

 

Everybody loves Shinshin and Lili, the male and female giant pandas who have lived at Japan's oldest zoo since 2011. You can also meet white rhinos, Sumatran tigers, and western lowland gorillas, with the enclosures linked by a fun monorail.

 

9-83 Uenokoen, Taito, Tokyo 110-0007. Tel: +81 3-3828-5171

 

Ueno Zoo website

 

Shinagawa Aquarium

 

The underwater tunnel tank lets you walk beneath the waves, as luminous marine life circles overhead. And after standing nose-to-nose with the sharp-toothed residents of the Shark Hall, you might need the light relief of the dolphin and sea lion shows.

 

3-2-1 Katsushima, Shinagawa, Tokyo 140-0012. Tel: +81 3-3762-3433

 

Shinagawa Aquarium website