A Guide to Kid-Friendly Tokyo
National Geographic Traveler columnist Heather Greenwood Davis is the magazine’s family travel advocate, guru, and soothsayer.
Here’s her latest advice:
Reader Question: I’m taking my middle-school-age daughter to Tokyo. Is it kid-friendly?
Heather’s Response: “Japan’s capital city offers traditional culture, yet it’s hip [enough] in terms of pop culture and technology to keep children engaged,” says Akane Tanaka, chief concierge at the Peninsula Hotel in Tokyo.
Limit activities to one special-interest spot per day like Sanrio Puroland (the Hello Kitty theme park) or bustling Tsukiji fish market. Tsukiji fish market.
Stay in a hotel near the Imperial Palace, home to the Emperor of Japan. Free tours of the palace interior require reservations, but the gardens outside are perfect for picnics and exploring.
Tip: The Japan Bicycle Promotion Institute provides free bikes for use on the palace cycling course on Sundays.
Near Harajuku Station, hunt for souvenirs along pedestrian-only Takeshita Street.
Lastly, take the train, says Tanaka. “I have yet to see a child who doesn’t flip out at the chance to ride on the bullet train.”
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Heather Greenwood Davis pens the “Traveling With Kids” column for Traveler magazine (this exchange appeared in the August/September 2015 issue). Follow Heather on Twitter @GreenwoodDavis.
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