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The guard tower at the Imperial Palace of Tokyo (Photograph by Stefano Politi Markovina/AWL Images)

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.”

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

Do you have a burning question related to family travel? Ask it in the comments section below for a chance to appear in Traveler magazine.

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