I’m not sure that I would say Tokyo is a particularly great city for families with kids, but there is a least one really outstanding place for kids here: kodomo no shiro (National Children’s Castle – こどもの城) in Aoyama. (The photo at the right is a view from just inside the front door, looking out.)
Kodomo no shiro is (for lack of a better description) a sort of “activity center” for children (from infants on up through middle-school age). I have been taking my daughter, Satori, there once a month or so for the last four years now. It is one of her favorite places to spend time. She’s seven years old, and likes even it more now then ever. When we go there, we usually stay for 4 or 5 hours, and she never gets bored there.
It is located right on Aoyama-dori, about a 10-minute walk from either the Shibuya JR station or from the Omotesando subway station. It’s relatively inexpensive (the entrance fee is 400 yen for children, 500 yen for adults). And you can easily spend the whole day there. You may have to — your children won’t be in a big hurry to leave once they get there.
If you want more details about exactly what there is to do at kodomo no shiro, read on.