When I told people that we were intending to holiday in Tokyo with the kids for 11 days, most were surprised and then skeptical. After all what was there to do in Tokyo with 2 kids under 4, besides the whole Disney thing and that definitely does not take 11 days. For those who are wondering or who are even considering Tokyo as a holiday destination with kids, I can assure you that we found some absolutely kid friendly stuff to do and were able to adapt some adult stuff to suit the kids. In fact we found a lot more kid friendly stuff than we eventually attempted.
Our first morning (after a full day flight and a good night’s rest) brought us to Tsukiji Market. Yes Tsukiji Market! 🙂 Joel and I really wanted to visit the fish market but were unsure if the kids could cope in that bustling, wet and chaotic environment. We decided that we did not need the ‘full experience’ of a fish market early morning auction but just really wanted to take in the touristy ‘retail’ market part of it.
We travelled relatively light with only a backpack that contained our raincoats, 2 toddler carriers as well as the spare clothes, diapers, pee bags and wipes needed by the kids.
We headed out pretty early and reached the Tsukiji Station at about 9am, from there it was a slow 5 to 10 minutes’ walk to the market. We actually took the longer route that morning because the rain threw us off and I couldn’t get my bearings despite having my Google Map in hand. I was too busy adjusting our raincoats and ensuring that everyone was as dry as they could be. However we did managed to take the shorter route when we came back a week later. 🙂
We finally got to Tsukiji Market and what is known as the Outer Market which is where all the retail touristy stuff take place. I was quite surprised that Jah and Bella were quite adventurous and were willing to try out random food that we passed.
We taste tested Tamagos (egg) from random stalls (these stalls are a dime a dozen) and we were so intrigued by an old couple grilling huge scallops that we had to stop to try. It helped that the stall was well-sheltered and we could take our time to finish our piping hot scallops. Jah loved it so much that he slurped every bit of it including the ‘sauce’. In fact, he loved this new found taste and food so much that we had to later stop at another shop to order a second round. This time round, we had scallops in butter as well as large oysters that were super cheap. This shop was connected to a restaurant so we were able to order drinks and beer to go with our food and we stood around a huge barrels which acted as tables. Quite the experience for the little ones! In fact the reason that we came back a second time (aside from the fact that Joel and I wanted more yummy scallops), was because Jah and Bella loved it so much that they wanted to come back too! Who would have thought right?
We proceeded to a random restaurant for lunch after, even though we were already quite full from all that snacking. This is supposed to be Sushi/ Sashimi restaurant paradise so I wasn’t leaving until I had my sashimi lunch. However our random lunch turned out to be really disappointing and expensive so I guess nothing to rave about here.
It was almost 11am by the time we were done with our early lunch and Jah was insisting that we proceed to something that he wanted to do. :p A toy shop visit! So with my Google Map in hand, we made it back to the train station and headed to the Hakuhinkan Toy Park at Ginza.
Oh yes I have to share that we survived this trip by using the Google Map on my hand-phone. I used to print out hardcopy maps and pre-indicate the routes we would take. But the real-time GPS map came in very very handy! Of course you also need an internet connection which was no problem for us because we rented a wifi dongle from Changi Recommends. I love technology! :p
By the time we made it to Hakuhinkan Toy Park (It was a really long way *sweat*) It was almost 12pm and there were levels and levels of toys at the Toy Park so needless to say the kids were occupied for quite abit. There was even a car race track that you could pay I think approximately $1 to $2 to play for about 15 minutes. The kids loved it and wanted to go many times over.
We eventually left Hakuhinkan Toy Park at about 2pm with our hands quite full and our pockets quite empty! :p So you have been warned! We also had to take a cab back to our hotel because there was no way I was going to struggle with cranky kids, tons of shopping bag and multiple changes at the train station. So yes if you decided to risk it and enter a toy shop like Hakuhinkan Toy Park, please be prepared to pay for a cab ride ‘home’. We paid about $60 for a 15 minutes ride from Ginza to our hotel (Hilton Tokyo Bay). We used one of those cab fare estimator website to prep ourselves so that we wouldn’t faint at the cab charges when we got to our destination. :p
More of our kid friendly Tokyo Adventure coming up soon…
In the meantime, you can read about…
- Our Tips to Surviving Tokyo Disney with Kids (especially in summer)
- JahBella’s Flight to Tokyo – Our Take on what flights work for kids/ toddlers
- Where to Stay with Kids in Tokyo