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Old Jul 2, 12, 8:58 pm   #1
 
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August Tokyo (or nearby) Trip with 5 year old

I'm taking my daughter on her first overseas trip in August for 6 nights, arriving HND.

I still have total flexibility to take her anywhere and do anything. She's quite mature. I know the August weather will challenge both of us, so I'm looking for forays into the heat that take a few hours, and can be mixed up with indoor stuff. I'm thinking zoos, castles, and parks/gardens mixed with kid friendly museums.

I have a Booking at the Mandarin Oriental, but am not above cancelling and going elsewhere.. even elsewhere in Japan, if it will make for a better trip for her to start her international adventures.

So with that in mind, I humbly ask the help of those with more knowledge of Japan in general and Tokyo specifically for this kind of trip.
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Old Jul 3, 12, 7:32 am   #2
 
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Hello Brian.

One place I'd highly recommend for you and your daughter is the Ghibli Museum:

http://www.ghibli-museum.jp/en/

Usually very difficult to get tickets, but maybe the Mandarin Oriental concierge could help you score some?

Another place she'd probably like is Kidzania, a place where kids can pretend to be adults for a few hours:

http://www.kidzania.jp/tokyo/en/

That's another one where you might enlist MO help in getting tickets.

And I probably wouldn't make this recommendation for anyone other than someone travelling with a five year old girl:

http://www.puroland.co.jp/english/welcome.html

It's kind of like a small indoor Disneyland, only with Japanese Hello Kitty characters.

Hope you figure out a schedule that will give you some very special memories with your daughter!
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Old Jul 3, 12, 8:53 am   #3
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There is something called the National Children's Castle between Shibuya and Omotesando. I don't know anything about it, or even if it still exists, but if it does, it might be worth checking out:

http://www.timeout.jp/en/tokyo/venue...ildrens-Castle
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Old Jul 3, 12, 8:55 am   #4
 
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Swing by the toy section of any major department store as well as the stationary section of any Tokyu Hands department store (the one in Shinjuku is fairly easy to find). She'll go nuts on the cuteness of it all.
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Old Jul 3, 12, 2:18 pm   #5
 
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Hailstorm, thank you for taking the time to write out so many good suggestions, even with links! I will research them fully.

RichardinSF and hoyateach, thank you for excellent suggestions. The toy store idea sounds right on track, and I will check on the Children's Castle, which she would love.

Again, my thanks. I am sure the regulars here get many requests.
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Old Jul 3, 12, 8:18 pm   #6
 
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Children's Castle is still in business, and she might be just the right age to appreciate it. I'm guessing she might be a bit young for Kidzania, but they do have a whole range of activities, so maybe it's okay.

I'd also recommend the Toy Museum in Yotsuya - it's very hands-on and fun. Here are a few more ideas: whereintokyo.com/dbinx/kids.html
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Old Jul 4, 12, 5:11 pm   #7
 
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Tokyo Disneyland - Disney Sea
Asakusa
Gin-bura - if you get a Sunday, they close the main street - I think? (they used to, anyways)
Mirai kan in Odaiba - they have a big ferris wheel too
Minato Mirai - the roller coaster that goes under the water.
They're opening a LegoLand in Japan soon I thought.
Ueno Park - Panda
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Old Jul 4, 12, 5:48 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by closetasfan View Post
Tokyo Disneyland - Disney Sea
Only because it is August. Unless the OP and his small child like standing in hour+ lines in humid 35C/95F weather.

The only way I'd consider Disney Sea at that time of year is if you're able to splurge for a Disney Resort Vacation Package and stay at the Mira Costa. Then the combination of proximity and VIP passes might make it worthwhile.
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Old Jul 5, 12, 9:44 pm   #9
 
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Originally Posted by closetasfan View Post
Ueno Park - Panda
The lines for this are about to get exponentially longer.

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T120705004878.htm
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Old Jul 5, 12, 11:44 pm   #10
 
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OP stays at MO. So,
http://nihombashi.keizai.biz/headline/photo/254/

the daughter will ask him to take her to Tokyo Sky Tree.
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Old Jul 6, 12, 12:46 am   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hailstorm View Post
The lines for this are about to get exponentially longer.

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T120705004878.htm
You can watch the panda baby after December or later, the zoo announces.

Last edited by O Sora; Jul 6, 12 at 1:00 am..
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Old Jul 11, 12, 5:08 pm   #12
 
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Originally Posted by O Sora View Post
You can watch the panda baby after December or later, the zoo announces.
Unfortunately, the zoo has announced that the baby panda died yesterday.
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Old Jul 14, 12, 9:19 pm   #13
 
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Thank you all so much for the valuable suggestions.

I was able to book Kidzania and the Ghibli Museum already, and we are watching Castle in the Sky and My Neighbor Totoro to prepare. I think we will take a chance on being outside to see the Ueno Zoo as well.

I'm sure we will be shopping... I understand there is a good department store next to the M.O. Things are starting to shape up nicely, thanks to your help!
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Old Jul 15, 12, 12:52 am   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
Thank you all so much for the valuable suggestions.

I was able to book Kidzania and the Ghibli Museum already, and we are watching Castle in the Sky and My Neighbor Totoro to prepare. I think we will take a chance on being outside to see the Ueno Zoo as well.
Congrats on scoring tickets, I think you'll both enjoy all of those activities.

If you're not in a hurry, on the way back from Kidzania, I'd take the Yurikamome Line back to central Tokyo. It's an elevated train that's completely automated (no driver, so your daughter can sit/stand at the very front and get an unobstructed view). It's not the fastest transportation, but certainly more interesting than the subway. It will also take you right through the leisure center of Odaiba, where there are usually all sorts of special entertainment for children set up in the summertime if you've a couple of hours available for such a detour.
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Old Jul 15, 12, 4:26 am   #15
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Having had a chance to think about this, I'd recommend a visit to Hakone using the Hakone free pass.

You'll have the opportunity to cover a lot of ground and see lots of the landscape and because you use a whole variety of transportation - rail, cable cars, ropeways, boats and only at the end a bus, you don't have to cover a lot of distance on foot, which I know will quickly get tiring for a 5 year old, and for both of you in August. Although the area in itself should give you a bit of a respite compared to the heat sink that is Tokyo.

More info here
http://www.odakyu.jp/english/freepass/hakone_01.html

If you decide to visit the Hakone Open air Sculpture park there are quite a few areas and exhibits which a child can enjoy and appreciate, the most notable being this one: http://www.thejealouscurator.com/blo...iuchi-macadam/

I have this area in mind for a visit when my soon to be three year old reaches your child's age.

Nearly forgot!
Please take care to ensure that your daughter has shoes that she can slip on and off easily as a great many of the play areas that you will come across (sometimes randomly) will be no shoe zones. If wearing sandals, you should also always have some spare socks to hand, preferably with a bit of a non slip tread incorporated into them. And this goes for you too. You may need to rush into any of those no shoe zones and big adult bare feet (particularly in the summer) won't be warmly welcomed.

Last edited by LapLap; Jul 15, 12 at 4:37 am..
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