Budget-Friendly Spots to Take Your Kids to in Tokyo
Created with Cebu Pacific.
Travel is the ultimate luxury but that doesn’t mean you have to splurge when it comes to vacation time. If you’re planning a Japan trip with your family, we’re here to share a few activities you can add to your itinerary that won’t hurt the pockets.
Where to Stay
Tokyo can be quite an expensive city to visit, but there are accommodations that won’t break the bank. If you’re traveling with kids, consider looking into inclusions like free breakfast for children under 6; accessibility and distance from train stations and attractions you want to visit; and even facilities like a kitchen and laundry equipment.
If you’re going to spend a little bit more on your hotel, you want to be able to save on other expenses like food and transportation. If it’s more cost-efficient to shop for groceries and cook meals in an in-house kitchenette, go for it. And if you already know what tourist attractions you want to explore, booking a place that’s walking distance can save you a few more pesos—that you can save for pasalubong or souvenirs.
How to get around
The great thing about Japan is their organized public transportation. It’s easy to get around as most places are accessible by train or bus. Booking a private car or taxi will definitely be costly, so plan your days so that you can map out your transportation ahead.
A Tokyo Subway Ticket that allows you unlimited use of all subway lines (except JR trains) is available to foreign tourists for ¥800 to ¥1,500 depending on the duration (24-hour, 48-hour, and 72-hour tickets are available). They’re available at the Narita Airport and Haneda Airport as well as major subway stations.
If you don’t foresee using the subway often for the duration of your trip, you can also opt to get a prepaid IC card. Aside from using this to pay for transportation, some select shops allow you to use it for purchases, too.
Where to go
When traveling with family, it can be a challenge to satisfy everyone. You might want to go shopping while your kids just want to play. Thankfully, there are places in Japan that marry both. The Futako-Tamagawa neighborhood is one such example.
Shop and park
Only 15 minutes from Shibuya via the Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line, this Tokyo neighborhood has a massive mall with over 200 stores as well as a Takashimaya and other department stores. There’s also a food hall that has familiar chains like Ippudo and Saboten. And just a few steps away is the Futakotamagawa Park that has a small playground for children. There’s also a tranquil Japanese garden—perfect for tired moms and dads running after their kids all day.
courtesy of Indiana jo on Wikimedia Commons
Futako-Tamagawa is located in Setagaya, Tokyo. Take the JR Yamanote Line from Tokyo station to Shibuya station and switch to the Tokyo Den-en-toshi Line.
Japan’s oldest amusement park
While most people will have Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo Disney Sea on their itinerary, these aren’t the only amusement parks in town.
Hanayashiki is Japan’s oldest amusement park and has been around since 1853. Though it’s quite small compared to the Disney parks, the retro vintage Asakusa park definitely has its own charm. Adults get in for ¥1,000 while kids under 6 get in for free. Rides are charged separately at ¥100 but unlimited ride passes are also available for purchase.
courtesy of Hanayashiki
There’s a Ferris wheel, rollercoaster, carousel, drop tower, among many other attractions. There are also cute Panda Cars, which is the park’s unofficial mascot. You can ride these giant stuffed pandas that are scattered all over the grounds.
Hanayashiki is located at 2-28-1 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. except on holidays. You may contact them at +81 3-3842-8780.
Play with dinosaurs
Another free park you can visit is the Kodomo no mori in Shinagawa. There are eight dinosaur statues your kids can enjoy. It’s especially fun in the summer when the park’s entrance becomes a water shower. A refreshing break in the afternoon for when your children are already restless and in need of playtime.
Kodomo no mori Park is located at 3-10-13 Kitashinagawa, Shinagawa City, Tokyo and is open 24 hours. It is a 6-minute walk from the Shimbamba station on the Keikyu Line.
Make it a learning experience
A visit to the National Museum of Nature and Science is a must and can be appreciated by both adults and kids alike. There’s a special exhibition called ComPaSS specifically made for kids aged 4 to 6 years old to be accompanied by their parents or guardians. The exhibition is designed to encourage communication between the parents and their kids while they play. They also have outdoor exhibitions such as a space-rocket launcher and a life-size model of a blue whale.
The National Museum of Nature and Science is located at 7-20 Uenokoen, Taito City, Tokyo and is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Mondays to Thursdays) and 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Fridays and weekends). Admission is ¥630 for adults and free for high school students and younger beginning October 1, 2019.
Next stop: Kawaii street
If your children (or you!) are huge fans of Japanese characters such as Hello Kitty, Pokemon, Rilakkuma, Moomin, One Piece, and more, you need to check out Tokyo Character Street. While prices may be a little steep as these are branded toys, it could be just as fun to go around and window shop—as long as your kids have good self-control. Maybe you can treat them to a gift here, especially if you’ve saved on all the budget-friendly stops you’ve visited so far.
Tokyo Character Street is located at B1 First Avenue Tokyo Station, 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo and is open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
These are just a few of the fun, pocket-friendly activities you can add to your Tokyo itinerary. Remember, you don’t need to spend a lot to enjoy. All you need for a great trip is good company and memories that will last you a lifetime.
Ready to book your family trip to Tokyo? Head on over to Cebu Pacific to check out flight schedules. Make sure to follow Cebu Pacific on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay updated on seat sales—another way to ensure you stick to your travel budget!