Travel Tips

Travelling in Tokyo with a toddler: Our five top tips

Travelling in Tokyo as a tourist with a baby can be a daunting thought due to the sheer vast size and busy nature of the city, but our five top tips for travelling in Tokyo with a little one should help turn this amazing city into an incredibly child-friendly destination that the whole family can enjoy!

Tip #1: Don’t take your buggy/stroller

In Tokyo, you will find that if you take a buggy with you, you’ll spend an eternity going up and down Subway lifts, pushing through crowded streets, and struggling to fit on public transport. Furthermore, in the places where you really might need a stroller, such as Ueno Zoo, you can rent them free of charge!

We used a Little Life backpack to carry our little girl around and this made life much easier, especially when trying to navigate some of the busiest parts of Tokyo such as the Shibuya crossing. It also gave our little girl a fantastic view of everything we were doing, which she loved, especially on the Subway. We didn’t once regret not bringing a stroller with us during our time in Tokyo.

Tip #2: Parks and playgrounds are abundant

Parks and playgrounds are abundant in Tokyo, especially in some particularly touristy areas such as Ueno Park and the park just below the Imperial Palace grounds, Hibiya Park, but also across the rest of Tokyo in little hidden corners of the city.

These parks come with some great slides, swings and interesting activities that will keep your little one amused and will help to break up the potential for boredom when visiting different temples and shrines across the city. Be warned, though, at some places, including Hibiya Park, some grown-ups may find themselves drawn to the adult playgrounds which come with adult size swings, climbing frames and activities to try!

Tip #3: For a break from the culture, visit Ueno Zoo

This zoo isn’t huge, the animals on display are not exactly rare, but this compact zoo in Ueno Park (largely famous for the cherry trees that blossom during late March/April) is a real bonus for toddlers who have an interest in animals.

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One enclosure that really fascinated our little girl was the below-water sea lion enclosure where you really can see the different sea lions swimming gracefully and showing off their bellies to the enthralled kids! It also helps that it’s super cheap.

Tip #4: Nappies and pretty much anything baby related can be easily bought

While you may see Family Marts and Lawson shops everywhere, as well as a fair few 7-Elevens, the place to get your baby nappies, milk, and even new clothes (in case of nappy leaks etc) is Don Quijote.

Entering this store in itself is an experience as you can buy things you never knew existed. Once you get beyond this madness, you can get Pampers as well as equally decent local brand nappies for a fair price. If you are looking to see where the nearest one is to your hotel then have a look here for a Don Quijote store finding guide for Tokyo.

Tip #5: Visit Tsukiji fish market with your little one

Toddlers love a sensory experience and the chance to explore the incredible sights, smells and tastes of Tsukiji fish market (although it sells a lot more than just fish) was a highlight for our little girl, who took everything in while chowing down on a huge apple we bought from one of the stalls!

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With so much going on and crowded streets aplenty, this definitely isn’t a place for buggies.

If all else fails, Tokyo has a Disneyland just outside the city centre!

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