Tokyo Parks: Kids Go Krazy for Komazawa
A Downtown Local Playground
It's not Disneyland nor Kidzania and it won't give you the thrills of a first-class Tokyo experience, but if you're looking for a spacious outdoor venue to take your kids out for a laid-back afternoon, the Komazawa Olympic Park is your gem. This lovely venue used to be one of the locations for the 1964 Summer Olympics and has since been turned into a beautiful public park. Here are eight reasons to plan a day with your little ones here.
There is an enormous, well laid-out path around the huge park for runners, cyclists and casual walkers. As it was with my son, this path is great during your kid’s nap time. I would just sit my son in the stroller, push him around the path and out he went. I was happy, too, as he got to sleep while I got some light exercise.
Three Children’s Playgrounds
Each is located on the main path, and each has its own theme — “Pig,” “Squirrel” and “Horse,” featuring somewhat retro playground equipment themed on its namesake animal. You’ll find slides, swings, obstacle courses and other playground favorites. My one year old loved all three areas, and he especially enjoyed watching the older kids to see what they could do.
You don’t realize how many dog owners there are in Tokyo until you come here. My son was so excited seeing dogs being walked everywhere his head was spinning. In addition, there are fenced areas for dogs to run free. My son would stand on the outside and stare in, as if he was at a zoo.
Kids’ cycling courses
There are two beginners’ cycling courses for children, in addition to a cycling course for adults that is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery. Unfortunately, my son is only one year old, but I couldn’t help thinking how wonderful it would be to come back and practice here when he gets older.
During the summer months, there is a water playground with a wading pool and fountain. I can’t imagine anything else would be better to do during the hot, sticky season.
Most children love watching other kids running around. The park is bustling with locals, but it’s so big that it doesn’t get overwhelming. You can still find corners to rest, and when you and your little one are ready to play again, there are endless options.
Off the Komazawa Daigaku station, a local stop on the Denentoshi line. Elevator access is available for strollers. The park is just minutes away by foot, and there are many restaurants, grocery stores and convenience stores along the way. Bring a tarp, pick up food and picnic like a local.
Saving the best for the last — you get all of the above without an entrance fee.
At the end of the day, your little one will be exhausted. You will have no trouble putting him or her to sleep, so you can end your day with some quiet time and your favorite drink!
Address: 1-1 Komazawa Koen, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Open: Daily (Closed on Mon, Sept. 26)
For more information, access the park’s official website.