When the weather is nice, Tokyo has endless options for your little one to play. But when it rains, things can get tricky. There are plenty of indoor playgrounds and museums you can go to, but they usually have an entrance fee and they also tend to get very crowded. Fortunately, there are some free indoor play areas that can be directly accessed via train stations (to avoid going outdoors). I made good use of the following places with my one year old and I hope—with the upcoming rainy season—you can, too.
1. Futakotamagawa Station, Takashimaya
After exiting the station, go to the basement of the Tokyu store. There, you will find an underground passage to Takashimaya. Once you are at Takashimaya, take the elevator to the 5th floor, which is the children’s section. In the center, you will find the Kid’s Park, where there are many toys and new friends to play with. This floor also has a massive baby room, with a row of cushioned change tables, private nursing rooms, eating area (with high chairs, microwave and hot water dispenser and a shoe-free, padded play area for crawlers and beginning walkers.
2. Tama Plaza Station, Gate Plaza of the Tama Plaza Terrace
This indoor area, located on the ground floor of Tama Plaza Terrace near Sanrio and Crocs, is named the Kids’ Terrace: a shoe-free, padded playground that will please crawlers, walkers and climbers. The wonderful and clean baby room is located on the same floor. The nearby Soup Stock also has a mini-play area for your kids while you eat. Eat? Who am I kidding, you’ll be chasing your baby!
3. Shibuya Station, Hikarie
This department store
doesn’t technically have a playground, but the 11th floor, the same floor as Theater Orb, has a wide open space, floor-to-ceiling windows, a cafe and a Lawson convenience store. The perfect place to rest while your little one toddles around. Unfortunately, the baby room is on floor B2, but the glass elevators will give your little one a thrill as you descend.
The department stores listed above have depachika in the basement and restaurants on the top floors. Kid-friendly restaurants will usually display a kid’s meal.
4. Tokyo Fire Museum
has both direct access from Yotsuya 3-chome station and free entrance. It showcases Japan’s fire fighting history and will save any rainy day
(except Mondays, because it’s closed). From 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
you and your little ones can explore traditional and modern exhibits, engage in hands-on activities and learn through media. Ride in helicopters, gawk at trucks, try on uniforms—there are so many things to do! There is no restaurant in this museum, though, so you will need to pack a bento
, which you can comfortably eat at the top floor rest area. The baby room is also located on this floor.
Now, there is no need to let the rain dampen your day. Continue to get out, play and explore the city with your little one!