Summer Vacation 2019: Fun Places & Events In Tokyo To Take The Kids

Tokyo's Most Exciting Summer Kids’ Workshops, Events, and Museums

By Kirsty Kawano
July 19, 2019
Families, Out & About

Make the most of your family’s summer this year!

As summer holidays start for most Japanese schools this week, venues across the metropolis are running special workshops and exhibitions to keep kids entertained and engaged. From mesmerizing art displays, stage shows, and crafts, to hands-on science and technology, there are options aplenty. Use our list of cool indoor and outdoor child-friendly destinations to make the most of your family’s summer this year.


1. The Science Behind Pixar


The Science Behind Pixar: Summer Vacation 2019: Fun Places & Events In Tokyo To Take The Kids

Get an unparalleled view of the production process and concepts involved in making major Pixar films like Monsters, Inc., Toy Story, and Finding Nemo at this exhibition at Roppongi Hills. Take part in some hands-on activities as you learn about animation processes such as character modeling, rendering, and how to give characters realistic movements and reactions.

When: Now through Sept. 16, 2019
Where: Roppongi Hills Observation Deck Tokyo City View (Roppongi Hills Mori Tower 52F), 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku
Cost: ¥1,800 (Adults), ¥600 (6 to 15 years old), ¥1,200 (Senior high school and university students)
Recommended for: Wannabe animators and film buffs


2. Kids’ Workshop 2019 at Roppongi Hills


Kids’ Workshop 2019 at Roppongi Hills: Summer Vacation 2019: Fun Places & Events In Tokyo To Take The Kids

This popular program is on again this summer with 90 different types of workshops and 400 courses. They include work experience at Starbucks Coffee, the Roppongi Hills information desk, or even as a radio DJ! Get your hands working with papercrafts, a puppet show workshop, and fresh or artificial flowers arrangements. Kids can even take part in a mock legal trial or a lesson in socioeconomics from the e-commerce company, Mercari.

Most activities are aimed at elementary school kids, but even younger children can participate in some of the simpler ones, like making a scrumptious cupcake sundae or pizza! Some workshops in the Mirai Summer Camp category are open to junior high school kids where they can explore electricity, computer programming, and robots.

When: Aug 12 to 25 (final round). Apply by July 29 online or by phone. (Some workshops do not require pre-registration)
Where: Roppongi Hills, 6-11-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku
Cost: Most workshops are free
Recommended for: Curious minds


3. Kids Week at Tokyo Midtown


Kids Week at Tokyo Midtown: Summer Vacation 2019: Fun Places & Events In Tokyo To Take The Kids

Tokyo Midtown has a range of summer-themed art and design activities ready for kids to enjoy during this summer holiday. Kids can make their imaginations comes to life through free crafts workshops which include making a shiny jellyfish toy, decorating a paper fan, or using traditional Japanese designs to make a summer folding screen.

Even the squeamish can enjoy bug-catching this year—a popular summertime activity for Japanese kids—with paper and ink versions in a stamp rally that runs until August 25.

Kids will also go crazy for the water-themed activities in the Midtown Loves Summer campaign. They include a cool footbath stream and a huge mist garden that becomes a mystical light display after dusk.

When: Workshop Period, Aug 10 to Aug 18; Stamp Rally Period, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Aug 25
Where: Tokyo Midtown Plaza B1F, 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku
Cost: Free!
Recommended for: Little kids who adore arts-and-crafts, critter-chasers, Instagrammers


4. Unko Museum


Nothing causes quite as much hilarity among the preschool crowd here as the mention of the word unko, meaning poo. That’s why the Unko Museum in Yokohama has been so popular that it has extended operations until September 30. And now Tokyo is getting its own. The Tokyo Unko Museum will open August 9 under the theme of “MAX unko kawaii”—the ultimate cute poo! Expect lots of Instagrammable photo opportunities among pastel-colored, whipped cream-shaped poo. There’s an interactive poo-stomping game and arcade-style poo-racing games. There’s also an ‘academic’ area that displays celebrities’ thoughts on the topic du jour.

When: From August 9, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Diver City Tokyo, Plaza 2F, 1-1-10 Aomi, Koto-ku
Cost: ¥1,800 (Adults), ¥1,000 (Elementary school kids), no charge for preschoolers
Recommended for: Preschoolers, Instagrammers, lovers of silliness


5. Setagaya Kodomo Project 2019


Setagaya Kodomo Project 2019: Summer Vacation 2019: Fun Places & Events In Tokyo To Take The Kids

Held at the Setagaya Public Theatre since 2014, this annual event is a diverse mix of theatre, music, and dance. As well as a series of stage events, it also holds interactive workshops to where energetic kids can be themselves and the shy ones can break out of their shells.

Where: Setagaya Public Theater, 4-1-1 Taishido, Setagaya-ku
Recommended for: Music fans, lovers of stage and spectacle

“Ohanashi no Mori” (Forest of Stories)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by ASH (@ash_da_hero) on

A book-reading with a twist as a performance perfect for kids and adults alike to enjoy. The first round, aimed at elementary school kids from grade three and up, is a predominantly musical performance, or “Ongaku no Mori” (Forest of Music) performed by musician, ROLLY. The second day’s shows, aimed at children four years old and up, features a presenter who reads along with a fun musical performance.

When: August 3 (First round) 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., August 4 (Second round) 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Cost: ¥500 (4-year olds to elementary school), ¥1,250 (High school to 24-year olds), ¥2,500 (Adults)
For “Ongaku no Mori” concert, special prices for adults (¥3,500) and 18 to 24 years old (¥1,750) only.

“Ningyo-hime” (The Little Mermaid)

"Ningyo-hime" The Little Mermaid - Summer Vacation 2019: Fun Places & Events In Tokyo To Take The Kids

Performance company ‘to R mansion’ uses mime, dance, magic, and visual effects to tell the classic Hans Christian Andersen story with humor and fascination in this performance titled “Ningyo-hime” (The Little Mermaid).

When: August 8 at 7 p.m.; August 9 at midday, 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; August 10 at midday, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.; August 11 at midday and 3:30 p.m.
Cost: ¥1,500 (High school students and younger), ¥2,000 (18 to 24 years old), ¥4,400 (Adults), ¥4,400 (Parent and child). Discounts for tickets purchased in advance.

Jazz for Kids

 

View this post on Instagram

 

皆、頑張った!涙もんだよね〜 DREAM JAZZ BAND SETAGAYA 2018.08.19 #dreamjazzband #setagaya #世田谷パブリックシアター

A post shared by Terumasa Hino (@terumasahino_official) on

Here’s your chance to listen to the musical stylings of the renowned jazz trumpeter, Terumasa Hino! He and other jazz professionals in the Terumasa Hino Quintet Live will perform on the first day, and then with the Setagaya Ward middle-school students as part of the Dream Jazz Band.

When: August 17 at 3 p.m., August 18 at 2 p.m.
Cost: ¥4,500 (Adults), ¥2,250 (4 years old to high school students). Special price of ¥8,000 for adults and ¥4,000 for others to attend both concerts.

Don’t Stop Me Now

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by takamatu ako (@akotakpopo) on

The Condors share their rough-and-ready but delightfully satisfying dance performance. A motley mix of song and skits, quizzes and drama, this is a performance that you and your kids can enjoy together.

When: August 22 and 23 at 7 p.m., August 24 at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., August 25 at 2 p.m.
Cost: Adults ¥5,000 for S-seats, ¥3,000 for A-section seats; Ages 4 to 24 ¥2,500 for S-seats, ¥1,500 for A-seats


6. Summer Holiday Special Workshops 2019 at Arts Chiyoda 331


Summer Holiday Special Workshops 2019 at Arts Chiyoda 331: Summer Vacation 2019: Fun Places & Events In Tokyo To Take The Kids

This arts center in central Chiyoda Ward offers a number of craft-based workshops that will particularly please kids at Japanese schools who could use a little extra help with their jiyu kenkyu holiday study projects. Enjoy the ambiance of the old Rensei Junior High School, where the center is located, and its free art displays, too.

Where: Arts Chiyoda 3331, Chiyoda-ku, Soto-Kanda 6-11-14
Recommended for: DIYers, little artists, kids with school projects due

Kumiko Inazumi’s Summer Workshop

Kumiko Inazumi’s Summer Workshop: Summer Vacation 2019: Fun Places & Events In Tokyo To Take The Kids

Over a course of four days, artist, Kumiko Inazumi, hosts a range of workshops perfect for elementary school kids looking for help with their holiday school projects. Classes are limited to just eight participants at a time, which helps kids to make a highly-polished creation. Workshop topics include a papier-mâché Jurassic Island inhabited by dinosaurs, a blow-dart target game with sound, and a color-changing desk light.

When: From August 21 to 23, 2019, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Cost: ¥5,000

Omocha Bako (Toy Box) Forum

Omocha Bako (Toy Box) Forum: Summer Vacation 2019: Fun Places & Events In Tokyo To Take The Kids

This one-day event is divided into two sections: a craft garden and a stage performance.
The craft section is called Omocha Matsuri (Toy Festival). Using ¥500 tickets, participants can make crafts, play games, or buy one-off creations at a range of participating booths. The afternoon session is an exciting show featuring a juggler, storyteller, and performance group.

When: August 25 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: All-day tickets ¥4,500 (adult), ¥5,500 (parent and child), ¥2,500 (extra child)
Craft section only: ¥2,500 (adult), ¥3,000 (parent and child), ¥1,500 (extra child)
Stage performance only: ¥2,000 (adult), ¥2,500 (parent & child), ¥1,000 (extra child)

Nandemo Kosaku Sodan Shitsu (Craft Consultation Room)

Nandemo Kosaku Sodan Shitsu (Craft Consultation Room): Summer Vacation 2019: Fun Places & Events In Tokyo To Take The Kids

This is the place to come when your child knows what they want to make, but doesn’t know how to do it. This event—completely free of charge—doesn’t require reservations! With the help of staff experienced in filmmaking, exhibition set-up, and handicrafts, kids can use all sorts of materials to make their original creations.

When: July 29 to 31
Cost: Free!


7. Odaiba


Odaiba: Summer Vacation 2019: Fun Places & Events In Tokyo To Take The Kids

Odaiba is a spacious area on the Tokyo waterfront featuring a multitude of indoor museums and entertainment centers that will keep the kids busy and cool. They can explore science at technology at display centers of some of Japan’s top companies during the day, and take in beautiful bay-area scenery after dusk.

Legoland Discovery Center

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by maya_mori (@maya_mori) on

As well as thousands of the little bricks, Japan’s first Lego attraction includes rides, a 4-D cinema, and a Lego replica of Tokyo. Activities are aimed at kids aged 3 to 10—even though we know you’re itching to go just as much!

When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekends and public holidays
Where: Decks Tokyo Beach Island Mall 3F, Odaiba 1-6-1, Minato-ku
Cost: ¥3,000 (Adult) discount available online, ¥2,400 (Child), ¥3,200 (Parent & child)
Recommended for: Lego fans, creative minds, busy hands

Mega Web

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by megaweb (@megaweb_official) on

This theme park is run by Toyota and is all about—yes, you guessed it—cars! Petrolhead parents will be fascinated by everything on display here, but kids will probably most enjoy the Ride Studio. It has a free driving course made especially for preschoolers and some extra options for bigger kids: Electric go-karts and a hybrid car that kids assemble themselves (by following instructions in Japanese) before driving, in order to learn how hybrid cars work. (11 a.m.-7 p.m., ¥300 for a 15-minute drive)
In the Sports Zone, kids can try some of the Paralympics sports that Toyota is supporting: wheelchair basketball, floor hockey, and boccia.

Along with many other displays on the past and future of car technology, Mega Web is also running summer holiday events aimed at elementary school kids that include crafts, work experience, programming, and learning about fuel cells. Check the website for dates and times.

When: Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Summer holiday program: July 20 to September 1
Where: 1-3-12 Aomi, Koto-ku
Cost: Free!
Recommended for: petrolheads of all ages, technology buffs

Sony ExploraScience

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by jiik編集部 (@jiikdesk) on

It’s a sayonara summer for Sony’s hands-on science museum, which is due to close October 31, 2019. Opened in 2002 to stimulate kids’ curiosity and creativity through science experiments, this activity-packed center is divided into three sections of the company’s expertise—sound, light, and imaging. Kids can find out how cell phones work and learn as they play with face recognition methods and augmented reality technology and much, much more.

When: until October 31, 2019, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Aqua City Odaiba 5F, 1-7-1 Daiba, Minato-Ku
Cost: ¥500 (16 years and up), ¥300 (3 to 15 years old)
Recommended for: enquiring minds

Panasonic Center Tokyo

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by chocolat♡ (@chocolat619) on

The highlight of this corporate showroom is the popular Risupia section, where kids can experience the fun and beauty of science and mathematics through games and interactive displays—they have such a good time that they don’t realize they’re learning!

When: Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Risupia closes at 5 p.m., closed on Tuesdays
Where: 3-5-1 Ariake, Koto-ku
Cost: Free for kids, ¥500 for adults
Recommended for: Enquiring minds, math and science fanatics

Miraikan

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by 日本科学未来館, Miraikan (@miraikan) on

The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, or as it is more commonly known as Miraikan, is a fantastic place where children can explore science and technology and its role within our culture. There are interactive displays and a regular performance by the Asimo robot.

As one of its summer holiday special events, Miraikan is opening its laboratory to visitors (on the afternoons of July 26 and 27, August 23 and 24), where they can take a tour and talk with researchers about their work in science-leading fields.

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: 2-3-6 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo
Cost: ¥620 (Adults), ¥210 (Children and teens)
Recommended for: Future scientists

Mori Building Digital Art Museum: teamLab Borderless

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by u-co (@jinuco) on

This magical museum of digital artworks will enthrall both young and old, but kids will be particularly delighted by the sections here that target them. They include a trampoline area, a climbing field and big bouncy balloons to touch. They can also color original sea creature pictures and see them come to (digital) life on the museum walls.

When: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (extended hours until Sept. 1), closed July 23 and August 10, 27
Where: Odaiba Palette Town 2F, 1-3-8 Aomi, Koto-ku
Cost: ¥3,200 (Adults), ¥1,000 (4 to 14 years old). Discounted entry after 6 p.m.
Recommended for: Artists, anyone who wants to be fascinated

Aneby Trimpark

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by アネビートリムパークお台場 (@anebytrimpark) on

This play park has a wide range of equipment and activities for kids up to 12 years old. Active kids have plenty of options to choose from: trampolines, pedal go-karts, athletics structures, and a climbing wall. Quieter play options include reading rooms, an arts-and-crafts lab, toys, blocks, and magic sand. The park also runs many regular lessons on topics such as balloon art, finger painting, and gymnastics. During the summer holidays, it runs extra classes in art, science, and sports.

When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Venusfort 1F, 1-3-15 Aomi Koto-ku
Cost: (Member prices) Adults ¥1,000; Kids ¥1,000 for one hour, ¥2,500 for 3 hours during the holidays or a weekday one-day pass
Recommended for: Infants, active kids

Joypolis

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Becky Hill (@beckyhill) on

This indoor amusement park is spread over three floors and offers many thrilling rides, shooting games, and other activities that adults can enjoy; therefore, older kids will be begging to come along. Admission is free for children under six years of age.

When: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Where: Decks Tokyo Beach 3F-5F, 1-6-1 Daiba, Minato-ku
Cost: Entry only: ¥800 (Adults), ¥500 (Kids)
Passport ticket (entry & rides): ¥4,500 (Adults), ¥3,500 (Kids)
Recommended for: Big kids


8. Places to cool down and get wet


Places to cool down and get wet: Summer Vacation 2019: Fun Places & Events In Tokyo To Take The Kids

Summer holidays are all about finding fun ways to cool our bodies. Amid Tokyo’s many places to do that, the ultimate is probably Tokyo Asobimare and its year-round Snow Town. Special technology keeps the snow intact despite a room temperature of about 18 degrees Celsius. Rubber boots and sleds are on the house. The complex, in Hachioji, also has an indoor play center with lots of ride-on toys, trampolines and climbing activities.

Those looking for water in its liquid form can find pools at Showa Kinen Park’s Rainbow Pool, Toshimaen, Tokyo Summerland, or the Water Amusement Island at Yomiuri Land. Little kids will love the pool at the Arakawa Yuen fun park or water-play spots at local parks, like these near Oji, or the Jabu-Jabu-Ike water play pool at Shinjuku Central Park. For something a little different, take your little ones to one of these mud parks in Tokyo!


9. Indoor Play Centers


 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Guam’s Little Explorer (@guamslittleexplorer) on

Beyond Odaiba, there are still many indoor spaces where kids can easily spend a full day of fun with a group of friends, or have an active, but cool, family outing. Experience the joy of analog toys at the Tokyo Toy Museum in Yotsuya, get active at Galaxcity, Trampoland Tokyo, or at Asobono at Tokyo Dome City, or visit the work-experience theme park Kidzania. Farther from the city are the multiple playgrounds-equipped Fantasy Kids Resort and Kidokid at Yomiuri Land.

Wishing all parents and kids a summer full of fun and wonder!