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Itinerary with Kids (8 and 10) Tokyo 2019/9/10 17:52
Hi all,

Need advice if my itinerary is feasible as we will be bringing our kids age 8 and 10 to their first ever visit to Tokyo, Japan this end of November. We try not to be too ambitious but at the same time, we don't want them to miss some of the highlights which we think will be fun for them. We will be staying at Asakusa for 8 nights. Our rough itinerary will be as follow:

Day 1: Reaching Haneda at 2pm and estimate to reach our hotel is Asakusa at around 5pm ish. Explore Asakusa, Nakamise street ( not sure if the stalls are closing at this time - Saturday 5-6pm), Shin Nakamise, View Skytree from a far and Ginza if time permit.

Day 2: Morning 8:00 am go to Shinjuku West to buy Hakone Free Pass ( will try to book Romancecar online). Ikebukuro + Ikebukuro Fire Department at 12pm - 12.30 pm ( Have to figure out a way to book a slot to experience the earth quake simulation) + Akihabara (super potato) + Tokyo Station or *Tokyo Dome City to experience the Xmas Illumination.

Day 3: Aoyama-Itchome for autumn Foliage + Shibuya north-west exit (Hachiko, Crossing) + Harajuku ( Takeshita Dori + Meiji Shrine) + Omotesando (Tokyu Plaza)+ Yoyogi Park walk back to Shibuya under the Shibuya Blue Cave Illumination.

Day 4: Tokyo Disneyland

Day 5: Hakone

Day 6: Mt Takao + Odaiba (Miraikan - to book dome theater, Gundam )

Day 7: Ghibli Museum 10am slot( online) at least 2 Hour tour *only IF manage to book online + Shiro-hige Creampuff factory Kochijoji branch + Shinjuku ( Ninja Trick House appt 3pm slot - (online) 30- 45min, Govt Metropolitan Building - South Tower, Kabukicho for Godzilla - come alive at 6pm & 8pm) + Shiodome ( Caretta Shiodome Xmas Light starts 5pm, Night City View on 46th and 47th Floor, Ghibli Clock) Supper at Andy's Shin Hinomoto at Yurakucha station - closed at 12am

Day 8: Tsukiji Market for breakfast+ Shimbashi ( Pokemon DX) + Starbucks Reserve + Meguro River Autumn View + Roponggi Hills for Xmas Market at Oyane Plaza and Xmas Illumination at Keyakizaka Street)

Day 9: To check out and to Haneda for 3pm flight.

Should i reduce or add anything? Anything in particular which i should be aware off or prepare in advance?


by KellyO  

Re: Itinerary with Kids (8 and 10) Tokyo 2019/9/11 13:58
Hi Kelly

That is a packed itinerary. It's busier than I would like but you know yourself and your kids. Note that the days are short-ish by the end of November, and the mornings and evenings can be very cool.

Just a note on days 6 and 7.

It's easy to spend a pretty full day at Mt Takao, and there is a nice public bath by the railway station. Whether everyone will have the energy and inclination to pull up for a trip to Odaiba I can't say-my kids probably would have found that a bit much, and as an adult I wouldn't do it. That said, a sleep in the train on the way back from the mountain might rev the everyone up.

I'm not a fan of Ghibli, it's smaller than you think and can be insanely crowded. The suburb of Tokyo it is in, and the lovely park it's next to are very nice.

A word in favour of Miraikan, the science museum on Odaiba, and the Edo Tokyo Musuem which is about the history of Tokyo, both of which could be great cold or wet weather options which kids might enjoy.

Have a great time in Japan!
by Who? (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary with Kids (8 and 10) Tokyo 2019/9/11 16:20
On the positive side your destinations (except the Takao/Odaiba day) are logically organized around certain regions of the city. But being myself a slow traveler I find your itinerary quite insanely packed. I realize that I am slower than many but with kids I think you should allow some extra time for the unexpected. So if you donft manage to do everything in one day, be still happy with that day.
Also on your Ghibli day I wouldnft do anything else that needs a reservation. Yes, you can make it easily to the 15:00 slot for your second attraction but it would simply be too much (for me) for a day to digest. In the end I would probably only remember really full days with a lot of sightseeing spots accomplished but not have formed any real memory.
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary with Kids (8 and 10) Tokyo 2019/9/11 17:39
Thanks Who? and Likebike. It seems that i am indeed too ambitious on my itinerary.

On day 6, i guess i would have to forget about Mount Takao and focus on Odaiba for 1 full day? The reason i have included Mount Takao is because this will be my third trip to tokyo and i have not been to Mount Takao before. Seeing that my date may be quite near the peak for Koyo viewing, i thought it will be a good idea to pay a visit and also as a day out of the bustling and hustling of Tokyo City.

For day 7, each attraction may not take too much time, for eg, Kabukicho for viewing of godzilla. However, the walking to and fr the station and the time it may consume will leave us exhausted.

Sigh, i will have a hard time choosing which attraction to let go now! Too many places i have in mind but too little time. And they told me that a 9 day trip to Tokyo only will be too much! lol

by KellyO rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary with Kids (8 and 10) Tokyo 2019/9/11 19:27
I'd stick to Mt Takao and drop Odaiba-Mt Takao is really fun, monkey park, temple, chairlift, bath house...it's a lot of fun and your kids might enjoy it as something very different from Tokyo. Odaiba is nice enough, but Takeo is a very Japanese and outdoor experience.

On day 7 I'd skip Ghibli-wandering around Shinjuku is fun in its own way. You won't run out of things to do-there's a samurai museum near Shinjuku station you all might enjoy. https://www.samuraimuseum.jp/en/
In case you want the souvenirs, here are some Ghibli shops (called Donguri) around Tokyo:

Ikebukuro: Sunshine City Alpa (B1F)
Marunouchi: Tokyo Station - Character Street (B1F)
Odaiba: Venus Fort Family (1F)
Tokyo SkyTree: Town Solamachi (2F)

Have a great time!
by Who? (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary with Kids (8 and 10) Tokyo 2019/9/11 21:05
Yes, just assume that everything will take longer than you imagine. Donft forget you have to eat!
by Gregalor rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary with Kids (8 and 10) Tokyo 2019/9/11 21:12
I'd also vote to skip Ghibli. My daughter (8) and I are fans of the films and we still found the museum small and crowded. The bus running from Mitaka can get crazy long lines in the morning (we got there close to 9 and didn't get to Ghibli until close to 10 when our slot was and then had another huge line of people waiting to get in.) I'd gone alone in 2001 or 2002, and it was so much more crowded inside and the sound just reverberates. The grounds are much smaller than you would think. I'm hoping the new theme park near Nagoya will be better.

The cream puffs need to be pre-ordered, I'm not sure how many days in advance because we couldn't get it to work. I tried to get my hotel to do it for me last trip, but they couldn't figure out what I wanted. I'm probably going to stay someplace else next trip because the bed was just too hard!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary with Kids (8 and 10) Tokyo 2019/9/12 15:14
THanks rkold, Gregalor and Who?

I will leave the Mt Takao Vs Odaiba on the weather, good weather and we shall visit Mt Takao and if its a rainy day, i think Odaiba will be a better option.

For the cream puffs, i have no idea that it has to be pre-ordered. I have always thought that its accessible on walk-in basis. My plan to visit Ghibli musuem have to depend on the availability of ticket online as i know it is not easy to get one. This visit is mainly because both our children have recently watched Totoro and wanted to visit them. If this visit is possible, we may stay around the area and visit inokashira garden and not rush to shinjuku.

Thanks for managing my expectation and i shall be prepared that we will not be able to visit all the places listed in the itinerary. After all, our main objective is for our children to enjoy themselves.
by KellyO rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary with Kids (8 and 10) Tokyo 2019/9/12 15:20
Regarding gcream puffsh do you mean something INSIDE Ghibli? If yes, I donft know. I only remember that you can get ice cream and sausages or the like at Ghibli.

If you mean the cream puff stand in Kichijoji it for sure doesnft need to be preordered. Itfs a street stall and they sell them. Right there. I cannot really imagine that they run out of supplies. Not sure where @rkold had her cream puff experience.
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary with Kids (8 and 10) Tokyo 2019/9/13 10:52
If i manage to get out tickets to Ghibli Museum, i will visit Shiro-hige Creampuff factory Kochijoji branch which is not far from the museum itself. I heard its a new branch and not fancy unlike the one at Setagaya.
by KellyO rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary with Kids (8 and 10) Tokyo 2019/9/13 11:06

This is specifically a Totoro cream puff shop. http://www.shiro-hige.com/main/

They recommend calling ahead to reserve. We didn't risk it because I've been underestimating how much time we would like to spend in Tokyo. Our next trip we are going to give Tokyo more time so we're not just rushing from shop to shop as usual. There are also a few museums I would like to hit up since hopefully my daughter will be a little more interested.

If you get desperate for Ghibli, Willer bus currently offers a tour which is priced pretty similarly to the tickets JTB use to offer. (They only offer them in the US now *IF* you also buy a JR Pass from them, I am unsure if they make the same rule for other countries.)

I hope this helps!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary with Kids (8 and 10) Tokyo 2019/9/13 11:51
Thanks @rkold. Definitely helps. So did you manage to try the creampuff? It definitely looks cute and great for insta but i'm not too sure on the taste though.

I am not from the US and not getting ourselves the JR pass since we will only be in Tokyo this round. So i guess i can't use this option. Wish me luck on the online purchase then :)
by KellyO rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary with Kids (8 and 10) Tokyo 2019/9/13 12:20
No, for the Willer tickets you don't need to be in the USA or use a rail pass as far as I know. The latter definitely should not be the case, as Willer is specifically a bus company.

The tickets I was referring to which now require a pass are these:

I don't know what country you are in so can't speak for your JTB area. You would need to search for JTB and your country to see if they still offer them without a pass. A lot of people like the JTB tickets because while they cost more than the tickets via the Museum itself they don't have a specific time slot and you can go whenever you wish.

I last went June or July of 2018. We skipped in 2019. At that time, Willer didn't offer their tickets so the options were: JTB, the overpriced Japanican Tour, or directly from the museum. In our case, we asked our hotel (The Tokyo Station Hotel) to procure tickets for us, so they procured them directly from the museum for us.

When I read the cream puff website they said you needed to reserve. So we didn't go to Kichijoji to check because we didn't have that many days in Tokyo. (We arrived late in TDR on Wednesday night, went there on Thursday and arrived late at our hotel in Tokyo proper Thursday night, Friday went to Licca's Castle, Saturday met a friend for a long lunch, Sunday finally got in some shopping but took an early evening train to Sendai and spent Sunday night in Sendai. We didn't get back to Tokyo until lunch time on Wednesday from Ichinoseki and then only had Wednesday afternoon to shop and got to the Pokemon Cafe before leaving early on Thursday.) We've been to Japan multiple times, but since I've started taking my daughter I've tended to give Tokyo short shift and this particular trip I really regretted it because we had several days in Kansai when we were just done with the area between the scorching heat and the crowds. I plan next trip to give Tokyo more time.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary with Kids (8 and 10) Tokyo 2019/9/13 12:23
Since you are presumably in Malaysia going by your profile, you would want to check: https://www.jtbmalaysia.com/

To see if they offer Ghibli tickets.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary with Kids (8 and 10) Tokyo 2019/9/13 14:56
The OP goes End November to Japan. So should still be in time to buy Ghibli tickets the normal way. (Or internet page ). Youfll need to be on that internet page at the time (!!!!) of the presale opening as the tickets sell out within minutes/hours depending on the day/time.
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

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