After spending 7 weeks in Tokyo, including 3 weeks with my husband plus a 3 years old and 1-year-old kids, I know a thing or two about traveling in Tokyo. Traveling with two young kids is not an easy thing, it’s physically demanding and we all can get tired pretty easily. That’s why our traveling style is very relaxed in a sense that we are taking everything slow and not too ambitious. We always leave our apartment around 10 to 11 am, had lunch outside, and try to be back home before 8 pm straight after dinner. So, the easy pace only and no running around chasing train or jam-packed itinerary.
Here’s my top recommendation for 5 days itinerary in Tokyo:
1. Hop on Hop off Bus
We would really recommend people to start with the hop on hop off bus at the beginning of your trip, especially if you never been to Tokyo before. It’s because the bus is a good way to getting familiar with the city without too much of an effort. There are few lines that you can choose which cover most of the main attractions and district in Tokyo. We would suggest taking the entire lines first, and then hop off at the destination that you want to explore more (like Tokyo Tower or Asakusa). Oh, please be careful if you’re taking toddler or baby because you’ll be sitting on an open bus, better sit in the front seat and make sure tighten your seat belt.
Tip: These buses are super super on time (literally, to the very second). So, make sure that you pay attention to the timetable. The ticket will be valid for 24 hours. So, you can spend an entire day and continue using it the next day.
2. Spend a day in Odaiba
This is a must! Take a train on Yurikamome line and, again, make sure you sit on the front seat! If you are not able to get the front seat, you can wait for the next train (they have 4 minutes interval in between trains, so it’s not that bad and it’s worth the wait). You will enjoy an amazing scenic view of Tokyo Water Front and the Rainbow Bridge.
Exit at the Odaiba Station and hang out at the bay area. There are plenty of things to see there, Sea Side Mall, Sega World, Madam Tusseau Museum, Tricked eye museum or Legoland. You can shop your mandatory souvenir here.
Don’t forget to take a selfie in front of a mini liberty statue!
3. Disneyland vs Disney Sea
If you have time (and budget), you should visit both Disneyland and Disney Sea, and if you do, it would be better to stay at one of the Disney Resorts because Disney Sea and Disneyland are both located quite far from the city central (it took us around 1,5 hour plus to get there, and then you have to take another monorail to get to the theme park).
But if you couldn’t manage to go to both park, we set out below things for you to consider which theme park to visit:
Disney Sea: people said that Disney Sea is more for the adult because they allow alcohol beverage inside. However, for us, the main attraction for Disney Sea was the King Triton Concert show. My daughter loves Ariel, so it was so fun to see her hysterical reaction when she saw Ariel swimming (or floating) above our head, it was such an epic show even though it’s all in the Japanese language.
Our pick attractions for Disney Sea are:
1. Watch the parade.
2. The King Triton Show, this is a 15 minutes show but expect a long line around 30 minutes.
3. Lunch at the food court at the Mermaid Lagoon, just outside the King Triton theater and then play other attractions there (there are plenty of them!).
4. The Magic Lamp teather, it’s a combined 3D show featuring Genie from Aladdin.
5. The Nemo Ride which is available for any kids with a minimum height of 90 cm.
6. Ride the classic Electric Railways around the area.
Disneyland is more classic, you’ll find the iconic Disney castle here and personally, I think the parade is more attractive.
1. The parade and the firework show.
2. The Carousel.
3. Mark Twain River Boat.
4. Lunch at Tomorrowland food court.
These may not seem much, but we spent a good 5 – 6 hours in each parks for the above.
4. Park in Roppongi area
During my 7 weeks living in Tokyo, I lived in Roppongi area. Although this area is famous for its nightlife and clubs, there are actually lots of interesting places around here. We love to hang out at the Robo Park, Museum and Art Galery. Hinokicho park (just behind the Roppongi Metro Station) and Kogai Park are also around the neighborhood. We also love Hinokicho park because it is very spacious with a pond and has some sort of playground facilities for kids, making this park a great place just to hang out all day if you do not have a specific plan for the day.
5. Ueno Zoo
Last but not least, the Ueno Zoo. It is one of the animal parks in Tokyo, but it is the must-see one. It is the oldest zoo in the country and hosts among others: the giant panda, pelicans, hippos, lions, and penguins. It has two big parts the east and west part with a monorail that connects the two parts. It has also some other attractions such as swamp forest, Thai pagoda and baby zoo. Ueno zoo is definitely a choice for spending the whole day because it is located in Ueno public park, with museums, and near Ameyoko, famous for street food and souvenir shops!