Tokyo With Kids – Hotel and Sightseeing

This post is part of a series from our recent holiday to Japan. You can read more about our trip by clicking here – Japan With Kids.

From Osaka we took an internal flight to Tokyo. We had an early evening flight and took the train to the Osaka airport. Some of the little ones took the opportunity to have a nap on the way to the airport!
Tokyo With Kids IMG_3550

The Osaka airport is impressive – so clean and efficient. We took along some snacks for the kids to have before the flight.
Tokyo With Kids DSC03716

One thing we hadn’t researched well  was how far Narita airport was from central Toyko – it is 60kms. We stuck with our plan to catch trains to our hotel in Ginza and it would have taken us around 90 minutes to eventually make it to our hotel.
Tokyo With Kids IMG_3592

But the trip in itself was fine. The public transport system in Japan is amazing and makes traveling around for even large families like ours so easy. Once again under the careful guidance of Mr I we made our way to Ginza with no trouble. Once at Ginza, though we had a little trouble finding our hotel.

But as you can see in the video below, the Japanese people were so helpful to us. They looked up the hotel on their phone and walked us almost the entire way to our hotel. Even though it was late and the kids were tired, they coped incredibly well. Ginza is just like a super huge Christmas tree and so walking along its streets we were all distracted by the bright lights and buzz of the district. {Please click here if you are reading via email to see the video.}

Tokyo With Kids:

Even though we were only there for three nights there was so much to see and enjoy. The below lists some of the smaller activities we did in Tokyo and I will post separately on the Sumo Wrestling Tournament we attended and also our time at DisneySea.

Courtyard by Marriott Tokyo Ginza Hotel

Tokyo With Kids DSC03928
Courtyard by Marriott Tokyo Ginza Hotel is a far more western style hotel and lots of the guests staying there are businessmen and women. As the rooms were smaller, to fit our family of seven we needed three rooms.

The hotel is in such a great location. Ginza is is famous for its upmarket shopping, dining and entertainment district. You see all the luxury brands represented in this area. We admired these shops from the outside!

According to this source one square metre of land in Ginza’s center is worth over ten million yen, making it one of the most expensive areas for real estate in Japan. It was within walking distance to many tourist and cultural attractions.
Tokyo With Kids DSC03913

Our view was not fancy, with one outlook out to the backs of buildings and the other onto a busy road.
Tokyo With Kids IMG_3725

The room was very neat, comfortable and set out well.
Tokyo With Kids IMG_3722

The staff at the hotel were fantastic:

  • They were very helpful to us when we arrived late at night and for our entire stay
  • They gave us coupons for cheaper buffet breakfasts.
  • They have a fab set of tourist guides which explain clearly in English how you can make your way via public transport to major tourist attractions.
  • They organised our shuttle to the airport (after a day at DisneySea we felt public transport would be too much for the kids and we were right as even the older two kids slept on the bus.
  • The gym is very small but functional.
  • They were very accommodating and attentive to the kids.

Back To The Top

Imperial Palace

Tokyo With Kids IMG_3627
Unaware that the Monday was a public holiday, we headed off on the Tuesday to visit the Imperial Palace, only to find that the gardens were closed. If Monday or Friday is a national holiday, the gardens are closed on the following day. But the kids were not overly fussed by this, I think us adults were more disappointed.

Tokyo With Kids IMG_3618
The kids had enjoyed watching a social soccer match on our walk to the gardens. They had even chosen the side they were barracking for.

We walked around the perimetre like many other tourists who didn’t realised it was closed. And the kids made their own fun, hopping on rocks and the like, which you can see in the video.
Tokyo With Kids DSC03732

On the way back to the train station , the kids were fascinated by hearing and feeling the trains running underground.
Tokyo With Kids DSC03740

Back To The Top


Tokyo With Kids DSC03758
We had Shinjuku on our list of places to see if we had time, so decided to head there after the closed Imperial Palace. Our map we were using didn’t give us an indication of how to get there, so when we walked past an Apple store, we took the opportunity to do some internet surfing.

We turned off roaming and data on our mobile phones while we were in Japan and used them only when we had access to wifi. This worked really well for us and didn’t feel that we needed the added expense of a huge phone bill when we returned home!

Shinjuku was fabulous and if you ask the kids, a number of them will list it as a favourite highlight of our time in Japan. It is a major shopping and entertainment precinct of Tokyo, but also has significant business and residential areas. This combination means it houses the busiest train station in the world, which caters for more than 2 million people per day.
Tokyo With Kids DSC03789

We were lucky to receive many great tips before we left, one of which was to visit some of the 100 Yen stores so the kids could buy souvenirs for their friends. The kids loved this shopping.
Tokyo With Kids DSC03768

A particular favourite for our daughter and preschool was Daiso. We actually have a Daiso quite close to us in Australia now which have visited too! My daughter bought charms for all the girls in her class as well as some things for herself. The preschooler was in heaven as he is sticker obsessed!
Tokyo With Kids DSC03779

Back To The Top

We went back to Shinjuku again the next day on request from the kids. The shopping here was also far more in our price range for other goods. I bought some new clothes and the older boys bought backpacks, sunglasses and headphones.

Have you been to Shinjuku? Did you love it too?

The Planning With Kids family traveled to Japan courtesy of Jetstar.