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The Best Places to Visit in Japan with the Family

Whether traveling with little kids or teenagers, Japan will have something to offer for an unforgettable family holiday.

The country’s fascinating culture and engaging attractions will delight you and your kids. In addition, it boasts numerous family-friendly parks and museums, giving you plenty of options to explore.

Sensō-ji temple in Tokyo

Places to Visit in Japan

Considering a Japan tour package ? If you need help planning your trip, refer below for our suggestions on the best places to visit in Japan with the family.

  1. Tokyo

Japan’s capital city may be bustling with people, but it’s also great for families, offering numerous attractions for the amusement of adults and kids of all ages, from the famous Disneyland theme park to the gaming arcades of Akihabara.

Although the thick crowds could overwhelm your little ones, plenty of sights and activities in Tokyo are guaranteed to delight the whole family.

The best way to start with Tokyo is to visit its top attractions, like the Sensō-ji temple and Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

But if your little ones would prefer to explore the city’s theme parks, take them to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea,

Tokyo Dome City, Sanrio Puroland, and many others. Once you have your fill of theme parks, it’s time to hit the bustling streets of Tokyo. 

Try walking through the famous Shibuya crossing, considered the world’s busiest intersection. The area is also home to an observation deck called the Shibuya Sky, where you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the city. 

For a taste of the local culture, wake up early to witness the pre-dawn tuna auction at Tsukiji Fish Markets, one of the biggest seafood markets in the world.

You’ll enjoy exploring the bustling market, home to hundreds of shops selling fresh foods and local delicacies.

  1. Osaka

Osaka is another beautiful city that appeals to families. Surrounded by majestic mountains and gorgeous seas, you will find numerous outdoor activities to enjoy in the city.

Osaka is also home to Universal Studios, one of the country’s most popular theme parks and a top family attraction in Japan.

While most families that go to Osaka would head straight to Universal Studios, you will find other fun, family-friendly attractions to visit with the kids.

You can go to the Legoland Discovery Centre if your kids prefer to play indoors or at the Tennoji Zoo, where your kids can see different animals, such as penguins, elephants, and giraffes.

Head to the Osaka Museum of Housing and Living to learn about Japanese culture and history. It exhibits the local lifestyle throughout the city’s history, from the Edo period until modern times.

Your kids will have fun checking out the life-sized reproduction of Osaka during the early times.

The Osaka Science Museum is another fun attraction to visit with the kids, a fun place to learn about science and the universe.

Some of its attractions include the planetarium, one of the largest in the world, and the Study Projection, which introduces constellations and other astronomical subjects.

  1. Kyoto 

When deciding on a luxury getaway to Japan, the former capital Kyoto is a must. It is famous for its beautiful temples and shrines and also has many fun attractions for the kids, making it one of the most family-friendly cities in Japan.

With the many historical sites in the city, it’s the perfect place for kids to experience the local culture. 

One of the most popular things to do in Kyoto is to sleep in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn, where you sleep on the floor covered with tatami mats.

Another fun activity for the family is exploring the Toei Kyoto Studio Park, a theme park where you feel like you are back in the Edo period. 

The Kyoto Railway Museum is another attraction that’s fun to visit with the kids. It’s a great place to learn more about the old trains of Japan and where you can try a simulated experience of driving a train.

Families looking for a handmade crafting experience in Kyoto should go to Yonezawa Kobo, where they can join a pottery-making class. It’s nestled in a quiet neighbourhood featuring Kyoto-style houses from ancient times for an even more fascinating experience.

  1. Takayama

Takayama is one of Japan’s most historic and picturesque cities and a quieter alternative to the bustling cities of Tokyo and Kyoto. Families who want to escape the tourist crowd will find Takayama a perfect place. 

The best way to start your day in Takayama is to visit a morning market called Miyagawa Market. It lies along the Miyagawa River, where you can shop for traditional local crafts and souvenirs.

After shopping, stroll along the scenic river, with crystal-clear water, where you’ll find fish of different colors. 

Takayama is also home to some beautiful parks, including Shiroyama Park, which lies close to the ruins of the Takayama Castle, which got destroyed in the 17th century, but the ruins remained in the park. The park is more beautiful in autumn, during the cherry blossom season.

Another attraction ideal for families is the Kusakabe Folk Museum, which resembles a traditional Japanese house and is considered a significant treasure of Japan. It was constructed in 1879 by a Japanese merchant named Kusakabe.

  1. Matsumoto

Visit Matsumoto to get off the beaten path and enjoy scenic hikes. While it’s more famous for the Matsumoto Castle, it’s also home to many art museums and other attractions to learn and experience Japanese culture.  

No visit to Matsumoto is complete without a visit to the Matsumoto Castle, one of Japan’s most historical castles with over 400 years of history.

After spending some time in the castle, head to Kamikochi, one of the most picturesque valleys in the Japanese Alps and a must-visit for families who love to hike. After your hike, the best way to relax is to soak in the many hot springs in the town. 

Another popular attraction in Matsumoto is the Former Kaichi School, where you will find a mixture of Japanese and Western architecture. If your family loves to explore beautiful buildings with historical significance, you should visit this place.