Best Indoor Things to do in Tokyo with Kids (or Without Them!)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please visit our Disclosure page for details.

Visiting Tokyo with kids? You will find many things to do indoors or outdoors with children. In the post below, I focus on some of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids. You can still enjoy a rainy day in Tokyo, or when it’s too hot or too cold to stay outside.

Since my first child’s birth, I have been looking for the best things to do in Tokyo with kids. If you’ve read about me and about this site, then you know that one of my main goals is to turn our life into a series of learning experiences. Kids need to let out some energy every day. Take them to those indoor museums with many hands-on activities when traveling in Tokyo.

No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |

Read: Latest Mega Tokyo Guide for Japan Travel with Kids

Best Indoor Things to do in Tokyo with Kids

There are countless things to do in Tokyo for kids. I cannot say enough about what a great city Tokyo with kids really is. You will find the best museums for kids, the best festivals, the best food, and so much more. Rain or shine, you can take kids to somewhere to enjoy a day.

Here are a few examples of places that we’ve found to be great rainy day things to do in Tokyo with kids. What’s more, those are also educational things to do in Tokyo with kids — museums and otherwise.

If your family likes art and design, then read this post all about great galleries and museums in Tokyo.

If you live in Tokyo or are traveling to Tokyo and have the not-so-ideal weather to be out, my below list of indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids could save your day (hopefully).

Save & Share on Pinterest!

[Best Indoor Things to do in Tokyo with Kids] When traveling to Tokyo, Japan during a rainy season, you can still enjoy your day at those indoor places. Our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids will help you find a place to take your children to let out some energy. The list also helps to find things to do when staying out too long is not really ideal for kids. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you!

Best Indoor Things to do in Tokyo with Kids (or Without Them!) Tokyo has so much to offer indoors or outdoors. In the post, I focus on some indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids. You can still enjoy your day in Tokyo when it’s a rainy day. Our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids will help you find a place for you to take your children to let out some energy, rain or shine. The list is quite useful for those who travel to Japan with kids in the summer time or the winter time when staying out too long is not really ideal for kids. Read and find the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids, including many science museums, art museums and aquariums. PIN 1

National Museum of Science & Nature

No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |

The first one of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids is to visit National Museum of Science & Nature. This gargantuan institution is basically the Smithsonian of Japan. It starts with single-cell organisms and works its way up to spacecraft and supernovas.

You’ll find rooms full of massive dinosaur skeletons and fleshed-out models of Neanderthals. The taxidermy room was a highlight for us, but for young ones, the idea of 200+ beady eyes staring back at you from a dimly-lit room might induce bedwetting.

Interactive Museums: Great Indoor Things to Do in Tokyo

There are also plenty of hands-on activities, including one room full of science experiments, with volunteers walking you through them.

On a rainy day in Tokyo, your little ones still need a place to run around. Your kids can let out some energy walking around and experimenting with this indoor activities.

In a separate wing, there are several floors dedicated to the history and flora and fauna of the Japanese archipelago. To be honest, I’ve never made it that far because there’s just too much to see. You could spend days in here.

No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |The museum is smack in the middle of Ueno park, so once you’re finished and if the weather is ok, you can go out and enjoy the park. If you are in Tokyo during the cherry-blossom season, you get to enjoy a hanami here as well.

You also have the zoo within a short walking distance. That is if you like zoos (this one’s nicely laid out, but we skip most zoos). Within just a short walk, you will be in Ameya-Yokocho, a cool old shopping street that is excellent for people-watching or getting a bite to eat.

There is an excellent yoshoku (a style of Western-influenced cooking) restaurant nearby called Kurofune Tei which I highly recommend, but you should arrive early or plan to wait in a line.

Find The Best Hotels in Ueno near National Museum of Science & Nature 

Tokyo Rinkai Disaster Prevention Park

No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |

Tokyo Rinkai Disaster Prevention Park is another one of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids. As you know, Japan is an earthquake-prone country located within the Ring of Fire.

This facility’s main purpose is to teach Japan’s citizens — both young and old — how to react and survive if the “big one” hits downtown.

The main activity here is a simulated earthquake and aftermath experience that begins while you are in a mock-elevator. Once you exit, you follow instructions and answer quiz questions (Japanese and English) on a Nintendo DS hung around your neck.

You navigate the halls of a “department store” and exit into the street of a very realistic disaster area. It comes with crushed buildings, leaking pipes, teetering air conditioning units and other potential hazards.

Read More: Things to do in Odaiba with Kids

No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |

Fun (but a Little Scary) Indoor Activity in Tokyo

Remember: this is a simulation, but it’s not for everyone, and could be downright terrifying for the very young. I saw more than a few pre-K kids wailing. My 10-year old was really into it, but my 6-year old held my arm tightly.

Once you make it through, be sure to look at the displays at the end. You will see lots of interesting survival techniques, such as how to turn a coke can into a stove and inflated garbage bags into a shelter.

This place also serves as one of the main headquarters for the Japanese government if disaster strikes. Ask someone at the front desk if you can see the control room. They are usually happy to oblige.

21_21 Design Site

Best Indoor things to do in Tokyo with Kids: No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |

Head to the Roppongi area for one of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids on a rainy day.

Tucked away in a back corner of the Tokyo Midtown Center’s grounds in Roppongi, 21_21 Design Site was designed by renowned architect Tadao Ando. It’s a really great space that frequently has fun exhibits the whole family can enjoy.

Founded by some real heavyweights in Japan’s art & design world, 21_21 Design Site focuses on the role of design in society. Exhibits usually tackle broad themes or materials such as bones, water, and chocolate.

Best Indoor things to do in Tokyo: No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |

Great Indoor Exhibits in Tokyo

Each theme is explored from a variety of angles. For example, at the chocolate exhibit, there was a room with ordinary objects made of chocolate: beetles, nails, cellphones, etc.

In the next room, larger-than-life-size portraits of cacao farmers from Sierra Leone adorned the walls, making you realize the sweet stuff doesn’t really originate from Willy Wonka.

The museum is quite kid-friendly, and there is room to park strollers at the entrance. The area surrounding 21_21 is open and a park is only a few 100 meters away.

Edo Tokyo Museum

Best Indoor things to do in Tokyo: No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |

Located right next to the Sumo stadium, the Edo Tokyo Museum is a great indoor activity in Tokyo and easily one of the best repositories of Japanese historical items anywhere.

Older kids might like the incredibly detailed scale models of traditional boats and buildings. The younger ones will like climbing onto authentic antique rickshaws and sedan chairs (yes, you can get on them without being arrested).

Best Indoor things to do in Tokyo: No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |Especially popular with my brood is the room with robotically operated dioramas — some behind glass and one built into the floor.

The one on the floor is a model of the house of a Japanese dignitary in the 1800’s. You look from above and the roof lifts off and kids stare down into the rooms like a giant over a dollhouse.

This museum is a perfect accompaniment to a day at sumo, but if you don’t have tickets, try to have lunch or dinner at the sumo-themed restaurant next to Ryogoku station less than 5 minutes walk from the museum.

This is one of the nest indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids, but it’s not the only fun to be had in the area.

Watch the Sumo!

One of the absolute best indoor things to do in Tokyo is watching a sumo tournament. I go into great detail on how to watch sumo with kids in its own piece. Can you think of a better indoor thing to do in Tokyo than this?

Read More: Our Travel Guide for East Tokyo with Kids

Fukagawa Edo Museum

Best Indoor things to do in Tokyo: No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |

While not as large or fancy as the main Edo Tokyo Museum two train stations north (as mentioned above), the Fukagawa Edo Museum is just as interesting and a great indoor activity in Tokyo.

Its original aim was to educate local to understand their ancestry so conveniently located in a residential area. Even for travelers, however, Fukagawa Edo Museum is one of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids.

Here you have a reconstructed village representing life in Edo 400 years ago. You walk through the village and actually step into the houses (shoes off!).

Best Indoor things to do in Tokyo: No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |

You can touch their stove, tools and other belongings (most of them anyway). There are free guides available sometimes — usually little old ladies who like to practice their (very) rusty English.

One of Our Favorite Indoor Things to Do in Tokyo with Kids

Last time we were there I politely declined her offer, but my daughter insisted, and I’m so glad she did. We both learned a lot about life back then. Why did the gate look like that? What were the things sitting in the cabinets? What purpose does this or that object hold? The guide also helped my girl try on some of the old clothes.

Added note: One of Japan’s oldest public toilets still in use is a few hundred meters down the sidewalk from this place. It has modern plumbing now, of course, but the exterior dates back to the 1600’s.

National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (a.k.a. Miraikan)

Best Indoor things to do in Tokyo: No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |

National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, located in Odaiba, even looks like it’s from the future. The event schedule changes regularly, but the permanent exhibit alone is worth the trek, and certainly one of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids. If you’re in Odaiba on a rainy day or in the heat of summer, the Miraikan will save you.

Lots of interactive displays explain robotics, facial recognition technology, and space exploration. The upper floors have a lot of interesting artifacts from the space race.

Our favorite, however, is the massive globe suspended from the ceiling. Lit entirely with LEDs, it becomes a spherical infographic every hour, lighting up to show various facts about our world.

Make sure to take the catwalk that goes around it for a pic. You can actually see it from below for free if you don’t want to go to the exhibit. Just walk through the hall past the ticket machines.

Find Hotels in Odaiba Tokyo with Booking.com

Museum of Maritime Science

Best Indoor things to do in Tokyo: No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |

To be honest, I only went to the actual Museum of Maritime Science once, many years ago and I wasn’t impressed. It’s now being refurbished, so maybe the new version will be an improvement, but that’s not what I’m recommending here. I’m plugging the boats.

There are real boats moored just next to the museum that you can climb around in, and they are awesome. One of them went on an expedition to the South Pole, and many of the rooms inside are dedicated to telling that story.

Best Indoor things to do in Tokyo: No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |
There are many ways to spin this into lessons for kiddos. Look up arctic exploration, or this journey in particular, for starters.

We mostly just wandered through the boat. It’s interesting enough looking in the cabins with their antique radios and crumbling mannequins depicting how the cabin crew lived.

The captain’s deck is completely open to little hands, and that’s easily the highlight. Kids get to move the wheel and touch all of the controls. It gives you lots to talk about afterward.

During the summer months, I suggest cooling off afterward in the fountains next door at Shiokaze Park, or hop on the monorail station and head to Odaiba or Aomi to find food.

Sony Explora Science

Best Indoor things to do in Tokyo: No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |

When you step through the sliding doors here, it feels like you’ve entered the secret laboratory of Tony Stark. Everywhere you look is chrome, lasers and colorful lights. Sony wants to dazzle you here, and it works.

I list it here as one of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids because I’ve been here at least half a dozen times.

Personally, I think it’s more entertainment than learning opportunity, but that’s more an observation than a complaint. Or perhaps it may have a significant after-effect in that it makes some kids more interested to see how this stuff works — you can teach that, too.

Either way, Sony ExploraScience is one of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids, for sure. Even if it’s a rainy day, once you step into this place, you’ll forget about the weather and enjoy the day with kids in Tokyo.

There are life-sized computer characters that mimic your movements, and a screen that projects animated animals if you can create an accurate shadow puppet of them. We tend to linger in the audio room near the exhibit where you can alter the pitch of your voice. Kids always like to hear their dad sound like a stoned chipmunk.

Booked a flight to Japan? Find the cheapest flight with Skyscanner

Panasonic RiSuPia (Panasonic Center Tokyo)

Tokyo with kids. 20 Things to do in Tokyo with Kids - Best Indoor things to do in Tokyo: No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |

Both of Japan’s big electronics companies have kids attractions in the Odaiba area, and both are quite fun, but Panasonic’s RiSuPia beats Sony’s ExploraScience overall on the learning front.

While Sony dazzles with flashing lights, Panasonic wins the best indoor activity because it actually tries to explain some mathematics and scientific principles in a fun, interactive way.

RiSuPia in Panasonic Center Tokyo is, therefore, one of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo as well as one of the best educational facilities in Tokyo with kids, in my opinion. That said, it’s a bit of a walk from the station on a rainy day, so bring your umbrella.

In one activity, prime numbers become the puck in a game of virtual air hockey. In another, kids learn how the light spectrum affects perception while they race to collect a specific color of the ball. The challenge is the room’s overhead lights keep changing color from red to blue to green, which makes it difficult to know what color ball you’re actually holding.

Every ticket holder gets a console that hangs around his or her neck, providing information (Japanese and English) on whatever topic is being addressed. Panasonic’s main showroom is on the first floor and is also worth a look if you like gadgets.

Tokyo Gas Science Center

Best Indoor things to do in Tokyo: No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |

I know it sounds odd, but Tokyo Gas Science Center is one of my daughter’s indoor activities in Tokyo. Mine too, especially in the winter, when I’m always searching for a warm, spacious interior where the kids can run around. Naturally, I list Tokyo Gas Science Center is one of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids.

The exhibits are fun, thought-provoking and keep kids active, and thanks to its location (next to a park, a mall, and a monorail station) there are several things to do nearby once you’re ready to go.

Check the schedule of the science lab in the center of the hall, because the experiments they do here are often quite cool (everything from sound waves to liquid nitrogen). Unfortunately, it’s conducted in Japanese. Some exhibits have English description, but mostly in Japanese.

Kid love the thermal cameras upstairs, but everyone’s favorite is the “flame room” on the first floor where you get to light gas-filled bubbles behind glass. Try moving a flame in front of floating methane bubbles for a bright blast of fun.

Don’t Miss Our MEGA post on Tokyo for Kids!

Fire Museum

Best Indoor things to do in Tokyo: No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |

The Fire Museum is one of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids who are interested in firefighters. Even though it aims to Japanese visitors, portable audio guides are available in English.

The name, Fire Museum, is somewhat misleading, actually. This museum is all about the history of firefighting in Japan. For centuries, all buildings in Japan were made of wood, paper, and straw — all the stuff that fire loves. So you can imagine they had a lot of extinguishing experience.

There are elements of science, mechanics, and history through the exhibits with some very impressive dioramas. Start at the top floor and work your way down to the fire trucks on the basement level (where you enter from the subway station).

Save the trucks for last, as they are quite amazing — massive machines from several different eras. There is also a helicopter on the 5th floor that you can climb into at specific times of day, and the real fire station next door regularly gives demonstrations, usually on weekends.

Shinjuku Gyoen Greenhouse

Best Indoor things to do in Tokyo: No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |

Shinjuku Gyoen is already Tokyo’s most beautifully manicured green space (seriously, I want a sofa made out of that grass). The park itself is not, as you can imagine, one of the best indoor things to do. However, the reason why I listed this place is that they’ve transformed their greenhouse into an ultra-modern facility.

Lots of native plants to learn about, as well as endangered species, cacti and a greenhouse nursery for ersatz botany 101 lessons. Some botany fans will have a great day walking through this place.

I recommend going early so you have enough time for both the greenhouse as well as the park itself. That is if it’s not a rainy day in Tokyo. Keep in mind that Shinjuku Gyoen closes at 4 pm — all of it, including the greenhouse.

Food and drink are technically not allowed in the park, but staff will usually turn a blind eye if you don’t go overboard.

Find the Best Deals on Hotels in Shinjuku with HotelsCombined

The Ghibli Museum

Best Indoor things to do in Tokyo: No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |

The undisputed king of Japanese animation is Hayao Miyazaki. He’s the guy that did classics like the Princess MononokeNausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Spirited Away and Ponyo, just to name a few. You’re probably at least familiar with his work if not a fan.

He opened Ghibli Museum centered on his work in 2001, but this is not like any museum you’ve been in before.

Instead of enshrining his work, he made the place an interactive and immersive tour of the science and history of animation and about his creative process. This is my top indoor thing to do in Tokyo by far.

The Best Indoor Activity for Dreamers and Creators

It’s certainly easier to take a picture with the five-meter-tall Robot Soldier from The Castle in the Sky if it’s a clear dayGhibli Museum, however, is a wonderful place to enjoy a rainy day as well. It’s a no-brainer for me to list Ghibli Museum as one of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids.

The place is completely unique architecturally, as well. It reminds me of Hogwarts’s in the Harry Potter series. You will find just a series of rooms, hallways, walkways, and stairwells to explore.

There is no specific place where you should begin or end your tour. In fact, the theme of the place is “Let’s get lost together.” There is a lot of old film equipment that kids can actually touch — from lenses to pinhole cameras to actual projectors.

You can be 6 years old or 60; you can know nothing about the films or have grown up with them. I guarantee you’ll enjoy this place.

Be warned, however, it’s little tricky getting tickets. First of all, there are no tickets at the door. You can not just walk in. Tickets have to be booked way ahead of time, and you need to choose the exact time you will arrive. Find instructions on how to get tickets to Ghibli Museum.

Check Out Our List of the Best Family Hotels in Tokyo

Science Museum (Takebashi)

Tokyo with kids. 20 Things to do in Tokyo with Kids - Best Indoor things to do in Tokyo: No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |
This place first opened its doors in 1964 and it shows its age, but there is plenty of great hands-on exhibits here to provide a fun learning experience for kids.

The driving simulations on the 3rd floor are quite popular, but my kids prefer the mechanics room, where they move massive metal balls through a complicated series of conveyor belts and kid-powered machinery. I like how it shows them the principles of leverage and momentum, all while slowly tiring them out.

Best Indoor things to do in Tokyo: No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |

The optical illusion room is also quite cool, as are the exhibits teaching you about electricity. Most of the signs, unfortunately, are in Japanese but check at the ticket counter about getting an English brochure.

Ten Q Space Museum

Best Indoor things to do in Tokyo: No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |

This relatively new museum is a great indoor activity for a rainy day in Tokyo. It has some amazing audio-visual exhibit, as well as a working astronomical lab on the premises.

3331 Arts Chiyoda

Part gallery, part community space, the 3331 Arts Chiyoda building is a great indoor activity for kids on a rainy day in Tokyo. Occupying an old junior high school, the first floor has a café, a kids’ playroom and a gallery space that changes regularly.

The art is hit and miss (and occasionally/rarely inappropriate for kids), depending on your tastes, but there is almost always something interesting to see.

Upstairs are several small galleries and shops where the classrooms used to be. A variety of classes and workshops are happening in different rooms throughout the building. It’s not uncommon to stumble into one.

For example, once I took my kids to a workshop to build and paint decorations for schools affected by the 2011 tsunami. We ended up staying hours longer because there was a free stained-glass making workshop in the next room. I can’t guarantee this will happen to you, but if you were going to Akihabara it’d be a shame not to find out.

Tokyo Sea Life Park

Best Indoor things to do in Tokyo: No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |

This is arguably the best aquarium in Tokyo, although that may deserve an asterisk as it’s closer to Chiba than it is to downtown Tokyo. Still, it’s a stone’s throw from Disneyland and well worth a visit. Tokyo Sea Life Park, in my opinion, is easily another one of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids.

The tanks are large and bright and there is plenty of information about the species of each region of the world and their migration habits. As a bonus, Tokyo Sea Life Park is located inside Kasai Rinkai Koen, a massive park on the water’s edge, so make a day of it.

Shinagawa Aquarium

Best Indoor things to do in Tokyo: No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |

While a little scrappier than the Sea life park, the Shinagawa Aquarium still has a lot to offer. It’s actually quite good about displaying the local sea life you’d find in the bay less than a kilometer away. It’s also a great place to see many of the fish that the Japanese eat.

The circular iwashi (sardine) tank is especially mesmerizing, as they endlessly go around in circles. There’s also a glass tunnel that runs along the bottom of the largest tank, so you can see the manta ray swim right over your head.

I’ll admit, however, that I’m not crazy about the size of the exhibits here, particularly the dolphin and seal enclosure. Perhaps I’m showing bias towards my fellow mammals (the shark and penguin areas are not spacious, either), but these areas are simply too small for creatures like that.

Find Hotels in Shinagawa with Booking.com

Tokyo Toy Museum

Built inside an old school, Tokyo Toy Museum is one of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids 5 and under. Maybe a little older if they like foosball and playgrounds. Across several floors, you’ll find a variety of toys and activities from many eras of Japan’s history.

Parents will enjoy the displays of antique toys, as well. There is usually some performance or demonstration on the weekends — from puppet shows to foosball lessons — so that may be the best time to go.

The National Art Center, Tokyo

Best Indoor things to do in Tokyo: No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |

This is a pretty amazing building, for starters. The constantly rotating schedule of exhibitions means you’re likely to find something that can engage the younger set. My kids certainly enjoyed it. That’s at least one of the reasons why the National Art Center, Tokyo is another one of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids.

They’ve had some significant exhibitions from Picasso, Man Ray, and Andreas Gurksy. Then two rooms over, you may see watercolors that look like the work of a local senior’s group (these are rentals spaces as well, which means the quality can be spotty).

I’d say just look for University graduate shows. They’re usually ambitious, colorful and have free entry. If you’re here during a February, then don’t miss the annual Media Arts Festival. That combines award-winning manga and anime with new computer-generated art and inventions. We’ve gone three years in a row.

About a month after that is Roppongi Art Night, an annual event with lots of public art and performances spread throughout the area. The National Art Center is one of the main hubs.

Read More: Our Post on Japanese Food Kids Love

Yoyogi Park’s Cultural Festivals

Best Indoor things to do in Tokyo: No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo | Museums in Tokyo |

OK, I admit this is not one of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids. It’s one of the fun things to do in Tokyo with kids, nonetheless, and I list as a bonus for the list. 🙂

Every so often you’ll hear from how “homogenous” Japan is, and while that may be true overall, the population in Tokyo skews that demographical ratio significantly.

One of the best places to see Tokyo’s cultural mix is at the festivals in Yoyogi Park every summer. From late spring to early fall; these festivals highlight one country or another in Yoyogi Park’s main event area.

Expect music, dance, and food from whatever country is in the spotlight that weekend. It can be a good idea for you and your kids to look up some of the local dishes as a way to study about a place.

No matter the weather, there’s always something to do in Tokyo, Japan. Use our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids and you’ll always have a place to take your children for some fun. Science museums, art museums, aquariums and more! Read to find the best things to do in Tokyo with kids for you! | Tokyo Family Travel | Japan Travel Tips | Tokyo Travel Tips | Tokyo Guide | Rainy Day in Tokyo | Indoor Fun in Tokyo

That also gives you something to do when you arrive: seek out that food. It’s also a great place to acclimate your kids *before* you take a trip somewhere, or just after you return.

My kids love to go to the Thai festival now that we’ve been there. Cue up early for food, as the lines get crazy long before noon.

If you want to sit somewhere to eat, bring a small mat or some newspapers. There are only so many benches to speak of and few steps. In fact, we usually get our food and cross the bridge back over into Yoyogi Park to eat.

Don’t Miss Our Tips on Choosing Travel Insurance

Conclusion: Best Indoor Things to Do in Tokyo with Kids

So aside from that last one, I consider these to be the indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids. What about you? What did I miss? Are there other great indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids that I missed?

SAVE PINs FOR LATER!

Best Indoor Things to do in Tokyo with Kids (or Without Them!) Tokyo has so much to offer indoors or outdoors. In the post, I focus on some indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids. You can still enjoy your day in Tokyo when it’s a rainy day. Our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids will help you find a place for you to take your children to let out some energy, rain or shine. The list is quite useful for those who travel to Japan with kids in the summer time or the winter time when staying out too long is not really ideal for kids. Read and find the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids, including many science museums, art museums and aquariums. PIN 2
Best Indoor Things to do in Tokyo with Kids (or Without Them!) Tokyo has so much to offer indoors or outdoors. In the post, I focus on some indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids. You can still enjoy your day in Tokyo when it’s a rainy day. Our list of the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids will help you find a place for you to take your children to let out some energy, rain or shine. The list is quite useful for those who travel to Japan with kids in the summer time or the winter time when staying out too long is not really ideal for kids. Read and find the best indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids, including many science museums, art museums and aquariums.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means, at no extra cost to you,  we might receive a small commission if you make a purchase or book using those links. My opinions are my own and I only recommend places/services that I believe will genuinely help you find great indoor things to do in Tokyo with kids

Comments

  1. Jason, thanks for the info. Very interesting and informative. Another museum that kids may like is the Tokyo Metro Museum with lots of hands-on. Take the Tozai Line, get off at Kasai Station. Entrance fee was 200 yens two years ago.

    • Great info, thank you! It’s a great spot for small kids, especially if they are into trains! I lived on the east side of town for years, not far from here (Monzen Nakacho). I should finish preparing some East Tokyo posts I’ve been writing! If you’re looking for additional places to take kids in Tokyo, my app and eBook have much more!

Speak Your Mind

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

css.php

Like this post? Please spread the word! Thanks :)