Things to do in Ryogoku with Kids that aren’t Sumo or Ryogoku Kokugikan

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Out of all the fun things to do in Ryogoku with kids, watching the sumo together at the Ryogoku Kokugikan has to be our top recommendation. But are there other things to do in Ryogoku beyond the Ryogoku Kokugikan and Sumo? You bet. This old-school East Tokyo neighborhood has plenty more to offer if you want to make an entire day of it.

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Things to Do in Ryogoku: East Tokyo Travel Blog

If you get a chance to see sumo together, then go for it! You can watch it at the Kokugikan (Japan’s official sumo stadium) or at asageiko (morning practice). I explain the details here. Sumo or no sumo, Ryogoku has one of the most interesting museums and restaurants in the city. For six years, we lived in a nearby neighborhood and took the train to Ryogoku station for swimming lessons on Saturdays when our kids were small. After the lessons, we often took a train into nearby Asakusa or across the Sumida river into Ueno looking for fun. However, we started spending more time in the Ryogoku station area, near the Ryogoku Kokugikan, and here are a few places we’d go.

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The Edo Tokyo Museum

Edo Tokyo Museum - Tokyo Travel tips

Behold: the most comprehensive and entertaining way to learn about Tokyo’s history. The Edo Tokyo Museum needs no introduction, as it’s one of the city’s most important museums and one of the most recommended things to do in Ryogoku Tokyo with kids. It’s a fairly kid-friendly museum, but also interesting for adults.

There are lots of boring documents and drab black & white photographs to pore over. Skip these and head straight for the amazing dioramas, scale models of Japanese architecture, and real hands-on displays. Some of these things are recreated, and some are reconstructed. The kids will enjoy a lot of it.

Edo Tokyo Museum Outside

Girl on an old bike at Edo Tokyo Museum

A popular item with my kids were the old bicycle taxis that you can actually climb on, and scale models of old buildings and city streets that mechanically come alive. Edo Tokyo Museum guides (both recorded and real live people) are available in multiple languages. You can spend half a day here if you want to, especially if there is a particularly interesting exhibit in addition to the permanent collection.

Like the much smaller Fukagawa Edo Museum a few kilometers south, the Edo Tokyo Museum has some recreations of old Edo houses and other interactive cultural exhibits, but some of the most amazing things to us are in the dioramas behind glass. You can’t touch these, sadly, but you’ll want to.

Miniature model of boats on the river at Edo Tokyo Museum

Robotically operated dioramas at Edo Tokyo Museum

Decent English Provided

Unlike many museums in Japan, there are lots of English explanations on displays. Not for everything, but much more than you find in many other museums. That said, if you are genuinely interested in learning about the history of Tokyo (and of Japan in general), then I would suggest asking about getting a guide. The Edo Tokyo Museum usually has a number of English-speaking guides who can walk you through the museum for a more comprehensive approach.

Things to do in Ryogoku with Kids (That aren't sumo wrestling): Japan Family Travel, Tokyo with Kids, Japan Travel, Family Travel, Tokyo Edo Museum

The Edo Tokyo Museum in Ryogoku, Tokyo

  • Open Tuesday – Sunday 9:30 – 17:30 (Saturday: 9:30 – 19:30)
  • Closed Mondays
  • About 4 minutes from the west exit of Ryogoku Station, JR Sobu Line
  • About 2 minutes from exit A4 Ryogoku Station, Oedo Line (exit name: Edo-Tokyo Hakubutsukan-mae)
  • These are essentially two different Ryogoku stations, and the Oedo Line’s Ryogoku station has an exit that gives you much easier access
  • The Edo Tokyo Museum Website

Miniature Kaminari Mon Display at Edo Tokyo Museum

Other Things to Tokyo in Ryogoku Tokyo with Kids 

So sumo at the Ryogoku Kokugikan is the main thing to do in Ryogoku, and the Edo Tokyo Museum is a really great place, too. But if you’re in Tokyo with kids for a while longer and have time to explore further, read on. Listed below are a few more things to do in Ryogoku that are near the Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Ryogoku Tokyo Tours

Want more assistance and insight into the Ryogoku Kokugikan, into sumo wrestling or into the Ryogoku neighborhood in general? Here are a few tours worth looking into:

Tokyo Sumo Tours

Watch a Grand Sumo Tournament

Sumo Tournament Seats with Optional Dinner

Challenge Sumo Wrestlers & Enjoy a Chanko Lunch

Sumo stable Morning Training Tour

Other Ryogoku Tokyo Tours

Asakusa and Ryogoku Walking Tour with Sumo Wrestler

Tokyo by Bike: Skytree, Kiyosumi Garden and Sumo Stadium

Sumo Show Experience with Chanko Lunch

Eko-in

Walk through the tori (Japanese gate) of this temple and follow the path around and to the left. The small tower you see here is a pet cemetery of sorts.

Cat Grave at Eko In, Ryogoku, Tokyo, Japan

Inside, you’ll see what look like lockers with flowers and pictures of dogs or cats on the doors. The urns of beloved pets’ ashes are here. To the right is a small shrine dedicated to a famous Robin-hood-like thief. People come here and scratch the shrine’s stone in hopes of luck, money, and prowess at final exams. Okay, okay, so a pet cemetery is not for everyone, but I had to include it for those who would be interested.

Kyu-Yasuda Teien Gardens

Kyu Yasuda Teien Garden in Ryogoku, Tokyo, Japan

This garden is just north of the Ryogoku station and is a nice place to take a few pictures and for the kids to run around for a bit. Like Kiyosumi Teien further south, this is a peaceful, manicured park with stone footpaths and huge koi fish worth feeding. You could also visit here after the Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Great Kanto Earthquake Memorial Museum

This one is for the older kids and history buffs. Despite the beauty of the grounds, the theme is the magnitude of an earthquake’s destruction, so that could be a downer for kids who don’t want to process something like that. If you’re looking for a more stimulating earthquake education, check out the Tokyo Rinkai Disaster Prevention Park in Odaiba. Here, younger kids can learn something about earthquakes and preparation without having to dwell too long on the morbid consequences.

Places to Eat in Ryogoku Tokyo 

Things to do in Ryogoku Four guys demonstrating ceremony on the sumo wrestling stage (dohyo) Ryogoku with Kids (That aren't sumo wrestling): Japan Family Travel, Tokyo with Kids, Japan Travel, Family Travel)

There are many eateries around Ryogoku station — from fast food to full-on high-end dining. Despite the number of tourists who visit the Ryogoku Kokugikan and the museum, there aren’t many places with English menus here yet. Many restaurants, however, will have menus with pictures. One good thing to try in Ryogoku is chanko-nabe. This is an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink variety of “hot pot” stew that is commonly eaten by sumo wrestlers to bulk up. It also happens to be delicious.

  • Chanko Tomoegata: They offer daily Chanko-nabe sets for lunch. You can get to feel what it’s like to eat what the sumo wrestlers eat.
  • Chanko Dojo Ryogoku: Another Chanko-nabe restaurant, but Chanko is offered only at dinnertime. Close to Ryogoku station.
  • Steak Kuni Ryogoku: Maybe you didn’t come to Japan to eat steak, but this is Japanese beef at a decent price, and it’s located across from Kokugikan. You may bump into a couple of sumo wrestlers there.

Have You Been to Ryogoku Tokyo? 

Have you been to the Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo stadium? What did you think of the Edo Tokyo Museum? Can you recommend any other things to do in Ryogoku with kids? I want to keep this page updated as often as possible, so please add your tips and stories!

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Disclosure: This post contains 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 your travel.

Photo Credits via Creative Commons CC BY or other Royalty-free image sites. Some images may have been altered slightly via cropping or color enhancement: #5, #7, #10, #12

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