Things to do in Ryogoku with Kids: Edo Tokyo Museum

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Out of all the fun things to do in Ryogoku with kids, watching the sumo together has to be our top recommendation. But are there other things to do in Ryogoku with kids? 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 WITH KIDS

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 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 area, and here are a few places we’d go.

Planning a visit to the Tsukiji Fish Market as well?
Let me give you some advice

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Things to do in Ryogoku with Kids: Edo Tokyo Museum and More

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The Edo Tokyo Museum

Behold: the most comprehensive and entertaining way to learn about Tokyo’s history. This place 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 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.

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A popular item with mine are the old bicycle taxis that you can actually climb on, and scale models of old buildings and city streets that mechanically come alive. Guides (both recorded and real live people) are available in multiple languages.

You can spend half a day in 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.

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5 Things to do in Ryogoku with Kids (That aren't sumo wrestling): Japan Family Travel, sumo-statue, Tokyo with kids, Japan travel, family travel, Tokyo Edo 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 museum usually has a number of English-speaking guides who can walk you through the museum for a more comprehensive approach.

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The Edo Tokyo Museum

  • Open Tuesday – Sunday 9:30 – 17:30 (Saturday: 9:30 – 19:30)
  • Closed Mondays
  • Admission JPY 600 yen adults / 300 yen kids
  • 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 stations, and the Oedo station exit gives you much easier access

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OTHER THINGS TO DO IN RYOGOKU WITH KIDS

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

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.

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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

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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.

Great Kanto Earthquake Memorial Museum

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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

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Hananomai

Very close to the station and the sumo stadium, Hananomai is a sumo-themed restaurant with good food and a unique atmosphere. There is an actual dohyo (sumo ring) in the restaurant, with a variety of events that happen after the matches. The menus are laminated and easy to read, with pictures of the food. And they welcome kids.

Other places to eat in Ryogoku

There are many eateries around Ryogoku station — from fast food to full-on high-end dining. Despite the number of tourists who visit the stadium 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 WITH KIDS?

Have you been to the sumo? 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!

Things to do in Ryogoku with Kids: Edo Tokyo Museum and More!

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.

Image credits: #3, #5, #8, #10

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