Four Top Family-Friendly Things to Do in Japan

When the weekend calls and the worries of working life are put on hold for a couple of days, there’s nothing better than getting out and about with the whole family. Of course, with tourist trails up to Mount Fuji packed from top to bottom and the queues at Disneyland anything but a fairy-tale, it’s worth thinking outside the box when it comes to things to do. To make it easy for you to decide on activities that will suit all ages and interests, we’ve rounded up four picks for a unique day out.


Photo: “Clube Maker Realidade Virtual” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by olabimakerspace

For the Young and Young at Heart: Take a Trip to VR Zone Shinjuku

For something that’s perfect for those who love technology and want to really immerse themselves in the world of video games, Bandai Namco, which opened in Shinjuku in July 2017, is a perfect choice. The virtual reality experience is perfect for the young and young at heart. For ¥4,400, you can buy a day pass that gets you access to all four areas so you can play games such as Ski Rodeo and Hospital Escape Terror. Even if you’ve never really had a love for video games or arcades, Bandai Namco’s latest games are a complete sensory experience and, therefore, provide the perfect playground for everyone. 1-29-1 Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, vrzone-pic.com

J. League_FC Tokyo – Gamba Osaka_027” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by TAKA@P.P.R.S

For Football Fans: Tune Into the J-League

With the average attendance for J-League games nearly hitting 18,000 in 2016, there’s always an awesome atmosphere inside the country’s top football stadiums. Staying indoors because of yet another ill-timed typhoon in Tokyo? Well, in something of a testament to the increased interest in Japanese football, you can now skip the queues and watch the action online: Sports betting in Japan with William Hill now allows you to watch a live stream for each match you place a wager on.

For Anniversary and Birthday Celebrators: Spend Your Special Day at Sanrio Puroland

Wait, before you say, “this is nothing new” … did you know that if you head to the land of Hello Kitty and friends on your birthday or anniversary of any kind, you will be treated to all kinds of lovely surprises? This is a new offering by Sanrio Puroland, introduced this year. Simply head to the 3rd floor information counter to see what’s in store for you.

For Cat Fanatics: Take a Trip to Aoshima or Tashirojima Islands

Although certain Tokyo cat cafés have been attempting a comeback recently, serious feline fans will want something bigger and better than a couple of cats and a latté. For you, there are Japan’s cat islands. Two of the most famous are Aoshima and Tashirojima. The latter is in Tohoku’s Miyagi Prefecture and has only about 100 human inhabitants, and estimates suggest that cats outnumber humans six to one on the island. For those staying overnight, there’s a cool camping site called Manga Island, with cottages shaped like cats. The ferry from Ishinomaki city to Tashirojima island takes about 45 to 60 minutes.

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