Traveling with kids can be very tricky business because not all places adults would love to visit can be kid-friendly or even interesting to little ones. A part of your itinerary should include amusement parks, theme parks, museums for kids, zoos and the list goes on. Luckily, adults also can enjoy these tours and kids absolutely are jam-packed with energy as they explore these fun-filled attractions.
Some parents are more at peace if their kids tag along rather than be left at home with grandparents or relatives. For babies and toddlers, all you need are their strollers and diaper bags filled with everything from food, formula, nappies, extra clothes and some small toys to keep them distracted during long commutes. Kids around 5 years old and up just need their extra change of clothing, some finger food, water and sunscreen in their backpacks and they’ll be ready for a day of seemingly endless exploration.
Japan is a haven for adventures for both kids and adults alike so families would enjoy the numerous attractions that cater to all ages. Especially when you’re in the Kansai region, your kids will never get bored exploring either modern or historical destinations that will surely be not only entertaining but educational as well
Universal Studios Japan, Osaka
It’s been around for 17 years and has been ranked fifth among the top 25 amusement/theme parks in the world according to 2014 Theme Index Global Attraction Attendance Report. It doesn’t only house attractions that are owned by Universal Studios, since you’re in Japan, you get a dose of anime franchises such as Sailor Moon, Sanrio, Neon Genesis Evangelion and a lot more. The most recent addition to the park is the ever popular The Wizarding World of Harry Potter which in itself has attractions that can only be viewed in this park and not in the other Universal Studios parks worldwide.
Kids Plaza, Osaka
This children’s museum is the first ever in Japan and was opened in 1997. Located in Ogimachi, Osaka, this fun museum has different concepts for the third, fourth and fifth floors such as the Let’s Play Floor on the third floor that engages kids in programs that allow them to create things so they will know the joy of doing it, the Let’s Make Floor on the fourth floor is where there’s a Henteko-na-machi, or the “Strange Town” with ladders and steep slides, and the Let’s Try Floor is where kids can create electricity or make their own news program. Other sections of the museum house a creative studio, digital experience plaza, computer studio and a science satellite. After a long day kids are bound to get hungry so you can find great eats at the restaurants down on the basement floor.
Tempozan Harbor Village, Osaka
It showcases the famous Tempozan Ferris Wheel, which was then the tallest ferris wheel in the world when it opened in 1997 and is a 17 minute ride that will enthrall you of the beauty of Osaka Bay, the nearby famous mountains, Mount Ikoma and the Rokko Mountains, the Kansai International Airport and Akashi Kaikyō Bridge. It also is next door to the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan that is another famous landmark the kids would surely love. There are numerous restaurants, shopping areas, entertainment in close proximity as well.
Nara Park, Nara
Also known as Nara Kōen, this park is one of the “Places of Scenic Beauty” designated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and has 1,200 wild sika deer that you’ll see roaming around the area. Including the three shrines of Tōdai-ji, Kōfuku-ji, and Kasuga Shrine, the area of the entire park is around 660 hectares. You can visit shrines, the Nara National Museum, have a sip of tea in a traditional Japanese tea house operating within the grounds, and feed the friendly deer.
Toei Kyoto Studio Park, Kyoto
Especially for those kids who love watching anime and parents who grew up watching Japanese period drama, this studio park would be an awesome experience. You get to visit the film sets, specifically a street in the Edo period where about 200 films are shot per year. There are numerous shows and attractions all year round, some are events for a new anime series or a drama series, others are shown everyday like the samurai and the ninja training classes. These shows are a behind the scenes look at Japan’s entertainment industry. You can also dress up in Edo period attire or ninja or geisha costumes while walking around the park.
Kobe Harborland Umie
Within the grounds of this huge shopping and entertainment district is a ferris wheel and the Anpaman museum that is dedicated to the bread headed superhero in the popular manga and anime series. Parents can accompany the kids in the museum and shop with them right after. It’s the perfect laid back stroll around the score of shops and restaurants that line this area. By the end of the day, you can take a dip in the Manyo Club hot springs located on top of a skyscraper within the vicinity and take in fabulous views of the city.
Kibune and Kurama, Kyoto
You start your tour with a train ride from Demachiyanagi Station to Kuramaguchi station where you’ll be entertained within the 30-minute ride by the breathtaking views going towards these two picturesque villages. Some would prefer walking from Kurama to Kibune passing by historical sites like shrines and temples and others prefer entering the Kibune village first and going towards the temples and shrines of Kurama afterwards.
Hozugawa River Boat Ride, Kyoto
Also known as Hozugawa-kudari, it is a 16 kilometer river ride from Tanba-Kameoka to Arashiyama in Kyoto that is 2 hours long. You’d probably not notice the time anyway due to the surrounding scenery of the rapids that provided for a relaxing short getaway. Kids love adventures in the water so this would also be a memorable experience for them. Furthermore, there are a score of different natural attractions along the way that will surely make the ride worthwhile.
Parents and guardians should always research on or inquire about the details in every itinerary their children will be in. They should be keen on precautionary measures all the time especially when the little ones explore the outdoors whether there be trails that are slippery or too steep so they have to be reminded to take extra care when passing through these places or just skip passing through them altogether. A safe, hassle-free and relaxing adventure isn’t only something adults would love to be in, kids would also love to be able to take it easy, be entertained and absorb every memory and knowledge that they gain out of it as well.