Children’s Castle: Omotesando

In the early 2000′s, I wrote a series of pieces about fun things to do and see in Tokyo with children. I had nearly forgotten about them until a woman wrote to thank me for the information in 2012. She was coming to Japan with her kids, she said, and according to her, there was precious little information about what to do with kids in Tokyo. Apparently “Go to Disneyland” isn’t enough. I’d really like to write more about this.


The Children’s Castle looks like any other building on the outside. The inside, however, is another story. Here you’ll find a swimming pool, gymnasium and playrooms for every age bracket. Most tykes migrate to the play hall on the third floor. Slides, rope bridges and plastic tunnels cross the expanse of the room. Large plots of floor space have been set aside for Duplo blocks and “pretend” play, with both house and “yatai” set-ups. And next to the mini-snooker tables (4th grade and above only), there’s even an area designated for paper airplanes, complete with folding instructions, targets and netting to keep the fun contained.

And that’s just one room. The third floor also has a computer room and a craft studio with instructors on hand to help you and your child complete that day’s project (think cloth scraps and glue). One floor up you’ll find a nursing/diaper-changing station, a video library and frequent puppet shows (check the day’s schedule). There’s also a percussion-heavy music room.

Read the full piece HERE.

About Jason Andrew Jenkins

In 1997, Jason left his home near Atlanta for a year abroad. He liked it so much that he never went back. After three years in Taiwan and 13 years in Japan, he and his wife quit their desk jobs in Tokyo, pulled their kids out of local schools and traveled as a family for six years, living in Malaysia, Spain, and Mexico along the way. They returned to Japan — Osaka this time — in the summer of 2019. Jason loves Google Maps, carry-on luggage, and most dishes registering on the Scoville scale.
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