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Not all of Tokyo’s myriad activities and attractions are reserved for adults only. There are some great adventure and theme parks on the outskirts of the central prefectures as well as child-oriented museums. Izu Peninsula and beaches like the perennial favourite of Iwachi are a delight for young and old alike during the summer months.
The Rainbow Bridge crosses Tokyo Bay to Odaiba and is a picturesque trip in its own right. Yurikamome driverless train services running between Shimbashi and Toyosu are the most convenient travel choice. Japan’s own Statue of Liberty on Odaiba waits to greet visitors. Tokyo Leisureland is an Odaiba facility featuring video gaming and a tenpin bowling alley. The big-wheel at Odaiba is 100 metres high and provides stunning views.
Odaiba’s museums are all child friendly and the Trick Art Museum always gets lots of oohs and aahs as youngsters get down to business with its imagery and surreal illusions. The National Science and Maritime are the other museums here. The latter was designed to look like a ship and is packed with boats and sea related exhibits and artefacts. A pool with radio-controlled model boats is like a magnet for children.
Inage Seaside Park in Chiba opens during July and August and is a huge lido complex with 13 different pools. It has a wave pool, a toddlers’ pool, slides and plenty of spots to sunbathe or relax and enjoy hot summer days. Funabashi Seaside Park offers similar amenities in a location just along the Bayshore from the two Disney Parks.
Disneyland creates the authentic Disney experience available at its other parks around the world. Youngsters get to interact with Mickey, Goofy, Alice and all the other characters that feature in Disney’s films. Shows like Hippity-Hoppity Springtime enhance the experience. The Jungle Cruise, playtime in the Swiss Family Treehouse and plentiful other attractions are guaranteed to generate treasured memories for the children.
Tokyo DisneySea takes visitors on a voyage of fun, thrills and terror with seven themed nautical zones. Highlights are numerous and it is no easy task to pinpoint the most popular. The cats of The Little Mermaid inhabit the Mermaid Lagoon. Adventure seekers can join Indiana Jones in the Lost River Delta and hunt for the Temple of the Crystal Skull. Mysterious Island hosts the rides 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
In Shinjuku, the Samurai Museum is dedicated to those valiant warriors of yesteryear. Samurai swords, suits of armour and protective helmets are the chief highlights. An optional extra which children love is to don a helmet or sengoku armour and have a photograph taken.