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Rainy Season 101 (by Bethan Hutton)

All Articles
Accommodation Tips
Asakusa Day Trip
Asukayama Park
Beijing With Kids
Dad's Day - Yoyogi Park
Dad's Zone: Baseball
Dad's Zone: Driving Range
Day Trip: Edo-Tokyo
Day Trip: Jindaiji Temple
Day Trip: Kappa-bashi Dori
Day Trip: Kawagoe
Day Trip: Kodomo-No-Kuni
Day Trip: Sanrio Puroland
Day Trip: Tama Zoo
Day Trip: Yomiuriland
Drop in Center
Fantasy Kids Resort
Gyosen Koen
Horse Riding in Mongolia
Huis Ten Bosch
Ice Skating
Ice Skating
Kasai Rinkai Park
Komatsuzawa Leisure Farm
Maritime Museum
Mount Tsukuba
Muscle Park
National Science Museum
Organic Food Market
Park: Baji Kouen
Park: Fuchu no Mori Kouen
Park: Himonya Koen
Park: Inokashira Koen
Park: Jidouyuen
Park: Junk Park
Park: Nogawa Koen
Park: Senzoke-Ike Koen
Park: Setagaya Park
Park: Shizen Kyoikuen
Park: Taiya-Koen
RS101: Kid-O-Kid Borne Lund
RS101: Kodomo No Shiro
RS101: Meguro Gajoen Hotel
RS101: Rainy Season 101
RS101: Spa Resort Hawaiian
Sakate Park
Tokyo Aquariums
Tokyo For Trainspotters
Winter Illuminations
Winter in Japan
Yokohama: Golf
Yotsuya Fire Museum

Denryoku-kan (Electric Power Museum)

The recently refurbished Denryokukan is run by Tokyo Electric Power, and aims to educate children about electricity while they have fun at the same time.  The 5th floor has most of the things children will be interested in. There are also display floors with futuristic all-electric kitchens and bathrooms, cooking demonstrations and so on.

Entry is free, and the museum is handily located in Shibuya, just up the road from Tower Records.

Closed Wednesdays, except when Wednesday is a holiday.

1-12-10 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0041. Tel. 03-3477-1191

Closest station Shibuya on the Hanzomon and Ginza subway lines, JR Yamanote Line, Keio Inokashira line and Tokyu Toyoko line.

(NB this is an old website so the actual exhibits have changed, but the directions on how to get to the museum are still valid.)

Edo Tokyo Museum

This is a huge museum in a strange looking building next to the Sumo stadium in Ryogoku. It aims to show how Tokyo grew from a small town to today's metropolis, and demonstrate the unique Edo lifestyle. Inside you will find full-size replicas of the original Nihonbashi (Bridge of Japan) and famous Edo-era buildings. Children enjoy playing in the mock-up of a mid-20th century Japanese house, and watching the underfloor moving displays of Meiji-period life.

Closest station Ryogoku on the Oedo subway line or JR Sobu line. Museum parking is reserved for disabled visitors except when not crowded, but there is other short-term parking in the area. The museum has several cafes and rest areas where you can eat your own food.

 1-4-1 Yokoami, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 130-0015  Tel 03-3626-9974

Fire Museum

This museum is in a building housing a working fire station. Over several levels you can see how the Tokyo fire brigade developed from early Edo period groups which put out fires by demolishing the wooden buildings, to today's modern fire service. There are lots of buttons to press, and ancient and modern fire trucks to look at, but sadly not to climb on, although you can get inside the helicopter on the roof. You can also dress up in a fire fighter's uniform to have your photo taken. Some (but not all) of the exhibits are labelled in English.

Entry to the museum is free, and it is right on top of Yotsuya-Sanchome station on the Marunouchi line. 

Open 9.30-5pm, closed Mondays except when Monday is a holiday. Free! No cafe, but there is a room with tables and drink vending machines where you can eat a packed lunch. There are also tables on the roof terrace, and the surrounding area of Yotsuya has plenty of small restaurants and convenience stores.

Shobo Hakubutsukan, Yotsuya 3-10, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo. Tel: 03-3353-9119

Fukagawa Edo Museum

 If your children are interested in what life was really like in old Japan, try this place. It has a full-scale mock up of an old Edo street, and you can wander in and out of the shops and buildings, looking at (and touching) all the things people used in their daily lives. There's a great garden across the street (if it's not raining).

Fukagawa Edo Shiryokan, 1-3-28 Shirakawa, Koto-ku, Tokyo. Tel: 03-3630-8625. Open 10am to 5pm daily. Closed second and fourth Monday of the month.

Closest stations Kiyosumi Shirakawa on the Oedo line, or Kiyosumi on the Hanzomon line.

Miraikan: (National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation)

 This museum is mainly good for older children (age 8 and up) but there is enough running around space and buttons to press to keep younger brothers and sisters happy too. This museum has strong links with the Japanese space program and the astronauts who have flown missions with NASA, so a particular attraction is the training module for the space station. Just how do astronauts take a shower or use the toilet in space? The museum covers a multitude of science themes, from deep sea to space, and magnetic levitation trains to the human genome.

Open 10am to 5pm, closed Tuesdays (except during Japanese school vacations). Adults Y500, children aged 6 to 18, Y200.

Closest stations Telecom Center on the Yurikamome Monorail, or Tokyo Teleport station on the Rinkai line. Parking available.

Museum of Maritime Science

A waterside, literally ship-shape museum with everything you could want to know about the history of shipping, boat building and so on. In the summer, there is a popular outdoor swimming pool in the complex. And in fine weather, the park next door is a good place for a packed lunch and a play on the wooden climbing ship. There is also as a popular pool/fountain for kids to splash around in hot weather.

Easily combined with one of the other museums (Sony ExploraScience, Miraikan) or other attractions in the Odaiba area.

Closest station Funenokagakukan on the Yurikamome monorail. Parking available.

Open every day (except over the New Year period) from 10am to 5pm (6pm in summer).

Sony ExploraScience

This is a great hands-on science and technology experience for kids, from optical illusions to computer-generated dogs. There are two main zones, and depending on the age of your children, you could spend an hour or two in each. English labelling is reasonably thorough.

ExploraScience is in Odaiba, in the Mediage building between Decks and Aqua City. The closest station is Odaiba Kaihin Koen on the Yurikamome monorail line, and there is plenty of parking in the area (can get busy at weekends).

Subway Museum (Chikatetsu Hakubutsukan)

After the impending closure of the Transportation Museum (May 16th), this will be the best place to take train-mad small boys in the Tokyo area. The museum was completely rebuilt a few years ago and has a wealth of push-button, hands-on displays on the history (and future) of Tokyo's subway system.

Underneath Kasai station on the Tozai subway line.

Open 10am-5pm. Closed Mondays, except when Monday is a holiday. Costs Y210 for adults, Y100 for children over age 4.

Chikatetsu Hakubutsukan, Higashi Kasai 6-3-1, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo 134-0084

Tel 03-3878-5011