Tokyo Water Science Museum

Top Recommended Tokyo Kids Museums

As moms of six kids aged 3-18 years, we know our Tokyo kids` museums. From history and architecture to science and technology there is a museum listed here for everyone’s interest. Tested by our families to make sure yours will enjoy the day at the museum. Have fun! The below list is listed in alphabetical order.

Top Tokyo Kids Museums

Edo-Tokyo Museum Best Living Japan1. Edo-Tokyo Museum, Ryogoku –  The Edo-Tokyo Museum (江戸東京博物館 Edo Tōkyō Hakubutsukan) in Ryogoku is one of our family’s top picks when visitors come to town. Opened in 1993 the permanent exhibitions include; the life-size replica of the Nihonbashi, which was the bridge leading into Edo, the Nakamuraza theatre, and scale models of towns and buildings from the Edo, Meiji and Shōwa. When you enter from the 6th floor, you immediately cross the beautifully constructed model Nihonbashi Bridge and progress through history to modern day Tokyo. The museum is split into two zones – Edo Zone and Tokyo Zone. After you enter the Edo Zone by walking over the Nihonbashi bridge, you will view exhibits that explain the lifestyle, economics, politics and culture of Edo. The Tokyo Zone starts at the conversion from the Edo Era to the Tokyo Era. The exhibits show the European and American influences that started in the Meiji Era, the Industrial Revolution, Great Kanto earthquake and the effect of WWII and the following reconstruction period. A great museum to spend 1-2 hours viewing, and a good addition to visiting nearby Asakusa Shrine. More details here. 

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2. Edo-Tokyo Open-air Architectural Museum, Koganei –  I highly recommend you visit the Edo-Tokyo Open-air Architectural Museum to see actual homes and businesses from the 1700’s to the early 1900’s preserved in a beautiful park. Unfortunately due to natural disasters, war and redevelopment much of DSC_1979Tokyo historical architecture has been erased, but at the Edo-Tokyo Open-air Architectural Museum you can tour over 30 homes and businesses in their original condition. In 1993, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government established the seven-hector Edo-Tokyo Open-air Architectural Museum. The goal of the museum is to relocate, reconstruct, preserve and exhibit historical buildings of great cultural value. The museum is very hands-on where you will enjoy touring inside and learning the histories of each house and business. The Edo-Tokyo Open-air Architectural Museum has excellent English documentation in the buildings, as well as, the brochure booklet. If you would like to go into each building, plan for 3-4 hours. More details here.

*** Top Tokyo Kids Museums ***
3. Fire Museum, Yotsuya – Take your emergency response vehicle loving kids to the Yotsuya Fire Museum to see fire equipment spanning a period of abofire-museumut 100 years, including an ambulance and helicopter.  Great for ages toddlers to elementary, although older kids will enjoy the history area. Children can wear firemen costumes, ride mini and real fire trucks like a real firefighter and watch miniature toy vehicles put out a fire, your kids will love it. Fire Museum details here.  When in the area also check our the Tokyo Toy Museum.

*** Top Tokyo Kids Museums ***

4. Fukagawa-Edo Museum, Koto-ku – The Fukagawa-Edo Museum (Koto-ku, Tokyo) is a very hands-on gem of a museum in Tokyo to visit for 1-2 hours. The Fukagawa-Edo Museum is a large hall with about 12 Edo-period DSC_0368-200x132houses reconstructed in a village environment. The hall is very compact, and the lighting switches from night to day so you feel you are in a small village. There is a very calm feeling to the museum (good museum if you have a sensitive child).  You can walk freely in and around the houses; each which shows a different view of the “life in Edo”. For more details on the Fukugawa-Edo Museum check here. Also in the neighbourhood is the Contemporary Art Museum and Kiyosumi Gardens and for a quick break Blue Bottle Coffee.

5. Gas Science Museum, Toyosu – ** Closed until September 1, 2021 **A great educational, hands-on and FREE museum in Tokyo. The museum is located in beautiful Tokyo Kids Museumsmodern building right near the LalaPort shopping mall, Toyosu pier and park. Great overview of where gas comes from and how we use it! The museum takes about 60-90 minutes to tour depending on how much Japanese you and your child can read, and also how much they want to play at the exhibits. All details here. 

*** Top Tokyo Kids Museums ***

376x330xtop_geocosmos.jpg.pagespeed.ic.HRyP8NyeHu6. Miraikan, Odaiba – Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation – If you, or your child, love science than the Miraikan in Odaiba is a great place to spend a half day. The official name is The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. Great interactive exhibits about the universe, solar system, robotics and the human body today and future. The Ideal age for the permanent exhibit is age 6 and up (my two-year-old would have been very bored). The special exhibits are for ages from 3 and up, but age 6 and up would be better. All details here. 

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7. National Museum of Nature and Science, Ueno – The newly renovated National Museum of Science and Nature, Tokyo, BestLivingJapan(completed July 2015) National Museum of Nature and Science is a great place to slow down, have fun and learn! I was very impressed with the renovations in the permanent exhibit area that include the animal, dinosaur and science and technology areas. Here is a short video that will give you a taste of what you can experience. There is also a great special exhibit running through June 12, 2016, titled Dinosaur Expo. Note: Buying a ticket to the special Dinosaur Expo gives you access to the permanent exhibit. Plan to spend 2-3 hours in the museum. You can also have coffee or a meal at two restaurants in the museum. The one negative of the museum is that there is limited English. Some major exhibits signs have overview English explanations, but the detail signs do not. Hopefully, they are working on making the museum more foreigner friendly soon. All details here. 


DSC_1891-600x3378.The Shitamachi Museum, Ueno – The Shitamachi Museum in Ueno was established in 1980 to teach future generations about the culture of the shitamachi. The word shitamachi is composed of the word shita meaning “down” and machi meaning “town”. By touring the Shitamachi Museum, you will gain an understanding of life in the shitamchi pre-WWII. The Shitamachi Museum has many hands on exhibits including old Japan toys, a public bath stand and old living room. Kids and Adults will enjoy! Plan for 30-60 mins. Details here. 

9. Tokyo Toy Museum, Yotsuya – Tokyo Toy Museum (TTM) is called a museum, but in reality it is a hands-on, play all you want center for babies and up. The toys are all analog toys mostly made from wood, and original Japanese DSC_16301-600x400toys. There are age appropriate rooms throughout the facility to keep you and your kids busy for a few hours.   I was so impressed how the organizers retro-fitted an old elementary school into a hands on museum and play center out of an old elementary school. The Tokyo Toy Museum is best for ages 1-5, but older kids will also enjoy the old selection of Japanese toys. Going forward The Tokyo Toy Museum will be one of our top rainy or cold day play spots. More details here. 

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Tokyo Kids Museums Tokyo Water Science Museum10. Tokyo Water Science Museum, Ariake – The Tokyo Water Science Museum is a free, hands-on museum great for kindergarten age and up. There is water play on the first floor, interactive digital games that teaches kids how water enters and leaves our bodies and Aqua laboratory that teaches one about the many wonders of water on the 2nd floor, a water theater and forest space to teach one about forest conservation and the flow of water from the forest to your tap and a tour of the Ariake water facility on the B1 level.The museum takes about 60 – 90 minutes to tour depending on how much Japanese you can read and how much time the kids want to spend at the exhibits. More details here –>

Tokyo Kids Museums Panasonic Center Tokyo11. Panasonic Center Tokyo – The Panasonic Center Tokyo is an engaging Science and Mathematics Center with 3 floors of hands-on fun – great for kids aged 6 years and up. Choose from a variety of activities in the RiSuPia Discovery Field covering topics such as angles, pendulums, optics and color, waves and magnetism or take a seat in the Magical performance theater; a 15 minute 3D interactive theater with informational shows every 20 min. Visit the RiSuPia museum (2nd fl) that challenges all five senses teaching one about space and gravity using the principles of science and mathematics or try out new games on the Nintendo Switch or the New Nintendo 3DS LL. Explanations Tokyo Kids Museums - Panasonic Center Tokyofor each museum activity are written in English, Japanese and Chinese. Or learn all about the upcoming Olympics and Paralympic Games. More Details here –>


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12. The Science Museum Tokyo – The Science Museum Tokyo is ideal for tweens and teens with hands-on learning covering topics from mechanics, CO2 and global warming to robotics. Younger kids can enjoy some of the exhibits, but most of the concepts they will The Science Museum Tokyonot understand. Although much of the exhibits signage is in Japanese you can ask to borrow a 25 page English Guidance Booklet which explains what each exhibit is and how to use it. There is a real mix of exhibits from cutting edge and easy to understand to a slightly outdated and very complex. However, the museum staff is very friendly and many will try to explain to you in English if approached. Great science museum for tweens and teens in Tokyo. More details.

Top Tokyo Kids Museums

Other more niche museums that we enjoyed include the

Salt and Tobacco Museum (Sumida, Tokyo)

The Sumida Incineration Plant (Sumida, Tokyo)

The Drum Museum (Taito-ku, Tokyo)

The Origami Museum (Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo)

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