Shopping List for Kids in Japan
A Hidden Gem in the City for all generations!
Tokyo is full of hidden gems. I wanted to bring my 2-year-old son, Junya, to Tokyo’s largest indoor theme park, Asobono, and let him play to his heart content for the whole day, but it was closed for renovation during our trip. I did some research and found an interesting new place called the Tokyo Toy Museum located in Yotsuya, Shinjuku-Ku (nearest train stations are Yotsuya-Sanchome station and Akebonobashi Station). If you like walking, you can walk from Isetan Shinjuku!
I was very surprised to find that it was formerly an elementary school built before WW2. The Tokyo Toy Museum is run by the Non-Profit Organization Japan Good Toy Association (awesome!!), and its objective is to promote friendship among the different generations and family communication.
Upon entering the museum, I was overwhelmed with nostalgia, with the thousands of toy displays from all over the world ranging from both vintage toys from the older generations to innovative modern artisan wooden toys
We have many good old analog toys here. It should be a hit and super nostalgic for our parent’s generation!
The museum also displays some of the toy creations from the school children, which reminded me that I did all these when I was young too… it brings back good memories.
In the museum, you will find that there are many different rooms, which I assume were different classrooms for the students, cleverly converted into spaces for different themes. My favorite is the Wooden Baby Room.
One would imagine a baby toy room to have splashes of sweet pastel colors with lots of cute fluffy stuffed toys and colorful paintings of adorable little animals. But this wooden Baby Room is one of the most amazing baby toy rooms of minimalistic beauty.
Everything in this room is made of wood, cloth and other natural elements and is meant for babies aged 0-2. The huge sofa looking-like chair in the middle is actually a wooden slide!
I absolutely loved the whole ambience. It is not only bright and cozy but has a very soothing scent of cypress. I can imagine all the nature, organic lover parents falling in love with this place.
One may also think that wooden toys have to be boring. Maybe great for teething babies but how would modern, digital savvy two-year-olds find some wooden figurines that cannot talk nor sing “Wheels on the Bus” interesting nowadays? .. as probably it has only a fixed number of ways to play with and the kids may get bored after maybe 10 seconds.
I was quite surprised to find that most toys here are really creative and fun. Junya loved this loading truck toy. Every time you insert the truck into the loading tower, a block falls down automatically! Even I got really engrossed and amazed with some of these toys. Kudos to Good Toy Association, I appreciate all the effort to bring to us such great toy designs!
There is also the Wood Toy Forest, another room for slightly older kids.
The floor is made of cypress lumber coming from the mountains of Kyushu. It also has a lot of educational toys on the different types of wood (I can see how Japanese are really big fans of their woods). There is also huge Wood Ball Pool filled with wooden balls, where little children can take a wood bath!
And lastly when you are hungry, feel free to go to the wooden kitchen and make yourself some wooden sushi.
This place is wonderful! There is a Toy Factory where the kids can create their own unique, age-appropriate toys. Older kids can enjoy the Toy Square Yellow, a world of scientific discovery and invention. Adults, and even the senior can enjoy the Toy Square Red, with lots of Japanese traditional toys from the Showa period.
I am really glad to have discovered this place and will definitely go back again. To think that the Gen Alpha kids nowadays are so plugged-in, completely immersed in their digital toys. (Sometimes I am guilty too as I give my iPhone to Junya to play just to buy a few minutes for myself to attend to urgent work stuff). It is really nice to go back to basic sometime. No shutting your kids up with annoying blasting of nursery rhymes on YouTube. No overly noisy sing-a-song or talk-back stuffed animals. Here you can have value time real communication!
Hours: 10:00-16:00 (Closed on Thursday)
Tickets: Adults ¥800, Children ¥500, Child+Adult pair ticket ¥1200
Very reasonably pricing!
A must visit place if you are in Tokyo with your kids!
JNTO related URL:
- Transportation facilities
Yotsuya Square, 4-20 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, 160-0004
Blogger of Cheeserland.com and PokeMOM to @cheesiepetit.
Started blogging since 2004.
Featured in NHK Tokyo Kawaii TV as Malaysia’s charisma blogger in 2011, twice.