One of the things that I found challenging when I first arrived was to find places to take the children to where they could have fun, learn new things and experience this amazing country. I have decided that I will write a review of the places that we visit so to encourage others to experience this country with kids in tow!
It felt in mid-March that Spring was taking a while to show up, so Toddler Trips headed out to the Tokyo Toy Museum, where we could be indoors from the cold.
The name is a bit deceptive as it isn’t a museum, like we Westerners know museums. Yes, they have some toys on display, but the whole feel of the place was that of a place where children can play with beneficial (ie aiding development) toys.
It is located in a former school, on a side street about 7 minutes walk from Exit 2 (the elevator exit) of Yotsuya Sanchome station. The rooms are former classrooms and are dedicated to various types of toys.
Our first stop was the Good Toy Gallery. This room houses toys that have been accredited as effective in assisting children’s development. There is a doughnut table in the middle with a selection of these toys and our little group had no qualms about trying them out. J and a friend thoroughly enjoyed a ball helter skelter toy.
The Wood Toy Forest was our next stop. This was spectacular! Everything was made out of wood. Wooden ball pits to play in, a tree house, bead pit to rake (Zen Garden style- though ours rather enjoyed picking up and throwing them!)- all beautifully made.
Toy Square Red was another room where we lost the children for a while as they disappeared a mini tatami room and played tea parties- Japanese Style. This room is primarily focused on traditional Japanese toys.
Unfortunately time constraints meant we didn’t really explore all the rooms or try out the activities that are offered in the Toy Factory, but it was a great morning out.
The museum was a big hit with our group from the 13 month old to the nearly 4 year old. I think my girls (ages 7 & 9) would enjoy it- but not as much as my son did, or for as long. That said, I never visited the Games Salon and I’m sure they would happily have stayed in there playing table top football, Catch the Lion or one of the Chinese puzzles.
A lovely morning, enjoyed by all and one I’d highly recommend.
Address: Yotsuya Hiroba, 4-20 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku,Tokyo 160-0004.