Are you traveling to Kyoto with the kids? Wondering about kid-friendly places and activities? Kyoto is a fantastic destination for children of all ages, from babies to teenagers. Moreover, indoors and outdoors, many fascinating attractions in Kyoto will appease kids and parents alike. And guess what? We’ve prepared an exceptional Kyoto travel itinerary for families that guarantees to keep everyone upbeat on their family escapade.
This is the #1 ranked Kids museum in Kyoto, and it is INTERACTIVE. There’s no better way to kick off a trip to Kyoto with kids than to visit the Kyoto Samurai and Ninja Museum. As you tour the museum, you get a free guided English tour. Plus, it lets you try on some ninja and Samurai clothing and participate in ninja throwing star or swordsmanship lessons.
Kyoto with Kids: Samurai & Ninja Museum + Arashiyama Monkey Park + Arashiyama Bamboo Forest + Kids’ Kimono
2- Arashiyama and Iwatayama Monkey Park and Bamboo Forest
Located near the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, this park is home to over 100 monkeys, also known as the Japanese macaque. These monkeys are native to Japan, and they are the types of monkeys you see in iconic photographs where they are bathing in winter in a hot spring.
Make sure to heed the “don’t stare and touch” warnings inside the park. Opening hours: 09:00 AM to 04:00 PM daily
This place is near Iwatayama Monkey Park. See the surreal and iconic Bamboo Forest in Kyoto with kids in a hassle-free way by taking a guided walking tour. Touring the forest with a guide will give you valuable local insights and tips on the best spots to take a picture. And the best part is that you don’t need to worry about navigating the forest or getting lost.
Don’t forget to wear a pair of comfortable sneakers or walking shoes for this tour. BOOK HERE WITH DISCOUNT
The Nara deer park is next to 2 UNESCO Sites and the world’s oldest pagoda. A perfect destination for families and kids, Nara is less than an hour away from Kyoto and home to many fascinating attractions. However, the main attraction in Nara is the friendly and tamed wild deer roaming freely inside the park.
Buy biscuits that are specially made for deer from any of the vendors within the park to mingle with these friendly creatures. Opening hours: 24 hours a day
4- Kimono Dress up and Kids Tea Ceremony
At 45 minutes long, a quintessential Japanese tea ceremony may not seem ideal and suitable for children. But, this old Japanese tradition is, by far, the best way to teach them the importance of relating to others, turn-taking, and focus. And best of all, it will give them a taste of the Japanese culture when you’re traveling to Kyoto with kids.
Kids can opt to wear another local outfit, such as a ninja costume or a samurai kimono. Opening hours: 09:00 AM to 07:00 PM
Universal Studios of Osaka is, hands down, one of the biggest and most famous theme parks in Japan. Visiting here lets you experience many popular rides and attractions, such as the Winter Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jaws, Spider-Man, and Jurassic Park. Of course, it has plenty to offer to the little ones, with attractions featuring Sesame Street, Elmo, Moppy, and Hello Kitty characters.
Arrive early since tickets for most of the popular park attractions sell out fast.
6- Ninja Experience in Kyoto (Family & Kid Friendly)
Joining a Japanese ninja class with your family and kids is a unique and enriching experience that allows everyone to immerse themselves in the country’s rich cultural heritage. It provides an exciting opportunity to learn about the fascinating world of ninja warriors, their skills, and the historical context surrounding them. Moreover, family participation promotes teamwork, problem-solving, and physical fitness, creating unforgettable memories while enhancing your understanding of Japan’s history and traditions.
This relatively new museum is perfect for adults and kids who are into trains and has plenty of attractions and hands-on activities. There’s a driving simulator and tons of exhibits highlighting the life and history of the railways in Japan.
This is an area close to the Kyoto Station, not the downtown area. Admission is free for kids three years and below, JPY 200 for those above three years old, JPY 500 for teenagers, and JPY 1,200 for adults. Opening hours: 10:00 AM to 05:30 PM from Thursday to Tuesday (Closed on Wednesday)
Established in 2012, this wondrous aquatic museum mainly highlights the marine life endemic to the waterways of Kyoto, even though it also exhibits an array of other saltwater animals. Exhibits for this aquarium include river biomes from Kyoto featuring coral reefs, dolphin shows, penguins, fur seals, and Asian giant salamanders.
Check out the Umekoji Park Playground right next to the aquarium. Admission is free for kids three years old and below, JPY 600 for those over three years old, and JPY 2,050 for adults. Opening hours: 10:00 AM to 06:00 PM daily
9- Samurai Sword Experience for Kids and Families
Have you ever wanted to experience being trained by an absolute Samurai master? Learning the ancient ways of the Japanese katana? You can do that at the Kyoto Samurai and Ninja Museum with the Samurai Experience Sword Lesson for Kids and Families.
Another must-have activity to try with family and kids is learning a Japanese craft or game; a must when traveling to Tokyo or Kyoto. And, at Maikoya, you’ll find a set of cultural games and skills that are FUN and EDUCATIONAL. First, the guides will teach you and the kids the art of Origami, which is a fun way of teaching kids in Japan the importance of time management.
Then, a shodo expert will teach you lessons in Calligraphy. The session will eventually end with Ken-drama, a famous Japanese game ideal for the whole family. To make things even better, you will return home with some wondrous souvenirs.
- Tip: Check out the Meiji Shrine and other excellent cultural attractions after visiting Maikoya.
- Opening hours: 10:00 AM to 07:00 PM daily
11- Hirakata Park
This park is located between Osaka and Kyoto. Sure, this theme park isn’t as popular as Tokyo Disneyland or Universal Studios Japan, but it still can give you a world of fun. Opened in 1912, this theme park has a variety of rides to suit guests of all ages, from small kiddie rides to large coasters. And, since it’s a little underrated, the queues here are short. An excellent option for families with kids who are not tired of waiting in line!
Make sure to check out the animal exhibit that lets you have a close encounter with a range of domestic and wild animals. Opening hours: Operation hours vary
12- Osaka Castle
Osaka Castle, or “Osaka-jo” in Japanese, is undoubtedly one of the most famous landmarks in Japan, and for good reason. This five-story castle is one of the most visually spectacular creations in the country, with a history that dates back almost 450 years. Year-round, travelers from within Japan and abroad make pilgrimages to many of these cultural landmarks to either pay respects, learn about Japanese history, or merely appreciate the stunningly intricate architecture for which Japan is globally renowned.
13- Himeji Castle
Himeji-jo is the finest surviving example of early 17th-century Japanese castle architecture, comprising 83 buildings with highly developed systems of defense and ingenious protection devices dating from the beginning of the Shogun period. It is a masterpiece of construction in wood, combining function with aesthetic appeal, both in its elegant appearance unified by the white plastered earthen walls and in the subtle relationships between the building masses and the multiple roof layers.
Wagashi cooking is a traditional Japanese culinary art that focuses on creating exquisite and visually appealing sweets. These confections are often made from natural, seasonal ingredients and are designed to evoke a sense of harmony with nature and the changing seasons, making them both a treat for the palate and the eyes.
If you like cute and Instagramable food, experience making the lovely traditional Wagashi sweets at MAIKOYA for a memorable experience
Enjoy your vacation in Kyoto with your families and kids. May your journey be filled with serene beauty and cultural wonders!
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