5 Awesome things to do in Japan with kids
Mori Art Museum
6-10-1 Roppongi My guts feel quivery when my kids lean against the glass looking down 35 vertiginous floors, but this is my must-see for lovers of art. Always thought-provoking, this modern space has no permanent collection, just rotating exhibits focusing on modern Asian. Ticket prices also include entry to the SkyDeck.
Visit the famous Shibuya Crossing
It’s clichéd, but you have to do it just for the sensory experience of crossing the world’s most famous intersection. While you’re there, get a photo with Hachiko’s statue, honouring a professor’s famously loyal dog, who continued to wait faithfully for his owner for ten years after his death, at the same time every day at Shibuya Station, and became a hero to Japanese people as a symbol of perseverance and loyalty.
Shopping and Eating in Shimokitazawa
Yazawa Yakiniku, 2-chime-10-12 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo The grooviness has migrated away from Harajuku and can be found in this hipster neighbourhood, where the shopping is fantastic and the food options are limitless. Look out for the best yakiniku barbecue you will ever eat in your life in a cosy, mad place frequented by tourists and locals alike.
It used to be a phenomenon for teens but now everyone clambers into these ¥ 400 (AUD$5) photo booths for a unique and hilarious souvenir. Many have an autoenhance feature that makes your eyes eerily big. Find them everywhere.
Dress up in a kimono in Kyoto
The Gion shop is a 1-minute walk from Kodai-ji Temple Tel: 0755317890 There’s a whole industry around getting dressed up in beautiful kimonos, and for around ¥8000 (AUD$100), you can join in. Look out for long-suffering men dressing up in the ancient male version of the kimono to appease their partners and, remember, if you do get dressed up, only you can bring the elegance and grace that should go with the outfit.
Dee Dee and Anouk dressed in traditional kimono in Kyoto
Left: We queued for 10 mins to pose in front of the famous Hachiko statue