By Mark Ellis
The question has come up again and again. Where does one go to entertain the kids in this giant megalopolis called Tokyo? The most obvious answer to that question is Tokyo Disneyland. The only problem is that Tokyo Disneyland is actually not in Tokyo nor is it convenient, unless you live on the eastern edge of the city. The other problem is that you can only take your kids there once in a while. If you are like most parents, you want a place you can consistently go to that offers a variety of engaging and enriching activities. You also want a place that doesn’t take a heroic effort to visit.
Why not try Kodomo No Shiro (Kid’s Castle)? It is located in Aoyama, which is easily accessible from anywhere in central Tokyo. According to the website, the Castle was built in commemoration of the International Year of the Child in 1979, the Castle officially opened on November 1, 1985. The purpose of the Castle is to offer a place where children can develop healthy, happy, energetic, minds and bodies. To meet these goals, the Castle endeavors to provide artistic, athletic, healthy, inventive, imaginative and cultural opportunities that challenge and encourage the individual potentials in each child.
In the Castle there are several floors where kids can keep themselves busy. On the B2 level there is a sport gym, swimming pool and fitness check room where your children can participate in a variety of athletic activities that have been designed to help them stay fit while they have fun socializing with other children. On the second floor is a gallery that features art and various creative workshops. There is also a family lounge where parents and children can spend quality time together between activities. On the third floor parents and children can participate in a variety of arts and crafts projects or catch a performance in Kodomo No Shiro’s famous circular theater. There is also a wonderful super jungle gym style play room where kids can go to swing, climb, jump, and run themselves into exhaustion. For those kids who are more into modern technology there is also a computer room where guided activities will help them learn important technical skills. The activities are so fun you might not want to tell your children that they are actually learning something.
On the fourth floor of Kodomo No Shiro there is a video library that boasts over 20,000 titles. You could take your kids there to see some of their favorite movies. On the same floor is a music lobby full of an eclectic variety of musical instruments that are waiting to be plucked, banged, and played into life under the guidance of one of the facilities expert instructors. Mini concerts or music games, which your children can sign up for, are held in the music room. There is also a nursing room for breast-feeding moms.
To top it all off you will find a roof garden on the 5th floor where kids can go to ride mini bicycles, run, and play with other children. There is also a medical center there to make sure you are covered in the unfortunate event your child becomes sick or injured while playing at the Castle.
With so much happened every day, Kodomo No Shiro in Aoyama is the perfect place to go if you want to keep your little ones busy and happy. For more information call 03-3797-5677 or visit their website
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