If your kids love coin operated rides(Ueno zoo and Keio mall, Tokyo)


October 30, 2013 by Terumi

rooftop playground keio sky garden

When we first found this rooftop playground in Tokyo a couple years ago the boys’ eyes lit up like firecrackers and if we had enough 100 yen coins we could have entertained them for hours.  Of course we looked for more magic of this sort when we returned.  And we found a few fabulous ones.  A really neat playground exists on the roof of Keio mall in Shinjuku, the Keio Sky Garden.

keio sky garden
rooftop playground keio sky garden
All the rides were about 200-300 yen.   The kids were thrilled with the mini trains (there was a Thomas and a Shinkansen)
thomas train ride tokyo
and the drive-your-own buses that they raced across the roof.
rooftop playground tokyo at keio sky garden
The hubby and I were thankful we found yummy ice cream here.  We are totally addicted to Japanese ice cream sandwiches-the cookie on these sandwiches is more like a cake cone than a cookie and they are often only about 100 yen making it a pretty reasonably-priced snack.
keio sky garden shinjuku
The guys were also entertained by the little pet store that was on the roof too.
keio sky garden shinjuku
Another ride park we found was near Ueno Zoo and because we love zoos anyways we decided to check it out as well.
ueno zoo
Ueno zoo is Japan’s oldest zoo and it feels a little outdated in parts-some animals need a lot more room and there are some exhibits that are very cagey.  But it looks like they are working on things; the polar bear exhibit was being worked on when we were there and the guys appreciated some innovative touches in exhibits that we’ve never seen before.  There was a glass box enclosure that jutted out from the otter exhibit that the otters could swim in
Ueno zoo with kids in Japan near Tokyo
and an underfoot walkway where they could peer in and see someone’s flippers.
ueno zoo with kids near japan
ueno zoo lineup
The monorail ride to the other side of the zoo was also a big hit (This was a few hundred yen extra each way but very worth it because they still talk about it). But because there is only one I can imagine sometimes the wait gets excruciatingly long because there were many field trippers at the zoo the day we visited and even though we tried to time ourselves against the flow we once had to wait for two trains before we could get on.
monorail at ueno zoo
water fountain/hand wash station at ueno zoo
The guys had fun playing in the water washing their hands at little stands that served as both drinking fountains and wash stations near the food areas. (I wish we had more of these type of thing in Seattle.)  There were many people just sitting around the hundreds of tables at this zoo and it seemed eating was a big part of the zoo experience.  Of course we joined in. The hubby heard that the soft ice cream was something you should try and it was really delicious.  I enjoyed my matcha gelato.
ice cream at ueno zoo
I also thought this panda bento was adorable.
panda bento at ueno zoo
And when it came time to find the rides we found them just outside the zoo entrance so it’s not necessary to go to the zoo in order to enjoy the rides.  They were about 100-200 yen and it was a fabulous way to end a day of walking in the heat.
ueno zoo rides for kids
rides for kids at ueno zoo
rides for kids at ueno zoo
ueno zoo rides for kids
food vendor at ueno zoo rides


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