Kyoto is one of the best cities to explore with kids. It’s a beautiful and unique city full of museums, fun markets, lively streets, and hands-on experiences. You’ll find exciting experience around every corner! Our recommendations include great activities for young kids and teens. Paired with our Kyoto Itinerary, these kid/teen-friendly activities will make for a truly unforgettable family adventure.
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The Kyoto Railway Museum was recently opened in 2016, and is a great place for kids and adults alike. Located 20 mins west from Kyoto Station, this interesting museum covers 3 floors, showcasing 53 trains. Take time to learn about the evolution of trains: from early steam locomotives to the modern Shinkansen (bullet train). Then, check out a large diorama of a model railway and many interactive exhibits. Visitors can also have a go at driving a train simulator and sit in the driver’s seat of a genuine Shinkansen! On the second floor, there’s a restaurant and an observation deck with great views of trains running on the Kyoto Line. The Railway Museum is a fun and interactive day out for the whole family.
Location: Kankijicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8835
Hours: 10am-5:30pm (closed Wednesdays)
- Touching the trains is encouraged, so feel free to get up close and personal with these incredible machines!
- Last entry is 5pm.
ARASHIYAMA & The Iwatayama Monkey Park
Arashiyama is one of the most popular spots in all of Kyoto. First, we highly recommend this as an early morning activity in order to beat the crowds. For a 500 yen entrance fee, enjoy the Bamboo Grove within Arashiyama, which is an easily-accessible trail that weaves through the huge bamboo trees. Once you reach the end of the bamboo trail, you can continue south into Arashiyama Park. The Park is also a good place to chill, or enjoy a picnic. There are picnic benches for lunch and also a big play area.
After your stroll, explore the Iwatayama Monkey Park, also located in the Arshiyama area. Over 120 snow monkeys (also known as the Japanese macaque) live freely in the Park and it’s a great chance to get up close and personal with them! But remember, the monkeys are wild animals and visitors are strongly warned to not stare at the animals or touch them. From a safe and enclosed area, tourists can buy apple chunks to give the monkeys.
Location: 61 Arashiyama Nakaoshitacho, Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-0004
- The climb to the top of the mountain for the Monkey Park is a 565 foot climb and takes about 20 mins. So, we recommend wearing comfortable walking shoes for the hike!
- Only feed the monkeys with designated food within the Park.
Ever wanted to become a samurai or ninja? If so, the Kyoto Samurai & Ninja Museum is a great place for kids and adults to step into this unique role! Visitors can wear ninja outfits, hold swords and immerse themselves in this aspect of Japanese history.
Historically, samurai observed a strict code of honor and rules. But Ninja had no such code and used a variety of skills including espionage, guerrilla warfare and even assassinations to complete their tasks. The museum guides are knowledgeable, friendly and speak English. There are also different tour experience packages, which vary in price.
Location: Teramachi Utanokoji building 2F, 292, Higashidaimonjicho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, 〒604-8043
- Shoes cannot be worn inside the museum. Therefore, it’s best to bring socks!
- We recommend purchasing tickets and tour packages online.
- There are also packages exclusively for adults, sword experiences, walking tours, tea ceremonies and a whole lot more!
The Kyoto Aquarium was opened in 2012 and is a great place to visit for kids who love marine life. The modern building is spread across two floors and split into nine different aquatic zones. Marine life in the aquarium include dolphins, penguins, seals, and various fish. You’ll also find exhibits with crustaceans and the giant Japanese salamander! Within the Aquarium building, there’s also a cafe, gift shop, and baby nursing facilities.
Location: 35-1 Kankijicho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8835, Kyoto Prefecture
|GENERAL ADMISSION||2,050 yen||1,550 yen||1,000 yen|
|ANNUAL PASS||4,100 yen||3,100 yen||2,000 yen|
- Opening hours are subject to change during Golden Week, holiday periods and New Year.
- If you’re in the area for a while and think you’ll visit the Aquarium more than once, you can buy an annual pass, which is the cost of two tickets.
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