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Nov 3, 2012 09:06 AM

Family friendly restaurants in Tokyo

Hi all

We are bringing our kids aged 3 and 7 to Tokyo this December and will be staying in Ginza and Shinjuku.

I've realised many restaurants do not allow children or do not have a children's menu.

Does anyone have any recommendations for michelin-starred or equivalent restaurants that are family friendly and/or offer a children's menu/a la carte orders (more so for the 3-year-old). Children have not acquired the taste of sashimi or anything raw for that matter. We are big fans of wagyu.

I'm open to any restaurants falling in the following categories:
1. Japanese
2. Sushi
2. Tempura (i'm calling Kondo / Yokota to check tomorrow)
3. Italian

For casual meals I've shortlisted the following joints:
1. Jojoen - yakiniku
2. Seryna - sukiyaki
3. Maisen / Tonki - Tonkatsu
4.Kyorakutei - Soba
5. Uoshin - izakaya
6. Birdland - Yakitori (any other recommendations near Ginza/Shinjuku?)

I'm glad I've gotten my booking at Aronia when we get a night out without the kids so at least we pack in one good meal!

Thanks in advance. Any advice is much appreciated.


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  1. In my opinion, counter style will be difficult with childs of 3 and 7. So better search for restaurant who have tables. The Italian Il Bulgari does have a separate room, and lunch first price is at 5000yens, pretty good pasta. Tempura Mikawa's main branch in Monzen Nakacho also. As for Yakitori, the only place with table I know is Menchou in Marunouchi, but with the reopening of the Tokyo station,  reservation come with a 2 hours limit. The menu is half French half Japanese (Yakitori, vegetables, ...). Ask for the table on the right side, separate from the others..

    1. Uoshin shops are smoky places filled with the after work drinking crowd, so I'm not sure if they are a great option with young kids. I visit Uoshin often, and haven't seen children dining at any of their branches... I'm not saying you couldn't though.
      I would recommend you go to one of the better chain izakaya, like En, which are more family friendly and usually have a picture menu (something I'm sure the kids will appreciate) or English menu for visitors. You can also reserve a private room/booth at larger izakayas, which would be less smokey and give the kids a space where they can play without fear of disturbing other people.

      1. Thank you for your recommendations!

        1. I know that Seryna has private rooms you can book. Jojoen probably does too. Most upscale yakiniku/shabu shabu/ sukiyaki places usually do...I have heard that Miyakozushi in Nihonbashi has some table seating. I'm not sure if it has Michelin stars but it is one of the top rated places on Tabelog. Probably better to book for lunch with kids. I would inform the restaurant as well.

          1. Been a while since we were with daughter in Tokyo. Now we use for restaurant recs and maps, they also have sister site " where in tokyo" for sightseeing that has kid section
            You can search non smoking places.
            If you get the urge for western I'd recommend "bills", australian chef with all day breakfast focus. Also "Homework" in Azabu for burger fix
            A strategy we used was to load up in the dept store food floors with bentos and various regional dishes to have picnics. In Dec that may be hard.
            The food floors in those stores and other multi use buildings have multiple establishments, are easy to access and you can see the kid friendly ones with the cuisine you want
            Have a great time!

            3 Replies
            1. re: Smoothiemeister

              Most restaurants only allow kids above 10 years of age. It's probably much easier looking for a baby-sitter, although that's half the fun gone with the kids missing out on the fine dining experience.
              Thank you all for your advice!

              1. re: travellingday

                Think of it as a zero-sum game. Your loss of the fun of having your kids dine with you will be a gain in the eating experience of the other diners. As for your specific questions, I would forget Yokota. I was there last week, and we were having a chat with the boss about the fact that my dining companion did not bring his wife because she was in the hospital after giving birth, and the boss said (and I quote) "next time find a babysitter and bring your wife along!". Same with Kondo, it is a small quiet counter, very monastic experience, not for children.

                1. re: Uncle Yabai

                  Hah Hah! Very well put Uncle Yabai, I was thinking along the same lines but couldn't turn the phrase like you have.
                  I'd encourage the OP to not limit themselves to "name brand" places. The sheer volume of eateries in Tokyo is astounding, none of them in English guidebooks or web sites, and walking the streets two blocks over and one down from the centers you will pass uncrowded options where you could get a very decent meal and be feted like special guests. I'd say the quality of food is higher than a lot of cities and while a bad meal is possible, even the Lawsons quick bites are usually fresher and more appetizing than some Japanese restaurants in the US. Also our family enjoyed the Eating in Japan Illustrated Guide by JTB.
                  Great for children and adults.