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Apr 7, 2014 12:19 PM

Tokyo help - family of four

I am in the midst of planning a trip to Tokyo for our family of four (children ages 7 and 9) in early June. We will be staying at the Hilton Tokyo in Shinjuku, but are excited to explore. The four of us all enjoy food and the kids are fairly adventurous. They love sushi, but I understand there are many places that do not welcome children. I want our experience to be about enjoying our time and our meals, so want to make sure we choose appropriately. I did my study abroad in Tokyo, so do speak some Japanese, but it is rather ugly as this point as I rarely use it!

I'd love to find some great choices for sushi, tempura, ramen and/or soba, etc. and am very open to direction from fellow chow hounds. We are eager for input for lunches and dinners.

Any favorite places near Tsukiji? I know we will do that one morning.

FYI. We are doing a short trip to Kyoto for two nights, so plan to do kaiseki during that portion of our trip...

Thank your for helping us plan a great trip!

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  1. I love Iwasa sushi near Tsukiji.
    The have a 'kai set' -- all shellfish -- that is my favorite.
    I'm sure you could take the kids there -- it's a hustle-bustle place that gets a bit of a line out the door.

    Here's a map...

    1. There is a chain ramen place called Ippudo. They have tasty draft beer and their food is delicious. Best of all they are kid friendly. We bring our 2 and 4 year old children there no problem. From their website, it looks like there are 16 locations around Tokyo. I would highly recommend them! Hope you have a great trip.


      5 Replies
      1. re: Meginton

        My husband loves Ippudo, but we can get it in NY! Would love to try places we can only get in Japan. Thanks.

        1. re: actarheel

          Shrimp ramen near shinjuku:

          1. re: actarheel

            I would wonder if the Ippudo you have in New York is related to the Ippudo in Japan. Also, even if they are related, I think there would be significant differences in the taste.

            1. re: Tripeler

              They are related, and they do taste different. Ippudo in NYC is okay when you're desperate for some real tonkotsu (well other than the 2 hour wait). But going back to the one in Roppongi, wow, I was surprised at how much better it is in Tokyo.

              1. re: Tripeler

                Same company. There are some differences as the recipes in the U.S. were tailored for what they thought were American tastes. Soups are more balanced and less porky and stinky. Also, they do not have garlic and gari tableside like they do in Tokyo...Still, I would personally recommend skipping Ippudo in Tokyo if you are coming from NYC. Try one of the blended broth shops or the shrimp ramen shop. Hakata style noodles that Ippudo serves are also pretty boring.

          2. Firstly a couple of fun places that won't make any food guides for the quality of food. Genki sushi in shibuya has conveyor belt sushi you order off a screen (in English) that gets delivered Jetson style. The Ninja restaurant in Akasaka is heaps of fun and the food is surprisingly good and creative. Kids can go at 5pm and they also do a small magic show for you.
            For more traditional (and better) food, I would suggest Ukai Tofuya. It has beautiful gardens and private tatami rooms and I am pretty sure you can take kids (at least for lunch). There are also places where my kids like to have tastes (like at Tsukiji which had heaps of market stalls) and the department store. Have fun!