Today I took my son and his friends to the Tokyo Toy Museum in Yotsuya (near Yotsuya-sanchome station on the Marunochi Line) as there was a free seminar to play Foosball (table soccer) taught by professional table soccer players from the Japan team.
It was lots of fun and a great deal as it wound up being a full day of fun. The kids didn't want to leave!!
I was quite surprised by the Tokyo Toy Museum as it just isn't a toy museum but it is a place filled with three floors of playrooms, museums, a store, classrooms and a romp room for very small children. Not only that, the entire museum used to be an elementary school so there is a wonderful outdoor play area with jungle gyms, swings, climbing bars and tons of other outdoor activities for kids to do!
Entry fee was ¥1,000 for one adult and one child and that low price allowed one to stay and play all of the games and activities all day without any other catches! Where in Tokyo could you take your kids and allow them to run around and have fun and play games all day for ¥1,000? Nowhere excepting the Tokyo Toy Museum.
I think this is an awesome find in Tokyo for parents with kids up to about 10-years-old. It is just perfect if your children are between 4 ~ 9 years old. Not only are there countless things to do and play in the museum, there's also classrooms where teachers teach the kids and their moms and dads all sorts of crafts and how to make art and toys.
They have all sorts of events at the Tokyo Toy Museum. Today, professionals were teaching and playing table soccer for free to the kids!
The Tokyo Toy Museum's brochure says: "The fantastic world of toys awaits you inside this former school building! After closing of an old elementary school, the facility was reborn as the Tokyo Toy Museum. There are many ways to enjoy this unique museum. You may prefer to play with toys, join workshops, enjoy exhibitions, or just walk around. You will meet with toys, new friends and lots of wonders you have never seen! Tokyo Toy Museum is called the "Toy Communication Museum."
Look for this banner outside on the street
Tons of antique toys. I drooled over these old cars! There were lots of them too!
From the brochure: Tokyo Toy Museum enables you to experience various analogue toys. You may touch and play with them as you llke. In the old classrooms and hallways, where Japanese children once learned and played, a lot of fun toys are waiting for you! How you choose to enjoy is up to you. Analogue toys develop your ability of thought and invention.
Many rare old toys on display
From the brochure: Toys are not only for playing but for creating. In the room called Toy Factory, you will find many handmade toys on display. You can join a workshop and make your original toy. A toy conceived and created by you alone is very special; it is the only one in the world!
Two crafts and games classes were going on when I was there...
A "pull toy" from the 1950s
From the brochure: Communication is also an important theme of the Tokyo Toy Museum. You will meet our friendly museum attendants wearing red aprons who will guide you through the wonderful world of toys. Their task is to help you and share your excitement as you talk build and play together.
The Tokyo Toy Museum is operated by the Non-Profit Organization (NPO) Japan Good Toy Association. The facilities are the remains of the old Yotsuya Daiyon elementary school building, which was built in 1935.
The NPO's policy is to promote three things:
1) friendship among different generations
2) partnership in the social community
3) family communication
Lots of open space for kids to run around and play outside too!
And analogue toys from all over the world!
Tokyo Toy Museum
Yotsuya Hiroba, 4-20 Yotsuya, Sinjuku-ku,
Tokyo, Japan 160-0004
Hours: 10:00 - 16:00 (last admission at 15:30)
Children: ¥500 (age 3 & above to junior high school)
Child + adult pair ticket: ¥1,000
Under 2: free
Group discounts available
Access: 7 minutes walk from Yotsuya-sanchome Station (Marunochi subway line), 8 minutes walk from Akebonobashi Station (Shinjuku subway line)
Oh, and here's a map: