From the concierge: Tokyo with kids

From the concierge: Tokyo with kids

By on February 23rd, 2012

HFWT: You’re the head concierge at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi, and a dad, so obviously in-the-know. Why do you think Tokyo is a great destination for families?

Akhil: First of all, Tokyo feels safe, comfortable and family-friendly. The city presents an interesting juxtaposition of cutting-edge modernity and centuries-old tradition. Because of the efficient public transit system, it’s easy and inexpensive to get around. It’s densely populated, but unbelievably clean. Tokyo is really half a dozen cities grouped together, each one with its own character and attractions. There’s a huge array of cuisine, including the world’s best sushi, of course! You feel that this is a culture that celebrates creativity and imagination.

HFWT: What’s the biggest surprise?
Akhil: Travellers think that language will be a big barrier in communicating, but you would be surprised at the fact that so many people here in Tokyo speak English and that the restaurants have menus in English. Major road signs are in English as well. Strangers are polite, friendly and helpful — even if they don’t speak English. You’ll find service in shops warm and sincere.

HFWT: What’s the attitude towards kids?
Akhil: Kids are welcome everywhere, including at restaurants and in theatres.

HFWT: You have two children: four and eight years old. What do they love to do on a special day out? Any favourites?
Akhil: They love to visit the Disney resort. They have been there many times, but still, it’s their favourite.

HFWT: Any tips to make a Tokyo visit enjoyable and easy-going?
Akhil: Plan ahead. Do the research about the events and places to which you will be going during your stay. Always keep an English language guidebook and Tokyo map with you.

HFWT: How does Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi make children feel at home?
Akhil: We have special welcome gift and souvenirs we give to children and a kids’ food menu, plus an activity book with the details about the places of interest in the city.

HFWT: What do you like about being a concierge?
Akhil: I get to visit many places in the city myself. It gives me great pleasure to share my knowledge. And because I’m multilingual, it also gives me a chance to practice my language skills with the guests from other countries.

HFWT: What are your top picks for fun with the kids?
Akhil: Here’s what I would be sure to do and see:

  • Kizania / Toyosu area  This is a unique family entertainment area for children that mimics a big city. Kids can try out 70 different careers they might want to have when they grow up: policeman, flight attendant, firefighter, chef — to name a few. Uniforms are provided, too.
  • Pokémon Center / Hamamatsucho area The Pokémon Center mixes exclusive merchandise with in-store gaming. There’s everything to do with Pokémon toys and events: rallies, card game classes. You can even battle against the store staff.
  • Ghibli Museum / Mitaka area This is a museum with a playful, maze-like interior featuring the Japanese animation work of Studio Ghibli (“My Neighbor Totoro” and “Kiki’s Delivery Service”).
  • Disney Land / Maihama area Tokyo has two Disney theme parks: Tokyo Disneyland with seven themed areas, including Adventureland, Westernland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland; and Tokyo DisneySea, which takes a nautical theme with seven ports of call — from the jungles of a lost river delta to the underwater mermaid world of Ariel.
  • Kiddyland / Harajuku A toy store with a crazy sense of fun, Kiddy Land has been a Tokyo institution for half a century and always stays on top of what’s hot. It’s got cartoon-character merchandise, plus all kinds of entertainment for toddlers up to teens.
  • Katsura Studio Kids and families dress up like Maiko or Samurai and take home a souvenir photo (check for re-opening info).
  • Railway Museum So many children have a fascination for trains ¬and Tokyo is filled with them. The Railway Museum shows train carriages from the past 150 years. You can ride train simulators and eat a bento box lunch in a dining car.
Post Author
Akhil Tiwari

Akhil Tiwari is chief concierge at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi. Akhil has been living in Japan for almost 8 years and he worked as a concierge at both FS Tokyo properties. He also has children, 3 years old boy and 6 years old girl.

View all posts from Akhil
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1 Response(s) to "From the concierge: Tokyo with kids"
Four Seasons Marunouchi is a Kid Friendly Hotel | Four Seasons Family Blog says:
September 25, 2012 at 6:02 am

[...] *The concierge: Akhil and his staff will help you map out an itinerary that’s perfect for your family. [...]

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    Four Seasons Hotels: @CoyoteCafeNM Thank you for the shoutout! Be sure to also follow @FSSantaFe :)

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    Four Seasons Hotels: @sonalikrishna Thank you for the feedback, Sonali. Our apologies. @FSMumbai will be in touch.

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