Tokyo parks get crowded. On weekends (especially if you have more than one small child) your kids will run off and disappear like ninjas on a moonless night. Due to the crowds, there also tend to be queues of 6 kids or more waiting to use a solitary swing. Niko Niko Park solves both of these problems nicely – it’s fully fenced, has a crap-load of play equipment and with shock absorbent rubber matting around the place it’s relatively safe – except perhaps for the old-school high speed wooden slide.
There is also a wide artificial turf area with umbrellas, tables and chairs behind the playground, so it’s ideal for bringing along a picnic. In fact, I’d recommend bringing your own food as there is nothing in the surrounding area. There are drink and ice cream vending machines near the entrance, but the closest convenience stores are in the vicinity of Shinanomachi and Aoyama Itchome stations.
Something to be aware of during the summer months (from approximately mid May until the end of August) is that the open area from which the photo above is taken becomes a beer garden. Not necessarily a bad thing, but the extent of the park changes considerably during this time.
In summary, if you’re visiting Tokyo, your kids will hate you if you take them here instead of Tokyo Disney. However, if you’re here long term with kids, the entrance fees of 300yen for adults and 100yen for kids make it a much more affordable experience than laying down enough money to buy an iPad mini just to take the family to wait in long queues to meet Mickey and friends.
|Name:||Niko Niko Park (ニコニコパーク)|
|Pricing info:||Adults 300yen, Children 100yen (Under 12 years)|
|Address:||1-7-5, Kita-Aoyama, Minatoku, Tokyo|
|Location(s):||Aoyama, Jingugaien, Shinanomachi,|
|Access:||Shinanomachi (5 minutes walk), Aoyama Itchome (10 minutes)|
|Business hours:||March to October: 10am to 5pm (last entry 4:30pm)November to February: 10am to 4:30pm (last entry 4pm)|
Try nabe—a popular cold-weather dish in Japan