Best Tokyo Food Tour with Kids
The best Tokyo food tour combines delicious food, cultural experiences, and a whole lot of fun!
Disclaimer: Some of the links and images below contain affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. This tour was sponsored by Washoku Club but all opinions are my own.
Picking a Tokyo Food Tour with Kids
When picking a Tokyo Food Tour for families, we considered the following:
- Flexibility – When touring with kids, the ability to customize the menu on a food tour is a huge priority. Even if you have the most adventurous eaters, you will still want to be able to pick and choose from the best offerings.
- Cultural Experiences – Not only did we want to enjoy delicious food, but we also wanted to understand its cultural relevance.
- Length – To truly explore a specific area of Tokyo, we planned to spend at least a half day.
- Location – Every touring plan for Tokyo will list Asakusa as a must-visit area of Tokyo. You’ll find the oldest temple in Tokyo, Sensoji Temple, along with other cultural elements.
What they don’t tend to mention are all of the amazing food options you have in the area. You can explore traditional Japanese sweets like Taiyaki or stop by for some of the most delicious tempura in the city at Tendon Tenya.
We found all of this in the Washoku Cultural Food Tour through Asakusa! Washoku literally means “food of Japan,” and this Tokyo food tour delivered on amazing food combined with cultural experiences.
The Asakusa Cultural Center
Asakusa is an area so steeped with culture that it boasts its own Cultural Center! Our tour started here, and it’s a great reference for anyone visiting the area. The staff members are happy to help assist you in making your day in Asakusa perfect, but we were lucky enough to already have an amazing tour guide in Adam from Washoku Club Food Tours. The first stop in the Culture Center is the diorama of Tokyo. Kids will have a wonderful time finding their hotel or the area of town they are staying in. We picked Ueno for the majority of the time in Tokyo and enjoyed finding the zoo and park in the diorama.
Adam introduced us to another gem : the observatory deck at the Cultural Center. Out of each window, you can see various parts of the city along with diagrams of each of the buildings. It was the perfect way to start our Tour as we were able to see all of Sensoji from the observatory.
Tokyo Kimono Experience
One of the best parts of the Tokyo Food Tour through Washoku was the kimono experience. Kimono Daikichi was a quick walk from the Asakusa Cultural Center and offered an Asakusa kimono rental opportunity. A full photo studio and hundreds of kimonos greet you as you enter the store.
Dressing in Kimono with Kids
The kids immediately gravitated towards their favorite colors, and the owners helped pick out options that would fit. The entire process of wearing kimono is extremely intricate, with many folds, wraps, and ties. Along the way, you will choose matching colors for the many layers and don traditional, split toe socks called tabi. The entire process took about 15-20 minutes for each of us to get dressed. The experience also includes hairstyling. My daughter had a wonderful time picking out special flowers for both mine and her hair.
Kimono Photoshoot in Tokyo
The sheer joy on my children’s faces after they were dressed in kimono was enough to convince me the Washoku Cultural Food Tour was a home-run already! The experience continued to get better as we were led to the photo studio for family photos. We each took photos individually with a variety of props. My daughter posed with a lovely umbrella and traditional wooden sandals while my son got to live out his samurai dream with a sword! The shop owner used my phone for the pictures so that everyone could participate.
After our photo shoot was complete, we were given the option to use our regular shoes or wear traditional wooden sandles or geta. My son and I opted for our normal shoes, but my daughter wore geta throughout the tour.
Preparing for Your Kimono
Before you arrive on your tour, there are a few preparations you may want to make. The kids wore their kimono over the top of their regular clothes so you will want to dress with a light layer. We visited during October, and the kids did get a little warm as it is a walking tour. For adults, you will dress with your undergarments only in the kimono so the layers are not as important. Kimono Daikichi lets you store your clothing at their store while you are on your walking tour.
Sensoji Temple Tour
The first stop on our tour was Sensoji Temple. As Tokyo’s oldest temple, Senoji Temple is a very popular visit and on almost every “must-do” list for Tokyo tourism. It’s the most visited spiritual site in the world. We entered through Nakamise, a shopping area leading from the outer gate (Kaminarimon) to the second gate (Hozomon). The street is lined with different shops. Several serve some of Tokyo’s best street food.
Tokyo Street Food Tour
Our first stop for our Japan Food Tour was to try Ningyoyaki. Our tour guide, Adam, explained that this cake is traditionally filled with a sweet red bean paste. We found some shops now selling it with a variety of different fillings. The kids opted for chocolate while I tried a traditional sweet potato. Both were delicious!
Several groups of Japanese women approached us while we were trying our treats. They wanted to take a picture of my daughter or our family. They loved that we were dressed in kimono and shared that they were on a pilgrimage to see Sensoji temple. The people we met were from as far away as Kyoto and Osaka. Adam explained that people travel from all over Japan to visit Sensoji. My daughter quickly learned the word “kawaii,” which means “cute”, as she was asked for her photo several times.
Exploring Sensoji Temple
After enjoying food through Nakamise, we headed to the Hozomon gate withs its large, red lantern (chochin) hanging from the middle for the perfect background for a family photo. We visited the temple, putting some coins in the offertory box, and walked the grounds. You can also enjoy a five-storied pagoda and various gardens throughout the complex.
After exploring Sensoji, we we ready for lunch! The Washoku Club Walking Food Tour let us to Heijoen for a taste of Tokyo Yakiniku. Yakiniku is also referred to as Japanese barbecue, and Heijoen is a long-established resturant near the front gate of Sensoji Temple.
This was another huge hit with the kids! A small charcoal wood grill is placed directly in the middle of the table. The kids loved getting to place their meal on the grill with their own tongs and cook it to their liking. The quality of the beef was excellent as they only serve Japanese wagyu beef. Combined with rice, salad, and pickled vegetables, the meal was just right for a delicious lunch for the food tour.
The Best Tempura in Tokyo
Along with sampling delicious food on our tour, our tour guide Adam shared cultural facts and advice for our trip to Japan. We learned that unlike in the United States, having a successful chain restaurant was not just a matter of having plenty of capital for lots of locations. If your restaurant did not serve quality food or was not seen as a respectable business, building owners refuse to rent space to you regardless of how much money you might be able to contribute.
The Tendon Tenya stores we had seen all over Tokyo were a testament to how good the food was! We agreed the tempura prawns were the best we had sampled! We were especially excited to pass one on the way back to our hotel. Thanks to our food tour with Washoku Club, we now had a new favorite place to stop and get a bite close to our hotel.
Animal Cafes in Tokyo
Before our tour, I didn’t understand the appeal of the animal cafes in Tokyo. Walking around Asukasa, we saw several cafes (although not as many as you will find in Harajuku!). Adam explained that owning a dog in Japan can be very expensive, so these animal cafes allow you to visit, play with a dog, and get a meal all at the same time!
One we visited on the Food Tour was a combination pet store and animal cafe. If you fell in love with one of these adorable pups, you could take them home with you!
Bubble Tea at Moomin Stand
We fell in love with bubble tea thanks to this food tour with Washuko Club and Moomin Stand. Whether you choose Strawberry Milk or Chocolate Grapefruit as your flavor, these sweet milk teas are delicious. The drinks at the Moomin stand were very similar to the traditional tapioca pearls and bubble tea. The drinks come with a giant straw and a cute Moomin character straw holder which made for a fun souvenir too.
We had no idea what “Moomin” was before the tour, but learned it is a Finnish character that has become popular in Japan. Looking slightly like hippopotamuses, there are Moomin Cafes as well as Stands throughout Japan.
Taiyaki In Tokyo
Already full to the brim, our Tokyo Food Tour was not done yet! Our next stop was to try a very tradition treat called Taiyaki. Taikyaki are traditionally shaped like a fish (Japanese red seabream or tai) and filled with sweet red bean paste. We found several different flavors are available now. We opted for an untraditional combination with a Hello Kitty mermaid shape and apple filling. It was by far my favorite treat of the entire food tour!
You can watch while they pour the sweet batter into a mold similar to a waffle. Add filing and seal it up, and you are ready to enjoy this amazing treat! Later in our trip, we found traditional taikyaki treats at our buffet at Hilton Tokyo Bay and were excited to already know what they were and sample them again!
Similar to the other treats we had tried in Japan, the ice cream was offered in a variety of flavors we don’t usually get to experience in the United States. Green Tea and Sweet Potato were among the favorites, and we opted for a Green Tea and Vanilla swirl.
The Best Tokyo Food Tour with Kids
Our time with Washoku Club and our tour guide, Adam, added amazing knowledge and fun to our time in Tokyo. If you are planning a food tour with kids, we highly recommend Washoku Club and stops throughout Asakusa to try a variety of traditional Japanese dishes. The kimono experience was also a highlight of our trip and not to be missed!