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Things to do in the Yoyogi area

Japan With Kids - Forums: General Discussions: Things to do in the Yoyogi area
By Jellund on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 11:10 am:

Hello

I have a load of papers sitting here by the computer that I have very very slowly been reading through, lots of things for mums and babies to do in the Yoyogi/Shibuya area and I wanted to share with everyone...

Basically, I take my 1 year 3month boy to a Tomigaya Jidoukan (playroom) and another near Yoyogi station called Hatomori. At these playgroups there are usually a load of papers advertising things to do in the area but my Japanese isnt great so it takes a while to get through them all

So here is some information I have accumulated so far in case others are interested....

Tomigaya Jidoukan - opening hours are Mon-Fri 9.30-12, Mon and Thurs afternoons 1.30-4pm. From Tomigaya library go right up the hill and the jidoukan is at the top of the hill, it is part of the elementary school there. There are signs in Japanese with the opening times and you just need to ring the bell on the gate and they will let you in. Once inside you fill out a simple form, name, address and babies name/s. They have a downstairs room for babies with a heated carpet, baby toys, nursing room and baby beds. Upstairs is for crawlers and older, has a slide and a lot of other lovely toys and activities, including playdough and puzzles. All free as it is sponsored by/part of the ward office. People from other wards are welcomed also.

Hatomori Jidoukan, the directions are a little more complex so I will give the phone number 03-3351-6464 and the address seems to be Shibuya ku, Sendagaya 5-9-1. This jidoukan is about 5-10minutes walk from Yoyogi station and is the largest playroom in the area. Lots of staff there, Japanese speaking but very kind and helpful. There is a huge ball pool and loads of ride-on toys for kids, if you ask they will weigh and measure your child/ren. In the summer they set up swimming pools outside and there is also a sandpit outside. Same opening hours as the Tomigaya one. Use is free. They often have nutritionalists and various other specialists there and welcome questions.
They also have a family support center there which helps to find babysitters for people but this is all in Japanese so you need a translator to enquire about it.

My most recent discovery is Honmachi Child Welfare Centre, map is here
http://www.hometownjapan.com/1510071/jidou/map.html

Quite excited about this one, there is a playroom for kids, every Tuesday from 10.00-11.50am they have free kids music/exercise classes, I have not yet been to one of these yet but hope to try one in the next couple of weeks.
They have other interesting things like mum/parent and child toymaking, simple wooden toymaking, making bathbombs etc.The craft activities are either free or a small charge to cover materials.
They also have a mothers circle that meets there on Wednesday mornings. The paper I have is all in Japanese but, when I went there last week, 2 of the staff members spoke very good English and we had a tour of the building.

Harajuku ohisama group ・This seems to be a group of mums and children that meet in Yoyogi park during the week for nature excursions and lunch, the paper I have for this is handwritten so is even more challenging to read so I will just give the phone number 090-3434-8559, 3379-7633

Eigo de asobu - This is an English playgroup that meets every second Thursday near Harajuku or Yoyogi station. Actually there are only 2 foreigners there and the rest are Japanese, it would be great if more foreigners could join. The fee is 2000yen for 3 months and it is a one hour session of kids songs and activities, a great deal of fun. It is a non-profit group formed by the ward office. If you want to know more about this please feel free to email me ushka@ushka.net

The Feral park ・I don稚 know the name of this newly founded playarea so we just call it the feral park. It is located just across from Yoyogi koen West Exit and is open daily except Thursdays. I think the hours are 10-5. There are at least 2 staff members there and it is all outdoors activities for children, making things with wood, collecting leaves, making water slides in the summer, BBQing. The staff members teach the kids how to do things like hammer, drill, saw etc・A lot of fun!

Other things of interest・
Around the corner from the Park Hyatt hotel in South Shinjuku there is a pet shop called Zoo that has a monkey and small pigs, it is not a very big shop but my boy loves going there to see the animals.

Little One痴 Caf・・a fantastic find! This is near Yoyogi station, the website and map are here

http://littleones.exblog.jp/i13

A caf・just for children! They have a great kids menu, prices and food are excellent, the adults meal is usually a set, pasta, salad and coffee but very good food. In the centre of the caf・there is a large fenced play area for the kids. They also have some kids costumes if you want to have a dress-up party and they are flexible with their menu. The were kind enough to provide a turkey for our Christmas party there!

Sorry if some of my information is a bit vague, I am not so good with street names and locations, it has taken a while to get all this info together but I will continue to update as I find out more. Hope others can have as much fun as my boy and I have had with all of these wonderful places. J


By Jellund on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 11:19 am:

I knew I would forget something if I did such a long post!

Harajuku library - behind Takeshita dori, has a very good selection of English kids and adults books. Membership is free, you just have to show your foreigners card and fill in a fairly simple form. They also have a small carpeted area in the Japanese kids section if you want to look at some Japanese kids/babies books with your child. I have also managed to change a nappy there with no fuss...

Bjornelund - the big shop behind Takeshita dori, past BS Asahi, has a lot of sample toys and it is another possibility for nappy changing as they have a room there for filling baby bottles and changing babies.


By Kit on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 11:35 am:

This is great information,
Jellund! Thanks for your
generous post. I used to live
in the Sendagaya area, but the
Little Ones cafe either hadn't
opened yet or I missed it.
Think I'll revisit the 'hood
sometime!


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