It's been a while since my last children-related post, so here you go:
Yesterday there was no school at Bibu's daycare, so along with two other mums from his group, we headed to the Children's Castle in near Omotesando. We arrived and to our surprise the place only opens at 12:30 on weekdays, which is kind of odd for a kids place. In toddlerdom, middday equals lunch followed by long afternoon nap (also known as LAN), so waiting until the place opened was not really a very inviting option.
We asked the nice ladies at the counter where else we could go that would be open at 10:30 and they gave us a flyer of the "Tokyo Metropolitan Children's Hall" which was about 10 minutes' walk in nearby Shibuya (same street as the Tower Records shop)
So there we headed and I have to say it was a nice surprise. It's basically a 5 floor building completely devoted to Tokyoite kids (and their stressed parents) and it's completely free of charge. We headed to the toddlers free-play area, where there is a large wooden structure with slides and a low hanging bridge and plenty of toys for small girls and boys. The area was heavily staffed with minders who kept things tidy and did even speak a little English. Seeing as our brood were enjoying themselves so much at the toddler room, we didn't visit the other floors, but there is also a large library, a rooftop playground which opens during the summer months, and several arts and science areas.
Being a weekday, there was some people but not at all crowded, which was nice. I imagine on weekends it must be a bit more 'cosy', so to speak. The only minor drawback was that there was no cafeteria, only a pic-nic area where you can eat your bento and some vending machines.
All in all, a great morning out. Bibu and his pals were completely exhausted after all the playing and running around and the LAN went like a dream. :-)