Sightseeing with kids in Kyoto on a rainy day. Rather than shrines and temples which aren’t always the best for walking, especially when wet, it isn’t always easy to find somewhere that kids can enjoy and parents are also pleased with. This is the route for parents like you! It may not be the most unique to Kyoto or Japan experience, but why not getting a taste of the local Kyoto life? This route includes Kyoto Railway Museum and Kyoto Aquarium, both located within Umekoji Park, just one stop from Kyoto Station and AEON Mall Kyoto, near Kyoto Station. Let us tell you the route recommended by a local mom which is sure to make your kids happy!
Kyoto Railway Museum
Many trains and different experiences, parents and kids will both be satisfied even on a rainy day!
With 53 real trains and being surrounded by train tracks, it would be hard to find another place this special for train lovers. Even for those not so interested in trains, a trip to the Kyoto Railway Museum just might change that! Not only can you see the trains up close, but you can also see how they operate and even do a driving experience. They also have a play space with, you guessed it, toy trains! You also don`t have to worry about finding a place to change diapers or nurses if you go with a baby because they have rooms available. Local moms easily spend several hours here when they take their kids.
Recommended Lunch Spot – 2nd Floor Restaurant
On the 2nd floor of the Kyoto Railway Museum, you will find a restaurant surrounded by views of railroad tracks and trains. As customers enter the restaurant you can often hear them express their surprise at the view. It is a self-service style restaurant where you buy a ticket for the menu item you would like. They have items like ramen, udon noodles, hamburger steak, kids plates, French fries, etc. We can’t say it will be an amazing meal, but for your kids, it will be an exciting meal as they enjoy watching trains go by. You can also take your own food and drinks into the area if you would like, so please use this space to take a break and relax a bit.
Note: Weekends can be quite crowded, so it’s best to avoid lunch hours if possible.
For more information on Kyoto Railway Museum
Just a few minutes walk from Kyoto Railway Museum! Enjoy a Relaxing Feeling as you Wander around the Aquarium
Even when traveling and sightseeing, on rainy days you want to have to move around as little as possible. For that sort of day, I give you the Kyoto Aquarium! Only about a 5-minute walk from the Kyoto Railway Museum, the Kyoto Aquarium isn’t too big and is great for more relaxed sightseeing. There are 9 zones including one with a dolphin show. The dolphin stadium has a roof over it, so even on rainy or very hot days you can enjoy the dolphins’ performances. From the dolphin stadium, you can even see the Shinkansen (bullet trains) go by as they enter and leave Kyoto Station. As the building is barrier-free you can even take kids in strollers around the different exhibits.
Check out the cafes and gift shop!
If you or your kids get tired, why not take a break which watching the seals? At the cafes within the aquarium you can find cute foods like turtle or penguin-shaped breads, soft serve ice cream with tofu, and even Japanese style sweets in shapes of different sea animals like crabs, turtles, etc. Each day is filled with several events like the dolphin show, special exhibits, feeding time programs, and more. And, you can find many salamanders from the local Kamo River here, both in the aquarium exhibits as well as in stuffed form in the gift shop!
For more information on the Kyoto Aquarium
AEON Mall KYOTO
Perfect for souvenir shopping and cafes！Just a 15 minute walk from Kyoto Railway Museum and Kyoto Aquarium
AEON Mall KYOTO is a large shopping center just a 15 minute walk, or just 5 minutes by taxi from the Umekoji area. You can search for the perfect souvenirs or stop for a coffee break in a cafe here. There are many kid-friendly stores and even spaces for kids to play. With shops like a large bookstore, Japan’s famous Muji and UNIQLO and of course the 100 yen shop DAISO, you are sure to have no problems finding souvenirs. There is also an exciting game center (arcade) and a food court with many different types of foods to choose from, you will often see local families spending their days off here.
How about checking out a Japanese supermarket?
AEON is Japan’s leading supermarket. Not just fresh foods, but also prepared foods, snacks and more, there is an assortment of items to ensure you have a great Japanese supermarket experience. You can try searching for rare and unusual things with your kids and pick out some new things to try together. I recommend trying some of the fresh cut fruit!