On the weekends here in Tokyo, we often have trouble thinking of something to do as a family that will appeal to all and still be doable in this urban environment. Popular activities and locales can get incredibly crowded so we mostly stay near home. But we were lucky on Saturday – we went to a park in west Tokyo called Koganei park, and by leaving late in the day, we managed to arrive just when most people were leaving. (That was by accident; traffic and such meant that our spontaneous little drive took 2 hours!).  So we got the best of the late afternoon sun, a relatively uncrowded park, and then attended a moon-viewing festival just near the Edo-Tokyo Open-Air Architectural Museum located in the park.Koganeianna-124 










We wandered around the old houses and explored an old streetcar, wandered into wonderfully preserved stores from over a hundred years ago, looked at fabric, and played (or watched) plenty of ball and frisbee. Then we ate and ate at the festival – Japanese festival food is such a treat. Noodles, dumplings, bean jam cakes, cotton candy.

It was a great day. But it really can be so hard to find family activities everyone can do together, especially when all the kids are spread out this far in age AND we live in a big, crowded city. Do you have any suggestions for us? What do you like to do on the weekends?


13 thoughts on “Escape

  1. Francesca

    The fabrics in the shop are so beautiful (sixth photo down – I presume those are the fabrics you mention). We mostly see the Japanese fabrics with small prints, but those large patterns are amazing.
    My oldest and youngest are 10 years apart, and we probably mostly choose family activities with the older kids in mind, but we all switch to a much slower pace.

  2. sarah henry

    Escape…it’s such a human need, isn’t it? I escaped this weekend to the hills, hiking trails, beaches, & birds of wild west marin. I think when you’re in a big city it’s important to find the times and places where you can retreat or rejuvenate, as your family did, this past weekend. Wonderful photos, as always.

  3. ana @

    those fabric prints are wonderful. how did you restrain yourself from buying them all up? 🙂
    as for suggestions, i don’t really have any not being familiar with the area… however, we find that anything out in nature seems to work for almost all ages. thanks for the glimpse into your day.

  4. Ms Muffin

    Oh my, I love those cute teapots in one of the photos!
    I can understand that it is not easy to find something fun for everyone … we often struggle even though we are not that many.
    We live in a rural area … which I love. But it also makes it hard to get to “places” like a zoo or a big play ground or a museum … So we do that VERY rarely. We do many things at home or around home. But since baby boy is born (he is pretty much the same age as your youngest) I am fine with that. I try to do things that are relatively easy and do not involve car rides … like baking muffins together, going for a walk/ bike ride, having a picknick …
    If it is hard to find something fun for everyone how about taking turns in choosing an activity?

  5. Jennifer Margulis

    It is so hard when you live someplace urban like Tokyo to get away. When you come back to Massachusetts, I’ll have TONS of ideas for you (Big Blue anyone? A drive to Shelburne Falls?!). Like your other readers, I loved seeing these photographs. I wish you lived closer (sad face) so our kids could play together.

  6. Upper West Side Mom

    We also find it hard to find activities that everyone in our family likes to do. There’s often a lot of hemming and hawing when we first propose an idea like a park to our kids but once we get there everyone is usually happy. The one thing we can always get everyone to do happily is going out to eat!
    Often we split up usually girls with mom and boy with dad but sometimes we split up age wise. We spend most of our time together when we are all home. The kids like to play together which could be anything from jumping on our beds to listening to music and dancing. Even though Z is now a 14 year old high schooler he still plays with the girls but it tends to be the more physical games. I did, however, find him playing with the magna tiles with the girls last week…


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