Near Futako-Tamagawa station, kids will want to pirouette with joy at Pierette (4-15-30, Seta, Setagaya-ku; www.pierette.jp), a massive indoor play complex produced by educational toy importer and retailer BorneLund Ltd. Multiple zones—the cyberwheel, air castle, circuit and baby gym, among others—are designed to amuse and captivate kids up to age 12, while the Garden Café provides sustenance and refreshment before and after energetic bouts of play. Adults can rest assured that all menu items have been tested for potential allergens, and choose from either a Japanese or Western set (¥980) as the kids tuck into their own curry (¥530), or a special basket of goodies (¥630). Various admission charges apply.
Baby King KitchenAt first glance, the wooden toys, miniature slide, “library” books and indoor swing suggest kids rule the roost at Baby King Kitchen (2F, 3-2-15 Koenji-Kita, Suginami-ku; www.babykingkitchen.com), but a stylish interior comprised of leather sofas, burnished wood and chalky walls ensures visiting adults will also feel right at home. At ¥1,100, the children’s lunch plate is pricier than many items on the grown ups’ menu, but when a hamburger, fried egg, cocktail wiener sausage, battered shrimp, rice, salad and dessert are up for grabs, even the fussiest of eaters will be placated.
Bill’s OdaibaKids’ meals are all grown up at Aussie chef Bill Granger’s Odaiba outpost (Seaside Mall 3F, 1-6-1 Daiba, Minato-ku; http://bills-jp.net), where worldly whippersnappers feast on adaptations from the adults’ menu. If the grilled salmon with beans and mash doesn’t appeal, wean your child on sophisticated versions of kid-friendly staples such as the wagyu burger, chicken schnitzel with garlic mashed potatoes and for budding vegetarians, spaghetti with cherry tomatoes, ricotta, spinach and Pecorino. All are available with a choice of four desserts for ¥1,100.
Daikanyama is home to numerous baby and children’s shopping outlets, and after an energetic morning (or afternoon) of retail therapy, mamas and papas are advised to take a relaxing break at Chano-ma, housed in the same building as the Unit nightclub (2F Za House Bldg, 1-34-17 Ebisu-Nishi, Shibuya-ku; http://chano-ma.jp). From11:30 am until 5pm the venue runs an extended “Chano-mama lunchtime,” a space in which parents can enjoy eating organic food from Hokkaido while their babies lounge, play and nap on the spacious canvas-covered tatami seating area. Changing facilities are top notch and Chano-ma also organizes “Happy Birthday photo sessions” for the junior set.
Dear Kids Café
It’s not your everyday café restaurant that boasts its own playground, but such is the case with Dear Kids Café (1-25-3 Kamishakujii, Nerima-ku; www.dearkids-k.com), a cavernous and brightly colored tot-friendly space where children can amuse themselves with rubber balls, climbing equipment and a slide while parents tuck into pizza, pasta or a salad, and a beverage or two. A small surcharge of ¥350 is levied on children aged between 1-6 years for the first hour of playground use, but if one of the special kids’ meals (¥580) or pizza, pasta and sandwich are ordered, the hour becomes free.
Tokyo Baby Café
Don’t let the name fool you—the Tokyo Baby Café (B1F, 4-5-12 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku; www.tokyobabycafe.com/english) is as much for parents as it is for kids. Apart from luxe amenities such as spacious changing areas and nursing rooms, the café is stocked with picture books and toys galore, allowing parents to relax because their children are playing safely and not causing mayhem. The menu caters for customers of all ages, and a limited number of Oisix-sourced organic lunch sets are available daily. Exclusively for the under-seven set (accompanied by parents or guardians) and pregnant women, the Tokyo Baby Café charges ¥500 per half hour for use of its facilities on top of any food and beverages ordered.