Names: Sophie (3)
Location: Meiji Shrine, Tokyo, Japan
Favorite Family-Friendly Place To See or Thing To Do Here: When you've done a lot of site seeing, though, the Tokyo Metropolitan Children's Hall in Shibuya, Tokyo, is a kid friendly haven for your children to unwind and just "be themselves." (continued below)
Each floor has different activities, some broken out by age range. Our daughter played on an indoor jungle gym, played kitchen, did some bowling, and went "fishing"; then went upstairs to jam on real drums, try out two pianos, and use real xylophones; and finally progressed to the staffed arts and crafts area. There is a lunch room (with vending) for families to sit down and have a snack as well.
Best Tip for Traveling with Kids: If the trip is short enough that you can't realistically expect your children to recover from jetlag, and you're staying in a hotel, plan ahead while you're there and buy nutritious snacks/beverages to have on hand for post-midnight "meals." Otherwise, alert your hosts that you might have little ones up at funny hours for a snack.
Favorite Way to Make it Feel Like Home: Bedtime routine, including familiar small blanket and a few select stuffed animal friends. "Bedtime" with jetlag might occur at funny times and more than once, but the routine is still key!
An Item you MUST Take With You While Traveling: For very long international flights with children who are old enough, a device to watch movies (such as iPod, etc.) and ear phones. Many flights do have children's entertainment, but it still may not be age appropriate. I always bring books and other activities but this time found that fatigue-without-sleep made familiar programs from home more appealing at times.