Hosting a baby meetup is easy, but finding the perfect location sometimes isn’t! When you are catering to moms and babies, you need a place that can tick all the boxes. In my experience, those are:
- A clean space for baby to lay down, sit, crawl, or walk
- Breastfeeding friendly
- Open, so you don’t have to worry about disturbing others when baby cries
- Access to a changing table, nursing room, or a space where you can do so easily
- Access to shade if outdoors
Here are my top picks:
I love Shinjuku Gyoen because it’s the most well kept park I know of in Tokyo. The grass is super green, especially in summer and autumn, and there is so much open space for picnics. The large lawns make the best place for a meetup, particularly if you can find space under a shady tree. Even though it is a popular park, I have never felt that it was overcrowded. Because there is so much open space between you and your neighboring picnic-goers, I never feel uncomfortable breastfeeding without a cover. Shinjuku Gyoen is also very stroller friendly and you will see many mama/baby groups meeting here any day of the week. My favorite meetup spots are the large lawn right at the entrance and the extra large lawn down the left path at the north end of the park.
Shinjuku Gyoen // 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0014 // Entrance: 200 yen
Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum Park
Nestled between Meguro and Shirokanedai stations is Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum Park. There is a museum as well but you can enter the park separately. After entering, continue along the main path for a couple of minutes and you will see a large grassy field with some shady trees on your left. This is the perfect place for a little picnic and the trees provide much needed shade. Outside the park there is also a play structure if you have older kids who want something more entertaining than plain grass. Restrooms are located in the museum building.
Meguro Teien Art Museum Park // 5 Chome-21-9 Shirokanedai, Minato, Tokyo 108-0071
Entrance: 200 yen
Yoyogi Koen is another great park that is super stroller friendly. It’s a perfect place for an outdoor stroll or a picnic under the trees, particularly during cherry blossom season. It is also free to enter which is always a plus. On weekends it can be quite busy with various workout groups using the lawns, but weekdays are always doable. Keep in mind that the Harajuku/Omotesando area can get very busy (again, especially on weekends) but if the weather is nice then Yoyogi Koen can’t be beat! If you need an indoor changing or nursing space, my favorite one is in the Omotesando Hills shopping plaza on the basement floor. Another note, Yoyogi Koen is quite big so the easiest way to meet up with people is to have someone share their location via a cell phone app such as Line or Facebook Messenger. This will allow people to find the group much easier!
Yoyogi Koen // 2-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya, Tokyo 151-0052
Chano Ma Daikanyama
Chano Ma is probably the most baby friendly restaurant in all of Tokyo, particularly for babies who aren’t quite mobile yet. They have regular table seating but the star of the show is definitely their open floor seating area with a padded floor. It is the perfect place to meet up with friends and let baby roll around without worrying about them getting into anything germ-y. Chano Ma has some lovely lunch dishes as well as a bread and drink buffet. I attended a couple of meetups here and it was always a lovely time! If you have a large group, you will want to make a reservation ahead of time but they are super accommodating!
Chano Ma Daikanyama // 〒150-0021 Tokyo, Shibuya, Ebisunishi, 1 Chome−34−17 Za HOUSEビル
Team Lab Borderless Odaiba
This exhibit was surprisingly baby-friendly and since it is a permanent exhibit, I thought I would add it to the list! Compared to the similar Planets exhibit, this one does not have water and is therefore more safe in my opinion if you are carrying a baby. Keep in mind that strollers are not allowed inside, however there is stroller parking as well as lockers available at the entrance. I thought it was actually quite easy with a baby because they can’t run away and get lost when they are strapped to you! You will want to keep that in mind if you have toddlers/young children though. At the end of the exhibit there is a baby soft play area (shown in pictures below) where crawling and sitting babies can play without worrying about them hurting themselves. There is also a play area for older children. Near the baby soft play is a baby room with nursing spaces and changing tables as well so you can take care of baby before leaving. You will need to book tickets beforehand, but it’s so worth it! Side note: if you go on a weekend you may have to wait to get in. We went around 12PM on a Wednesday and had no wait!
Team Lab Borderless // 〒135-0064 Tokyo, Koto, Aomi, 1 Chome−3−８ お台場パレットタウンhttps://borderless.teamlab.art/
Toho Movie Theater, Roppongi Hills
Every Thursday, the Toho Theater in Roppongi Hills hosts a “Mama’s Club Theater” movie showing where parents with small children can watch a movie without having to worry about their baby making noise. The lighting in the theater is brighter than usual and the volume is lower as well so it’s a perfect environment to enjoy a movie while chatting with some friends. They show both foreign and Japanese movies, More info on the latest showings can be found here.
Toho Cinemas Roppongi // 〒106-0032 Tokyo, Minato, Roppongi, 6 Chome−10−２ 六本木ヒルズけやき坂コンプレックス内
And those are my top picks for baby meetups! Where’s your favorite mama baby meetup spot?