Fukuoka, Japan has just the thing for visiting families with small children. It’s big, it’s fun, and it’s uniquely Japanese.
We were not familiar at all with the cartoon characters featured in this conveniently located indoor theme park. Majority of the visitors were Japanese, in fact, but the place did remind us of Kidzoona, only bigger and better.
It had all the things our daughter loved in a playground – slides, simulation or pretend play areas, and lots of space to run around in and explore. It also had several dining options inside, and just looked cool and cute and such a great place for a kid to spend the day in.
This is the Anpanman Children’s Museum.
This huge play park is named after Anpanman, a popular cartoon superhero from a TV series that’s been showing in Japan since 1988. Thanks to another anime show, ‘Yakitate!! Japan’ I’m aware that pan is Japanese for bread. It turns out that Anpanman refers to anpan, a kind of bun with sweet red bean paste.
It has eight dining options, including an udon shop, a fruit shake stall, and a restaurant that serves beer (love you, Japan), and of course, a bakery that features actual edible bread and pastries fashioned after the Anpanman characters.
There’s also a photo studio (like The Picture Company), a mini arcade, and several souvenir shops.
The play areas are just super.
There are slides, a sandbox area (this alone can get a toddler preoccupied for hours), a bouncy castle, a ball pool, and a sim-town (simulated area where kids get to pretend play).
Here are some photos from the Sandbox Plaza:
The ball pit area and slides:
And some more photos from the Sim-Town Plaza and Uncle Jam’s Bakery Hill:
As a place for children, the Anpanman Museum is spotless, and the staff is friendly and very helpful. There’s always a smiling museum worker nearby who’d offer to take your picture, for instance. My husband’s only critique of the place is that he wished the food wasn’t as expensive, but this tends to be the norm with theme parks anywhere.
It took all of our parenting powers to convince our kid that the day was done, and it was time to go home. Get to know Anpanman, and have an amazing family day at the Anpanman Children’s Museum!
Fukuoka Anpanman Children’s Museum in Mall occupies the 5th and 6th floors of Hakata Riverain Mall, Shimokawabata-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture 812-0027
Admission is at 1500 Yen or USD 12.51 (according to the Convert Units app as of writing) for children and adults. Kids below 1 years old are free.
The Museum is open from 10 AM to 7 PM, and closed every New Year’s.