If you are going to Tokyo this summer, here is how to make your vacation money last longer:
1. Go there when the restaurant opens - the signs say 2 PM, but they are open already for lunch, it seems.
2. Make a reservation for an early dinner. Like 4 or 5 PM. The playground closes at 5.
3. Enter the playground and let your kids play to their hearts delight. It costs 200 yen per adult and 50 yen per child.
By the way, do not worry about the smell. Smoking is prohibited in the playground, and the smell does not come from what you may believe, but from mosquito repellent incense.
4. Get a discount ticket from the gate guard as you exit. It gives you a 10% discount on your meal.
5. Order the all-you-can-eat-and-drink meal for a little more than 4000 yen. Kids under 4 go free. You get a 10% discount if you show the playground ticket, so the 200 yen you paid now becomes a 400 yen discount.
6. Enjoy the meal, and if you had it before 5 PM, you can return to the playground - for free.
Order a couple of extra meat plates and some noodles to fry up at the end of the meal.
I am Wisterian Watertree, recently moved from Bangkok to Tokyo, with a brief visit to Honolulu on the way. I write about travel, especially with our three beautiful kids (two girls and one boy, soon turning six - yes. they are triplets). Travel is education and fun rolled into one, and if you are like me, that is something you want to give to your kids. If you want more tips and want to find out when I will publish something, get it from my email list. If you want to be personal, drop me a note on firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you want general tips, follow me on Twitter @wisterianw.