Kodomo no Shiro Ageo – Saitama has a large number of superb free children’s (community/ play) centres, called jidokan or jido centre “jidose” (児童館・児童センター). Many mothers agree that Ageo’s kodomo-no-shiro, “children’s castle”, is among the best.

In terms of size, equipment and diversity, I would personally rank it as number 1. My children go regularly and they have never tired of it. There is plenty of play equipment, toys and games as well as various rooms including a library, a gym hall and a workshop.

Each floor has a rest area with vending machines and toilets. There is a dedicated baby room on the ground floor with free guidance on scheduled days. Also on the ground floor there is a play area restricted to babies and toddlers two and under. There is a large space outside to play as well as a playground in the adjacent park.

Ageo’s Kodomo no Shiro

As you come in from reception the ground floor boasts lots of climbing equipment and slides.

Tree house slide
More climbing and slides
Climbing frame and train play equipment

Off to the right of this is a rest area where there are vending machines and bathrooms, including a family bathroom. There is also a space to play games that you can borrow from reception.
Games area One of the many games you can borrow Family bathroom

The baby room with consultancy is located beside the game and rest area. The baby and toddler play room is at the back of the ground floor on the left handside.

Baby and toddler play room
For crawlers in the baby play room
Baby and toddler room slide

Also, on the ground floor is a gym hall (not pictured) and the exit to the outdoor play area and sandpit. There is another playground, pictured below, beside the car park for the center. It is separate to the outdoor play area of the center and you can’t get to it from there; you actually have to go out of the center and walk to the car park to get to that public playground.

Sandpit outside Public playground at the car park

One of the rooms upstairs changes toys periodically. For example, one week they might have “mamagoto” (playing house) toys, another they might have baskets of blocks and foam jigsaw.
Toys for playing house Boxes of blocks at Ageo kodomo no shiro Dinosaur blocks at Ageo kodomo no shiro

There are other rooms including a library and a workshop upstairs that are not pictured.


Official website.

ADDRESS: Japan, 〒362-0047 埼玉県上尾市今泉272
272 Imaizumi, Ageo City, Saitama 362-0047

PHONE NUMBER: 048-783-0888

ACCESS: The Ageo Children’s Center is located near the Ario in Ageo. There is free parking.  By public transport; you can get a bus from JR Takasaki line West exit for 西上尾第二団地 (Nishi Ageo dai ni danchi) and alight at the “Kodomo no shiro mae” bus stop.

For even more play centers in Saitama click here.

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    1. Author

      Aren’t we lucky. 🙂 There are lots of really great free things to do with children in Japan. The kids loved the dinosaur duplo too. 🙂

  1. Reblogged this on Free But Fun! and commented:
    Elle presents a great free but fun option for families in Saitama! To be honest, she has presented many great ideas, so if you are heading to Japan you may want to poke around her blog a bit more.

    1. Author

      I’ve often wondered about their funding. Our local free play centre isn’t nearly as big or decked out as this, but it does have lots of toys. I hope they take hand-me-downs, because I would love for our used toys to go to our local centre where I know they will get more use and love. And as a way of saying thank you for all the wonderful playtime we have there. Japanese people are generally very good for passing things on. For my eldest I barely had to buy anything; family, friends and even neighbours I barely knew (then) gave us their used clothes, baby baths… even a buggy and high/lo chair – all in pristine condition. 🙂

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