Konnichiwa, Japan!

Oona Baker
July 10, 2009

My daughter shares my passion for collecting all things Hello Kitty and lately, we've been talking about making our dream of traveling to Japan come true. I've told my daughter we'll make it there before she graduates high school; she's convinced she'll be packing her bags by the end of the month with all the nickels she's saved up. On the other hand, I've been planning a quick virtual trip. Want to come along with us?


Check out the Little Travelers Japan DVD from your local library. This sweet movie follows the journey of two home-schooled children and their mother as they travel to various countries and immerse themselves in culture and joys of life. Join Chantel and Nakia as they explore daily life, cherry blossoms, and new foods in Japan! My daughter loves this series of films and is anxiously awaiting a new chapter of their travels. Very simple and captivating vignettes will keep even very young children interested.

Dream big, plan your trip and destinations online! Print out maps, chart your course, and let your children imagine all the places they will go. Send away for maps or scour thrift stores for old copies of National Geographic to find maps to pin up on the wall and use some yarn to detail your "journey". What animals live where you are going? What do people eat there? Make clothing or instruments that reflect the culture of the country you are investigating.

Art can help take you there! We are going to make paper cranes, paint cherry blossoms, and create Hello Kitty themed paper dolls. My daughter and I are obsessed with pop culture and have fun collecting miniature sushi and other teeny tiny foods from Re-ment. Your investigations can be as simple as checking out a cd of traditional music from the library and dancing around the livingroom or as complex as recreating Roman architecture out of Model Magic! Have fun with it!

Sample foods you and your child may have never tried before. For Japan, we are making a trip to FuBonn for a sampler of Pocky, biscuits, noodles, and mochi. (You can also sneak in some interesting and unusual fruits and vegetables too!)

Learn to count to ten or twenty in a foreign language! Check out  Count Your Way Through Japan or I Live in Tokyo for inspiration.

Research the currency of the country you have chosen.  In Japan, the currency is the yen.

Have fun on your "trip"! Itterasshai. Ki o tsukete!

From the Parents

  • Parent # 1

    We spent three weeks in Japan last year with our then 9 and 5 yo, and we had a lot of fun! A bit difficult as lacto-ovo vegetarians, but we managed .... and saw some wonderful places, like Okinawa, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Hakone (a pirate ship!) and Tokyo...

    over a year ago

  • Parent # 2

    I think this would be fun for the adults-maybe make it a party theme!

    over a year ago

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