Help in assembling a list of simple cultural experiences for kids
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Apr 26, 2012 8:03 AM Last Post By: jbeckstr
Apr 22, 2012 1:45 PM
Help in assembling a list of simple cultural experiences for kidsI am traveling with my family of 4 children (ages 6-15) in August. None have been to Japan--I have lived and traveled in Japan a fair amount (I speak decent Japanese). We will be in Tokyo (5 days), Tsumago (1), Koya (1), and Tokushima (4) In order to get them engaged with the culture a bit, I am planning to let them earn o-miage money through completing some simple cultural activities. I have a partial list, but I was hoping for some additional ideas. My goal is to make the activities simple and short (things we don't need to go out of our way to do). Here are examples of what I have come up with so far:
Drink a can of Pocari Sweat
Identify 5 neighborhood shrines
Learn 5 kanji and identify them in a sign
Find 5 Japanese/English mistakes
Get 5 train station stamps
Buy a train ticket
Sleep on a futon
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
Apr 22, 2012 4:54 PM
Apr 22, 2012 11:52 PM
2This sounds just a little too much like a scene from one of Chevy Chase's old family Vacations ("The Griswolds Do Tokyo"), but nonetheless, here goes:
--Maps. Plot out a subway trip, find Nikko, Mt. Fujii, Hiroshima, etc.
--Pronunciation. Say common things like Tokyo, Osaka and yes, Hiroshima, like a Japanese not a foreigner.
--Numbers. Count to 10 (or twenty or whatever) in Japanese.
--Shopping. Find as many Hello Kitty items as you can in 10 minutes. Then buy them.
--Eating. Finish off a plate of sushi without making a face; learn to slurp noodles in proper Japanese style.
--Help. Stop strangers and successfully ask directions to the nearest Lawson's, subway stop, etc.
Apr 23, 2012 7:26 AM
3Thanks for all the ideas (I'll take take the Clark Griswald reference as a compliment).
GrogBlossom thanks for the fugu/basashi idea, I am planning to develop a list of foods to try as well. I am looking for some very different foods (like natto, fugu) and some that are different but not as challenging (senbei, melon pan, etc).
Jiejie- the chopsticks and origami ideas are fun. I'll add them.
889--The Hello Kitty idea will be fun for my girls and thanks for the idea about directions.
Netty, I like the vending machine idea and the geisha/maiko (though we won't be in Gion this trip so it might be a long shot). I think sumo would be difficult because there are no matches in August (anyone know if/where you can see Sumo wrestlers on an off month?)
Apr 24, 2012 2:05 AM
Apr 24, 2012 2:14 AM
Apr 26, 2012 8:03 AM
6Thanks to everyone again for the suggestions.
Tokyo B-thanks for the supermarket idea. I had forgotten to plan on taking them to a supermarket--one of my favorite things to do when traveling just to see what is the same/different (and pick up a nice lunch).
889-we are definitely planning to go to a baseball game and maybe J-league.
Tokyo girl--thanks for the information on the stamps/stampbooks etc and the origami site. Thanks for sharing the ideas from your sister and your cautions. My main purpose is to create a situation where they are pulling themselves into the culture instead of me trying to push them.
With regard to the English mistakes I don't mean this in a negative way. True there are times when Japanese English mistakes can be amusing, but my intention is not to make fun of the speaker/writer. It seems that often times the Japanese style is to put random English on T-shirts, etc, just to add a sense of style. These kinds of items can be really cool and interesting. It also highlights how difficult it is to communicate skillfully in a second language and helps us realize that what we say might not make complete sense when communicating in a second language. To me this adds to the quirkiness that I love about Japan. I will be sure to cast this one in a positive light. Thanks for your comments on this topic!
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