For children, the world can seem like a big, scary place. Tokyo's towering buildings, different language, and hectic pace can be even more intimidating. To help ease any possible anxiety, we took the boys to a unique indoor theme park called KidZania, located in the LaLaport Toyosu Shopping Mall.
We traveled by metro (Toyosu Station stop) with some expat friends who had two small kids of their own. I was grateful to have locals with us to help figure out how this place worked. Basically, KidZania offers children a chance to do what they love: play make-believe.
After registering and collecting their kidZos (KidZania currency), the kids enter a “city” built to their scale, and as in the real world, earn more money by performing "jobs" (as a fireman, dentist, police officer, journalist, shopkeeper, etc.). They can even open a bank account and get an ATM card to use around town.
Even though some of the staff didn’t speak English, our boys were somewhat limited in what they could do. But they had no problem understanding the instruction on how to be a pizza maker and figuring out how to get a Japanese drivers license.
The goal of KidZania is to teach kids about how society functions. Watching our boys play with Japanese children and interact with assistants who couldn’t speak their language made me realize they were actually learning a whole lot more.
KidZania has 2 shifts daily: 9am–3pm and 4pm–9pm. Admission varies between YEN 2,900–YEN 4,700 depending on age.