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English Days at Kidzania Koshien

Last month, I was fortunate enough to have ushered our homeroom class for the "EAP Program" (English Program) they have at Kidzania Koshien.

If you're Canadian like me and have never heard of Kidzania, since we don't have one.... (And I wish we did...) It's basically a massive indoor theme park complex for kids to try out different jobs. We decided to take our kids here since a part of our grade's special education is learning about different careers.

Think of it like a "take your kids to work day" type of thing to get kids to learn about different jobs. But you wouldn't need to actually take the kid to your job. You can take them to ALL THE JOBS.

Every time I hear about Kidzania, I always wish I had it in Canada. I've always been so uncertain about what I wanted to do growing up, and having something like this would have not only been fun but also get a light glimpse of the choices I had for my future. In a way, I suppose it can be a bit dark... like you're indoctrinating your young kid into the work culture...... eh, ok let's not think too much about this.

I know if you're traveling, you probably want to see Japan. But Kidzania Japan does have a few jobs that are uniquely only in Japan. And if you need a relax day for yourself but keep your kids busy, I really think this can be a good option to fill a day of fun. Especially too if it's raining outside and you don't want to travel in terrible weather. The Kidzania location here at Koshien is next to a huge Lalaport Shopping Mall, so you can also kill time here shopping too.

While all this is Japanese-only, Kidzania Koshien offers a day - every Wednesdays - where some jobs are offered in English. You can visit the website here for information about English Wednesdays (EAP) and it has a list of jobs available in English. When I was there, there were tons of non-Japanese workers floating around and lots of Japanese staff who can speak simple English.

So don't expect to be doing these jobs on English Wednesday with crazy good English. It's just enough so your kids will get through the activity okay, and if you're lucky - there will probably be a foreign staff to help out as they do float around quite a bit as long as they're not there with a private school group or something (like us).

You do need to make a reservation to come here these days. Make sure you check out the calendar and make a reservation before you come out here.

It's the only place where kids tickets are more expensive than adult tickets. Haha. So you can rejoice in a bit of an adult discount, for once. But you might want to skip the entry if your kids are a bit older, since there's really not much for adults to do there other than take lots of pictures of your kids. Food is also quite expensive too, so you might want to look at the options at Lalaport for something more worth your yen.

In terms of the jobs & experience: My (or my students') favourite thing at this Kidzania is the train experience and the pilot experience. I think these jobs are great if your kid loves trains and aircrafts.

Other popular ones are the ones where you can make food to take home, like sushi and the bakery and the pizza stalls. My students loved having free food, essentially.

If you're unfamiliar with the Kidzania system, the kids actually do get a salary for completing a job. They're called "kidz", I think. They can exchange the cash they make for prizes like at an arcade, or for mini games they can do. Your kids can even get their own fake driver licenses, fake credit cards and fake cash cards that are all useable within Kidzania.

Teaching your kids to be somewhat responsible with money! And learn about the banking system.

I really wish I had a Kidzania in Canada...

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