Did you know that Japan has its very own style of pancake? It’s called okonomiyaki, and it's a popular street dish throughout the country. Just like any pancake, okonomiyaki can be topped in many different ways. There are three main styles of this dish, and each one is favored in a different region of Japan. Try this version from Osaka, and see if it is to your liking! Don’t be afraid to play around with the toppings until you get it just the way you want. After all, okonomi means “as you like.”
It’s always fun to try a new snack! In Japan, a popular snack is dango, a dumpling served on skewers and topped with a sweet soy sauce. There are many different kinds of dango, served at different times of the year and at a variety of events and occasions. These Mitarashi dango can be found year round at festivals, food fairs, and night markets. So if you are craving a savory treat, these are sure to hit the spot!
Have you ever wished there was a day just for children? Well in Japan, there is! Children’s Day is celebrated each year on May 5 to honor the healthy growth and happiness of children. As part of that celebration, one cloth streamer in the shape of a koi fish is hung for each child in the house. These streamers are called koinobori and represent the desire for each child to grow up strong and brave—just like a koi fish that has to swim upstream against strong currents. Make your own koinobori to celebrate your unique strength!
Rise and shine! In Japan, people like to get an early start. At 6:30 each morning (and sometimes again in the afternoon), an exercise program called Radio Taiso is broadcast to all of the people of Japan—just as it has been for over 100 years! People, young and old, gather in parks to do the exercise routines together. Follow along with this short taiso, and start your day off right!
Sakura Calms her Anger
This guided meditation features a story about a girl named Sakura who lives in Kochi, Japan. She feels angry with her sisters for breaking her toys. Listen to the story to find out what she does next. Find a cozy spot to listen, close your eyes and learn how to move your body to change your feelings.
This book list will help you explore Japan's culture through picture books. Read the summary with your kids to help you decide which books to read. Find the books below at your public library or online.
Kidculture Journal Questions help your child reflect on what they learn as they read. Journal entries can be adapted to a younger age by having the child draw their answers or explain them to an adult.
Click a book below to see more!
Enjoy four Japanese folktales!
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