“Are you going with kids to Japan?” This was the usually the follow up question once we mentioned our travel destination. We solemnly nodded not really understanding what the big deal was. But once we arrived in Japan, that’s when we realized. This is truly a one of kind place. Did we make a mistake?
1.Forget airplanes. Once you take your kids from Kyoto to Tokyo on the Japan’s high speed bullet train, Shinkansen will become their favorite word and by Shinkansen trains the only way they’ll want to travel.
2. After spending hours teaching kids how to eat, all will be ruined the minute you get to a noodle shop, and kids realize that everyone there is proudly slurping noodles and drinking their miso soup. It’s a custom they’ll be more than eager to follow.
3. Red beans and green tea in desserts? Fish flakes, raw fish, wasabi… the kids will starve in Japan. Until they discover soba noodles, okonomiyaki – savoury pancake and yakitori – grilled chicken, then they’ll never ask for pizza or fries again.
4. After taking them to Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, all you’ll be hearing is how boring the buildings at home are.
5. Just after finally buying all the costumes for princesses, crowns and magic wands, you’ll have to throw it all away and go shopping for kimonos.
6. Japan will crush your kids’ faith in you: you will not be able to read a thing, you won’t understand a word and how will you ever answer the questions such as: what’s Confucianism and how do I become a ninja?
7. You will spend hours in restrooms once kids figure out the awesome features of Japanese toilet seats.
8. Where do you go after visiting Tokyo? Shouldn’t you try with something smaller and work your way to the worlds’ largest city.
9. The Japanese are famously polite and wait patiently in lines, soon your kids will pick it up and stop pushing and shoving. Do you know how ridiculed they’ll be back in school.
10. “Konnichiwa, Arigatou gozaimasu, Sumimasen.” Once they hear how cool Japanese sounds, forget convincing them to learn German or Spanish. No, es possible.
11. It’s just unfair to make kids eat with chopsticks and as soon as they realize how much fun it is, you take them back home to forks.
12. They’ll try to convince you don’t really need beds and tables, you can all eat and sleep on the floor – like in Japan.
13. Suddenly everywhere you go, kids will start taking off their shoes.
14. Feeding the ducks will never be as fun as feeding the reindeer in Nara was.
15. Neuschwanstein castle step aside, kids will fall in love with Osaka Castle and never want to leave. Forget traveling Europe after this.