We went with our nieces to KidZania in Osaka. Kidzania’s an educational theme park that got its start in Mexico City and now has locations all around the world, including 2 in Japan. There are plans to build one in the US.

Kidzania’s a brilliant concept – its a secure child-sized replica of a city where children can role-play “jobs” in a corporate-sponsored office or factory.  Jobs such as baker, surgeon, pilot, fireman, financial analyst, train conductor, radio personality, news anchor, etc. After each job, they get paid in Kidzania currency that they access by opening a bank account, make withdrawls using an atm, and use it to buy food and goods. They can also apply for a credit card. The kids are on their own including finding employment, waiting in line, and asking for information – the parents mainly observe (i.e. sleep) or they can go shop or dine (one parent must remain in the park), since the KidZania is the anchor for a shopping center.

Its always nighttime in Kidzania – part of the appeal since kids usually aren’t allowed to stay up that late and can play “grown-up”. Numerous security measure are in place, each child and parent are tracked with a bracelet.

Line up to get in. There are 2 “sessions” morning and late afternoon.

Figuring out employment

Train conductor and driver

Job anxiety

Maturnity Ward


Fashion designer

Radio personality


Financial analyst

Analyzing the viability of a business


Pizza maker



Visiting the bank


Sushi chef

Coca-cola bottler


Tired parents

This entry was posted in cool stuff, Japan, Photography, travel. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Kidzania

  1. Vividhunter says:

    That looks awesome, I like the variety of jobs they have to try. The kids are adorable.

  2. Tania says:

    It is surely a brilliant concept! Pity that we are too old to try those jobs out. Haha 😀

  3. I do love your photographs.. but to be honest – I find it a bit freeky seeing these kids already starting to get indoctrinated into the worker bee world.. plenty of time for that later, let kids be kids while they can , they seem to be enjoying it all though !!… Tanya.

    • Ken says:

      Kids like to play grown up – they all seemed really into it. Interesting story of how the Barbie doll came about. Ruth, the wife of a Mattel executive noticed her daughter Barbara liked to play with paper dolls by giving them adult roles. Ruth tried to pursuade her husband to create an adult like doll but he immediately rejected the idea. But while on a family vacation to Switzerland she bought an adult like doll (she didn’t speak German and the doll was actually a sex symbol doll sold mainly to middle-aged men) Back at home the husband was able to see how her daughter played with the adult toy and thus came about the Barbie doll.

  4. alcesti says:

    I’m crazy for these pictures! Thank you for sharing them.

  5. Cuteness overload.

  6. Enrique Mena says:

    Dear Ken,
    Thank you very much for sharing your experience and taking such lovely pictures. We hope you enjoyed your visit to KidZania Koshien.

  7. lrntn says:

    great concept! and great story telling through your photos.

  8. I liked more the looks of the parents watching their kids

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