I have kids so I know what a challenge it can be to travel with kids. There are many places that you would like to go to as an adult, and there are some cultural and historic things you would like to do and see. Sometimes that can be hard with kids.

Whenever I am traveling with my young kids in a big city I am a bit of an emotional wreck. Train stations in particular make me worry. What if we are separated in a crowd? What if one of us gets off the train and the other gets stuck? What would I do if the doors closed and train pulled away with one of us still on the platform? I have a vivid imagination of one of us, probably both of us, screaming.

Yes, perhaps an over-dramatization, but there is a psychological stress added to traveling with kids in busy places that really has no place in my vacation time–which is SUPPOSED to be relaxing.

Another issue of taking shorter people (kids) to bigger events is that they don’t really get to see as much as their parents do. In crowds they often the backs of other people as you stand watching parades or live shows. That’s not fun for kids.

But then again, as a parent you don’t always want to be at Disneyland or something similar. Once in a while it can be fun, but as parents we also want our kids to have meaningful and unique cultural experiences too. We want them to try new things, to see how other people in the world live, and to sow the seeds of cultural tolerance and understanding that will serve them for their whole lives.

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How about having your daughter try on a kimono? Or your son trying on a boy’s kimono with hakama (the pants part of the kimono)? How about doing a tea ceremony with the kids, and giving them a chance to mix tea, to learn how to serve tea? How about trying your hand at calligraphy with a master teacher? Your kids can learn how to write their names in Japanese? How about going to an udon-making lesson where you make noodles from scratch in a Japanese restaurant kitchen? How about taking the ferries out to the islands to visit art, walk around modern art houses, or even go to the island of ogres (Megishima)? How about timing a visit to coincide with a local festival so your kids can enjoy the same kinds of games and activities that local kids do?

Now THAT is the kind of cultural vacation that makes sense for a family. Calm, relaxed, less noise, less crowds, less pollution, fun, unique, original, and something that will create memories forever.

We will have more details on how to piece all that together in the weeks to come! Contact me privately for further information. cometokagawa@gmail.com

Welcome to Kagawa!