Playtime can be educational too, especially at KidZania Tokyo, which introduces future generations to the world of work through fun activities. Here, children can role play – as pilots or cabin attendants, police officers, firefighters, car mechanics or factory workers, all set in a fully realised miniature city complete with shops, vehicles and a functioning society.
Non-Japanese speakers should drop in on Wednesdays, when around 40 out of the 100 or so available ‘jobs’ and services can be experienced entirely in English. The kids are also paid a salary at the end of their stint, in the form of the city’s own kidZos currency, which can be used to shop at the department store and soft-serve ice cream parlour, or redeem for several services including the rental of child-sized cars. Activities are designed for ages three to 15, and reservations are recommended.