Japan for Kids

Japan is a country that offers lots of interesting avenues to explore! My children were inspired to do endless watercolour pictures of some of the beautiful things that reflect a taste of the Japanese culture.



Find Japan on your world map.It is a country made up of many islands, four big islands and over 3000 small ones in the Pacific Ocean.The capital of Japan is Tokyo, which is on the island of Honshu. Can you find it on a map?


Mt. Fuji is the most famous volcano, and also the highest mountain in Japan. Japan's longest river is the Shinano River. If you like, mark all these features on your map.


Make the flag of Japan, using collage.



Calligraphy is the art of beautiful handwriting. Japanese is written in three different ways, one way of writing is called kanji, which is made up of different characters, which come from pictures. We just used watercolour paper, a small brush and black watercolour paint and tried our hand at writing Japan and some Japanese characters.



The most famous kind of Japanese poem is the haiku. The most famous haiku poet was Matsuo Basho, who lived in 17th century Japan. Grass Sandals The Travels of Basho by Dawnine Spivak is a lovely story that gives snippets of events from several of Basho's travels.

Practice counting the syllables of some comon words with your children. Haiku is a three-line form of poetry in which the first line has five syllables, the second line has seven syllables, and the last line has five syllables. The subject is usually nature.

Have a go at writing a haiku and draw a picture to illustrate it. Here are ours below.

kangaroo hopping
in the long grass, swish, swish, sway
ears go twitch, twitch, twitch

butterfly landing
sucking nectar, bright flower
flitter, flutter, flies

Why not try growing a bonsai tree? Bonsai is the art of growing trees in pots or trays. Through careful trimming and wiring, the beauty of a full grown tree is recreated in miniature.

We only painted pictures of bonsai, because the only plants we have that have that are thriving, are cacti!


The kimono is a beautiful robe made from silk or cotton. All Japanese people wore the kimono at one time, but now it is usually only worn for festivals, tea ceremonies, or visiting shrines.

Wooden clogs called geta are worn with the kimono.



There are so many people in Japan, that there are people called "pushers" who's job is to push passengers onto trains that are crowded to enable the doors to close!

For the 1964 Olympic Games held in Japan, the "Bullet Train" service was started to carry visitors between the two main cities, Tokyo and Kyoto (the old capital of Japan), where the events were held. The bullet train travels over 200km per hour!

Japanese cherry trees are famous all over the world for their beauty in full bloom. The government has even given them as gifts to other countries.

The world's longest tunnel under the sea, the Siekan Tunnel is in Japan. It is nearly 54km long and there is a train that runs through it linking two of the Islands!

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