KidZania Osaka

We visited KidZania in Osaka earlier this week and had such a great time. I wanted to share our experience ... check it out ...
KidZania is located in Lalaport Koshien shopping mall (at this address: 3020 LaLaport Koshien, 1-100 Hachibancho, Koshien, Nishinomiya, Hyogo). There is plenty of parking at the shopping mall, or it can be accessed by train at the Koshien Station (East Exit) on the Hanshin Main Line (about an 8-minute walk). More information regarding access is available here (in English).
KidZania is open most days, although a reservation is usually necessary. It is incredibly popular and is often booked solid, days and weeks in advance.
Same day tickets are available for purchase, from 7:15am for the morning shift, and from 9:30am for the afternoon shift and are sold on a first-come first-serve basis.
Check their online calendar and reservation system here (in English).
There are two shifts (you can stay for only one) each day, the morning (from 9:00am til 3:00pm) and afternoon (from 4:00pm til 9:00pm), and the prices differ as you can see below (8% sales tax is not included in these prices) ...

* The Winter Holiday is from Friday, December 23, 2016, to Monday, January 9, 2017.
** If online bookings are made over 4 months in advance, a 20% discount is available on admission prices.
*** For kids (3-15y/o) who possess the Disabled Persons' Certificate issued by a local authority, special prices are available. Check for more ticket information here.
If you have never been to Kizdania, or never heard of it, keep reading for a more detailed explanation.
What is KidZania?
Complete with shops, vehicles and a functional society, KidZania is a 2/3 scale city just for Kids. Choose an activity at the Radio Station, Airplane, Bank or any of the over 60 pavilions. Put on a uniform and get to work!
What can you do?
First, choose a pavilion where you want to work. After you finish your job, you get paid in the local currency, "kidZos". Use your kidZos to shop and pay for services.
Keep it, use it, eat it!
At most activities, you will be creating something new. Whether it is food from the Pizza Shop or Bakery, or a DVD from the Fashion Show, what you make is yours!
Using English
Though most Activities are in Japanese, a limited number are conducted in English every day. Regardless of language skill, all Kids are encouraged to try any activity they wish!
Be prepared
Just like any country you will travel to, the more you plan before you enter, the better. Here are 3 things to get you started...
1- The official local currency of KidZania is the "kidZo". To get your visit started right, you will get a Traveler's Cheque worth 50 kidZos. You can use this money right away at any activity that costs kidZos. If you don't have enough money, you can do a job that will pay you more. Open an account at the Bank and save your kidZos for future visits to KidZania.
2- Open your City Map and you will see the many choices you have. There are over 60 pavilions at KidZania Koshien spread over two floors. When you find an activity you want to do, look for either a "+Z" mark to show a job where you can earn kidZos, or a "-Z" mark where you have to use kidZos.
3- Your Job Schedule Card is your main tool for reserving activities and keeping track of all the things you do during your visit. Use it throughout the day to find out which activities have taken a professional picture of you!

We got started on a Monday at 4:00pm and stayed until about 7:30pm, my son was able to join 4 activities and had a great time. It was our first visit and it took a few tries to get into a rhythm. We could have stayed longer, but it was a school night and we were all a bit tired after a long day!

The activities he chose were `Car life support center`, `Car rental`, `Department of motor vehicles` and `Pen shop`.

At the Car life support center, `It’s time to get your hands dirty! As a Car Mechanic at the Car Life Support Center, you get the opportunity to work on a real car. Change the tires, charge the battery, tune-up the engine, and learn about the things that make a car go!`

At the Car rental, `Driver’s license in one hand and car keys in the other means you’re ready to roll. Take your car for a spin around the Car Area but don’t forget to fill up at the Gas Station.`

At the Department of motor vehicles, `All revved up and ready to go? You’ll need to take your driver’s test before you hit the streets. Once you’ve learned about street signs, traffic rules and driving manners you’ll get the green light to go and rent your car.`

And at the Pen shop, `Kids choose a pen design and the ink colors to make a tricolor pen. Each Kid’s name is also etched into the pen, so that their pen is the only one like it in the world!`
*Some jobs/activities earn the kids money, and others cost money (kidZos), so be sure to check your balance before starting an activity.
**You can earn money (in paper form) and keep it with you, or open a bank account inside KidZania. If you choose to open an account, you will receive an ATM card and be able to withdraw `cash` when you need it.
***For more information on all the activities and jobs, check here.
Here are some personal pictures from our trip to KidZania. 

Have fun!
Fran xx

Fran Japani