Activities for Japan

Language Arts

  1. Learn about the Kimono, the Japanese traditional clothing. How would you describe the clothing? long, flowing, layered, etc. How is the man's kimono different than the woman's kimono? mainly colors - he wears dark conservative colors, she wears brighter colors What do the layers of clothing tell you about the climate in their country? it must be cold a lot!
  2. Read about the sounds of the Japanese language. What meanings can "hashi" have? chopsticks, bridge or edge How are they different? where the accent falls How could this affect learning the language? it could be very hard if your language (English) doesn't do this very often - you could also have students think of examples of where English does this (I know there's a few, I just can't think of any right now). Email me if you do...
  3. Look at the Japanese holidays and cultural events. Find out what holidays are in the current month. Describe the festivities. Do you have a similar holiday? Describe it. Answers will vary. You could get creative here and try to celebrate like they do! Note: Don't worry about viewing the Japanese text! You can read the English fine.
  4. Also visit AskAsia and check out the Activities. Play the language game or make an origami bunny! Note: This AskAsia page has an incredible educator section with lesson plans and more!

Social Studies

  1. Look at this map of Japan. What does the square box in the bottom left hand corner mean? to look at the expanded version of that part of the map - called the inset What is the capital of Japan and what famous mountain is it near? Tokyo and Mt. Fuji What countries are across the sea from Japan? South Korea, North Korea, China, Russia Check this physical map from Atlapedia. Describe the land forms that make up Japan. lots of mountainous islands
  2. What is the national flower of Japan? cherry blossom or sakura How do Japanese people share the significance of this flower? they have festivals, parties under the trees, newspapers tell when and where the trees will bloom What is your state/province/national flower? Why do you think it was chosen? Answers will vary. You could extend the lesson to do an art project related to the arts link on this page.
  3. Visit the Japanese history page. Who were the samurai? the Japanese warriors What principles guided their lives? loyalty, self discipline, brave, selfless behavior. How is this similar to the principles that guide your life? Answers will vary.
  4. What unique and catastrophic event happened in Japan during World War II? the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki For lots of information, visit this Museum and other links on this page. a lot could be done with these pages, especially with the nuclear tests in Asia!


  1. Visit the price check page. Say you leave the airport for a ride in a type 1 taxi and ride for 2km. Then you stop and buy an English newspaper and 10 pieces of chewing gum. Since you're hungry, you buy 3 donuts. Then, since you've lost your toothpaste, you buy the cheapest you can get. Finally you find another taxi (this time type 2), and ride back to the airport (assuming its the same distance back as coming). How many yen will you have spent? Challenge: visit the currency converter to see how many dollars you spent! Answers will vary depending on the current rate.


  1. Visit the Japan Photo Gallery. What else can you pray for? Answers will vary

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