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Archive for the ‘Kids in Japan’ Category

Photo #47 – Nintendo DS & Sony PSP Kyudo Preparation Rituals

Kyudo students pass the time with Nintendo DS and Sony PSP handheld game systems while waiting for their turn in a Kyoto kyudo archery examination.

Episode 5 of the Savage Japan Podcast, the racism episode, was recorded at the nearby Kyoto International Community Center shortly after this photo was taken. Episode 5 with its difficult subject matter is proving to be a tough episode to crank out. The current target date for availability is Friday, September 10th. You can hear previous episodes of the Savage Japan Podcast at SavageJapan.com or SavageSnowPodcast.com.


These kids were completely absorbed in their Nintendo DS and Sony PSP games as they waited for their turn in a kyudo archery examination being held at the Kyoto Budo Center.

This is purely anecdotal, but in my limited observations it seems that Nintendo rules the handheld gaming market in Japan as I think they do in the US. This is one of the few instances where I’ve actually seen a PSP outside of a store in Japan. The Nintendo DS in its various incarnations is everywhere though.

To see what some of the other kids were doing to pass the time and to see a colorful selection of their interesting bow and arrow cases, check out the previous photo.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

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Photo #46 – Japanese Manga, Video Games, and Kyudo

Japanese kids waiting for their kyudo archery exam to begin read manga and play portable video games.

Episode 5 of the Savage Japan Podcast, the racism episode, was recorded at the nearby Kyoto International Community Center shortly after this photo was taken. Episode 5 with its difficult subject matter is proving to be a tough episode to crank out. The current target date for availability is Friday, September 10th. You can hear previous episodes of the Savage Japan Podcast at SavageJapan.com or SavageSnowPodcast.com.


Japanese kids in Kyoto
sit amongst their colorful bow and arrow cases as they wait for their turn at a kyudo archery examination at the Kyoto Budo Center.

At first I thought the girls on the left might be quite studious, possibly reading significant pieces of literature on their downtime here in the east corridor outside the Kyoto Budo Center’s kyudo archery facility. I then noticed they were reading thick Japanese black and white comic books (manga). Still, they are probably expanding their minds more than the kids in the distant background who are playing video games. :-)

I find the archery equipment cases quite interesting, mostly because they are items that if seen back in the US I would not have known what they were for. But here in Japan, I’m sure kyudo bow and arrow cases are quite common accessories and perhaps seen fairly often in day to day life.

I suspect most kyudo students leave their equipment at their regular training facility most of the time as my house mates do, so maybe it’s not super common to see these cases being toted around every day in Japan.

Kyudo archery is offered in Japanese schools, so most families have probably had at least one member of the family who participated or a neighbor that did.

Photo Detail: I didn’t realize it at the time I snapped the picture, but the wall on the right side of this photo (with barbed wire at the top) separates the Kyoto Budo Center grounds from the Heian Jingu Shrine’s western perimeter.

As you can see in the map below, Heian Jingu is just around the corner from the Kyoto Budo Center. The entrance to the Budo Center is on the street to the left of the marker that shows where I was standing when this photo was taken.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

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Photo #21 – Keep it Movin’! (Preschool Kids in Kyoto, Japan)

Preschool kids in Kyoto, Japan

This photo corresponds with Episode 4 of the Savage Japan Podcast. Episode 4 can be heard here at SavageJapan.com or here at SavageSnowPodcast.com.


A group of kids on a Kyoto field trip are herded back on small buses after enjoying some time at a Kyoto playground on the street running along Nijo Castle’s northern perimeter. Peach, lavender, and white caps helped keep everyone organized.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

Photo #20 – Kyoto Community Playground

Japanese preschool kids on Kyoto playground

This photo corresponds with Episode 4 of the Savage Japan Podcast. Episode 4 can be heard here at SavageJapan.com or here at SavageSnowPodcast.com.


These Japanese preschool kids are wrapping up a visit to a Kyoto community playground before hopping back on buses to go back to school.

The kids were definitely amused by my observation of them as they marched past. A few “Hellos” were tossed out to me. With Japanese kids, I figure they will be more delighted if I return their greetings in English so they can feel a sense of interaction in another language. However, younger kids can be a little spooked by my reply. I sometimes see an expression of confusion develop on the children’s faces as they suddenly realize they don’t know how to proceed beyond hello.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

Photo #7 – Young Gaijin Discovers Japanese Vending Machines

Young gaijin discovers Japanese vending machines at the JR Kansai Airport Train Station.

This photo corresponds with Episode 2 of the Savage Japan Podcast. Episode 2 can be heard here at SavageJapan.com or here at SavageSnowPodcast.com.


For your departure from Kansai International Airport, if you choose to board the Haruka Express Train to Kyoto, you will enter at the overhead crosswalk level seen in Photo #5 and then descend to this platform after buying your ticket just inside the entrance of the JR Kansai Airport Station (Photo #6).

A streamlined bank of vending machines beckons with its glow on the dimly lit train platform, giving you a hint of the Japanese vending machine culture that will be experienced throughout your visit.

Photo Details: This image was snapped through the window of the Haruka Express Train, moments before rolling out of the Kansai Airport Station and onto the bridge that connects the airport’s small man-made island to Honshu, Japan’s main island. I suspect this young man has arrived in Japan for his first journey into the land of readily available vending machines. I’m sure many grand adventures are in store for him.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

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