The “Custom Garage” at Goodjoba!! lets children experience what it’s like to assemble a car (Goodjoba!!)
Do you own something made by a Japanese company? The manufacturing of products such as automobiles and electronics is Japan’s main industry. As one of the world’s most advanced industrial countries, Japan has a history of producing excellent goods with superb technology. In recent years, great emphasis has been placed on the production of high-performance and environmentally friendly products.
Experiences Unique to Japan
Facilities and theme parks at which visitors can experience Japanese manufacturing while having fun are popular with children. The KidZania chain offering occupational and social experiences aimed at children is found all over the globe, but KidZania Tokyo (in Tokyo) offers experiences that are unique to Japan. Most Japanese school children write with pencils and at the “Pencil Factory Pavilion” they get to try making one themselves. By inserting leads into grooves in a wooden board and affixing and cutting the wood and lead with the help of a machine, the children produce pencils. The experience includes checking the finished product and boxing it. At the “Soap Factory Pavilion” on the other hand, children can make soap relying on a traditional method that uses a cauldron. The soap base is created by inserting ingredients like caustic sodas and natural fats or oils into the cauldron, to which components for aroma and moisture are then added and molded together. The resulting soap can be taken home and should make the next bath much more enjoyable.
KidZania’s “Pencil Factory Pavilion.” The pencils’ hardness is tested by writing. Based on their hardness, pencils are divided into 22 different categorie
Finished pencils of approximately the same quality as store-bought ones
The “Soap Factory Pavilion.” The ingredients for the soap base are poured into the cauldron and melted
Playfully Understanding the Production Process
Tokyo’s Yomiuriland theme park contains an area called “Goodjoba!!” that focuses on experiencing Japanese manufacturing and which features attractions based on car, food, fashion, and writing-utensil factories. In the “Custom Garage,” for example, children can attach various parts to the body of a car to create a car design of their own choosing and even go for a test ride. At “Splash U.F.O.” visitors enter boats shaped like cup noodles (instant noodles in the bowl cooked by pouring hot water into the paper/plastic container) and observe the production process while being led through the facility. They also select ingredients to create their own individual instant noodles. Both the “Custom Garage” and “Splash U.F.O.” teach visitors how products are made in a factory while letting them have fun.
The world’s only workshop that lets visitors make their own individual instant noodles. 5460 different flavor combinations are possible (Goodjoba!!)
Original packages can be designed, by drawing illustrations on design sheets which become the lid of cup noodles (Goodjoba!!)
The finished cup noodles is enclosed in an air-filled package and can be taken home (Goodjoba!!)
Following the cup noodles production process at “Splash U.F.O.” (Goodjoba!!)
Astonishingly Realistic Food Samples
Another unique, but slightly different experience which you can boast to others is the production of food samples. In Japan, restaurants often display realistic plastic samples of their dishes in the front and these food samples are said to have been first created in Japan approximately 80 years ago. Such samples today are made of synthetic resins and at the workshop offering this experience visitors can make samples of sundaes and soft serve, ramen and fried rice, and many other foodstuffs, all looking so real that one is almost tempted to bite into them. Children who have tried this experience call the samples “pretty” and “like real.” We hope that you, too, might consider trying one of these Japanese manufacturing experiences.
Making food samples (Yamato Sample Factory)
Real-looking food samples (Yamato Sample Factory)
Some experiences at individual facilities may be restricted to certain days. Please make sure to directly inquire to facilities ahead of your visit.