Yesterday, we went to Miyoshino Jidose children’s centre to participate in a free event for toddlers. Half way through the hour long event, DD1 decided she’d had enough. It is very relaxed at these events for preschoolers, so there is no problem leaving the room during the event to do other things. DD1 had her eye on the training wall on the ground floor; an opportunity to use it all by herself.
Miyoshino Children’s Center
The free children’s centers in Japan are most often called Jidokan, but for some reason around these parts they are mostly called “Jidose” for Jido Center. Miyoshino Jidose is an old fashioned children’s center in a rural part of Sakado. It has rice fields and vegetable patches on three sides and a small housing area on the other. Its not particularly large, but big enough to entertain children for a few hours.
There are lots of toys and activities that the children can use for free at the various children’s centers around Japan. The “multi-training” wall is one of the favorites with my kids. Both this jido center and the one near Kita Sakado station both have this type of wall, but I haven’t seen it in children’s centers in other towns or cities. They call it a マルチトレーナ in Japanese which translates to multi-trainer. Basically, its a ceramic tiled wall that has a number of buttons with lights. One light flashes, one button at a time, to indicate which button to press. The activity runs on a timer and the aim is to hit as many of the targets as possible.
The center has a number of push along rides in the main hall downstairs. They also take out a large trampoline a few times a week in the hall too. There is a small room also on this floor which doubles up as a study room for the kids that go here straight from school. They have large blocks in this room and several board games for kids to play with. There are also several boxes of trains and cars which can be brought out to the main hall to play with. This floor also has a large kitchen which is used for cooking events with older kids. Outside the kitchen there are large soft blocks that can be used to make a house or maze or a fort!
Upstairs has a room with a carpet with toys for children younger than school going age. They’ve a really good selection of toys. It also has a small climbing frame and slide for toddlers. There are a couple of cots in this room and a small area for nursing babies. This is the room where the baby and toddler events are held. And in the summer when they have their haunted house event they use this room. Its a great event for the record.
There is a small playground outside with a flying fox, a spring ride, sand pit (with shovels, buckets, moulds) and slide. There are more push along rides here as well as some bikes and unicycles the kids can use freely. They have dozens of balls that kids can use freely too.
They hold some really great events throughout the year. As well as some regular monthly events. They have dance classes for older kids, exercise classes for Moms and babies and weekly “circles” for parents and kids. Their annual haunted house is actually very good. And they celebrate all the traditional Japanese holidays with crafts, decorations as well as events. Moreover (for the most part) all the events are free.
Miyoshino Children’s Centre is located in the Miyoshino area of Sakado.
Address 150-5 Kouya, Sakado City
Access A 10 minute walk from Higashi Sakado Danshi busstop on the bus bound for “Kawagoe Station” via Higashi Sakado Danshi which goes from Wakaba station on the Tobu Tojo line. For residents of Sakado there is free city shuttle bus; the “higashi” (East) course’s busstop number 12 “Miyoshino Jido Centre” stops right outside the Children’s Centre.
Another children’s center in Sakado
If you are in the area in spring, don’t miss both the famous weeping cherry blossom and other stunning cherry blossoms which are nearby: