Help me plan a vacation scavenger hunt in Japan!
October 1, 2019 3:02 AM   Subscribe

We'll be traveling to Japan in 2 weeks time with my 5-year old. One of the things we plan to do is walk a lot; in particular we're going on a short hike through the countryside. To keep my kid from getting too bored, I was thinking of preparing a sort of scavenger hunt for him to play while we're on our feet: a list of things he'd need to spot and point out while walking around. I need help coming up with that list!

(Note that by scavenger hunt I just mean objects that he needs to look out for along the way, and not anything he needs to collect.)

The trail I'm going on is the Yamanobe-no-michi. However I don't mind suggestions for some of the other places we'll be walking around either: Osaka, Kyoto, Koyasan (particularly Oku-no-in).

So far, for Yamanobe-no-michi, I'm thinking of things like old statues, persimmon trees, kofun, torii, pagodas, animals maybe. Other common things that can be seen along the Japanese countryside would work. Thanks for your suggestions!
posted by destrius to Travel & Transportation around Japan (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Looks like a great walk and a wonderful thing to do with your five year old. Things?
* a fern
* somebody wearing a bell (bear warning, even though likely no bears there)
* three stones piled up (sometimes people do that along paths)
* a jizo with red bib
* a log made of concrete (it's a thing, "log" fences made of cast concrete)
* sadly there will be various kinds of trash along the trail and clean up could be a different thing with its own list: georgia coffee can, pack of smokes, pocari bottle, etc. Maybe not recommended.
posted by Gotanda at 3:31 AM on October 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

posted by bilabial at 5:04 AM on October 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

Japan Rail train stations and many other places like museums and touristy spots have ink stamping stations that you can use. I always bring a blank notebook to Japan to "collect" these stamps.
posted by sukeban at 5:09 AM on October 1, 2019 [3 favorites]

I saw a mannequin head on a stick being used as a scarecrow on that path many years ago,so maybe interesting scarecrows.

mid-October may be early for it but people might be hanging their persimmons to dry.

In Kyoto a nice walk is from Nanzenji to Ginkakuji along the tetsugagu no Michi. The cinnamon smell of shops making yatsuhashi is quite nice.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 8:14 AM on October 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

Japanese manhole covers are amazing and fun to collect pictures of. Though, not so much in the countryside.
posted by eotvos at 6:05 PM on October 1, 2019

Tanooki statues! They look like this and have several good-luck meanings.

Little bowls of salt outside of shops might be another fun one.
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 8:28 PM on October 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

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