Japanese Kindergarten (Yochien) begins in a few weeks. Are you prepared? Your yochien will have provided you with a list of items to hand-make, purchase and label. However, there are a number of items not highlighted that your kids will need daily throughout their years in yochien.
Here are necessary items to purchase for Japanese Yochien (all available on Amazon Japan).
Indoor Shoes (上履き) 1000 yen – 1500 yen. Every child who attends Japanese Yochien will need a pair of indoor shoes. Amazon has a variety of shoes from the standard white type to more colorful selections. You`ll need to purchase a new one each year as your child will outgrow them quickly.
Obento Set (子供お弁当セット) Typically around 3000 – 4000 yen. Your child will need a complete Obento/Lunch Set; Obento container (some schools require an aluminum lunch container and band), cloth placemat, spoon, fork, chopsticks (training chopsticks if your child has not yet learned to hold chopsticks), cup, toothbrush and bag to hold the items listed above. Kids will also need a water bottle with a strap to carry with them on school outings.
Name Stamp Set (名前スタンプセット) You`ll have to label every clothing item that your child takes to school. This is the easiest and fastest way to mark your child`s belongings: clothes, books, bags, shoes, school accessories, etc. You will need someone who can read Japanese to assist in the ordering process.
Child-sized Handkerchief (子供用ハンカチ) Typically 500 yen for 3 or 1000 yen for more popular sets. Paper towels are not used at Japanese schools so your child will have to carry a handkerchief to dry their hands daily. Amazon has a great selection of these 16cm x 16cm handkerchiefs for girls and boys.
Pocket Tissues (キャラクターポケットティッシュ) Typically 590 yen for a pack of 6. Comes in handy for those winter colds or during allergy season. Some kids can be seen with tissue pack holders which clip onto your uniform. My son lost his tissue packs a number of times. These come in handy (Typically 1000 – 2000 yen).
Long White Socks (白ハイソックス) for kindergarten events and performances, and a good pair of non-lace sneakers.
A number of the items above can be found at the Japanese 100 yen shops as well. What does your Japanese Kindergarten require? Please leave a comment below.
P.S. Visit our Educating your Children in the Japanese School System posts
Guide to Navigating the Hoikuen System – Application Process and Tips
Guide to Making Obento – Supplies, Tips and Where to Purchase
Required Japanese Kindergarten Items (Yochien)
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