Today, my friend Merri and I, went to check out the Aeon Mall, in the neighboring town of Hinode. We heard that they had a great play area for kids, so what better activity for a rainy day. The play area was, in fact, awesome (no surprise there), and the kids loved it!
This thing spun around slowly, like a corkscrew.
The real crowd favorite was the balloon room. Just a bunch of balloons and some air blowing made the balloons float. Every so often you would hear one POP! (I am sure that is why the US wouldn't have anything like this- someone would deem it too dangerous!)
There were ball pits of varying sizes.
The kids could ride on these, as the entire thing rotated.
After play time was over we headed to the nearest restroom for a potty break. I couldn't believe my eyes when I walked in. It was amazing! I also loved how it was located just steps from the play area. I can't tell you the number of times, when my girls were toddlers, that we had to leave the play area and walk to the other end of the mall and through a department store for the inevitable diaper change, which would eat up 20 minutes of playtime. This matters to a mom!
There were 3 different sized bathroom stalls for kids. Check out how small the tiniest potty was!
Tiny urinals. And yes, the bathrooms are always incredibly clean here.
And tiny sinks.
Great, right? But things were only getting good at this point. Then there was a sliding door titled "Baby Room".
This baby room was incredible, this was a big couch for resting. (No this isn't the nursing lounge, there are rooms for that!)
These are the nursing rooms. There were several individual rooms, with sliding doors that could be closed for privacy.
Plush, and clean(!) changing tables.
A vending machine with juice, and what looked like formula.
A baby scale and measuring station. Yes, remember we are in a mall!
There was even a fancy, high tech, bottle warmer.
Not to mention a nice sink and clean up area. Amazing!
Next up, was the food court. I thought this was a rather odd name for a children's clothing store. Haha!
The girls are gaining an appreciation for Japanese food. Eva even opted for the gyoza (fried dumplings) over McDonald's today.
Food court food is always served on real dishes here, and there is always a 'help yourself' water station, along with rags to wipe your table, if you wish.
Yes, even the food court had an area dedicated to children with small tables and chairs.
Another bottle warmer machine, lots of wipes for spills and also hand wipes. Not to mention the little sink. So many things to help a mother, and it is not like the Japanese have huge families. It seems as though the US designs things to check the box, while here, so much thought is put into what the life of the user might be like and what would be helpful in said life. It has really been eye opening.
So, sorry for another bathroom blog, but I just had to share!