Let’s Go to the Mall!

23 08 2012

We are facing the heat of a real summer for the first time in 3 years. So what do you do on a day that is too hot to be outdoors? Hit the mall!

My friend Jan and her family told me they were going to spend the morning at the indoor play areas in Aeon Mall. We have been there surprisingly frequently just to walk around and gawk at fascinating consumer goods and Engrish, but I had never encountered these play areas. Both are hidden in the back of arcades. The first is on the bottom floor, inside You’s World arcade. Stumble through all the noisy machines and there is a Chuck E. Cheese style climbing structure to play on. You purchase 20 minute play tickets (200 yen) from a vending machine and write your kid’s name on it. When your 20 minutes are up, they call your name. As you leave you get a lollipop. Not too shabby!

After our 20 minutes were up, we headed upstairs to the other play area. This one is tucked into the back of the main kid’s clothes and toys shop on the second floor. The payment works a little differently. You get a little card when you enter and pay for time used when you leave. It was 300 yen for up to 30 minutes, then 100 per 10 minutes thereafter.

This second play area was definitely cooler, and I don’t think we would have bothered with the other one had we been to this first. There was a bouncy house with slide, which was the height of excitement.


If that wasn’t enough, there are also several toy play areas. A full play house with some cool housewares, but my favorite was definitely the ice cream store. Behind an adorable little counter, there was a huge selection of pretend ice cream. With a special scooper, kids could build tall ice cream cones. There were little costumes to complete the effect, but my kid had no interest.Image

If sweet stuff is not your style, there was also a sushi counter.

Finally, for parents, there was a free fancy massage chair — what’s not to love? I would have taken some pictures of that, but the woman in the chair probably would have thought I was pretty weird.

If we had spent a long time at either of these play areas, it could have gotten expensive, but for a little over an hour, we spent 500 yen (about $6). I think it was money well spent!


*Where is Robin Sparkles when you need her?




One response

28 08 2012

I love the photos, especially the ice cream one! Her calm face defines “anticipation!”

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