Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Why Can Children in Japan Walk to School Alone?

     When I moved to the U.S. from Japan, one of the things I was very surprised about US was that children cannot be alone outside and inside home. In the U.S., parents need to take children to schools every morning and pick them up after school. Then, children have to be with their parents or babysitters outside schools. I thought that children are well protected in the U.S., and parents are very busy to follow the law.

      Today, I watched this video, Japan Encourages Parents to Let Kids Walk to School Solo. In Japan, children go to school alone or with friends. After school, they go back home themselves.

      When I was 4 in Japan, I started to go to a kindergarten where was located only about 1/3 mile from my home. I walked to the kindergarten with my friends who were my neighbors and were age 4 to 6. Sometimes, I couldn't wake up on time, so I had to go there alone. I remembered that I was scared at a dog my next-door neighbor owned. Every day, the dog barked at me loudly while I was walking the road near him. The dog was my only enemy at that time. ;)  Now, my sister's children go to a kindergarten with their grandmother by a car because it's located a little far away from their home (Small children cannot walk such a long distance every day.).

      When I was 6, I started to go to an elementary school. I also walked to the school with my neighbors who were 6 to 12. It took us about 45 minutes from home to the school. After school, I walked to home with my friends as well. Then, I went to my friends' houses by bicycle alone and played with them outside or inside home. I was told by my parents to go back home before dark (It's usually 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.). When I was 10 years old or over, my friends and I sometimes went to the next city by a public bus for shopping on weekend. I asked my parents for the permission only when I was planning on going far away from my home. Unlike children in the U.S., Japanese children may go out freely without an adult, and parents don't have to always stay with children, so parents don't need to hire a babysitter. 

Why can children in Japan walk to school alone?

Japan Is The Safest Country, And Children Know How to Avoid the Risk. 
      As you might know that Japan is one of the safest countries in the world. However, it's clear that crime rate is not zero. It possibly happens in Japan. When I was in an elementary school, students were sometimes told by teachers these.

"Do not follow strangers."
"Do not receive anything from strangers."
"Do not trust strangers even if they give you snacks or sweets."
"Do not ride strangers' car"
"If a stranger ask you a direction to your neighbor's home. Do not ride his/her car."
"If a stranger tell you that your father or mother is sick, do not ride his/her car."
"If a stranger try to kidnap you, scream at him/her loudly, run away, find an adult and ask for help."

     I haven't encountered any of these, but I was aware of these risks when I was a little girl. 

       These are also my entries you might like.
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■Japanese Drugstore Shopping List - 6 Best Japanese Products You Can Purchase at Drugstore in Japan!

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■My Top 15 Must Eat Foods in Japan - My Favorite Japanese Foods

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■8 Interesting Japanese Kitchen Gadgets!

■My Top 10 Favorite Japanese Snacks

■My Top 10 Favorite Japanese Sweets 

     My entries related to Best Japanese Beauty Products can be seen here.

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     My entries related to Japan Haul can be seen here.      

     My entries related to beauty can be seen here.

     You can find my beauty entries by categories from here.

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