Our Japan Month Long Study: An Overview

My nearly six year old daughter received Little Passports as a Christmas gift and so we have been expanding on the country each month as part of our homeschool. This month we have been learning about Japan.

I like to include lots of books (of course!), movies, artist study, geography, science (wildlife info for my animal obsessed kid), cooking, and music. My overall goal is always to show the variety of ways people live in the world and to find ways to be inspired by our differences and our similarities.


I try to find a wide variety of books- from fiction to nonfiction. You can see the books we used here.

Movies and Documentaries

We are huge fans of the Japanese animation firm Studio Ghibli and so we had no shortage of movies to choose from. We did a whole week of Movie Dinners watching some of our favorites (and a new to us movie too). You can read this post to see what we watched.

We also found a series called Little Travelers on Amazon (free for Prime members). If your kids are younger, I really recommend it! We also watched a Nature episode called Snow Monkeys via Amazon (free for prime members).

Artist Study & Art projects

  • We took a close look at Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama and then made our own art inspired by her (post to come).
  • I have big plans for Shibori dying of tshirts if I can get my act together to buy the required 5 gallon bucket.
  • We will also do an artist study of Hokusai’s 36 Views of Mt. Fiji and complete a printing project.


My daughter actually already loves Japanese food, especially sushi. We plan to go to a sushi restaurant sometime in the next week.

We also made Chicken Nandan Udon. We had to buy dashi stock concentrate, which I found on Amazon, but it was otherwise so easy to make. We will probably be making it again soon. I ordered pretty chopsticks, which were very exciting to the girls to use. For dessert that night we had the Mochi ice cream treats from Trader Joe’s.

This week we will be doing our best attempt at a Japanese Tea Ceremony for our Poetry Teatime and will be reading haikus and may even attempt to write our own.


We have been listening every now and then to playlists I find on Spotify of traditional Japanese music and Japanese Pop.


We have been looking at Japan in our multiple atlases, our wall map, and our globe. We will complete this map and color this flag printable.

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