A Look Outside The Main Building of A Japanese Elementary School

  • Come on! Let’s go outside the main building of the Japanese Elementary School.

    Gymnasium (Taiikukan)

    Here is the gymnasium. The gymnasium is one of the most important and most memorable places in school because this is where the school ceremonies are held. The opening ceremony, entrance ceremony, and closing ceremony are held in the gymnasium. P.E classes are sometimes held here too. On rainy days when kids can’t play outside, they play in the gymnasium instead.

    Swimming Pool (Pu-ru)

    It doesn’t matter if the school is big (with hundreds of students) or small (with just thirty students all in all), there will always be a swimming pool in its grounds. Elementary students learn swimming twice week starting around the month of June until the end of the first semester before the school closes for summer vacation. This is one thing about Japanese elementary schools that I really like because we don’t have it in our country. We just learn to swim by ourselves.

    Playground (Undo-jo-)

    All study without play will certainly make the Japanese children go bored. So the school has a wide playground for the kids to play. They also do their P.E classes here. And, of course, this is the venue for the sports festival. It is also very safe and kept clean. No trash or broken glasses whatsoever or anything that could hurt the kids. By the way, If you use your Google map and just wander about, and see a light brown spot on it, that is a school playground! So it’s easy to find a school in Google map by its playground.

    Pantry (Cho-risitsu)

    Most schools have their own pantry where the school lunch is being prepared. This area gets very busy during lunchtime when students get their food and utensils and later when they return them after eating. Other schools don’t have pantries, but there is a separate area called kyushoku center located where they prepare the lunch for the school’s within the community.

    Hand-washing Area (Araiba)

    I would like to mention this area in our tour because this is very important for the kids health. Hand-washing areas are found in every corner or alley of the school. Students are trained to wash their hands before and after eating and after playing.

    And there is one place I almost forget to mention which is liked by many students. It is the place where the school keeps its pet animals. It is usually rabbits that are kept in that ‘cage’. It’s a big cage and students are trained to take care of the animals.


    Japanese is being praised around the world for its advanced technology, rich culture, clean environment and well-mannered people. If any country would like to imitate Japan, I think it is better if they start imitating Japan’s educational system. Invest in quality education and the rest will follow to the road of success.

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