Getting a Little Banking Done at KidZania
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Kid Banking, Grown-Up Style -- KidZania Koshien -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/100 sec, f/4, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Kid Banking, Grown-Up Style

Continuing with the story about our visit to KidZania in Nishinomiya, Japan the other day, where Anthony started his play by working as a gas-station attendant. After working at the gas station, he wanted to be on the opposite end of the experience, as a driver. To drive in KidZania involves renting a car, but to do that you have to have money (which he now did, thanks to his gas-station pay) and a driver license, which he did not have.

To get a driver license, you have to attend driving school (which itself has a cost), but he found the school booked up solid for a while, so he decided to take the time to get some banking done.

The KidZania banking experience is exceedingly realistic.

Waiting For a Teller -- KidZania Koshien -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 29 mm — 1/250 sec, f/3.5, ISO 4500 — map & image datanearby photos
Waiting For a Teller
Finally His Turn teller presents dish for the customer to place paperwork or whatnot -- KidZania Koshien -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/250 sec, f/3.5, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Finally His Turn
teller presents dish for the customer to place paperwork or whatnot

There's not a single thing in the picture above that gives it away as fake. Every detail of everything you see in the picture above (and the two below), including the teller mannerisms and even facial expressions, is 100% authentic. If I were to see these pictures out of context, I wouldn't believe they're fake (although unlike the kids, I wouldn't think the stack of cash behind the glass is real.... I'd think it's some sort of promotional display). Without question this was the most realistic experience of the day.

The bank, by the way – Sumitomo Mitsui – has its roots back to 1683. Fumie's had an account there since she was a kid (though not at the KidZania branch 🙂 ). According to Wikipedia, it's the 8th largest bank in the world.

Filling Out a Form or something -- KidZania Koshien -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/250 sec, f/3.5, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Filling Out a Form
or something

When we arrived at KidZania, Anthony received a traveler's check for 50 KidZo (“KidZo” being the monetary unit in KidZania). Here at the bank, he opened an account in his name and deposited it, receiving a wallet and an ATM card. When I was a kid you got a toaster or some steak knives when you opened a bank account; KidZania seems to be more practical.

Waiting -- KidZania Koshien -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 50 mm — 1/100 sec, f/6.3, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Waiting

Once he got out, he wanted his money as cash, not realizing that he could have gotten it from the teller. So, ATM card in hand, off to get some cash....

Real ATM with kid-friendly programming and a booster step -- KidZania Koshien -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 32 mm — 1/100 sec, f/6.3, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Real ATM
with kid-friendly programming and a booster step

The ATM was quite real, but the software was highly customized for KidZania. All the writing was at the first-grade level (all kanji had furigana), and the transactions were limited to withdrawals and balance inquiries. Also, when entering the PIN, any four digits will do 🙂 .

Anthony's Account Options that's his name on the second line of text, in blue -- KidZania Koshien -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 66 mm — 1/100 sec, f/4, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
Anthony's Account Options
that's his name on the second line of text, in blue
Cash, Baby! -- KidZania Koshien -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 45 mm — 1/100 sec, f/4, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Cash, Baby!

Flush with cash, he was then off on his next adventure.

Continued here...


All 2 comments so far, oldest first...

That seems like such an awesome place to bring a kid. I’m seriously thinking of bringing my daughter there. Thanks for the fantastic photos.

— comment by Earnest Barr in Amami, Japan on July 3rd, 2009 at 3:43pm JST (8 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeff,

I use to work with your brother Mike at MindArrow. This a great website, I got the link from Facebook to see the pictures of the kids on vacation. My daughter is in her third year of studing Japanese in high school. She loves your blog and will be passing it on to her classmates for a glimpse of life in Japan if you don’t mind.

Thanks for sharing!

Lucy

— comment by Lucy Roberts on August 5th, 2009 at 3:24am JST (8 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink
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