The new “Hello from Japan” exhibit promises plenty of Hello Kitty-style cuteness when it comes to the Discovery Children’s Museum in Las Vegas.
The touring show, scheduled to begin Sept. 16, will transport visitors to Tokyo’s Harajuku district, where they will be immersed in ancient and contemporary Japanese cultures.
Upon entering, you’ll walk down a bustling, modern street full of the friendly atmosphere known as “kawaii.” (Americans will probably recognize kawaii through its cartoon-style visuals, popularized by the likes of Hello Kitty and Pokémon.)
As families travel down the colorful avenue, children can test their karaoke skills and pose for pictures in a photo booth.
At the end of the street, visitors cross a bridge leading to a tranquil, park-like setting that includes a traditional Shinto shrine. Shinto is an indigenous religion practiced in Japan.
Kids also are encouraged to crawl through a bamboo “forest” to meet ancient spirits and make wishes at a “wishing tree” that is the centerpiece of the exhibit. Along the way, visitors learn about an ancient culture that remains the foundation for modern-day life in Japan.
The museum is located downtown in the same complex as the Smith Center for the Performing Arts.
The exhibit, originally created for the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, continues through Jan. 31.
Museum admission costs $14.50 per person, regardless of age. During fall and winter months, the museum is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.
The museum opened in 2013. It spans 26,000 square feet on three floors and is adjacent to a large parking structure.
Info: Discovery Children’s Museum, 360 Promenade Place; (702) 382-5437