American Mom Living In Japan Shows The Magic Of Japanese Playground


Nickelle Mickelsen is an American mom living in Okinawa, Japan with her family. Her TikTok account highlights the juxtaposition between the two cultures, showing how kid-friendly cultures truly help families thrive, while the latter has parents struggling to find third places, kid-friendly restaurants, and decked-out mother’s rooms.

In her most recent video, Mickelson takes her followers through the details of how a Japanese playground compares to an American playground. While they may look somewhat similar, there is so much more to a Japanese park and playground than meets the eye.

“So parks in Japan are like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I’m going to show you what the one we came to today is like,” she begins.

The video then shows all the interesting and unique features offered at Comprehensive Park including a bouncing area, huge slides of all different shapes and sizes, a large rock climbing tunnel, a zip line, and a ropes course.

Mickelson also features a vending machine filled with chilled water, tea drinks and even hot coffee.

Unsurprisingly, the video caught the eye of several TikTok users who were stunned by the beauty of the Japanese playgrounds. One user even remembered her own experience at a park in Japan and wrote, “Ugh I miss parks in Japan! So clean even the restrooms!”

“Getting deja vu… I swear I dreamt of this playground when I was little…,” another wrote.

“You wouldn’t believe how many people have said the same thing,” the OP replied.

Another wrote, “Lived in Japan for a few years and then in Germany for a few years. Playgrounds in both countries are AMAZING.”

One user pointed out, “In the USA you have to pay to go to parks like this”

Japan is not the only country that is out-pacing the U.S. when it comes to accommodating kids and families. Denmark has some of the best playgrounds in the world, and the government’s paid leave for new parents offers 24 weeks of fully paid parental leave.

The U.S. does not have mandated paid maternity or paternity leave for working citizens. That’s right. There are zero weeks of fully paid leave for American parents.

Spanish parents drink beer and have adult conversations after work while children have a ball on a play structure a few yards away without fear of the worst happening.

This kind of park, just like Comprehensive Park, is a perfect example of what it means for a country to truly invest in its youth and make families feel like they are considered. The U.S. has some catching up to do.



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