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Boston Children’s Museum
308 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 426-6500

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Wednesday - Sunday
2 Time Slots
10:00-12:30 and 2:00-4:30

Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Boston Kyoto Sister City Relationship

Recognizing the 60th Anniversary of the Boston-Kyoto Sister City Relationship, Boston Children’s Museum is hosting a year-long celebration to include many fun and exciting events and activities!

The Museum is home to the Japanese House (Kyo-no-Machiya), an authentic silk merchant’s house from Kyoto, Japan. This house was originally built in late 1800s, and it was transported to Boston as a generous gift from Kyoto to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Sister City Relationship in 1979. While it is the 60th anniversary for the sister cities, it is also the 40th anniversary of this special historic cultural house exhibition in the Museum. Boston Children’s Museum is proud to be the home of this historical artifact and the learning opportunity it presents for children and families.

If you would like to learn more about its amazing journey here, please look at the many videos and resources available on our Japanese House website:

Special 60th Anniversary Celebration Program 2019 Schedule


Oshogatsu! Japanese New Year Celebration.
Sunday, January 20, 11:00AM - 4:00 PM
Welcome 2019 in the fun and playful Japanese Oshogatsu style with many good luck symbols!
Dance with Taiko drumming beats, pound Mochi sticky rice, parade with Shishi the lion, and relax with Chado the tea ceremony! This celebration invites you to try out so many hands-on activities such as Koma spinning tops, Fuku-warai lucky laugh game, Origami (giant & wearable origami), Omikuji fortune telling and more!


Make ONI Monster Masks.
Friday, February 8, 6:00PM – 8:00PM
Celebrate the Japanese Setsubun customs and make your own ONI monster masks for good luck for your upcoming spring season! Are you ready to shout like monsters and scare away bad luck? “Roarrrrrrr!”


Connect, Connect, Puzzle.
Friday, March 8, 6:00PM - 8:00PM & Saturday, March 9, 10:00am -12:00pm
We are all connected! Friends from Tohoku, Japan invite you to check out the art exhibition “Connect, Connect, Puzzle” and participate in game-like activities through the gallery experience. Find a sense of belonging by playing, creating, and connecting with each other!

Festival of Hina.
Sunday, March 24, 11:00AM – 3:00PM
Experience the Japanese March Festival of Hina, or Hina-matsuri in Japanese – a celebration of womanhood, also known as a festival of dolls, girls, and peaches. March is also Women’s History Month in the U.S. Combining these two traditions, explore stories of strong women, and share stories of inspiring women in your life!


Sakura Day with Boston Public Schools
Wednesday, April 3, 10:30AM – 11:30PM
Performances of spring haiku, songs in Japanese, and more! Boston Public School students from many different neighborhoods will gather and showcase what they have learned in their own classrooms. Through that, the students experience cross-group and cross-cultural interactions and participate in building the community of Boston! The goal of this Boston Public School program is to expand an awareness of the world and to foster respect of cultural diversity.

Celebrate TOMODACHI Friendship – the 60th Anniversary of Kyoto Boston Sister Cities.
Saturday, April 27, 11:00AM – 3:00PM
Celebrating the 60 years of international friendship, Boston Children’s Museum welcome friends from Kyoto, Japan. Please join us and say hi to our friends. Ask them questions about Kyoto and participate in fun, hands-on activities. Meet special guest Makimasa Imai, Kyoto’s famous ceramic artist!


Ikebana – Japanese Flower Arrangement, with Special Guest Artists - Ikenobo Ikebana Society of Boston
Sunday, May 19
Workshops will be held in the Museum Art Studio (limited seating available). According to Ikenobo, “Ikebana is the Japanese traditional art of flower arranging. The word is composed of two parts: ike (arrange; enhance), and hana (flower; plant). Ikebana seeks to highlight the essence of plant materials, and thus portray the natural world.” Learn this special art from the guest artists and build awareness and appreciation of the nature around us! Recommended for the age 6 and above.


90 Children from Kyoto, Japan.
Friday, June 14, 6:00PM-8:00PM
90 elementary school friends from Kyoto are coming to meet you. They have been preparing fun activities, toys, and games and cannot wait to share them with you! Come to the Museum and make TOMODACHI friends!


Special Japanese House Tours.
Starting Monday, July 8th, throughout July and August
Take off your shoes, and step into an authentic silk merchant's home from Kyoto, Japan. This house was a gift from Kyoto to Boston to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Kyoto Boston Sister Cities in 1979. Find out how the house was brought to Boston Children’s Museum and who lived in this house when it was in Kyoto.

Guided tours of the house are given to 20 visitors at a time and last approximately 15 minutes. Free tickets are distributed at the entrance to the Japanese House first-come first-served.


Celebrate Studio Ghibli.
Week long celebration from August 5 – August 10, 2019
Join us for this week long celebration of the amazing art and stories of the Studio Ghibli films. Come get immersed in the world of Totoro, Kiki, Jiji, Kodama, and Chihiro!


Tatami Demonstration.
Thursday, October 3 – Saturday, October 5
Meet tatami artisans from Kyoto, Japan. Tatami mats are the traditional Japanese floor mats made of straw.

Learn how tatami mats are made, ask questions about the materials, and observe their techniques. This is an opportunity for visitors to see the artisans' work, which is rare to be seen even in Japan today.


Holiday Haiku.
November 29, 30, & Dec 1
Haiku is a form of poetry from Japan that is inspired by nature and the seasons. Come and learn to be a haiku poet and make your own special haiku greeting card! Please check Today’s sign for specific hours of this activity program.


Chado - "The Way of Tea" by Urasenke Boston
Sunday, December 8, at 11:45 am and 1:30 pm.
The Japanese tea ceremony is a choreographic ritual of preparing and serving Matcha green tea.

Though the ceremony often involves the predefined movements and manners, ultimately everyone can simply relax and enjoy the time together with friends over tea. Watch the demonstration of the Japanese Tea Ceremony and learn about the tradition.

Plentiful Weekday & Weekend Discounted Parking Available