New Netflix Show Follows Two-Year-Olds Who Travel Solo To Run Family's Errands
Photo Credit: TN

Photo Credit: TN

New Netflix Show Follows Two-Year-Olds Who Travel Solo To Run Family's Errands

Japan , news , solo travel
Maggie J.
Maggie J. Apr 12, 2022

A two-year-old travels solo to run family errands. Hiroki is actually 2 years and 9 months old when he bravely travels his city solo, walking a little over half a mile each way to purchase three items at the local grocery store. He only stops to wait for the cars to pass before crossing the street. It takes him 23 minutes to walk to the store from his home in Japan.

The reality show, Old Enough, newly streaming on Netflix is based in Japan and has actually been on the air there for over three decades. Sparking the interest of U.S. watchers, the show has gained traction here, leaving many parents flabbergasted at the idea of their child walking city streets all alone.


It is apparent that each toddler generally practices for their big day of errand running. Hiroki takes a yellow flag on the trip with him that his mother has made. He arrives at the store safely with no outside assistance. After pausing at the candy machines, he finds his first item, fish. He then asks the cashier where to find flowers. She shows him the way, and he picks his Grandmother’s favorite, chrysanthemums. He tries to get a basket, but it is too high and too heavy for his little body to lift. Another associate assists him in getting the hand basket for the tiny guy.

The two-year-old, Hiroki checks out, gets his change and leaves the store. A few steps outside the store, he turns back around, remembering the curry, the last item on his list. He gets the curry, checks out once more and heads back home.

Holding a yellow flag to help the traffic see him when he crosses the road, “the little errand genius,” as the narrator calls him, drags the flowers across the street. Hiroki arrives at home and his Mother is so proud of him. He is proud of himself as well and smiles when he hears his Mom’s praise. The family cooks and enjoys the dinner Hiroki helped procure.

Hiroki isn’t the only two-year-old traveling solo in Japan. Each episode focuses on a different child, each in different villages and cities around Japan. Errands in orchards, along waterways, in busy markets and across busy streets. 
These tiny, little errand runners buy items, drop off gifts, harvest vegetables, pick up dry cleaning and even say prayers for the family. Some of these tikes even run multiple errands, some taking until dark to get home.

Parents often shed a tear or two when their toddler leaves home for the errands. Most of the kids on this reality show are beyond excited, a couple are, understandably, a bit nervous. The people they encounter along the way are generally acquaintances, at most. It is the easily navigable sidewalks in Japan and even more so the acquaintances’ guiding hands, that keep the toddlers on track, cheering the toddlers on each step of the way.

Cameras follow the children at a distance and do not initiate any conversation. When a toddler talks to the camera, they will politely talk with the child but won’t give instruction. The child is allowed to ask anyone they want for help, but adults involved cannot volunteer information. The helpful and gentle adults, including the parents, all have one thing in common. They encourage the toddler and give them a ton of praise for a job well done.

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