Global warming, nuclear energy, deforestation, pollution, toxic waste — the list of environmental issues that play on our minds is long, but teaching future generations not to repeat the mistakes we made needs a soft touch. In the run-up to the June 5 World Environment Day, the Kitakyushu Environment Museum, with the support of local organizations and businesses, is holding its biggest environmental awareness event of the year. Titled Mirai Hotaru Day, the event, which takes place May 18, is aimed at kids and families and offers various attractions designed to inform and entertain.

Children can learn to make kites, pinwheels, origami creations and more at craft classes, while parents can create scented bath bombs from environmentally friendly organic materials. Many stalls will also offer fair-trade goods, such as coffee, snacks, other groceries and miscellaneous items.

The highlight of the event will be a giant art installation resembling a starry sky, which visitors are asked to contribute to by adding their hand prints as symbols of hope for a better future.

Mirai Hotaru Day takes place on May 18 at Kitakyushu Environmental Museum, Kitakyushu. Most of the attractions are free. For more information, call 093-663-6751 or visit