Gas Stations in Japan – Useful Terms and Phrases

Tokyo Gas Stations

If you decide to own a car in Japan or use Car Sharing (ORIX / Careco / Times) you’ll have to fill up on gas. Japanese gas stations / gasoline stands (ガソリンスタンド) offer self-serve stations or full-service stations where they’ll fill up the tank so you’ll never have to leave the car. …

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What is Tanabata? – July 7th


Tanabata is celebrated on July 7th in Japan. Celebrate with your family! Buy a branch of bamboo, some cute origami paper, and write and tie wishes to decorate. Learn, go and make Tanabata! Remember July 7th.  Learn about Tanabata   The History – (content edited version of Wikipedia) Tanabata (七夕, meaning “Evening …

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Teru Teru Bozu – Rain, Rain, Go Away Craft

Looks like a perfect rainy day weekend to make Teru Teru Bozu. A cute custom and craft in Japan is the Teru teru bozu (てるてる坊主). “Teru” is a Japanese verb which describes sunshine, and a “bōzu” is a Buddhist monk.  The dolls are handmade with white cloth that children make …

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COMPOSTING IN JAPAN, Organic Japan, Gardening in Japan, Zero Waste Japan, Japan composting, composting in a city, composting in japan

Cooking at home means endless scraps perfect for composting in Japan! If you are are an average family of four, you consume enough food per year to yield 100 kilos (200 lbs) of veggie and fruit scraps per year. If you are presently throwing these scraps out in the burnable …

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Shared Gardening in Japan –

Shared Gardening in Japan -

Nothing tastes better than your own grown veggies and fruits, so check out shared gardening in Japan! Sharebatake.comis a Japanese website that aggregates local shared gardens where you can pay a membership fee of typically 11,000 yen and a monthly fee for garden space (usually 6-10,000 yen for garden space 3-9 …

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Earthquake Preparation – Easy Things To Do Today

Changing of the seasons is a great time to update our family’s earthquake preparation bags. The kids have all grown, so clothes need to be switched out, and expiration dates on food checked. As a mom of four kids and long-time Tokyo resident I often think about earthquakes, and “what …

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Best Learning and Play Apps (Grades K -6th)

Learning and Play Apps

Weeks of homeschooling had us searching for the best learning and play apps to help keep our kids engaged and learning. We have researched almost 100 learning and play apps for graces K to 6th. We have narrowed down to our favorite apps that continue to keep our kids learning. …

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Preparing for Japanese Elementary School (Shogakko)

Japanese Elementary School begins in April. Are you prepared? Or will your child attend in the coming years? We`ve listed what you need to know, information schedules and a general school supplies list to help you prepare. What you need to know: *Elementary School Selection Procedure for Meguro Ward. Please …

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Required Japanese Elementary School Items (Shogakko)

Japanese Elementary School (shogakko) begins in a few weeks. Are you prepared? Your elementary will have provided you with a list of items to purchase and label. However, there are a number of items not highlighted that your kids will need daily throughout their years in elementary. Here are necessary items to purchase …

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Things to do in Tokyo with Kids During Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Here are some helpful apps, podcasts, and ideas to help parents survive as schools are closed for many globally in March, this month! If you have additional ideas, please add below. Click here for Tokyo & Yokohama OPEN & CLOSED Attractions due to Coronavirus (COVID-19),    OR   here for KYOTO …

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Tokyo International School Closures and Important Links

Prime Minister Abe announced that all schools in Japan should close effective Monday, March 2nd, 2020, until April 2020. Here is a list of International School’s decisions. We will update as details are announced. If you have information on your international school please leave a comment below. If you are …

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Top 10 Ways to Survive Hay Fever (kafunsho) Season in Japan

Allergies in Japan

If you’re suffering from excessive sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose or a scratchy throat you might be experiencing an allergy from Japanese cedar pollen, or sugi tree – known as kafunsho (花粉症)/hay fever.  Here are our recommended Top 10 Ways to Survive Hay Fever (kafunsho) Season in Japan.  Kafunsho is …

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Little Things Moms Love about Japan

Little Things Moms Love about Japan

Let us celebrate the Little Things Moms Love about Japan. Being a mom in Japan can be a considerable challenge, especially if you don’t speak the language. However, there are also so many little things that make our lives a bit easier and fun each day—cheers to being a mom …

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Got Head Lice? – How to Treat Lice In Japan

Hot lice? Lice treatment in Japan

Got Lice? Learn how to treat lie in Japan. Lice is SHIRAMI in Japanese (シラミ).  First reaction is ick, yikes, embarrassment, worry. Get over it quick and take action. Lice are very common in Japan, especially on kids in daycare, nursery and elementary. Any kid can get it. We talked …

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Best of Setsubun, February 3rd – Read, Go and Make!

We have curated the Best of Setsubun information for your education and amusement. Are you ready for Setsubun? It’s on Monday, February 3rd. There are so many great festivals, crafts and art associated with Setsubun. Below are some of the best inspirational and educational bits we could find!  We love …

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100 Yen Store Craft: Valentine`s Day Flower Box

100 yen store craft

This 100 Yen Store Craft is a great Valentine`s Day gift from kids to parents, teachers, caregivers, family and friends. It`s a fun and simple craft that can be completed in less than an hour. The materials you`ll need can be found at any of the larger 100 yen shops. We …

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Best Tokyo Airbnb for Families – Learnings from Tokyo

Are you planning a Tokyo vacation soon and wondering whether to rent an Airbnb or not? As an Airbnb host of four years here are my tips for finding the Best Tokyo Airbnbs for Families. Here are my two Family Airbnbs in Minami Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo! Pictures also below. (Unit …

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Sleep Deprivation: How Sleep Starved are your Children?

sleep deprivation

This morning I was struck by this Huffington Post article which takes a look at how sleep starved our children are, and how sleep is “critical to our children`s health and development” writes Alyson Shafer. She lists reasons why sleep is so important, the consequences of sleep deprivation and 7 ways …

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100 Yen Store Craft – Simple and Quick DIY Cake Toppers

100 yen craft

Add a whimsical touch to any birthday cake with this 100 yen store craft idea. This project is really simple and I love that you can create anything you like – your child`s favorite characters, words, numbers, anything at all. Quick, simple and your kids will love it! Materials Needed: …

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