American Thanksgiving Dinner in Tokyo 2020

American Thanksgiving in Tokyo

American Thanksgiving Dinner in Tokyo 2020 is Thursday, November 26th, 2020. Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Be sure not to miss out and to be able to relax by planning ahead.  To help make your Thanksgiving in Japan planning easier we have curated and updated a short list of restaurants …

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How To Use A Japanese Washing Machine

How To Use A Japanese Washing Machine Japan is full of wonderful, high-tech gadgets and appliances, but when it comes to getting laundry done, sometimes you just want something functional that can deliver. While this guide to using a Japanese washing machine won’t make laundry day any more fun, it …

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The Japan Expat Shopping List – What do you bring back?

The Japan Expat Shopping List. What do you haul back in your suitcase each trip home?  Compared to 20 years ago (when I was an exchange student), many items can be purchased in Japan at Costco, Amazon or Foreign Buyers Club, but we still stock-up when traveling back. As a …

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Shichi-Go-San Celebrations – Tips, Shrines and Kimonos

gazone studio

November is the month of foliage in Japan, but also the month of  Shichi-Go-San Celebrations. Girls age 7 & 3 and boys 5 celebrate coming of age. November 15th is the actual date of 7-5-3, but families celebrate by dressing up the children and visiting shrines across Japan from the …

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Careco Carshare – Car Rental by the Hour


Careco car share makes renting a car easy. Careco, along with ORIX and Times Plus have locations throughout Japan and many in Tokyo. Unlike ORIX, Careco allows you to use the car for up to 6 hours without a distance charge, and customers can use their mobile phone to unlock the vehicle instead of …

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Yumenoshima 2020 Halloween Pumpkin Month

Yumenoshima 2016 Halloween Pumpkin Month

The Yumenoshima 2020 Halloween Pumpkin Month celebration is on this year the pumpkins are huge. There will be over 100 ghost pumpkins from Hitachi Omiya City, Ibaraki prefecture that weigh 50 to 100 kilograms! You can visit the Yumenoshima Park and Botanical Gardens any time of the year but the …

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Renewing a Japanese Passport for Your Child

renewing a japanese passport

Here is information on where to go, what to bring and how to renew a Japanese passport.  If you are renewing a Japanese Passport (5 yr, 10 yr, 15 yr) for your child, follow these simple steps. If you are applying for a Japanese passport for the first time for …

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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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Lost and Found Tokyo

With so many kids, I have become a student of Lost and Found Tokyo. One of the best things about Japan is that you do not need to despair if you lose or forget something on a train or a cab. In Japan, there is a very high probability you …

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How to Hire a Helper in Japan

One of the most common conversations amongst busy moms and working parents is how to hire a helper. There is a lot to consider but here some info to help you out. The three most common options are; 1. hire a local service company to provide help, 2. sponsor a …

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Japanese Kindergarten Application and Interview Process

Education in Tokyo

Thinking about applying for Japanese Kindergarten? If so, now is the time to attend kindergarten open schools and apply! It is now application and interview season for private yochien (Japanese Kindergarten) for April 2021 entry.  Please note that most kindergartens release their application forms and relevant school information the first …

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Otsukimi Moon Viewing by Efrot Weiss – Cultural Insights

A sign that autumn has arrived is the celebration of Otsukimi or moon viewing. Although not as popular as cherry blossoms and fall foliage moon viewing is a popular seasonal activity to enjoy in September and early October. The best date for 2020 will be Sunday, October 4th if the …

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Quick Guide: Survival Restaurant Japanese for Families

Here is our quick Guide to Survival Restaurant Japanese for Families. Apprehensive about dining in a Japanese restaurant? No worries! Here are some useful phrases to use when dining out. *** Quick Guide: Survival Restaurant Japanese for Families *** When you walk into a restaurant you will be greeted with …

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Must Have Top 10 Japanese Laundry Products.

Japanese laundry products

Tokyo is a clean city on the surface but the everyday pollution and fast pace of life can take a beating on your clothes, so here are our top Japanese laundry products to help you out. As a mom of four and a pet owner I highly recommend these Must …

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Reading Japanese Food Labels – Allergens and Tips

Tokyo Supermarket tour

Reading Japanese Food Labels – Allergens and Tips  A challenging part of life in Japan is navigating the supermarket aisles and deciphering the labels. You may be wondering how to recreate home dishes using ingredients available at your local grocer, or you may have special dietary restrictions or allergies. Food …

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Getting a Japanese Passport for Your Newborn

Getting you newborn a Japanese passport

Congratulations on the birth of your child! Here is information on where to go, what to bring and how to get a Japanese passport for your newborn.  One of the child’s parents has to be a Japanese citizen to apply for a Japanese passport. The procedure below is based on …

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Top Five Ways to Protect Baby this Summer

Summer in Japan is hot and humid, but it brings plenty of opportunity for kids to go out and enjoy themselves. Here are our top five ways to protect baby this summer from bugs, heat, UV and dehydration. While kids take advantage of school vacations and longer day light hours, …

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Guide to Baby Formula in Japan – Brands, Types and Where to Buy

Guide to Baby Formula in Japan – There is a dizzying colorful assortment of baby formula available on the Japanese market. This guide will help you navigate the aisles by introducing the various types of baby formula and their manufacturers. (This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please read our …

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