Tokyo Hot Summers – How To Keep Your Kids Cool

Now that the rainy season is official over the temps in Japan are rising quickly.  Here are some tips on Tokyo Hot Summers – How To Keep Your Kids Cool.  Protect yourself and your little ones by practicing sun and heat stroke safety.  Stay cool and safe! Check our Japan …

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Tokyo Bike Rental – Fun, Easy and Cheap

Tokyo bike rental Japan bike 1

If you are living in or visiting central Tokyo, the Docomo Tokyo bike rental program is a great new solution to getting somewhere fast and cheap while having fun! We use it when our kids’ bikes are in for repairs, and when we have visitors. The community cycle or “bike sharing” …

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10 Sayonara Tips – Moving with Kids

This time of year many international families are planning their home country returns or next country moves so thought I would share 10 Sayonara Tips for moving with kids. Moving can be very stressful for parents and kids as they leave their homes, friends and daily routines. I overheard a …

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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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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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Guide To Japanese Air Purifiers

Guide To Japanese Air Purifiers

Air purifiers  (空気清浄機/くうき せいじょう き/kuuki seijyou ki ) improve the air quality in your home or office by filtering out pollutants like dust, smoke, pet dander, and pollen. Some air purifiers in Japan also double as humidifiers (加湿器/かしつき/kashitsuki). With Spring underway, you may be searching for an air purifier. This is …

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Guide to Rice Cookers in Japan

Here is the Best Living Japan Guide to Rice Cookers in Japan. Rice is the staple of the Japanese diet and there’s no shortage of rice cookers (炊飯器 | すいはんき | suihanki) on the market that aim to make modern-day cooking as efficient as possible. This guide will walk you through …

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How to Survive Hay Fever / Pollen Season in Japan

Living in Japan for a few years now we`ve never experienced allergies – until recently. If you`re suffering from excessive sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose or a scratchy throat you might be experiencing an allergy from the pollen of the Japanese cedar, or sugi tree – or as the Japanese would say …

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Shopping Online in Japan

Considering our modern busy lifestyles and the prevalence of technology, it’s no wonder that many of us gravitate towards shopping online. But, shopping online in Japan can be very different that what you’re used to. In this guide, we’ll take a look at online shopping in Japan, major retailers, shipping …

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Which Japanese Rice to Buy? – Types, Price and More

Japanese Rice gourmet city rice aisle

If you’ve wandered into a Japanese supermarket simply shopping for rice, you have probably been surprised and maybe overwhelmed by the variety. White rice, brown rice, non-wash rice the list goes on! Japanese rice is more than a source of carbohydrate, it is a part of Japan’s culture. According to …

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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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Guide to Point Cards in Japan – How to Earn and Redeem Points

Guide to Point Cards in Japan - How to Earn and Redeem Points

Guide to Point Cards in Japan – How to Earn and Redeem Points Go shopping anywhere in Japan, and you’re bound to be asked: Do you have a point card? (ポイントカードはお持ちですか?/ぽいんとかーどはおもちですか?/pointo ka-do wa omochi desu ka?) You might think that point cards take up valuable real estate in your wallet. But, …

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Bringing Your Dog or Cat to Japan – How to Prepare

Are you relocating to Japan and worried about bringing your dog or cat to Japan? Here are our tips on how to prepare.  Moving abroad can be stressful. Add your furry family member to the mix, and you’ve got a lot to juggle – airline accommodations, vaccines, endless paperwork, and …

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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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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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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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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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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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Palette Plaza, Various Locations – Photo Printing Service

Palette Plaza

Palette Plaza (パレットプラザ) and 55 DPE & Digital Station are our go-to place for quick digital camera and smartphone photo printing. The process is quick, simple, and in English! Just pop into a store with your smartphone or data card, insert your card or plug your smartphone into the adapters then wait …

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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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