LIVING IN JAPAN

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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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Setsubun February 3rd by Efrot Weiss – Cultural Insight

Though it may not feel like it outside, the lunar calendar says winter is over and it’s time to celebrate the arrival of spring with Setsubun festivities. Setsubun February 3rd Come February 3, many parents throughout Japan will don demon masks and allow their children to pelt them with dried …

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Yokohama Chinese New Year Celebrations (Jan 25 – Feb 8, 2020)

Yokohama Chinese New Year celebrations  in Yokohama run between January 25 – February 8, 2020. Great fun and food! Yokohama has one of the largest Chinatowns in the world with over 140 years of history.  Although this is still quite new vs. Manila’s Chinatown established in 1590 or London’s in …

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Renewing your Japanese Drivers License – Samezu Center

Japanese Drivers license

Renewing your Japanese Drivers License is a simple yet time consuming process. Approaching your birthday, a postcard will be sent to your home to remind you of the renewal. The license holder has a window of one month before and after their birthdate to renew. Expect to spend at least …

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Japanese Medicine Cabinet Essentials for Baby & Kids

If you are living in Japan make sure you have your Japanese Medicine Cabinet Essentials for Baby & Kids ready!  Despite their tiny size, it’s often hard to keep up with babies and toddlers. Because they are still exploring their boundaries and newfound abilities, this can sometimes lead to accidents and …

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Preparing for Winter – Top 10 Japan Essentials

Winter is just around the corner. Wanted to share my curated recommendations on preparing for winter – 10 Items to make living in Japan more comfortable. Below are products that have excellent customer reviews in Amazon.co.jp, and are shipped for free immediately from Amazon.  If you have your recommendations, please …

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Japan Parenting Groups and Resources

Japan Parenting Groups and Resources

If you are a mom or dad to Japan, here are some great Japan Parenting Groups and Resources you should know. Some of the groups are purely online support groups; other have offline events and meet-ups. There are over 30 parenting groups on this list which includes special interest groups …

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Tokyo International Schools’ Calendars – Winter/Spring 2020

Top Tokyo International School Calendars

We have gathered some of the top Tokyo International Schools’ Calendars for Winter 2020 (January to July 2020) in an attempt to help simplify planning. We often hear from other parents and organizers of community events that all the international schools’ schedules being different causes may headaches. Hoping readers find …

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Roppongi Cooperative Playgroup

The Roppongi Cooperative Playgroup is a parent-run cooperative for children 1.5 years up to age 4. The Roppongi Playgroup meets once a week for two hours. Children can  develop an early love of school and friendship through a combination of free play, stories, snacks, music and crafts. Activities vary from week …

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Tokyo English Speaking Pediatricians

Tokyo English Speaking Doctors

When you move to Japan with kids one of your top priorities is to find a Tokyo English speaking pediatricians. Luckily for us, there is an increasing number of skilled pediatricians in Tokyo to choose.  Below is a list of seven Tokyo based English speaking pediatricians that my friends and I …

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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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2020 Japan Post Nengajyo (New Years Postcard) Lottery

Happy New Year! By now you should have received nengajo (年賀状) / New Year Cards in your mailbox. Nengajyo are the equivalent to the Western custom of sending out Christmas cards. The latest date nengajo are delivered by is January 7th. If you have received a card from someone you …

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Japan Charities – Volunteer Opportunities

Tokyo charity events

Enjoy your life in Japan more by getting involved in Japan Charities. There are many volunteer opportunities to give time and or money to support great causes. I have curated a list of 10 Japan charities to help you find one just right for you. If you would like to nominate …

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Donate or Sell Used Clothes in Tokyo

So if you have been in Tokyo for more than a few seasons and love clothes than you are probably ready and wondering how to donate or sell used clothes in Tokyo.  Watch my video on youtube to see how my clothes purge went. To get motivated, I read the …

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Otoshidama (New Year Money) – Top 10 Must Knows

Do you know the history and present day etiquette of otoshidama (お年玉 )? If you have children in the house, child relatives and or special friend’s kids you must know about this Japanese tradition, especially if you are living in Japan. As part of the Japanese New Year’s celebration, it is …

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Japanese New Year Preparations

Are you preparing for Japanese New Year? Tokyo goes quiet this week as most Japanese travel back to their hometowns to eat, drink and relax for three days. I love the silence of Tokyo over the holiday – a great time to bike around due to far fewer cars, and …

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10 Ways to Celebrate the New Year in Japan

Tokyo New Year

10 Ways to Celebrate the New Year in Japan – The Japanese New Year (正月/しょうがつ/Shougatsu) in Japan is a rather laid-back event stretching over a one week period. While festive parties and New Year’s countdowns are catching on, especially in bigger cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Kobe, the Japanese New Year …

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