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Posts from the ‘Japan and me’ Category

Learning to cook, the right way

Last week, I took my first Japanese cooking lesson ever. I am not much of a cook but I have always wanted to learn how to make an egg roll and gyoza – half fried, half steamed dumplings – something my son loves to eat even when he has no appetite. The class was organized by Bonappetour – a collaborative consumption platform that connects travellers with various local hosts that teach their favorite dishes at their homes. It’s the very opposite of Tadaku – Japanese popular platform that connects Japanese gourmet with foreign hosts living in Japan who teach their favorite national dishes at their homes. I just love the concept of sharing meals in a comfy home environment. The food is always great but even better are the witty conversations with interesting people who always speak so passionately about their cultures. Honestly, home meals are the best. I don’t feel quite as connected when the same meeting takes place in a public place.

Gyoza

Our host was an LA born Japanese professional cook with years of experience and a lot of patience for a rookie like me. She spoke perfect English and was a pure delight, amusing us with funny trivia about the food we were making.

Making egg roll

Although it was a gyoza making class, we made bunch of small dishes as well. My favorite of course was an egg roll and I really loved the cucumber pickles too. Since the class, I already made both dishes three times and each time it was just as delicious as the ones I made during the class. There is a real difference between learning from a recipe and following the directions of a pro. I am now thinking of taking all their classes. I wish I could come with my son. He loves cooking.

Cucumber pickles

Egg roll

At the end of the meal, we got a nice surprise – roasted tea with warabi mochi – traditional Japanese dessert. I left happy and satisfied with three new friends and precious new skills that my family really appreciate. I can’t believe I didn’t do it earlier. Thank you Bonappetour and thank you Arigato Japan.

Lunch

Drones, robot pets and self-driving cars – the future is here

Today, I saw an article on Facebook that by 2020 the very first self-driving cars will start running on the streets of Tokyo. I have already seen them appearing on The Good Wife and The Silicon Valley and I wonder how the whole dynamics of taxi business will change with the implementation of such cars. Tokyo drivers are notorious for not knowing their way around. Are they going to be replaced by the robot cars? Will I finally be able to get to places on time? I have interacted with several robots around Tokyo. They only spoke and understood Japanese but one told me he wanted to learn English. Then he froze.. ^-^ I think its still a long way to go before robots will enter our every day lives but when they do I really hope that James Cameron won’t be saying I told you so! ^-^

I am particularly curious about the care robots that provide therapeutic help to patients, children and elderly. A talking Barbie is pretty scary (we all watched that CSI episode) but Japan-made care robots such as Paro – the robot seal and Parlo – the dancing robot are pretty cute and I have seen them a lot on TV doing great job at dementia centres.

It would also be nice if the Paro developers created several pet versions of the robot to replace poor dogs that are purchased as presents for children who do not wish to take care of them.. Every day, I see Facebook messages of people asking to adopt their pets or asking where they can buy a dog CHEAP… People should be denied the right to purchase an animal without a proper license or something that proves their ability to be responsible humans.. Instead, they should just purchase pet robots and switch them off whenever they don’t feel like walking them or feeding them… Should I pitch this idea? 

Robots are fun and a little bit scary especially when they resemble humans. But I’m excited nevertheless to see where our technology might take us in the near future. By the way, I am going to try drone photography next week for my new corporate project. I hope we will be able to communicate well. :)

A tiny place with a lot of love

  

Yesterday, I had a chance to experience 保育参加 (hoiku sanka) – joining my son for half a day at his care center. Although I knew how his day usually went, I discovered a lot of new interesting facts. First of all, let me explain what a day care is in Japan. It is a public or government-subsidized private institution that caters to kids of working parents. There aren’t enough in the country so the more points you get as a working parent, the likely you are at getting in. Parents who both work and their salary combined doesn’t exceed a certain number have a good chance of getting their child in, availability granted. We were lucky enough to get a place at a government-subsidized private day care. It is run by a corporation and they have a nice, updated approach at raising children. Each child has their own lifestyle rhythm and they try to support that with sleep and feeding schedule. They adapt a lot of Montessori concepts and all the toys are made from natural materials. Teachers also do a lot of DIY material from felt and paper. My son is there from 9 to 6 since he was 4 months old. For the first year, they even let me bring frozen breastmilk for him.

So this is how our day went. Shortly after my arrival, the teachers took the kids for a walk at the playground. They got dressed in groups, then went downstairs and waited for the rest of the class. When everyone was gathered, the teachers sat everyone down on the floor and told them the plan – where would they go, want would they do and who would join them (me in my case). Then, everyone went out and walked in pairs, 1 adult per 4 kids. Teachers showed little cute things around the neighborhood like a new sign on a ramen shop or flowers in the window of a cleaning store. Then, we crossed the big street on green light and made our way to the playground.  Just before arriving to the playground, we stopped by a local bento shop and the owner came out to greet us. The kids hi-fived him for a while, then he waved いってらしゃい(itterashai) – bon voyage and off we went. When we arrived at the playground, one of the teachers ran around the perimeter and checked for hazards. If there was any garbage, she would pick it up and throw away. Then, she made a call to the day care office and reported that all kids and teachers have safely arrived at the playground. She did the same phone call on the way back. The kids were gathered around and told the rules – wait for your turn on slides and swings, no pushing. If kids from other day cares come along, play nicely. Then kids scattered around running, jumping. They looked for sticks, stones, leaves and insects. Others went on swings and slides. Some played まてまて (mate mate) – wait-for-me game. My son and I love to draw on the dirt with sticks so we started drawing funny faces and other kids joined us. They were fighting for who gets to find me a better stick or hold my hand. Kids are so adorable. Of course my son took offence and clang to me like there is no tomorrow.

Then, one teacher started to blow soap bubbles and kids ran around catching them. They blew their own bubbles in turns but only small ones were coming out. Each was nevertheless praised for their efforts. Another teacher has spread a picnic blanket and took out a thermos with tea and paper cups. If you wanted to drink, you would need to take your shoes off, sit on the blanket, wipe your hands and face the teacher. Good manners and the importance of the tea ceremony is taught at an early age. ^-^

We played like this for a while, then it was time to return. We got back to the day care, went upstairs in groups, took our shoes off and put them in a special shoe box shelf. Kids can’t read yet so each box has a unique picture and they all know theirs.

We got back to our class, went to the toilet, washed hands and started to play. The room is separated into four stations: ママごっこ(mama gokko) – a house station, a building station with puzzles, blocks and mosaics, a train station with a wooden railway and trains and a reading station with a sofa and books. There is also a table station where kids eat, draw and play with clay and stickers. The house station has kitchen, drawers with pretend food, a vanity table with scarfs to wrap around and play princesses. The girls immediately went for the vanity table, brought a bunch of scarfs and asked me to do “Ariel”. It took me a second but I figured it out. They wanted me to tie a scarf on their heads so that it flows in the back like Ariel’s hair. They girl who grabbed a white scarf was of course pretending to be Elsa. ^-^ My son started to build a castle and everyone went for the blocks like there were no other toys. I had to play smart and involve everyone into play. 3 year olds are still easy to manipulate.

Teachers were always there for the kids. They didn’t budge in the second a conflict took place. They observed first and if the kids couldn’t rule it out, suggested a solution.

After a while, the lunch was ready for the first group. They served meals in groups, adjusting to the lifestyle of each kid. Some get sleepy earlier so those eat first. The kitchen prepared lunch for me as well – a chicken and veggie stew with bread, tomato and cucumber salad, tea and a slice of apple. Kids have to eat what they have before they can ask for おかわり(okawari) – seconds. My son still takes a lot of time so the teacher talked to him, explained about what’s inside the dish, asked him to take one bite and he got to choose what was on the spoon. My son agreed, tried the stew and then had some. He usually eats well at the day care but always with the help from the teacher. By himself, he is taking ages. I am of course to blame. In Russia, kids are being forced to eat. I grew up like that and it’s wired in my brain. A kid has to eat a lot. So I feed him because this way he eats a lot. If I let him eat by himself, he won’t have much.

After the lunch, the first group went to bed. The beds are portable and brought in from the closet into the play area. Some sleep in the reading station, some in the train station, others in the house station. The beds are called cots and the linen is stretched over it. The blankets are brought from home.

This time, my son and I went back home right after lunch because of our 3 year old well-baby checkup later that day. What I learned from my experience is that their days are very busy. With all the little routines, walks, eating (they eat twice) and sleeping, there isn’t that much time left to get bored (my biggest fear is that my son is bored at the day care, not having enough stimulation). There are also occasional puppet theatres, concerts, sport days and mixers when they get to hang out with younger and older kids.  On rainy days, the biggest room is turned into gym where kids spend their energy running and jumping. In summer, they play with water in the water room. The teachers are always singing, reading, braiding their hair and helping them learn how to go to the toilet, wash hands, tie shoes. They find time to write funny episodes in each kid’s diary, what they ate and how long they slept. Sometimes, I feel they are being better mommies than I am. ^-^

I love everything about our day care. It’s a tiny place with a lot of love and attention to the details. I enjoyed spending time there and those little discoveries that I made (how independent my son is, how well he communicates with other kids, how warm and cozy it is in their class and how delicious the food is) made me exhale and relax. I know he is having a fab time there. That makes me feel a little less guilty and a lot more hopeful that maybe he is going to turn out OK even with both parents working.

 

By the book? Not so much

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I have recently purchased an electrical bicycle for an easy commute with my toddler and it made me see yet again that for a country that loves rules so much, some of them are being ignored on a constant basis. When it gets to safety on the road, not many are willing to sacrifice their comfort. Taxis in Japan is a unique phenomenon on their own but taxi drivers are not the most radical offenders on the road, mothers are. Japanese moms on bikes simply don’t care. They never stop at STOP signs, they never slow down. I am now one of them and it made me notice even more just how many rules they break. Some don’t even look to the sides when they cross the street.
Last year, the ministry of land, transport, infrastructure and tourism has tighten the bolts for the bicycle drivers putting in place a penalty system similar to what they use for car drivers. Yet, the rules are being broken anyway. Why is it that being somewhere on time is more important than getting there in one piece? Some of the kids sitting in the back or front don’t even use helmets and some mothers ride bicycle while being pregnant or with their little babies strapped to their chest, their little heads bobbing around!! If they are so liberal with the safety rules why is it that they can’t go left or right when it gets to something significantly less important? Why do they abide notoriously ridiculous rules like dressing your freezing child into nothing but a school uniform (shorts!!!) in winter? Why? Because the school has a dress code? Because everyone else do it? If you are so by the book and in sync with the system, why don’t you follow the safety rules as well? Why do you put your child and yourself and other pedestrians in danger? On several occasions my son was almost run over and always by a mom on an electrical bike. It’s such a mystery to me.
Discipline is great but so is a little insubordination. My rule of thumb – use good judgment and ignoring the safety rules just because the accidents are rare is the sign of a poor judgment to me. Maybe accidents are indeed rare but the nuisance to other people – well it happens every single day. I’d choose to ignore dress code rules over safety rules any day.

Hope for the best but be prepared for the worst

This morning, I brought my son to the day care right when the alarm went off and the principal announced that the earthquake evacuation training is in place. They have been doing that 2-4 times a year but now that my son is big enough to understand what’s going on, it started to really influence him. He began to add earthquakes to his role-playing. He likes reading books about earthquakes and destroy Lego blocks constructions by shaking them. I have read a book called “Playful parenting” by Lawrence J. Cohen that explains why children often involve their fears into their games. They want to recreate the situation they are scared of but be in charge of it, be the one who controls the outcome. This sort of role-playing helps them accept the situations, make their peace and move on. Two weeks ago, we went for the next round of vaccinations and my son started to give vaccine shots to me every day since. He is in charge. He is the one administering the pain. It helps him move on.
But right there, in the middle of the organized chaos at the day care, my thoughts were scattered. I thought how cute and funny the kids looked in their yellow and silver padded hats but also how scared some of them were. My son included. He was smiling but I know he was on the verge of crying. He was sitting in the group of kids, in his yellow padded hat and looked at me for guidance. I wanted to stay but the principal insisted on me leaving. I felt awful about leaving my son in such a horrid state. I even cried when I left. I don’t want him to deal with the scares of this world, not yet. I hope the real earthquake will never come.. I hope I will be near him if it does..
These little happenings in the midst of our daily lives are really important triggers that help us recalibrate our thoughts, refocus on our priorities and correct our route. I am no longer worried about the little things. I am alert and grateful. Hello, Wednesday.

Let it snow and then don’t please!

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Just yesterday, my friend Elizabeth and I were discussing how mild this winter is. It wasn’t snowing last winter and this one looked pretty similar. All it takes really for the snow to start falling is to mention how it doesn’t snow at all and voila! Here we have our typical Tokyo snow – you enjoy it for 5 minutes out of your window upon waking up in the morning and then you deal with the apocalyptic consequences for the rest of the day. The trains stop, the highways are jammed and you work alone in the lonely office (or pretend to since no one is here). I brought my son to his day care in the morning and everyone met me with the sympathetic “大変でしたね!” greetings. Guys! Its just a few centimetres of snow and you absolutely lose it! And it happens every time it rains heavily or snows. Tokyo is a big high-tech city yet it behaves like a cranky toddler – throws a tantrum in the middle of the busiest rush hour. ^-^ Hello, Monday!

The next big trend in fashion? Sharing!

Sharing economy is upon us. The trend has started long time ago but has been booming in the past several years with the creations of social sharing services (Asmama, Taskrabbit), peer-to-peer accommodations (Coachsurfing, Airbnb), bike and car sharing and now fashion. Why buy clothes when you can rent it? There is so much good behind the idea. Instead of buying a 300$ dress to wear for a wedding or a party and then storing it in the closet for half a year or more (because who wears the same dress to consecutive parties? That would mess up my Instagram feed!), you can just browse through rental outfits online, choose something you like and have it delivered to your door. Plus, fashion is so time sensitive. I may invest 400$ into a leather vest only to realize that it is so 2013 and nobody cares anymore. And think about how much money and closet space you can actually save! I’d rather rent a Prada bag for 5000 yen for FNO than become the sole owner of it for 200000 yen and have my toddler spill juice all over it. After all high-end designer bags are for show-offs. A 150$ Baggu bag or 300$ Liebeskind bag are much better choices for daily use. So much more comfortable. How wonderful would it be to store in the closet only the things you use on a daily basis, your basics, your favorites and having the rest rented for the appropriate occasion. I came across several services that are representing this new business model in Japan. They are not yet fully developed or provide a wide enough range of options but I am sure they will get there and when they do, I am going to be in the ranks of their loyal customers for sure.

So how does the magic happen? Usually, rentals are offered through a monthly membership plan (basic, premium or VIP). Shipping and cleaning is free (already included in the rental price). You register your sizes and brand preferences that become the baseline for the service when they create a wardrobe for you. You are also free to browse the items yourself within your membership plan.

Here are several services that I found in Japan:

Air closet operates based on a fixed monthly membership fee of 6.800 yen + tax. Every month you will receive 3 items that have been carefully selected for you by Air closet stylists. You cannot choose the items yourself but you can create a favorite list by browsing their item catalog. It will be used by service as a guideline when creating your looks. Offered items are ranging in price from several thousand yen to the maximum of 30000 yen per item. There is no deadline for returning the items. You can wear them as long as you like. When you do choose to return them, cleaning and shipping will be covered by the service.  You can leave ratings for the stylists later on. For now, Air closet is only dealing with clothing items (no bags or shoes yet).

aircloset

Licie is an actual shop in Shinjuku and but they plan to open an online service too in the early June 2015. There is also going to be a 3 day popup shop opened in Harajuku from March 20th to March 22nd. They offer three plans:

Trial – 500 yen for one piece of clothing. Maximum rental period is 1 week.

Basic – 1000 yen for 3 pieces of clothing. Maximum rental period is 1 week.

Premium – 3000 yen for up to 10 pieces of clothing. Maximum rental period is 1 week.

licie

Unlike Air closet that only deals with clothes from 1000 to 30000 yen in retail price, Licie offers high-end brands such as Fendi, Burberry, Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs, Gucci as well as low-end fast fashion from Zara, Nice Claup etc. You can check coordinated looks on their Instagram account @licie_official as well as post your own.

You can return the items either by bringing them back to the store or sending via mail (on your own dime). You can also choose to buy the item if you really like it. Professional styling services are free of charge. There are several fun perks available to the customers such as selfie photobooth and free drinks at a small cafe. The service offers shoes, bags and accessories as well.

Sustina – deals with everything – you can rent, purchase or sell clothes, shoes, bags, accessories. At the end of March, the service is planning to go live as an app for iPhone and Android.

sustina

Monthly rental plan is fixed to 5.800 yen + tax. You can borrow 5 items per one time but can borrow another 5 after returning your previous order. There are no restrictions on how long you can keep the items. Shipping and cleaning services are free. You can also buy the item if you like it.

The service is mostly dealing with middle-end brands such as A.P.C., Agnes b., Hysteric glamour, See by Chloe, Jill Stuart occasionally also offering Burberry and Isabel Marant. It also offers an extensive selection from what you can typically find in Lumine, 109, Marui department stores – KBF, Snidel, Moussy, Beams, Tomorrowland, Ships etc.

I am getting excited by the minute. I have signed myself up to all three of them so stay tuned for more posts on how rental fashion is about to change my son’s life by putting him through college (on all the money that I save on shopping :)).

Japan’s odd attractions

There are many things to do once you visit Japan, and besides the traditional places like ancient temples and manicured gardens with cherry blossoms, there are other, odder attractions that have been capturing the hearts of tourists and locals alike. In every nook and cranny of Japan, you’re bound to find something you’d never see anywhere else in the world.

For example, a few years ago a unique parking spot in Tokyo went viral on the Internet. It was a one-car parking lot with its own vending machine, security camera, and ticketing booth and you can see lots of them in Tokyo, jammed in between office buildings and apartment houses.

parking1

Most of the parking lots in Japan are technologically advanced, fully automated and require no human presence. Most impressive are the ones that stack the cars on top of each other and those that hold the cars in a sort of rotating Ferris wheel to make use of space more practically. The latter had been the inspiration for some of the car parks shortlisted in the 2013 World’s Coolest Car Parks – an award that Parking4less likened to be “the Parking Oscars”. This one-car parking lot, weirdly odd and convenient at the same time is a true testament not just to Japan’s ingenuity, but to their practicality as well.

If you’re looking for attractions that you’ll never see in any other part of the world, you may want to check out the following:

1. Nakagin Capsule Tower

capsule

Showcasing Japan’s love of experimentation and mixing functionality with fun, Nakagin Capsule Tower is one of the most recognizable structures in the country. It was designed by Kisho Kurokawa in 1972 and was meant “to establish a space for the individual as a criticism to Japan that modernized without undergoing any establishment of a “self”. A few years back, there was an architectural exhibition in Mori Art Museum where you could see the interior design of these capsules. I think Nakagin tower could have been what inspired Jesus Salinas when he opened his one room trailer hotel Caravan at Midori.so 2 in Aoyama which is by far the coolest, most creative place you can find in Tokyo.

caravan

2. Sougenji or Kappa-Dera Temple

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As with any other country in the world, Japan has its own share of myths and mystical beings. The Kappa is one such creature – a water goblin that resembles a turtle walking on two legs, with an indentation on its head that has to be filled with water at all times if it wants to stay alive. An important part of Japanese culture, the Kappa has been given its own shrine, called the Sougenji or Kappa-Dera Temple, and the temple supposedly houses petrified parts of an actual Kappa. It’s also known as one of Tokyo’s most haunted places. And if you are really into haunted, Japan offers some of the most dramatic, painfully beautiful ruins from abandoned factories to apartment buildings right in the heart of Harajuku, to really spooky hospitals in the outskirts of the city and that’s just Tokyo. Think of the golden mine that is Gunkanjima island. My friend Adeyto went there a few years back and shot this rare video.

3. Pasona O2

pasona

Japan is a country that finds itself at the forefront of technological advancement, yet still relying heavily on its agricultural industry. With agriculture and farming at its core, Tokyo shelters a hidden jewel: the Pasona O2, an underground urban farm that continues to inspire others around the world. Found in the vaults of an abandoned bank, the farm stretches out beneath Tokyo’s streets, growing everything from herbs to flowers using the latest technology.

4. Robot restaurant

robot

By far, the most bizzare place I am yet to stumble upon in Japan. If you are into psychedelic semi-nude girls riding unicorns and giant para-para dancing robots, this is a place for you. I have no words to describe it. It is no doubt a tourist trap but the one you are happy to be caught in because it offers a lot of weird surprises that make you laugh and forget the boundaries of normal. If you want to get high without getting high, head to the Robot restaurant. ^-^

Japan has always had an interesting culture with its unique balance of the traditional and the modern. It’s little oddities will never bore you and make you visit the country over and over again. If you know any other wonderfully weird places, leave your comments!!

Enriched sensibility

I have been buying a lot of books recently. The Internet is good for filling in the knowledge gaps but books are still the best way to get the grasp of the whole picture whether it is how not to break your 1 year old baby or learn to distinguish fine tableware from the one you can buy at a 100 yen shop. I have been living in Japan for 14 years and still lack the sensibility to comprehend the highly refined yet understated beauty of Japanese art. It particularly bothers me when I shop with my husband for new plates and rice bowls and it became a real problem when he requested a whiskey glass for his birthday this year. I don’t know the difference between crystal and normal glass. I don’t know why one finely cut glass costs 5 times more than the other that looks the same.. My point is I needed some help so I got the book on Japanese design to finally learn what it is that my husband means when he says “shibui” and why a rustic looking rice bowl in a Gion restaurant costs more than the whole trip to Kyoto. ^-^

Japanese Design

I learned that the super simple Japanese tableware that my husband favors is made in “wabi sabi” – style that partly comes from the Zen philosophy of worldly detachments, simplicity and purity. It celebrates the humble beauty of natural imperfections as well as fragility of life. I often wondered why rice bowls are not always symmetrical, why they never look the same, why Japanese traditional “kaiseki ryori” – course meal comes in a wide array of different plates instead of being served on one unified set as they do it in Europe and Russia. This book really opened my eyes on the whole concept of subtle beauty, something that I find myself drawn to naturally but never had the cognitive apprehension of.  Each plate is unique, each one of them is a work of art, perfected by the generations of artists. I am curious now to go to Mitsukoshi department store and have a fresh look on their displays of rice bowls and lacquer boxes. ^-^ I understand now the obsessive attitude with which my mother-in-law takes care of her New Year “osechi” boxes and tableware. Everything is double-wrapped and stored in a separate container – all those mismatched trays and plates and bowls. When I just came to Japan and saw this rainbow of different plates whether in a restaurant or at someone’s house, my first thought was “oh! They must have broken the others from the set”. How silly of me! Each one of them is carefully chosen to compliment the other. Each one of them is handmade, unique and has a story on its own. I understand now that the value of each piece is in its sophisticated attention to the details, not in whether it has a complicated design or whether it is polished or whether it matches the set. I think I have a good eye for beauty and with my enriched understanding of Japanese unique culture and art, I think I can make smarter choices now and perhaps even surprise my husband. ^-^

The book also mentions a lot of places my husband took me on the path of enlightenment such as Katsura residence in Kyoto or Nezu museum in Aoyama, Tokyo. I always admired the beauty of those places but never knew the underlying story of its architecture and design. Although the book only briefly mentions each school and concept, it gives a pretty full picture on Japanese aesthetics and art in general. When I picked it up and went through the glossary I thought it would be a bit boring like a textbook but it surprised me not only with the interesting content such as historical anecdotes behind some of the works but also with a beautiful captivating language it is written with. It is definitely not just a nice coffee table book but a great read as well.

By the way, bookdepository.com is the place I buy all my books from (the ones I can’t read on Kindle or listen to on audible.com). They ship to Japan for free and have a pretty great selection from art books to children books, even some foreign titles. But I also always check amazon.com as well because they do happen to have better deals on the same books from time to time. ^-^

Another book I found interesting – Japanese nursery rhymes. It would be an understatement to say that my son is obsessed with nursery rhymes in all three languages. It was great to find a book with English translations of some of the traditional Japanese songs that he particularly favors such as “Koi nobori” – carp streamers and “Shabondama” – bubbles. The English translation is adapted to the melody so I can sing it too. The book comes with a CD and each song is performed in both languages. The girl who sings them has a bit of an American accent but I can overlook it especially because it is the English version of a song that I am interested in. The illustrations are adorable! A very useful and stylish addition to my growing collection of children’s books. ^-^

JAPANESE NURSEY RHYMES

I checked the other titles by the same publisher. They have tons of books for children, explaining about Japanese holidays and traditions. They come particularly in handy to the expat families raising children here, in Japan. It is nice to have a good reason to finally learn these things. I like explaining thing to my son and see fascination on his face. ^-^

I have decided to start writing more about the books that I read. I have just ordered 5 books on raising happy toddlers. I think it’s a great idea to share some particularly memorable moments here, on my blog. ^-^ Stay tuned!

Unparalleled Ginza

A few days ago, I went to Ginza to fix my glasses. Having half an hour to kill while waiting for them I decided to walk from Shinbashi to Yurakucho on Chuo street – the main street of Ginza. For the first time I looked at it through the eyes of a casual observer rather than a busy shopper. Being always on the mission to hunt down a particular shopping obsession of mine I had never paid attention to the beauty of its architecture or to the contrast between modern and traditional that Ginza is so famous for.

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