tokorozawa santa parade santa takashimaya Kichijoji santa

Five years ago when I wrote about the unusual “only in Japan” places you could meet Santa, there were really only three. One of which was the “Find Santa” event in Tokorozawa. That event thankfully still exists, but since then dozens of other unique Santa events have emerged. Once uponRead More →

2017 version. This is a master list of the zoos, farms, aquariums and other places with animals in the Tokyo area that are suited to children. You will also find a handful of locations that are actually outside Tokyo, but considered part of the Greater Tokyo area and renowned as placesRead More →

Sayama Municipal Museum

Sayama Municipal Museum, Saitama, is a city museum in Sayama Inariyama Park on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line.  They tend to host a lot of travelling exhibits suitable or designed for children. We have been to many of their exhibits over the years and (with the exception of one) the kids alwaysRead More →

Kodomo no Shiro Ageo – Saitama has a large number of superb free children’s (community/ play) centres, called jidokan or jido centre “jidose” (児童館・児童センター). Many mothers agree that Ageo’s kodomo-no-shiro, “children’s castle”, is among the best. Ageo Kodomo No Shiro In terms of size, equipment and diversity, I would personallyRead More →

Ichigo no Sato is a “roadside station” in the prefecture of Saitama, North west of Tokyo. A roadside station, michi no eki in Japanese, is a type of rest and service area with a large parking area. Roadside stations are those that are on national routes. The equivalent on highwaysRead More →

Origami Hearts, Valentine’s Craft. Reposting from last year as it has proved very popular both with my own kids and as a blog post – my evergreen content. 🙂 Origami hearts, Valentine’s Craft These simple origami hearts, suited to young children and Origami beginners, were a big hit with myRead More →

origami dolls for hina matsuri

Origami Dolls for Hina Matsuri. Hina Matsuri is the Dolls’ Festival in Japan. It is celebrated annually on March 3rd, which is also Girl’s Day. We celebrate it in many different ways, such as making crafts at school and home. Here is a really easy and quick paper craft withRead More →

Hina Matsuri is the Doll’s festival celebrated annually for Girl’s Day on March the 3rd in Japan. Families display their Imperial dolls on tiered platforms or in a case from early February until Girl’s Day. Superstition has it, the longer the dolls are displayed past girl’s day, the longer itRead More →

There are five libraries in Kawagoe. The Chuo Library is generally referred to as Kawagoe Library, as the principle and largest of the five.  The building is quite old and a lot of their books, particularly the English ones, are archaic and have the smell to prove it. But itRead More →

playground miyoshino shrine kawagoe

Miyoshino Shrine, Kawagoe 三芳野神社、川越- 日本語 Miyoshino Shrine The Miyoshino shrine features in a famed traditional song (Warabe uta) that is known by Japanese people all over Japan. The song name is “Tooryanse”. As such, the shrine is much beloved by many, particularly the proud locals. A monument was erected toRead More →