From Fukui, with Love

Happy beach days in Fukui

Posted by in Mike's blog

Summer is hot for us, as I’m sure it is wherever you are reading this from.  Our chosen method of beating the heat (when we have time), is swimming at one of the local beaches.  We do live on an island, and most cities are less than a day trip away from the nearest beach. Fukui has its fair share of sandy beaches, but most of them are pretty far from us.  Fortunately, there are two within 45 minutes of our place (by car).  We enjoyed our first beach day of the…read more

School lunch in Japan is a good deal!

Posted by in Mary's blog

In Japan, students eat school lunch. Every day they get a hot well balanced meal to eat while they’re at school. Rice is a staple in Japan. So much so that each meal time has rice in its name. あさごはん (“morning rice” or breakfast), ひるごはん (“noon rice” or lunch), and ばんごはん (“night rice” or dinner).  As expected rice is also an important part of school lunch. School lunch at hoikuen Every day at hoikuen our children eat school lunch. We are very thankful that the hoikuen provides a healthy meal…read more

We’re almost free from winter!

Posted by in Mary's blog

I don’t like winter.  I have fond memories of liking winter as a child.  I enjoyed playing in the snow with my brothers and sisters.  We built snow forts, had snowball fights, made snowmen and snow angels, and went tobogganing.  I think it was sometime in my teens that I stopped enjoying the season.  I’m just not a fan of being cold. We’ve had a mild winter this year in Japan, and spring is just around the corner (my favourite season!!).  But winter in Japan still feels quite COLD.  I know…read more

Not a typical birth experience in Japan

Posted by in Mary's blog

I think my birth experience in Japan was far from the “normal” Japanese experience. Prior to The Turtle’s birth I read a lot of blogs about giving birth in Japan. Their experiences were quite a bit different from my own. I wanted to include a few here, so you can get a better idea of what birth in Japan might look like. A Canadian mom from “Life in the Land of Wa” Where: Fukuyama-shi, Japan Story: This mom had to labour in bed without the option of getting up and…read more

Our first lucky bag!

Posted by in Mike's blog

I just paid ¥1000 ($10 CAD) for a big red bag, and I had no idea what was inside. Lucky bags (福袋) are a new year’s tradition in Japan.  Stores gather things that may or may not have sold well at the end of the previous year and sell them as bundles at deeply discounted prices.  It’s been tempting to see these mystery bags pretty much everywhere all week.  Even the Apple Store joins in on the fun! I enjoy surprises, but there were a couple of things holding me…read more

Osaka with kids: More than we bargained for

Posted by in Mike's blog

We have taken the Bunny around the world.  Before her 2nd birthday (when she could ride on airplanes for free) she had been to Montreal, Toronto, Paris, Rome, Pisa, Tokyo, Osaka and Seoul.  We consider ourselves to be experienced at travelling with kids, but last month…we lost to Osaka. We’ve since identified the problems.  Some have solutions, others don’t.  Between the Turtle needing to stop for mommy milk and diaper changes and the Bunny running out of steam mid-day (she’s too old for a stroller now), we learned the hard…read more

Minor setbacks didn’t spoil the Bunny’s 4th birthday

Posted by in Mike's blog

We now have a 4 year old Bunny. To celebrate, we decided that we wanted to make her birthday special, like every little girl’s birthday should be in its own way.  Birthday parties for kids don’t seem to be a big thing here, and the Bunny’s birthday happens to fall on the first day of the most important holiday period on the Japanese calendar, so most of her friends were busy and/or out of town.  Still, we planned a fun day full of things that we thought she would enjoy….though…read more

No scandals at Eiheiji temple

Posted by in Mike's blog

Fukui has two main tourist attractions: Tojinbo cliffs and Eiheiji temple.  We hadn’t been to Eiheiji before, so we went with Bubbe before the daily rain started and when the leaves were still nice. This temple is pretty huge.  It’s both a lucrative tourist moneymaker and a fully functional buddhist temple.  Monks live, train and worship there.  On our way in we passed a funeral procession.  We got a map and pamphlet full of rules that we adhered to, including but not limited to no shoes anywhere (we had to…read more

We did everything that we’re not supposed to do at Zenkoji temple

Posted by in Mike's blog

We’ve lived in Japan for over 2 years.  There is a lot that we don’t know…but we know enough to look back on our most recent temple visit and realise that we totally botched the “respectful tourist” thing that we’re supposed to do. After a long day of driving and sightseeing we popped into Zenkoji temple in Nagano city to show Bubbe (the Bunny’s grandmother) what a Japanese temple looks like.  We made some mistakes while we were there.  Thankfully it was late and not too many people witnessed us…read more

Ono in the fall

Posted by in Mike's blog

We took a short trip to Ono city in Fukui prefecture’s eastern mountains.  My mom (Bubbe) wanted to see a real Japanese castle, and Ono is supposed to be very nice at this time of year. Ono city is on a flat piece of land surrounded by mountains, with one lonely mountain in the middle.  People who have long since passed decided to build a castle on that lonely mountain.  It was a good strategy at the time, but that didn’t prevent the castle from being burnt down a few…read more