From Fukui, with Love

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

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

Big “B”, little “b”, what begins with “B”?

Posted by in Mary's blog

This is not a post about the little “b”.  It’s about the BIG “B”: THE BUNNY! When we came to Japan a little over a year ago, the Bunny was just 20 months. She was our sweet baby girl, but babies don’t stay babies for long. Our baby girl has turned into a fun loving, curious, and affectionate big girl. The Bunny celebrated her third birthday in December while we visiting with family in Canada.  According to her most recent health check, she is now 99.4cm tall and weighs 16.5kg!…read more

No more planes!

Posted by in Mike's blog

This morning I woke up at 4:00am.  I was excited to have slept so late, but only because I read the clock wrong in the midst of my drowsiness and I thought it was 5:00am.  I realized my mistake after I had finished my morning cleanliness routine…but by then it was too late.  The Bunny was wide awake because she thought it was morning… 5:00am is a respectable time to wake up at with jet lag, 4:00am is not.  We just finished the 2nd longest journey of our lives –…read more

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Reasons why people make a big deal about going to Kyoto

Posted by in Mike's blog

When we talk about Japan to people who know a little bit about Japan, they know three cities:  Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto.  Kyoto is the one with all of the cultural heritage sites.  There are over 2000 (yes, really) temples and shrines dispersed throughout the city.  It gets swarmed with both foreign and Japanese tourists at every point in the year.  Guidebooks tend to focus heavily on Kyoto visits because there’s so much to see packed into a city that really isn’t that big (at least compared with the other…read more

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No helicopter parenting allowed at Fukui’s Undo Koen park

Posted by in Mike's blog

I have long maintained that Fukui is a great place for kids. We get to enjoy numerous community play centres, generous prefectural & municipal policies that make parenting cheaper, indoor playgrounds and kids’ rest areas at most major stores and malls…and smart city planning for public parks. In Japanese cities, front and/or back yards are pretty rare.  Some people who own a lot of land do have them, but most families don’t.  So where do kids play?  In Fukui, there are many, many small parks scattered throughout residential areas.  We…read more

Take Daddy to hoikuen day

Posted by in Mike's blog

I got a rare inside look at the Bunny’s life at hoikuen (nursery school). I am calling it “Take Daddy to Hoikuen Day”, though I’m sure that is not what it is supposed to be called.  Parents had an opportunity to sign up for a time slot to join their kid(s) at hoikuen for a morning – so I took advantage of the opportunity even though I still can barely communicate with any of the Bunny’s senseis.  That communication barrier means that for the most part we have no idea…read more

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Express busses are bad news

Posted by in Mike's blog

“Express” is the wrong adjective for Japan’s highway busses. We have been told by a few friends that express busses are an “affordable alternative” to train travel. Unfortunately, these busses also mean giving up a few of the nicer luxuries that come with riding the rails… Aside from not having the freedom to move around from car to car or seat to seat whenever we please, highway “express” busses are especially prone to TRAFFIC JAMS. We foolishly chose to begin our trip to Kyoto & Tokyo on an express bus….read more

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8 things we learned about riding trains with a toddler

Posted by in Mike's blog

We’re pretty good at travelling with the Bunny. Now that we’ve been back from our vacation for a few days, we’ve had a bit of time to reflect on a pretty big accomplishment:  We survived 2 non-consecutive days, enduring 10+ hours (on each day) of train travel with a toddler – and nobody died.  This wasn’t her first long trip, either.  She’s been on plane rides just as long a few times, and when she was still a baby she went on a couple of road trips, too. Of the three…read more

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