Go out for drinks and take the kids with you

| Mar 6, 2014

Go out for drinks and take the kids with you

With their “Kampai!“-bellowing salarymen, bible-sized menus and endless rounds of cheap beers, izakaya have long been an integral part of Japan’s nightlife. But unfortunately for parents with small kids, there seems to be an unwritten law dictating that for all their entertaining qualities, izakaya ...

Closely knit friends in Daikanyama

| Sep 3, 2013

Closely knit friends in Daikanyama

I am sitting at a low wooden table with a group of Japanese mothers discussing the pros and cons of different knitting stitches. In my hands are the embarrassingly uneven beginnings of a turquoise scarf that I am hoping will become the first-ever knitted ...

Let your babies get loud at karaoke

| Aug 6, 2013

Let your babies get loud at karaoke

It’s Friday evening in Shibuya. The sun is setting, the neon is flashing and the crowds are swelling. And so with beginning-of-the-weekend fever in the air, it is perhaps little surprise that Madonna is already blaring in one karaoke room on the second floor ...

Bubbles, music and paint as babies learn to create

| Jul 3, 2013

Bubbles, music and paint as babies learn to create

For a moment, I wonder if I’ve accidentally strayed onto the set of a children’s TV programme. Center stage are three grown men in matching T-shirts singing at the top of their voices in a Technicolor-bright toy-filled room more dazzling than Joseph’s dreamcoat. Beneath ...