Go west to enjoy a family <em>hanami</em> party

Lifestyle | CHILD'S PLAY Mar 18, 2018

Go west to enjoy a family hanami party

At last, winter's grip is loosening and spring in Japan is on its way. Soon cherry blossoms will explode across the archipelago, and parks around the country will be full of smiles and picnic tarps. That's right: it's hanami (cherry-blossom viewing) season again — ...

Tsukiji fish market: Old schooling for kids

Lifestyle | CHILD'S PLAY Jan 14, 2018

Tsukiji fish market: Old schooling for kids

A new year means new beginnings. For the Tsukiji fish market, that new beginning may finally arrive in 2018. News of the market's closure in Tsukiji and rebirth in the nearby Toyosu neighborhood has been a regular feature in the news. This year, however, ...

Slip back in time and into a kimono

Lifestyle | CHILD'S PLAY Nov 19, 2017

Slip back in time and into a kimono

One of our family's favorite ways to learn is through hands-on experiences. Sometimes it's cooking classes. Other times it may take the form of historical reenactments or clever interactive museum exhibits. Whatever the experience, we enjoy being immersed in it rather than just reading ...

Traveling through time with the kids in tow

Lifestyle | CHILD'S PLAY Jul 16, 2017

Traveling through time with the kids in tow

Life in Japan has changed dramatically over the past 100 years. In the span of a few generations, millions of Japanese left the countryside and moved into urban and suburban sprawl. For city kids like mine, the connection to rural farm life is tenuous ...

Allowing the arty side of kids to blossom

Lifestyle | CHILD'S PLAY Mar 25, 2017

Allowing the arty side of kids to blossom

Spring is a season of art. As winter recedes, the air fills with creative energy. Tokyo's art fairs at this time of the year can be fun with kids, but the crowds and sheer volume of exhibitors can be overwhelming. The city does, however, ...

Don't let winter stop you from going out

Lifestyle | CHILD'S PLAY Jan 14, 2017

Don't let winter stop you from going out

It's the coldest part of the year in Japan. Combine frigid weather with cramped apartments, rambunctious kids and a dose of cabin fever and you have a parent's recipe for frustration. However, in Tokyo there are countless options for indoor family fun, and with ...

Kamakura offers something for everyone

Lifestyle | CHILD'S PLAY Nov 12, 2016

Kamakura offers something for everyone

Japanese cities are fantastic places to explore with children, but if this column has proven anything, it's that I like to get away from urban centers whenever I can. Japan is full of natural and cultural wonders for curious families, but they are not ...

Hiking with kids is not an uphill climb

Lifestyle | CHILD'S PLAY Sep 10, 2016

Hiking with kids is not an uphill climb

Hiking in Japan is always fun with family, and with summer subsiding, some of the best months for a mountain walk are around the corner. Japan offers countless choices in its vast mountain ranges, but one of my favorite family hikes is only 90 ...

Test the white waters this summer

Lifestyle | CHILD'S PLAY Jul 9, 2016

Test the white waters this summer

As much as I love Japan's major cities, I quite enjoy leaving them as well. Places like Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto have played crucial roles in my family's life, but it has been equally important for the four of us to get out of ...