Laughs with Hana

Living above the bath is great. If Hana gets restless and cranky, I just take her downstairs. Obachan holds her for a while, all of the other customers talk to her, and her mood is instantly fixed. Last night after Tak and Gaku were sleeping, Hana was getting a bit fussy. So I took her downstairs to the bath for her Obachan fix. Obachan was holding her and I started playing peek-a-boo with her. In Japanese, it’s called nai nai baa – ‘nai’ means you’re not there and then you say ‘baa’ when you show yourself. At the bath, I … Continue reading

Jack Johnson Concert

Yesterday we (Tak, the kids, and me) all went to the Jack Johnson concert. It was outdoors at a place in Yokohama called Akarenga Park. There are a couple of old brick warehouses that used to be the main place for imports/exports in Japan and have now been made into shops and restaurants. It’s right along the water. Jack Johson did two concerts – one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Unfortunately, we didn’t go on Saturday when the weather was beautiful and warm. We went on Sunday and it was quite chilly! But luckily, it didn’t rain. It rained … Continue reading

Sumo at Yaskuni-jinja

Yesterday, Gaku took a day off from daycare and I took him and Hana to see sumo at Yasukuni-jinja. It’s an outdoor sumo ring and they hold this tournament once a year as part of a special spring celebration. It started around 10:40 with the lower-level wrestlers. They let in a maximum of 6,000 people. We went by taxi, because I couldn’t figure out how we could go by train at that time of the day with 2 kids and a big stroller. It would still have been the tail end of the morning rush, which on the Mita Line … Continue reading

Hanami (Cherry Blossom Viewing)

On Sunday we went to a hanami party with the Mukai family. It was a bit chilly, but a lot of fun. In the morning Tak went really early – about 7 am – to put out a sheet with our name on it. A bit later in the morning one of our friends who was going went to check out the spot. At first, he thought we might have a problem because all of the spots were taken. Then he noticed the huge sheet with Mu-ka-i in big characters. Later they took 2 big rugs to put on it. … Continue reading


Today was one of those days where I think, “do I really want to have more kids?” It just seemed impossible to get anything done… The amount of laundry with two kids is crazy, especially when you don’t have a dryer and have to hang everything up to dry. I ended up taking laundry over to the laundromat dryers, so I could finally get caught up. By the evening, all the laundry was done. But guess what! The laundry basket is already full again. *Sigh* It got to be lunchtime and I didn’t feel like making anything so we got … Continue reading


Hana is getting more and more fun by the day. Lately, she is really changing each day. She is a really smiley, talkative baby. She is talking more and more, making new sounds every day. It used to be that she would give a huge smile and kind of laugh silently. But just this week she’s started laughing out loud. Tonight she was being just a little bit fussy, so I took her downstairs to the bath to socialize with Obachan and the other women at the bath. She was being super talkative and laughing. She is definitely a favorite … Continue reading

Cherry Blossoms

I’m so glad that spring is really here now! The cherry trees are in full bloom in Tokyo right now. This weekend on Sunday, we’ll either have a cherry-blossom-viewing party with the Mukai family or go to Yokohama and check out the venue for the Jack Johnson concert. Tak is pretty keen to check it out and see what kind of set up it is, so we can get good seats – it’s general admission and an outdoor venue. He’s talking about going down the night before with a sleeping bag… (That would obviously be him by himself, and I … Continue reading

Spitting (with Video)

I haven’t been updating my blog again… I’ve been a bit busy with a project working on a teacher’s book for one of the local publishers. And I’ve been creating pages on the two networking sites – Facebook and My Space – at the request of different friends and family. The verdict is still out on which one I like better. So far it seems that on My Space you can personalize the colors more, but it’s really busy because of all the ads. I haven’t played much with Facebook yet, but have found that the way you have to … Continue reading

Just Like Daddy

On Saturday Gaku got a small wooden tool bench toy (picked out from a catalogue). If he takes out all of the wooden screws, it won’t actually be a bench anymore, but just a collection of wooden nuts & bolts and pieces. It has a small ruler, hammer, screwdriver, and wrench. He picked up the ruler, pretended to measure something on the bench, and said, “14 kilo”. How cute!! He was measuring, just not using the right system… That’s how much Kei weighed when he was on the scale in the bath the night before. Gaku is at about 15 … Continue reading

Daycare Talent Show

This past Friday was Gaku’s “okiku natta taikai” at daycare. Basically, it’s a little talent show so everyone can see how much the kids have changed in the past year. For the smaller classes (Gaku’s included), they tell the parents to hide – not be right out front and center. Most of the smaller kids will cry and try to go to their parents if they spot them. We’d been telling Gaku all week that Mommy, Daddy and Baba would be there. I wasn’t worried that he would cry if he found us. In the fall at the sports festival, … Continue reading