06 May 2011

Mother's Day in Japan

Did you know it is the 'Mother's Day' today, May 8th this year, in Japan (the 2nd Sunday of May every year)? And did you also know that the long-time most popular present for Mother's Day is carnations in Japan??! http://www.mothersdaycelebration.com/story-of-anna-jarvis.html

According to the florist in a local shop, the red carnations used to be most popular but people buy more pink or yellowish carnations nowadays.

I have got a present from my husband on behalf of my daughter and my daughter gave me full-body massage in the morning.

The Golden Week (long spring holiday season) is over and back to the routine from tomorrow.


Chill out in hot bath! ★Oedo Onsen Monogatari★

Did you know the Japanese people do not hesitate to be naked in front of other strangers who are also naked??!

It might be a little exaggerated but it is true. We have 'hot springs' culture and we simply enjoy having hot bath with many others in naked. In fact, I hated to get naked in public when I was teenager but I am absolutely fine now. You will get too relaxed in lovely hot bath and you don't really care how you look and how the other people look like in steamy hot bath room. If you are a little shy, you are allowed to cover your body with a small towel and if you have a little baby, you can cuddle the baby to cover your body.

When you find it is hassle to go far away for touristy hot springs, or 'onsen' in country side, why don't you give it a go in Tokyo for just an experience which is called 'Oedo Onsen' in Odaiba. http://www.ooedoonsen.jp/higaeri/english/index.html

You get on free shuttle bus from four major stations, pay the admission fees (discount vouchers are often available on web) at the entrance, rent 'yukata' (casual summer kimono), go and get changed to yukata and put your belongings in a locker at changing room, play/eat/view some entertainment at indoor space, go to outdoor foot bath area, and if you wish, you go to a real 'onsen' in naked later.

I saw some foreigners in this 'Oedo Onsen'. There are signs in English and other languages inside the facility that I imagine there are lots more foreigners before the March 11th of earthquake.

It is an entertainment and experience in a little indoor place with lots of fun. It is worth trying!


03 May 2011

Where to go during the Golden Week??!

(Above picture from Tokyo Tower official site in Japanese)

Did you know there are 15 public holidays in Japan??!http://www.worldtravelguide.net/japan/public-holidays

It is in the middle of the Golden Week in Japan and many parents are having hard time thinking where to take kids. Many people may still feel it is not the right time to go too far because of the earthquake aftermath, but they cannot put kids at home for long holidays.

Here is an idea I found in free paper the other day... See the carps floating in air near Tokyo Tower, celebrating May 5th of Children Day.

It might be crowded inside the Tower but it is worth looking at the Tokyo Tower at the back of 'Koinobori' (The Carps in the picture) for Children Day.

For more information, visit http://www.tokyotower.co.jp/english/.

Hope it would be a lovely day.

How do we get to see a MOVIE??!

(picture above from HP: http://shinchan-movie.com/ )

Did you know that you can see a movie as cheap as 1,000 yen in Japan?!

Where can we see? What's on now? How can I buy a movie ticket? Do I have to book the seats in advance??? So many questions may discourage you to go to see movies.

Here are some tips to go to the cinemas. How do Japanese people get to know what's happening in cinemas? People see the adverts in newspapers, trains, streets, ads on TV, magazines etc. etc. They are likely all in Japanese so when you get stuck in language difficulties, here is one suggestion to visit: http://metropolis.co.jp/movies/ Keep your eyes on free English papers and magagizes.

You can buy a ticket at the ticket booth in cinemas which is currently showing. It usually costs 1,800 yen for adult; 1,000 to 1,500 yen for students depending on ages, 1,000 yen for seniors (over 60 years old); 900 yen for pre-primary school students (3-6 years old).

However, there are lots of good deals available which I have not yet all conquered.

If you buy a ticket before the official opening, you can buy a ticket for 1,300 yen (called 'mae-uri' ticket) which tickets are available in many places like 24 hours 'convenience stores' such as Seven-Eleven, Lawson, and so on.

You can also buy tickets online from each cinemas (often in Japanese only). Lots of cinemas offer '1,000 yen Day' on every 1st day of each month, like April 1st, May 1st and so on. But mind you, it is usually crowded in cinemas. I would rather choose special deals for 1,000 yen on every Wednesdays for 'Lady's' day' for all women; 1,200 yen for 'Late Night Show' after 20:00 for all and many more specials available depending on cinemas.

My 7 years old daughter went to see a movie 'kureyon shin-chan' http://shinchan-movie.com/ (only in Japanese) the other day and had lords of fun:-))


02 May 2011

Slurp the noodles in Tokyo Ramen Street

Did you know that it is not rude to slurp the noodles in Japan?!

My overseas friend still doesn't believe it and I made her even more confused when I said that Japanese people not only slurp but burp in public... But it is not good idea to blow your nose with hanky with loud noise. I get confused myself.

I went to the 'Ramen' (noodles in soup) Street in underground near Tokyo station today. I have a big 'Ramen' craze like others and cannot help not to introduce those Ramen shops (too small to call them as restaurants but too big to call as stalls) which is one of the 'must-go' places for Japanese male office workers in Tokyo lately. 

Those shops usually open at 11am daily but when I turned up around 10:30, there was quite a long queue in front of the shop I was aiming for. I bought a ticket for the ramen from the vending machine before the shop opens, waited outside the shop surrounded by lots of men in business suits ... aren't they supposed to work hard around that time??! ... and when the shop opened, people in the queue were escorted efficiently to the shop and filled the restaurant of about 25 seats up so quickly. I waited about another 5 minutes inside the shop to get served and slurp, slurp, slurp ... all went nicely into my little tummy.
This is a blog which aims to show the places for parents and kids to have fun in Japan but I am sorry you should not take your kids along in those POPULAR ramen shops according to unwritten principles. This is a place where parents who are free from kids in one afternoon should go and have an experience.