life in japan

みどりの日

みどりの日, or Greenery Day as it is called in English, is a holiday during the Japanese holiday week called Golden Week. GW has four public holidays during a period of a week, and Greenery Day is celebrated on May 4th, although I like to think of the day as the literal translation instead – Green […]

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uniform

The new school year has started and for our son that means that he now is in his first year of three where he will wear a kindergarten uniform. Our kindergarten has one formal uniform that the children use when they are going to and from school three days a week, and a sports uniform

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sakura 2024

Living in Japan and writing a blog about everyday life here, avoiding a cherry blossom post in spring feels like something almost unthinkable. The beautiful trees are sparkling everywhere in pink and white, be it in the city, in parks or in the countryside and on the mountain slopes. Going inside, cherry blossom decorations are

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magnolia

For some people, spring is cherry blossom, sakura, late March pick-nicks in the park under the cherry trees (and accompanying hay fever). For others spring is warmish February days when the plum trees are in bloom, when you can leave your winter jacket at home and enjoy some vitamin-producing sunlight. Tough I love the cherry

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hinamatsuri

March 3rd is girl’s day or doll’s day in Japan, coinciding with plum blossoms and arrival of spring. It is an old celebration of girls and young women, focused around a display of dolls, mainly a wedding couple said to be the emperor and empress. Everywhere you go, there are the hina-dolls in different shapes

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enjoying autumn – part 3

In our little garden we have a Japanese maple tree, or momiji as it is called in Japanese. It is my favorite tree, I adore the small star shaped leaves that shift from green to orange to the most intense shade of red in autumn. Coming home after having picked up my son from the

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four years and counting

It is now four years ago since I started this blog after getting the wonderful news that there was a little one growing inside my beautiful wife’s belly. And what four years it has been. Then I was living in Tokyo on a one year visa together with my wife in a small small one

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sports day

In fall, having a sports day, undokai (運動会), at kindergartens and schools is very popular here in Japan. There is even a special holiday on the second Monday in October called Sports Day. Beginning of autumn, outdoor activities make a big part of children’s daily life and as soon as the summer heat starts to

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loved ones

I miss them, close ones that are no longer living among us. I have missed them especially the past week when the memories of the dead take center stage in Japan during the Obon holiday, the time to remember the ancestors when their spirits are said to come home to visit living family members. There

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images of a summer’s sky

Summer in Japan is festival time, and especially so this year. Because of the corona pandemic many festivals have been canceled for a few years, and this summer they finally start to happen more full scale again. There are all kinds of festivals such as dance festivals, festivals celebrating local deities, and of course the

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batsu

The start of Kindergarten life is a big event for a little toddler, I believe. Suddenly no more lazy days with dad at home, no more play days at the community center, no more weekday mornings in the park, but instead lots of new friends to play with every day and a new structure to

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without mask

So finally the government’s mask recommendations in Japan has changed. To put it simply, when there before was a please-wear-a-mask-everywhere-policy, there is now a please-where-a-mask-at-your-own-discretion-policy. Together with many others I have not yet fully embraced the new “freedom” of not having to wear a mask everywhere, but still there has been a visible shift in

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