life in japan

young activities

Once or twice a week, I take our son to different activities in the little town where we live. Tuesdays is the baby-activity in the shopping mall, where my son explores balancing on narrow objects, kicking small balls and picking them up and giving them to the teachers, dancing to music and interacting with other …

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finally fall

Finally the most beautiful time of the year is here. Before our son was born, I would take an early morning train and go to the mountains, searching for the autumn colors in nature, walking the trails with my camera and tripod and thermos with hot coffee. I would take an early morning train and …

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the second time is the charm

Even though I met my wife four years ago and have been living in Japan more than three, even though I feel more at home here than I have ever felt and slowly but surely get a deeper feeling for the way things are done in Japan, there are still things in every day life …

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autumn cleaning

Early Sunday morning we gathered with our neighbors on the little road outside. Our house is one of eight sharing a narrow winding road that gets us from the big street to the bottom of the mountain where our group of houses is situated. Every autumn the neighbors gather and clean the road and this …

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bowing

One of the things I really love about Japan is the politeness, best illustrated by the custom of bowing. When I am outside playing with our son, and one of our neighbors comes driving home, they always slow down and make a bow in the car. When someone makes an errand to the house, they …

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obon

Obon is a Japanese Buddhist custom that is celebrated each summer, where the particulars differs between different parts of Japan. My wife explains it as a three day celebration of the spirits of ancestors who during these days come back to visit graves and house altars, and the living relatives offer food and sake and …

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sommarlov

Being a parent of a baby going to hoikuen, kindergarten, is a very labeling experience, literally. Every room at the hokiuen has a name, and in the entrance to our baby’s classroom they have provided a little basket with our son’s name, and in this basket we are to make sure that there are diapers …

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tanabata

Not long ago I found use for the bamboo growing next to our house when we were celebrating Swedish Midsummer. This week it was Japan’s turn to use bamboo for a cultural celebration called Tanabata. Tanabata basically means 7th night, and is a festival usually celebrated on July 7th. Tanabata is a love story with …

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one hour child care

Kindergarten. Daycare. Dagis. Hoikuen. Many names. Many experiences. My wife have happy joyful memories of when she was a little little child, going to hoikuen. She had friends, she learned a lot; consequently she wants our son to experience the same happiness that she did. I on the other hand have sad painful memories from …

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a strange face

When I came to Tokyo, I felt like a curiosity. I remember early days standing in front of the traffic lights close to our apartment, waiting for green; often times there would be mothers with babies in strollers or in child carriers also standing there waiting. And more often than not, the little babies could …

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happy birthday

One year ago I was sitting on a bench in an empty car park outside a big children’s hospital in Tokyo waiting for news about my wife and our yet to be born baby. Today I am sitting in a beautiful house in Fukuoka with a sleeping wife and one year old son in front …

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state of emergency

So here we go again. Tokyo is under a new state of emergency. The Golden week holiday is here, and there seem to be a focus on making people not travel or unnecessarily spending time in crowded places in order to stop the increase in Corona virus infections. Hence, for the first time since last …

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