Yochien Shopping and Labeling

With just days to go till the first day of school it was time for EJ and I to do some shopping. We received a handbook from the school on our orientation day that included a list of items that the kids needed for their first day (indoor shoes, indoor shoe bag, gym clothes bag, bento bag, carrying bag, etc.) We had a lot of bags to pick up:) Fortunately these items were things that all school children needed and were easy to find.

Most of our purchases came from the AEON and the Hello Kitty store at Oak City Mall,

Of course an arcade was easily accessible when the shopping got too intense.


Once all the items were purchased it was up to me to label every piece.


And I mean every piece.

school items
lunch accessories, toothbrush, and hankies
indoor shoes
Once the shopping and labeling were complete I could breath a sigh of relief and look forward to her first day.

Kimono Dancing

There is just something about wearing a kimono that makes the kids want to dance. With a little Yoshida Brothers playing in the background they made up their own Japanese dance for us.

Park Turned Pink

There is a lot more to like about "Pirate Ship Park" than just the awesome playground. We found out that it is also a wonderful place to see sakura blossoms. They had just peaked and were started to flutter off the trees, so we were welcomed to a pink wonderland!

 We slowly made our way to the park as we took in the beauty of the trees.


Surprisingly the park was almost empty.

The resident ojiisan was there though and brought out all sorts of riding toys for the kids to enjoy.

We couldn't leave without sprinkling the kiddos with blossoms.

Spring Planting

ready to plant
We couldn't let Grandma return to the states without having her share some of her green thumb with us. The kiddos have many wonderful memories planting and harvesting in her garden and now they'll have some here.

We didn't get the Japanese garden I had hoped for but we did get two east and west facing porches. Grandma helped us turn one of them into a garden oasis.

We picked up flowers at the Oak City flower market.

And an apple tree (Malus Alps Otome) at Viva Home.

EJ came home from one of her last days of preschool dressed appropriately as a honey bee.

She was ready to start planting.

CJ put the stones in the bottom of the pots to assist witht he drainage and then added the dirt and plants.

His favorite part was watering them when everything was planted.

Keeping them alive as become one of his daily chores.

We are already enjoying the fruits of the planting.

The backyard is now a little green oasis ready to enjoy the warming weather.


Kitchen Gadgets

While EJ was performing her usual sous chef duties for DaddyO she added a headlamp to his kitchen accoutrements. You never know when you might need some extra light when making pizza.


As we waiting to be seated at our favorite sushi-go-round we met the sweetest boy who was filled with curiosity by our gaijin features.

He knew some basic English and practiced some phrases with us. 

He was more interested though in touching our faces.

 We are so blind to color with the diversity we enjoy in the US I forget how much we must stand out in the Japanese culture. I hope the simple act of touching our faces left a positive impression of Americans that the boy will carry with him.


CJ sure has enjoyed having his grandpa visiting. Fortunately he hasn't seemed to mind sharing Grandpa's attention with his little brother.

All three spent some time together teaching Baby B the finer points of peek-a-boo.

Baby B is still working on his timing:)

Drawing a Crowd

The sakura blossoms were in full bloom and the weather was warm and sunny. A perfect time to be outside. We had such a relaxing time at our last Hanami we decided to do it again. This time we invited EJ's friend to join us.

Cherry blossoms can be found everywhere in Japan. Our drive to the park was bursting with blooms. 

We joined quite a few more Japanese under the trees this time.

The beauty of the flowers made the girls sing with joy.

Grandma and Grandpa were an

Being so close to Atsugi Base's runway also gave us a fun show over the trees. Jet and airplanes landed one after the other in front of us.

The massive tulip garden nearby was also starting to bloom. Soon it would be a sea of pink, yellow, and white.

CJ found some other favorite flowers as well.

We took some pictures of the kiddos with the sakura blossoms

and soon there was a crowd of people gathering to watch.

The Japanese women asked to take their own pictures with them and EJ and CJ smiled along.

Then Grandpa joined the fun and jumped in for a group picture.

The Japanese are normally quite private people and while I know we stand out quite a bit in their culture, they don't normally show us this much attention. It was fun to meet the ladies and share our love for the sakura blossom with each other. 

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