Search results for 'tanabata'

Happy Tanabata! 2013

7 Jul


I’ll be honest, Tanabata usually takes a back seat to the 4th of July at our house. By the time we celebrate Independence Day by going to the beach, BBQ’s, and late-night fireworks, I don’t even want to think about celebrating another holiday 3 days later. How about you? How do you celebrate Tanabata?

So I was very grateful when my daughter made some Tanabata decorations at Japanese School yesterday.



My daughter’s Tanabata wish: “にじがみたい” (I want to see a rainbow).



Take a moment today to make a tanabata wish!

Search my site for “Tanabata” for more on this Japanese summer holiday!

Happy Tanabata!

7 Jul

from misaki.rdy.jpDid you make decorations for Tanabata? If not, make sure to check out my Tanabata Post for lots of crafts and activities.

Here are some new activities I found:

Tanabata coloring page from

Printable Tanabata decor from Canon Creative Park.

More tanabata printables by KF Studio (scroll to the middle).

And if you want to see some gorgeous photos of Tanabata, visit the blogs Hello Sandwich and Omiyage Blogs. Both great blogs!

My daughter and I used origami to make tanabata decorations yesterday. Now I’m off to make some mochi to celebrate!


20 Jun

Did you see the giveaway in the previous post? Deadline is Tuesday June 21.

July 7th of every year is a Japanese holiday called Tanabata(七夕). It is a fun and pretty holiday to celebrate with your children!

The gist of the story behind the festival is this: There is a couple who lives in the sky… Orihime (the Weaving Princess) and Hikoboshi (the Sky King). They are permitted to cross the Milky Way and see each other just once per year… the 7th day of the 7th month.

You can read a more detailed version of the story on Wikipedia, the From Japan with Love blog,, and Kids Web Japan.

Here is how you can celebrate Tanabata!

1) Decorate a bamboo branch with wishes and origami decorations.

– You can purchase an artificial bamboo branch from saveoncrafts or You could also use a different kind of tree branch.

– Cut long rectangular strips of paper from origami or construction paper (called tanzaku papers), and write a wish on it. For example, “Please help me to be a straight-A student” or “I hope my mom buys me a dog.” Then hang your wish on one of the branches and pray it comes true. (You could also print one of these special papers to write your wish on from

– Make other fancy decorations for your bamboo tree. has A LOT of great instructions for beautiful origami. This is the amikazari that I made:

– You could also just print out and color some decorations. Here are some from nurieyasan and here are some from

2. Instead of hanging your wishes on a bamboo tree, you can make tiny stars out of paper and hide your wishes inside them.

3. Learn the Tanabata Song.

ささのはさらさら のきばにゆれる
おほしさまきらきら きんぎんすなご

ごしきのたんざく わたしがかいた
おほしさまきらきら そらからみてる

4. Enjoy food like dango, manjyu, mochi, udon, somen, and red rice.

5. Read about other traditions here (you must be able to read Japanese).

6. Watch a Sazae-san episode about Tanabata HERE.

I’ve never been, but have read that Sendai has the biggest and best Tanabata Festival every year. Check out these AMAZING images from the festival! I read on the website that despite the devastation that happened in March, the festival will still be held in 2011.

Instrumental Tanabata Song:

ノージーのひらめき工房/Nosy’s Inspiring Atelier

2 Jul


One of our current favorite kid’s shows on TV Japan is “ノージーのひらめき工房“, which is listed in TV Japan as: Nosy’s Inspiring Atelier. We didn’t even realize it was a children’s show at first because of the odd name. It is a show that inspires children to be creative with materials they can find at home. It is a great show for preschool through elementary-aged kids. My kids are always inspired to create something after watching the show.

Here is an episode I found on YouTube:

What is your current favorite Japanese children’s show?


P.S. Don’t forget TANABATA is July 7th!! Click here for my posts about this Japanese holiday.


More about tanabata by Kiwi Crate HERE.

by the Japan Society HERE.

NIHONGO eな, a Portal for Learning Japanese

27 Jun

June always flies by in a blur for me! This June we visited family out-of-state, went camping, and had a big dance recital. It has been hard to keep up the Japanese since we haven’t been at home very much. I need to buckle down and がんばる(try really hard) to help my children hear and speak as much Japanese as possible the rest of our summer! Are you doing a good job speaking Japanese this summer?



Today I want to share with you the website “NIHONGO eな“. According to their site,

“Here on the website NIHONGO eな Portal for Learning Japanese our goal is to introduce – in a plain, straightforward way – various websites and online tools useful for studying Japanese. Also, by presenting ideas on how to make good use of the internet, we aim to provide support for learners from all over the world who are looking for fun ways to study.”

You can search for websites by category, such as “Reading”, “Speaking”, “Kana”, “Culture”, etc.

It is definitely worth a look!



P.S. The Japanese summer holiday, Tanabata/たなばた, is just right around the corner (July 7th)! Tanabata always sneaks up on me. I have blogged about ways to celebrate Tanabata with your children HERE and HERE! You can also see more ideas on my Tanabata Pinterest Board.

Things I Want To Buy In Japan

3 Feb

Let’s be honest… I wish I had a TON of money to spend in Japan! I just love everything there– the food, electronics, toys, accessories, clothing– aaahhh! I wish I had a “dokodemo door (どこでもドアー)” so  I can go shopping in Japan whenever I want :). Keeping in mind our budget and limited luggage space, here are my tentative shopping lists:

image from


1.  Snacks and activities for the plane ride back to the States.

2. My daughter wants a Rikka-chan or Mell-chan doll.

3. Little diecast Japanese cars and trains for my son to play with.

4. Coloring books and colored pencils.

5. Some Anpanman toys (both my kids love him!).

6. Furikake.

image from

FOR ME (I feel ashamed that my list is much longer than my list for the kids…)

1. Sunglasses. I have spent years looking for sunglasses that will stay on my little/short nose. I am hoping Japan will have some that will stay on my face.

2. A haircut. All my friends get haircuts in Japan and they come back looking so cute! If I had the money, I would also love to get a complete makeover and makeup lesson there too. Oh, and a manicure and pedicure :).

3. Makeup. I love the color palettes they have in Japan! Maybe I will finally find the perfect foundation, blush, and lipgloss there?

4. Bento boxes and bento accessories (for when I’m an awesome mom who makes cute bento lunches someday).

5. Sakura tea and sakura essence– you can’t buy them in the United States (nowhere that I know of).

6. Nice pens (like the Pilot Frixion).

7. New chopsticks and chopstick holders.

8. Fabric (you know they make the cutest fabric there right?). And sewing pattern books.

9. I would love to be able to bring back a pretty yukata.

10. Hina-ningyou set (a small one) for Girls’ Day.

11. Stuff related to other Japanese holidays, like Kodomo no Hi, Tanabata, Setsubun, Oshougatsu, etc. I don’t know what the likelihood of me finding all those things off-season are though.

image from

FOR OMIYAGE (gifts for friends and family)

1. Candy/Snacks.

2. Phone Accessories.

3. Chopsticks.

4. Stickers.

5. Stuff from the 100-yen shop.

6. Fake eyelashes (by request… for one of my stylish sisters).

7. Origami.


What’s on your wish list? What are the stores you recommend I hit up in Japan?

P.S. Happy SETSUBUN! Will you be throwing beans today? Or maybe eating an eho-maki?

JULY 2012 UPDATE: We’ve been back from Japan for a few months now, and here are some things I wish I had bought, or bought MORE of:

1) Japanese “very-short” socks! They are the! All of my girlfriends are always asking me where I got my socks. I wish I had bought dozens of them to give to my friends. They are higher-quality and better-designed than short socks you can find in America. AND they look super-cute peeking out of your shoes. Not to mention, they are very affordable. You can buy them at any sock store in Japan– UNIQLO is known to have great ones. (2013 update: You can buy Uniqlo’s short socks online now! I just received my order and they are just like the ones from Japan.)

image from

2) Dried fish. I’m not sure if you are a fan, but I really wish I would have bought more to snack on!

3) Hair ties. I bought a set of hair ties at a 100-yen store, and wish I would have gotten more! The hair ties I buy in America (from Target or Sally’s) just don’t cut it for me… they stretch out and lose elasticity easily, and don’t keep my thick hair in a tight ponytail. The ties from Japan are AWESOME.

4) More “interesting-flavored” kit-kats. We bought several boxes at the Haneda Airport duty-free shop to give to our friends. They were a huge hit!! We gave them to all of our American friends and didn’t have any left for ourselves. Unique “Pocky” flavors were a hit too.

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