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Happy Holidays, Love Hiragana Mama

12 Dec


No matter what you celebrate, we hope you are having a joyful holiday season full of family and friends.


Toilet Training

24 Jul

I am going to be MIA from the world for the next few days because I’ll be teaching my son to do this:

Wish us luck!! (We are following the 3-Day potty training method. It worked great for my daughter, hopefully it will work for my son. I’m so ready to be done with diapers!)

You can read about some Japanese methods for toilet training HERE, HERE, and HERE (sorry, all in Japanese).

Busy busy!

18 Mar

This past weekend we celebrated my daughter’s birthday with a “My Little Pony”-themed party! We had a great time, but now that it’s over, it’s REALLY time for me to finalize all our plans for our trip to Japan. This past week, I secured our cell phone rental, confirmed our seat assignments on the plane, looked up train routes, decided to rent a CARES system instead of taking a car seat, and inventoried my omiyage. Can’t believe it’s almost “go-time!”. If I’m with-it enough, I’ll try to have some blog posts ready to post while we’re gone, but if not, you all might have to sit tight until we get back to see anything new on the blog.

In the meanwhile, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog by email (link below) or something like Google Reader so you don’t miss out on anything! :) I really appreciate all the kind comments I get on this blog and LOVE to hear about how this blog has helped you. ほんとうにありがとう!If you have any friends who might benefit from my site, please let them know about Hiragana Mama. Thanks!

Happy Holidays!

23 Dec

Happy Holidays! Love, Hiragana Mama and Family

Thank you for your support!

A New Look!

15 Dec

Yes, you have arrived at Hiragana Mama! I decided to change up the look a little bit. Can you tell I have no graphic design skills? Let me know if you like this new look, if I should go back to the old theme, or if you would like to help me make my site look better! ありがとう〜! And yes, it is “snowing” on my blog :) Keep reading  below for a post about sending New Year’s cards in Japan…

Win 2 Tickets to Tokyo Disney

19 Sep

Tokyo Roomfinder is currently holding an essay contest for 2 tickets to Tokyo Disney. They are looking for personal essays about your experience with the earthquake in Japan. From their website:

We welcome heart-warming experiences following the earthquakes in Japan. You may want to write about when the earthquakes hit, when you went to Tohoku for volunteer, when you raise fund for support, what you have seen in the TV…,etc and any experience will be okay. You can attach photos with your writing.

Please visit their site for more information.

Japanese Hairstyles

4 Jul

So… this post has nothing to do with educating our children, but I thought a lot of you Asian-mama’s might be interested.

I went to get a hair cut this weekend. And every time I go get a haircut,  I visit the website for inspiration. It is seriously the best website for hairstyle inspiration!!!! You can browse by season, hair length, etc and there are hundreds of pictures to look at. You are almost sure to find a style that you like.

Before I discovered this site, I would look at People or InStyle magazine for inspiration but I couldn’t really tell if a hairstyle on a Caucasian girl would look good on a Japanese girl like me.

So anyway… if you have been contemplating getting a haircut… check it out!

This picture was my inspiration and my hairstylist did an excellent job replicating it on my hair :)


There’s even a hairstyle simulator (you can “try on” hairstyles online) if you know enough Japanese to navigate through the instructions.


13 Jun

The words that came to my mind first when I thought about words that begin with そ were そーめん/somen and ぞうさん/zousan.

image from

Somen is a summer staple in Japan! I start craving these cold noodles as soon as the weather gets above 80 degrees. They are delicious, easy, a big hit with kids, and refreshing on a hot summer day. The basic ingredients you need are somen noodles and dipping sauce. Then you can add your favorite toppings, such as:

shiso leaves

chopped green onions


sesame seeds

grated daikon radish

mandarin oranges

Check out this page by for inspiration :)

There’s also something called nagashi-somen, which translates to flowing-somen. Somen is sent down on a “waterslide” made out of bamboo trees while people sit on either side and pick up the flowing noodles with their chopsticks. Not sure how sanitary this is, but it looks fun! You can buy an electric somen machine for your home too :)


Did you know that elephants say “Pao~/パオ〜” in Japanese? Cute.

Here is an elephant coloring page, and video+lyrics of the famous zousan song:

ぞうさん ぞうさん
おはなが ながいのね
そうよ かあさんも

ぞうさん ぞうさん
だれが すきなの
あのね かあさんが


6 Jun

my boy turned one!

Please excuse my absence from this blog.  We have been busy celebrating birthdays and enjoying the GORGEOUS weather we’ve been having! We just bought our pool pass this weekend and I’m sooo excited to start using it! I LOVE summer. I love the festivals, BBQ’s, gardening, road trips… and my kids love it too. It is nice for them to run around outside when we’ve been cooped up all winter.

Has nothing to do with my blog, but I wanted to show-off… here is the S’mores cake I made for my son’s cowboy-themed party. It was delicious!

most un-Japanese cake ever?!?

 Stay tuned… I’ll be sharing yummy and easy Japanese food to eat with your kiddos during the summer months soon :)

イースター /Easter

19 Apr

Easter doesn’t seem like a very well-understood holiday in Japan, which of course, make sense, as Easter is originally a very Christian holiday. I feel like Easter (at least the secular aspects like the Easter Bunny and dyeing eggs) will eventually become popular in Japan, because they seem to like adopting American holidays.

Anyway, if you are looking for a cute Easter craft, has an instructional video on how to make little origami bunnies, perfect for holding an egg or some jelly beans.

Tokyo Disneyland also does an Easter parade:

Have a Happy Easter!

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