Tag Archives: あ

Anpanman Cake Pops ♥

11 Jul

Over the 4th of July weekend, I went to a BBQ with my family. Several Japanese families joined us. My sister’s contribution to the potluck BBQ were these adorable Anpanman cake pops! They were a huge hit with the kids. You can visit Bakerella.com’s website for basic instructions on how to make cake pops. To make these Anpanman pops, my sister used chocolate cake mix, meltable butterscotch chocolates, round red sprinkles, and a black edible pen.


Anpanman Pop.jpg

Imagine the possibilities with all of the Anpanman characters (Baikinman, Melonpanna-chan, etc). Cuteness overload.

Do you love Anpanman? Read my post about my son’s Anpanman-themed birthday party HERE, or about our trip to the Anpanman Children’s Museum, HERE!




3 Oct

I was recently teaching one of my Japanese ESL students about Fall/Autumn/あき. We learned words such as “cornucopia”, “raking leaves”, and “jack-o-lantern.” I asked him what words come to mind when he thinks of Fall. He replied, “Mushrooms“.  Mushrooms?!? I was seriously confused.

image from kids.nifty.com

After some research, it turns out that mushrooms (きのこ)are in fact a big part of autumn in Japan, along with chestnuts (くり), satsumaimo (さつまいも), grapes (ぶどう), and persimmons (かき).

It is so interesting to me how different cultures view the seasons so differently. In America, Fall means Halloween, Thanksgiving, Pumpkin Pie, wearing layers, back-to-school, and soup (well, at least to me).

In Japan, Fall/Aki often means taking a special trip to observe the beautiful colored leaves(こうよう), undoukai (うんどうかい), honoring grandparents, fall food (mentioned above), red dragonflies (あかとんぼ), typhoons (たいふう), and moon-viewing (つきみ).

Am I missing anything else? What is your favorite thing about Fall where you live? What are your favorite Japanese Fall foods?

Click HERE for Fall activities and recipes from Kids.Nifty.

We celebrated the beginning of fall by picking apples:

azuki ice! アズキアイス

6 Jun

azuki ice

This is a simple summer treat… aduki ice/アズキアイス! It is so yummy, I could easily eat an entire batch by myself 🙂

Aduki Ice Recipe


About 1 part sweet aduki bean paste (or tsubu-an)

About 1 part heavy cream or milk (heavy cream for a creamier texture, milk for a crunchier texture. I like to use a 50/50 mix).


1. Mix all ingredients together.

2. Pour or spoon into ice cube trays.

3. When frozen (about a few hours), pop them out into a dish, and enjoy! My kids love it!


You can buy azuki paste at most Asian grocery stores. If not, they are available online as well.

Learn more about:

Aduki/azuki/adzuki beans HERE.

Azuki paste/Red Bean Paste HERE.


If you don’t like my recipe, HERE is another one you can try, by Closet Cooking.

Type in “アズキアイス” at images.google.com to see what azuki ice looks like in Japan 🙂 It will make you want to buy a plane ticket.


19 Jan


おはようございます、おじゃまします、いってきます、おつかれさまです。。。There seems to be an infinite number of greetings and polite phrases in Japanese ( I probably have a lot to learn in this area!).  I’m hoping to teach my children these “aisatsu” words as early as possible… and the best way they learn is by example, so I better study up on these words and how to use them correctly!

Here are some websites I found to be informative:

1) The Proper Use of Chopsticks at Shoo Town

2) Wikipedia article about Etiquette in Japan

3) English websites with Japanese Greetings at Yuki’s Page and Nihongo o Narau

4) Series of cartoons about Aisatsu at “Nikkori Aisatsu Ehon”


I also found a coloring page, ”げんきにごあいさつ” at ぬりえやさん.

We  have this book, ”こんなときってなんていう?”, which is an adorable board book about how to use greetings.

I really love how polite all the Japanese people I have met are. The rest of the world has a lot to learn from their culture!

あ: あめ(雨)

3 Nov

What a perfect time to teach the word “rain/ame”! It has been raining a lot recently around here.

Here are some “rain” coloring pages from ぬりえやさん: Click here.

だっちょ(DaccHo!) is a cute blog about a mom in Japan raising 2 little ones. She has created a bunch of adorable YouTube videos where her children sing Japanese children’s songs, like this one about rain boots:

Are you all familiar with Sasae-san(サザエさん)? I remember watching it as a child. Here is a Sasae-san episode about rain.

I also remember singing this song, “Ame ame fure fure“:

あめあめ ふれふれ かあさんが
じゃのめで おむかい うれしいな
ピッチピッチ チャップチャップ

かけましょ かばんを かあさんの
あとから ゆこゆこ かねがなる
ピッチピッチ チャップチャップ

あらあら あのこは ずぶぬれだ
やなぎの ねかたで ないている
ピッチピッチ チャップチャップ

かあさん ぼくのを かしましょか
きみきみ このかさ さしたまえ
ピッチピッチ チャップチャップ

ぼくなら いいんだ かあさんの
おおきな じゃのめに はいってく
ピッチピッチ チャップチャップ

あ: アンパンマン!

3 Nov

Anpanman has been around since I was a little girl! Lucky for us, there are many episodes available for viewing on YouTube.

Here is Baikinman and Dokinchan singing one of my daughter’s favorite songs, おにのパンツ(Ogre’s Pants): (more versions here and here)

あ: あたま、あし、etc.

2 Nov

“Head Shoulders Knees and Toes” done Japanese-style! I love that they end the song with “I love you”! Another version can be found here.

Another YouTube video teaching various body parts, by Japanesepod101.com here.

Need a quick refresher on the names of body parts in Japanese? Go here.

Other sites worth checking out here, here, and here.

あ:  あひる, あり

1 Nov

Today I will be teaching my daughter “あひる(duck)” and ”あり(ant)”. Since she is only  2, we are going to keep it simple with some coloring pages and videos.

1) Duck coloring pages here and here.

2) Duck maze here.

3) Ant coloring page here.

4) Song about ants: おつかいありさん

Hiragana Spotlight: あ

30 Oct

今週は“あ”を覚えよう!Let’s learn the kana this coming week!

image from wikipedia.com

I will be printing this hiragana PDF from Yahoo Kids in preparation for the week!

Here are some topics/words you can teach your children this week:

Animals: あり,あひる

Colors: 赤(あか),青(あお)

Weather: 雨(あめ)

Treat: あめ、あんこ

Body Parts: 頭(あたま)、足(あし)、あご

TV: アンパンマン

Other: 秋(あき)、赤ちゃん(あかちゃん)、朝(あさ)、ありがとう

Katakana(ア):  アメリカ

Check back next week for related activities!

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