Tag Archives: さ


2 Apr

from season-basket.com

I soooo wish I was in Washington D.C right now for their annual National Cherry Blossom Festival!!! Next year (2012) marks 100 years from the time that the cherry blossom trees were gifted from Japan, so I am sure the celebrations will be spectacular next year.

The website describes the event like this:

“The epic 5-week spectacular, from March 20 – April 27, 2012, will unify and electrify the city, the nation, and the world. Washington, DC and the region will be abuzz with excitement. Creativity and innovation will permeate signature Festival events elevating them to new heights, and ground-breaking Centennial exhibitions and programming will amaze and delight. Timeless traditions. Rich culture. Renowned artists. World-class performers. The community at its best!”

I definitely want to go.

If you love cherry blossom/sakura trees but can’t make the trip, why don’t you plant a cherry blossom tree in your yard? I would love to plant one in our yard someday when I have a green thumb.

I have also been drooling over sakura-inspired food online. Take a look at these:

1) HUGE post about pretty sakura-inspired food at “She Who Eats” by Chika.

2) Sakura marshmallows at “Vanilla Garlic”.

3) Sakura-flavored Kit Kat bars. (Please, Nestle, bring them to the States…)

Things to do with kids:

1) Sakura coloring pages here and here.

2) Learn the words to the song “Sakura” here.

3) Sakura origami instructions here.

さ:さかな Fish

24 Mar


fish market in Aomori

One of my sisters is visiting Japan next month.  I am very jealous but I find it hilarious that she has Ichthyophobia– Fear of Fish. Fish is just such a huge part of the culture of Japan- eating it, displaying it (like koinobori)… I mean, the country is basically a huge island, surround by an ocean full of fish. I am not sure how she is going to survive.

In America, it seems we don’t eat a huge variety of fish on a daily basis. Our family typically eats salmon and tilapia at home, and we get sushi when we go out to eat. In Japan, they eat many different kinds of fish. Although I can’t stand the thought of filleting a whole fish by myself, I would love to learn how to cook more Japanese fish recipes someday. (Click here for a huge list of fishes and their English translations, from bbiq.jp)

I thought a good way for me to teach  my kids the names of different types of fish would be to create a sakanatsuri/魚釣り(さかなつり) game for them.  Sakana tsuri=Fishing. This is how I made the game:

1) First I printed out pictures of fish HERE at Nurieyasan. My daughter helped me color them in.

2) I cut out the sea creatures.

3) I typed up the names of the animals in both English and Japanese and glued them to the backs.

4) I laminated them. (optional, but after all the hard work, you’ll want this game to last)

5) I put a paper clip on each fish.

6) To make the fishing rod, I glue-gunned some twine onto a pair of disposable chopsticks. I glue gunned a magnet (it needs to be a strong magnet) to the other end of the twine (yarn would work too).

sakanatsuri by Hiragana Mama

Hiragana Mama

The game was a big hit! I highly recommend doing this with your kids. I even learned some new words too. “Seahorse” is “たつのおとしご”! That is a mouth-full!

Hiragana Mama

Extra: Print out an easy fish maze here, also from Nurieyasan.

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