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Japan With Kids - Forums: General Discussions: Entertainment - Family
By Kurz on Saturday, February 4, 2012 - 8:06 pm:

An eclectic, international presentation of the beauty of ballet for kids!

TELL (Tokyo English Life Line) will once again host its Annual Ballet for Children, this year on Sunday, February 26th with performances at 2pm and 4pm and featuring the Austrian Ballet Company - Tokyo at the theater generously provided by the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Japan.

For the 8th Annual TELL Ballet for Children, Austrian Ballet Company - Tokyo are bringing highlights of several ballets which are loved in Japan and overseas in an amazing medley entitled The Wonderful World of Dance, especially geared to families with children. The afternoon will also include entertainment by Uncle Guido gSupa Gaijinh, a raffle with fun prizes, and opportunities to meet the dancers. Cookies and refreshments will be available for purchase after each performance.

All proceeds from the event will go directly to TELL to help support their much-needed services to the people of Japan. TELL is an accredited non-profit organization that has been providing confidential support & western-style counseling to the international and Japanese community for almost 40 years, as well as numerous outreach services including Child Protection Services, the Exceptional Parenting Program, the School Awareness Program, Suicide Awareness Programs, and the new Adult Talk with TELL: A Workshop Series for Global Minds.

Introduce the magic and beauty of live dance to the children in your life, and get a glimpse inside the Russian Embassy, while simultaneously helping an important organization. See you at the ballet!

The 8th Annual Ballet for Children – The Wonderful World of Dance
Date: Sunday, February 26, 2012
Times: 2pm & 4pm
Place: The Embassy of the Russian Federation, 2-1-1 Azabudai, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Cost: 3,000 yen. All proceeds go to TELL.
Tickets and limited parking are available by reservation until February 24th.

For reservations:
Email: event[at]
Phone: 03-4550-1191

By Kurz on Friday, October 7, 2011 - 8:51 pm:

Tokyo Theater for Children
Friday, November 18: 6:30 pm
Saturday, November 19: 11:00 am, 3:00 pm, 6:30 pm
Sunday, November 20: 1:00 pm, 4:00 pm

Y2,500 for adults and children
(2 years and under -- Free!)
Open Seating
Buy 10 tickets and get one FREE!
BOX OFFICE for reserving tickets via e-mail will open in October!
Tickets can also be purchased at the door 45 minutes prior to showtime!

Samsa Asagaya Theater
*2 minutes walk from Asagaya Station -- North Exit
*only 9 minutes from Shinjuku on the JR Chou Line
Laputa Building B1F, 2-12-21 Asagaya-kita, Suginami-ku

Please contact ttfc.japan[at] for further information.

By Ariel on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - 11:32 pm:

Family Classcial Concert at Meguro Persimmon Hall (Feb. 15,2008)

Please join us with your family for a wonderful evening of classical music hosted by the talk show personality Mikio Ozawa who is the brother of Seiji Ozawa, acclaimed master conductor. Your whole family will enjoy a number of classic favorites as well as Mr. Ozawa's thorough explanation of the music, its history and the instruments.
(English interpretation will be provided)

Bel Canto Chamber Orchestra ( Conductor: Antonin Kuhnel) will perform with Tomoko Kidai (piano) and Naoko Murayama (Recorder).

Dates: Feb. 15, 2008 (Friday)
Doors open: 18:00 Start: 18:45
Admission: 2,900 yen (Free Seating)
Place: Meguro Persimmon Main Hall (Tokyo)

Send email to MCMC (organizer: Multi Cultural Mothers Club) coworks2005[at] for more information.

By Kurz on Saturday, November 17, 2007 - 9:59 am:

TOKYO: Sorry for the late notice!
The Tokyo Theatre for Children
November 16 Friday 6:30 pm
November 17 Saturday 11:00 am, 3:00 pm, and 7:00 pm
November 18 Sunday 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm
Tokyo American Club 4F Ballroom (open to general public)
Tickets are 2,000 per person, and can be purchased at the door (open seating).
4th Floor opens 45 minutes before showtime.
Doors open 15 minutes before show.

By Kurz on Saturday, November 17, 2007 - 9:39 am:

TOKYO: "Goldmarie and Pitchmarie" Japanese style puppet performance (where the puppeteers are dressed all in black)
At: OAG (German Asiatic Society)
2007 November 18 from 14:00- 16:00
Admission: Y500 (includes some refreshments)
The group of performing children wrote and melded together this piece out of two stories which fit well together:
The Japanese story, "O-Musubi Kokororin" and the German story "Goldmarie und Pitchmarie"
The OAG is very near the Canadian Embassay and the closest station is Aoyama 1-chome.
7-5-56 Akasak, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052
tel: 03-3582-7743
The performance is bi-bi-lingual (German and Japanese), however it is primarily a visual show and should be easily understandable for all!

By Admin on Friday, November 3, 2006 - 12:49 am:

TOKYO: Regarding Bruno Declaves show in Ueno tomorrow. There is a mistake on the times in the last post:

"My show on the 3rd is from 11.00AM to 1.00PM
Thanks, Bruno"

By Cornelia on Sunday, October 22, 2006 - 12:48 am:

TOKYO: 3rd Book Swap! (and other small items OK):
There will be a book swap on 5 Nov. (Sunday) from 13:00 - 15:30.

The venue will be my home at just 80 meters from Takinogawa 1-chome station on the Toden Arakawa tram line. If the weather is good, a nice combination for the day might be to go to Asukayama Park before or after the swap.

There will be a Y200 charge to cover the cost of coffee, tea and wine. Come early or come late, there should be plenty of books! Asukayama park is a 6 minute walk from here, and has a really superb playground. See this link for details:
Station options:
Oji station (10 minute walk)
Nishigahara station (10 minute walk)
Nishisugamo station (8 minute walk)
Takinogawa 1-chome station (1 minute)
Please email me for a map image and instructions.

This event depends on RSVPs. If there is not enough interest it will be cancelled! So plan ahead and show your interest!

By Admin on Sunday, October 22, 2006 - 12:41 am:

TOKYO - Street performers:
Really excellent, 3 November in Ueno park until 16:00
Look for Bruno Desclaves, his puppets and his violin!

By Sari H. Krassin on Wednesday, June 7, 2006 - 8:38 pm:

Hi Jellund thanks for the link. Does anyone know if they show movies in English at the Mamas club theater? I heard they do but has anyone seen one there in English? The site stills looks pretty full of Japanese when I clicked on the showtimes. Thanks a bunch.

By Jellund on Tuesday, June 6, 2006 - 7:45 pm:

Hello again

I just found the info in English for you, it is here

By Jellund on Tuesday, June 6, 2006 - 7:44 pm:

Dear Sari,

Yes this is true, it is every Thursday and is the first showing of each movie I think. The lights are brighter and the sound is a bit lower and there is a space to park strollers too.

There is info on this page but in Japanese

If you scroll down a bit you will see the "mummys club" info

By Sari H. Krassin on Tuesday, June 6, 2006 - 7:37 pm:

I've heard a rumor that Roponggi Hills Virgin cinema has mommy and me movie during the day. I checked their site and couldn't find any info. Does anyone if this is true, and how often they do this?Thank you.

By Kit on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 6:29 pm:

TOKYO: Come join Nishimachi International School's "Spring Fling" Flea Market and Festival this coming Saturday. All proceeds go to benefit charity. Games, prizes, BBQ, baked goods, and perhaps that incredible bargain you've been hoping for all year! 5 NGO/NPO booths will be on site to introduce their charities. Entrance is free.
Time: 11 am - 3 pm, Saturday, May 27
Nishimachi School Grounds
(2-14-7 Moto Azabu, around the corner from Moto Azabu Hills building)

By Bethan Hutton on Monday, May 8, 2006 - 10:37 pm:

Anyone with kids in the "Superhero" phase might be interested in this:

This is a temporary exhibition/attraction based on Marvel comic superheroes (Spiderman, Incredible Hulk, Captain America, X-men, Iron Man).

On at Tokyo Dome Geopolis until Sunday July 2nd, open 10-9pm weekdays, 9.30-9pm weekends/holidays. Entry free, but you pay for some individual activities, rides etc. There are age/height minimums for some things - eg over 100cm, or age 6 and up.

There are also lots of other things to do in the Tokyo Dome complex (roller coasters, ferris wheel, splash-down ride etc - see )

By Admin on Monday, April 24, 2006 - 10:31 am:

TOKYO: 2006 April 30 at 12:30 the Austrian Ballet Company performs with Christian and Rio the ballet "Moses".
Place & time: Tokyo Union Church 12:30 to 13:15
Entrance: Free
The church is opposite Omotesando Hills adjacent to Luis Vuitton. Walk from Harajuku JR station or Omotesandso station exit A1 (Hanzomon/Chiyoda subway lines) or MeijiJingumae station (Chiyoda line).

By Janine Parker on Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - 8:33 pm:

I came across this website on an old post also. It has a comprehensive list and good descriptions of lots of things to do indoors and outdoors with kids in Japan.
It's from the Homeschooling in Japan website

By Scott Hancock on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 11:02 am:

One place I know that has all those and also a huge game arcade is in Odaiba, under the big ferris wheel. Easy to find, I guess. Some of it is even open 24 hours.

By May Ose on Thursday, September 22, 2005 - 6:34 pm:

hello all! anyone can recommend good place to go bowling, billiards and karaoke too within tokyo? thanks

By Mono on Monday, April 18, 2005 - 3:57 pm:

Hi all, (Looking at my previous posts) Wow, it looks like this is about the only category I actually make contributions to.

Anyway, I've picked up a few area events again for those who are staying in town or in Japan during the Golden Week holidays or Summer.

Science & Technology Week in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki
April 18-24
Free shuttle buses available from April 20-24
(this page is in Japanese Only)

Kasama Pottery Fair or Himatsuri in Kasama City (Central/Northern Ibaraki)
April 29-May 5
- This will be the biggest pottery fair of the year in this area.

Tsukuba Festival, a.k.a. Tsukuba International Exchange Fair
May 14-15
-This festival's been known as Tsukuba International Exchange Fair, but this year, the city is calling it something like Tsukuba Festival 2005 in commemoration of the opening of TX, Tsukuba Express(, with Int'l Exchange Fair being held at the same time.E
- The new and renovated malls and stores in Tsukuba Center area are just across the street from where the festivals and Tsukuba Center Bus Terminal are.

Hitachi International Street Performers Festival in Hitachi (Northern Ibaraki)
May 14-15

For more events in Ibaraki;

By Bethan Hutton on Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - 9:09 am:

Science Museums in Odaiba

We went to check out two of the science museums in Odaiba, both of which are quite new so do not feature in English-language guidebooks like Japan for Kids or Kids' Trips in Tokyo.

Both of these museums are a good option for rainy Mondays when most other places are closed, though Odaiba is also good on sunny days as there is plenty of open space for picnics and outdoor play. My kids particularly like the ship-shaped play area next to the Maritime Museum, and, in high summer, the splash pools in the same area.

One museum we visited opened just last year: the Sony ExploraScience museum, on the 5th floor of the Mediage building, part of the Aquacity Odaiba complex, in between Odaiba Kaihinkoen and Odaiba stations on the Yurikamome monorail line.

My six year old loved this place. It is all hands-on, interactive stuff, divided into two sections, "Science Wonder" and "Digital Dream". Science Wonder has things like optical illusions, voice changing machines, a bicycle wheel gyro, etc. There is also a planetarium which is really more like a theme-park ride, as it is themed as a journey through time and space to the big bang, birth of the sun etc, complete with sound effects, shaking seats and so on as the "space vehicle" gets too close to sun flares and so on.

In the Digital Dream section, there are lots of hands-on computerised activities and games, eg make your own photo ID card which you then use to access computers with mini-robotic dog games, or a "Wanted" game, where you zoom in and out searching for your own face (as a wanted criminal) in a computerised version of Odaiba.

There is plenty to keep children occupied for at least a couple of hours, and there are lots of eating and shopping places in the same building to use up the rest of a rainy day (or go and check out one of the other museums in Odaiba).

Open daily from 11am to 7pm. Entry is Y500 for adults (16+), and Y300 for children aged 3-15. All the exhibits have labels and instructions in English as well as Japanese. The information leaflet is in Japanese only, but there is an English-language website:

The other science museum we visited is Miraikan (National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation), which is in between Fune no Kagakukan (Maritime Museum) and Telecom Center stations on the Yurikamome.

There is another review of Miraikan on this page, but I wanted to add the bits my son particularly enjoyed: a physical model of how the internet works, where you can use black and white billiard balls (representing bits of information) to send messages from one station to another; a space training capsule from Masa, with a genuine space toilet, shower etc so you can see how astronauts live; a display of rescue robots designed to go into collapsed buildings.

Miraikan has some exhibits and activities to interest younger school age children, but not much for preschoolers, and most of it is really aimed at older children/adults, eg detailed exhibits on the Genome Project.

Everything is well labeled in English, and there is an English-language information leaflet. Open 10am to 5pm, closed Tuesdays. Entry Y500 for adults, Y200 for age 6 to 18.


By Nancy on Monday, February 7, 2005 - 3:18 pm:

Alexandra, have a look this link (English button is on top left of page:

By Yuko Kubota on Monday, February 7, 2005 - 3:12 pm:

Hi Alexandra,

I suppose you can start by asking;

the Yokohama Tourist Information email

or the Yokohama City Hall phone

They both have English speakers.
I believe China Town usually holds an outdoor food court at the park, and the lion dancers will go around restaurants.

Happy New Year!

By Alexandra Roberts-Judd on Monday, February 7, 2005 - 11:56 am:

Does anyone know if there will be special family events on in Yokohama's china town this week for Chinese New Year? And, where I can find more information. Thanks. Alix

By Admin on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 4:52 pm:

For the Rockpunzel show at Yokohama International School, from Yamanote line Shibuya station you can now change to the new Minato Mirai line and go straight to Motomachi-Chukagai and then walk to the Tanner auditorium. This might be the most convenient way from Tokyo now. Actually, I'm not sure where the Minato Mirai line is in Shibuya. Does anyone know?

By Shane Meiklejohn on Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - 6:41 pm:

Join the Legend!
Watch good triumph over evil or will they?
The story of a sweet girl with long hair who was imprisoned in a Tall Tower by a wicked witch!
Told through pure Rock and Roll!

4 nights ONLY! 7.30pm Thursday 9th, Friday 10th,
Saturday 11th and a special twilight show 4pm Sunday, 12th December

In the Tanner Auditorium. Yokohama International School

Tickets only 1,000yen for adults, 500yen for students
On sale online at
Rock on dudes!
*Please note parental guidance recommended for children under 6 years!

By Anna States on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 4:42 am:

For anyone interested in a childrens book
published in Japanese AND English - great
for understanding translation and culture
in both countries! - you can see "The
Unordinary Elephant" at:

By Admin on Monday, October 11, 2004 - 9:03 pm:

From: kristin[at]
Subject: RBR - a free weekly puppet show
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2004
Hello Everyone!
We have started a free weekly puppet show by Liane Wakabayashi every Tuesday afternoon with performances at 3:00 and 4:00. Next Tuesday's performance will be "The City Mouse and the Country Mouse". We hope you enjoy it!
RBR - The New Center for Creative Arts
1-5-15 Moto Azabu, Minato-ku
(just across from the Korean Embassy)

By Mono on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 3:53 pm:

Various research institutions in Tsukuba will have special events for summer. I“ve picked up a few, but there are so many to list here. You usually get a freebie or two when you go to the open house.

National Institute for Environmental Studies (
July 24 (Sat.) -- Summer Open House

National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
( )
July 24(Sat.) -- Astronaut Mamoru Mouri comes to the Open House!

The National Science Museum, Tsukuba Botanical Garden
July 24(Sat.) to August 8(Sun.), Aug. 14(Sat.) -- Summer Break Festa

List of other research institutions: Tsukuba Science City Information

and other “not-so-famous“ places to go in Ibaraki. Sorry, some sites are available only in Japanese.

The 56th Gama Festival in Mt.Tsukuba -- (Let the peddlers (performers) show you how good the toad-oil is!!!)

Ibaraki Nature Museum -- You can check for the free admissions dates on the web!

Matsuri Tsukuba -- August 28-29 (Sat.-Sun.)

Historical Park Warp Station Edo
Summer Festival of Edo, July 17 (Sat.) to August 29 (Sun.)
Shuttle Buses available from Toride Station West Entrance on August 14-15 (Sat.-Sun)
Y500 each way for adults, and Y250 for children

By Mono on Thursday, June 10, 2004 - 12:18 pm:

I completely forgot to mention two important things about Potiron-no-Mori!

1. Potiron might still charge you Y500 for the parking on a free admission day, but in return you'll get a pass for the parking that's good for a year.

FYI, you can also purchase an annual pass to Potiron for Y1500 (Y1000 for 4y/o to 6th grade).

2. You can go there with your dogs! There is a big dog run section in the park. However, you can walk around pretty much anywhere in the park with your dog! Admission fee is Y500 per dog & you pay that at the entrance not at the dog run.

By Mono on Wednesday, June 9, 2004 - 4:41 pm:

Free admission to Potiron-no-Mori this Sunday, June 13!!!
There'll be an annual pumpkin fair on that day. Please check their website for the list of events during the fair. There is a HUGE parking lot, but it will be completely packed on free admission days(get there early!).

For those who don't know, Potiron-no-Mori is located in Ibaraki, but is literally minutes away from Chiba Prefecture(According to their website, it takes only 30 min. from NaritaIC).
General map:

Also, if you are a Chiba resident, you can take advantage of another free admission day on June 15. Be sure to bring a proof of residence such as a driver's license and a hokensho(insurance card).

Please check their website for more detail(Japanese Only):
(Click on the park map on the top left to view the photographs of the park.)

By Kudos on Thursday, March 4, 2004 - 2:47 pm:

Kudos Travel Fair 2004 to be held on Saturday 13 March at Toranomon Pastoral (1 min walk from Kamiyacho Station, exit 4B, parking is also available)

Kudos Travel Fair brings together a range of airlines, hotel companies, car rental services and, most importantly, destinations around the world in Toranomon Pastoral, conveniently located in Minato-ku. It is a fun day out offering information on travel and travel related services in English and Japanese for the international community, as well as the ever popular prize draw.

This year we have over 50 exhibitors, and thanks to the generosity of Kudos partners, there will be opportunities to win tickets to UK (courtesy of Virgin Atlantic Airways), USA (courtesy of Northwest Airlines and United) and other airline tickets, as well as car rental vouchers, domestic and international hotel vouchers, travel agent coupons as well as all kinds of other door prizes large and small. Door prizes are given to the first 50 visitors.

Admission is free. Children accompanied by parents or responsible adults are especially welcome.

For more detail, please visit

By Pato on Saturday, February 21, 2004 - 1:35 am:

Dinosaur Kingdom Nakasato (about 1.5 hours from Ueno if you take Shinkansen and then express bus).
Website has many details (including how to get there) in English.

By Cornelia on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 4:03 pm:

My 7 year old and I are going to go check this out (Tokyo, Hibiya station):
"Barbie dolls in dresses representing fashions from 1959-2004 are displayed in the Imperial Hotel. The 75 dolls in the exhibit, which runs until Feb 1, are wearing outfits by Burberry, Hanae Mori and Charlotte Johnson who designed Barbie's dresses for 20 years from 1959."

By Cornelia on Saturday, January 24, 2004 - 02:31 pm:
Regarding the Barbie dolls exhibit, it is on all 4 floors of the Imperial Plaza shopping center open until 19:00. And we liked the Lord of the Rings set the best!

By Pato on Friday, January 9, 2004 - 8:53 am:

combine history with a bit of fun for mom and dad!

Kirin recreates ancient Egyptian beer
Friday, January 9, 2004
FUKUOKA EKirin Brewery Co said Thursday it has recreated as accurately as possible the beer of the New Kingdom of ancient Egypt by employing an experimental archaeological technique at its brewery in Amagi, Fukuoka Prefecture.

The work was done by interpreting wall paintings illustrating the beer-making process in the New Kingdom (1570-1070 B.C.) in cooperation with Sakuji Yoshimura, a professor and director of Egyptology Research at Tokyo's Waseda University, Kirin said.

Those who wish to taste the beer can get information from the brewery by telephone at 0946-23-2132. (Kyodo News)

By Karen on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 12:56 pm:

This sounds like fun!

Caravan Books Children's Reading Morning on
Saturday December 13th
From 10:30am -12:30 noon. Completely free and meant to be fun. Bring your
kids and enjoy story time at Caravan. Open to all ages, nationalities and
language levels. Be ready for a great time with the Gingerbread Man, Aesop,
and maybe an appearance by some lions, witches and wardrobes.

Check out

Be sure to write down directions carefully to the store to avoid getting lost. It's a great cozy little store though.

By Jenny on Friday, November 28, 2003 - 3:59 pm:

Yokosuka Festival - Nov 30: (copied from another site)
Japan Festival in Yokosuka
Sunday, Nov. 30, 10:00 - 16:00
Place: Sogo Fukushi Kaikan (5F & 6F) on route 16 between Yokosuka Naval Base and Daiei across from the Yokosuka Art Theater, Prince Hotel & Dobuita Street
Nearest Stations: Yokosuka (JR Yokosuka line) & Shioiri (Keikyu line)

This is an annual festival sponsored by the City of Yokosuka. It is a lively and kids-friendly event, organized by Yokosuka international for promotion of the culture exchange between the local residents and foreign communities. Usually there are full of fun and admission free (first come- first served) demonstrations. This year from 12 to 4 PM on the stage there will be performances of traditional Japanese dances, martial arts and music, as well as Hula, Tahitian and Philippine dances. From the early morning (starting 10 AM) the guests will be able to participate in tea ceremonies, try on samurai armor and kimonos (male, female and for children) and have their Polaroid pictures taken by professional photographer, make Ikebana or origami, play Igo game, have a calligraphy session, practice traditional Japanese dances, the martial art (Bojutsu) or play musical instruments.

By Admin on Friday, November 14, 2003 - 4:08 pm:

Kamakura: Kamakura International Festival
Sunday, Nov 16, 10:00 - 15:00
Daibutsu (Great Buddha Statue), Kamakura

This is an annual festival sponsored in part by the City of Kamakura. 14 local NPO's with an international purpose will have booths for fundraising and information. It is a lively event, full of fun. Among other things: used English books, coffee and home baking will be sold

(this info was sent to me by 'Naomi')

By Admin on Thursday, September 4, 2003 - 12:18 pm:

Tsukuba Festival
Sep. 6 (Sat) from Noon to 9PM
Parade: from 4PM to 9PM
Sep. 7 (Sun) from 10AM to 9PM
Parade: from 1PM to 7PM

Art Town Tsukuba (Street performances held during the Tsukuba Festival)
Other events are: Jazz and Rock concerts, charity bazaars, traditional art & performances, "Play with Pony," and more.

Tsukuba Expo Center ( ), a.k.a. a Rocket Center ( ) and a city museum are only a few minutes away on foot from where the festival is going to be!

By Karen on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 10:50 am:

I found this on the Tokyo Metropolitan Children's Hall web site:

Like everything there it's free AND it's open all of this week.

Children's Hall 40th Anniversary Special:
Haunted House 2003- A Test of Your Courage!

Dates: August 12 (Tuesday) - August 31 (Sunday)
Fee: Free
This year the Tokyo Metropolitan Children's Hall is 40 years old! To celebrate this special year, we've held a competition for the best Haunted House plan.
Our always-popular Haunted House will be better than ever this summer.
Thrills and chills await only you. Don't miss this spooky chance to test your courage!
Place: Basement Floor Multi Purpose Space (B1)

By Paula on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 9:05 am:

Kawaguchi City International Festival (Kawaguchi, Saitama)

Aug 2nd & 3rd, Sat & Sun
Beside Kawaguchi Station West Side (Keihin Tohoku Line)
Lilia Cultural Centre, 1st Floor, Tenji Hall.
11am to 5pm

Come and see and taste foods from around the world.
In particular the NZ stand with organic, antibiotic free Honey, Manuka Oil, raffle for gift basket, face-painting, balloon animals and Chocolate fish.

There will also be samba, nagashi-odori, and fireworks on Saturday afterwards. Live bands, dancing, fleamarket, and chances to try on Yukata are just a few more good reasons to come along and check it out.

Hope to see you there!

By Cornelia on Friday, June 6, 2003 - 11:04 am:

7 June 2003
Geez this sounds like fun, I wonder if there is any way we can make it! This just came in to me from Jack at Tengu Natural Foods (I think you can also get the address off of their website):

Alishan Organic Center this Saturday from 4:30-8:30 we will have a small jazz piano concert. For FREE!
We are planning that this is the start of an every other week event.
If you need more info call me at the office at 0429-82-4811 or at CAFE at 0429-82-4823
See ya, Jack

By Noemi Hiraishi on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 3:39 pm:

BREATH BRAZIL june 15th, 2003

Dear friends,

"Grupo Brasil", that daughter and I belong, to will open one of its monthly activity to friends of the members of the group. The event is a popular one in many parts of Brazil, and it is to celebrate the idyllic living of the country side. The celebration is called "Festa Junina" (June's
celebration, my literal translation).

Place: Copa Tokyo (Brazilian Restaurant)
B1 2-8-2 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Time: June 15th, 2003 (Sun.) from 1 PM to 4 PM
All you can eat Brazilian food buffet, 2 free drinks, free "Canjica and Quentao - typical desert and drink for that celebration ), "Forro" dance (with how-to-dance-it lesson), Live music, members of the group in costumes and dancing "quadrilha".
Price: 1.500 yens for children under 12 yo and 3.500 yens for all others. (2000 yens and 4.000 yens if paid at the doors.)

RSVP by emailing me and also for more information too.

If you can spread the news, pls let me know as we have prints for the event.

There is more inf. in Japanese at the site below.

A Brazilian celebration put together by Brazilians living around Tokyo!!!!!

Love and peace,
Noemi Hiraishi

By Admin on Saturday, May 10, 2003 - 1:49 pm:

Geological Museum of Japan in Tsukuba
Tel: 029-861-3750, -3751, Fax: 029-861-3746
The Museum is open from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, Tuesday through Sunday. If a Monday is a national holiday, the museum is open on the Monday and is closed on the next day. Additionally, it is are closed from 28 December to 4 January. In case of groups of more than 15 persons, please call the Museum office in advance.

from Mieko:
"If you are going to visit the International Exchange Fair, this museum is less than 15 minutes away from that place. It's very educational (lots of button to push for young ones!), and it's FREE to the public. Their website doesn't have much information in English, so you may need to get some help from your friends.

Main page:

Directions and operating hours:

Kid's page:'gm/index.html

Summer Event (fossil cleaning):

-quick translation
Fossil Cleaning, a learning experience for kids: Get your own fossil using chisels and hammers (you can take it home at the end of the day!)

22 August 2003, Friday, From 9:30 to 15:00
Fee: Free, reservation unnecessary

* I think there's a limit for number of children who can attend. I know the website says no reservation necessary, but you might want to check with the museum."

By Karen on Saturday, May 10, 2003 - 11:28 am:

This was posted at I went last year and it was crowded, but a real blast! The food was burn-your-tongue-off hot - yum!


Fourth Thai Food Festival
For lovers of Thai food, this is one of the highlights of the year, providing the weather holds up. The Japanese are famously finicky about hot, spicy foods, so most Thai restaurants here tone down their dishes to suit the local palate. Not so here, where there'll be chicken curries to set your pants alight, along with a selection of less instantly appealing Thai fare, such as fried insects. It's also a chance for foodies to stock up on essential raw ingredients, which can be difficult to track down in Tokyo.

9-11 May, 10am-8pm, Yoyogi Park (no phone/ Harajuku station (JR Yamanote line).

By Admin on Saturday, May 10, 2003 - 9:42 am:

Received: Mon, 10 Feb 2003
From: "Ben Last" mantrix [ a t ]
To: info[at]
Subject: Australian childrens carnival on tour

We are a creative environmental childrens carnival tourning Japan in 2003. We are trying to get a listing of the email addresses of all Japanese theme and amusement parks to email our website to . Our site is

If you can suggest a way of getting this listing please email us:

By Admin on Thursday, May 8, 2003 - 6:04 pm:

TSUKUBA, Ibaraki: Tsukuba International Fair
May 10th (Sat.) 12:00 to 18:00
May 11th (Sun.) 10:00 to 17:00
PLACE: Tsukuba Center Bld

"Hi, I always enjoy this website. It's been a great source of information.
There'll be a family-oriented event this weekend in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki.


By Jenny on Friday, April 18, 2003 - 2:32 pm:

Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra
Two orchestral concerts aimed at children aged 5 and older.
2003 program for Wakuwaku! Kurashikku! (Exciting! Classic!) features works by Ravel.

May 3, 2 p.m. at Suntory Hall in Akasaka, Tokyo
May 4, 2 p.m. at Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. Tickets at 3,000 yen. (03) 3820-0013
Dave Spector will emcee the event.

On both days, open at noon, two hours before concert time (first-come, first-serve basis) "Hibiki no Hakubutsukan" (The Museum of Sounds). 100 children from primary to middle school can try their hand playing orchestral instruments under guidance.

By Michael on Sunday, April 13, 2003 - 1:51 pm:

There is very little information on the Tokyo Disney Resort Website with regard to ride restrictions (age; height), so for those interested, please find the relevant information below:

----- Tokyo Disneyland -----

Big Thunder Mountain: 102cm

Gadget's Go Coaster: 3 years of age

Goofy's Bounce House: 3 years of age; Maximum height of 132cm

Space Mountain: 102cm

Grand Circuit Raceway: 132cm (if alone)

Splash Mountain: 90cm

---- Tokyo DisneySea -----

Stormrider: 3 years of age

Aquatopia: 3 years of age

Journey to the Center of the Earth: 117cm

Flounder's Flying Fish Coaster: 3 years of age

Indiana Jones Adventure: 117cm

Note from Admin: the Tokyo Disney website in English is

By Admin on Monday, February 24, 2003 - 1:16 pm:

National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Odaiba

2-41 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo, 135-0064
Tel: 03-3570-9151 (Main), Fax: 03-3570-9150

Adults Y500, 18 and under Y200, under 6 free. Groups of 8 or more, Y400 each, 18 and under Y160
Annual pass Y1000
Annual family pass Y2000

This museum is a lot of fun for kids and adults, though for the under six crowd there is not quite as much of interest. There is lots of hands on stuff, but the exhibits are not, in my opinion, as interactive as for example at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. Some favorites: Designing a fruit fly and seeing if it will "fly" and survive (reading ability required). Immitating laproscopic surgery on a dummy. Taking a look at a model magnetically levitated train driven by superconductivity.

Also since it focuses on the emerging sciences, there are no hands on demonstrations/experiments of already well known phenomena, that kids love to learn such as surface tension, crystal formation, and so on.

Nevertheless, this museum can make a great rainy day stop. When your feet get tired, there are some comfy video cubicles that allow you to select short films on a huge variety of topics (such as a peek at a factory assembly line for making snacks) in couch potato mode.

There is a very good attempt at bi-lingual exhibition (Japanese/English). The price is lower than most museums in Tokyo, but the cost savings is quickly swallowed up in transport. The museum does have parking for Y300/hour.

By Admin on Monday, February 24, 2003 - 10:06 am:

Correction of post on February 4, 2003 regarding Aka Oni Daiko performance.

The February 26, 2003 performance date has been changed. The new date is March 17, 2003. Doors open at 18:30. Price will be finalized in the next week.
Please make sure to sign up ahead of time with me in order to be allowed in. Attendees must be on the official non-member Aka Oni Daiko List to be allowed in. I need to know names of anyone interested in attending 48 hrs. before the performance at the latest. Earlier is better.

Cathy Bernatt cbernatt[atmark]

By Pato on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 10:06 am:

Cirque de Soleil QUiDAM JAPAN TOUR
Feb. 7th, 2003 - Dec. 7th, 2003 (321 performances)
Tokyo Harajuku "NEW BIGTOP" (Seats 2,900) until May
Also Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka.

See website at: (English) (Japanese)

By Admin on Tuesday, February 4, 2003 - 8:07 pm:

On February 26, 2003, Aka Oni Daiko, the taiko group I am a member of will be performing at the FCCJ (Foreign Correspondence Club). It is part of a Japanese Cultural Evening that the FCCJ is putting on. They will bringing in a Sake Maker, a professional Japanese Chef who will be preparing a meal. Aka Oni Daiko will perform two sets with an audience workshop in between to give all of you a chance to try out taiko. There will also be a professional yokobue player, Jeannette Ohmae performing solo as well as together with us. If you have wanted to come and see us perform, there is no better evening to do so!! Should be a really fun and special night.
Though normal admission to FCCJ events requires you to be a member, Aka Oni Daiko has been given special permission to invite as many people as we want. Tickets cost 3,000 yen and we need to make an advanced booking.

Cathy Bernatt

By Natasha on Saturday, January 25, 2003 - 12:49 pm:

Bibi's new kid's book, Boooooo is on show and for sale (Y2300) at:

Ginza Shoro Gallery
tel: 03 3572 4460
Nagasaki Center Building 3rd floor
8-9-16 Ginza (Cafe Paulista on first floor)

A fundraiser for the RedCross pediatric ward, author will be there for signing from 2-4 pm both today and tomorrow (on Sat. and Sun.). Exhibit is from 25 - 30 January.

By Admin on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 9:40 am:

10 November 2002 (Sun) at Bunkyo-ku Sports Center and adjacent park (Kyoiku no mori Koen):
10:00 - 15:00
Tel: 03-5803-1186
Closest subway stop: Myogadani station on Marunouchi line
* Kyoiku no mori Koen = (A)
Sports center = (B)

1. Flea market - All day at (A)
2. Target bird golf ( ??? ) - 13:00 to 15:00 at (A)
Not sure what it is like... hitting a badminton's shuttlecock by a golf club to get a goal?
3. Pencil balloon - all day at (B)
Making many kinds of things using balloon & a clown there!
4. Time capsule -12:30 to 13:00 at (B)
Write a letter to you or your family living in the future, open it 10 years later.
5. Edo daikagura - 12:00 to 12:30 at (A)
Traditional performance, like you're back to Edo period.
6. fuwa fuwa trampoline - all day at (A)
...and so on !!

Some of the events outside will be cancelled if it rains.


By Natasha on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 10:11 am:

The Lantern Festival (official name is: Oeshiki Taisai) based at Kishibojin temple near Ikebukuro station (10 minutes) but closest to Kishibojinmae station (on the Toden Arakawa tram line) is on now (yesterday, today and tomorrow: Oct. 16, 17, 18).

This is one of my favorites because it is after dark and the lanterns, drums and so on take on a special flavor.

The hours are 18:00 - 21:00 today and until later tomorrow.

By Sandy Cox on Thursday, October 3, 2002 - 6:53 am:

October 4, 2002
Shakuhachi master, John Kaizan Neptune has brought together a unique group of gifted musicians to perform a wide variety of music ranging from classical Japanese to classicas Western, from jazz to Middle Eastern. The "goal" he says is not a golden melting pot of world music but rather a celebration of many different cultural expressions.

The October 4 concert at Kinuta Kuminkaikan, near Seijo Gakuen Mae staion on the Odakyu Line, will feature Shakuhachi, Koto, Cello, Bass and Percussion. This is a benefit concert for Aikobo, a Tokyo based group that is dedicated to helping disabled people. Some of the products produced by the physically and otherwise challenged members of Aikobo will be on sale in the lobby, before the concert. This yearly concert and sale is a wonderful event.

For advance reservations or info contact Aikobo at (03) 3412-1366 or Neptune at 04709-7-1543

Time and Location:
October 4, 2002
Kinuta Kuminkaikan
Seijo 6-2-1, Setagaya-ku

Hall is located about 2 minutes walk from North Exit of Seijo Gakuen Mae station (Odakyu line)

Tickets are Y3,000 in advance or Y3,500 at the door

By Pato on Thursday, August 22, 2002 - 9:04 pm:

Super Yosakoi 2002 Festival
25 August 2002, Sunday, 13:00 - 16:30 rain or shine
43 Yosakoi Dance troupes from around Japan will parade down Omotesando celebrating naruko dance, a traditional folk dance performed with naruko, wooden instruments that look like castanets. Naruko is from Kochi prefecture and food and products from Kochi will be sold in the Yosakoi Hiroba in Yoyogi Park.
More info at 03-5575-2330.
taken from Asahi Shimbun

By Admin on Wednesday, August 21, 2002 - 12:34 pm:

25 August, Sunday
Alishan Organic Market Day from 10:00 to 21:00.

Organic farm stand with fresh organic vegetables, fresh baked breads, organic juice and smoothie bar, crafts and hand made goods, Balinese dancing, ethnic drumming and more. Tengu Natural Foods Organic Shop will have all items at 15% off. Ending with an outdoor evening concert on the riverside deck of the Alishan Cafe. Clean mountain stream swimming, easy Mountain hiking and open spaces.

Free admission, free parking, free good time. Surrounded by nature one hour from Ikebukuro on the Seibu Line.

For more info call Jack or Heather at 0429-82-4811 or go to

By Cornelia on Sunday, June 23, 2002 - 8:30 am:

We had a wonderful time in Yokohama on Thursday. It was raining but we visited the newly refurbished Red Brick Warehouse which has an art exhibit in building number 1, 2nd floor with playing football as the theme, sponsored by Addidas. There were several football machines in each room that we could play on free/no charge. The art was really good too! About 25 of the pieces are up for auction to benefit UNICEF and in the last room of the exhibit there are a couple of internet connected notebooks to allow people to place bids for their favorite piece. Unfortunately my favorite piece was not one of the ones available by auction (a bronze sculpture by a Colombian woman).
The show continues until 30 June. An added bonus is that you can have your picture taken next to some of Japan's national footballers in one of those Sega Picture machines (also free). The exhibition was way undervisited considering the quality of the art, the fact that it was free, and that there was also free football and photo machines! The guards on duty were so bored that they started playing with my daughter! She received three of these slap on wrist bands also commissioned by Addidas (sports shoes manufacturer).
There is a website for space:
tel: 045-227-2002
The buses running to and from the "akarenga" are priced only 100 yen from 12 April to 3 July. They sort of wander around the Minato-Mirai area (closest JR station Sakuragicho) and one bus goes to Yokohama station (behind the Lumine building). The buildings open daily at 11:00 am. The buses start around 10:45 am.

Building number 2 houses exotic shopping, food services, a jazz club (Motion Blue Yokohama) and a beer hall among others. I noticed some interesting furniture and a store called LUSH with hand made soaps and cosmetics. If you still have energy, a short walk away is the World Porters Mall with another really cool selection of furniture on the 4th floor, and a Warner Mycal Movie Theater.

Not to mention the limited amusement park (Water Flume costs 600 yen) closed when it rains.

In addition we were joined by a sparrow at Starbuck's coffee shop in the Queen's Square buildings. It hopped right onto the plate! One of those inadvertently very successful days! Even though we had forgotten to bring an umbrella, taking the bus straight to Yokoham station kept us relatively dry and got us on the 22 minute train back to Tokyo station. It could not have gone better if I had planned it.

photo of my favorite sculpture in the exhibit

By Karen on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 3:08 pm:

This is copied from the Japan Times website:

Festivals around Tokyo (June 2002)

May 31-June 2: Tenno-sai (Kappa Matsuri Festival) at Ebara Shrine in Shinagawa Ward. A parade of Mikoshi (portable shrines) from the morning until the evening of June 1 and 2. Open-air stalls will be set up during the festival period. On June 2, a little fleet of boats departs from the shrine at around 10 a.m. to set out for a cruise down Megurogawa river and out to Tokyo bay arriving at Odaiba Kaihin Koen (Park) near Odaiba-Kaihinkoen Station on Yurikamome, from around 10:20 a.m. to around 11:20 a.m., and then comes back to the shrine about 6 p.m. Open-air stalls are set up daily during the festival period until around 10 p.m. Festival is carried out regardless of weather.The closest station is Shin-Bamba Station on the Keihin Kyuko Line.
June 1-2: Annual Festival of Suga Shrine in Shinjuku Ward. Shinto dance and music will be performed from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on both days. Children perform Kagura on June 2. On June 2, Mikoshi carried by townspeople departs from Yotsuya-Yonchome Intersection at 12:30 p.m., takes on Shinjuku-dori Avenue, passing by near Yotsuya-Sanchome Station, then JR Yotsuya Station at 2:20 p.m., and eventually reurns to the shrine at around 4 p.m. Open-air stalls are set up from around noon to aroun 10 p.m. on both days. In the event of rain, the parade of will be canceled. The closest staion is Yotsuya-Sanchome Station on the Subway Marunouchi Line.

June 1-9: Bunkyo Ajisai Matsuri (Hydrangea Festival) at Hakusan Shrine in Bunkyo Ward. Over 3,000 hydrangeas are in bloom during the season. A variety of events will be held during the weekends of the festival, including street performances. To get there, take the Toei Mita Line to Hakusan Station or the Namboku Line to Hon-Komagome Station.

June 6-10: Tsukiji-jishi Festival at Namiyoke-Inari Shrine in Chuo Ward. Highlights include Ojishi, a large lion's head weighing about 1 ton and carried by over 3,000 people. The parade begins at the shrine at 1 p.m., returning at 9 p.m. on June 8th. The closest stations are Tsukiji-shijo Station on the Oedo Line and Tsukiji Stattion on the Hibiya Line.

June 7-16: Sanno Festival at Hie Shrine in Chiyoda Ward. Shinto music and dance will be played all day on June 14 and 15. Other major events are: Kanto-sai (lantern lighting event) from 6 p.m., Japanese folk dancing from 6:30 p.m., and open-air stalls are set up on June 13, 14 and 15; Chigo Gyoretsu (parade by children) from 2 p.m. on June 9; Nodate (open-air tea ceremony) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 14 and 15; a performance of Sanno-daiko (Japanese drum beating) from 12 noon on June 15 in the precincts of the shrine. This year's festival does not have a parade of Mikoshi, portable shrines. The closest stations are Tameike-Sanno Station on the Subway Ginza Line or Namboku Line, Akasaka-Mitsuke Station on the Subway Ginza Line or Marunouchi Line, or Kokkai-Gijidomae Station on the Subway Chiyoda Line or Marunouchi Line.

June 7-9: Annual Festival of Shinagawa Shrine in Shinagawa Ward. A parade of Mikoshi carried by children is held from 3 p.m. to around 4:30 p.m. on June 8. On June 9, Satokagura, Shinto music and dancing is given from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and a parade of Mikoshi owned by the shrine is held from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The closest station is Shin-Bamba Station on the Keihin Kyuko Line.

June 8-9: Annual Festival of Shirahige Shrine in Sumida Ward. A parade of Mikoshi, portable shrines departs from 7:30 a.m. and returns to the shrine at 7 p.m. on June 9. Satokagura, Shinto dancing & music are played from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 8 and 9. Another kind of Japanese dancing is also performed from 6:30 on June 8, and from around 2 p.m. and from 6:30 p.m. on June 9. Open-air stalls are set up everyday during the festival period.The closest station is Higashi-Mukojima Station on the Tobu Isezaki Line originating at Asakusa.

June 8-9: Annual Festival of Torigoe Shrine, near Asakusabashi Station on the JR Sobu Line or Kuramae Station on the Toei Asakusa subway line. About 300 open-air stalls will be set up. A 4-ton mikoshi will be carried by 150-200 people in the neighborhood of the shrine, 6:50 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the 9th.

June 8-9: Gujo Odori in Aoyama at Baiso-In Temple in Minami-Aoyama in Minato Ward. Famous Gujo Odori folk dance, designated as an intangible Cultural Property and originating in Gujo-Hachiman in Gifu Prefecture, will be performed from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the 8th, until 7:30 p.m. on the 9th. Local specialties originating in Gujo area will be put on sale from around 12 noon on both days. The closest station is Gaien-mae Station on the Subway Ginza Line.

June 15-16: Annual Festival of Sumida Inari Shrine, reached in about 15 minutes from either Keisei Yahiro Station on the Keisei-Oshiage Line or Kanegafuchi Station on the Tobu-Isezaki Line. A mikoshi will parade 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the 15th, followed by another mikoshi parade from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the 16th. A lighted Manto Mikoshi, a portable shrine in the shape of lanterns, will parade through the neighboring area of the shrine, 6:30-8:30 p.m on both days.

June 15-16: Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogku Kokugikan Hall, Sumida-Ku. The hall opens at 11:45 a.m. allowing visitors to see preliminary bouts by lower-ranked wrestlers. The Dohyo-iri, or ring-entering ceremony will take place at 2:20 p.m. on both days. This marks the beginning of the main torunament of upper-ranked wrestlers, which lasts until 5 p.m. Tickets range from 500 yen to 7,000 yen and any unsold seats can be purchased on the day at the Kokugikan Hall.

June 23-24: Hozuki Ichi (Ground Cherry Fair) in the precincts of Atago Shrine, easily accessible from either Kamiyacho Station on the Hibiya subway line or Toranomon Station on the Ginza subway line, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. on both days.

June 28-30: Heiwajima Antique Fair is held at Heiwajima Tokyo Ryutsu Center, near Ryutsu Center Station on the Tokyo Monorail originating at JR Hamamatsucho Station, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (5 p.m. on the last day).

June 29-30: Ueki Ichi (Potted Plant Fair) in the neighborhood of Fuji Sengen Shrine, Asakusa, Taito Ward, in the afternoon. The fair is one of the biggest potted plant fairs in Tokyo.

June 30-July 1: Misogi Matsuri features a purification ceremony at Torigoe Shrine near Kuramae Station on the Toei Asakusa subway line. In the evening of the 30th, Chinowa-kuguri, a traditional ceremony to pray for good health and longevity, will take place in the shrine compound. On the 1st, a goza-bune boat carrying kata-shiro (paper cut in the shape of dolls) will leave from Yanagibashi Bridge, close to JR Asakusabashi Station, escorted by dozens of boats at 10 a.m. The procession goes down the Sumida River to the Arakawa Canal, and the boats will return to the starting point in the afternoon.

Have fun!!!!!


By Cornelia on Sunday, May 12, 2002 - 1:41 pm:

Third Thai Food Festival at Yoyogi/Harajuku

Great tip Karen! We went last night and I blew 2000 yen, every thing was so delicious! And I brought apple juice along in my purse for my daughter to help her wash down the spice stuff.

The good news is that it is on today also!

By Karen on Saturday, May 11, 2002 - 2:04 pm:

May 11th and 12th. 10am-8pm. Thai Food Festival in Yoyogi Park.
Two days of Thai food, music, performances and shopping are in store for visitors to Yoyogi Park, with 90 food stalls from Tokyo-area Thai restaurants, plus vendors selling food ingredients and handicrafts, and participatory cooking classes, vegetable carving demonstrations and more. The festival is sponsored by the Royal Thai Embassy, and will be held in the event space across from the entrance to the park.

By Natasha on Thursday, May 2, 2002 - 8:34 am:

As well as the International Food Fair that I just posted on the Yokohama International School discussion in the Education section there is also the "Yamate Sei Ko Kai Bazaar" tomorrow.

"Open air event: Yokohama Christ Church and the Japanese
Yamate Congregation will hold a Bazaar in the Church gardens opposite Motomachi Park near the foriegn cemetary from 10:30am - 3:30 on the 3rd of May. There will be hamburgers, cakes, hot dogs, bottle stall and much more!"

By Admin on Tuesday, April 30, 2002 - 9:57 pm:

KYUSHU: Arita Ceramic Festival
About 190,000 tourists visited Arita in Saga Prefecture for the opening day of the 99th Annual Arita Ceramic Festival. Over 650 ceramic merchants displayed their wares in booths lining the main street for several kilometers. Organizers expect 950,000 visitors to visit Arita during the festival, which runs until May 5.

For more information in English see:

By Karen on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 12:46 pm:

Beach Clean-Up: Miura Hanto
Sat., April 20, 2002

Have a fun day out of Tokyo and know that you are making a difference to the environment!

Amezaki, a coastal area in the southeastern part of Miura-Hanto, is one of the many beaches in Japan that, unfortunately, is better known as a rubbish dump. The view of a broken television set on the rocky shore, or a dusty sofa on the sand is, alas, all too common a sight.

Join us for a few short hours on Sat., April 20, for a beach
clean-up and help make a world of difference. after the clean-up, we'll have a picnic lunch followed, for those with time, by a scenic coastal hike to Cape Tsurugi.

9:00a.m. --- Meet at Keihin-Kyuko Shinagawa-Station (The
2nd-floor entrance adjacent to the JR transfer. not the one on the ground floor). Train departs Shinagawa for Miura Kaigan at 9:16a.m.
PLEASE DO NOT BE LATE! (or call if you are -- 070 6665 8579)

9:35a.m. -- Train stops at Keihin-Kyuko Yokohama station for residents in Yokohama area.

Please bring:
- Pair of gloves
- Lunch if you are staying for the afternoon hike
- Your family, friends, everyone you know!

For further information, please contact:
Sarah Okawa,, 070-6665-8579 or

By Karen on Monday, April 8, 2002 - 9:22 pm:

Sunday 21st in Yoyogi park is the big Earth Day festival, live music, lots of grass roots organisations, NGO's etc will have stalls, great place for picnic and fun day.

By Admin on Saturday, April 20, 2002 - 10:45 am:
A flyer for Earth Day 2002 Tokyo has this url on it: (in Japanese)
Ends at 16:30 every day and lasts 3 days, 20, 21, 22 April. The only event I know of myself is that Mishaal and her students will put on a belly-dancing performance at 11:30 am on Sunday.

By Karen on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 2:50 pm:

I think this place looks like it would be fun on a rainy day:

Kite Museum
Taimeiken Building, 5th Floor
1-12-10 Nihombashi
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 103-0027
Tel: +81 (0) 3 3275 2704
Open: Monday to Saturday, 11:00 E17:00. Closed holidays
Price: „200 adults, „100 children
Small and fun. The museum is packed with kites old and new. The colors and designs are fascinating -- and, conveniently, kites and kite supplies are available for customers who get the urge to go fly a kite!

And for the budding musician:

Drum Museum
2-1-1 Nishi-Asakusa
Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0035
Tel: +81 (0) 3 3842 5622
Open: Wednesday to Sunday, 10:00 E17:00. Closed holidays
Price: „300 adults, „200 children
A mostly hands-on experience with a large collection of drums from Japan and the world (only the older, more rare drums are off-limits to visitors with a musical bent)

By Karen on Monday, January 21, 2002 - 2:09 pm:

Sunday afternoons are also well spent stuffing your face at the Meguro Tavern where they have a 1500 yen all-you-can-eat Carvery on Sunday afternoons from 2pm until it sells out. Mashed potatoes, roast beef, lamb, pork, Yorkshire pudding, peas and carrots. Just like home-cooking (in our dreams).
Children are most welcome and people hardly look when they scream (comes in real handy!). This place is easy to find (4 minute walk from JR Meguro Station on the Yamanote) but there's a map at:

There's a ton of food, so be sure to come hungry. We usually start fasting the night before so we can eat our money's worth...(and yes I know that's hopelessly cheap...I love it!!).


By Zita on Saturday, November 10, 2001 - 8:50 am:

Exhibition which may be of interest: 3 November - 2 December 2001 at Ozone design space in the Shinjuku Park Tower(connected to the Park Hyatt). It is called Kid Size , the material world of childhood (from the Vitra Design museum in
Contact the Living Design Center for more info.
tel: 03-5322-6500/fax 5322-6501

Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2001 9 pm
Just went there this afternoon (Kid Size). It has a nice IKEA playground with lots of toys at the entrance area, more fun for the kids than the exhibition itself, as they are not allowed to touch anything. But worth going on a rainy day like today.

By Betty on Tuesday, August 7, 2001 - 10:22 pm:

Friday 10 August Fireworks begin at 19:00 Kamakura

This year's Hanabi Taikai (Fireworks Festival) in Kamakura. Come and enjoy the beautiful fireworks over the bay. "Kamakura Fireworks display is held annually on August 10, starting at 7:30 p.m. More than 2,000 fireworks are let off from boats off Yuigahama. Kamakura's unique fireworks are enjoyed by crowds along the entire shore from Zaimokuza to Sakanoshita."

There are sand sculptures to be seen by day also. 10 min. walk from Kamakura Sta. on the JR Yokosuka Line

Kamakura City Tourist Association
Phone 0467-23-3050

By Caroline on Thursday, August 2, 2001 - 12:47 pm:


A great chance to hear Andean themes interpreted by the Tokyo-based group "LOS AWKIS" this coming September 1, 2001 (6:30PM) at Tobu Friend Hall (Toei Shinjuku line, Mizue station). Advance Tickets: 2,500 (adults) and 1,500 (children). Same day tickets: 3,000 (adults) and 2,000 (children). Call the organizers at 03-3637-1003 or 047-360-8659 or me at (0422) 20-7553. e-mail me at if you want a copy of the ad.

By Sandra Yamamoto on Tuesday, July 10, 2001 - 8:09 pm:

Annual summer festival to be held the weekend of July 14-15, 2001 in
Yoshikawa City, Saitama Pref. The festival originates at Yoshikawa
Shrine which is within walking distance (10 minutes straight up on (ICHO DORI) from the north exit of Yoshikawa Station, Musashino Line. On both Saturday and Sunday, festival games and food are available around the shrine. On Sunday, a child's OMIKOSHI (portable shrine) and child's DASHI (shrine that is pulled) will be paraded twice around town; once in the morning and again around 2:00pm which any child can participate in helping. On Sunday evening beginning at 7:30pm, 6 or 7 of the large adult OMIKOSHI will be brought out and attempted to be tossed in the air which is a type of annual competition/event between Yoshikawa's different districts. The area to watch this is between SHIMAMURA Store and a KAITEN ZUSHI, again on the main street up from the station (ICHO DORI) on your way to Yoshikawa Shrine.

By Misawa on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 10:48 am:

Family Festival - Toshima ku

The 16th Ikebukuro Family Festival
May 20 (Sunday) at Ikebukuro Daiich Jido-kan, Taimei Primary School and Ikebukuro Daini-Park.
Non-ward residents OK.
Suitable for kids approximately 2.5 to 6 years old.
Registration (free) is from 9:30-13:30
Festival is from 10:00 to 14:30.
tel: 03-3982-4992
rain or shine, Food-corner, game, craft, lottery, etc.
crafts and activities will be mostly inside, door prize winners will be called outside at the small park across from the children's hall (jidokan)

taken from Toshima news 5/15

By ruth mccreery on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 11:44 am:

Family Walkathon/Runathon

Get outdoors and say hello to spring with the 2nd annual TELL Charity Walkathon/Runathon!

Families and Kids Especially Welcome

When: Friday, May 4 (nat'l holiday). Walk starts at 10:00, 10 km run at 10:30, 5 km run at 11:00

Where: Around the Imperial Palace (meet at Chidorigafuchi Park nr the Hanzomon Gate and the British Embassy)

How: Sign up by calling the TELL office at 03-3498-0261. Registration is 3,000 yen per person or 10,000 yen for families (4 or more persons signing up together)

Why: It's great fun! A walk or run around the historic heart of Tokyo, with clowns and other treats for the kids, t-shirts for the first 500 participants, great prizes, and a lottery for more prizes.

And--all proceeds benefit Tokyo English LIfe Line (TELL), which has served the international community here for 28 years with telephone and face-to-face counseling. TELL is Tokyo's only accredited, nonprofit, multidisciplinary counseling center.

By A.K. on Saturday, March 17, 2001 - 8:55 am:

Sunshine Planetarium in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, will give away 50 pairs of tickets for a new program featuring a Corona Borealis story based on Greek mythology that will run through July 8. The program will be held once each hour between noon and 5 p.m. on weekdays; and 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekends and national holidays. To apply, send a postcard by March 26 with your name, date of birth, occupation, address, telephone number and preferred time and date to: "Corona Borealis program tickets giveaway, Daily Yomiuri," Sunshine Planetarium, 3-1 Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 170-8630. (03) 3989-3466.

By Andrew on Wednesday, March 14, 2001 - 7:16 am:

World Cup Ticket Applications Close Today (14th March) for Japanese Residents

If you haven't applied already and haven't got any forms you can apply online at Be prepared to spend a bit of time though.

Also while you are at the site, check out the excellent mascot section if you need a bit of light refreshment.

All my applications will be in the post today. Applied for four matches as a Yokohama resident and as an accompanying person for six others. I'm 99.9% sure you can do this legally if you use the separate resident and general application forms. Took some reading of the rules though. I can only get one of the four Yokohama applications but could get all six of the others. I really hope I don't or I'll have a huge bill to pay.

If you miss this dedline I guess you have to try applying as an overseas resident or maybe for 'TSTs' or 'Team Specific Tickets'.

By Cornelia on Thursday, January 25, 2001 - 12:06 pm:

Art Exhibit by Bunkyo ku' s Elementary School Children
Bunkyo ward City Hall (Civic Center) Ground floor
(Korakuen and Kasuga stations on Marunouchi, Mita and Namboku subway lines)

Finishing on 28 Jan. 9:00-16:00 (open Saturday and Sunday also)
"shogako dengo tenzankai"

This is a great little exhibit to bring your under 13 year olds! I just happened to take a photo of masks, but there is lots more, including chopstick art, shadow boxes lit up from behind, etc.
photo of masks by Bunkyo ward elementary school students

By Cornelia on Sunday, December 24, 2000 - 12:05 am:

"Tokyo Millenario" Marunouchi Light Show, Tokyo
24 December 2000 - 1 January 2001
03-5440-2590 (I'm not sure what this number is for exactly, but it was on the brochure.)

Access from JR Yamanote Tokyo and Yurakucho stations as well as Chiyoda, Mita, Hibiya, Marunouchi, etc. subway stations right around there. One block east of Hibiya-dori. One block west of Tokyo Central Post Office. The light show runs north-south for three blocks.

24, 29 -31, December 17:30 - 21:00
25-28 December 18:00 - 21:00
1 January 0:00 - 3:00
map can be seen at:
pictures of last year's lights can be seen at:

By Cornelia on Saturday, November 4, 2000 - 7:00 am:

Sesame Place Query
>Date: Fri, 03 Nov 2000
>I will go to Tokyo this month and looking forward to visit the "Tokyo Sesame Place". Would you tell me is it still open to the public. If so, what is the opening hours and how can I get to there from Shinjuku? Also, how much is the admission fee cost?
>Please reply me mail to: xxx
>Thank you for your attention.
>Your sincerely, xxx

Sesame Place
403 Ajiro, Akiruno-shi, Tokyo
tel: (0425) 96-5811
train plus bus (or taxi)
Akikawa Station, JR Itsukaichi line, or
Hachioji Station
Hours vary, so C A L L !

I did this once and it was quite a ways (about an hour just on the trains) from Shinjuku. We had to change once, but at certain times of the day there are trains running all the way, because the train that I caught going back to Shinjuku did. I don't remember the exact train details, it was back in November 1998. We also couldn't figure out which bus to take, so took a taxi to the park which was about 2000 yen. By the way children under 6 ride free on the trains and buses.

We also couldn't get clear information on which line to stand in for a bus back to the train station at the end of the day. I was tired and just couldn't seem to muddle my way through the Japanese. So I finally called a taxi to come pick us up. They did not have actors dressed up as Sesame Street characters walking around, which is one thing I had expected to see. Adding up the cost of transportation round trip and the time travelling, it seemed to me to be a bit far away and somewhat small, to be worth the trouble. If I lived closer by I would go again now. My daughter had a good time at 2 years old, but now at 100 cm height she would be able to do everything. I believe the US military base "Yokota" is quite close.

The admission runs something like 1000 yen for kids and 2000 yen for adults, but they also have special promotions. There is a printable coupon for a hundred or so yen off the admission price on their web site.

Tokyo Summerland is right next to Sesame Place, and owned or managed by the same company. If you visit both parks on the same day, you can get into Sesame Place for 500 yen by showing your Tokyo Summerland ticket or/and hand stamp.

Hope this helps, Cornelia

Here are the instructions published on their web site

From Hachioji Station (JR / Keio Line), take the bus for "Summerland" or "Itsukaichi" (30 minutes)
From Akigawa Station (JR Itsukaichi Line), take the bus for "Summerland" or "Hachioji" (5 minutes). Note that you'll need to get off at "Summerland" bus stop.
Please use the free shuttle bus service to TOKYO SESAME PLACE available from the main entrance of Tokyo Summerland.

By car Take the Chuo Highway, get off at Hachioji (2nd off-ramp exit, coming from Tokyo), then take Route 411 (10km).
From Kawagoe City, take Route 16, then Itsukaichi Kaido (35km).
From Tokorozawa City, take Shin-Ome-Kaido, then Route 411 (25km).
From Sagamihara City, take the Hachioji bypass, then Route 411 (20km).
From the local Ome Interchange area, drive towards Ozaku (12km). Follow the road signs for Tokyo Summerland.
Parking area for SESAME PLACE is located 1.5km from the entrance to Tokyo Summerland. Just follow the sign.

They have a picnic area as well as many outdoor tables and chairs for their take-out food. You are also allowed to bring your own food. Vending machine drinks are 150 yen. A sample of what is offered in their only (cafeteria style) restuarant:
Partial menu:
chicken and fried potato basket 700 yen
hamburger platter with rice on the side 1100 yen
spicy beef curry rice 800 yen
mixed sandwiches (egg salad, ham and cream cheese) 600 yen
all drinks 300 yen

By Anna on Friday, October 27, 2000 - 4:37 pm:

Bazaar at Shirakawa Church and Oei Kindergarten, probably the largest Bazaar in Kumamoto.

-clothes, furniture, shoes, rice-cookers, toys, dishes, futons, exercise equipment, handbags, R/C hovercrafts, radios, and just about everything else you can imagine.
- homemade curry, sandwiches, bentos, coffee, jello, juice, icecream
- plants and such

The first 50 foreigners (non-Japanese) will receive a 1000 yen ticket they can use at the Bazaar.
People usually start lining up about 9am.
Much of the really good stuff and really good deals are gone in the first hour.


For more information:
(096)371-0679 or, in Japanese, (096)364-4474

By A.K. on Thursday, October 26, 2000 - 2:15 am:

Yokohama City October/November Event Schedule is available online:

Not a complete listing of course.

By Anonymous on Wednesday, October 4, 2000 - 4:24 am:

Yokohama - Oct. 7 to 22. Pictures tell the story
Yomiuri Shimbun

A compelling photograph of a girl on a float paddling the filthy waters of Manila Bay to collect plastic garbage is one of an award-winning portfolio of three photos taken by Germany's Hartmut Schwarzbach. Titled "Floating Kids at Manila Bay," the set was recently awarded the gold prize in the adult division for the "United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) International Photographic Competition on the Environment 1999-2000."

The girl in Schwarzbach's photo eked out a living by exchanging the plastic garbage for meager sums of money. "It was a way of surviving that I had never seen before," Schwarzbach said. "I believe it is a photographer's duty to observe everyday life and convey the truth through photography. The message of my work is 'Never forget the children in the so-called Third World.'"

About 120 prize-winning and other excellent photos will be shown in an exhibition to be held at Queens Circle in Queens Square in Yokohama from Oct. 7 to 22. The exhibition will then move to Paris, where it will be
staged at Le Carrousel du Louvre from Oct. 26 to Nov. 10.

By Yakko on Saturday, September 30, 2000 - 6:20 am:

Oct. 9, 2000 (Monday) Kyouiku no Mori Kouen Festival (review below - mark for next year!)
=Bunkyo Eco-recycle Fair=
just a few minutes from Myogadani station on the Marunouchi Subway line (two stops from Ikebukuro) in the park in front of the Bunkyo ward Sports center.

Kyouiku no Mori Kouen / Sports center 10:00 to 15:00
- Flea Market
- Riding on a Pony, Trampoline, Ultra-Man Show* at Kodomo Hiroba *11:45 & 13:20
- Swimming Pool free of charge if you live or work in Bunkyo-ku. Need cap
- Physical fitness test by Computer 10:00 to 14:40

Don't worry, it's not a mis-print. Oct. 9th is a National holiday called Taiku no Hi (Sports day ). It used be Oct. 10th, but somehow it changed!

Review by Cornelia:
In spite of the rain, the fair went on, even though the fleamarket, pony rides and Trampoline parts were cancelled! The Ultraman show was moved to the school gym across the street, and I wish we hadn't gone to THAT. The noise level was painful! There were 3 games set up inside the sports center as well as a foam "kendo" game to try (little washclothes were given out for omiage). The book sale was on under a white tent. Attendance was low because of the rain, and at the end a recycle truck came up and the remaining books were all loaded into it. There was a booth explaining how to compost your food scraps! We entered the bicycle lottery (50 refurbished bikes are sold off via lottery which had about 320 entrants, for prices ranging from 7000-9000 yen) and won! The swimming was "free swim" until 13:00 and then at 13:20 there were organized swimming games which finished at 15:00. After 15:00 the Sports Center closed for clean up (normally it is open until 21:00). The rain made things a bit messy, but we had a good time! And around 15:30 the rain finally stopped.

By A.K. on Thursday, September 28, 2000 - 3:48 pm:

Japan Highland Games - October 15, 2000
Visit the Japan Scottish Highland Games in Soka City (go out on the Hibiya line - slightly north-east of Tokyo) for one of the best days out for the whole family in Tokyo's autumn calendar. For more information, visit

By Richard Gilbert on Thursday, July 6, 2000 - 2:27 am:

Tanabata - more links

Websites (in English):
The most lyrical version I could find. The ending: "On the night of July 7th, magpies formed a bridge over the River of Heaven to enable the lovers to meet."
This page is a fascinating, scholarly, ethno-astronomical article (the article combines the two fields of anthropology and astronomy) about the origins and cultural practices surrounding Tanabata, and how Tanabata relates to the visible universe.
Here is a photo of the actual stars: Altair (kengyuu, aquila- the Cowherd Star) and Vega (orihime, shokujo--the Weaver Star).
Two Tanabata story versions, with explanations of Senbatsuru, Tanzaku, Kamigoromo, Kuzukago, and Kinchaku.
On Kyushu, Oita's biggest festival is Tanabata; starting on the first Friday of August and lasting until Sunday night. "The Tanabata Festivals held in Sendai (Miyagi Prefecture) and Hiratsuka (Kanagawa Prefecture) are two of the most famous festivals in Japan."
- - -
From the Manyoshu (an anthology of ancient poems of the Japanese language, published in 760 AD), one verse goes as follows:

The evening we meet Tanabata is endless Tomorrow starts another year

- - -
(From the above website): Song for Tanabata

1. Sasa no ha sara-sara. Nokiba ni yureru. Ohoshi-sama kirakira, kingin sunago.

Meaning: Bamboo tree dancing under the eaves. The stars are shining, silver and gold sprinkles on the paper.

2. Goshiki no tanzaku, watashi ga kaita. Ohoshi-sama kirakira, sora kara miteru.

Meaning: Colorful papers, I wrote on them. The stars are shining, looking down from the sky.

By Laurel on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 8:46 pm:

Pokemon Card Game "Summer World Challenge" Tournament

The tournament will be held on Saturday, July 1 and Sunday July 2 at Pacifico Yokohama. Registration is at 1:30 in the afternoon on Saturday and 8:30 in the morning on Sunday if you want to participate in the lottery that chooses who will be playing in the official tournament. Pacifico Yokohama is about a 15 minute walk from Sakuragicho Station on the Tokyu Toyoko line and JR Keihin Tohoku line.

I figure that people will be lining up early for the lottery, so I booked a hotel room for the Saturday night so my 6 year old would at least have a chance for Sunday morning. Saturday is a half-day at school, so there is no way we can make it in time for the lottery, but in addition to the tournament, there will be many other activities, such as free matches with other players, a card trading corner, a teaching station where beginners can learn the rules, parent-child team matches, etc.

If your kid is going to bring their own deck, there are some restrictions on what cards can be used in tournament play, these are described in the "World Challenge Regulation Book" in Japanese that is available at the Pokemon Center, Tokyo. However, decks will be available at the tournament for those who do not bring a deck of their own, so don't worry if you don't have a good deck for play.

If anyone would like to meet up there, send me an e-mail!

By Gerry Morita on Monday, March 27, 2000 - 1:33 pm:

April 5, 2000 Event in Yokohama
For anyone interested in attending a modern dance performance.
We are a Japan-Canada collaboration called Tunnel Works and we will be staging a modern dance performance in Yokohama, April 5, at 730 pm
The show is called "tsunami" and is 1500 yen in advance and 2000 yen at the door. Call 03-3958-5520 for info, or St Spot for tickets at 045-325-0411. This show would be suitable for kids jr high age and up.

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