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Where in Japan is best with a 2-year-old?

Japan With Kids - Forums: Moving to and Leaving Japan: Moving To Japan: Where in Japan is best with a 2-year-old?
By Tiffany Watson on Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - 8:47 am:

hello. this is my first post...i am
considering a move to Japan as soon as a
few months from now...i am looking into
lots of different areas but feeling very
overwhelmed. i would like to teach
preschool and am being considered for
one position in Koriyama, but i'm not
sure it's the right place for my family.

my priorities are: 1) within an hour by
train of a big city; 2) people who will be
friendly to my 2-year-old son, who is
biracial; 3) in/near a place that is at least
somewhat rural; and 4) ideally with easy
access to foreigners/English-speakers.

i appreciate any and all input/info. there
are so many options, it's hard to know
where to start!

thanks,

Tiffany


By Paula Hansen on Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - 2:37 pm:

You should check out this website for more info.
http://web-jpn.org/region/index.html
I think it would be quite difficult to get #3 & #4 but everyone loves a 2 year old and they pick up on Japanese so quickly. As for being near a city, well we live just 1/2 hr from Tokyo and the only foriengers around us are all English teachers without families so can be a lttle lonesome sometimes.
You need to provide a little more info in regards to you & your partners etnic backgrounds as some cities/area have higher populations of cultures than others. ie : around us are many thai, chinese and indian.
Good luck choosing.


By Yuko Kubota on Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - 6:05 pm:

Tiffany, here is more information on Koriyama itself. See for yourself if it seems to fulfill your needs or not.
http://www.city.koriyama.fukushima.jp/ki-b/index_e.html
And a more general information where you can look up "Fukushima Prefecture" where Koriyama is located in.
http://www.clair.or.jp/tagengo/

I think #3 will not be so difficult either as long as you don't mind short train rides or driving, keeping in mind you say "somewhat," that is.


By elizabeth iino on Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - 11:41 am:

How about Tsukuba? It is about 75 minutes to Tokyo on the train, has many research institutes so there are some English speaking people living there, and parts are quite rural. I lived there for a while so if you have any questions please feel free to ask.


By Tiffany Watson on Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - 5:46 am:

Hello, thanks for the thoughts.

It looks like we are going to move to
Koriyama after all--early in 2005--and I
am excited. Any additional info people
have about Fukushima Prefecture or
living in Japan as an American with a
2-year-old is much appreciated!

I have also a more-specific question.
What is the overall feeling in Japan about
extended breastfeeding? I am still
breastfeeding my son, and I was planning
to stop before we move, but I'm gathering
info about weaning now and it would be
helpful to know how people will react
there to my breastfeeding a toddler! If
people are generally supportive of
extended breastfeeding, I would like to
wait a little while to wean...

Thanks,

Tiffany


By Bethan Hutton on Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - 9:20 am:

Hi Tiffany,

Breastfeeding in public (ie anywhere with men around) is still not so common here, I think more from shyness/modesty on the part of women rather than any public disapproval: when I was feeding my two kids I often discreetly fed them in restaurants, parks etc and the only comments I ever had were positive ones; no particularly dirty looks either. Extended breastfeeding hasn't really caught on here - probably similar numbers to in the US - but I have at least one Japanese friend who is still breastfeeding her 30-month old daughter, and has no qualms about doing so at a playgroup we both go to.

I wouldn't worry too much about fitting in with social norms - just wean when it feels right to you. In any case, foreigners are kind of expected to do "strange" things...

Good luck with the move,

Bethan


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