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Contacts and Advice Needed

Japan With Kids - Forums: Moving to and Leaving Japan: Moving To Japan: Contacts and Advice Needed
By Anne Swartz on Wednesday, April 3, 2002 - 2:05 am:

I wondered if anyone can assist me. I am going to be a Visiting Fulbright Lecturer from September 2002 until July 2003 at Kyoritsu Women's University, Japan Women's University, and Tsuda College. My husband and infant son will accompany me. I have two opportunities to travel around Japan. One, I may lecture on contemporary American art. Two, my college here wants me to visit high schools to recruit students. I am trying to figure out how to establish contacts for both of those things. Also, how easy is it to travel with an infant? Bring a stroller? Bring a backpack?

By kirsten lincoln on Wednesday, April 3, 2002 - 8:39 am:

my advice is to not bring a stroller if you are going to use the train system here to get around. You will find yourself carrying the stroller and child up and down staircases all the time. A back pack is probably much better.

About contacts for lecturing, you might try contacting someone involved with JALT (japanese association of language teachers) to get some names of people in various universities.

good luck

By Karen on Wednesday, April 3, 2002 - 1:30 pm:

I'd bring a light umbrella stroller for long day trips as well as a backpack. If you can comfortably wear your son around for hours at a time then the backpack alone will suffice, but I'd bring a stroller too for day trips. (Unless your husband is a good pack horse and doesn't mind carrying the baby!).

I'd contact Temple University Japan (
and the Distance Learning Center ( for lecturing contacts.


By Melissa Mcnulty on Wednesday, April 3, 2002 - 9:32 pm:

Have baby, will travel! I use a sling a-la Sears Baby Book and find it has been indispensible here on the trains, crowded streets, shops and subways. Buy it back home as they are next to impossible to find here. Japan does have a variety of other baby carriers though. I also use a lightweight, compact Combi stroller (you can buy them here), and hoist my daughter around in that. But the other thing I brought with me was a Macpac backpack which has room for stuff in the bottom (see This is the best thing for long or crowded trips as my daughter hates not being eye-level with people on the trains.

As for contacts in education, I would approach CLAIR (the council on local and international relations. (It might be CLAIRE))They do alot of work with the JET Program(me), and hence have extensive info on Japanese High Schools. You might also dip into AJET for links and further info. Both have web sites.

By Anne Swartz on Thursday, April 4, 2002 - 1:34 am:

I wrote asking for help with carrying my son and also for contact informaiton. Thank you for all this advice!

I have been looking over the "what to bring with you for kids" and I wondered about diapers. Worth stocking up? Also, what kinds of organized activities for parents and infants exist? Is it acceptable for an American dad to go along or just for mom to accompany?

By Cornelia on Thursday, April 4, 2002 - 12:31 pm:

The diapers here are fine and price is about the same, particularly at today's exchange rate. There is something about them in the consumer reports section of these discussions. As for Dad's getting involved, more an more common these days and besides as a foreigner you can do just about anything without it being frowned upon.

By Melissa Mcnulty on Sunday, April 7, 2002 - 9:41 pm:

Ditto what Cornelia said, and I would add that the cheaper diaper brands here, such as Merries and Friends work just as well as, if not better than the Japanese Pampers (they cost between 950-1300 yen per pack of about 45, as opposed to about 1900 yen for Pampers). If you are considering cloth diapers I would definately bring them with you, especially if you use a "system" such as Mother-Ease or Kushies.

One thing related to diapering - the wipes here are pretty flimsy and over-priced. I always stock up on wipes when I go home. You can get Pampers wipes from National Azabu Supermarket in Hiroo, or through Foreign Buyers Club, but they are very expensive (about 1600 yen for a two^pack of refills). And a good, heavy-duty zinc oxide cream like Desitin is another thing to bring.

As far as organized activities for parents and kids, there are a few. It depends on where you live as to what is available. Kids World has a parent-child class, and CEC childbirth education center has, as far as I know, a new mothers group. La Leche League has groups here, too. Another thing to consider is a really great place called K-Space, in Hiroo. It is expensive to join, but the facilities and staff are just fabulous. It has parent-child classes for newborns through two-year olds, and is a great way to meet other parents (Dads go there too). Lots of music and bright, colorful activities.

And finally, some books to get hold of before you come, or once you get here: Kids Trips in Tokyo, and Japan for Kids. They both have alot of info on resources here for parents.

By Yael Aldrich on Wednesday, April 10, 2002 - 2:17 pm:

Are there any diaper services in the Tokyo area? I have gotten spoiled on cloth diapers and unless I have a W/D in my apt, I need a service!!

Thanks Yael

By Melissa Mcnulty on Thursday, April 11, 2002 - 1:00 am:

Yes! There are diaper services in Tokyo. Try Hemmy Diaper Service (03) 3444-4491 (english spoken) or check for other services. I too was cloth diapering, but there was no hot water plumbing into my washer (have yet to have an apartment with it here!), so had to pump water in from the bath. I eventually gave up.

By catherine gough on Tuesday, August 6, 2002 - 11:19 pm:

HI, I have just arrived in Japan and am living in Uehara. I have a 4 year old daughter who is desperate for someone of a similar age to play with. We could meet at the local parks or somewhere like that? I'd really like to make the move here a bit easier for her as she is missing her old friends very badly. I'd also really appreciate any advice from other people whose children found it difficult to adjust to the move. Plse. email

By Joanna on Wednesday, March 22, 2000 - 12:09 pm:

I'm writing from Sydney Australia and would love to hear from anyone regarding life in Tokyo with children. My husband has been offered work around Chiba somewhere for 6 months or more. I have a two year old girl and have lots of questions regarding enrolling in a daycare, getting around with a baby in public transport, playgroups etc. Is it going to be easy for me to carry on day to day routines without me speaking a word of Japanese ? Someone please help!

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