Tuesday, April 30, 2013

[NEWS] Crows found dead in Kannai 30th April/2013

20 crows and found dead on the streets near Kannai yesterday. The authority investigated four of the crows but the bird flu virus wasn't detected. The birds may have been poisoned or infected, so please be careful, especially your children, not to touch dead birds. If we find any around our place, we are supposed to call the police (110).

Source:Yomiuri Online

Sunday, April 28, 2013

[CULTURE] Kashiwa-Mochi Recipe for 5th May

Kashiwa-mochi(柏餅/かしわもち)is a sticky rice cake with sweet bean jam inside, which is served around the Boys' Festival (端午の節句/たんごのせっく or こどもの日). Kashiwa stands for Daimyo Oak in Japanese and the cake is wrapped in a kashiwa leaf.

Here is the photo of Kashiwa-mochi that I prepared last year.

So here is the recipe for Kashiwa-mochi that I found at Tomizawa Shoten in Yokohama Sogo B2F.
There we can find various foods and materials for cooking, of course, the leaves of Kashiwa.

Easy version with a microwave oven Ingredients for 10 servings
60g of shiratama-ko(白玉粉)*1
140g of Jyoshin-ko(上新粉)*2
15g of sugar
180g of water
200g of bean jam (smooth)
10 kashiwa leaves

Make 10 balls of bean jam (about 20g each)
Wash and dry briefly the leaves

1) Put the shiratama-ko and 180g of water in a pyrex bowl to melt together. Add the joshin-ko and the sugar and mix well until smooth.
2) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave for about 1 minute. Mix and knead the dough well.Cover with plastic wrap, microwave for 2 minutes and knead well. For the third time, microwave for 4 minutes and then put in some cold water.
3) When the dough gets cooled down, drain off the water, wrap in a wet (but wrung enough) cloth and make a ball with the dough. (If it is still too sticky, microwave again a little)
4) Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces and spread each to a oval shape and thinner in the center. Wrap a bean jam ball with the oval dough, then wrap a leaf over the cake. Attention: if the dough is not cooled down enough, the dough sticks to the leaf.

*1 Shiratama-ko is made from sticky rice. Here is the link to the Amazon research result.
*2 Joshin-ko is made from normal Japanese rice. Amazon search result.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

[PLAYGROUP] International Mothers (Fathers) Gatherings in Yokohama

1) International Mothers Gathering by Hodogaya International Exchange Center

Official Website of Hodogaya International Exchange Center

The gathering is basically held every 2nd and 4th Tuesday, from 10:30 to 11:30, but it changes sometimes and no gatherings in August and January.
Mothers from foreign countries and local mothers meet up and talk about child-care. There are always several volunteer staff who are experienced mothers (they have children/grandchildren of elementary school and up) who give us advice and play with kids. Basically, there's no limit of the age of the child(ren). Not all the volunteers speak English, but there are always someone who speaks English.

Activities: crafts, sandwich party, potluck party, dental-care advice, puppet theater etc...
Sometimes, foreign mothers provide special events such as dance performance, traditional costume trial and so on.

You can also check the unofficial Facebook page.

Address: 1-7-15 Iwama-cho, Hodogaya-ku 保土ケ谷区岩間町1-7-15 岩間市民プラザ3階
Iwama Shimin Plaza (two-minute walk from Sotetsu Line Tennocho station), 3F Japanese Room
(When you pass the gate, turn right and continue until the first crossing. Cross the main autoroute and turn right.)
View on Google Map

2) International Parenting Gathering at Smile Port (Minatomirai)

Smile Port is a Child-care Support Base in Nishi ward. Website Access Page (in Japanese)
Address: Mitsubishi Industry Yokohama Building Shopping Plaza 3F, 3-3-1 Minatomirai, Nishi-ku
横浜市西区みなとみらい3-3-1 三菱重工横浜ビルショッピングプラザ3階
Five minutes from Minatomirai station, 10 minutes from JR/Subway Sakuragicho-station,  one minute from the bus stop "みなとみらい大通 Minatomirai Odori" or seven minutes from the bus stop "花咲橋 Hanasakibashi"
View on Google Map

They have the gathering basically every 4th Friday, 10:30-11:30
Please confirm the schedule on their calendar.

*Smile Port and other Childcare Support Bases in Yokohama are for caretakers and preschool children (mainly 0-3 years old). Pre-moms are welcome, too.
*Membership registration needed (free).

3) Multicultural Family & Baby Playgroup at Konan International Lounge

Multicultural Family & Baby Playgroup is held every 2nd Monday (except in August, October and January) from 10:30 to 12:00. Anyone with little children can join. Gathering is mainly conducted in Japanese but as it is at the International Lounge, you don't really have to worry about language.

Address: Konan International Lounge, 13F Yumeo-oka Office Tower, 1-6-1 Kamio-oka nishi, Konan-ku 港南区上大岡西1-6-1ゆめおおおかオフィスタワー13階
(You can reach the building without getting out of the station building(s)).
View on Google Map

Konan International Lounge (website)
PDF about the playgroup

4) Shabering International Exchange at Haguhagu no Ki (Gumyo-ji)

At Haguhagu no Ki (Minami Child-care Support Base) (website in English)
10:30-11:30, on around the beginning of every month (the date varies every month, basically first Tuesday in Jan, Mar, May, July, Sep and Nov and first Saturday in Feb, Apr, June, Aug, Oct and Dec)
Anyone who are interested in International Exchange can join it. There is also a book advisor on the gathering day, and some picture books in foreign languages.

*Like other child-care bases, Haguhagu no Ki is for babies, preschool children and their caretakers (or pre-moms).
*Membership registration needed (free).

Address 2F Calme I, 158 Gumyoji-cho, Minami-ku 南区弘明寺町158カルムI 2階
(In between Keikyu Gumyoji and Blue Line (Yokohama Subway) Gumyoji stations. On the Gumyoji shopping street above Seven Eleven).
View on Google Map

5) International Mothers Gathering at Isopiyo (Isogo)

At Isopiyo (Isogo Parenting Support Base) (website in Japanese) (information in English)
This international mothers gathering might be for Isogo habitants. Please confirm the base.
On a Friday in June, August, October, December (2015), and February (2016) 10:30-11:30.
*The schedule may be changed, please contact the base for details.
*Like other child-care support bases, Isopiyo is for babies, preschool children and their caretakers (pre-moms are welcome, too).
*Membership registration needed (free).

Address: 2F 1-7-10 Itoicia Mori, Isogo-ku 磯子区森1-7-10イトイシア2階
2 minutes walk directly from JR Isogo station (when you passed the gate, turn right, continue walking on the bridge and it's on the left end of the building).
View on Google Map

6) Nakama Talk: International Exchange at Knachie

At Kanachie (Kanagawa ward Child-care Support Base) (website in Japanese)
International mothers gathering Nakama Talk International Exchange is held every 1st Thursday from 11:00-12:00. Foreign mothers and fathers, intermarriage couples, returnees, and those who would like to talk with them can join the meeting.

*Like other child-care bases, Kanachie is for babies, preschool children and their caretakers (or pre-moms).
*Membership registration needed (free).

Address: 3F Tobu Ryoiku Bldg. 1-29 Higashi-kanagawa, Kanagawa-ku.
Three minutes walk from JR Higashi-Kanagawa or Keikyu Nakakido stations.
View on Google Map

(updated: Jan 30/2016)

[EVENT] Mama Collection 2013 11th & 12th May, 2013, Pacifico Yokohama

Mama Collection is a festival for mothers and kids. There will be dance performances, fashion show, doll shows, company booths etc...

There will be also "Fashionable kids contest". A professional photographer takes a photo of your child and it will be a present for you. The photos of all the participants will be uploaded on the website and the winners get a prize. Grand prix:50,000 yen travel coupon, Mama Collection prize: 30kg of rice, mama crooz prize: a bicycle for kid.

Access:Minatomirai, Pacifico Yokohama
Access Map in English
Entrance fee: FREE
Open gate at 11:00 AM (will be decided later)
Performance starts at 12:00

Official website (in Japanese)


The German Festival, FRÜHLINGSFEST is held in Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse from 26th April to 6th May.
There will be:
-a Beer counter of 25m long(beer zone)
-German food/dessert stands(food zone)
-Live Music (except 30th April)
-Attractions for kids (attraction zone)
-German products (goods&culture zone, from 27th Apr.)

Open Hours:11:00-21:30
*attraction, goods&culture zones:11:00-18:00
*26th April:17:00-21:00/ attraction zone 15:00-18:00
*may be closed under bad weather.

Akarenga website(in Japanese)

[CULTURE] Boys' Festival 2013 at Former Yagishita House in Negishi 21st Apr-11th May

5th May is the Boys' Festival (Tango no Sekku/Kodomo no hi) in Japan. In the Yagishita House in Negishi Natsukasi Koen Park, you can see traditional decorations and experience origami helmet folding.

Duration: Sunday, 21st April to Saturday, 11th May
*Closed on 23rd April.
Entrance: Free
Open Hours:9:30-16:30
Address:10 Shimocho, Isogo-ku, Yokohama (8 min on foot from JR Negishi station)

Official Website (in Japanese)

[LEISURE] Train Movie for kids at Warner Mycal Cinemas from 11th May

A new train movie for kids will be out on 11th May at Warner Mycal Cinemas.

しんかんせんとたのしいでんしゃたち(The Shinkansen and cheerful trains) is a movie for young children. There appear various trains in Japan with some quiz and anime.
The movie is out from 11th May at Warner Mycal Cinemas (Minatomirai or Kohoku New Town in Yokohama)

Tickets: 500 yen for children from 2 to 12 years old (before junior high school), 1000 yen for 12 and up. A pair of tickets for a child and an adult in advance available at 1400 yen (100 yen cheaper) at Loppi (A ticketing machine in Lawson and MiniStop).

Duration: 45 min

*The theater is less dark than usual and the sound is lower so that children won't be frightened.

Warner Mycal Cinemas website page about the movie (in Japanese)
Official website of the movie (in Japanese)

Friday, April 19, 2013

[LEISURE] Yokohama FC Hodogaya Inhabitants' Day (For Hodogaya people ONLY)

Yokohama FC vs. Ehime FC food ball game on Sunday, 12th May, 2013, is free for Hodogaya inhabitants. Let's support Hodogaya FC!!

Date: Sunday, 12th May, 16:00 kick-off (gate open at 14:00)
Place: Nippatsu Mitsuzawa Football Field (3-1 Mitsuwzawa-nishi-machi, Kanagawa ward)
Access map in Japanese

Condition: Free football game watch for those who live/study/work in Hodogaya ward and their family.
Non-reservation Seat A

The free tickets available at a booth "横浜FCチケット引き換えテント" outside the entrance AB. Please bring your ID which proves that you live/study/work in Hodogaya.

[EVENT] Blue Dal Fund Concert, 3rd May, 2013, Bashamichi Station

Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra has have financial problem for years. So they ask people for help (coming to their concerts, donation etc..). One of their campaigns is a FREE concert called "Blue dal Fund Concert".

The next concert will be on Fri. 3rd May, 2013, in the Bashamichi Station, Minatomirai Line (*).

The concert starts from 13:00

Haydn Divertimento 1st mov.
Morzart Divertimento KV213 1st mov.
Turkey in the Straw etc.

*It is not clear if it is inside the gate or inside the station building as it is underground. In my opinion, it's the latter.

[EVENT] Salvia Kids Music 5th May, 2013 at Tsurumi

Salvia Kids Music Sing and dance with Ayako and Mari! Finger plays and eurythmics. Date:Sunday, 5th May, 20013, 13:00~ (gate open at 12:30) Place: Tsurumi Kumin Bunka center Salvia Hall 4F Ticket: 1,000 yen (adult), 500 yen (child under 7 years old) Ticket reservation:045-511-5711 Tickets also available at the counter (3F Sea Crane, the same building as Salvia Hall). If you reserved on the phone, the payment should be done within a week by bank transfer or at the counter of Salvia Hall. The hall is a "flat space" without chairs, so please bring a sheet to sit on if you need it. The hall is open from 9:00-22:00. Closed on every 3rd Wednesday.

[EVENT] $1 Organ Concert at Yokohama Minatomirai Hall

Pipe Organ One Dollar Concert at Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall The One Dollar concert is held every forth Thursday except August, October, December and February, from 12:10-(for about 30-45 min). The next concert will be April 25th. It's only 1 dollar/100 yen per person not matter how old you are. Children under 3 years old and their caretaker(s) can watch through the monitor outside the hall.

Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall website in English.

The Organ Concert flyer (April, the PDF of the photo above)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

[NEWS] Rubella Pandemic

Increasing number of Rubella(風疹 in Japanese)infection reports around Tokyo!There are already 80 infection reports this year in Yokohama. The patients are mostly young men aged 20-50 years old. If a mother is infected, her baby may born with CRS (congenital rubella syndrome), particularly higher risk if she is less than 20 weeks pregnant.

*MR (Measles-Rubella) vaccination is a regular one so it is free of charge for the children of the age above, in designated hospitals in Yokohama. Maternal and Child Health Handbook is required.

The vaccine is available but not for pregnant women. When you are vaccinated, you should avoid getting pregnant for 2 months.
For children, the first dose should be given from 12-24 months, and the second dose from 5-7 years old.

Source (in Japanese):

(31st March, 2013)

Yokohama City starts to provide a financial support to Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination for those who plan to have a baby. The conditions are as follows:

-Older than 19 years old.
-A woman who plans to have a baby.
-The husband of a pregnant woman (not necessarily legally married. The Maternal and Child Health Handbook required to prove that he's the father of the baby)
-Those who have been given MR, Measles(single) or Rubella(single) vaccination(s) before.

The support is available from 22nd April to 30th September 2013.
You will have to pay only 3,000 yen (whereas it costs about 10,000yen).

Please consult your doctor.

Source(in Japanese):

(17th April 2013)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Kick Off!!

Hi, everyone,

Since I met a non-Japanese speaker mom at an international mothers' gathering, I have wanted to set up a site where we can share information about childcare. This group started out from a Facebook group, and finally its blog was set up!

Please note:
-We must not hesitate to share information with other mothers reading this blog.
-We try to give you correct information, but please take every information on your own responsibility.
-We should not share any private information here.
-Your questions and opinions are always welcome, but as this group is run by volunteer mothers, we may not be able to respond quickly.
-No insults or bad-mouth are allowed here.
-Inappropriate comments should be removed.
-No religious or political activity is allowed.
-Please contact the admin for link.

Thank you for your cooperation!