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Since 2005


February 2010

Snow Must Go On Feng Shui Cures How to Deal with Stress

The Project Approach

School Special


The team's corner

The Tokyo Families tribe offers its profound condolences to those who lost their families and loved ones in what has been a devastating quake that hit Haiti recently. Show your love and support. See how you can help. www.unicef. or Your donations will make a difference.

EVENT 4 8 10 11

February Buzz The Month Ahead TV Guide What‘s Showing

ESCAPE 12 14

Adventures Abroad Around Japan

LIFESTYLE 16 17 18 28

However, please do your homework when donating to a charitable organization. Some are not what they claim to be. There are enough victims out there, make sure your help benefits the people of Haiti by ensuring your donation is in good hands!

Report Card Calendar On the Tube On the Screen

Home Base Home Base Cover Story Recipes

The Art of Feng Shui Child's Place The Project Approach / School Special Sweet Treats

COMMUNITY 30 32 33 34 35 36

Enjoy the rest of the winter months! The Tokyo Families Tribe

Turkish Delights Snow Must Go On

Focus Parenting 1 Parenting 2 Ask the Expert Top of the Class Family Resource

Domo Arigato, Mr Roboto Coaching Parents in Creative Play Teen Stress in the Tokyo International Community How to Deal with Stress Komaba International Playgroup Directory / Market Place

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EVENT Report Card THE ART OF BONSAI Stemming from ancient oriental culture, originating in China and developed by the Japanese, Bonsai has it all. Man, nature, elements, and change all are intertwined in this unique method of meditation and expression. See propagated perfection at the Kokufu Bonsai-ten, the annual exhibition that draws the finest horticulturists to Ueno to display their craft. The Kokufu show is housed on two basement floors of the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. If your green fingers are itching to grow your own, many Bonsai nurseries gather nearby at the Ueno Green Club to sell Bonsai and the equipment needed to create your own living masterpiece.

February Buzz

Hearts are on parade as Valentine's Day draws near, and romance is the name of the game this month! It's no subtle fact either, with Whitney Houston coming back to remind us that she'll always love us. February gives us chocolates a-plenty, while those in love can bask in Renoir's works before hitting the icy rinks of Midtown. Love is in the air!

84th Kokufu Bonsai-ten at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum ¥1,000 Ueno Green Club is located at the edge of Ueno Park, near Ueno Aquarium. Nezu Station, exit 2. Feb 9-17 (holiday Feb 15)

PLAIN PINES The Tokyo National Museum commemorates the 400th year of the great painter Hasegawa Tohaku (1539-1610). Creator of Japanese treasures such as the colourful Maple Tree and the monochrome ink paintings of the Momoyama period. Using half and full tones, monkeys, gibbons and his spectacular minimal masterpieces, the pine trees, take their delicate, bold form. Over 80 works are on display giving a comprehensive introduction to the work of this Japanese master.

RUNNING DRY Thousands of runners are hoping for a rain-free day at the end of the month as the Tokyo Marathon takes to the streets. 32,000 competitors will attempt to run the 42-kilometre race in under the 7-hour cutoff. First place prizes totaling ¥16,000,000 for the fastest man and woman ensure there will be plenty of thrills from the 200 elite runners invited to compete. Cheer them and the rest of the runners including the barmy fancy dress competitors along the route that starts in Shinjuku at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building passes through Ginza and ends at Tokyo Big Sight. The Tokyo Marathon Expo 2010 will be open at Tokyo Big Sight, preceding the event. Inspirational stuff.

Hasegawa Tohaku: 400th memorial Retrospective Adults ¥1,500 University students ¥1,200 High school students ¥900 Junior high school students Free Feb 23-Mar 22

Tokyo Marathon Expo Free entrance 10am-8pm Feb 25-27 The 4th Tokyo Marathon Feb 28

PROVOCATIVE PERFORMERS Bored with the mundane? Then the provocative Postmainstream Performing Arts Festival is for you. It's the third time 'round for the festival that offers a series of international performances focusing on fragmentary, experimental work. This year, highlights include the solo piece Sight is the Sense that Dying People Tend to Lose First and Quizoola!, a marathon six-hour Q&A performance. Both are performed by the highly-regarded British experimental theatre company Forced Entertainment. Sight is the Sense that Dying People Tend to Lose First ¥3,500 (For over 16 years old only) Vacant art space, Harajuku Tel: (03) 5724-4670 Feb 10-12 Quizoola! ¥3,500 Vacant Art Space, Harajuku Tel: (03) 5724-4670 Feb 13 Postmainstream Performing Arts Festival

The winter lull in the concert scene is over as some of the biggest names in the biz come to earn their crust. Whitney Houston is saving all her love for us at the Saitama Arena over the Valentine period, while the world's most famous boy band, the Backstreet Boys - who really aren’t boys anymore - show off their newly-acquired beards. If all this is too retro, then see one of the new breed of young superstars, Taylor Swift, as she brings her award-winning mix of country and pop to town, or catch the hip Vegas quartet the Killers before they take a hiatus. This Valentine's, say it with music! Whitney Houston Feb 13,14,15 ¥10,000-¥24,000 Saitama Super Arena Backstreet Boys Feb 5-7 ¥7,500-¥18,000 Saitama Super Arena


TOKYO families February 2010



Taylor Swift Feb 17 ¥7,000 Zepp Tokyo The Killers Feb 4 ¥8,500 Zepp Tokyo

The proliferation of ice rinks around the capital can best be explained by the growing interest in this year's Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The newest of these is naturally the biggest and grandest to date. The Volkswagen Ice Rink in the gardens of Roppongi's Midtown has a real feeling of Central Park as you skate under the moonlight and illuminations. Don't miss the exhibition of Japan’s space-age Luge, which hopes to send a brave athlete hurtling down the ice track to a gold medal. Try not to reach the same speed yourself and embarrass the family at the rink, which is open until 10pm every night. The Volkswagon Skate Rink. Tokyo Midtown Adults ¥1,500 Children ¥1,000 11am-10pm Until Feb 28 Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010: Fastest Luge on Ice Exhibition 1st Floor, Galleria, Tokyo Midtown Until Feb 28


EVENT Report Card TIGER TIGER BURNING BRIGHT The Chinese New Year lets out a roar down in Yokohama for the Year of the Tiger with fire-crackers and lion (jishi) dances galore. Grab some dumplings and drink a little jiu and indulge the family in Chinese tradition - just don’t buy any furry gremlins! The countdown begins at midnight on the 13th. If you can’t make this late night spectacle, repeat performances take place over the next 15 days. Feel the power of the Tiger! The closest stations to Yokohama Chinatown are Motomachi-Chukagai Station along the Minato Mirai Line. Performances are scheduled throughout Chinatown from 1pm on Feb 13-14, 20-21 & 27.

TELL TALE TELL (Tokyo English Life Line) are holding their 6th annual ballet at the American Club. The ABC Tokyo Ballet Company will perform a work based on a Japanese fairy tale Yuki Onna ("the Snow Woman"). Full of colourful costumes, music, and enchanting dance. It’s a wonderful opportunity for all the family to be enthralled by dance. Meet the performers after the show at a special cookie and juice reception. All proceeds from this event directly benefit TELL’s Community Services and Outreach Programs which focus on providing assistance and services for children. The 6th Annual TELL Ballet for Children: Yuki Onna ¥3,000 TEL (03) 3498-0261 2pm & 4pm Feb 20

BEANZ MEANZ HAPPINESS Head for your local temple and cast away evil spirits with a handful of roasted soybeans (fukemame), it does wonders! Get the maximum effect by shouting "Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!" ("Devils out! Happiness in!"). One of the biggest Setsubun Mamemaki (Bean-throwing Ceremonies) takes place at Ikegami Honmonji Temple, where the good luck beans are thrown by various celebrities. If you prefer a little privacy, throw the beans around your house, pick them up, and eat the number of beans that correspond to your age. Stomachaches aside, good luck is bound to follow. Setsubun Mameki Ikegami Honmonji temple Feb 3

REAL RENOIR Renoir's soft, sensual chocolate box scenes of women, and flowers along with his monumental nudes and domestic scenes of his later period are on display at the National Art Centre Tokyo. After championing impressionism, he went on to invent a style that was both classical and decorative, finding a balance between tradition and innovation. This exhibition introduces 80 works by one of the most popular artists of the 19th and early 20th century and takes us on a journey of a painter's self-discovery. You’ve seen the paintings on coffee mugs and table mats; now, see the real thing. Renoir: Tradition and Innovation The National Art Centre, Tokyo Adults ¥1,500 Students ¥1,200 High school students ¥ 800 Until Apr 5

PLUM FORGOT The plum blossom has its own charm and aroma, brightening up our parks and gardens from early February. It's easy to forget that spring is already upon us, but the plum blossom is a timely reminder. In the beautiful surroundings of Yushima Tenjin Shrine close to Ueno, the pink and white blossom heralds spring. The Shrine holds its Ume Matsuri, a month-long festival, where events are staged in and around the temple precincts. These include Tenjin drumming, an outdoor tea ceremony, kodan (storytelling), and rakugo (traditional comic story-telling). After visiting the temple, move to the Ueno ponds and take a refreshing row to feel that spring really is in the air. Plum blossoms can be seen from early Feb Yushima Tenjin Ume matsuri Feb 8-Mar 8


TOKYO families February 2010

CHOCO DEPT Tokyo is at the centre of every choco-holic's heart with a Valentine's selection guaranteed to confound taste buds. With giri choco (gift chocolate for friends and co-workers) losing favour, the chocolate companies are going all out to entice us with their bittersweet sensations for loved ones. Our favourite for style and price is the 100% Chocolate Café, where their special Valentine's creation, Sony Plaza, always does us proud with a section of popular confectionary goodies from around the world, and the select crew of French, Belgian, and Japanese chocolatiers never cease to amaze. Catch a huge selection under one roof at Ginza’s Mitsukoshi department store, naturally until Feb 14.


EVENT Calendar


2-5 (7 & 9:30pm) 6 (8:45pm)

1-3 (7 & 9:30pm)

Candy Dufler

Christopher Cross The best that you can do is see this legendary soft rock singersongwriter in his latest Tokyo venture. 7 & 9:30pm, Feb 1-3.


Richard Bona Enjoy the jazzy sounds from this noted Cameronian bassist, who has played with countless huge names.

Backstreet Boys No longers boys, the "man band" return with all their hits. Backstreet's back, all right. Saitama Super Arena. ¥7,500¥18,000. (03) 3462-6969.

11 & 13-14 (6 & 8:45pm) 12 & 15-16 (7 & 9:30pm)

10 (7pm)

7 (7pm) Joanna Newsom The singer-songwriter and harpist performs in Tokyo, where she recorded her new album.

11&13 (5pm) 14 (4pm)

13-14 (6pm)

23-24 (7 & 9:30pm) Colin Blunstone of the Zombies Nearly four decades into his solo career, the former Zombies vocalist keeps rocking out.

Laforet Museum in Harajuku. (03) 3444-6751.

Liquid Room in Ebisu. ¥5,500. (03) 3444-6751.

Blue Note Tokyo. (03) 5485-0088.

Saitama Super Arena. ¥10,000¥24,000. (03) 3462-6969.

Studio Coast in Shin-kiba. ¥6,700. (03) 3444-6751.

Billboard Live Tokyo. ¥6,000¥8,000. (03) 3405-1133.

AC/DC 7pm, Mar 12. Saitama Super Arena. ¥6,000-¥12,000. (03) 3475-9999.

Brian McKnight 7 & 9:30pm, Apr 5-7. Billboard Live Tokyo. ¥14,000-¥16,000. (03) 3405-1133.

Jane Monheit 7 & 9:30pm, Mar 1. ¥7,000¥9,000. Cotton Club. (03) 32151555.

BoA 6:30pm, Apr 15. Tokyo International Forum, Hall A. ¥6,900. (03) 3498-9999.

Carole King & James Taylor 7pm, Apr 14 & 16. Nippon Budokan. ¥9,000-¥15,000. (03) 3402-5999.

Kool & the Gang 7 & 9:30pm, Apr 24-26; 6 & 9pm, Apr 27. Billboard Live Tokyo. ¥10,000-¥12,000. (03) 3405-1133.

Europe 7pm, Mar 25-26. Shibuya O-East. ¥7,500. (03) 3462-6969.

Lady Gaga 6pm, Apr 18. Yokohama Arena. ¥8,000. (03) 3462-6969.

Nikulin Circus Acrobatic excellence is delivered ten-fold by both human and animal performers in this Russian circus spectacle. Expect to be entertained by dangerous feats, funny clowns, and beautiful bears and dogs. 7pm, Feb 2, 4-5, 9, 12; 11am & 7pm, Feb 3 & 10; 11am & 2:30pm, Feb 6-7, 11, 14; 2:30pm & 5:30pm, Feb 13. Tokyo Dome City. ¥4,000¥9,000. (03) 5684-4400.

Of Mice and Men Catch the Tokyo International Players' performance of John Steinbeck's masterpiece describing the struggles of two migrant workers within the social clashes of Depressionera America. 7pm, Feb 25-26; 1 & 7pm, Feb 27; 3pm, Feb 28. The Ebisu Echo Theater. Adults ¥3,800-¥4,300; students ¥2,800.

Sylvia The 19th century French ballet with music by Leo Delibes is performed by the Tokyo Ballet. 6:30pm, Feb 26; 3pm, Feb 28. Tokyo Bunka Kaikan. ¥3,000¥13,000. (03) 3791-8888.

Tokyo Cynics The Tokyo Comedy Store's standup comedians (and some new open-mic comics) guarantee a night of split sides. 9pm, Feb 16. The Hobgoblin in Shibuya. Free admission but buying a drink or two is encouraged as courtesy.

International Orchid Festival 2010 Japan's annual orchid exhibition - and with over 100,000 plants, the world's largest - promises to delight flower fans. 10am5:30pm, Feb 13-21. Tokyo Dome. Adults ¥1,800-¥2,000; elementary school children and under, free. english/

Japan Golf Fair 2010 It's a golfer's paradise at this exhibit, which features booths run by manufacturers of golfing gear. Possibly pick up a tip or two on improving games with instructors, or via socializing with other players of the sport. 10am-6pm, Feb 19-21. Tokyo Big Sight, West 1 & 2 halls. Free admission. (03) 6364-8400.

Oxfam Charity Pub Quiz The Charity FUNdraising Tokyo! group hold a fun quiz event in support of Oxfam, a charity providing relief to those affected by various catastrophes. 8pm, Feb 16. ¥1,000 donation. The FooTNiK Ebisu, Asahi Bldg 1F, Shibuya-ku, 1-11-2 Ebisu. charity-fundraising-tokyo/ calendar/12077091/

Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea Exhibition Go behind the scenes and see all the artwork, models, and much more that were used to create Hayao Miyazaki's latest Ghibli masterpiece. All month. 10am6pm, all month. Ghibli Museum in Mitaka. ¥100-¥1,000. Advance tickets only. 0570-055777. www.

Best Flea Market Chijou Hiroba in Tokyo International Forum, 3-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. Nearest station is Yurakucho (Yurakucho line).

Shinjuku Chuo Park Flea Market 10am-4pm, Feb 6. 2-11 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo. Nearest stations are Tochomae (Oedo line) and Nishishinjuku (Marunouchi line).

Iidabashi Ramla Flea Market 1-1 Kagurakashi, Shinjukuku, Tokyo. Nearest station is Iidabashi (Tozai, Yurakucho, Namboku, Oedo, JR Chuo and JR Sobu lines).

Silk Road Antique Bazaar 9am-4pm, Feb 27. Tennocho, 1-chome Hodogaya-ku, Yokohama. Nearest stations are Yokohama (Yori-sotetsu line) and Tennocho (Sagami line).

34th Grand Sumo Tournament 11am, Feb 7. The Kokugikan in Ryogoku. ¥200-¥44,000. (03) 5530-2052. NHK Charity Sumo Tournament 12:10pm, Feb 11. The Kokugikan in Ryogoku. ¥2,500-¥44,000. (03) 5405-8686.

Paul Potts 7pm, Mar 3. Tokyo International Forum, Hall A. ¥8,000-¥10,500. (03) 3402-5999.


Lawson Ticket 0570-084-003

Ticket Pia 0570-02-9966

Udo (03) 3402-5999

Rick Springfield 7 & 9:30pm, Apr 30; 6 & 9pm, May 1. Billboard Live Tokyo. ¥7,000-¥9,000. (03) 3405-1133. Sheryl Crow & Jackson Browne 7pm, Mar 2 & 11. Tokyo International Forum, Hall A. ¥11,000-¥13,000. 0570 (02) 9960. Book Reading for Children To kick off the ten-day countdown until the Vancouver Olympics, the Canadian Embassy is holding a book reading for children aged 3 to 12 in both English and Japanese. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 4:30-5:30pm, Feb 2. 4F North, Embassy of Canada. Free admission. tokyo.lib-bib@

Cirque du Soleil presents ZED The sublime Cirque takes us on a journey alongside Zed, the central persona, to a place where worlds collide. 1pm, Feb 1, 4-5, 8-9 & 28; 1 & 5pm, Feb 6 & 20; 1 & 3pm, Feb 7, 11, 21 & 27. Cirque du Soleil Theatre Tokyo. ¥7,500-¥16,000. www.

The Crocodile Show Laugh it up at Tokyo Comedy Store's monthly comedy extravaganza. 8:00pm, Feb 26. The Crocodile in Shibuya. ¥2,000. For directions, call (03) 34995205.

Cyber Arts Japan Commemorating Austria's Ars Electronica's 30th anniversary, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo is holding a special exhibit focusing on Japanese art, science, and technology. 10am-6pm, Feb 2-Mar 22 (except Mondays). Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. ¥600¥1,000; free for elementary and younger. www.mot-art-museum. jp/exhibition/cyberarts

Diving Festival 2010 Learn all about the wonders of the sea and diving. Exhibits cover all aspects of going underwater, from scuba diving and gear retail to marine photography and resorts. 10am-6pm, Feb 12-13; 10am-5pm, Feb 14. Tokyo Big Sight, West 4 hall. Free admission. (03) 5623-3943.

Check out

Going out

Billboard Live Tokyo (03) 3405-1133

Watching out

Paramore This business is anything but misery for fans of the rock band from Tennessee.

Selling out

Whitney Houston The internationally-beloved diva makes a triumphant return into the spotlight.

Sporting out

Maceo Parker with Candy Dufler It's a night of funk and jazz at the hands of these two worldrenowned master saxophonists.

Coming soon

Florence and the Machine Catch the soulful indie tunes of this unique British vocalist and her backing band.

Contact for tickets

Backstreet Boys

Unit in Daikanyama. ¥5,000. (03) 5773-5061.

Billboard Live Tokyo. ¥6,500¥8,500. (03) 3405-1133.

Daniel Johnston Savor the diversity of this American folk rock musician's critically acclaimed work.

St. Mary's International Ball A night of elegance is promised at St. Mary International School's 55th annual ball. Enjoy an evening of full course dinners, live entertainment, raffle prizes, and dancing till midnight. Mar 12. The Conrad Tokyo in Shiodome. ¥25,000 (10% discount if reserved before Feb 12). (03) 3709-3411. To reserve, e-mail TOKYO families February 2010

Zepp Tokyo in Aomi. ¥8,500. (03) 3462-6969.

Blue Note Tokyo. ¥8,400-¥21,000. (03) 5485-0088.

9 (7pm)

Maceo Parker

The Killers Let these Vegas rockers' music take you into the "brightside."

5 (7 & 9:30pm) 6 (6 & 9pm)

5 (7pm) 6 (5pm) 7 (4pm)

4 (7pm)

Frank Sinatra Jr. Spend an evening with the jazz legend's also blue-eyed son as he pays tribute to his father's music.

Billboard Live Tokyo. ¥6,500¥8,500. (03) 3405-1133.

Febuary 2010

Febuary 2010

February 2010

chops in this month's romcom, Valentine's Day.

A Swift Sensation A new pop princess has emerged these past few years, assuming her throne atop the music charts. And it's not Britney-esque antics that have gotten her there, or risqué outfits à la Christina and controversies of Miley caliber. At just twenty years old,

Taylor Swift has already won over legions of fans with her humble and genuinely nice persona, while her artistry has made her music (including hits "Love Story" and "You Belong With Me") a staple in iPods of young pop and country music fans from all over the world. And she's just getting started! Swift is set to dominate the silver screen, showing off her acting

This month, the southern belle heads to the east for the first time. And for a nation where country music is virtually unknown (save for "Take Me Home, Country Roads"), Swift is already generating an impressive buzz. A pop star kids can look up to, Taylor Swift and her guitar are in town. 7pm, Feb 17. Zepp Tokyo. ¥7,000. (03) 3462-6969.


EVENT On the Screen 1.

ACTION Battlestar Galactica - Season 4




As Cylons invade and attack, Apollo and his team board the Galactica and take it to war. The battle takes a toll on the Colonial fleet, however, as their weapons are no match for the Cylons'. Meanwhile, Baltar finds himself amidst a group of women from his past, who he believes were given special healing powers. 11pm, Wednesdays from Feb 17; reruns 8am & 9pm, Sundays. Super! Drama TV. (ch. 360 / 310)

Saving Grace - Season 2

Oklahoma detective Grace is celebrated a hero following an intense car chase that leads to a criminal's demise, but her alleged drinking problem tarnishes her newly-gained reputation. Meanwhile, she comes home to a criminal she's kept hostage in her home, vengeful of the things she's put her through. 8pm, Fridays from Feb 5; reruns 1am & 7pm, Sundays. FOXCrime. (ch. 723)

COMEDY Glee - Season 1


A high school Spanish teacher starts a glee club, which ends up consisting of unique underdogs - including an assertive diva-in-training, a football jock, a soulful belter, and an effeminate young man. Behind the bouncy pop numbers, drama unfolds as school politics come to play, with a vengeful cheerleading coach determined to bring the club down. 11pm, Sundays from Feb 7; reruns 6pm, Mondays and 8pm, Fridays. FOX. (ch. 722 / 312)


DRAMA ER - Season 9


Tragedy strikes County General Hospital after smallpox breaks out, prompting the staff to put the place on lockdown and quarantine everyone. And in the aftermath, a few patients are cared for in the emergency room while the rest are relocated to other hospitals. Meanwhile, the staff are left to maintain the chaos in the hospital. 11pm, Fridays from Feb 12; reruns 9pm, Tuesdays. Super! Drama TV. (ch. 360 / 310)

Flashpoint - Season 1 8.

On the screen On the screen On th

On the tube On the tube On the tube On the tube

The Canadian police force employs a unit called the SRU (Strategic Response Unit), whose members specialize in cases far too dangerous for normal officers. The team encounters a man who admits to homicide, and the case is made more complicated with the emergence of his son. 8pm, Thursdays from Feb 4; reruns 12am & 7pm, Saturdays. FOXCrime. (ch. 723)


KIDS Baby Art

Unleash your kids' inner Michelangelo! Starting with a blank page, drawings are formed on the screen from the basic lines until they take their final shapes. Children may sit back and

guess what's being drawn, or get creative and pick up paper and a crayon. Between 11-11:30am & 2-2:30pm, daily. BabyTV. (ch. 343)


Meet Nick, Joe, and Kevin, members of tween rock band Jonas. While stardom is at their fingertips, their manager/parents maintain that they should stay as normal as possible. As such, the boys struggle with life at home and high school. 7pm, Fridays; reruns 10pm, Fridays and 5:30, Sundays. Disney Channel. (ch. 730 / 304)

Kids and Pets

There's something to be said about animals and children. Both are pure, innocent, and playful; it's no wonder that they bond so well! In this show, a group of toddlers visit live animals at farms and zoos, and experience feeding and petting with them. Encourage your kids to interact with animals as well! Between 10-10:30am & 6-6:30pm, daily. BabyTV. (ch. 343)

Pim & Pimba

Two imaginative baby penguins stumble across various objects, and try to discover new ways of playing with them. Through sharing ideas, Pim and Pimba make boats and drums out of pots and pans. Get the children to join in; there are many ways to have fun with everyday items! Between 8-8:30am & 7-7:30pm, daily. BabyTV. (ch. 343)

Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries

Everyone's favorite cat and canary tag along with Granny (and her protective bulldog Hector) on her voyages around the world. But it seems that wherever they go, crazy mysteries occur that interrupt Sylvester's plans to chase after Tweety. 9:30am, weekdays from Feb 10. Cartoon Network. (ch. 274 / 331)

Tom & Jerry: Fast and Furry

After their usual quarrels wreak havoc and get them kicked out of their house, Tom and Jerry enter a competition in which the grand prize is a new mansion. The contest, however, is a racing one, and the catmouse duo must go against several offbeat swindlers to win the top spot. 11am, Feb 13; reruns 7pm, Feb 13 & 21. Cartoon Network. (ch. 274 / 331)

LIFESTYLE Style Her Famous

Everyday women transform into celebrities at the hands of make-up artist Jay Manuel (of America's Next Top Model fame) and his team. With expert advice and professional makeovers, these girls learn the tricks and tips on how their Hollywood idols put their face on. 9pm, Saturdays from Feb 20; reruns 7am & 6pm, Sundays. FOXLife. (ch. 283)

REALITY American Idol - Season 9

America's largest singing competition returns for its ninth season. With Paula Abdul having left the show, various

guest celebrities assist Simon, Randy, and Kara in searching the country for new talent before Ellen DeGeneres settles in as the new fourth judge. Will the next Kelly Clarkson or Jennifer Hudson emerge this year? 10pm, weekends from Feb 6. FOX. (ch. 722 / 312)

David Rocco's Dolce Vita

Follow foodie extraordinaire David in his culinary trek to delicious Italian locations, where he both samples the local cuisine and makes his own using fresh ingredients obtained there. And David's recipes are simple enough for anyone to make; it's the next best thing to a food holiday of your own. 1pm, Saturdays from Feb 6. National Geographic Channel. (ch. 741 / 343)

Dogs and Cats Special

They're in our homes and part of our families. For two straight weeks until Valentine's, National Geographic presents a series of specials centered on our fluffy friends. Where did dogs come from? How do mother dogs whelp and nurture their pups? What extraordinary feats are cats capable of? Are lions really kings of the jungle? Learn all this and more! 8pm, weekdays from Feb 1-14. National Geographic Channel. (ch. 741 / 343)

How Do They Do It? - Season 6

This world is filled with extraordinary feats, and how they come to be can be pretty surprising. Go behind the buzz and learn how sapphires are discovered, or how films and tunnels are made, as well as what they're used for. And in this hi-tech world, what we dispose of can be equally as intriguing as what we buy. 8am, Sundays; reruns 6pm. Discovery Channel. (ch. 321 / 340)

Monster Fish

Aquatic ecologist Zeb Hogan embarks on a quest to save the Mekong Giant Catfish - the largest fish known to man - from extinction. But is it really the biggest fish ever? Hogan and his crew sail the seas in an adrenaline rush-inducing journey and come across some intriguing species along the way. 11pm, Fridays from Feb 5. National Geographic Channel. (ch. 741 / 343)

Mystery Files

The most famous figures in history have always had mysteries attached to them. The Romanovs. Joan of Arc. Leonardo Da Vinci. Jack the Ripper. Nostrodamus. Lincoln. Robin Hood. Through forensics and scientific analysis, these historic names' stories are dug into once more and their tale-old secrets are unearthed. 10pm, Thursdays from Feb 4. National Geographic Channel. (ch. 741 / 343)

Wild Russia

It's the largest country on Earth, and certainly one of the coldest places therein. Russia is home to some intriguing wildlife, with the musk deer in the Siberian forests freezing solid and thawing years later, still alive; and the black bears of the Pacific Coast seek refuge in trees from Amur Tigers. 10pm, Fridays from Feb 5. National Geographic Channel. (ch. 741 / 343)

by Kris Imai Pink Floyd: The Wall 8pm, Feb 6 The movie tells the story of rock singer Pink, who sits in his hotel room in Los Angeles, burnt out from the music business and only able to perform on stage with the help of substances. Based on the 1979 double album The Wall by Pink Floyd, the film begins in Pink's youth where he is crushed by the love of his mother. Several years later, he is punished by the teachers in school because he started writing poems. Slowly, he begins to build a wall around himself to be protected from the world outside. The film shows all this in massive and epic pictures until the very end where he tears down the wall and breaks free. English with Japanese subtitles • Production year: 1982 • Production country: UK • Running time: 105 min • Director: Alan Parker • Cast: Bob Geldof, Bob Hoskins

Training Day 9:50pm, Feb 20 In a city where streets are overrun by criminals, those who have sworn to uphold the law are breaking them to clean up the streets. Denzel Washington plays L.APD detective Alonzo Harris, a veteran narcotics officer whose methods of enforcing the law are questionable, if not corrupt. Training Day follows Harris as he trains rookie Jake Hoyt over a period of 24 hours. Ethical dilemmas arise for Hoyt as well as the audience as questions present themselves as to whether or not Harris' methodology for ridding the streets of south central Los Angeles of crime is right or wrong. English with Japanese subtitles • Production year: 2001 • Production country: USA • Running time: 130 min • Director: Antoine Fugua • Cast: Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Eva Mendes, Tom Berenger, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Macy Gray

Raging Bull 9:45pm, Feb 6 When Jake LaMotta steps into a boxing ring and obliterates his opponent, he's a prizefighter. But when he treats his family and friends the same way, he's a ticking time bomb, ready to go off at any moment. Though LaMotta wants his family's love, something always seems to come between them. Perhaps it's his violent bouts of paranoia and jealousy. This kind of rage helped make him a champ, but in real life, he winds up in the ring alone. English with Japanese subtitles • Production year: 1980 • Production country: USA • Running time: 135 min • Director: Martin Scorcese • Cast: Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang 8:55pm, Feb 5 A narrator introduces himself at a Hollywood party: He's Harry Lockhart, a thief from New York, in LA for a screen test. He meets Gay Perry, a glitzy private eye who's to school him for his role; there's Harmony Lane, a wannabe actress whose time has passed; the host is an aging actor who starred in detective movies; plus his daughter, with starlet looks and a choppy past. From there, twists and connections abound and bodies pile up. Who's double-crossing whom?

English with Japanese subtitles • Production year: 2005 • Production country: USA • Running time: 110 min • Director: Shane Black • Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Val Kilmer

Tarnation 8:55pm, Feb 9 Part documentary, part narrative fiction, part home movie, and part trip. A psychedelic whirlwind of snapshots, Super-8 home movies, old answering machine messages, video diaries, early short films, snippets of '80s pop culture, and dramatic reenactments to create an epic portrait of an American family travesty.

English with Japanese subtitles • Production year: 2004 • Production country: USA • Running time: 100min • Director: Jonathan Caouette

Coraline A family's big move into an old house leaves Coraline somewhat depressed. In her new home, the young girl finds a secret door to a parallel realm mirroring her real life. Here, her neglectful parents are now button-eyed and caring, and her fantasies come true. But underneath that facade lies a sinister plan to trap her. Stars the voices of Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Dawn French, and Jennifer Saunders. Rated PG.

Out Feb 19.

Invictus South Africa sees its first president in Nelson Mandela. At this time, it also faced civil devastation with the height of apartheid and the resulting division of society. Hoping to unite his country, Mandela turns to the nation's love of sport to turn things around. Through Mandela, the country faces change with the South African ruby team's entry into the Rugby World Cup. Stars Nelson Mandela, Matt Damon, and Tony Kgoroge. Rated PG-13. Out Feb 5.

It's Complicated Her son's college graduation reunites Jane with her ex-husband Jake, who has since married another, much younger woman. But that doesn't quite matter; they soon find themselves having an affair. Matters are made worse when Jane's eye is caught by Adam, a rather successful architect. Faced with two choices, where does Jane go from there? Stars Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin. Rated R. Out Feb 19. Hannah Montana: The Movie Disney's hit sitcom is given the film treatment. Miley Stewart is a normal teenage girl with a secret life as international pop star Hannah Montana. When Hannah's celebrity takes a toll on Miley via a shoe-related feud with Tyra Banks, her father takes her to his hometown, far removed from Hollywood and Hannah Montana. Stars Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Emily Osment. Rated G. Out Feb 13.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief Greek mythology comes alive in high school student Percy Jackson's life, in a bad way. Percy is the prime suspect in the theft of Zeus' lightning bolt, and his mother has disappeared elsewhere. With the wrath of the gods trailing behind, Percy races across the country to locate the true lightning thief and his parent. But will he prevail? Stars Logan Lerman, Rosario Dawson, and Uma Thurman. Unrated. Out Feb 23. Valentine's Day It's February 14 in Los Angeles, and relationships grow and wilt on the course of that day. Kate, an army officer, shares a flight with Holden, a gay man dating a famous football player. Reed proposes to his girlfriend but learns that his best friend's boyfriend is married. Liz dates her colleague Jason in a busy agency. Somewhere in the city, more couples have their own stories to tell. Stars Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Queen Latifah, and more. Unrated. Out Feb 12.


ESCAPE Adventures Abroad

ESCAPE Adventures Abroad

Turkish de ligh ts by Mandy Bartok


traddling two continents and boasting a long and storied history, Turkey seduces visitors with its beguiling mix of beaches, bazaars, and melt-in-your-mouth baklava. This unassuming nation with an uber-friendly population doesn’t factor in to many family travel itineraries, but an adventure in this captivating corner of the world is well worth the effort. Istanbul is the country’s biggest draw, with a classic cityscape of minarets, evidence of its prominent position as a major city of the Muslim world. Expect the former capital to be a beehive of activity this year as Istanbul celebrates its selection as a European City of Culture for 2010. Iconic landmarks like the Blue Mosque and medieval Hagia Sophia dominate the center of the Old Quarter and should factor into any itinerary. Wake up to the ethereal sound of the Muslim call to prayer and start your wanderings in the warren of streets making up this atmospheric area. A few hours in the capital’s Grand Bazaar will soothe any rumblings of retail therapy; you’re sure to find the perfect carpet while kids of all ages will drool over the collection of sweets on offer at the nearby Spice Bazaar. If you’re eager to explore the waterways that shaped so much of Istanbul’s character, take the public ferry on its daily cruise up the Bosphorus Strait and chow down on the freshest fish at Anadolu Kavagi, the last port of call, before challenging your young crusaders to storm the castle above the town.


TOKYO families February 2010

For an otherworldly adventure, head for the highlands of Central Turkey, where an awe-inspiring collection of “fairy” chimneys blanket the landscape. Formed over several millennia by weathering and erosion, a number of these tuffa-rock structures house ancient churches, cozy hotels, and romantic restaurants. The rest are yours to explore, and it’s easy to head off on a hike through the lunar-like landscape from the region’s gateway villages of Goreme or Uchisar. However, the best way to take in the scene is from the basket of a hot-air balloon high over the earth. Your young adventurers will love the 45-minute sunrise float over the storybook terrain. If sun and surf beckon, Turkey’s coast has sandy beaches and sparkling seas to rival those of the Western Mediterranean but at a fraction of the price. Shop ‘til you drop in the artsy boutiques of Antalya or enjoy a candlelit dinner al fresco in the cobbled lanes of Kas while the kids play soccer in the main square with locals their own age. For a memorable experience, spend some time aboard a gület (wooden yacht) just offshore – daytime activities include snorkeling, swimming and exploring the islands for Roman-era ruins. At night, huddle up in your sleeping bags under the starry skies. Guaranteed you’ll fall asleep counting the many reasons to linger a little longer in Turkey… u

Info Language: Turkish, though many people affiliated with the tourist industry speak English. Access: Turkish Airlines offers several flights a week from Tokyo to Istanbul, taking about twelve hours between cities. Time difference: -8 hours   Currency: the Turkish lira (TYL) Climate: Varied. Istanbul has a temperate climate while the southern beaches sizzle in the summer months. Inland, the Cappadocia area has cool summers and can see heavy snowfalls in winter months. Tasty Treats: Baklava is always a family fave but don’t leave Turkey without trying some of the nation’s other sweet selections: Cakey Sekerpare and the coconut pudding dessert of Keskul are worth a taste.


ESCAPE Around Japan

ESCAPE Around Japan

Snow Must Go On

Winter has made its definite arrival in Japan after a few months of uncertainty. And with it, it brings snow - lots and lots of it! It's a period of joy for snow lovers everywhere, and in this freezing climate, the slopes are the hottest spots to hit. Looking for a quick getaway? Pack up your snowboard and ski gears and go!

Evergreen Outdoor Center Fun awaits the family at Evergreen Outdoor Center in Hakuba. Established in Nagano's snowy peaks, Evergreen offers countless tours for kids and adults alike. Engage in quality family time by taking the crew to snowshoe or ski cross-country amid the scenic natural backdrops, day or night. Alternatively, go on backcountry, off-piste, and on-mountain gliding tours, as well as more relaxed cultural tours to local hotspots. Take ski and snowboard lessons from professional Englishspeaking instructors, and learn to surf the famed Nagano powder snow. Evergreen's daycare also grants parents a worry-free day. Take advantage of Evergreen's winter specials: book five people in a tour, and a sixth can come free; book 5 full day lessons, and get the 5th day free! Evergreen Outdoor Center Tel: 0261-72-5150

Canyons Adventure Centre Nestled in the Minakami mountains, just a short hop from Tokyo is Canyons' welcoming, family-orientated Alpine Lodge and Adventure Centre. It's a one-stop base for a family's winter needs, whether it be a cosy stay, a snowshoe adventure for all or ski/snowboard lessons. Their professional snow sports instructors excel at introducing youngsters to new challenges; first steps on snow or developing a new trick. It's all about enjoyment, and this is obvious from the laughter throughout the day. Close enough for a day trip or with plenty to keep you occupied for a longer stay, there is limitless amounts of fun to be had at Canyons. Canyons Tel: 0278-72-2811


TOKYO families February 2010

Sierra Resort Hotel Hakuba

Villa Alpen

Set in the midst of Hakuba's majestic landscape, the spacious Sierra Resort guarantees a luxurious holiday. It offers daily shuttle services to three nearby ski areas, each with varied terrain to suit all levels of skiers; the slopes are also perfect for snow shoeing, ice climbing, and even heli-skiing. Not sure where to go? Sierra's multi-lingual, snow-savvy concierge can help out. After hitting the slopes, tour the town or warm up at Sierra's pure hot springs.

Enjoy a relaxed winter escape at Villa Alpen in Shiga-Koen, one of Asia's biggest ski capitals. The cozy family-run lodge is only meters away from the ski lifts; and ski lessons taught in English are offered by the Captain and his son. And after a long day, return to a warm atmosphere with home-cooked meals and friendly faces. Also, do go sightseeing; visit the nearby Monkey Park, where local monkeys famously take a dip at the onsen. Bring a camera!

For February, children under ten can stay for free if sharing a bed with a parent; children under 12 are treated to one free pizza or pasta per night; and after the 20th, stays of three nights or more get 20% discounts.

Villa Alpen has special discount rates for March visits: 짜8,400 per night for groups of more than two people, including two meals. Other options are four-night (짜31,900) and five-night (짜39,500) plans.

Sierra Resort Hotel Hakuba Tel: 0261-72-3250

Villa Alpen Tel: 0296-34-2731

Morino Lodge If a warm, laid-back atmosphere is the site of your ideal holiday, Morino Lodge delivers. This quaint lodge is within the convenient Wadano area of Hakuba, with toasty rooms complete with all the necessities for a comfy family stay. It is a mere five-minute walk from the nearest slopes, and free shuttle buses take you to further areas. The friendly staff can assist in making the most of trips, helping arrange rentals, tours, lessons, and discount lift tickets. Bellies will stay full too, with an eclectic array of in-lodge food selections and nearby restaurants. Morino Lodge offers discounts for children under 16 and bigger discounts for kids under 6. Lower season rates from March 14 to May 6. Morino Lodge Tel: 0261-85-9098




The Art of Feng Shui

Child's Place


he 20th century brought about the explosion of material richness, convenience, and comfort. Excessive materialism created a need for spirituality and culture. In the new millennium, people crave for spiritual "medicine". This has already manifested itself in the current "New Age" movement, which includes Feng-Shui (or fu-sui in Japanese). Lucie Mori was born into a family of psychics. From the age of ten, she started learning oriental healing methods. In addition to learning tarots, she learned the art of fortune-telling and feng-shui with her mother and grandmother, later on adapting Chinese, Japanese, and Indian fengshui techniques. This method includes “reading” people in terms of their body and mind constitutions, a five-element background, karmic influences, life skills, analyzing these, then applying this to their current problems or dilemma - whether about life purpose, relationships, health, or career. Lucie prescribes feng-shui art remedies like energy-focused and fengshui symbolic paintings (like phoenix, dragons, or tortoises), gemstones, home décor objects, symbol-laden jewelries for the aforementioned dilemmas, depending on the analyses. She has a number of readymade items and accepts custom-made requests. Lucie's artwork and accessories are displayed at the Asian Collection Contemporary Art Gallery, and are also available for purchase. For example, the living room is where the family meets, eats, and communicates. The best color for this room would be earth colors (natural brown, green, copper bronze, and yellow tones) which represent grounding, stability, and security. Also ideal for the living room are large vases (for abundance of all positive aspects) and fruits (genuine or plastic) - namely lemons, oranges, persimmons. Plants are great for the living room, symbolizing growth and fruition. Seashells are also good to place in the south-western corner of the room to fortify relationships. Display photos or paintings that personally invoke positive feelings, such as those of smiling children, happy family moments, and old couples holding hands. In the bedroom, the choice of basic colors from pink to strong, fiery red colors should be made according to the couples’ current situation and individual constitution. For example, old couples need more red to increase fire in their relationships, while young couples need a lessertoned pink to focus more on romance.

by Mark Ainley


chool can provide some interesting challenges for children. They need to study as they grow, and yet they also need to play, explore, and rest. Their rooms need to reflect these important activities and have a space to cultivate each in a holistic way – not always an easy task when so many homes have small rooms for children. How to balance all of these tasks in their home environment?

‘the dog ate my homework’ excuse.) Putting books and papers back into the school bag when homework is done is a great way to prevent chaos in the morning and to provide a clear setting in which to enjoy leisure time. It is not suggested that they study lying on their bed because it creates a fuzzy boundary between school and private time – although reading for pleasure about topics that truly interest them is wonderful!

A child’s ‘job’ is learning (as opposed to ‘studying’ – there is difference), so creating a space of adventure and discovery is important – no, not "what leftovers are we going to find on the floor today?" but rather a space that encourages reading, experimenting, and inquiry. Their desk needs to be organized and supportive, with a chair that will support good posture. Ideally, they should have a view of the door coming into the room, and be seated with a windowless wall behind them. If they must sit with a window behind them, drawing some curtains while they study can help them feel more settled; if the desk must be up against the wall, have decorative displays that monitor their achievements and goals, as well as the objects of their curiosity (which should surround the desk regardless). Posters of interesting things are great, though perhaps dinosaurs and other creatures that go ‘bump’ in the night would be best in a playroom where they will not come to life as your young’uns approach the land of dreams.

Books can provide a challenge because they contain so much information that they can inhibit rest. If possible, place them further away from the bed: This will not only limit any risk should there be an earthquake, but also keep them from feeling some looming pressure or sensing ‘information overload’ while trying to quieten their minds. One book by the bed is fine, but a stack can leave them feeling like they have too much going on.

But being able to put ‘study time’ to sleep is essential if they are to avoid feeling pressured to achieve beyond what is truly healthy for them. Having a desk on wheels that can swing away from the wall and be put into ‘sleep mode’ once they are done can help create a healthy ‘now you work, now you don’t’ attitude. (Of course, the wheels should lock so their studies don’t run away from them and thereby fuel a more interesting alternative to the

May your children have their inner balance and innate brilliance reflected back to them in their space! u

Play areas are best delineated by an area rug, and toys should be put away after use. (Cultivating the habit of returning items no longer being used is best started at a young age and will help children maintain a respectful home space as they age.) Similarly, ‘active’ posters of cars, sports players, and various superheroes and villains are best kept closer to the play area and further from the bed (I had an autographed Darth Vader picture as a child – consider yourself warned!).

Mark Ainley is a contemporary Feng Shui consultant based in Vancouver. A former resident of Tokyo, he consults internationally for home and business owners. To contact him, write him at or visit

It is no secret that good thoughts and energy attracts good things and people. Feng-shui is the art of changing the environment to create positive emotions, thoughts and energy. By changing the environment, the person absorbs the energy and stimulates him to change inside. Applying the right paintings and home decors, and wearing the right jewelries will eventually trigger an internal change that results, in time, to positive energy that changes your life. u Lucie Mori is a Feng Shui consultant, jewelry designer and fortune teller. She can be reached at 090-6488-9255 or See Lucie's Feng Shui-related artwork, accessories, and objects at the Asian Collection Contemporary Art Gallery, Moto Azabu 3-10-9-202, Minato-ku, Tokyo. Open 1-7pm, Fridays to Sundays; also open by appointment.


TOKYO families February 2010




A new International School “The teachers are so professional and really care!” “My child has never been so happy in school and learnt so much” Come and find out more: Tel: 043-296-0277 E-mail:

K International

Saint Maur International School Founded in 1997, KIST aims to provide a quality, holistic international education for children from diverse backgrounds and abilities to study together in a safe and secure environment without prejudice or injustice. Authorized as an IB World School by the International Baccalaureate, KIST is currently the only school in Tokyo to offer all three IB programs: PYP, MYP and DP. Commencing with our first graduate class in 2006, KIST graduates have enjoyed great success in gaining admission to universities around the world.

Saint Maur International School, established in 1872, is the oldest international school in Japan. The co-educational school offers a quality education within a well-maintained modern facility to students of all nationalities and religious beliefs, from preschool through high school. Apart from academic success, the school is noted for the pastoral care of its students, and in order to achieve this, the school emphasizes quality rather than quantity, and limits its student body to a total of 500 students. Saint Maur International School is fully accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and New England Association of Schools & Colleges.

Tel: (03) 3642-9993

Tel: 045-641-5751

The Project Makuhari International ApproachSchool taps the children’s Makuhari International School’s Mission Statement includes the phrase ‘all children are special with unique skills and gifts’. This is something we all and strongly believe in here at MIS. Our schoolinterests is designed to cater for Japanese Returnee children as well as dual nationality and foreign children in the Chiba and Tokyo areas. We have a beautiful campus with excellent moderntheir and extensive supports resources, our teachers being the most important of those resources. learning Tel: 043-296-0277 differences.

Making Meaning: The Project Approach T

he most important job of a young child is to make sense of his or her world. Our job at school is to aid the child in this quest. There is no end to the questions that children have about the world they live in: Where does the water for the bath come from? How do the vegetables get to the grocery store? Does the bus driver keep the money that the passengers pay to ride? Why does it rain? At school, when we are responsive to the interests of children, they are very motivated to learn. One way that we can be responsive to children’s interests is by using the Project Approach.

The American School in Japan The American School in Japan’s Early Learning Center, located in Roppongi Hills, caters to our youngest children, while the main campus serves K-12 students in Chofu. Both are co-educational. The school’s educational philosophy is embodied in its mission statement of “developing compassionate, inquisitive learners prepared for global responsibility.” Tel: (0422) 34-5300


TOKYO families February 2010

Children have a much wider range of capabilities than they have usually been permitted to show in the regular classroom. In order to show these capabilities, they need learning environments that are responsive to the many individual differences that influence learning. Children learn in different ways, have different styles, and build on very different backgrounds of experience. Children also achieve at a higher level in school if they are interested in what they are doing. The Project Approach taps the children’s interests and supports their learning differences. Children are expected to work cooperatively on complex and open-ended tasks as well as follow instructions in step-by-step learning. The Project Approach provides one way to introduce a wider range of learning opportunities into the classroom and has a developmental basis. Projects can expand a child's learning.

by Judy Beneventi

The Project Approach is a way of structuring the work in a classroom so that children are acquiring and applying skills, assuming responsibility for the kinds of work they undertake, learning to make good choices and studying a topic in depth over a period of time. Although the word “project” has many meanings, used in the Project Approach, it has a specific meaning: A project is an in-depth investigation of a topic worth learning more about… The key feature of a project is that it is a research effort deliberately focused on finding answers to questions about a topic posed either by the children, the teacher, or the teacher working with the children. (Katz, L.G. (1994) The Project Approach) Lillian Katz, Professor Emerita of Early Childhood Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, whose work the definition comes from and Sylvia Chard, Professor Emerita of the Department of Elementary Education at the University of Alberta, have written a number of books on the Project Approach and are considered to be experts in the field of early childhood education. Their site provides background and the theory behind the approach as well as resources for teachers.




ABC International School Tokyo YMCA International School

Seisen International

Recently accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, K-6, students at TYIS benefit from a rigorous, North American-based academic program as well as from their interactions with other students and teachers from different cultures. Our teacher, are diligent, caring, experienced professionals who, through positive interaction make a special effort to help students reach their full potential in conjunction with the YMCA’s core values of Caring, Honesty, Responsibility and Respect.. It is our sincere hope that the TYIS multicultural learning community will enable all our students to develop the academic, interpersonal and leadership skills necessary to achieve great success.

Seisen International School is a Catholic school with a Christian atmosphere in which students of all races, nationalities and faiths thrive. We have approximately 700 students representing more than 50 nationalities. Seisen has high expectations for its students’ character development and academic achievements.

Tel: (03) 3615-5632

Tel: (03) 3704-2661

Seisen is accredited by the Council of International Schools and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and recognized by the Japanese Ministry of Education via the Seisen Jogakuin Educational Foundation.

ABC International School is Tokyo’s premier international preschool, a magical introduction to the school environment for families from around the world. At ABC, we have committed ourselves to implementing a high-quality, developmentally appropriate environment for children. Our curriculum is child-centered and theme-based, with a balance of academic programs and play-based learning. ABC is a place where focus is on the positive to create an environment that is nurturing, fun and exciting. Our facilities include a gymnasium, art room, computer room and library, pre-kindergarten room, 3-year-old classroom, 2-year-old classroom and toddler room. What makes us special: Our low student-teacher ratios, our experienced and caring educators, and our beautiful classrooms which are full of educational resources. Tel: (03) 5793-1359

Teachers at The American School in Japan’s Early Learning Center had the opportunity to work with Dr. Chard several years ago and that experience has shaped their program ever since. The use of projects at the nursery to kindergarten level allows for the varying learning needs, skills and interests of the children with the aim of making learning memorable and meaningful. The Project Approach provides one way to introduce a wide range of learning opportunities that are responsive to the different ways children learn, their different backgrounds and experiences and their different stages of development.

New International School


TOKYO families February 2010

Each project has three distinct phases. The first phase involves picking a topic that stimulates the interest of the whole class and the teachers gauge the children’s understanding of the topic and gather their questions about it. These questions set the stage for the research that children will be doing as they investigate their topic. In Phase I, the teacher’s role is to share an experience with the children concerning the topic of study and invite children to share their stories. The children are encouraged to draw, write about, and dramatize their understanding of the topic. The first phase concludes with a list of questions the children would like to investigate.

Serving children from age 3 to Grade 9, NewIS is the first dual-language international school in Japan. It is also multiage by design. It was designed to serve long-term and permanent residents of Japan who wish to educate their children bilingually, but it has had a clear appeal to shorter term residents as well. Team teachers facilitate the children’s learning in both English and Japanese using a child-centered, thematic approach and an abundance of resources for active learning. Graduates attend international schools with high schools, Japanese private schools, or schools abroad including, at present, Northfield Mount Herman School, the Putney School, and St. Johnsbury Academy. Visitors are welcome by appointment.

The second phase involves fieldwork and discovery. Phase II involves planning fieldwork and inviting experts to the classroom to present to the children. Real objects and processes are investigated, questions are answered, more questions are posed and explanations are sought. Experts may share firsthand experiences or expertise, and often children will visit a site on a field trip to see relevant objects, plants, animals, vehicles, events, equipment or people. The children read, write, draw, build, compute and gather data.

Tel: (03) 3980-1057

In the third and final phase of a project, the children share their findings with others—their parents, peers, and older or younger children. The emphasis in this stage is for children to communicate what they have learned to the people who are important in their lives. In each phase, the children are involved in various kinds of work as they draw, discuss, dramatize, write, collect data, calculate, diagram and record observations in preparation for their final presentations.




PAL International School

"Obento! Obento! Ureshiina!" “Itadakimasu!” おべんとう、おべんとう、うれしいな!いただきます! We can hear lunch songs in Japanese every day at PAL International School. We begin lunch time with this phrase to express gratitude for all who had a part of preparing the food. At PAL International School, students and teachers come from all over the world. They all have different backgrounds and different cultures, and we strive to maintain a multi-cultural environment. Traditional activities are integrated into our curriculum to ensure our students have the opportunity to fully experience Japanese culture. We strongly believe that the understanding of true Japanese culture will help them to respect and appreciate their own and others' cultures! At PAL, we seek to educate all the children to be truly international and life-long learners!

RLC Preschool For 25-plus years, RLC has been providing fun and stimulating activities for children aged 1.5 to 4.5 years old. We have a varied curriculum that encourages children with all aspects of their social, skill-based and personal development, and our teachers work closely with parents to ensure that your child’s first experience of school is positive and exciting. RLC is conveniently located in Roppongi Hills, near Roppongi, Azabu-Juban and Hiroo train stations. Tel: (03) 5913-8272

Tel: (03) 5770-8166

In such a project, students form small groups and engage in committee work as they study their project topic. “Committee work is so important because it gives the children the chance to work on important skills: Collaboration, cooperation, communication, thinking and initiation. These skills will help the children learn and deepens their understandings of diverse subject matter. At school, and later in life at the office, committees form, discuss each other’s ideas, plan and decide together what needs to be done and make products,” says ASIJ ELC kindergarten teacher, Connie Shimizu. “Through committee work the children learn to show respect for diverse ideas and opinions. The children must listen to others and think about what others say, as well as articulate their own ideas. They also learn to make questions. The children need flexibility in their thinking as they consider alternative points of view. The children must also take some initiation as they decide what questions and ideas to pursue. Children need to talk about the information they are learning.” “The greatest learning takes place in dialogue between people—learning is a social process and not just an intellectual event,” notes academic Peter Senge from the Center for Organizational Learning at the MIT Sloan School of Management. The Project Approach taps into this form of social learning and engages children in ways that traditional lesson plans often fail to.


TOKYO families February 2010

Montessori Friends

Summerhill International School The Summerhill Studies programs are an exciting series of afternoon programs that address popular student needs. We offer English lessons for beginners,  Art for Kids, Advanced English and homework help as well as Japanese for beginners.  Each program is available on a one on one basis or group basis. The programs are designed for children between the ages of 4 and 12 years old and are taught by our qualified teaching specialists each trained in their fields of instruction.

The school was founded on the desire to utilize the Montessori Method of education which has positive impact children's lives while their social and for educational For a25-plus years, RLConhas been providing fun inspiring and stimulating activities children development. Inyears an appropriate environment, children have natural desire to learn, aged 1.5 to 4.5 old. We have a varied curriculum that aencourages children with and do so in a positive and enjoyable way. Montessori Friends provides this environment all aspects of their social, skill-based and personal development, and our teachers work and suitable activities for each stage of development, by observing and responding to closely with parents to ensure that your child’s first experience of school is positive and the individual of each child. Teachers stimulateHills, bothnear discovery and development. exciting. RLCneeds is conveniently located in Roppongi Roppongi, Azabu-Juban Every student treated with respect and is offered constant encouragement. There is and Hiroo trainisstations. an open door policy and parents are welcome to observe.

Tel: (03) 3453-0811

Tel: (03) 5913-8272 Tel: (03) 3726-9386




Tokyo Union Church ELC


Spring Campaign Starts Soon!!

Gymboree Since 1985, Tokyo Union Church Early Learning Center has offered a high-quality, early childhood program in a safe, loving, stimulating and nurturing environment for children between the ages of eighteen months and five years old. TUC ELC strives to provide a creative and challenging play-based, academic, early childhood program. Music and the Brain, a research-based music program which was inspired by neurological research linking music and cognitive development, has been offered from January 2010 as one of the components to our curriculum. TUC ELC warmly welcomes families of all cultures and religious faiths.

At Gymboree Play & Music, children learn as they play. Designed by experts, our ageappropriate activities aim to develop the cognitive, physical, and social skills of children in a fun and comfortable environment. Excluding our special drop-off programs for 2 1/2- to 5-year-olds, all of our programs require parent involvement and encourage parents to participate in and understand their child’s development. In addition to our unique classes, we offer daily PLAYGYMS where members can enjoy free play in our spacious gym room. Our flexible cancellations, make-up, and class transfer policy makes it easy for moms to adapt their child’s class schedule to their changing needs. Come in for a free trial class and see why families around the world love Gymboree! Motoazabu Tel: (03) 5449-2311 Jiyugaoka Tel: (03) 3723-0651

Tel: (03) 3400-1579 w w

Compare the way a project approach is more student-focused to a traditional teaching unit:

Project Approach: • Planned by the teachers in negotiation with the children • Goals are continuously negotiated between the children & teachers

Poppins International Pre-school

• Children get meaningful choices about what work they do • Children research the answers to their own questions • Research always involves an expert or fieldwork as well as books • Students work for their own satisfaction according to their own ability • Every child is successful because each child made something that was an integral part of the project

Teaching Unit (Traditional classroom): • Planned in advance by the teachers • Teachers preset goals (i.e. children will learn that there are 15 matches in each sumo tournament) • Teacher selects activities and materials • All children do the same work • Children memorize isolated facts • Some research using mainly books • Students work for the teacher

Tel: (03) 5791-2105


TOKYO families February 2010

Suginami child-nurturing assistance ticket can be used.

An example of such a project is the kindergarten study of Japanese culture. The children break into committees around some aspect of Japanese culture that is of interest to them; for example, sumo, paper, Japanese food or kamishibai (storytelling with picture boards). These committees determine what they know and what they want to find out about their topic and how they will share their learning. Children visit the neighborhood noodle shop, make their own paper, study tapes of sumo tournaments, and watch a kamishibai troupe to learn about their area of study. As their culmination pieces, the children write and present their own kamishibai stories, put on a sumo tournament, make a paper museum, and turn their classroom into a soba shop.

Jiyugaoka Site 03-3723-0651

4-25-9 Kugayama, Suginami-ku, 168-0082 Tokyo Tel/Fax: 03-3334-8326 email:

Jun International Pre-school Jun International Preschool is a nurturing, home-like environment where children thrive and develop at their own pace. We believe that a happy child is a relaxed child, and that a relaxed child is a receptive one. Every child is different, and we strive to find the best way for each individual to absorb our English atmosphere. A good ratio of teachers to children is adopted to give each child the attention he or she needs.In particular, through playing and sharing with others in a multi-age classroom, younger and older children can develop together. Tel: (03) 3334-8326

• Teacher is seen as the expert and the child as deficient

PIPS provide safe, loving and educational English environment where children are able to explore early learning through a multitude of different stimuli and make the basis of development socially and linguistically. PIPS offer a truly holistic education based on the British Early Years Program and Foundation Stage Curriculum which is delivered by a team of skilled and qualified teachers and early years practitioners with true passion for teaching. Busy PIPS parents will receive the special discount for membership of Poppins baby sitter services.

• Mar 22 (Mon)∼Mar 26 (Fri) • Mar 29 (Mon)∼April 2 (Fri) 9am ∼ 3pm

Motoazabu Site 03-5449-2311

New World International School At New World International School, we believe that children can learn when they are loved and encouraged in a safe, cozy, and fun environment. Teachers need to treat each child as an individual with his or her individual personality and development style. Using a variety of styles of teaching, we will be able to cater to all learning styles and respect the differences in your child. Children who respect themselves and have good self-esteem will enjoy learning. Pre-school program: 2-3 years old. Kindergarten Program : 3-6 years old. Tel: (03) 3305-0573




Pottery Classes in English

Mugen Karate

Mugen Karate, which literally means "knuckle-free defense" is the newest addition to dojos servicing the Minato area where most foreign residents live, work or study. Check out any of the two dojos conveniently located in the Minato and Shibuya areas and begin training now! Kids ages 5-12 and adults welcome. Fees range from ¥8,500 to ¥10,500 a month (depending on the age group) and includes training thrice a week for 1 hour 45 min each lesson. The two dojos are close to Nissin Supermarket and National Azabu store, making Mom and Dad's shopping convenient after dropping off the kids.

With Eriko, a female Tokyoite ceramic artist, you can make your own tablewares and/ or artworks using Japanese traditional glazes and clays. Location: Daikanyama (Shibuya-ku) or Oimachi (Shinagawa-ku) Class menu: • Beginner and intermediate class

• One hour pottery-making class

• Kids class

Please check details on the web site: Or send Eriko an e-mail: Trial lesson: Adults ¥5,000 Children ¥3,000 (Including materials)

Fab Academy

A specific example of a recent project at ASIJ’s Early Learning Center was a kindergarten class study of sumo. The study culminated with a presentation for the parents, but the process of study was the most meaningful part for the children. The students started their project by talking with each other about what they already knew about sumo, what they wanted to find out and how they could find the answers to their questions. They did their research in committees by reading sumo books, attending a local tournament, watching sumo videos, looking at sites on the Internet, reading books and magazines and interviewing “sumo experts” who had knowledge to share with them. The children were able to get their questions answered and then share what they had learned with their parents. They had many ways to demonstrate their knowledge: Clay sculptures of sumo wrestlers, drawings, paintings and a basho (tournament) that they put on for their parents. They were able to show that their knowledge of sumo was extensive after their study. In the Project Approach, children pursue a topic of study for a long period of time, and in this way, they infuse their work with energy, commitment and ownership. With that time, energy and commitment also comes a depth of understanding. Academic skills such as questioning, listening, reading and writing are needed for the children to do in-depth thinking. This can benefit academic achievement, social and emotional development, problem-solving, creativity and encourages parent involvement—all things a good pre-school or elementary program should value. In the Project Approach, teaching and learning are an adventure for all investigators, young and old alike. u

For bookings in English, e-mail: Tel: (03) 5422-8515 Tel: (03) 5856-5575 TV shows like So You Think You Can Dance have popularized dance more than ever, inspiring people to move and groove. From latin to jazz, hip-hop to hula hoop, newlyopened FAB ACADEMY provides an outlet for those looking for their inner dancer. Foreign-owned and operated, Kike Yamakawa and Brad Hays are excited to introduce the “boutique dance studio” concept to Tokyo. The international active lifestyle space offers bilingual classes in dance, modeling, and yoga for all ages and levels. Parents' classes are offered early afternoon with kids' and teens' classes after school. The studio at FAB features a specially engineered sprung dance floor that provides cushion and support for the body. State-of-the-art lighting and a high-fashion catwalk allow members to bring out their inner superstars. The bright and energetic colors of the studio along with charismatic instructors make it a warm and supportive atmosphere in which to learn, grow, and meet new people. Whatever age or level you may be, there’s sure to be a class that will inspire you to move your body and have a FAB time. So, leave your inhibitions and stress at the door and enter the fantasy that is FAB.

“We bring out the FAB in you!” Where?

3-1-2 Azabudai, Karafutokaikan Iigura Building B1, Minato-ku (Iigurakatamachi Crossing)

Closest stations Roppongi-itchome (4 minutes)

Roppongi (6 minutes)

Tel: (03) 6459-1739

Further Information: Engaging Children's Minds: The Project Approach (2nd ed.) - by Lilian G. Katz & Sylvia C. Chard The Project Approach, Making the Curriculum Come Alive - by Lilian G. Katz & Sylvia C. Chard Judy Beneventi has been the Director at ASIJ's Early Learning Center since 1999. Prior to that, she was the assistant principal at the elementary school for seven years. Judy worked as an elementary and middle school teacher at another international school in Tokyo, Lima, Peru, the state of Montana in the US, and in the state of Victoria in Australia. Judy was named National Distinguished Principal in 2007. She holds a teaching degree from Carroll College in Helena, MT, and her Master's degree in educational administration from California State University, Northridge.


TOKYO families February 2010




Valentine's Day Treats Valentine's Day is upon us! It's a global day of love and affection, and the customary practice is to express that sweet emotion with... well, sweets. And yes, the candy companies are making it easy for us to pick up their Valentine's offerings. However, nothing really quite embodies warmth and affection than "a labour of love". So don an apron, grab a spatula, and hit the kitchen - it's time to fill the air with l'amour!

Ingredients • 3 cups all-purpose flour • 4 teaspoons baking powder • 3/4 cup white sugar • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder • 1 cup butter, softened • 1/3 cup milk • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1 tablespoon butter, softened • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 2 cups confectioners' sugar • 1/4 cup hot milk • Cookie heart shaper (available at ¥100 stores) • Hershey's chocolate chips

Directions 1. Preheat oven to 375º F (190º C).

2. Sift 3 cups flour twice. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, confectioner's sugar and cocoa. Cream 1 cup butter or margarine; blend into flour mixture. Add 1/3 cup milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla and nuts or chocolate chips as you desire. Mix thoroughly with hands until well blended. (Dough should be the consistency of pie crust, but not sticky.)

3. For each cookie, pinch off about 1 tablespoon dough. Roll by hands into balls. Place on greased baking sheets. Flatten, shape them into hearts and bake for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from baking sheets; cool on racks, and presto!

Pink And Brown Valentine Truffes

Say it with cookies!

Valentine's Day Treats

Ingredients • 1/2 cup Nakazawa fresh cream • 12 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, chopped fine • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into bits and softened • 1/2 cup seedless red raspberry jam • 2 tablespoons Chambord liqueur • a pinch of salt • 1/2 cup Hersheys sifted unsweetened cocoa powder • 1/2 cup Raspberry powder (to tint truffes)


TOKYO families February 2010

Directions 1. In a saucepan, boil cream over medium heat. 2. Remove the pan from the heat. 3. Add the chocolate. 4. Stir the mixture until chocolate is completely blended and smooth. 5. Let the mixture cool slightly and then add butter little by little. 6. Stir the mixture until smooth. 7. Next stir in the jam, the Chambord and a pinch of salt. 8. Transfer mixture to a bigger bowl. 9. Chill it, covered, for 4 hours or until it is firm. 10. Use a fruit scooper or make teaspoon-sized balls from the mix and roll the balls in the sifted cocoa powder. (To tint them, mix cocoa powder with raspberry powder.) 11. Chill the truffles on a baking sheet lined with wax paper for 1 hour or until they are firm. 12. Keep them in an airtight container, chilled, for 2 weeks. Makes about 35 medium sized truffes.





wo robots are gently lowered into two adjacent corners of the competition ring—a square area divided by a central wall—by the students who built them. Facing them on the other side of the wall are two similar-looking robots. The students step back and on a signal the four robots spring into autonomous action following pre-programmed directions for 20 frenetic seconds. Some career into the central partition successfully knocking miniature rugby balls off their stands into the opposition’s side. Others sweep smaller plastic balls through a gap at the bottom of the wall. Then as suddenly as they started, they freeze. The teams, working in pairs against each other, assess the state of play as they take up their controllers and begin a further two minutes of gladiatorial battling in their attempt to propel as many balls as possible to the other side. Some use rotating plastic strips to sweep up smaller balls into a hopper with the aim of dumping them over the wall. One of the ASIJ robots employs an elegant arm that grabs the fallen rugby balls and deftly drops them over. At the end of the two minutes the judges tally the scores, counting the balls and noting who got the large white bonus ball into their opponents court. The first game of Clean Sweep is over and the first VEX Robotics Competition to be held in Japan has really begun. Teams from schools in California, Hawaii, Texas and Kyoto brought their machines to The American School in Japan to compete in an exciting fullday tournament. Observers from Kinnick, Yokota and St. Maur joined the audience to watch the first competition of its kind for schools in Japan.

Domo Arigato Mr Roboto by Matt Wilce

“The world is poised for a second wave of the technological revolution. A big part of that revolution will be in robotics,” says ASIJ’s chemistry teacher Don Chambers, who spearheaded the move to bring the competition to Japan. “If the first International Symposium On Robotics in Science and Technology Education held in Yokohama in October, 2009 is any indication, China, Russia, the Middle East, as well as Europe, all of South East Asia, and India have all invested significant resources into developing robotics in education. In fact, the Japanese Monbukagakusho (Department of Education) recently declared that, within three years all Japanese middle schools will include robotics as a required part of the curriculum. We know that what is developed in middle school moves on to high school and from there to all of society at large.”

The development of robotics curricula is not restricted to Japanese schools, with international schools now discovering the positive educational impact of such programs and competitions. “We need to produce more engineers and young people who can work together and solve problems and robotics teams provide students with hands-on experience that takes the content that is learned in the classroom and uses it on the playing fields,” says Nancy McIntyre, Project Director of Eagle Engineering at Chaminade College Preparatory School in California. “Although scholastic robotics is played like a sporting event with mechanical devices, one glaring difference is that robotics emphasizes collaboration and sharing. In FIRST Robotics, this is referred to as ‘gracious professionalism.’ In programs like VEX where you play each match with another team, this sharing of ideas and collaboration is critical as your opponent in one match could become your alliance partner in the next,” says Art Kimura of the Hawaii Space Grant Consortium, who joined the visiting Hawaiian teams at ASIJ. “We have been to many robotics tournaments where teams are sharing parts, tools and even their programming, often sending their team members to help others.” The collaborative element of the VEX Competition soon became evident on the day as the 13 teams from different schools worked together in alliances against each other. ASIJ’s four teams also found themselves helping each other as they tweaked robots and the computer programs they’d written to control them throughout the day. “In our first game, the robot was not able to exit autonomous mode because our arm got stuck on the wall. The program was designed to bring the arm down until it hit a sensor in the middle of the robot, but since the arm never came down, the program just kept on waiting for the arm to come down, as the arm control motors kept on spinning, wearing down the axle connections and the motors themselves. Not a pretty sight!” student Alex Kahl wrote on his blog. Once their teething troubles were fixed, ASIJ’s teams put in a strong showing. Despite being rookies, ASIJ’s students performed well with two teams making it all the way to the finals after they saw off many of the more experienced teams during the quarter and semi-finals. With two teams through to the final it was natural that the ASIJ robots would pair up to make an alliance to take on two rivals from Waialua High School. Charlotte Lee, Chas Forelle and Sujoy Bhattacharyya joined forces with classmates Alex Kahl and Jeffrey Nelson. The final match was a dramatic test of both school’s machines and nerve as the controllers worked hard to score points against each other. After two-minutes of intense activity, ASIJ prevailed to the delight of the home crowd and ASIJ walked off with both teams as tournament champions. Things got even better when the awards were presented and one team were presented with the Excellence Award as well. Their win qualifies both teams to go to the World Championship Competition in Dallas, TX, where they’ll be the first international school team from Japan to compete. The competition focused the attention of many throughout the community with teachers from several other schools and parents expressing interest in the program. Going forward, planning has already begun for next year’s competition, which will be held at ASIJ on November 5, 2010 and it is hoped that more local school teams will be able to participate next year. The development of robotics programs in international schools provides a powerful way to encourage science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as well as community involvement. “We need to get teachers to think about robotic solutions to real world problems in order to see the vision of robotics as another phase of the technological revolution,” says Chambers. “They need to see that thinking of robotic solutions is thinking out of the box, and that through programs like this our young students have been prepared in many ways to do just that.” u


TOKYO families February 2010


COMMUNITY Coupling Parenting


Coaching Parents in Creative Play What Your Preschooler Learns by Playing by Dr. Caron B. Goode


hildren learn by playing. Whether it be blocks, puzzles, or the creation of an imaginary world, fun and games teach. Child development experts have targeted six specific areas that benefit from play. They are: • Language development • Small-muscle development • Large-muscle development • Emotional development • Social development • Mathematical thinking As your child’s first teacher, it is important you understand what he is learning when he plays. To do this, observe him. Try to determine what skill he is practicing. Then take it a step farther by creating other opportunities for him to apply what he is learning. Activities that help preschoolers learn Each of the above categories develop through a variety of activities. Some overlap and some are very specific. Once you identify what skill your child is practicing you can determine what he is learning and how to help him apply his knowledge. You can start by using these common instances of learning through play to encourage growth and development in your preschooler. Language Development Helping children develop a good sense of language helps them better express themselves and their needs. Activities • Even though your preschooler may not read, label some different color baskets for him to put his things in. For instance, you can label one toys and one shoes. Then show him the labels. This will help him identify words as symbols for thought. This also allows him to use his mathematical thinking skills to sort. • Ask him to help you build a home for one of his stuffed animals. By putting his thoughts into words he is learning how to express himself, which is one of the cornerstones of communication. • Sing simple repetitive songs and nursery rhymes. Then add movement to the music. This requires that he listen, which is also an important component to language development.

32 32

TOKYO families February 2010

by Lori Wigmore

Small-Muscle Development The small-muscle group includes the hands, fingers, wrists, and eyes. Your preschooler uses his small muscles to do things like tie his shoes and brush his teeth on his own. Activities • Playing with puzzles is a great way for your preschooler to develop his small-muscle group. Placing puzzle pieces helps develop hand-eye coordination. Plus, when your child is successful, he will experience a sense of pride and accomplishment, which is always a good thing. • Playing dress up is a great way to develop small muscles. At first, buttons and zippers can be challenging. Try using dressing songs and rhymes you and he make up to keep the game fun. • Rolling a ball back and forth between the two of you helps develop the small muscles in his hands, in addition to hand-eye coordination. Large-Muscle Development The large muscle group includes those in the neck, trunk, legs, and arms. These are the muscles most used in physical play. Activities • We can all use a little help around the house. Let your preschooler sweep for you. This type of movement develops the large muscles in his arms and upper body. • Imitating Mommy and/or Daddy going to work by riding his tricycle to a pretend destination works the muscles in his legs. • Playing a good old-fashioned game of leap frog is a fantastic way to develop muscles in his arms, legs, and trunk. Emotional Development Parents and family are most influential during this phase in your preschooler’s growth. He experiences emotions deeply and is beginning to learn how to process them and express himself.

him an outlet to share feelings he may have otherwise kept bottled up. • Help him identify emotions through storytelling. When you tell him a story or read a book, ask him what the characters are feeling. Are they happy, sad, excited, or scared? Social Development As the name implies, social development is the basis of your preschooler’s relationships. These are the skills he needs to make and be a friend.


ould you be surprised to learn that close to 50% of adolescents in the Tokyo international community experienced a problem they felt they could not speak to anyone about? Would you expect that concerns about the future and academics topped the list of teens’ greatest worries? Are you alarmed that 56% of these adolescents are struggling with body-image issues, while 34% reported that depression was a concern? These are some of the findings of a questionnaire administered to almost 2,000 students in the Tokyo international community, as part of TELL’s School Awareness Program. The chart below summarizes the top concerns of the adolescents surveyed.

TELL recognizes that teenagers often do not have the proper resources to help them cope with their personal challenges. The School Awareness Program was established to address this concern by visiting international schools and educating students about Tokyo English Life Line (TELL). The goal of the program is for our youths to know that TELL is a safe place where they can call and talk to a caring person about anything. Phone counselors are trained to support adolescents with their personal struggles.

Activities • Playing any sort of age-appropriate board game with your preschooler will help him learn how to share, which helps him develop friendships. • Work on his cooperation and negotiation skills by asking him to help you decide what game to play. • Encourage him to tell you a story about his family and friends. This will help him learn about relationships and identify how he belongs in his world. Mathematical Thinking Sorting is one of the ways your child learns to identify groups and categories. Therefore, when he sorts blocks by color, he is learning to think mathematically. Activities • Let him help you sort the laundry. Have him put socks in one pile and pants in another. • Give him four spoons and four forks. Ask him to put the like ones together. • On grocery day, let him help you in the kitchen. Have him put the vegetables in one pile and the fruit in another. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t get this task exactly right. This also gives him an opportunity to practice his language and naming skills. u Caron Goode's (EdD) insights are drawn from her fifteen years in private psychotherapy practice and thirty years of experience in the fields of

Activities • Preschoolers commonly develop fears. Using imaginary play is a good way to offset these fears. Have your child pretend he is a monster or a superhero who is capable of capturing the scary part of darkness. • Encourage him to use art to express his feelings. By drawing pictures and having him tell you the story behind them, you are giving

Teen Stress in the Tokyo International Community

education, personal empowerment, and health and wellness. She is the author of ten books (www. and the founder of the Academy for Coaching Parents (, a training program for parents & professionals who wish to mentor other parents. A mom and stepmom, she and her husband live in Ft. Worth, Texas. Reach her at

These results highlight that growing up in an international community does not make our children immune to the stresses of adolescence. Adolescence is a period of self-discovery, which is often accompanied with considerable stress. The demands of meeting parental expectations, performing at school and feeling socially connected are compounded by the biological and physical changes experienced during this period. For teens facing other negative life challenges, such as family problems, illness, financial concerns and death, the level of stress is even more complex. Many of these adolescents have the additional challenge of living in a foreign country or returning to Japan after living abroad. When we asked the students what their biggest worries were at the moment, these were some of their responses.

Calls from young people have dramatically increased since the inception of this outreach program in 2007. After visiting the school, 83% of the students surveyed stated that the Life Line was a valuable support service. The School Awareness Program is one of several services offered by TELL’s Child and Family Services. TELL is committed to addressing the needs of the youth in the Tokyo international community by offering a range of services including professional assessments, formalized testing, child and family counseling, child protection services and the Exceptional Parenting Group, which offers support and networking opportunities for families of children with learning differences. u Lori Wigmore is the Director of Child and Family Services at TELL Community Counseling Services

“I do not like myself, how I act, think and talk.” (middle school student)

and can be reached at (03) 3498-0231. Tokyo English

“I worry that people will tease me about my eating disorder.” (middle school student)

365 days a year at (03) 5774-0992.

Life Line provides free, anonymous and confidential telephone counseling from 9am to 11pm,


COMMUNITY Ask the Expert

COMMUNITY Top of the Class

How to deal with


by Dr. Gabriel Symonds


regularly see patients suffering from ‘stress’, by which they mean they feel knotted up inside, are anxious and unhappy, cannot relax, have difficulty enjoying normal activities, and whose family and other relationships are under strain. To these problems may be added symptoms of insomnia or excess alcohol consumption.


Who are the people who suffer from this condition, and why are there so many of them?

International Playgroup

Typically, they are men at or near the top of their professions, working in the banking and financial service industries, or in recruitment companies or language schools, though no field of work seems to be exempt. I find it useful to ask such patients to describe a typical day. It tends to be similar in many cases. They work from early in the morning to late at night. As for lunch, they eat some ‘takeaway’ food at their desks or allow themselves only time for a hurried bite at the restaurant in the basement of the building. In addition, they may participate in conference calls late in the evening and at weekends. In other words, it’s all work and no play. This situation arises because of a self-imposed work ethic – or the expectations of the Asia-Pacific boss – that the corporate samurai must spend every God-given hour of every day at his desk. It’s a situation of not being able to see the wood for the trees, because he is so involved in it. That is where it can be very helpful for someone objective to point out some obvious truths.

Let Tokyo Families into your Tokyo family! Tokyo Families is the first and only English lifestyle guide for foreign and international families in the Tokyo and Yokohama area. Whether you're looking for family-friendly entertainment in the Tokyo jungle or advice on life at home, in Japan, and in general, Tokyo Families has your back. Now, you can ensure we're always around! Subscribe and have us delivered to your doorstep every month. Get 12 issues for ¥2,500 (plus tax) or 24 issues for¥4,600 (plus tax).

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You cannot expect to work at this level of intensity for long and feel well. It is essential to have regular breaks to ‘re-charge the batteries’ – perhaps 10 minutes every hour. Take a proper lunch break of one hour, including going for a walk, and do not take a telephone with you! Then you will feel refreshed when you start the afternoon’s work. It is counterproductive to work late at night. Try to finish at a reasonable hour – in spite of the pile of unfinished work sitting on your desk! Understand that even if you were there 24 hours a day, it still wouldn’t be finished. Learn to delegate, accepting that someone else may not be able to do the task as well as you could do it yourself. If there are not enough support staff, insist to head office that these be provided. Once a week, draw a line under your appointments and leave at 6pm to spend time with the family, or go to the kabuki – this is so fascinating (with the English commentary) that it is almost impossible to think of anything else while the extraordinary drama is unfolding in front of you. In other words, the balance between work and recreation needs to be adjusted. Even a small improvement – such as arranging to leave the office a little earlier so as to enjoy some normal social life – can have a big effect on one’s feeling of well-being. u Dr Gabriel Symonds is the founder and director of the Tokyo British Clinic. Full medical services are provided, including stress counselling, smoking cessation, and treatment of alcohol-related problems. Tel: (03) 5458-6099

For little polyglots who like Teddy Bear’s Picnic and Petit Escargot


t started off as a motley crew of friends and casual acquaintances from the park across the road. We had a Japanese dentist, a nurse, a Sri Lankan banker, a Gabonese diplomat, a Guatemalan actor, an Austrian professor and an Irish teacher. What we had in common was children of the same age. Bringing together a range of kids, from the cutest sleeping infant in their mother’s pouch to the bounciest, loudest, most terrible of toddlers, along with the willingness of parents to be involved in this earliest phase of our children’s education and socialization, we formed the most original, unique and creative playgroup in the city. And so Komaba International Playgroup was born! What is a playgroup? Playgroups, unlike other childcare options such as creche, are where the children are accompanied by either their mums, dads, grannies or babysitters. It involves organised activities on a regular basis for kids with their minders. It is not a drop-off venue. This is the “roll-upyour-sleeves and get stuck in” option. Playgroup with a difference Komaba International Playgroup has taken this concept a step further. This group flourishes to an ‘international’ theme. Language learning and early exposure to a multitude of cultures is the aim here. On an average morning, the children sing songs in English, French, Japanese, Spanish and German. Since its beginnings in September 2008, Komaba International Playgroup has welcomed over 50 families. We’ve had monthly birthday parties, Christmas parties, Halloween fancy-dress parties, St. Patrick’s day fun, Easter egg fun, paper-craft days, painting sessions - and in general, lots of fun. And although I can’t promise that the little munchkins return to their families' homes to greet their dads in English after one session, Playgroup mums assure me that their kids do go home and sing the songs and shake their stuff to the music of playgroup. What more could we ask for when the average age of our members is two?! Komaba International Playgroup’s Golden Rules 1. Have fun, and 2. don’t be shy If the mums and dads aren’t having fun, then the children won’t enjoy themselves either. Learning at any age should be fun, but especially so for our little tots aged between zero and four. Given the playgroup programme involves singing, dancing, action songs and poems, it is essential that all shyness is left at the front door. Here, we dangle and flap about to Dingle Dangle Scarecrow, we salsa to the Vaca Lola, we jump and jump and then jump some more to a class favourite, rather suitably called Jump Jump Jump, we swoon and sway to Petit Escargot and we shake our bums to Alle Meine Entchen like little


TOKYO families February 2010

by Dana Killalea

ducks schwimmen in the sea! There is no room for being shy. I’m sure we all look rather silly but the kids love it: They laugh, they dance and they are learning. Benefits of playgroup Komaba International Playgroup offers a forum not just for the kids to learn English. It is just as important for the mums/dads who come. For them, it is a social outlet. Becoming a mother, as well as being wonderful and amazing, can also be an isolating experience. Most Japanese women have to quit work and then find it is difficult to keep in touch with old friends. But many mums in Playgroup find a whole new network of women with similar interests and, of course, with children the same age. Snack time! After such energetic beginnings to the morning, everyone deserves a little refreshment. During breaktime, while the kids devour slices of apple and senbei by the bucket load, the parent’s coffee break has become English conversation time. Mums and dads get to sample the recipe of the month - a culinary surprise served up by the hostess, we exchange ideas, tell stories of weekend adventures and share ideas for family outings in and around Tokyo. Our Playgroup Notice Board is now chock a block with flyers for kid-friendly places in the city, notices of upcoming events for families, as well as essential sales. Meet the teacher Komaba International Playgroup was founded in September 2008 by the author, Dana Killalea, an Irish mother of five. She has lived in Tokyo for three years and, many moons ago, spent two years in a little-known snowy village in Hokkaido. Among other talents which can’t really be fitted onto her resume, (such as changing twenty nappies a day, breast-feeding multiple twins, juggling the emotional and educational needs of five young kids and dealing with the paperwork involved in Japanese yochiens) she has taught English for many years in Namibia, France, Japan and Ireland. Come and join the fun! Some fun things to look forward to Komaba International Playgroup’s calendar for 2010 include a Springtime Teddy Bear’s Picnic, a special surprise for St. Patricks’s Day which will involve lots of little leprechauns and to celebrate Children’s Day, a craft day making our very own koinobori. u For more information, photos of the group’s activities since September 2008, details on how to join, trial classes and fees, please visit the blogspot or e-mail Dana directly at


COMMUNITY Coupling Directory

COMMUNITY Directory Spotlight

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TOKYO CHILD AND ADOLESCENT GUIDANCE SERVICE Doug Berger, M.D., Ph.D., bilingual American BoardCertified Psychiatrist and staff provide psychiatric evaluation and counseling for children and adolescents in the Shibuya-Ebisu area of Tokyo. Tel: (03) 3716-6624

TELL Tokyo English Life Line child and family services provides: Team-based approach by multilingual specialists. Assessments, therapy, testing and educational workshop. Tel: (03) 3498-0231 DENTAL CLINICS Arisugawa Parkside Dental Office Dr.Akio Kojima Aesthetic and reconstructive dentistry. Tel: (Japanese) (03) 5475-3311 Tel: (English) (03) 5475-3312 Arisugawa Residence, Suite B-104, 5-14-1 Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0047 US trained and licensed Key Dental Clinic Tel: (03) 5114-0118

Dr. Kaku’s Office Hiroo Office - Tel: (03) 5449-3308 5-9-23 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0012 Yoyogi-Uehara Office - Tel: (03) 5452-0118 46-17 Ooyama-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0065 Expat Nisieifuku Dental Clinic (call for appointment) Tel: (03) 5378-2228 Fax: (03) 6909-6168 Uniion Trois Building 2F, 4-19-10 Eifuku, Suginami-ku Tokyo 168-0064 Dr. Naoko Freeman(Tsurumi Univ. School of Dentistry) Dr. Aiko Nakasone [Orthodontics] (Hokkaido Health Sciences Univ. School of Dentistry) Fujimi Dental Clinic or Tel: (03) 3563-4022 Fax: (03) 3535-3849 1-8-21 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061 Izumi Dental Office Tel: (03) 3624-8148 Fax: (03) 3624-8149 Izumi Bldg. 2F, 4-10-6 Narihira, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 130-0002 Mikasa Dental Care Tel/Fax: (03) 3705-6520 7-18-8 Todoroki, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 158-0082


Keio University Hospital Tel: (03) 3353-1211 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582 Nihon University Itabashi Hospital Tel: (03) 3972-8111 Medical Mall “DOKTORS” Tel: (03) 5745-3001 (English available) Fax: (03) 5745-3002 ThinkPark Tower 3F 2-1-1,Osaki, Shinagawa-ku,Tokyo 141-6003

Kitasato University Hospital Tel: (042) 778-8111 Fax: (042) 778-9371 1-15-1 Kitasato, Sagamihara-shi 228-8555

Parkside Hiroo Ladies Clinic Tel: (03) 5798-3470 Fax: (03) 5798-3480 5-16-13 Minamiazabu Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0047

Kobayashi International Clinic Tel: (046) 263-1380 (English-speaking operator available 9:00-12:00), Fax: (046) 263-0919 3-5-6-110 Nishitsuruma, Yamato-shi 242-0005

Shohei Lady Clinic Tel: (03) 3393-5171 Fax: (03) 3392-7099 3-14-8 Amanuma, Suginami-ku, Tokyo 167-0032

Mitsui Eye Clinic Tel and Fax: (046) 643-7886 (call for an appointment) 2-27-15 Shonadai, Fujisawa-shi 252-0804

Tokyo Medical & Surgical Clinic Tel: (03) 3436-3028 Fax: (03) 3436-5024 No. 32 Shibakoen Bldg. 3-4-30 Shiba Koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0011

National Hospital Organization Yokohama Medical Center Tel: (045) 851-2621 3-60-2 Harajuku-cho, Totsuka-ku, Yokohama 245-8575

Dr. Kathleen Mikasa (Univ. of California, Tokyo Dental College, Japanese National Dental Board, American National Dental Board)

National Medical Clinic Tel: (03) 3473-2057 #202, 5-16-11 Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0047

Nakashima Dental Office Tel: (03) 3479-2726 Fax: (03) 3479-7947 Roppongi U Bldg. 4F, 4-5-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032

St. Luke’s International Hospital Tel: (03) 3541-5151 Fax: (03) 3544-0649 9-1 Akashi-cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-8560

Okuda Dental Office Tel: (03) 3587-0280 Fax: (03) 3587-0280 Imai Bldg. 2F, 1-3-11 Azabu Juban, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0045

Sanno Hospital Tel: (03) 3402-2187(Operators speak English) Fax: (03) 3404-3652 8-10-16 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052

Osaki ThinkPark Dentistry Tel: (03) 5745-3001 (for English) Tel: (03) 5745-3005 Fax: (03) 5745-3006

Seibo International Catholic Hospital Tel: (03) 3951-1111 Fax: (03) 3954-7091 2-5-1 Nakaochiai, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 161-8521

St. Marianna University Hospital Tel: (044) 977-8111, Fax: (044) 977-9486 2-16-1 Sugao, Miyamae-ku, Kawasaki-shi 216-8511

Tokai University Tokyo Hospital Tel: (03) 3370-2321 Fax: (03) 3370-2376 1-2-5 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0053

Tojo Women’s Clinic (OB/GYN & Pediatrics) Tel: (045) 843-1121 2-34-7 Maruyamadai, Konan-ku, Yokohama 233-0013

Shibaura Dental Clinic Tel: (03) 5442-8525 Fax: (03) 5442-8526 Sophix Building, 2F, 3-12-6 Shibaura, Minato-ku, Tokyo Shimizuzaka Dental Clinic Tel: (03) 3783-2200 Fax: (03) 3783-7580 2-1-20 Togoshi, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142-0041 Sophia Orthodontic Clinic Tel: (03) 3403-3795 Fax: (03) 5474-5935 Roppongi Shimada Bldg. 2nd Floor, 4-8-7 Roppongi, Mianto-ku, Tokyo 106-0032

Ryo Dental Clinic Tel: (03) 3444-4200


Tokyo Clinic Dental Office (call for appointment) Tel: (03) 3431-4225 Fax: (03) 3431-4224 No. 32 Shibakoen Bldg., 3-4-30 Shiba Koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0011 Dr. Thomas R. Ward (West Virginia Univ. Dental School, American Dental Association) Tokyo Midtown Dental Clinic (call for appointment) Tel: (03) 5413-7912 Midtown Tower 6F, Akasaka 9-7-1 Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-6206 Tsurubuchi Dental Office Tel: (03) 5475-1231 Azabu Sun Palace #303, 4-2-49 Minamiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0047 United Dental Office Tel: (03) 5570-4334 Fax: (03) 3585-4180 2-3-8-1F Azabudai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0041 INTERNATIONAL HOSPITALS - TOKYO International Medical Center of Japan Tel: (03) 3202-7181, Fax: (03) 3207-1038 1-21-1 Toyama, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8655

TOKYO families February 2010

Tokyo Adventist Hospital(Tokyo Eisei Byoin) Tel: (03) 3392-6151(Operators speak English. Call for appointment) Fax: (03) 3392-1463 3-17-3 Amanuma, Suginami-ku, Tokyo 167-8507 Tokyo British Clinic Tel: (03) 5458-6099 Fax: (03) 5458-6095 Daikanyama Y Bldg. 2F 2-13-7 Ebisu-Nishi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0021 Tokyo Medical & Surgical Clinic Tel: (03) 3436-3028 Fax: (03) 3436-5024 No. 32 Shibakoen Bldg. 2F 3-4-30 Shiba Koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0011 Tokyo Midtown Medical Center Tel: (03) 5413-7911 Fax: (03) 5413-7915 Midtown Tower 6F, 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-6206 Tokyo Women’s Medical University Hospital Tel: (03) 3353-8111 8-1 Kawada-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8666 Tokyo Women’s Medical University, Daini Hospital Tel: (03) 3810-1111 Fax: (03) 3894-0282 2-1-10 Nishiogu, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo 116-8567 YOKOHAMA The Bluff Medical and Dental Clinic Tel: (045) 641-6961, (045) 651-5147 (dental direct) Fax: (045) 651-5130 82 Yamate-cho, Naka-ku, Yokohama 231-0862 Isogo Central and Neurosurgical Hospital Tel: (045) 752-1212 1-16-26 Mori, Isogo-ku, Yokohama 235-0023

Saiseikai Yokohama Nambu Hospital Tel: (045) 832-1111 3-2-10 Konandai, Konan-ku, Yokohama 234-8503 Shonan Kamakura General Hospital Tel: (0467) 46-1717 1202-1 Yamazaki, Kamakura-shi 247-8533

Washinsaka Hospital Tel: (045) 623-7688 169 Yamate-cho, Naka-ku, Yokohama 231-0862

PEDIATRICS Aiiku Hospital Tel: (03) 3473-8321 Fax: (03) 3473-8406 5-6-8 Minami Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0047 Endo Clinic Tel: (03) 3492-6422 2-24-13-305 Kamioosaki, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 141-0021 Karl Che Office Tel: (03) 5420-5866 Fax: (03) 3473-1869 5-16-11-202 Minamiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0047 ThinkPark Tower International Medical Clinic Tel: (03) 5745-3088 Fax: (03) 5745-3089 Located inside Medical Mall DOKTORS in Osaki DERMATOLOGISTS

Yokohama City University Hospital Tel: (045) 787-2800 3-9 Fukuura, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama 236-0004

Expat Irako Clinic Tel: (03) 3426-0220 5-3-29 Kyodo, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 156-0052

Yokohama City University Medical center Tel: (045) 261-5656 4-57 Urafune-cho, Minami-ku, Yokohama 232-0024

Tokyo Skin Clinic Tel: (03) 3585-0282 (English line) 3-1-24-2F, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032

Yokohama Municipal Citizen’s Hospital Tel: (045) 331-1961 56 Okazawa-cho, Hodogaya-ku, Yokohama 240-8555 Yokohama City Minato Red Cross Hospital Tel: (045) 628-6100 3-12-1 Shinyamashita, Naka-ku, Yokohama 231-8682 OBSTETRICS & GYNECOLOGY Aiiku Hospital Tel: (03) 3473-8321 Fax: (03) 3473-8406 5-6-8 Minami Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0047 International Medical Crossing Office Tel: (03) 3443-4823 Fax: (03) 3443-5971 5-12-14-201 Minamiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0047 Nagahashi Ladies Clinic Tel: (03) 3959-0351 Fax: (03) 3959-0354 2-5-7 Nagasaki Toshima-ku, Tokyo 171-0051 Osaki Clinic for Women Tel: (03) 5745-3001 (for English) Tel: (03) 5745-3077 Fax: (03) 5745-3078 Located inside Medical Mall Doktors in Osaki

OB/GYNECOLOGISTS Dr. Adachi Aiiku Hospital 5-6-8 Minami Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3473-8321 Dr. Claudine Bliah Tokyo Medical and Surgical Clinic 3-4-30 Shibakoen, 2nd Floor, Minato-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3436-3028 Dr. Hideki Sakamoto 3-4-30 Shibakoen, 2nd Floor, Minato-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3436-3028 Dr. Miyazaki Maeda Hospital 1-1-5 Akasaka-Mitsuke, 8th Floor, Minato-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3478-6443

Dr. Michiko Suwa #103, 5-16-4 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3444-7070

The Toy Museum 2-12-10 Arai, Nakano-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3387-5461


Yokohama Anpaman Children’s Museum Minato Mirai 4-3-1, Nishi-ku, Yokohama Tel: (045) 227-8855

AI-PORT Child Care 2-25-1 Minami Aoyama, Tokyo Tel: (03) 5786-3250 BREASTFEEDING Lactation Consultant E-mail: Tel: (03) 3425-2534 Pre-natal breast-feeding workshops, counseling and breast-feeding management, hospital and home visits, phone and e-mail consultations, new parents' groups, play-groups, Maya Wrap baby slings. La Leche League E-mail: LLL is a volunteer organization offering breast-feeding information and mother-to-mother support for breastfeeding, through monthly informal discussion meetings, phone and e-mail help, and an extensive lending library. English, French, and Japanese speaking groups. CULTURAL SIGHTS Jindaiji 5-15-1 Jindaiji Motomachi, Chofu-shi, Tokyo Tel: (042) 486-5511 Odawara Catle 6-Ban, 1-Go, Jonai, Odawara-shi, 250-0014 Otori Jinja 3-18-7, Senzoku, Taito-ku, Tokyo Yasukuni Jinja 3-1-1 Kudankita, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. Tel: (03) 3261-8326 MUSEUMS Chikatetsu Hakubutsukan (Subway Museum) 6-3-1 Higashi Kasai, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3878-5011 Edo-Tokyo Museum 1-4-1 Yokoami, Sumida-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3626-9974 Edo-Tokyo Tatemono-en (Open Air Architectural Museum) 3-7-1 Sakura-cho, Koganei-shi, Tokyo. Tel: (0423) 88-311 Fune no Kagakukan (Museum of Maritime Science) 3-1 Higashi-Yashio, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 5500-1111 Ghibli Museum 1-1-83 Shimotenjaku, Mitaka-shi Tel: (03) 5800-1978 Kotsu Hakubutsukan (Transportation Museum) 1-25 Kanda-Sudacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3251-8481


Nihon Minka-en (Japan Open-Air Folk House Museum) 7-1-1 Masugata, Tama-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa Tel: (044) 922 2181

Dr. Endo #305 Meguro Nishiguchi Mansion, 2-24-13 Kami Osaki, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo. Tel: (03) 3492-6422

Oji Paper Museum 1-1-3, Oji, Kita-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3916-2329

Dr. Karl Che National Medical Clinic #202 5-16-11 Minami Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 5420-5866

Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography Yebisu Garden Place, 1-13-3 Mita, Meguro-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3280-0099

Dr. Yoko Oshiba 8-10-16 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo. Tel: (03) 3402-3151

Yotsuya Fire Museum Yotsuya 3-10, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0004 Tel: (03) 3353-9119 PARKS Asakusa culture and Tourism Center 2-18-9 Kaminarimon, Taito-ku, 111-0034 Tel: (03) 3842-5566 Kodomo no Kuni (Children’s Land) 700 Naramichi, Aoba-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken Tel: (045) 961-2111 Musashino Sports Park 5-11-20 Kitamachi, Kichijoji, Musashino-shi Tel: (0422) 56-2200 Setagaya Park 1-5-27 Ikejiri 1-Chome Tel: (03) 412-7841 Shiba Koen 4-10-17 Shiba-koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3435-0470 ZOOS & AQUARIUMS Nekobukuro (Cat Petting Zoo) 1-28-10, Higashi-ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3980- 611 Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan 552-0022 1-1-10 Kaigan-dori, Minato-ku, Osaka City, Japan Tel: (06) 6576-5501 Sea Paradise Hakkeijima, Kanzawa-ku, Yokohama Tel: (045) 788-8888 Shinagawa Epson Aqua Stadium 10-30 Takanawa 4-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 5421-1111 Shinagawa Suizokukan Katsushima 3-2-1, Shinagawa-ku Tel: (03) 3762-3431 Sunshine City International Aquarium Higashi Ikebukuro 3-1-3, Toshima-ku Tel: (03) 3989-3466 Tama Zoo 7-1-1, Hodokubo, Hino-shi, Tokyo Tel: (042) 591-1161 Tokyo Sealife Park Rinkai-chi 6-2-3, Edogawa-ku Tel: (03) 3989-3466 Tokyo Tower Suizokukan (Tokyo Tower Aquarium) Nippon Television City Corporation 4-2-8 Shiba Koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo. Tel: (03) 3433-5111 Ueno Zoo 9-83, Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo. Tel: (03) 3828-5171

AMUSEMENT & THEME PARKS Huis Ten Bosch 1-1 Huis Ten Bosch-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki 859-3243 Tel: (0956) 27-0011 Kid-o-Kid Bornelund Minato Mirai Leaf Bldg., Minato-Mirai 4-6-5, Nishi-ku, Yokohama Tel: (045) 650-1231 Kodomo no Shiro (Children’s Castle) 5-53-1 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3797-5666 Korakuen Amusement Park 1-3-6 Korakuen, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3817-6098 Fax: (03) 3817-6185 Minato Mirai 21 2-3-1 Minato Mirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama Tel: (045) 682-0109 Muscle Park 5F Decks Bldg., Island Mall, Odaiba Tel: (03) 5500-1801 Nandemo (Children & Teens Hall) 6-6-14 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 5561-7830 Tokyo Metropolitan Children’s Hall 1-18-24 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3409-6361 Fax: (03) 3407-8364 HOBBIES Edogawa Pool Garden (Swimming) 8-17-1 Nishi Kasai, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3687-1721 Jewish Community Center (Swimming) 4-8-8 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3400-2559 Komazawa Olympic Park (Swimming) Komazawa Koen 1-1, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3421-6121 Yomiuri Land (Swimming) 3294 Yanoguchi, Inagi-shi, Tokyo Tel: (044) 966-1111 TOYS Kiddy Land (Toys) 6-1-9 Jingumae, Omotesando Dori, Harajuku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3409-3431 PETS Pet City Odaiba Palette Town Odaiba, Aoumi Itchome, Koto-ku, Odaiba Tel: (03) 3599-2160 Fax: (03) 3599-2161 Akasaka Animal Hospital 2F Akabishi Bldg., 1-29, Akasaka 4-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3583-5852 Fax: (03) 3583-5857 Dorasena Veterinary Hospital Takenozuka 5-6-16, Adachi-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3860-4981


COMMUNITY Coupling Market Place TOSHIMAEN One of the oldest and biggest of the water parks accessible by Oedo line. Fun rides and kid-friendly restaurants available. Offers the biggest selection of pools and slides around. Adults ¥3,800 Children ¥2,300 (in Japanese)

COMMUNITY COMMUNITY Market Spotlight Place Japanese. 2-year experience in childcare. Kind, loving and energetic. Contact HOUSEKEEPER/BABYSITTER available on an hourly basis. Contact Josie: (090) 9955-7992 Part-time Housekeeper/ Babysitting, 30 years old. available on an hourly basis every monday, wednesday and friday. I’m hardworking, kind and loving. Contact Analyn (080) 3255-5904 or

Baby/Children's Wear and Goods Museums MIRAIKAN (National Museum of Emerging Science). A modern and up-to-date kid-friendly science museum (with hands-on activities for kids). It deals mostly with space science, ecology and robots. Located in Odaiba (Yurikamome line, Telecom Center station). IZU TEDDY BEAR MUSEUM Entrance ticket adults ¥1,000 Middle school students ¥800 Elementary school students ¥600 Open Mon-Sat 9:30am - 5pm No entry allowed from 4:30pm. Tel: (0557) 54-5001

Theme Parks

TAMA ZOO Lots of trees, interesting walking paths and some nice picnic areas. There’s a safari (bus tour inside the lions’ den). Meet the orangutans and their babies. Tel: (042) 591-1611 main.html TOBU WORLD SQUARE Imagine yourself as Gulliver navigating the world in half a day. No passport needed! A tour guide will explain as you visit miniature historical landmarks. See the Vatican, Empire State Building, the Great Wall of China, Tokyo Station (with, of course, working trains) and much, much more! It’s great! There’s even a discount ticket that you can print out! Tobu World Square English email:


FUJI SAFARI PARK The Safari Zone, where many animals live freely, can be observed either from your own car or from the park bus. The “Jungle Bus” with wire netting on the window is popular because visitors can feed fierce animals from a close distance. Visitors can also enjoy coming in contact with small animals in the “Animal Village” or the “Fureai Farm.” Depending on the season, a “Night Safari” is available, which allows visitors to observe wild animals at night. This is a natural zoo with various experiential events. *Guides available with guided tours only (fees apply). Tel: (055)998-1311 c10_0.html SANRIO PUROLAND 7 attractions featuring Kitty’s House, boat ride, theater and lots more. Adults (18 years and over) ¥3,000 Youths (12-17) ¥2,700 Juniors (4-11 years) ¥2,000 Children age 3 or less are free. welcome.html YOMIURI LAND Tokyo-to, Inagi-shi, Yanoguchi Tel: (044) 966-1111

Parties PARTY MAGIC Mr. D’s party comedy & magic shows are perfect for any age group from the age of four. He has entertained at over 2,000 children’s parties and so each party has that special touch that comes with experience. Children love Mr. D’s funny magic and animal balloons! Tel: (03) 3489-5330

Babysitting Services Elasticare Need a babysitter today? Call (03) 3726-6627 (c/o Jeanne Shimazaki) PART-TIME BABYSITTER, 25 years old, speaks English and basic

TOKYO families February 2010

Abi loves Imported baby clothes/wear, ecofriendly Babies R Us Your one-stop shop for baby supplies. Akachan Honpo Specialist in baby goods, maternity wear and other preschool-related items at the lowest price. Many stores in Tokyo but Gotanda is the most accessible to foreigners. 5F T.O.C. Bldg, 7-22-17 Nishi Gotanda, Shinagawa-ku. Nearest stn: Osaki-hirokoji, Ikegami line, or Gotanda, on Sakurada street. Tel: (03) 3779-0365. Also Kinshicho, Itabashi, Odaiba. Yuzawaya Ten multi-story outlets where you can find art, needlework, hobby supplies, stationery and knickknacks. Credit cards are not accepted. Open 10am-7pm daily. 8-23-5 Nishi-Kamata, Ota-ku. Tel: (03738) 4141or (03734) 0010 Dadway Online store for famous baby brands like Sassy, Nuby, Lamaze, Dapipa, Ergo baby etc. Wide selection of baby essentials. You earn points as you shop. 2 shops in Shin Yokohama and Daikanyama, Tokyo T-Rex Online store for babies. Sells anything from toilet trainer, strollers, buggy boards, etc.

Moving Sale MOVING SALE! 1 white French 19th century-style queen-size bed with bedside tables and mattress ¥35,000; 2 oil electric heaters ¥7,000 each; garden swing for kids ¥5,000; kids' mountain bike ¥3,000; kids' electric plane ¥2,000; glass & metal bookshelf ¥3,000; design chrome metal shelves ¥2,000; combination safe ¥4,000; plus many various household furniture and appliances, ranging from ¥500¥5,000. E-mail for a full list. Contact Jacques at (0480) 617-098 or

Creative Store Tokyu Hands Shibuya Store is the ultimate life store that supports all the family's needs. Open 10 am-8:30 pm 12-18 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 35489-5111

Help Tokyo Families is looking for interns who would like to gain some experience in the magazine business. Looking for experienced proofreaders. Onsite work once a month. Send your CV to

postpartum fatigue (PPF) in addition to postpartum psychosis (PPP). For details on the meeting time, contact the TPG at: http://

Learning Crown English is a family-run school in Osaki, Tokyo that offers English language education to children and adults from all over the world. Our professional teachers and staff currently teach students from Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan and Russia. We believe in teaching students in a cooperative, vibrant and friendly environment to achieve the best results. At Crown English, we also import and sell educational material from America and Britain to help parents and teachers educate young learners. Visit us today to find out more: IKEBANA

Looking for a job in the kitchen. I have been working as cook for more than 8 years in Japan and Malaysia. Interested? Please email me at skiturtlecafe@yahoo. New volunteers and board members! The Oxfam Japan International Volunteer Group aims to create awareness in Japan about the issues Oxfam deals with, and raises funds to support its work. We are entirely run by volunteers from around the world with a desire to make a difference and have fun! We run English workshops, pub quizzes, parties, charity auctions, and more. We are now calling for new volunteers and board members to sign up! All five board positions are up for election and we welcome new nominees. They are: President, vice-president, awareness, fundraising, and marketing/PR. You must be able to commit from April 2010 to March 2011 and attend monthly meetings. If interested, please email oxfamjp. by February 15. For more information on our group, please visit: Part-time housekeeper/ babysitter, 30 years old. Available every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I'm a hardworking, kind, and efficient person. I have teachable spirits and am loving and very caring towards children. Contact Analyn at (080) 3255-5904 or gideon_

Announcements Dr. Berger and Dr. Eames of the Meguro Counseling Center will be giving a presentation on postpartum mental health to the Tokyo Pregnancy Group (TPG) on March 11th. They will cover topics related to the baby blues, postpartum depression (PPD),

Sogetsu Ikebana Classes Instruction in English available. Beginners welcome. Classes every Tuesday, 10am-12pm, 2-4pm & 6-8pm. Admission fee ¥3,150 plus flower costs; monthly fee ¥6,405. Meiji-Jingu Gaien. www.


Love curry? Great Bliss

Archery Edogawa Archery Fees for one game (12 bows): Adults ¥250, high school students ¥150, middle school students ¥120. ¥11am-8pm, daily except Thursdays. 8-5-10 Minami Koiwa, Edogawa-ku. Nearest station is Koiwa. edoarch (03) 3657-2086 Badminton Tokyo Badminton Club Enjoy badminton in a relaxed atmosphere. The club meets in various schools located around Tokyo (often near the Sangenjaya or Shimokitazawa stations), and welcomes various badminton players of all levels and walks of life. Here, the sport is played simply as fun recreation. Lessons are offered. ¥500-¥1,000 per session. Bouldering A multi-coloured mosaic of strange wall hangings in a crazy old building with a bouncy floor, music blaring. It’s an unusual fun environment, as you climb and fall. Cycling Imperial Palace (Cycling) 1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3213-1111 Ice Skating Meiji-Jingu Gaien Ice Skating Rink Open 12-6pm, weekdays & 10am6pm, weekends and holidays. Adults ¥1,300 (one day) & ¥1,000 (after 3pm); children ¥900 (one day) & ¥700 (after 3pm). Shoe rentals ¥500. Observers ¥300. www. Golf Como Golf & Tennis 5-6-22, Kami-Meguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo Tel: (03) 3713-2805 Outdoor Evergreen Outdoor operates guided tours in the Hakuba area. They organize ski tours, water wizards, kayak, canoe tours, mountain bike, rafting, Japan hiking, rock climbing, canyoning, etc.

Takeaway offers healthy and tasty London-style vegetarian curry takeaway. Run by a musician and an artist from London who spent over a decade in India, Great Bliss’ food offers positive energy for everyone. Delivery and catering available. Open 12-3pm, weekdays. #301 Soshiaru Dogenzaka, 1-14-9 Dogenzaka, Shibuya. Call 090-1439-1968 or email

Rock Climbing J&S Vertical Climbing Zone K1 Bldg., B1F, 3-20-2 Higashi, Shibuya, Tokyo. Tel: (03) 3406-8778

Pets Adopt or foster a rescued cat. Japan Cat Network is looking for loving homes for cats and kittens rescued from Trap Neuter Return projects. Find a friend, save a life!

Family Fun Activities



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