There is perhaps nowhere else in the world where you'll feel as large and ungainly as in Japan. And that's for the slim among you. For those of you carrying extra weight, the fine-boned Japanese will leave you feeling positively obese. I was a university student the first time Japan came into my life, and it did so in the form of a fellow student who had left Australia chubby and returned from her 6 month exchange in Tokyo a svelte 8 (that's 4 American). Rice, she said, a lot of rice. Many years later a male friend had slimmed down considerably after moving there, apparently due to all the walking. Add to that Japan's reputation for its relatively healthy diet, and certainly the Japanese - despite the introduction of the golden arches and 100 yen burger deals – are certainly great advertisements for it. Being slim in Japan should be effortless, right?
Indoor playground ASOBono makes living in Tokyo with young children all the more much fun. At the site of the old and much-loved Toys Kingdom, ASOBono is one of Tokyo's largest children's indoor play facilities aimed at kids age 6 and under. Divided into five areas, each designed to appeal to the imagination and wonder of children, ASOBono will keep your child entertained for hours.
Back in my pre-mummy days in Tokyo, when sleepless nights were many but solely attributable to copious amounts of dancing, drinks and after-morning parties, I used to take a short cut through the neighbourhood park on my way home from the station. As far as neighbourhood parks went, this one was on the smaller side, with a few pieces of equipment, a lot of concrete, and a position directly in front of a busy street. It looked utterly miserable to me and I pitied the poor children that had to play there. Fast forward seven years. The after-morning parties were still happening, albeit at 6am, in my bed, with the party goers being two comatose adults and one deliriously happy two year old. And those 'miserable' little parks no longer looked look so miserable. In fact, they were the place to be seen for the under 6 set, and certainly for my little punk who lovingly named his favourites, ‘zo-san park’, ‘home park’, and ‘pond park’.
Congratulations on your pregnancy. If this is your first pregnancy or first pregnancy in Japan, you may be wondering what it’s like to be pregnant and give birth here, particularly if your Japanese language skills are not so great. This guide will attempt to give you the ins and outs of growing and birthing a baby in Japan. I welcome questions and especially welcome your input and experiences.