I love the emphasis on traditions and ritual here! There are seasonal foods to eat, festivals to attend, different cultural practices in every city and prefecture. I like the words you used – “a rich culture” because I definitely agree that Japan has so much to offer a child.
I had a really wonderful childhood and I feel so grateful for that. I spent my early years on an island in the west coast of Canada. We woke up to the sound of seagulls. Our neighbor kept goats. Our backyard was full of trees to climb and fun things to explore. After age eight, our family moved very often because of my fathers job, so I’ve lived all over Canada. Moving so often made me pretty resilient and I rarely feel lonely or homesick as an adult – that has been a good thing since the start of covid, when all of us were challenged, especially immigrants living in countries and cultures so different from our own.
Ive spoken English and French since I was a child. I’ve been studying Japanese for the past decade and I’m a fluent speaker, although not as good at reading and writing kanji as I wish I were. Last year I started learning Spanish and since it’s quite similar to French, I’m finding it a lot of fun!
When I moved here, I intentionally tried my best to immerse myself in the language and culture. I lived with Japanese women and spent all my time reading about Japanese culture and traveling domestically. But occasionally I’m still surprised here, even after a decade! This country is really unique and I sort of like that I’ll never reach an “end” to learning about it.
I really love Kyoto with kids. So many beautiful shrines and temples, and so many food stands serving lovely treats for kids to enjoy. Arashiyama’s monkey park and bamboo forest are lots of fun. Teamlab exhibits are always stunningly beautiful and very kid-friendly. Conveyor belt sushi restaurants are so much fun for kids. The sushi comes delivered to your table on a little train track mounted above the tables! A day at the seaside is always nice, too.
You’re never far from water in Japan!
JulieCanadian mother raising two children in Japan
Follow the adventures of Julie and her beautiful children by visiting her page babytelerouge . Feel free to share your story with the community and write a comment.
Enjoy discovering the world with your children, Marie.