Wednesday, April 30, 2014

[GOVERNMENT] Temporary Allowance (UPDATE 30 April)

It seems the city has been preparing to start accepting applications from mid-July 2014.
The city also warns that there's nothing we should do at the moment and be careful of fraud (those who try to steal money from you saying it's something to do with the allowance).


Click here to view the previous post on this topic.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

[Sick/ Handicapped Children] Yokohama Koguma-en

  • Location - Kanagawa ward

  •  Access - 5 min walk from Blue line Mitsuzawa-shimocho station

  • Schedule - Every Monday, 10:30-14:00

  • Who can attend? - Congenital heart disease patients (aged 0 to preschool) and their parents


It’s not an easy thing for children with heart disease to join in a group and go to preschools for several reasons;  infection concern, lack of physical strength, tiredness, slow physical development, poor attendance because of surgeries or inspections, etc…

Koguma-en is a child care group for children with heart disease established about 30 years ago, belonging to general incorporated association, “Yokohama Shinzobyo no Kodomo wo Mamoru Kai”. Currently the group is held every Monday, and children with various disease, symptoms and age are joining the group with their parents.

Kogumaen is run by the parents, nursery teachers and volunteer staffs. Parents discuss the daily/ monthly/ annual schedule with the staffs, and make their original curriculum for their children. By activities like playing with toys, going to parks, reading picture books and singing songs, kids can experience how it is like to be in a group. By the annual events such as birthday parties, picnics, summer party and so on, they learn the delight of sharing their joy.

Not only the children but also their parents feel Kogumaen is a place for them. They can share their daily information, medical problems and so on with other mothers and clear up many difficulties caused by their child’s disease.

If your child has congenital heart disease and has any kind of difficulty in joining a group, Kogumaen might be the one that can solve your problem.

Play group
Yokohma-shi, Kanagawa-ku, Mitsuzawashitamachi, 14-57, St, Andrews Church
4000yen/ month (+ 3000yen as admission fee)
Email  (Japanese/ English)
(Japanese only)

Monday, April 21, 2014

[ACTIVITY] Knitting & Sewing Meeting in May

We're planning to have the 5th Knitting & Sewing Meeting on 19th May.

date: 19th May, 2014
time: 10:30-12:00
place: Naka Activity Support Center / International Lounge Meeting Room1,
6F Certe, JR kannai Station North Exit
(If you go through the gate at the North Exit, you can
 see the building called "Certe" in front of the station.)
We started this meeting for the bazzar which we had planned to participate for fund-raising, though the bazzar was canceled due to the heavy snow in Feburary. Now, we want to continue to have opportunities which we mothers can share information and ideas through making items. This meeting is a nice opportunity to get acquainted with new mothers.

Of course, you can come with your babies or children. We use a meeting room, so we don't have to be worried that children go somewhere. We can enjoy knitting, sewing and talking.

 If you have some tools for Knitting and sewing, please bring them with you.

We are planning to join another event in May. Kanagawaku International Festival is going to be held on 25th May. We are going to sell some confectionaries and handmade items. We are looking for someone who can help us make handmade items.

You can join this meeting regardless of participation in the festival.
Please come and join us!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

[Sick/ Handicapped Children] Kanachie/ Ryoiku Oyako Talk

  • Location - Kanagawa ward

  •  Access - 3 min walk from JR Higashi-kanagawa station or Keikyu Nakakido station

  • Schedule - once/ month, 1-2 hrs/ time

  • Who can attend? - All mothers with handicapped child (aged 0 to preschool) and those who are interested in that topic


“Ryoiku (child care with nursing) Oyako (parent and child) Talk” in Kanachie started in 2011 by the voice of mothers raising handicapped children to make a space for them to meet up and share their feelings or daily information for child care. Kanachie is a Child-Care Support Base in Kanagawa ward located on the third floor in the Tobu Ryoiku building, and on the “Ryoiku talk” date, about ten to twenty mothers with or without their children gather to the place to have some conversations with other mothers. As the talk space is set in one corner of the play space, you can join the conversation while your kids play freely in the space.

 “Ryoiku Oyako Talk” has also been a place that provides the opportunity for the mothers to find out issues surrounding handicapped children, which accordingly bred the “Hashin Time (time to inform other mothers in the play space about the issues)” or the “Network Time (time to have conversation with staffs from related facilities such as public health nurses or staff from NPO)” of “Ryoiku Oyako Talk”.

There are no interpreters in Kanachie, but from their experience, usually some of the mothers in the place speak some English, and even if it’s difficult to make deep communication, they can share the feeling as a mother and non-Japanese speakers enjoy there. It’s possible for Kanachie to request the city for an interpreter, but they feel “it’s unnecessary.”

If you are looking for a free talk space for handicapped children, “Ryoiku talk” in Kanachie is a good place.


Free talk


221-0044, Yokohma-shi, Kanagawa-ku, Higashikanagawa, 1-29, Toburyoiku buil. 3F






 (Japanese only)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

[CULTURE] Yokohama Shouyu (Soy Sauce) Factory Visit

We visited Yokohama Shouyu (soy sauce) factory near JR Oguchi station.

Official Website (in Japanese)

The factory accepts visits on weekdays from 9:00 to 17:00, reservation required.

We enter the factory from the garage.

The moromi mush (fermented mixture of soy beans, wheat, koji mold and salt) factory is in Gifu. They used to make it in Yokohama (near Hakuraku) but for some reasons, they moved here and deal only with the last few steps to make soy sauce.

The manager of the factory explained us how to make soy sauce, which was very interesting. They follow the traditional procedure, so it usually takes a lot of time, but they don't use food additives.

Tasting very fresh soy sauce.

We can also buy their products at the factory. There are various soy sauce products.

How to get to the factory

JR Oguchi station West Exit (Yokohama Line, two stops from Yokohama)

Walk along the railways.

Turn left at this corner.

Then, turn right, continue walking about a minute and the factory is on your right.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

[EVENT] The Exhibition of Original Pictures from the Picture Books "THOMAS & FRIENDS" at Yokohama SOGO

This exhibition is going to be held on the 6th floor at Yokohama SOGO from April 12th to May 18th. In addition to the exhibition of the original pictures, there will be some other events like a diorama, which children can play with, and a talk show by a curator etc..

Tickets: 800yen for adults, 600 yen for university and high school students, 300 yen for junior high school and elementary school students and under preschool students are free.

This is the official website. ( only in Japanese)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

[ACTIVITY REPORT] Strawberry Farm Visit, April 2014

About 10 families visited Yumegaoka Farm(ゆめが丘農園) in Izumi ward, Yokohama for strawberry picking.

Official Website (in Japanese)

The farm is located only 5 minutes on foot from the Sotetsu Izumino Line Yumegaoka station (North Exit). We first go to the farmers' market very close to the station (also called Hamakko) and bought tickets. It seemed that we could pay on the farm but it should be better to buy the tickets.
*Farmers' Market. The car parking is here (about 70 lots).

The farm is open from January to the mid-May (it will be closed when strawberries are all gone), from 10:00-15:00, but only on weekends and holidays. No need to make reservation if there are not too many reservations (we can check the condition on their website, although it's in Japanese), but it would be better make it particularly when you are a big group.

*The farm entrance.

The price changes up to the month. When we visited there in April, it was 1200 yen/adult, 600 yen/child of 3-6 years old, and free for under 3 years old. The duration is 30 minutes and we are not allowed to bring back so we pick and eat immediately. They also offer condensed milk. When we check-in (write down the name of representative and the number of people in the group), the farm staff will tell us at what time we are supposed to leave.

The strawberries are grown in the sort of high planters but 2-3 year-old kids can reach somehow. Parents and children all enjoyed the picking and eating a couple of different kids of strawberries!!! Very sweet!

Not only the strawberries, we also enjoyed shopping at the farmers' market. The most of the vegetables, fruits, meat, hand-made pickles and jams etc. are from Yokohama and very fresh and at reasonable prices!! 

Some worries if strawberries are still left after April, but when we visited there, there were quite a few strawberries and even green ones and flowers.

And we were also worried about the weather (forecasted to be raining), but as they're in the greenhouse, we don't have to worry about it once we get there.

However, there is no indoor stroller parking.

The staff at the farm were kind, too. We'd like to visit there again!

Monday, April 7, 2014

[LEISURE] Train Movie for Young Kids at AOEN Cinemas

しんかんせんとわくわくでんしゃ大集合(The Shinkansen and Exciting Trains Get Together) is a movie for young children. There appear various trains in Japan with some quiz and anime.
The movie is out from Saturday,10th May at AEON Cinemas (Minatomirai or Kohoku New Town in Yokohama)

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

Duration: 45 min

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

[PLAYGROUP] Multilingual Playgroup April 2014

The next Multilingual Playgroup is on Thursday, 17th April, 13:30-15:00.

Attention! We have changed the venue since the last time to Furocho Chiiki Care Plaza (3F Multipurpose room).
About 10 min walk from JR/Blue Line Kannai station or 5 min from Blue Line Isezaki-Chojamachi station.

We are going to let children play freely, sing songs, do some finger play and read books.
Please feel free to bring books in your own language(s). Daddies are welcomed, too.