New followers and friends!

A big welcome to all of Fran-Japani’s new friends and followers. You can find all of my previous stories and articles here on the blog as well as daily and weekly updates on our Instagram and Facebook pages.
Instagram @franjapani_blog 

Facebook (@franjapaniblog)
Thank you always and you can contact me using the form above or via Instagram or Facebook anytime with questions about life in Japan, or anything in general!
Fran xx

My July iHerb haul

So I forgot to upload my pics for my monthly iHerb hails recently! Must get back on that! I love to see what others are buying so hope this is useful for you too!
If you don’t buy from iHerb then I recommend you do. It’s hard finding natural/organic products in Japan at a reasonable price. Finding products made sustainably and without animal testing is even harder, so if you’re concerned about these things then iHerb would be a good place to start looking.
They ship to Japan and offer different types of courier services at reasonable prices. If you spend over $40 (US) then they’ll ship your order for free!
This month I didn’t buy much but will share below...

I got two packs each of the following snacks which both my kids (aged 7yo and 16months) love. They contain probiotics which are great for little tummies and taste fruity and delicious (yes I sometimes sneak a few too!)
Nurture Inc. (Happy Baby), Organic Greek Yogis, Strawberry Banana, 1 oz (28 g)…

Elementary school in Japan: part one: mochimono (things to bring)

My son Aiden started elementary school this April. He goes to a local public school, the same school that his daddy, uncles and aunt went to, and currently 3 of his cousins attend too!
In Japan, kids start elementary school in April, (when they are 6 years old on April 1st of that year). Aiden turned 7 the day elementary school began, so he is the oldest in his class. The first month of school is very busy for parents and caregivers but not so much for kids! For those kids who have previously attended Japanese kindergarten (youchien) or daycare (hoikuen), the very short days and easy pace are a bit of a surprise. For the first couple of weeks, first graders walk to school (with older friends, siblings, neighborhood kids, or sometimes parents) spend a few hours at school, and then walk home. These first few weeks are about learning the routine and getting to know their classmates, the classroom environment and their new school.

Kids come home with bags full of newsletters, questionnair…

Come check us out on Instagram

We are now on Instagram! Check us out at @franjapani_blog
Fran xx

Eating out with kids in Japan

Most restaurants in Japan welcome children and are usually well set up to cater for them. With the exception of bars, pubs (izakaya) and expensive formal establishments, I have never felt uncomfortable eating out with my children.
When entering a restaurant you’ll probably be asked for the number of people in your group “nan mei sama desu ka?” And if you’d like to be seated in the smoking or non-smoking section (if they have them). If you smoke you can say “kitsuen desu”, if you don’t “kinen seki desu” or “kinen desu”.
You might be offered a high chair or “kodomo isu” and most servers will bring water for the table (often in a plastic cup or with a straw for your child).
If you don’t order a special meal for your child and he/she will be sharing with you, you can ask for a small plate “torizara kudasai”.
Many restaurants have a smaller serving of food available for children. This special meal will sometimes be called a kids plate; written like this “キッズプレート”, a kids set “キッズセット” or a kids …

A Japanese skincare routine

My skincare routine had been one of constant change throughout my teens and twenties, resulting in what can pretty much be summed up as chaos. My skin is dry / combination (I know that now), but because I suffered from acne, I just assumed it was oily and used very harsh and abrasive skincare for many years.
After realizing my mistake I switched out all the nasty chemical laden products for vegan, non-cruelty, natural and organic products and have seen a huge improvement in my skin! Now, as I enter my mid-late thirties (cringe) I want to start adding a few anti-aging products to combat the fine lines and age/sun spots that are starting to appear.
I recently added a hyaluronic serum to my morning routine and am loving it so far.
I also want to add a few other products, (thanks to the incredible array of beauty-things available in Japan) and start a more organized skincare routine like the ever-youthful women who live here.

*UPDATE : I bought the ORBIS U 化粧水 (Moist Up Lotion) which had great…

Emily`s first birthday

So in the blink of an eye, little Emily turned one!

We had a small, quiet party at home and she was spoilt with presents from family and friends all over the world. Here are some of the awesome things she got...

A ride-on toy for toddlers, a bag to carry her things in, a talking teapot (english), a bilingual singing microphone (english and japanese), as well as books and clothes. Check out the links below...

D Bike mini here
Fisher Price laugh and learn bilingual microphone here
Mee a Bee kids bag (handmade in Japan) here
Leapfrog tea party here
Thats not my baby here
Thats not my kitten here
And her cute outfit... T shirt from `Whistle and flute` here Bloomers from a handmade store on Minne Jp here
Her cakes - one for smashing made with sponge and a yogurt frosting, and a nice one for the rest of us to eat...