Cleaning is Kindness

July 23, 2016 in Pokemom / Shoutouts 0 Cheesed

To continue my previous blog post about housekeeping and cleaning, inspired by Haruko Niitsu, here are some of her housekeeping tips.

Niitsu san spends the whole day supervising and cleaning Haneda Airport, as she goes back home she does really very minimal housekeeping. Her housekeeping style is “By-the-way Cleaning”.

There are two types of cleaning: preventive cleaning and the actual cleaning. As a cleaning professional, instead of thinking “how to get rid of a stain”, it’s better to do frequent by-the-way light cleaning “in case it leaves a stain”.

For example, use a cloth to (by the way) wipe the staircase handle rail when you go down the staircase to head out for work, so that it doesn’t leave hand stains. Wash the stove parts together (by the way) with your pots and pans every time you finish cooking to prevent stubborn oil stains. It seems like it’s a little extra work to do but it’s a lot easier compared to removing year-old stubborn stains afterwards.

And the most important point of Niitsu-Style cleaning is – to always put your heart into cleaning. Always keep in mind to be gentle to things and protect the material and be kind to your cleaning tools. Try to clean a surface the gentle way instead of scrubbing with full force as it can damage the material of the surface. When you clean something gently with your heart, it will give off a special shine.

(Maintenance for your cleaning too is very important!)

It sounds all too familiar, just like the KonMari style, both of them emphasize on treating things with respect and putting your heart to it.

I have once translated a piece that the danna wrote for his company’s staff about the importance of a morning cleaning ritual. Basically it goes like this. Every single morning, each and every one in the company must spend 30 minutes to clean a space in the company that is the size of a newspaper spread. It sounds really silly and totally exaggerated but that’s the only way to level up one’s acuteness towards the people and environment around him or her. If you keep polishing a tiny floor space every day, your sensitivity will also be polished sharper and sharper. You start to notice small stains and flaws on the floor that you could not see before. And that is extremely important for a company in the service industry. To be more alert and sensitive towards a customer’s needs, to always think of room for improvement for the comfort of a customer. In that sense, cleaning is more than just a chore, it is a practice to one’s mental refinement.

Niitsu San’s philosophy is the same. “How far can you go? Maybe today I can go a little bit further” is her attitude towards her job.

Back to housekeeping, although I don’t have to deal with any customers, I realize the same could be applied to individual households. What can I do today to make the house extra clean, so that my familiar can relax more and feel happier?

Luckily the danna helps out a lot with housekeeping (in fact he does it 10 times better than me haha. I used to be so lazy that he was the one who cannot tahan and just did all the cleaning himself like a silent protest lol), and I really really appreciate it because even washing a cup after use or airing the laundry helps A LOT when our life is pretty much 分秒必争 (every second also must fully utilize) right now.

Anyway, #Pokemom next step: all the cleaning tools that spark joy for me and totally make my life so much easier, courtesy of Kao.

I adopted a mix of Niitsu and the danna’s approach, which is to clean a specific small area a day until it is insanely clean.

 

Today I tackled the pantry sink.

Yeap. The book has a step-by-step guide on how to clean your sink thoroughly. 

I wash the strainer pretty often, sponge it when I finish doing the dishes. But it has never once crossed my mind that I should clean the inner part of the rubber gasket. I guess I was too arrogant to think that trivial stuff like cleaning a sink strainer rubber gasket with a wooden pick and scrubbing the edge of a faucet would benefit my life in any way.

But I was quite wrong. Once I was done with the entire sink, I wanted to do more. I was overwhelmed because I had a strong urge to clean the whole house because suddenly, I was seeing many stained and dirt-filled spots in the house that have never once caught my attention before.

So that part about polishing one’s observance is true.

One of the useful tips I learnt from the book was how to folder your cleaning cloth. Usually I just scrunch it into a wet ball of mess and started wiping the table surface and whatnot. But Niitsu’s style is to fold it in eight, so you have 16 clean sides to use, instead of rubbing dirty cloth over clean surface over and over again or washing it every time you use it once.

My By-the-way floor cleaning, Magiclean wipe the whole floor while I tidy up the house. Seriously who created this life-saving awesomeness?! It is so crazy effective and easy that I don’t even vacuum anymore.

This is another genius invention! Magiclean duster that traps dust like a super magnet.

Another by-the-way cleaning – clean your remote control while you watch the TV.

Lastly, bathroom mold is a huge problem for many household. One of the tricks I learn from Niitsu is to spray an alkaline-based cleanser on affected surface, and then place tissue papers over it, so that the wet tissue papers keeps the cleanser in place for better effectiveness.

This is super great for mold removing!!

Unfortunately Niitsu’s book is only available in Japanese now. But if you are an anxious new parent or clueless parent-to-be, you can check out Kao’s guidebook titled “The Secret to My Modern Parenthood”, which contains 12 chapters covering topics and home care tips from Japan from understanding babies, environmental hygiene, methods to cleaning household items, etc. Also check out the website for contest and roadshows!

Other useful Kao products for your household:

Attack Detergent+Softener (right) and Attack Ultra Neo the danna bought from Japan!

And of course our Merries. Can you believe our grandma’s generation had no disaposable diapers?! Apparently My mom used cloth diaper on me. Imagine all the housework PLUS washing dozens of soiled diapers every single day! We mothers are truly blessed nowadays!!!

Moral of this blog post: If you feel demotivated to clean your house but you absolutely bo bian die die must clean, think of it as an act of kindness for your family, every one who will visit your house, and most importantly, yourself.

Share with me if you have other interesting tips on housekeeping!

 

Stored in Pokemom / Shoutouts | 0 Cheesed

Natural Marine Oil from Japan

Hello hello!

Today I would like to introduce another beauty product which is multi-functional and suitable for the whole family, perfect for busy mommies who likes a one-for-all solution.

I have loved Japanese beauty products and this is another one I’d recommend : Natural Orange Roughy Oil.

Interestingly, this product is produced by Nippon Suisan, the largest seafood processing company in Japan. What has a company that deals with seafood got to do with beauty?

Orange Roughy is actually a kind of fish found in the purest, unpolluted deep sea Ocean in New Zealand. The fish is usually eaten as a luxurious delicacy, but the aesthetic and beauty experts have found the oil extracted from this fish to be highly beneficial for beauty in terms of deep moisturization.

The oil from Orange roughy is extracted by Nippon Suissan and refined using their excellent refinement technology into a multi-purpose beauty oil that is completely natural.

I’m sure some of you have noticed that beauty products in oil form such as facial oils seem to be in the hype now! Although it is called “Orange Roughy Oil”, it is actually not an oil!

Technically it is wax ester, a kind of fatty acid commonly found in fish. It is not the same as oils like olive oil and argan oil, which is divided into oils and fats. It feels less “oily” and gives a more water-like texture that is non-sticky to your skin.

 

For Skin Care and Massage

One of the top beauty functions of orange roughy oil is that it provides intensive hydration especially for dry skin, so it makes a perfect skin care and facial oil for daily facial care and facial massage. You can apply it after facial lotion, directly on your face (average 1~2 pumps).

I travel way too often to keep up with all the weather changes, not to mention all the different products in full size I have to bring for myself and both the kids. One bottle of all-purpose deep moisturizing product is a must in my travel bag! And this  32ml size is perfect to just slip in into my skin care pouch!

For Body Massage

Of course, whatever that is good enough for your face is good enough for your body! Pamper yourself once in a while for a body massage at home. Since it is fragrance-free, you may add a few drops of aroma essence oil for that relaxing effect (average 3~4 pumps).

As a Hair Treatment Oil

It also works as a hair oil for dry and lustreless hair!

Apply a small amount on your hair end and see it bounce back to lustrous locks in an instant!

For even babies!

Our skin consists of keratin included wax ester to protect our skin from the harsh environment and also to retain moisture. This Orange Roughy Oil has constitution very close to the nature of human skin, to that so it can naturally keep our skin healthy and smooth all time.

Sakura has lots of flaky skin every day due to dryness. After just one application she stays hydrated for a long time!!

Where can I buy this product??

For Malaysian customers, you can purchase Orange Roughy Oil from this page in Shoppu.

If you would like to try it out yourself, you can head over to the Bon Odori Event happening in Johor Bahru this coming Sunday (23rd July 2016) and check out “SAKURA MART” at Booth 43!!

Check out more info on the Bon Odori event on their FB page.

Drop by Sakura Mart booth to get a free sample! ^^

 

 

Biolane for Sakura

July 18, 2016 in Commercial Break 31 Cheesed

Sakura quite unluckily suffers from sensitive skin since she was born. So far I’ve dealt with her mysterious rashes, cradle cap and skin irritations and it is still going on a daily basis 🙁

The paed said the answer to all these problems are diligent cleansing with gentle products, cool temperature and most importantly, to moisturize, moisturize and moisturize!

I have heard about Biolane, the Baby SkinCare Specialist from France from its Singapore ambassador, none other than my very favorite mommy friend QiuQiu. She uses it for Meredith and I think I will give it a try for Sakura, as Biolane’s products are specially designed to respect vulnerability of babies skin and help strengthen their natural defences.

When I first got the products I was a little overwhelmed. There are so many different ranges!!! Do I really need so many?

Then I remembered what the paed told me: that I may need more than one kind of products for different skin areas. For example, since Sakura has dry skin I should use a rich cream instead of lotion. But her skin fold areas (armpits/neck, etc) sweat really easily so I should keep them lightly moisturized.

So, where do we start?

The first step of care is cleansing. I bathe Sakura in the morning and wipe her down in the evening.

 

2-in-1 Hair & Body Gel

This is one of Biolane’s best seller! It has a unique gel texture and is very gentle for babies. All Biolane’s products are also alcohol-free, paraben-free, 100% hypoallergenic and with physiological PH formula.There’s also Essential Cleansing Emulsion if you prefer milk texture!

It’s for both body and hair!

 

The next step is to moisturize! Actually, I moisturize before I even cleanse. How?

Sweet Almond Oil Spray

Sounds delicious! There are two ways of using it: spray on in the bath or massage in after cleansing. I add 5 squirts under running bath water to prevent drying effect from bath water, so Sakura can come out fresh and already protected. This oil spray is also great for cradle cap removal!

Dermo-Paediatric Moisturizing Cream

This is probably one of the most important products for Sakura! It is applied for whole body or dry skin area. Biolane’s Dermo-Paediatric range is suitable even for babies with sensitive/eczema-prone skin.

If you prefer a lighter version moisturizer, you can go for Gentle Moisturizing Spray. Junya trying to sniff Sakura cuz she smells good hahaha.

 

After cleansing and moisturizing, prevention is also very important!

After the moisturizing cream, you can continue with the DP diaper rash cream if diaper rash is a problem.

Liquid Talc

This is the star product of Biolane. As its name suggests, it is in liquid form and contains no powder particles! I don’t like using talc powder because the powder usually will fall all over the bed or towel leaving white stains and it’s really messy.

Skin fold areas sometimes can have rashes or dry skin.

For Liquid Talc, you can rub the cream into sensitive areas until it turns into talc. It can help absorb sweat, prevent rash and at the same time moisturize! I really love this one! I think it’s quite a genius product as it is really easy to use and mess-free.

 

Micellar Water

After an outing in the afternoon when there’s no time for an extra bath, the Micellar Water is a life saver!! It gently cleanses the baby’s face and body without rinsing. So perfect for busy mama like me who wants a quick solution to easy cleansing for Sakura.

You can use a cotton pad and dab on baby’s skin, it leaves a non-oily protective film on the skin and soothes feelings of irritation and tightness.

Mommies can even use it as a gentle make-up remover. I like it because Sakura’s skin totally doesn’t feel dry after cleansing!

 

Dermo-Paediatric range

These are all the DP range that is suitable for babies with sensitive skin, dry skin and eczema prone skin.

For eco-conscious and naturalist mommies, you may also check out Biolane’s baby detergents and also ranges for pregnant mommies and new mommies, such as stretch mark cream and nursing balm.

Log on to Biolane’s website for their complete ranges of products!

www.biolane.com.my

Biolane will be participating in 12th TCE Baby Expo @ Mid Valley Exhibition Centre from July 28-31, 2016; Booth 157, so you can drop by to find out more about the products!

There will be loads of great buys and special promotions.

Giveaway Time!!

This time, giveaway for EVERYBODY!! 😀

Yes, just drop a comment with your email address, Biolane will email a sample pack redemption coupon to every one of you, one redemption per person. The samples are to be redeemed during 12th TCE Baby Expo Jul 28 – 31 @ Mid Valley Exhibition Centre, at Biolane’s booth (booth 157, Hall 2) while stocks last! Remember the submission deadline to redeem the coupon is Jul 27, 2016 (Wed)!

 

Does anyone actually enjoy doing house chores?

July 14, 2016 in Pokemom / Shoutouts 17 Cheesed

I didn’t think so. Or at least I thought people who say they do were lying. I mean, there must be a reason why it is called a “chore”.

Over the past few months I have learnt the art and magic of decluttering and tidying. I am 80% through tidying our house in KL, and I am proud to say that I really have not rebounded back to the old clutters, just as KonMari promised that you will really ever need to do it just once in your life. Here are some of my thoughts after having done it for several months.

To stay tidy and clutter-free forever, you really only need to commit to 3 things:

1. Have a home for all your belongings. Things are like humans too, treat them with respect, and don’t let them be homeless.

2. Put things back to their respective home after using. Once each and every item in your house has an identified home, it is super easy to commit to this.

3. Be thankful for your belongings and find joy in using them.

And to be honest, I do quite enjoy tidying up my house. By always putting things back and treating them with proper care and respect, I find our home so much more comfortable to live in and lovable. I also enjoy folding clothes, to the point I get a little obsessive. I must arrange them in such a way that the height, width and spacing between clothes are ideal and that our wardrobe drawers look like a fashion display. Even packing luggages for traveling has been KonMaried. (Since we pretty much live out of a suitcase.)

I must say that the tidying campaign was a huge success and an important event in my life.

However. However however however.

Now that I could tidy my house with great confidence and even with joy, I still have to deal with all the cleaning and housework. Tidying and cleaning are two different things. Tidying deals with your belongings, but cleaning deals with dirt and dust and pretty much everything unpleasant.

And most of the time house chores are all about cleaning up. On a daily basis. Multiple times a day. NEVER ENDING.

No matter how I think of it, I could not think of it as something enjoyable. Cleaning up totally doesn’t spark any joy whatsoever.

Anyway.

I must confess that I was one of the messiest people I know of. My mom did all the house chores and I did not even wash a single plate when I was young. I loathed house chores soooo much. You may as well ask me to go eat chicken droppings.

Many years ago when I stayed alone in my apartment, I had not cleaned my house for something like half a year. When I finally couldn’t stand the dirt and dust I called a part time cleaner to detox the house. I had to wear a mask when she swept the floor. The cleaner asked me if I could give her a mask too. She said she has never seen any house so dirty before.

When the danna (then kareshi) visited my house for the first time, he was secretly shocked that I never made my bed (what is the use?! You will need to mess up the blankets at night again!!). Now that I think of it, I respect him for continuing to date me and even eventually marry me lolol. Even I wouldn’t want to marry myself, in hindsight.

The point is, that was how much I hated cleaning. Dirt is filthy and grease is disgusting. I could not imagine why anyone in this world would want to be a cleaner unless they really have absolutely no choice (wrong. Please watch the video in this blog post).

The daily house work for me include doing the laundry, washing the dishes, dusting the house, cleaning the dining table and high chair and floor, picking up crushed Bolo all over the sofa, etc etc etc.

It felt miserable when you are tired and have a million other more important things to do… such as to properly shower yourself, pick up a crying baby or finally sit down and upload an Instagram picture haha. But I was left with no choice because I was the one who decided I didn’t want anymore hired help just so I can dump my kids to the maid while I get addicted to Candy Crush. So I just have to brace myself and deal with it, head-on, every day. Kind of in a boh-bian way.

And then I wonder if there’s any way I can make myself to actually like cleaning.

I mean, I didn’t think that I would enjoy tidying, too. But now I do. So cleaning might possibly be fun, too? And if you have to do it every day without a choice anyway, then you may as well just enjoy doing it.

And if there’s a book about tidying up, there must be a book to teach you how to clean. Or is there?

You bet. The Japanese probably have a book on how to pick your tooth.

I am still half way through this book, but it already has given me new inspirations.

This book is written by Haruko Niitsu, a cleaner who is working at Haneda Airport for over 20 years. Never expect a cleaner to publish a best-selling book did you? (Nor a blogger a Cheat One™ book hor? lolol). She was the youngest winner of the “Building Cleaning Championship” (!!! Got such thing?), and thanks to her and her cleaning team, Haneda Airport was voted the Cleanest Airport In The World for year 2013 and 2014.

Her presence was known to the mass in Japan after being featured in an NHK documentary about professional craftmen. I watched it and was very very touched. She became a cleaner because she had no other options, but grew to really love her job. Just to illustrate how insanely meticulous she is with cleaning, she uses a hand mirror to check the inside of a toilet brim for dirt T____T. The sheer dedication she has to make sure that Haneda Airport stays in its utmost spotless and hygienic condition put me to shame. As a user of Haneda Airport although I h, I have always taken the cleanliness for granted and never thought about how much effort is put into `

Niitsu San said that although up to this day cleaners are still considered a profession of low social ranking, she sees herself beyond just “cleaning”, and that “cleaning” is craftsmanship.

You can watch this video (in Japanese) if you like!

So much respect for Niitsu San. Her heart is so full of love for her job. Thanks to Niitsu san and her team, Haneda Airport is voted The Cleanest Airport in The World again in 2016!

If you ever land at Haneda Airport next time, feel free to run your fingers over the inner toilet brim lolol.

I learnt a few things from her book regarding house chores and cleaning. Firstly, most people thinks cleaning is miserable because it is a job hardly ever appreciated (true! As a grown adult, rarely do you ever receive a praise if you simply mop the floor clean or scrub a toilet on a daily basis), it is repetitive, tedious, and is never ending. It is also easy to question yourself “why is it always me who has to do the chores?” especially if you are a stay home parent.

But to her, cleaning is “kindness”. To her it is kindness for all the travellers from all over the world. Everything she does is an act of “omotenashi” for the people who utilize the airport. For us it is kindness towards our family members and guests who visit our home. You just have to think of it as an act of love towards your family, to provide a safe and comfortable living environment for your family. I guess it is true that everyone loves staying in a clean home, and the more relaxed we feel at home, the more we long to be home and the better the relationship for every one in the house. So cleaning, is indeed for the happiness of yourself, and your family as a whole.

I am inspired and in awe. I think it really can be something enjoyable if you put your heart to it. My friend Carolyn always offer to help me do the dishes because she said the round of running tap is therapeutic.

So… next #Pokemom challenge: master the art of cleaning and housekeeping.

25 months VS 2 months

July 11, 2016 in Baby 6 Cheesed

Junya turns 2 years 1 month old today, and Sakura is 2 months old now.

Here’s the regular monthly update!

For Junya

(Also read Junya’s  1st month , 2nd month , 3rd month , 4th month , 5th month , 6th month , 7th month 8th month, 9th month , 10th month , 11th month , 12th month , 13th month , 14th month 15th month , 16th month , 17th month , 18th months , 19th month , 20th month ,21st month , 22nd month , 23rd month and 24th month here.)

 

Who Spilled My Blueberries?

This happened in Singapore. Sometimes when I get busy with housework, Junya has all the freedom to explore the house, and one of his favorite things to do is to inspect the items in the fridge and in cabinets and drawers.

When I finally finished the chores, I saw Junya playing at the couch so I called out to him from the kitchen.

He immediately ran over, and pushed me back to the kitchen, saying “Mama… cannot. Mama cannot.

Puzzled, I was wondering what he meant. And then I saw a flash of panic in his eyes. He ran back to the couch, I followed him and then saw half a box of blueberries spilled all over the couch, and Junya with both is hands placed at his bum, looking at me worried (that’s his classic look now when he accidentally breaks something, or locks my iPhone due to multiple wrong password entries -_-).

And then immediately I understood that he was frightened that I would scold him for making a mistake. My heart ached.

Since when my son has learnt to fear for punishment? I have never ever punished him in any way before (other than telling him off sternly, force-snatching stuff from his hand during urgent times, and pretend cry and painful and sad when he hurt me lol), and I never believed in punishment in terms of behavioural improvement.

I sat down and then told him with a smile, “it’s okay, let’s put those blueberries back into the box together!!”

And we did, happily.

Recently the danna feels the same way. He told me sometimes he sees a flash of fear in Junya’s eyes, and he was wondering if he has been too strict with him. He felt a little sad that the fearless innocence is gone, and Junya is going to have to face a complicated adult world from now on.

I just want to remind myself again and again to not lose my temper, to never ever shout in the house or raise my voice, and to try my best to solve each and every incident calmly and positively. Because I think if I were him, that would make me feel the happiest.

 

I can wear my pants!

He can even wear it criss-cross lol.

 

I can reach everything!

Seriously. I. did. not. teach. him. this. One day he just decided that the task of the hour is to inspect the top kitchen drawer, so he fetched an empty toy box and did this.

I mean. I am impressed, at least.

I can be mama’s helper!

He likes to fetch Sakura her diaper.

He insists to wear her sox for her.

The first month he was really jealous and tried to ignore her existence. But his little sister has been living together 24/7 for two months now, he has come to adore her, sometimes staring at her, smiling, and tells me, “Baby Sakura kawaii.”

BUTTTTT when I am in the midst of playing with him and Sakura cries out loud, he immediately will hug me so tight like a koala and said, “mama hug JunJun. mama cannot hug bae Sakura. Papa hug.”

lolol.

I am terrfied of crawling babies

Junya is terrified of babies who can move a lot. (Babies of Sakura’s age are fine cuz they are too harmless.) Especially those who have started crawling and would come at him like little zombies (but in a very very cute way), squealing and trying to pull his ear/hair/shirt. Every time he sees a baby that age in the near vicinity he just freezes. Usually they come at him from the back and once they touch him he just starts wailing lol. Junya! Why you so weak lol.

I don’t know how to help him get over this baby trauma @.@

JunJun says

He can now sing a whole song and he has quite a few favorite. Usually he changes the lyrics to suit himself lol.

Recently it is “the papa on the bus go Japan Airline, all ~day ~ looong~” and “the baby Sakura on the bus go wah wah wah, all ~day ~ looong~“.

And “The bus on aunty choo choo go….” and Qiu was like, cannot!!! that means I’m dead now LOLOL. Junya really no like her until 咒她被巴士run over LOLOL.

Once he also made an accidental pun. My friend Carolyn tapaoed some soba salad over for dinner and she commented that it was very gross. Junya goes like, “Yuckysoba!” and we burst out laughing.

Other things he says:

“I am too hungry lah.”
“Yabai ne.”
“I want spider milk.”
“Sakua Shakkui” (Sakura Shakkuri – Sakura having hiccup)
“Bae Sakura biaokura” (Baby Sakura Bu Yao Ku La)
“Dowan mama.” (mama: Okay!!^^) “WANT! WANT!!!!!”
“What happened?! What happened?!” (when something he doesn’t understand happens in a video)
“What happened.” (holding a toy/item that he broke himself. -_-)
“What iz dat? What iz dat? What iz dat????”

 

For Sakura

Spoke too soon -____-.

Last month she was the best baby ever and this month she wants to be carried all ~ day ~ loooooong~

Usually there are only 5 things she cries about:

1. milk
2. wants to be carried
3. diaper
4. wants to be burped
5. hiccup

The last one is… no fix wan. Just have to carry her while she cr-hick-cry–hickhick—cryyyy-hick it over. She really really really hates hiccups.

What else happened?! Honestly I don’t really know. She sleeps all the time and I guess she is just busy growing more cheeks?

Qiu once asked me to show her latest picture of Sakura and I was like… I haven’t taken picture of her for many days and she gave me a very shocked LINE stamp and asked, IS THIS WHAT SECOND CHILD IS ABOUT?!

I am in a little disbelief myself that one month for Sakura just passed by so uneventfully, compared to Junya. Then I told her that it’s probably because I shit also no time. Literally lolol.

Anyway, Sakura is still a great great great sleeper at night (for now). Yesterday I fed her at 23:00 and we both went to sleep. The next feed was at 05:30. Is that considered…. sleeping through the night?! @.@

 

For Mama

My life now:

24/7 with my baby. Whenever, wherever.

I mean babies.

Every day I feel happy, but every day I feel a little sad. Having spent two years together with Junya, I experienced first hand “how time flies”. Every day they grow a little bigger, every day is not the same as yesterday. Sakura is no longer a newborn, and they will never become a newborn again. Every day I wish they grow up faster, every day I wish they will remain forever baby. I guess it’s something only a parent can understand.

 

For Papa

Papa’s birthday today!! Last year he still got a birthday bento from his lazy wife. This year he gets… gets to help me change diapers lolol.

Stored in Baby | 6 Cheesed

Tokyo Toy Museum

July 9, 2016 in Japan 0 Cheesed

When you travel with two kids age 2 and below, attractions you can visit are limited. But it doesn’t stop us from exploring new places!

Tokyo is full of hidden gems. I was gonna bring Junya to Asobono again and let him play to his heart’s content the whole day, but sooooo happened it was closed for renovation during our trip this time T_T. I did some research and came across a new place called the Tokyo Toy Museum, located at Yotsuya, Shinjuku-Ku (the nearest stations are Yotsuya-sanchome station and Akebonobashi Station, although we walked all the way from Isetan Shinjuku!)

I was very surprised to find out that it was formerly an elementary school built before WW2. The Tokyo Toy Museum is operated by the Non-Profit Organization Japan Good Toy Association (what an awesome association!!!), and the goals of this facility is to promote friendship among different generations and family communication.

There are thousands of toy displays from all over the world.

You will find both vintage toys from the older generations, and innovative modern artisan wooden toys.

Nostalgic!! All the good old analog toys…

Some of the toy creations from kids… which reminded me that I did all these when i was young too… brings back good memories.

There are many different rooms (assuming they used to be different classrooms for the students) with different themes in the museum. My favorite is the Wooden Baby Room.

One would imagine a baby toy room to be pastel color with lots of cute fluffy stuffed toys and colorful paintings of cute little animals. But this wooden Baby Room is one of the most amazing baby toy rooms of minimalistic beauty.

Everything in that room is made of wood, cloth and other natural elements.

It is meant for babies aged 0-2, Junya is 24+ months old still ok to go in I guess haha! The huge sofa looking thing in the middle is actually a wooden slide!

I love love love the whole ambience. It is bright, cozy with a very soothing scent of cypress. I can imagine how all the pro-natural, organic-obsessed parents falling in love with this place.

There’s a nursing space in this room so moms with small babies get to have a relaxing time here.

One may also think that wooden toys have to be boring. Maybe great for teething babies but how would modern, digital savvy two-year-olds find some wooden figurines that can’t talk nor sing “Wheels on the bus” interesting nowadays? I mean there are probably only so many ways to play with them and the kids get bored after like 10 seconds.

I was quite surprised to find out that most toys there are really delightfully creative and fun. Junya loved this loading truck toy! Every time you insert the truck into the loading tower, a block falls down automatically! Even I was very entertained and amazed with some of these toys. Kudos to Good Toy Association, really really good job!

Papa Bear spending some quality time with son.

And this is the first time I experience a playground with super friendly attendants (wearing red aprons) who will play with the kids!!! It’s like a little nursery. A few of them brought new toys for Junya, asked him questions and showed him build and play toys together.

Super cute wooden puzzle

A bunny puzzle display.

Wood Toy Forest is another room for slightly older kids.

The floor is made of cypress lumber coming from the mountain of Kyushu. It also has a lot of educational toys on the different types of wood (I can see how Japanese are really big fans of their woods).

A wooden doll house.

There are also huge Wood Ball Pools (this is another tiny wooden egg corner) filled with wood balls, where little children can take a wood bath!!

And lastly when you are hungry, feel free to go to the wooden kitchen and make yourself some wooden sushi.

This place is so wonderful. There are more rooms that I didn’t take pictures of. There’s a Toy Factory where kids get to create their own unique , age-appropriate toys. Older kids can enjoy Toy Square Yellow, a world of scientific discovery and invention. Adults, and even the senior may also enjoy Toy Square Red, with lots of Japanese traditional toys from the Showa period.

I was so happy to have discovered this place, I think I’d definitely go back again. To think that the Gen Alpha kids nowadays are so plugged-in, completely immersed in their digital toys (guilty here. Sometimes I do throw my iPhone in front of Junya just to buy a few minutes for myself to attend to work stuff), it is really nice to go back to basic for a while. No shutting your kids up with annoying blasting of nursery rhymes on YouTube. No overly noisy sing-a-songy talk-back stuffed animals. Time for some real communication.

Hours: 10:00-16:00 (Closed on Thursday)
Tickets: Adults ¥800, Children ¥500, Child+adult pair ticket ¥1200

Very reasonably priced!

Give it a visit if you are in Tokyo with your kids 🙂

 

 

 

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