This is my 100th blog post. It has been an intense three years since I started, since I do this in my spare time (most of it during my commute to the office). I wish this could be a full-time job, but at this point I only have some 3000 visitors per month - which is awsome in itself. I only know a few by name, however. Those who left comments and signed up for my email list. I would like to know you better, so I can write blog posts which are meaningful to you as well as for me. as I sit here under the beach bar roof at the Bella Vista Waterfront in Kuah, Langkawi.
itfeels like forever since my parental leave ended and I had to stop going for long walks in the stroller. We still go for long walks but now they walk themselves. But since I had to go back to my day job I can only do it on weekends. Still, I can tell you a lot about discovering Tokyo with a stroller.
My kids favorite posts
Well, they could not care less about Daddys hobby. And they do not read very well yet (although they can read picture books in Japanese). They also love puzzle books, which keeps them very quiet during long flights. But what they love most is Disney. They like the post about Disneyland, they like the questions and answers about Disney, and they appreciate the post about the other two Disney parks. But their absolute favorite is Disney Sea.
Tokyo Travel Posts
i have written quite a few posts about how to get around in Tokyo. I have written about how to get around in Tokyo using the trains, and what the travel day in Tokyo is like. I have written about what to do on a rainy day in Tokyo, the best places to see the cherry blossoms, where to see the Christmas illuminations, and the top things to do with a toddler. But also how you should choose a place to stay in Tokyo, and where. And of course I have written about what happens when you happen on a local matsuri in Tokyo.
Japan Travel Posts
There is a lot to see in Japan, and few places are as easy to get around as this country. You do not need a car in Japan, except when you are going to places which do not have public transport (those hardly exist), or when you are transporting heavy or bulky things.
When you go somewhere in Japan you take the shinkansen train. It is only when you go to Okinawa you need to fly. And while taking the Shinkansen is a lot easier than flying, there are still a few things you need to think about.
But in addition to that, I have written some posts that are very practical. How to use a Japanese laundromat, for instance, and answers to peoples questions about Japan. But I also wrote about the budget you will need for your Japan trip, and whether you will be safe in Japan. The post about ten foods your kids will love in Japan also belongs here.
Things to do close to Tokyo
But when you travel in Japan you need to do it at the right time. The Japanese are great travelers, but these days travel more inside Japan than outside. And since they also work extremely hard, they usually travel on weekends and public holidays, with a couple of exceptions. Like the fifth season.
if you travel only on public holidays you probably do not want to go away for several days, you want to go on a day trip. And Tokyo has several interesting things to see within an hour or two with the train from one of the central stations. Some of them are seasonal, like the Koga fireworks. They also have a beautiful park with hundreds of peach trees, a fantastic sight just before the cherry blossoms, by the way.
Your favorite posts
Since you have not signed up to my email list, I do not know if you actually liked it, but my post about buying diapers in Japan, and buying other baby products in Tokyo, are consistently popular. As are the posts about how to beat jetlag with toddlers (this is one of my favorites too), how to entertain your toddlers when you are on a long flight, how to entertain infants in flight, flying with infants, flying with toddlers, how to entertain toddlers in flight, and what happens when you fly with a toddler with a fever.
Other favorite posts
My mum really loved the post about how you make sure your kids are found fast when they are lost, and my brother loved the post about where to see the sakura in Tokyo with a stroller.And my wife really appreciates the post about the kds menus in restaurants.
A Few Rants
I love my children, as all parents do, and I feel very strongly about some things. One is leaving your children alone, especially in hotel rooms. Another thing I am not fond of is racism. Although I am discriminated against a lot less nowadays, looking different in Japan is still not easy. Especially if you come from a place when the blond and blueeyed were on top. Or thought they were.
Places we have been
Apart from the short trips that we do a lot - like daytrips around Tokyo which you can easily get back from the same day - we typically do one long trip every year. Partly this is for budget reasons, partly because we want to minimize our carbon footprint.
So far, I have written up the trips we made to Seoul in Korea, to Ishigakijima, the little archipelago at the very southern end of Japan, to Okinawa where we rented a villa on the beach, and to Sweden, which were a real winter trip. And I keep getting time to write up Honolulu. I guess this years trip to Langkawi will be a faster writeup. But we are leaving on Saturday september 1!
Some things I plan to write more about
Tokyo is a lot what this blog is about, but it does not change all that much week by week. I mean, the Imperial Palace has been there for more than 500 years, even if it was quite different at the beginning. And it takes a couple of years to create a landmark like Roppongi Hills, and then it is going to sit there for 70 years or more.
So Tokyo is changing slowly but there are lots of things to discover. More interesting to visitors, however, is getting out of Tokyo itself and do a day trip. There are so many interesting places around Tokyo to discover, often much more of a capsule from the picturebook Japan you imagined you were going to see when you planned your trip.
That is one thing I will be writing more about, but also the potential discounts you can get by purchasing a discount card. And the online and offline resources available to visitors. But you tell me what you want to see and what would be useful to you. Use the comment field, or the form if you do not want the world to see it, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What about that book you have been writing?
Well am I glad you asked! It is my fourth baby, or baby four and five actually. Right now, it is soaking - I do not want to edit it myself until I have let it sit for a month or so. Or two. The reason is that editing often means killing your darlings, if you are familiar with the term. It comes from advertising and means to remove what you personally favor but is not meaningful to your would-be readers. The reason it is easier to remove after soaking is simple: when you nail that perfect phrase it gives you an euphoria rush on par with when you succeed doing something physically difficult perfectly. Like handstands, or a bicycleta, or making the sails raise on the model inside the bottle.
Two months removes you from that rush. You look at the words and say ”what idiot wrote this?”. And then you remember, and remove it.
If you enjoyed this post, or some of those I link to, you might enjoy my upcoming book as well. It is an ebook so it is intended to be read on your mobile device, and it contains my experiences - so you can not find the same information via Bing or Google. Nor in this blog, in fact.
If you want to know more about the book, especially when it becomes free,
I am Wisterian Watertree, recently moved from Bangkok to Tokyo, with a brief visit to Honolulu on the way. I write about travel, especially with our three beautiful kids (two girls and one boy, soon turning four and a half - yes. they are triplets). Travel is education and fun rolled into one, and if you are like me, that is something you want to give to your kids. If you want more tips and want to find out when I will publish something, get it from my email list. If you want to be personal, drop me a note on email@example.com, or if you want general tips, follow me on Twitter @wisterianw.