【元添乗員ふきこのブログ】Let’s go to Kansai ~関西へおいでやす~ 前半(2)

Hi, everyone! This time I’m going to talk about my recommendations for souvenirs and restaurants in Kyoto! 

Do you remember that I recommended you to go to Kiyomizu temple? The other reason I strongly recommend this temple is because of the souvenirs! Don’t you buy Yatsuhashi every time you travel to Kyoto? I will give you my latest recommendations for sourveniors. I recommend visiting the main path that leads to Kiyomizu Temple because it is surrounded by many souvenir shops. Below I will tell you about some of the different souvenirs you can purchase.

Firstly, Kyo-Baum. Many souveniors shops sell it, and it’s not expensive. The sweetness of the macha and baumkuchen match each other really well without being too sweet overall.

Next is Ajyari-mochi, sold at the Japanese sweet shop, Mangetsu. The shop is located in the basement of Kyoto station, and it always has a long line. Sometimes the line is so long that it goes all the way around the shop. The worst case scenario is that it is sold out. But, at the beginning of the Kiyomizu path, if you turn left onto Sannen-zaka, there is another Mangetsu who also sells Ajyari-mochi. You don’t need to queue up and the mochi is freshly made. The texture is more like manjyu than mochi. They are moist and soft, making it easy for old people to eat.

There is a seasonings shop that is near to Mangetsu, called Ochanoko-sai-sai. They sell Maiko-han-hi-hi”, which is a very spicy chili. If you like spicy flavors you will love it. I also recommend you buy Kyo-no-odashi. Add it to Miso Soup or nimono to make it more flavourful and delicious.

If you continue up hill on the Kiyomizu path, about half way up, there is a narrow path on the right. This path is easy to miss so you have to look for it carefully. When you find the path, there is a famous hidden shop, Fumonan. This shop also sells Japanese sweets and manjyu which are named Ofukuhan. These manjyu are also very delicious. They also sell Yasai-Karinto. These were so amazing because I have never eaten Karinto like this before! I can confidently recommend these.

Continuing up the hill, there is a sweets shop with a western style exterior on the left named MALEBRANCHE. The best-selling sweet is a western style sweet called Langue de chat. It is western style, but it tastes like Macha. The inside is very creamy, and the outside is crispy.

The only sweet that I could not buy on Kiyomizu street is a cake named Saganomichi. This cake is wrapped in bamboo leaf, the cream inside is sweet, and the sponge is soft. It is so delicious. This cake used to be served to the teachers every time they had a meeting. There is a cake shop in Kyoto station where it is sold so please check it out on your way home.

After shopping and sightseeing the next thing to do is lunch. Luckily, there are many restaurants in Kyoto. I will recommend a restaurant that is hidden near the Kiyomizu temple. The name is Shokudo Endou. This is mainly a tuna restaurant and it is located in residential area. Many people wait in the line outside of the restaurant during lunch time. They have a variety of good food, the quality is awesome, and it is not so expensive. When I went there, we were not allowed to take a pictures. If you want to get more information please feel free to ask me!

Thank you for taking your time to read my blog. Next time, I am going to talk about Osaka, Kobe, Nara. Pease check again soon!






















【元添乗員ふきこのブログ】Let’s go to Kansai~関西へおいでやす~ 前半(1)

Hello, everyone! How have you been? My boss, Mrs.Sakai, came back from maternity leave so I can’t see you as much as before, and I miss you, but I’m also looking forward to talking to you when we meet at the cafe!


In this blog, I will talk to you about Kansai and Kyoto, which I have mentioned previously. Kansai is actually the most popular place to travel for school and company trips. When I was a tour guide, I spent half a month in Kansai during the busy season, I have many sweet and bitter memories about the place. This time the main topic is sightseeing.


Firstly, Kyoto! Kyoto is the most famous place for sightseeing in Japan and is always crowded. Which season is the best to go? I think spring or fall are the best, but summer and winter are also good. Kyoto is in a basin, which means summer is very hot and winter is freezing cold.

When it comes to transport, there are a some different ways to get around the city. The main ways are the local bus, train, taxi and on foot or bicycle. The most common way with is the local bus, but I don’t recommend it because it’s always crowded in the bus, and the routes are complicated, so it’s very inconvenient. The way I recommend is taxi or train. If you have many friends you can choose a one-day chartered taxi. The reason I recommend this is because it’s easier to catch taxies and not so expensive. The train runs many times everyday, so you might want to buy the one day train/bus ticket combination.


Speaking of sightseeing the best place to go sightseeing in Kyoto is Kiyomizu temple, because there are many different structures and landscapes to see. Ryoma Sakamoto’s grave is also located near Kiyomizu temple and I will talk later about more reasons to visit.

The second most famous place in Kyoto is Fushimi-inari shrine, this place is also very popular as Kiyomizu temple. There are many torii gates which lead into hills. The path which leads to the temples has a gentle incline at first, but it gets steeper after a while, by the end It feels like we climbed a small mountain. There are many Oinari stands around there that are also popular.


In Kyoto the Maikos are very famous. They usually appear around Gion and Ponto-cho, but it’s difficult to find them because they are busy training and working. If you find them, you are very lucky. I actually got the chance to talk to them before and I heard a lot of interesting stories. Do you know why they paint their faces white? During those times there was no electricity, so they used candles for light. The candle light made their makeup look even more beautiful.

How do they become Maiko? Actually, they need to be very determined and begin at a young age. They generally have to start training just after graduating junior high school.

Firstly, they go to Okiya (kind of agency company) with their parents to get an interview. When they pass it, they can start to become Maiko. Their training is very strict! They have to learn traditional Japanese dancing, Kyoto dialects, proper manners and playing instruments, like a Koto. They are not allowed to have their own cellphones, when they need it for work, cellphones are handed out to them. They also basically can’t go to fast food shops and they are not allowed to meet with anyone outside for work. Many girls around 15 years old can’t handle it, so many girls give up on becoming Maiko.

How about Payment? Basically, they don’t get payment, they get some money as their allowance. Their living cost, Kimonos and lessons are paid for instead of getting a salary. Hair accessories and kimonos are especially expensive.


When you become a Geisha, they can get salaries but they usually have to get out of their Okiya and be independent. When I met and talked to them, they were so mature and sophisticated, I couldn’t believe they were teenagers, and I respected that they are known as a symbol of Japanese beauty.


Continuing on from sightseeing, Arashiyama is also very famous. The Katura river flows through Arasiyama where the Togetukyou bridge crosses over the river. I believe you can feel a real Japanese atmosphere there. Every season the trees on the mountain change colour so it is especially beautiful. I have to recommend the Trocco train and Suzumushi-temple. This train runs the same speed as a bicycle, because this train is for enjoying views.


Suzumushi (bell cricket) Temple is a very famous and spritual temple, not only because there are many bell crickets inside the temple, but also in order to buy a charm at Suzumushi Temple you must first listen to a sermon, which is very different compared to the other temples found around the world.


I really want to talk about more but I’m going to finish this first one volume. I am going to talk about Kyoto’s souvenirs next time!

See you next time!





























【キースのブログ11】A Month in Australia, Rottnest Island





Hey everyone, Keith here again!

This blog is part 2 of my trip back to Australia this April. This time, I’ll be talking about my favourite place in Perth, Rottnest Island.

I talk about Rottnest at Global Cafe very often, so you might already know about it if we have met before.


Rottnest is a small island about 30km away from Perth. It’s very famous for a few things, but mainly its extremely beautiful beaches and an animal called a ‘Quokka’.


When people go to Rottnest, they usually hire a bicycle and ride around the island, visiting the different beaches along the way. I do this every time I visit the island too!

Rottnest is a special place for me (and many other people from Perth) because I have been visiting Rottnest since I was a child.  

I love the beach, and Rottnest has some of the best beaches in the country.  

My favourites are called ‘The basin’ and ‘Little Salmon Bay’. The Basin is great for snorkelling, and Little Salmon Bay is great for swimming and relaxing.

I went to Rottnest with my Dad in April and we had a great time. My dad loves the beach even more than I do!

First, we had lunch at the famous Rottnest Bakery. Then we cycled around the Island and visited 4 different beaches, then sat down at the hotel restaurant with some Fish’n’Chips and a beer. I’ll hold these memories for many years to come.


Earlier I mentioned the ‘Quokka’. They are often called “The happiest animal on Earth”!

They’re a really cute animal, very famous for smiling.

Quokkas can be found in a couple of places in Western Australia, but mainly on Rottnest Island. They have no major predators on Rottnest, so they are extremely friendly and not afraid of humans at all! They walk around on the street and will often walk up to people to say ‘hello’! You aren’t supposed to touch them or feed them though.

‘Quokka selfies’ have become pretty popular lately. I’ve never taken one before, but I’ve seen lots of them before, and the quokkas always look really cute.


If you go to Perth, Rottnest is definitely a must-visit place!

If you have the time, I definitely recommend staying there for 1 night. There are different types of accommodation ranging from cheap to expensive.

If you don’t have the time, you can do a day-trip which is still very fun. Take the early ferry to the Island and the latest ferry back to the mainland to get the most out of your day.


 I was in Australia for a whole month, and my day on Rottnest Island was definitely the highlight of my trip. I really miss Rottnest so I hope I can visit it again sometime soon!





‘The basin’


‘Little Salmon Bay’


‘Fish’n’Chips and a beer’



【オーナー酒井の日常ブログ】Family trip to Karatsu







Hi everyone, It’s been so hot! How are you coping with the heat?


It’s been three months since my boys started going to the nursery and we have finally got used to our new life style.


Recently we went to Karatsu for the weekend. We wanted to go around this time partly because my husband will soon be transferred to Tokyo…


It only takes an hour and a half to get to Karatsu by train. Taking the train is nice because you get to see the beautiful ocean view.


Toshi, my older son, likes playing in water, especially the sea, so the main purpose of this trip was so he could play at the beach and take it easy, and we could all spend some time together.


As soon as we checked in at Karatsu, we headed to the beach. The water was a little murky and the sea was rough. It was very different from what we saw from the train. We were a little disappointed, but Toshi ran and ran along the water’s edge and seemed very happy. It was only the second time for Toshi to see the sea so he didn’t have any expectations. Even though I was knackered from carrying Aoi, my younger son, and our baggage that still made me smile.


After we left the beach we strolled through the arcade in the downtown area and then went back to the inn.

At the inn, we took a bath and enjoyed a nice meal in our room. Toshi loved the big bath, because I’m sure it felt like a pool for him.

In a Japanese style inn, the staff comes to the room and sets up the futon for us after dinner.

An elderly lady came to our room. She was very nice and let Toshi help her set up the futon and the sheets. He got so excited and loved doing that.


The next day after taking another bath in the big family tub, we went back to the arcade to let Toshi have a soft-serve ice cream. When we went there the day before, Toshi licked a giant size soft-served ice cream replica. For some reason there are many of them in the arcade, Toshi got very crazy and wouldnt stop licking them… So we decided to come back to let him to have a real one.


After that we visited a different beach from the day before and had lunch at a hotel with an ocean view.

We took it easy and headed back home after that.


After we came back, I asked Toshi what he enjoyed the most, and his answer was that he enjoyed swimming in the big bath and setting up the futon with the old lady.

Hmm, did we really need to go all the way to Karatsu?  

It was very cute though.


























【キースのブログ11】My チャリ adventure!







Hey everyone, Keith here!

I recently went on a little adventure during my day off, and thought I’d share it with you.

I live in Atago, near Muromi station. Every day when I travel to work, I need to cross Muromi Bridge. When I cross it, I can see Fukuoka Tower to the left, and a mountain range to the right. I’ve always wondered just how far away those mountains are, and whether or not I could climb them!  

On my day off, I decided I would get on my bicycle and ride in the direction of the mountains and see what happens!

I was a little worried because my bicycle isn’t exactly…good. I bought it for 1000 yen about 8 months ago! But, luckily, there was no problem.



Anyway, I set off at 9:00am. It was a beautiful day.

I followed Muromi River to get to the mountains. I had never been this far downriver before, and I saw lots of really beautiful places near my house.

It turns out the mountain isn’t as far as I thought it was! It was only around 7km from my house.

I didn’t even know the mountain’s name! But, when I got there, I found out it was Mt. Iimori.


Now, I had NO experience climbing mountains, so I did not know what to expect.

It was a lot of fun to climb Mt. Iimori, but it was pretty tiring. It was also pretty hot outside, and I was covered in sweat.


During my climb, I met a really nice lady who was resting near the top. We had a conversation (in Japanese) about Australia and where I was from.

A couple of minutes later, I finally arrived at the top of Mt. Iimori!

The view of Fukuoka was breathtaking. Absolutely beautiful.


I also met 3 more people at the top of Mt. Iimori, two ladies and a man. The 2 women were resting at the top, and they greeted me when I arrived. I sat with them, and we talked (again, in Japanese) for about 40 minutes!

We talked about all sorts of things. Australia, Japan, Fukuoka, jobs, dreams etc. They were some of the nicest people I have ever met in my life!  

A man arrived later, from the other side of the mountain. He seemed to be a hobby climber, and said he was climbing two more mountains later that day! I was amazed, because he was around 60 years old, but still very fit!

He offered to take me to the other mountains with him, but I had to politely decline because I was a bit sick on this day and didn’t want to overdo it.


Anyway, after saying goodbye to my new friends I began my descent. It was much, much quicker going down, but a little dangerous. I don’t have mountain climbing shoes, so I almost fell down a couple of times!

I was really tired during my journey back home, so I went really slowly, just admiring the beautiful scenery of Fukuoka.


I’ve decided that from now on when I have a day off, I’m going to ride my bicycle somewhere in Fukuoka I haven’t been before, so you can expect more blogs from me in the future!  


That’s all for today, I hope you enjoyed reading!

I’ll have another チャリ adventure blog for you in the future!



mountain range    山並み、山脈、山岳地帯

set off  出発する

turn out 〜    〜であることが分かる 

breathtaking     息をのむような、驚くような

fit  (体が)健康な、元気な

descent  (山など高いところから)降りること、下り道

almost fell down   転びそうになった、危うく転ぶところだった

【キースのブログ10】A Month in Australia, My Hometown.






Hey everyone, long time no see!

It’s been a long time since my last blog. I was too busy with study and I kept forgetting to write them.

I recently returned to Australia to change my Visa. I arrived back in Japan about two months ago.


For my first blog since coming back to Japan, I thought I’d tell you all about Australia. I was there for a whole month, so I have lots of photos to show and stories to tell!


This blog is all about my hometown, Fremantle. (or Freo as us locals say!)

I was only there for a day during my trip, but I was able to visit some of my favourite places.


Freo is famous for a few things. Number one is the restaurants!
Freo is well known in Perth for having some of the best restaurants in the state, especially Italian and Asian restaurants.

My favourite restaurant in Freo is a place called “Taka’s Kitchen”. It’s a cheap Japanese restaurant in Fremantle’s food court.

It isn’t super high-quality or expensive. It’s cheap, normal food.

But, I’ve been eating at Taka’s Kitchen since I was 4 years old! So, it holds a special place in my heart.

I was really happy to eat there again. It tasted really nostalgic!


For the rest of the day, I just walked around Fremantle, seeing some familiar places.

I went to a place called “The Roundhouse”, which is small building that was used as a prison in the past.

My last destinations were the “Esplanade Park”, a park close to the harbour, which is Freo’s most popular spot for families and “Little Creatures”, my favourite brewery/bar in Fremantle.


It really did make me happy to visit my hometown again. I hadn’t seen it in two whole years!

I love Fukuoka, but I do miss Perth and Fremantle. I hope I can go back to visit again sometime soon.


 it holds a special place in my heart・・心に残っている


The first photo–   “The heart of Fremantle” 


“The Roundhouse”


“Esplanade Park”


“Bathers Beach”












また、海外のコンビニはいったいどんなものかと調査するため、滞在中に台湾のファミリーマート(通称、全屋)に行ってきました。意外と普通で、制服や店内は日本とそっくりでした。しかし、一点明らかに違うのは「おでん」です。つゆが黒い・・底がまるで見えないほどの黒さでした。そして、ゆで卵が殻付きで売られていました。買う時間がなかったので、写真にだけ収めてきました。皆様台湾にご旅行の際はぜひこの「黒おでん」お試しあれ(^▽^)/ しかし、そんな中「海外のカップラーメン」は実食してきました。同じくコンビニの日本円で200円ぐらいのラ王の様なカップラーメンを食べてみました。すべて中国語で書かれていたので、私の作り方が悪かったのか分かりませんが、あまり美味しくはありませんでした。。。しかし、ガイドブックにはたくさんおいしそうなインスタントラーメンがあったので皆さんもぜひ台湾に行った際は食べてみてくださいね。


いかがでしょうか?アジアの観光地の中でも1位2位を争うほど人気の高い台湾。実は5,6月は台湾観光のシーズンになります。ぜひ行って見てくださいね(^_-)-☆ 最近海外続きだったので、次回は私の大好きな「京都」を取り上げたいと思います(^▽^)/


Hello, everyone! It’s getting hotter and hotter, isn’t it? Today, I want to talk about my foreign country tour guide training program trip in Taiwan. I hope you enjoy reading about my episodes and experiences in Taiwan.

~Relationship with Japan~

It only takes 3 or 4 hours to travel between Japan and Taiwan, which makes them popular destinations for citizens of both countries to visit for work, studies, and sightseeing. I guess many Japanese people think Taiwan is pro-Japan. Actually, I was helped a lot by many Taiwanese people during my time in Australia on a working-holiday Visa but why are they Pro-Japan? I heard a story from my Taiwanese friends. A long time ago, Japan won the war and occupied Taiwan. The occupation was not ideal for Japan because Taiwan at the time was underdeveloped. Japan helped to develop it by building schools, hospitals and aqueducts, and Taiwanese didn’t forget the gesture.

Regardless of the past, Taiwan has generous, helpful people who cherish their friendships deeply, and a lot of interesting culture.


Taiwan had a 1 year “military system” for men, but people who were born after 1992 are only drafted for 4 months of basic training. But there is still a place where we can see real soldiers in Taiwan. This place is called “Tsuonrietu,” which used to be “Taiwan Gokoku shrine.” This place has a building that was built to commemorate those who died during war. Two guards, who passed difficult examinations and strict training, are always standing guard in front of the gate. Every few hours, the “changing of the guard” takes place. Their moves are so synchronized that they look like mechanical dolls. It is amazing!


There is a place in Taiwan that the movie “Spirited Away,”  a big hit in Japan, was based upon. This place is called “Chiufen.” The place looks almost exactly the same as the movie. It is located near a big, famous goldmine. After the war there was less and less gold in the mine until it was eventually closed. It was left untouched that way for many years. Due to “Spirited Away” and the artistic style of the area, “Chiufen” has enjoyed a renewed popularity recently. It can be enjoyed both during the day with the beautiful, natural scenery that surrounds it, and at night because of the brilliant show of lights that illuminate it.


Two hours away from Chiufun, “Danshui” is famous for its landscape. Watching the sunset from on top its famous bridge is especially beautiful. There are many souvenir shops and restaurants near the bridge. 



I think the “night market” is one of the most famous things in Taiwan. I went to “Shirinieshi,” one of the biggest markets in Taiwan, with rows and rows of stands. They sell clothes, food, games and much more. I would recommend “Taachiipai.” It’s a huge, tasty chunk of fried chicken. I have never seen anything like it! I took a picture to compare its size to my face…this is what they call “giant” size!




Actually, this country is famous for “Peking duck”. I’m sure Peking duck is from “Peking” but in Taiwan you can eat it for a much cheaper price, and it is almost the same as in Peking. I went to Taiwan for the first time when I was in my early 20’s. When I found out that Peking duck was going to be served for dinner, I was excited, but I was shocked to see the duck roasted whole! But the taste was great…

 I went to “family mart” in Taiwan to see what it’s like. It was basically the same as the Japanese one, but I found an item that was very different from the Japanese version. It was a type of “Oden.” The soup was really dark, and the eggs were still in their shells! I didn’t have time to buy it, but i’m including a picture, so if you ever visit Taiwan you can check it out. I did eat “Instant Ramen” though. It was like “Raou,” and the price was almost 200 yen. It was written in Chinese, so I might have made it wrong, but it wasn’t that good anyway. But I did find many delicious-looking “Instant Ramen” in the guide books that you can try.



Speaking of Taiwanese food, pineapple cake is a really famous pastry. The texture is crispy and there is pineapple jam inside it. You can find this cake everywhere and it’s actually quite cheap but it still tastes great. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you which sweets shop is the best, but the famous shops that appear in the guide book are really great, even though they’re a bit expensive. 


Since May and June are the best season for sightseeing in Taiwan, try to visit around that time if you ever get the chance to go!

Recently I have been writing a lot about foreign countries, so next time I will tell you about “Kyoto,” one of the places I love in Japan!


【トラビスのブログ12】Gambling / ギャンブル








I am from Nevada. Most people I talk to at Global Cafe have never heard about Nevada, or at least don’t know where it is. Nevada is a state in America, on the west coast, right next to California. Most or all of Nevada is a desert and very dry. By the way, dry is much much better than the humidity of Japan!


Nevada is probably best known for a famous city. The sin city. Las Vegas.


Nevada was the first and only state, until the 1990’s, where gambling was legal. This is the reason Nevada, and Las Vegas in particular, became the center of Gambling in the U.S. In America, gambling has a bad image, and is associated with debt, drugs, gangs, etc… all of the guilty pleasures. My image of gambling is different.


I was born and raised in Nevada, so for me gambling is common, everywhere, and boring. I have no interest at all. In fact, it is something my parents did sometimes for fun so that makes it especially uncool! In my hometown there are slot machines everywhere. At the convenience store, the supermarket, the bowling stadium… everywhere. Every time I visit home, the rows of machines in the airport terminal greet me and remind me of my childhood. To me gambling is boring.


My parents used to go out on friday night to a casino to relax and have some fun. They would go play the nickel machines (gambling machines that cost only 5 cents to play). I guess my mom was really good, because every week she would bring home cases (one case is 24 cans) of soda that she won. I guess cash is not the only thing you can win.


There is a responsible way to gamble. You give yourself a limit, perhaps a hundred dollars, and you play that freely without worrying about money. When you lose all that money, you have to stop. If you have enough self control to stop yourself, you can enjoy gambling. If you can’t stop, and you play past your limit, you have a problem and you should never gamble!


As for me, I have gambled once. When I turned 21 years old, I went to the casino, put a quarter in the machine, and one second later lost it. Is that fun? I don’t know. I have never felt the desire to go back. I don’t like throwing away money…



Sin City・・Sinは罪悪、罪業のこと。Sin Cityはラスベガスの俗称。



【トラビスのブログ11】Public Bathrooms







The first time I came to Japan many years ago, I was in the Airport and I needed to use the bathroom after the long flight. It was not what I was expecting.


I entered the bathroom and the first thing I noticed was that it was so clean. Much cleaner than almost all public bathrooms in America! And it was bright. My image of public bathrooms in America is dark and dingy. I went to use the toilet, but I was surprised to see the door to the toilet stall stretched from the floor to the ceiling! This was very strange!


Perhaps if you have traveled abroad to America, you know that the toilet stall doors and walls aren’t that big. They only go from your knee to your shoulder. If you want to see if someone is using the toilet, look down and you can easily see their feet. If they are standing up, you can see their head as well!


I have seen movies where someone is trying to hide in the bathroom. Because the door is so small, they can’t just enter the stall, they also have to stand on the toilet and crouch down so that their feet aren’t visible under the door.


Another common story is that someone using the toilet runs out of toilet paper! What do you do? You ask the person on the toilet next to you to give you some toilet paper. They just pass the toilet paper under the wall. There is plenty of space.


Another problem is that if someone on the outside crouches down onto the ground, it is easy to look under the door. Or if you are tall enough, you can look over the door as well. I am a guy, so this privacy invasion has never been a problem for me, but maybe it is different for girls?


This small door might sound strange. I do think the Japanese style is much better. However, the first time I used a Japanese bathroom and I closed the door, I felt very claustrophobic. The room was too small and I could barely move. What happens if the door locks and, for some reason, I can’t open it! I’m stuck! In America, I will crawl under the door. What should I do in Japan?


dingy  薄暗い、ぼろぼろの

stall  (トイレやシャワールームなどの)個室

crouch down   しゃがむ、身をかがめる

visible    見える

run out        使い果たす、(日用品や電池などが)切れる

privacy invasion  プライベシー侵害

claustrophobic  閉所恐怖症の / 閉所恐怖症を引き起こす、狭苦しい

stuck   抜けられない、出られない

crawl     はう

【オーナー酒井の日常ブログ】I’m back at the cafe!! カフェに復帰しました!!






Hello everyone!! It’s already May. I guess many people have started a new life since April. My family has started a new life since this April as well.

My two boys, Toshi and Aoi have been accepted to a licensed nursery and I am back at Global Cafe now. We are trying our best to adjust to a new environment and a new life style but it’s not that easy..

Since my second boy, Aoi was born last summer, I’ve been crazy busy and realized how hard it is being a mum of two boys. Thinking back on when I only had Toshi, my elder son, I think I was very naive because I thought having one child and having two are not so different and having one more child would make things only a little bit harder. Now I have realized I was so wrong.


Before Aoi was born, it was relatively easy to manage everything: my work at Global Cafe, looking after Toshi and house chores. Toshi spent his weekdays at a nursery and he was a very easy boy to look after. Toshi was just a cute, small, adorable and easy boy for me. 

Nowadays there is a trend that “a mum should enjoy herself and never give up anything for her kids” and I think I interpreted it to my own advantage and didn’t really understand what raising a child was.

So when Toshi started acting funny seeking attention from me or being rebellious and insistent toward me just after Aoi was born I didn’t know how to handle him. He has become a small monster with more of his own personality and I was not ready for it at all.

It was good that I was on leave from the cafe and I could take some time to reflect; how to deal with my kids, especially with Toshi, what should be prioritized in my life or how I can balance and manage everything in my life.

Another good thing was that my husband took paternity leave from work and did lots of house chores and took care of the children. It was nice not only because he helped me but also because we could share the very precious moments of the first few months of our newborn baby. Newborn babies grow very quickly and I guess many dads in Japan miss that precious short time and don’t see their baby’s everyday progress. By sharing work at home and taking care of the children together, my husband could appreciate how joyful and at the same hard raising children can be.


Working at the cafe is so refreshing and makes me happy. I get to see so many of our regular customers. Senior customers at the cafe are very, very active. Some senior customers are studying English very hard and taking English proficiency test, and another customer is even going abroad to do volunteer work. They are really inspiring.

I also like to see young people trying hard to learn English. They encourage me too. There is a young customer who has started his own business recently or who is going abroad to study.  

Also there is Global Cafe staff who gives me energy to keep me going. All of them are super positive and nice!

Of course it’s my sons who drive me the most. When I drop them off at the nursery in the morning there is still a bit of tears from them and I cry too. But I know they can do it and learn a lot there so I just have to believe in them and try my hardest!