Saitama Municipal Youth Astronomical Museum

It’s spring break in Japan.  It is also end of school year.  Traffic tends to increase and queues lengthen, but there are still some hidden gems that evade the chaos. Saitama’s space museum, or officially the Saitama Municipal Youth Astronomical Museum, is one such place.

★Free entry for parents and children
★Parking is free
★Rainy day okay
★Suitable for all ages
★Special events
★Elevator
★Nappy / Diaper changing facilities
★Rest area

There is something for everyone at this space museum located on the old grounds of Urawa Reds (Saitama soccer team) at Komaba stadium. Children can learn about space and science through the various interactive and educational displays, play areas, reading area and special events available free of charge. There is also a planetarium that costs 510 yen per adult or 200 yen for students aged 4 and up.

Information and Access

Address: 2-3-45 Komaba, Urawa-city, Saitama, Japan
URL: http://www.kagakukan.urawa.saitama.jp/main.html
TEL:  048-881-1515
Cost: Free entry to the museum, **the planetarium is 510 yen per adult or 200 yen for students aged 4 and up
Opening hours: 9.00 – 17.00
Holidays: Mondays except for public holidays. Closed for New Year from December 28th to January 4th.
Access:
By train – Take a bus from either Urawa or Kita Urawa stations for 「宇宙科学館入口」
By car – 15 minutes from Urawa Interchange

 

 

 

Time for a change – updated on the 25th

 

I think I have the 7 year itch with my blog. Its hard to believe its been that long. However, its time to switch it up.  Mainly, because I need a more relevant and paid URL going forward.  For now,  I will continue to post here, but I will post things to do in Saitama on another URL. but with a new domain. I now own japanorama.me :-) Well actually it’s just a free trial, but let’s see what happens.  I do own insaitama.com though, anyone who wants to give their opinion on which URL is better please do. I can’t see the woods for the trees!

I think and hope by changing my primary blog that my followers will automatically be shown posts on that blog from now on. I am soon to find out. If not, over time I will be in touch…

THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO READ “DAYS OF OUR LIVES JAPAN”, THIS IS NOT GOODBYE ONLY FLICKING OVER TO ANOTHER JUST CHANGING THE CHAPTER TITLE ;-)

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS. :-)

My guest post: Cherry Blossom Viewing in Tokyo | K-A International Mothers in Japan

I guest posted on  K-A International Mothers in Japan for the 2nd ever. The first time was a strawberry picking article, so check that out if you are looking for somewhere to pick strawberries in the Kanto plain. This time its a list of places to view Cherry blossoms in Tokyo, with access and contact details as well as other information. Please check it out!

For a cherry blossom craft please see here: http://kajapan.org/general/cherry-blossom-craft/

The Royal Gastro Club; White Day in Japan

Today is White Day in Japan; Valentine’s day for girls. My daughters got a really lovely present with a REALLY unfortunate name.  These delightful character chocolates and macaroons come to you from the Royal Gastro Club.  Where I’m from gastro is short for gastroenteritis, which is basically the stomach flu! Thankfully these culinary delights did not cause any stomach upset, although if truth be told they were a bit too sweet even for me.

They came in a cute paper house package, with the characters peeping out the window. The girls delighted in opening the door.

Gastronomy
Inside there were macaroons in the shape and design of animal faces.
Gastronomy macaroons And chocolate cats.Chocolate cat white There was a selection of different types of cats, but my kids ate most of them before I could snap them!chocolate cat brown

Easter in Japan; limited edition Disney cakes!

When I first came to Japan in 2000 there was nothing in the shops for Easter. I have watched the selection of Easter goodies grow over the years.  Marketers are cashing in on the commercialism of the holiday, if nothing else. I’m not complaining; the choice of seasonal “Easter” cakes are one of the many perks of Japan’s new(ish) interest in Easter. These Ginza Cosy Corner bite size cakes taste as good as they look!



Manhole Covers

I used to think I was an observant person, until my cousin sent me an article about manhole covers in Japan. I was in Japan more than 10 years when she sent me the link about the ornate manhole covers here. My first instinct was that it must be in a part of Japan that I have never visited…

Then I started looking down

Manhole (2)

and sure enough each city’s manhole cover is different. 

"MatsumotoManholeCover" by Original uploader was Rei at en.wikipedia - Originally from en.wikipedia; description page is/was here.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MatsumotoManholeCover.jpg#mediaviewer/File:MatsumotoManholeCover.jpg
“MatsumotoManholeCover” by Original uploader was Rei at en.wikipedia – Originally from en.wikipedia; description page is/was here.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MatsumotoManholeCover.jpg#mediaviewer/File:MatsumotoManholeCover.jpg

 

Often they are representative of the city.  For example, I recently posted about the 100 caves of Yoshimi, which is the design of the manhole covers in the that city. 

 

Some are in colour, but most are etched into the steel without colour.
PIC_2542
Even the fire hydrant manhole covers have their own special images.
PIC_2541

 

So if you plan to come to Japan, remember to look down! Not only will you see something unique to Japan, but you will also learn something about the area you are visiting.  For those who have visited or live here;  have / did you notice/d them!?

There is a fantastic selection over at the Land of Wa; http://dustinandlaura.blogspot.jp/search/label/Manholes

The wonderful blogger behind Shizuoka gourmet often blogs about this topic and I see he recently posted an in-depth article about it, with fantastic photos, be sure to check it out; http://shizuokagourmet.com/2015/01/20/manhole-covers-in-shizuoka-prefecture-35-new-commemorative-fire-hydrant-manhole-cover-in-shzuoka-city/

Pregnancy, Parenting, Play in Saitama

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