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Japan for Kids: The Ultimate Guide for Parents and Their Children Paperback – August 1, 2000


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Paperback, August 1, 2000
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 404 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha USA; 2 edition (August 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4770023510
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770023513
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 5.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Japan for Kids has become a classic. Well-organized and family-oriented, it provides endless suggestions for activities."-Japan Times"Japan for Kids was written by two expatriate mothers. Families planning to relocate to Tokyo, or those just passing through, should put aside their Japanese grammars, histories and business materials to spend an hour or two with this wonderful book." -Asian Wall Street Journal"Most books for kids tell us how and where to keep them amused. Japan for Kids is, instead, a family event. I admire Diane and Jeanne for the effort and enthusiasm they put into these pages. Whether you want a festival or a catalog, an aquarium or a toy museum, this book will be a very satisfying guide-even if you don't have children. I know it will be a best-seller for years to come." -Jean Pearce"Tokyo often seems like a city that was designed solely with the purpose of overtime work and adult pleasures in mind. But once one gets out with the wee ones and starts to explore Tokyo and its environs, there are wonderful treats in store for the readers of this guide." -Eye Ai magazine

About the Author


The authors, Diane and Jeanne, at a local playground in Tokyo with their "research assistants," Kennedy, Kane, Michelena, Nathan, and Gabriella. After living in Japan for a combined total of seventeen years, Diane and Jeanne returned to the United States with their families. Jeanne is now an attorney in Dallas, Texas, specializing in corporate law. Diane, columnist for the Tokyo Weekender and author of Design with Japanese Obi, frequently travels to Japan from her home on the East Coast.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Tokyo Kurz on October 30, 2001
OK. The book was written by an American primarily from an American point of view, and is heavily weighted towards life in Tokyo. Some basic demographics: Japan - total population about 127 million. The English speaking population in Tokyo is maybe 40,000 (if you assume that most of the West Europeans speak English on top of their mother tongues). The number of registered foreigners living in all of Japan is about 1,686,444 (as of Dec 2000) of which 2.7% are US citizens representing the fifth largest ethnic group after Koreans, Chinese, Brazilians and Philippinos. This is to give you an idea of how small the total number of English speaking foreign residents is. Naturally they are spread out very unequally all over this country with the greatest numbers concentrated in the Tokyo/Yokohama corridor and in the Osaka/Kyoto/Kobe region.
Diane writes very positively. In spite of lack in total coverage of the whole country, this book makes Japan more attractive to people who would be overwhelmed otherwise by the exotic nature of Japan, a country where very few people are capable of communicating on even the simplest level in English (unlike Singapore, Hong Kong, Sweden, Holland, India, etc.) The book is too short to address every nook and cranny of an endless topic, but it is a darn good start in the right direction and the only book of it's kind. Supplemented by the Japan Health Handbook, long term visitors have a good set of tools for tackling the job of living here with limited or no Japanese language ability. There are several chapters dealing with general information applicable to living in most urban areas of Japan. She has also included a lot of web site URLs in this second edition which make more detailed information on a local basis available.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By DavidK on March 18, 2001
A more apt title for this book is perhaps "Tokyo for American Kids", because that is what it is mostly about. I am located in Yokohama, which is not far from Tokyo, so fortunately it is still useful for me, as it contains some references to Yokohama. However, if you are living in other parts of Japan, the book's usefulness is limited. The book makes many references to getting access to things that you are used to "back home", where home is America, so if you aren't American that's not much help either. Having said all that, the book has many good features if you are living in or near Tokyo, including lists of English-speaking doctors, parks/playgrounds and things to see and do, however don't rely too heavily on the directions to the attractions given in the book, as some of them are pretty ordinary. There is enough general type of information to make the book worth buying regardless of your location, if only to give you an idea of what to expect if you are moving to Japan with children, just don't be disappointed when you discover that most of the specific details provided are aimed at people living in Tokyo. If you are moving to Tokyo, this book is excellent. If you are an American moving to Tokyo, then it's even better!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. Sprenger on January 17, 2009
This book was a complete waste of money. It is outdated and basically all of the places mentioned do not exist anymore. The e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc. are no longer and the people and places are long gone!

The worst is when you take your children on an outing - travel on trains, buses, etc. and finally arrive at the location only to find that nobody (including the police) has even heard of the place you are looking for!

It happened to us every time! (Should have learned, but this was the only book that we had.) I would like to return the book and get my money and travel fees back.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Readtokids on March 18, 2010
Useful if you fit into the right demographic: starting out in Tokyo with children under the age of 5 or so. Keep in mind that the book is quite outdated now, so you will miss many resources if you use it as your sole source. Also, and the author are quite inclusive and note too many locations which are not significant-- e.g. tiny neighborhood parks which are easy to find if you live in the neighborhood but not much to write home about if you travel to the location from a different part of town. If you are a newcomer to Tokyo, you will find some useful info in this book, however if you are looking for good outings with kids, use Kids' Trips in Tokyo by Maeda, et al, which is more selective in pointing you to quality locations for outings which appeal to kids from toddler through elementary age.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "maryoh" on September 28, 2000
Yes, there is a lot of great information here, and if you are in Japan with your kids I'm sure this book will be helpful. However, despite the "Japan" in the title, most of the specific places mentioned in the book (museums, hospitals, parks, etc.) are in Tokyo, followed by the Osaka-Kobe area. It can make you very envious if you don't live there!
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