Wednesday, August 11, 2010

image Aug7_Hakone1

Anna chose a Japanese landmark for our geography track today, and I was happy since I planned to “visit” Japan for a while now. The best part was that we could almost visit Japan “for real” since we have a unique landmark of our own very close to where we live. It’s Hakone Gardensan authentic replica of Japanese Samurai or Shogun’s estate garden, designed by one of  Aug7_Hakone3 descendent of the imperial gardening family members. It’s a very beautiful large garden with several parts including a bamboo garden and a Zen garden. It also has several buildings in Japanese style. All of us really enjoyed this outing. As expected, Anna’s favorite parts were water features and watching beautiful koi fish and turtles, but she was also very enthusiastic about seeing all the things the garden had to offer and asked many questions. She kept saying, This garden is very relaxing. I am already very relaxed now. :) We had to have “a talk” about not picking up rocks, since she wanted to have “memories” from the place. We still have to train her that we capture memories in pictures, not necessarily in objects that we bring from our travels.

I live in Tokyo

I was also lucky to pick a great book for our Japan “visit”. I live in Tokyo is written by a Japanese author and told by a 7-year-old girl Mimiko. I wish I could have this type of a book for every country, because it gives so much information and at the same time fun to read, so you don’t even notice that you learn something new. The book took us to different parts of Japan and different celebrations happening throughout a year. It includes a lot of Japanese words and shows how they are written in kanji. Anna was very interested in the pages showing Mimiko’s different dishes and various desserts. My husband and I love Japanese food, and maybe it’s time to see how Anna would take to some traditional Japanese dishes. In the meantime, I made a very yummy Teriyaki Chicken – even my picky daughter gobbled it up.

Little Travelers Japan

We also picked up The Little Travelers Japan in the library. It was the first time when my daughter watched a travel story that wasn’t animated, and we both really enjoyed this DVD. The movie does an incredible job allowing us to see Japan through the eyes of American girls visiting it for the first time. It’s not about landmarks, but about everyday surprises (like sparsely furnished rooms and leaving your shoes outside), local food, local parks, making new friends and trying out some of the local customs. Now Anna is rearing to go to Japan and asks very many questions. She is also begging to learn Japanese for real. Umm… after German and Russian, sweetie :) 

Come and share your adventures in time and space at History/Geography exchange at Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn.

12 comments:

Christy said...

I love the way you are doing the landmark/country studies. It really makes me want to jump in and study other countries.

I know what you mean about books for countries because I have had the same experience with state books. I find some fantastic books for some states and nothing at all or at least nothing interesting for others.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I asked the kids to vote on the language they would really like to learn in the fall - five voted for Japanese, and one voted for French - so it looks like an interesting fall - I only took one semester of French in college, and the professor asked me if I was on some kind of medication, that might cause severe nervousness!

But, I'm happy to know about the book and video, I'll stick those on my check out list :)

Debbie said...

Nothing like having a Japanese Garden near by to give the kids a feel for the types of plants and trees that grow there. We have a Japanese Garden in Olympia but have yet to visit.

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

What a beautiful garden! Emily made some Suminagashi prints (a traditional Japanese marbling technique) the other day, and they turned out beautifully. She made print after print after print until we ran out of counter space for all of them to dry! I think she would love to learn more about Japan too.

Mom and Kiddo said...

Anna is right, Japanese Gardens are so relaxing!

MaryAnne said...

How did I live in the bay area for five years and never discover that garden?!

I love Japanese food also, I'll have to try that Teriyaki chicken recipe - I've been searching for a good one!

Kim said...

Looks like a great book and movie - I'll add them to my list...Beautiful garden - nice to have it so nearby!

Pathfinder Mom said...

That looks like a fabulous place. I'm glad that you liked that video. I've had a couple from that series in my Netflix queue for a while.

My Family My Forever said...

This landmark is beautiful. Your geography posts make me want to start this sort of study up here. I've been saying I was going to for almost a year and either let my desire to craft or our regular homeschool studies get in the way.

You had a wonderful study of Japan! Perfect landmark, perfect book and perfect food! This is fun! Thanks for sharing the recipe link too.

Phyllis said...

Very nice post with lots of suggestions.

Ticia said...

We have the same problems with state books, like Christi said. And then we find that occasional gem that makes it all worth while.

We have a Japanese garden here as well. I need to buy a copy of the book about that garden, because it's actually kind of a cool story. And they're so calming. I need that right now (you're about to see a post about my last 30 minutes come up, oh my goodness).

Ticia said...

You need to link your Japan books post to this post :)