Learning The Koto

I’ve wanted to learn to play the koto for years. I think it’ss such a beautiful sounding instrument. I already take lessons for violin so learning to play the koto was just a matter of saving and time. I began taking lessons in the fall of 2018 and took a break to focus on school but I’m looking at starting again soon since school is almost done for the year. Learning about the instrument was a lot of fun and it’s definitely a challenging instrument.


My Amazing Koto!


I purchased my own koto through Chords Canada. Their customer service was great and purchasing was easy.

When learning to play the koto there will be kanji you need to know in order to read more traditional music. The music goes by string number so the sheet music uses kanji 1-10 plus three unique kanji for strings 11, 12 and 13.


First page of my music book for the koto.


Don’t be overwhelmed by the music, once you learn how to read it it’s much less complicated than it seems. When I get back into playing regularly I’ll try to post a video!

For anyone that wants to give it a try, go for it! You only live once and I recommend learning to play. It truly is so beautiful sounding.



Summer Ends And University Begins

Summer has come and gone pretty quickly but we managed to visit family and even go to the Japan Festival held in Mississauga for a short while before we got rained out. We wanted to stick around longer but since it was an outdoor event we got pretty soaked. My daughter, however, managed to find a pretty yukata she liked and loved wearing it. We still enjoyed our time there regardless of how short it was. My husband was happy to at least see some live taiko drumming for the first time.

My little girl in her yukata and snuggling her new friend!

So I’m currently in my second week of university and it has been quite the change for my entire family. My husband’s work schedule rotates between evenings and days so he has been getting up early to see both my daughter and me off to school. I wake up crazy early to start my mornings now because not only do I have to make sure my daughter is ready for school I now have to get myself ready and out the door. It’s been pretty hectic but that’s to be expected when there is a big change.

University has been great so far! I’m enjoying my Japanese language class and my Culture and Society in East Asia class seems interesting. Japanese class is certainly fast-paced so I have to study very regularly. I found out that my university offers a Minor in Japanese Studies so I’ll definitely be looking into signing up for that. It’s been so long since I attended a school that I’m a bit nervous about writing papers but the school offers lots of help in the Writing Center. I think I’ll be visiting there often while I get the hang of academic papers and essays.

That’s it for now! I’ll be updating again soon!

Japan Crate *DokiDoki*


Today I thought I would talk about something a bit more fun for those of you who like to see cute items from Japan. I’m sure some have already have heard of Japan Crate. It’s a subscription site where you pay monthly to receive a box or goods from Japan! The type of goods you get depend on your subscription choice. I just recently started the DokiDoki subscription and so far have gotten a parcel for July and August. Since I have a little girl at home I thought she would enjoy some of the things that would come with this subscription so we enjoy opening it together and sharing what is inside.

Here is a picture showing just some of the items (not all) that we have gotten in the past two months.


Again there is a bit more that was included I just didn’t get a chance to photograph them. I personally enjoy the subscription and may even get another in the future for my husband. His subscription would be for the すごい (sugoi) Crate because he loves trying new snacks. They have other types as well. If you enjoy trying out new beauty products they have the KiraKira Crate and if you love noodles they also have the Umai Crate.

If you’re interested in checking it out for yourself you can head on over to www.japancrate.com and have a look. I’m pretty sure you can cancel your subscription at anytime if you find you don’t enjoy the service. Also if you are trying it out for the first time I suggest heading to www.groupon.com since they sometimes have deals on first time subscribers. Just make sure to read all the instructions first to make sure you use the deal correctly.

So is there any fun ways you like to try out items from Japan? Feel free to comment any tips, suggestions or advice!