The Deal Mommy

Guest Post: Mother’s Day Traditions in Japan

Today’s post is written by Caleb Parsons of Kids Travel Japan. I follow Caleb on Instagram and enjoy his tales of living as an American with a Japanese family. I thought it would be fun to learn about Mother’s Day traditions in Japan. 
Kids Travel Japan is a language school in Osaka with a unique mission to connect Japanese and American children. We participated in their first cultural exchange and it was the absolute highlight of our visit to Japan. If you are planning to visit Osaka (or even if you aren’t) be sure to check out Caleb and his lovely students. 
Kids Travel Japan

Deal Kid and his Kids Travel Japan friend, Yoshiharu, Osaka.

Mother’s Day Traditions in Japan


Mother’s Day is just around the corner so it’s the perfect time to plan what to get Mom. I’ve lived in Japan for over 10 years and though my mother is not Japanese, my wife is the Japanese mother of my daughter. So let me tell you about how the Japanese appreciate their mothers on Mother’s Day.
As for children, message cards wishing for a Happy Mother’s Day are the most common gift. When children hand these cards to their mothers, they say “Okaasan, arigatou” which means “Mom, thank you.” In addition, many children also create handmade “tickets” which they give to their mothers. On these “tickets”, mothers will find phrases like “1 free homemade meal”, “1 day of house cleaning”, or “1 day of grocery shopping.” Mothers can return these tickets anytime to their children on days when they need a break from housecleaning or shopping and the children will instead do these tasks!
Adults, on the other hand, have it off easier and often give their mothers carnations and perhaps a card.
Children enjoy cooking a simple meal for their mothers. There isn’t any food in particular that’s associated with Mother’s Day so Mom’s favorite meal is best!
Adults can treat their mothers to a meal, either at home or at a restaurant. Japanese society places great importance on respecting the elderly, individuals who are older than ourselves, and especially parents.
This year for Mother’s Day, go ahead and take a page out of Japan’s book and pay your respects to your mother.
Thanks, Caleb, for sharing your insights!


Somehow I don’t think my favorite gift, time off from the kids, would fly in Japan. I also think it’s interesting that carnations are the flower of choice for Mother’s day in Japan.  

Have you come across any Mother’s Day traditions while traveling? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments. 



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