Shibu Onsen after dark, Yamanouchi, Nagano Prefecture, Japan

Shibu Onsen after dark, Yamanouchi, Nagano Prefecture, Japan

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Shibu Onsen after dark, Yamanouchi, Nagano Prefecture, Japan

Image by David McKelvey
Shibu Onsen is a historic and attractive hot spring town in Yamanouchi, which has retained a traditional atmosphere. Nestled in a small valley, Shibu Onsen is spread out on a gentle slope beside the Yokoyugawa River, with Yudanaka Onsen located below and the Jigokudani Monkey Park above.

During its long history, the area has been visited for its hot spring water by a lot of people, including priests, samurai and poets. Some of the ryokan (Japanese style inns) that line Shibu’s narrow streets, date back over 400 years, adding greatly to Shibu’s atmosphere. Guests of the ryokan are encouraged to take a stroll around town in the traditional onsen clothing of yukata robes and geta sandals.

One incentive to walk around the town is to make use of the public bath houses, of which there are nine. The public baths are locked and, except for one, only accessible to locals and overnight guests, who are provided with a master key by their ryokan. The bath houses are small buildings, divided into a women’s side and a men’s side, and the baths themselves are quite simple. The bath houses are numbered, but also have special names and cure different ailments. Source: www.japan-guide.com
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Yamanouchi is a municipality in northern Nagano Prefecture with a variety of tourist attractions. The area’s Jigokudani Monkey Park draws many visitors because of its unique wild monkeys, who bathe in the park’s natural hot springs. The monkeys are not the only ones enjoying the water, as the nearby towns of Shibu Onsen and Yudanaka Onsen are centered around the bathing experience.

The largest ski resort in Japan, Shiga Kogen, is also located within Yamanouchi. One single ticket gives skiers and snowboarders access to dozens of runs, some of which hosted events during the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. Shiga Kogen and other parts of Yamanouchi are part of the Joshinetsu Kogen National Park, which offers hiking and other outdoor activities when there is no snow on the hills. Source: www.japan-guide.com

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Do You Homework When Choosing After School Activities

Do You Homework When Choosing After School Activities

There’s more to getting your kids back to school than purchasing new supplies and getting them into a routine. For most working parents, it’s also a time to select activities for after school. With many activities being cut from school budgets, parents now have to find programs on their own. Instead of just sending your child to a babysitter or sitting them in front of the TV, consider enrolling them in a fun and productive program, like an art class. In this article, we’ll share some fun and inexpensive ideas to keep your kids entertained and out of trouble after school.

Choosing kid’s activities for after school takes a little thought and planning. No matter where you live, money is tight in the school systems. This often means cutting back on sports, music and arts program. Good after school activities can fill in this gap in your children’s education and your child’s interests should be your first consideration. No matter how much you may want a child prodigy, he or she simply won’t enjoy or excel in an activity they are forced to do. Child development and health should also be a factor. If children spend too much time in front of the computer or playing video games, then this could be a good opportunity to get them out of this sedentary lifestyle by enrolling them in a sport or dance class.

When choosing an after school activity, you ought to consider how much of your time as a parent will be required. Will you need to bring them there and take them home, take part in recitals, shows and games? Will you be obligated to volunteer as a driver, fundraiser or coach? If many of these tasks necessitate driving long distances, it can be incredibly time consuming. Be very upfront about how much time you can commit to these tasks by speaking to the program directors prior to becoming involved. You must also consider how much time your child has to give to the activity. Activities like being taught a musical instrument calls for practice, but kids still should have time to be kids. Don’t get them engaged in activities that are too highly developed for their age or aptitude, because it will be frustrating for the child rather than being enjoyable.

For many families, especially those with several kids, expense is a significant consideration when picking after school activities. The expense of music lessons and instruments, or sports and equipment can be significant. If a school sponsored activity is not available, then check out your local community center for activities or after school clubs. Many provide exceptional physical fitness courses like dance, swimming, yoga for kids, kids crafts and even martial arts. The expenses are amazingly low and the activities are taught by competent teachers. You can also research non profit organizations and churches. Having your child volunteer for a worthy cause is an excellent way to keep them busy while letting them learn new skills.

Fun and educational activities for after school are the ideal way to expose your child to new experiences and skills. Speak to them about their interests and gear their activities to this area. Do you have a child who loves rock and roll? Music lessons are ideal. Does your child live and breathe for their local sports team? Get them involved in the sport. Their enjoyment is key, so make sure that they love what they’re doing. It’s the best way to ensure that they get the absolute best benefits of after school programs.

Getting your children involved with after school activities is a great way to keep them busy and supervised until you get home. And luckily, there are lots of options for after school programs that are inexpensive and easily accessible.

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Danger Zone: Visiting Your Local Dog Park After The School Holidays

Danger Zone: Visiting Your Local Dog Park After The School Holidays

The school holidays are finally over and it is always nice to return to the familiarity of the daily routine after a long, fun break. Things can get very hectic for the past few weeks – with you, your family, and your beloved pet trying to get back into the swing of things – and it is important to remember that when you return to your local dog park, things may not be as you left them.

Let’s face it: visitors often cause accidental damage, even after they leave. The local dog park, that nice and happy place that was once full of familiar faces and friendly wagging tails, may have become a strange environment to both you and your dog during the holidays with lots of people and their canine friends come around. The out of town visitors to the dog park may well have turned everything upside down, according to your pet at least. The park will be full of new, different, and sometimes, unpleasant smells. It is recommended that you keep your pet on leash when you first return to the pet-friendly areas until you have had a chance to check out the altered surroundings.

Before you enter the park, take the time to walk along the perimeter of the fence, to make sure that none of the dogs that have previously visited the area have dug holes through which your pet could escape. Check along any potential obstacles for hidden dangers as well. Make sure that the holiday visitors did not leave their own dog toys behind in the play area, and dispose of anything that doesn’t belong, especially those that could potentially harm your dog. This will not only make the park safe for you and your pet but for others who use it as well.

It is very essential that you keep a close eye on your pet for the first few times back at the pet-friendly dog park. Make sure that she is behaving well or at least normally while she is there. After the excitement of the school holidays, some dogs may find the return visit to their old park boring and even awkward, while others may be overly excited to see play with old friends again. We suggest taking the time to comfort and reinforce your dog’s confidence for the first few times that you return to the park, now that the holidays have passed and you’re back to your old routine.

For more expert advice on how to manage your pet when in a dog park or pets allowed accommodation, visit http://www.takeyourpet.com.au — your one-stop shop for pet-friendly advice. Subscribe to the newsletter for the chance to win a FREE pet-friendly holiday!

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