December 23 was the emperor’s birthday and thus a national holiday in Japan.  That means no work or no school.  However, December 24 and 25 are regular days  (albeit festive to due the Christmas season) and thus my husband had to work because it was a regular Thursday and Friday for him.   My son’s school holiday had already started, though, and fortunately he had no school on those days.

So anyway, we all watched Star Wars as a family on December 23 of 2015.   It was great!  I am glad my husband saw it with my son because it is a GREAT  “father son” movie, if you know what I mean.  😉

Afterwards we went to a little bakery and sampled their Christmas pastries.




It was a coffee shop as well as a bakery, with tables to sit down and relax and drink your coffee.  I noticed that they had this:


Do you know what it is?

Think about it.

Figured it out yet?

They are blankets that you can take and drape over your knees if you get chilly.  The sign says:

Go Jiyuu Ni

Go Riyou Kudasai

That means, “Please help yourself.  You can use them for free.”  (Of course you have to return it when you are finished!

Jiyuu is word that means “freely” so anytime you see Jiyuu Ni that “This can be freely/no problem.”

Riyou is a word that means “use” so Riyou Kudasai means “Please use”

If you don’t live in Japan, you may think it odd that they have little blankets that you can drape over your knees.   It’s really common here for women to do this.   You might work at a company or teach in a school and see the workers or students (always female) with a dainty blankets over the knees.   Yes, even in class.

You know, my legs are getting cold.  Where’s my blanket?

Oh, there it is!  Ah, much better!