In Japan, it’s tradition for parents or grandparents to present a child with a randoseru, or firm-sided backpack, when they begin their first year of school. Children use their backpacks until they graduate from grade six. Sometimes the school requires a certain color of backpack—in the past it was always red for girls, black for boys. But in recent years as attitudes toward gender stereotypes have begun to shift, more colorful versions of randoseru have become more popular.
When we met Zafira, a 2nd grader in Tokyo, she showed us her cherry-red randoseru, adorned with lucky tags from a visit to a shrine.
The backpack has a nameplate and a special clear plastic pocket to hold a school schedule. There are several hooks on either side of the backpack to which most Japanese schoolkids attach handmade bags containing their school shoes, gym clothes, toothbrush, etcetera. Zafira’s mom, Monique, explained that mothers are expected to make these cloth bags so that when a child is at school, they see the bags and are reminded that their mom loves them.
While we don’t have randoserus available for purchase on TeaCollection.com we can let you in on a little secret… For the first time ever, we’re launching backpacks in Tea prints and patterns. Make sure to check back in early August. How will your little citizen’s decorate theirs?
Tea travels the world. We truly go there. We travel to discover. To dream. To explore the wonder of the world around us, across the globe and across the street. Since 2002, we’ve traveled, always inspired by the people we meet and the places we see. Wherever we go, from Bali to Norway, West Africa to Morocco, we take in all we can and bring it back to our home base in San Francisco to design globally-inspired clothing for your little citizen. The world is woven into every thread of Tea, with each collection featuring a new destination we’ve traveled to. This fall, we’re excited to announce that we’re off to Japan!
Some say that the Amalfi Coast is the most beautiful coastline in the whole world. We wouldn’t argue with that. While driving down its winding roads may appeal to some, we prefer the views from the Tyrrhenian Sea. To capture the Amalfi coast in all of it’s splendor, we hopped on a boat one afternoon to see it from a different perspective. Follow along as we take you on a boat tour of the Amalfi Coast.
There’s no better companion on a bright, sunny day than a sweet scoop of ice cream or perhaps gelato depending on where you live. Our recent Italian adventures got us thinking about these two great treats. They’re so similar, yet so different. Is there really a difference between gelato and ice cream? Or did we just fall hard for gelato because we were so romanced by Italy as a whole?
On our first full day in Italy, we were set to tour the Amalfi coast. Our guide picked us up from the hotel early that morning and off we went to explore Priano, Amalfi, Ravello, Marmorata, Minori, Salerno and everything in between. On our way through Positano we passed a linen shop on the top of the hill and asked the van to stop for us to run in. The linens hanging on the porch of the store were gorgeous and we wanted a closer look. The shop had everything type of linen garment you could imagine!
We walked in and were greeted by a lovely woman. She helped us navigate the store and mentioned it was a family business. Jet lag was tough and it was an early morning for everyone… As I wandered through the store, I couldn’t stop yawning. A stout man with thick rimmed glasses caught me mid-yawn and asked, “Caffè?”. Embarrassed, I politely declined. He asked again and assured me that his brew would wake me up. He introduced himself as Vito, “the owner of this store!” and insisted that I needed a caffè. How could I say no to this? I agreed to coffee and followed him to the back room of his shop.
We landed in Naples, stopped for pizza at Ciro a Santa Lucia, toured the National Archaeological Museum, hopped in the van and took off to Positano. It was a whirlwind day, but then again that’s how most Tea trips go… we always seem to hit the ground running (and in this case, quite literally, as we ran from customs in Rome to our flight to Naples!). Planning a trip to the Amalfi coast can be a bit daunting because there’s just so much to see and do. Here, we share a bit of our coastal itinerary for a few tips to help your family travel the Tea way!