by Marie Teather

No matter what age you are, birthdays are occasions hard to pass by without notice. Whether you dread the day in hand or have a party planned out weeks in advance, chances are the occasion will be marked by doing something a little different to the usual routines of daily life. For kids however, birthdays are a whole other ball game. One of the year’s most important dates, this is an occasion which absolutely must be marked with some kind of over-thetop, colorful and noisy celebration; the birthday boy or girl must be the center of attention and what’s more; this party must be better than the rest.

Well that’s how we remember it, but here in Japan, Yumi Urakawa, founder of Party Palace Inc. tells me that birthday parties ‘have never traditionally been a part of the culture’. In the States, where she grew up, she noticed that parties with presents, cakes and games are big events, and now she plans to bring this kind of culture to Japan with the party planning company she founded over a year ago. She also hopes that kids in the international community are not missing out on parties they would have experienced had they been in their home country. Indeed, since the eighties when roller booting, ten-pin bowling and ice-skating parties became fashionable and today with TV programmes like the American Sweet Sixteen, which shows rich teenagers holding parties that could rival royalty in some poorer countries of the world, these days birthday parties are big business.

Birthday party

Party Palace Inc. specializes in organising parties for corporate or personal events. For busy parents and to take all the stress out of organising a party for your child, Yumi and her team will provide ideas to match your children’s requests.

Each party has a theme, so for girls think belly dancing, flower arranging, nail painting, and for boys there are magic shows, clown carnivals or maybe even  football. After deciding the theme, Party Palace Inc. will prepare everything needed to throw the party from catering, decorations, plates and cutlery, balloons, tablecovers and streamers, all in your preferred color or animated character. You don’t need to do anything apart from wait for the doorbell to ring. And then, after the party, they will clean everything up for you.

Each specialist dancer, magician, or beautician sent out to facilitate the theme of the party are professionals who can speak English and one of Party Palace Inc.’s organisers will also be at the party who can speak both English or Japanese. Photographers can also be arranged and even getting the right kind of band to play at your party will all be taken care of. Cakes are custom-made (think hearts or Mickey Mouse-shaped) and so can cater for any dietary restrictions. If your home is not ideal for large groups of children other sites can easily be recommended. And of course, it doesn’t have to be just birthdays—from sweet sixteen or graduation parties, celebrations all year round can be remembered for years to come. It really is simple and with parties like these, old games of ‘pass the parcel’ and ‘pin the tail on the donkey’ will no doubt soon be long forgotten.

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