Daily Living Guide

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The Nagoya International Center has provided information to foreign residents since its establishment in 1984, and responds to over 40,000 inquiries annually. In producing this online booklet, NIC has prepared answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about living in Nagoya, and included explanations of Japanese social systems and customs.

The addresses and phone numbers of companies and stores mentioned in this online booklet have been omitted if they can be found in English newspapers, magazines or directories. If you are unable to find the information you are seeking, please feel free to ask the NIC Information Counter and we will gladly provide assistance.


Earthquakes, typhoons, and other natural disasters

Education and Learning

Health

Home and Garden

Municipal Services

NIC Quick Recipes

On the Road

Social Insurance

Tax

Visas and Immigration

Working in Japan


Free Business Start-up Seminar and Gyoseishoshi Consultations

The NIC will be hosting a free business start-up seminar as well as gyoseishoshi consultations. Reservations are required.


Adjustments to Subway, City Bus and Other Fares

From Mon. 1 Sep., fares for City Subway and Bus services are adjusted as a result of the consumption tax rate increase.


Nagoya City Public Elementary School Enrollment Applications

If you live in Nagoya City and would like your child to attend a Nagoya City public elementary school from April 2015, you can apply at your local ward office’s citizen’s section.


Changes: Re-entry and Departure ED Card

The new ED cards were made available from July 1. Please make sure you familiarize yourself with the changes.


Temporary Welfare Benefit & Information Seminar

A temporary welfare benefit is available to certain people. Please read on for eligibility and further details.


The NIC’s Free Civic Advisory Service

Did you know that the Nagoya International Center has a full time Gyoseishoshi available to answer questions regarding immigration, labour laws, pension related queries, family matters and more?


School Guidance Seminar for Children of Foreign Nationals

This seminar is now over, and this page is here for reference purposes. Please regularly check our website, follow us on twitter, like us on facebook and/or subscribe to our mail magazine for all the latest info and future seminars… Coming from a different cultural background, most foreign parents living in Japan have a different idea of what further education should be…


Co-operative Disaster Assistance Planning

In the event of a large scale earthquake or a major disaster, it is important to be prepared in order to minimize damage as much as possible.


Useful Japanese: Summer

Some useful Japanese sentences which can be used in Summer in Japan.


June is “Know Your Garbage and Recyclables” Month!

Are you separating your garbage and recyclables correctly? Let’s have a quick refresher on how to separate household waste.


Employment Fair for Foreign Students

This fair has now concluded and this page is here for reference purposes. Please regularly check our website, follow us on twitter, like us on facebook and/or subscribe to our mail magazine for the latest info… Aimed at helping foreign students attending tertiary education and technical colleges who will be graduating in March 2015, the fair plans to bring together around thirty-two companies.


Children’s Picture Books Corner Upgrade

With the NIC celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, we are taking this opportunity to further improve the section to make it even more inviting and accessible to our users. The independent room will be devoted to our impressive collection of children’s books.


Useful Japanese: Mobile Phones

Learn some frequently used language which should make things a little easier the next time you go to your local mobile phone shop.


Recycling Old Clothes and Fabrics

Learn more about Nagoya City’s textile recycling program to see how you can help turn your old clothing and fabrics into useful resources.


Recycling Old Tempura Oil

Do you do any deep frying at home? Perhaps you make tempura, or cook your own Japanese style fried chicken. Did you know Nagoya City recycles used cooking oil?


Useful Japanese: Cherry Blossoms & Hay Fever

Some useful Japanese language for cherry blossom viewing and hay fever.


Apply for the JLPT and other Japanese Tests

Are you planning to take the JLPT? You will need to apply between April 1 to 30 if you want to take the July 6 exam.


Updated Nagoya Living Guide

The guide book provides helpful information for daily life to foreign residents living in Nagoya. Please keep this guide handy and refer to it whenever you need to find practical information related to living in Nagoya City.


Earthquake and Tsunami Hazard Maps

Earthquakes occur frequently all over Japan. In addition, areas located close to the shore are exposed to the risk of tidal waves (tsunami). The Nagoya Fire Department will be sending out maps to residents by post which indicate hazard zones. Earthquake maps will be sent to all residences, and tsunami hazard maps will be sent to tsunami damage prone areas only.


Useful Japanese: On the Phone

Knowing a few simple phrases and sentences can really help you when speaking Japanese on the phone. Many of the words and phrases frequently used in telephone conversations are quite unique, so you may find yourself having difficulty even if you have an otherwise sufficient level of Japanese ability.


Small Appliance Recycling Stations

Cellphones, Digital Cameras, and other Small Home Appliances contain rare and precious metals which can be usefully recycled.
You can help by recycling any unused items. The City appreciates your cooperation!


Useful Japanese: Electrical Appliances

A brief translated guide to using some frequently used home appliances in Japan.


Dealing with Humidity and Mould

The growth of mould is caused by high temperatures and humidity. Specifically, temperatures of 15℃ or higher and humidity levels of 75% and above – conditions found in Japan especially during the long, hot summer months.


Winter Sickness

Infections of seasonal influenza and the norovirus peak during the winter months and can even put the strongest people out of action for several days. Although their symptoms are different, the steps that you can take to prevent the viruses are very similar.


Useful Japanese: Evacuation Shelters

Some useful Japanese phrases to keep handy for emergencies which involve evacuation and emergency shelters. Also useful for Japanese people to keep handy, as it shows English, Romaji (romanised pronunciation), and Japanese versions.


Comprehensive Seminar and Consultations for Parents and Guardians of Foreign Children

This Seminar and Consultation event has now concluded and this page is here for reference purposes. Please regularly check our website, follow us on twitter, like us on facebook and/or subscribe to our mail magazine for the latest info…


Visit to Nagoya Minato Disaster Prevention Centre for British People

This disaster prevention event has now concluded, and this page is here for reference purposes. Please regularly check our website, follow us on twitter, like us on facebook and/or subscribe to our mail magazine for the latest info and for any other upcoming opportunities for disaster prevention training… From 1100hrs on 13 January British people in and around Nagoya can learn how to prepare for and survive disasters they might experience while in Japan. The free visit to the disaster prevention centre will include simulations of earthquakes and fires.


Nagoya City Year End & New Year Refuse Collection

Don’t be stuck with huge bags of garbage in your apartment until the New Year. Make a note of the last and first garbage collection days of 2013 / 2014.


All Night Subways & Discount Subway Travel

The Higashiyama, Meijo, Tsurumai, and Sakuradori lines will be running ALL NIGHT on December 31 with train approximately every 30 minutes throughout the night!


Special Re-Entry Permits

Make sure you’re not caught out when temporarily leaving Japan. Although this type of permit was introduced in July 2012, we’d like to remind people of the importance of filling out the below form correctly. Accidentally failing to check the box as shown below can cause serious problems upon your return to Japan and can cause a lot of unnecessary grief.


Earthquake Situations: Bus & Car

What would you do if an earthquake struck while you were on the bus, or while you were driving? As always, it’s important to remain as calm as possible and follow some basic guidelines. Read on to find out more.


Emergency Warning – Tokubetsu Keiho – 特別警報

“特別警報”(pronounced tokubetsu keihou), or “Emergency Warning” in English, is a new warning classification formed by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) which began on August 30. We will summarise the key points in this article for you.


Aichi University Campus Tour

This tour is now over and this page is here for reference purposes. Please regularly check our website, follow us on twitter, like us on facebook and/or subscribe to our mail magazine for the latest info and for future tour dates… The NIC is running a free tour of Aichi University on Sunday, September 29. Participants will be guided by a current student of the university and will be able to talk to other students and faculty members about the scholarship program, admission, campus life and future prospects.


Foreign Language Courses at the International Student Center

This course is now full and this page is here for reference purposes. Please regularly check our website, follow us on twitter, like us on facebook and/or subscribe to our mail magazine for the latest info… Korean and Chinese language courses open to anyone residing, studying, or working in Aichi Prefecture will be available this spring at the International Student Center (ISC) in Minato Ward. Courses will be conducted in Japanese.


Nagoya SHAKE OUT!

SHAKE OUT is an earthquake drill program which was born in California five years ago and has spread throughout the world with great success. It’s a great opportunity for individuals and organisations to familiarize themselves with their surroundings as well as physically going through the motions required for earthquake response.


Earthquake Situations – Subway Station & Train Carriage

A lot of emphasis is put on how to react in an earthquake emergency situation while in an office or at home, as that is where most of us spend most of our time. However, we should also recognise the importance of knowing what to do in other common situations such as waiting for a train in the subway, or being in a train’s carriage during transit.


Disaster Prevention Workshop for Foreign Residents

Would you be prepared if a powerful earthquake struck Nagoya tomorrow? How would you react? What would you need to prepare? Join other foreign residents and learn what to do in an earthquake and how to prepare your home for one. Learn how to cook rice outside of the kitchen and learn first aid to deal with common disaster-related injuries.


Basic Resident Registration Card

From July 8 2013 onwards, residents will be notified of their resident record code by their municipality of residence. Please keep this code handy, and read this article for more information. The basic resident registration card will make it easier to perform certain administrative duties.


Free Gyoseishoshi Consultations for Foreign Residents

The NIC will be hosting free gyoseishoshi consultations on Saturday, July 6 (13:00 – 16:30) in the Center’s 4F Exhibition Room. English, Filipino, Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese interpreters are available. Maximum 50 minutes per person; maximum 16 people. Reservations are required and can be made from Thursday, June 6 by calling 052-581-0100, or by visiting the NIC 3F Information Counter.


Nagoya City Science Museum

Rediscover science at the Nagoya City Science Museum The Nagoya City Science Museum in Fushimi is a 12 storey complex comprising three sections, the Astronomy building, Technology and Science building, and the Life Science building. Each floor of each building hosts a different aspect of science from telecommunications to disaster prevention. Each section holds several [...]


Ice Sculpture Contest in Osu

Watch with amazement as an elite number of ice artists hand-craft unique sculptures (without the use of chainsaws) in this hour-long annual contest. Even if you can’t make the contest time you can still drop by later in the evening to see the finished sculptures.


Suhara Koen Recreation Park

Suhara Koen is a recreation park area with tennis courts, heated pools, and a lake with boats (all at additional cost). Two types of barbeque sites available: open paved areas for those who bring their own barbeque and brick barbeque sites (comes with picnic benches) for those that don’t.


Japan Monkey Park

Located on a hillside in the Aichi countryside, this combined zoo and amusement park is crammed with attractions for the whole family. Due to the hillside location of the park, the weather can be unpredictable, so come prepared. The amusement park has over 30 rides for all ages including Canyon Splash, a large Ferris wheel, merry-go-rounds, and a roller coaster; some age and height restrictions apply. Single rides cost between 200 and 500 Yen, but a one day passport which includes admission fee and an unlimited pass for attractions is a popular and less expensive way to enjoy the park. Click for more info.


Dealing with Insects in Summer

With more heat and humidity than most of us are used to, Japan’s summer can have us concerned about more than just the excess sweat! Apart from having to deal with the temperature and humidity, insects can be a real nuisance, and given the chance, they love getting indoors too.


Pension: Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment

Are you paying into a Japanese pension scheme? Planning not to be in Japan when its time to claim it? Did you know that foreign nationals that have paid into the National Pension scheme国民年金, the Employees’ Pension Insurance 厚生年金, or Kyosai Kumiai 共済組合, may be eligible to receive a lump sum pension refund (dattai ichijikin 脱退一時金)?


The Aozora Free Pass

The Aozora Free Pass is a rail pass by JR Tokai, providing one day of unlimited usage of local JR trains in the Greater Nagoya region.


Are Your Claiming Your Manaca Mileage Points?

If you are using a Manaca card to commute on a regular basis, you may not be aware that your card is racking up mileage points that can be easily claimed at Manaca ticket Machines and manaca charging machines located inside subway and Meitetsu stations.


Nagoya Municipal Minato Disaster Prevention Center

The center’s two floors have numerous interactive displays. Staff members are on hand to explain each display and answer your questions. Experience the Big One in the Earthquake Simulation Room, try to navigate through the smoke evacuation training room, and fly back to 1959 to experience Nagoya’s worst ever typhoon in the 3D simulation room. Unfortunately staff cannot speak English, but the simulations alone are worth the experience.


Dealing with Heat Stroke in Japan

Heatstroke is a serious condition which occurs when the body produces or absorbs more heat than it can dissipate. It is usually caused by prolonged exposure to high temperatures.


Do you know these symbols?

Walking through the streets of the city passing commercial establishments, hospitals, and civic buildings, we are faced with many types of signs and symbols, some known – others not immediately obvious as to their meaning. But for many people these signs & symbols represent hope, respect, cooperation and understanding.


From March 23 Travel Smart Cards can be used Nationwide!

From Saturday, March 23 the smart card travel passes of ten of the nation’s regional rail and transportation companies will become compatible with each other.


Finding Employment in Japan

Finding work in Japan can be difficult if you don’t know where to look. Foreign language teaching jobs, particularly English, as well as IT related positions or technical related positions are always in high demand.


Hot Springs in and Around Nagoya

Winter is a good time to warm up and relax in some of Japan’s famous onsen hot springs, but you don’t have to trek off to a remote mountain village to visit one; you may be surprised to know that there are numerous hot springs (both natural and man-made) in and around the Nagoya area!


The 2013 International Speech Contest in Japanese

Put your Japanese language skills to the test and enter the International Education Center’s ‘International Speech Contest in Japanese’!


Surviving Hay Fever Hell

Nice sunny day outside? Got red eyes? A congested nose? Maybe a sore throat? Welcome to hay fever hell! The 2011 pollen season has been predicted to be 10 times worse than the 2010 season. Get ready now before it hits!


Night, Sunday, & Holiday Emergency Clinics in Nagoya

If you fall ill on a holiday or at night, call your regular doctor/hospital/clinic for an after-hours consultation, or visit one of the designated holiday emergency clinics or dental clinics listed below. Be sure to bring your health insurance certificate (Kenko Hoken-sho) with you.


Aichi Emergency Treatment Information Center

The Aichi Emergency Treatment Information Center is a 24-hour service that provides information about where to go for medical treatment in Aichi Prefecture, in the event of a traffic accident, sudden illness, and other emergencies.


Visa Change・Renewal FAQ – The Self-Sponsored Visa?

As far as immigration is concerned there is no such thing as a self-sponsored visa in Japan. “Self sponsorship” is not an official term, a “DIY visa” is probably closer to the truth.


Winter at Mount Gozaisho

Mount Gozaisho 御在所岳 (1212m) located on the border of Mie and Shiga prefectures is known for its stunning scenery and fantastic views of Ise Bay. Its also home to the Gozaisho Ropeway and the Gozaisho Ski Resort.


Medical Interpretation Service Program

To tackle this issue, from April 1, 2012 Aichi Prefecture started providing medical translation services on full-time basis at a number of medical institutions in the Prefecture. Services are available in English, Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish.


Listen and Download Disaster Prevention PSAs

Disaster Prevention PSAs from the Nagoya International Center


Ice Skating In and Around Nagoya

Figure skaters – Miki Ando (2011 World Champion), Mao Asada (2010 World Champion), and Kanako Murakami (2009 World Junior Champion) are all Nagoya natives, together with Aichi-native Akiko Suzuki (2011 NHK Trophy Winner) they are currently 4 of the top 12 best skaters in the World. Where better to take to the ice than the world’s number-one skating hotspot!


Labour Difficulties

In principle, workers in Japan, regardless of nationality, are governed by Japanese labor laws and regulations such as the Labor Standards Law, Minimum Wage Act, and Workmen’s Compensation Insurance Act.


Sending New Year’s Post Cards (Nengajo) in Japan

If you are not familiar with the tradition of sending cards, it is considered polite to send a card in return if you receive one from a colleague or family member.


NIC Disaster Survival Tip – Plastic Wrap

Without running water it would be difficult to wash plates and bowls after eating and saving your cache of bottled water for drinking is important. So …


NIC Disaster Survival Tip – Water Storage

The most important item that you will need after a natural disaster is water…


Sending New Year’s Post Cards (Nengajo) Overseas

Did you know that New Year’s post cards issued by Japan Post can be sent overseas with an additional 20 Yen postage stamp? Sending a large number of Christmas cards to family and friends overseas can cost you a small fortune, however sending a New Year’s post card is not only cost effective, you will also be sending a little bit of Japanese New Year’s culture!


12 Chapters of Nagoya Tour

Last year the City of Nagoya published 12 interactive audio-visual sightseeing courses. Since then English, Korean, and Chinese version have been added. There are 3 ways to enjoy the courses.


Not far away, but a world apart … Gujo Hachiman

Known as “Little Kyoto”, the small castle town of Gujo Hachiman in Gifu Prefecture is easily accessible from Nagoya and offers an authentic Japanese small town experience with temples, a castle, old-fashioned narrow streets.


Mino Washi Paper Museum

The Mino Washi Paper Museum offers visitors the chance to discover this tradition and make their own paper using traditional method and materials.


Pro Futsal with the Nagoya Oceans

Nagoya’s team in Japan’s 10-team futsal league (the F-League) is the Nagoya Oceans. The Oceans have won the league each year since its inception in 2007 and play their home games at the specially built indoor Teva Ocean Arena.


Paper Recycling Ordinance to be Enforced from October

To protect these local citizen groups a new City of Nagoya ordinance came in to effect on July 1, 2012. Warning and fines come into effect from October 1.


Nagoya Immigration Office and Information Center

The Information Center located in the Nagoya Regional Immigration Bureau offers consultations on matters related to visas. Inquiries may be made either in person or over the phone.


There are typhoons and then there are TYPHOONS!

On one warm September day back in 2000, the skies over Nagoya turned a miserable shade of grey, the heavens opened, roads turned into rivers as it rained, rained, and rained some more.


Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology

Sakichi Toyoda (1867 – 1930) devoted his life to developing looms. His oldest son Kiichiro Toyoda adapted and developed loom technology and went on to found the Toyota Motor Corporation in 1937. The museum was established in 1994 and is housed in one of Sakichi Toyoda’s old pilot factories.


Grape Picking in Aichi

The grape picking season runs from late summer to early autumn. In Aichi Prefecture the warm coastal areas of the Chita Peninsula, Gamagori, and Okazaki are home to a large number of grape farms – many of which allow visitors to pick and eat grapes fresh off the vine.


Part Time Work – Students and Dependants -

If you are a student and looking for part time work or if you are residing in Japan on a Dependent visa (家族滞在kazoku-taizai) or Cultural Activities visa (文化活動) you must first apply to the Immigration Bureau for a special permit to allow you to engage in activities outside your current visa status.


Know Kanji – Olympics Edition

Test your kanji skills and take our quick quiz. Share with your friends your superior knowledge of the kanji!


Paid Holidays, Days Off, & National Holidays

■Paid holidays, Sick days, Days off, and National holidays  ■Days Off Employers must grant employees at least one day off per week, or four days off in any four-week period. Sundays or public holidays need not necessarily be days off, and other days may be selected as employees’ days off instead by agreement between the [...]


I need an inkan …

My company advised me to get an inkan. Tell me what I should know.


The New Residency Management System

A new residency management system for foreign residents starts on July 9. Don’t worry, you won’t need to rush to immigration straight away, Alien Registration cards will be phased out over the next three years. When will you receive your new card? How will the new system affect you? Your questions are answered here.


Kakamigahara Aerospace Science Museum

The museum has over 25 aircraft on display including research aircraft, experimental craft, helicopters, human-powered aircraft, fighter jets, transport planes, a reproduction of the first aircraft to fly in Japan, and a display of aircraft manufactured in Kakamigahara. Visitors can also climb aboard and explore some of the bigger aircraft.


ETJ-Aichi Workshop

In this workshop Peter Warner explains and demonstrates twelve steps of preposition lessons for children, teenager, and adult students.


Castle Town Nagoya Walking Guide

Using an 1870 map as a guide follow our model walking route to discover the history of the what was the castle town area of Nagoya City and get a picture of how the city was structured before the industrial area and post-war renewal.


Hakone Walking Guide

Explore the Tokaido in picturesque Hakone National Park. Hakone is approximately 400 km east of Nagoya and is a very popular sight-seeing spot, situated at the bottom of Mt. Fuji.


Inuyama Walking Guide

The original Inuyama Castle as well as many traditional-style houses have been preserved on the streets of this city, making it a beautiful place surrounded by abundant water, greenery and tradition.


Miya to Atsuta Walking Guide

Explore the historical area around Nagoya’s ancient Atsuta Shrine, and take in Shiratori Gardens, the harbour that was once part of the Edo-era Tokaido Highway, and Takakura-musubi-miko Shrine.


Pottery Walking Guides

Since ancient times, a number of well-known potteries have been located in the Seto and Tokoname areas.


Nagoya Cultural Path Walking Guide

The district between Nagoya Castle and Tokugawa-en is an area rich in preserved historical buildings and is known locally as the Bunka no Michi – “the cultural path”. In the Edo Period (1603-1867), the area was where middle and lower-class samurai lived. From the Meiji through the early Showa Periods (1868 -1930), the area was home to entrepreneurs, missionaries, journalists, and artists.


Higashiyama 10,000 Step Walking Course

The 6km “Higashiyama 10,000 Step Hiking Course” (東山一万歩コース), which runs around the Higashiyama Zoo and the Botanical Gardens, is a must-try experience for your health and peace of mind. This well-maintained course stretches through a specially preserved forest area in the eastern suburbs of Nagoya.


Horikawa River Walking Guide

A 9km walk along Nagoya Castle’s “man-made moat” – the Horikawa River – starting at Meitetsu Sato station and ending at JR Nagoya Station.


Chikusa Area Walking Guide

A 7km walking route starting from Imaike Subway Station around Chikusa Park and the Suidomichi Green Road areas of Nagoya. Discover the history of the temples and shrines of area.


Yagoto Area Walking Guide

The Yagoto area is a bustling and active area located to the east of central Nagoya with several university campuses, large shopping centers, hotels, and many buildings with fashion boutiques. In the olden days however, the area flourished as the temple town of Koyasan Bekkaku Honzan Koshoji, whose remnants can still be observed today.


Nagoya Castle Walking Guide

Nagoya Castle was a national treasure until most parts of it were destroyed in 1945 during WW2. However, many cultural assets have survived including the north-west and south-east turrets, the Omote-ni-no-mon Gate, many stone walls, the Nino-maru Garden, and Fusuma (sliding door) paintings. Why not explore the castle grounds with our handy guide?


Nakasendo Walking Guide

The Nakasendo was a highway that ran from Kyoto over an inland route through what is now Shiga, Gifu, and Nagano Prefectures before descending on Tokyo’s predecessor, Edo.


Aichi Prefectural Road Traffic Law Changes

Do you cycle using headphones? Are you guilty of texting whilst riding your bicycle? There were some recent changes to the Aichi Prefectural Road Traffic Law that you should be aware of.


Grow Your Own Green Curtain

Cut your summer cooling costs whilst growing some delicious fruit for your very own Okinawan cuisine. The goya plant is a climber plant that quickly produces a huge amount of thick foliage that can block out the heat and bright summer sunshine right up until the early Autumn. It also produces the goya fruit – a significant ingredient in Okinawan cuisine. 


Japanese Residence Tax

All residents of Japan, including foreign residents, are required to pay Residence Tax. The municipality in which you were residing in on January 1 2012 is the municipality that will administer your Residence Tax bill. The amount of Residence Tax to be paid, this includes Prefectural Residence Tax and Municipal Residence Tax, is determined by the amount of income received between January and December of the previous year, and the number of dependents you have.


Slash your Electric Bill and Help the Environment

How much money can you save on your electricity bill? Did you know that the average household in Japan can save up to 7% on their annual electricity bill by simply unplugging electrical appliances when not in use.


Updating Your Residence Card

A new residency management system for foreign residents starts on July 9, 2012. Once you’ve got your new card where should you go to update it. A handy reference guide to when & where to update your Residence Card.


Nagoya City Garbage Collection

In Nagoya, the system of garbage sorting and collection is strictly categorized. Specified plastic bags (Burnable refuse, Non-Burnable refuse, & Recyclable Refuse) can be purchased at supermarkets and convenience stores. Pamphlets about the garbage sorting system are available in 5 languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese & Korean) at the 3F Information Service Corner of the Nagoya International Center.


Designated Tsunami Evacuation Buildings in Nagoya City

In order to protect human life in other coastal and low-lying areas of the city that may be affected by a tsunami, the City of Nagoya has designated certain buildings in these areas as tsunami evacuation buildings.


The Convenient Way to Buy Tickets in Japan

If you live out of town, can’t figure out how to order tickets online, and don’t want to be disappointed when you turn up at the concert without a ticket – with minimum hassle and minimum Japanese skills you can purchase tickets for movies, concerts, exhibitions, and sporting events at your local convenience store.


Manaca & TOICA Tie Up Means Convenience for Travelers

From Saturday, April 21, commuters will be able to use Manaca IC cards at the 148 stations operated by JR Tokai. TOICA card users will also be able to use their cards at the 390 stations and 1639 bus services that currently use Manaca IC cards.


Nagoya City Ward Offices & Branch Offices Sunday Openings

If you work or study full time you may find it difficult to visit your local ward office when you need to. However, Nagoya City Ward Offices & Branch Offices are open on the some Sundays during the month.


A Special JR Rail Ticket – The Seishun 18 (ju-hachi) Kippu

The Sei-shun-ju-hachi-kippu is the one of the most cost-effective types of travel ticket in Japan allowing users to freely travel on JR local and JR rapid trains. Travelers can freely enter and exit any JR station, explore towns and train hop around Japan. Travelling this way can be slow, but a good book, a pre-planned travel itinerary, and a sense of adventure can make time fly by.


Converting a Foreign Driving License to a Japanese License

If you alreay have a foreign driving license the path to converting to a Japanese license is split into 3 parts: an inspection of documents followed by a vision and colour recognition check, a knowledge test, and a practical driving test.


Driving in Japan

If you posses an International Driving Permit or have a driving license from a certain country, provided you meet certain conditions you can legally drive on the roads in Japan. If you don’t meet the conditions, you will need to get a Japanese driving license – either converting a valid foreign license or applying from scratch.


Ebisenbei no Sato

Make your own unique 30cm foot wide giant senbei and see how senbei are made. Participants are provided with pre-prepared dough that that they shape, bake, and decorate to their liking.


Disposing of Large Size Garbage in Nagoya City 

Large-sized garbage or sodai gomi 粗大ごみ is waste larger than 30 x 30 x 30 cm and if requested can be collected by Nagoya City for a fee. However, the City will not collect PC hard drives, laptops, PC monitors, air conditioners, regular TVs, refrigerators, or washing machines.


Pregnancy and Birth in Nagoya

Pregnancy Testing, Pregnancy, Subsidized Pregnancy Health Checks, Delivery, Costs and Health Insurance, Support Group.


Japan Automobile Federation

JAF provides a Japanese translation service for driver’s licenses from abroad as well as 24-hour road services.


All About the Manaca

The Manaca is an easy to use and very convenient travel pass and smart card rolled into one!


Maps of Shelters and Safe Areas

Download English versions of Nagoya City Shelters and Safe Areas – find out where you can go in case of earthquake, flooding, or other disaster.


Nagoya Ben

The Japanese language has numerous dialects and the Nagoya dialect, Nagoya-ben, is famous throughout Japan for its “so called” originality. Why don’t you try some of it out on your Japanese friends and see what they say?


Experience Pottery in Seto at the Ceramic Craft Studio

The term “Nihon Rokkoyo” is used to refer to the six oldest pottery centers in Japan – Seto, just east of Nagoya, was one of them and is now home to the Aichi Prefectural Ceramic Museum愛知県陶磁資料館. As well as having a vast collection of pottery and ceramics on exhibition, visitors can make their own setomono in the museum’s craft studio.


Private One-to-One Japanese lessons

‘Private One-to-One Japanese lessons’ available for just 500 Yen. In a private classes, you can study what you want to study: basic conversation, Hiragana-Katakana-Kanji, or fun free conversation.


Make Your Own Inarizushi!

Sushi is not just about elaborate pieces of raw fish that you’ve never heard of. Inarizushi いなり寿司, sushi rice wrapped in abura a-ge (deep fried tofu), is more like home-style sushi. Inarizushi is great for packed lunches, and a favorite with vegetarians.


Aerobics Classes in Nagoya

Plan to get in shape this year? Give your New Year resolution a kick-start at one of these low-cost weekly aerobics lessons in Nagoya City.


The End of the Alien Registration Card

Changes to the Immigration Control Act and the Basic Resident Registration Law will mean that from 2012 the Regional Immigration Bureau and municipalities will be collaborating in exchanging and managing personal information of foreign residents.


Make Your Own Kara-age!

Though a standard dish in any Japanese home, kara-age から揚げ is no standard fried chicken! It takes everyday fried chicken, juices up the flavor and leaves no room for that fried taste. Not to mention that it’s served in convenient bite sizes. Fried chicken fun for all ages!


Heating Your Home in Winter

For most apartment dwellers the air conditioner’s heating setting becomes the default source of heating. However ,depending upon your needs, style of living, and size of residence an alternative form of heating may suit your better.


Calculating the Cost of Your Monthly Gas Bill

Most of Aichi, Gifu, and Mie prefectures are served by Toho Gas. Prices are generally higher in the winter months (December to March) than during the rest of the year. The price per cubic meter of gas is also updated every month to reflect domestic market prices.


Nagoya City Year End and New Year Refuse Collection

Don’t be stuck with huge bags of garbage in your apartment until the New Year. Make a note of the last and first garbage collection days of 2010.


Make Your Own Tebasaki!

Tebasaki are seasoned deep-fried chicken wings and are a specialty food of the Nagoya region. They make great appetizers or party food. They can be eaten relatively quickly and cleanly by splitting the bone at the joint before eating.


How to Avoid Becoming a Statistic

★Question: Which month of the year sees the most traffic accidents? The answer is off course December. In Japan, December is bōnenkai season where groups of friends or co-workers gather to drink away their troubles of the past year. It is probably no coincidence that this monthly blip in accidents comes at a the time [...]


Video Guide to Sorting Plastic & Paper Recycling Waste in Nagoya City

A video guide to sorting plastic and paper recycling waste in Nagoya City. Produced by the City of Nagoya.


Child Care Class for Foreign Mothers

Naka Health Center in Nagoya’s Naka Ward has started a FREE monthly child care class for foreign mothers who reside in Naka Ward. The class provides information necessary for raising children in Japan and is targeted towards expectant mothers and those with infant children. Japanese interpreters are available for those that don’t understand Japanese.


Make Your Own Tempura!

Tempura (てんぷら) is a style of cooking brought to Japan by the Portuguese in the 16th century that refers to deep fried batter-dipped seafood and vegetables.


Your Rights: Pregnancy, Child birth, Maternity Leave

If you’re a working woman and are either thinking about starting a family or are looking for a little financial help or extra time with your young family, there are a number of employment laws and benefits available to assist you.


Making the Most out of Nagoya City Sports Facilities

There are over 130 municipal sports facilities in Nagoya City – including sports centers (with volleyball, badminton, basketball, and futsal courts), tennis courts, baseball fields, athletic fields, football and rugby fields, gateball fields, and baseball stadiums. All are available for amateur sports use by the public at very reasonable rates. Making a reservation is easy.


Nagoya City Sports Centers

Most city-run sports centers have a heated indoor pool and a training room with weights and machines. Many also offer aerobics classes. These low cost facilities are open to the general public.


Allowances for Child-Rearing 2011 / 12

Up September 2011 all children aged 15 or under (born after April 2, 1996), including those children living abroad, that met the eligibility requirements were entitled to receive child-rearing payments. However from October 1, with the exception of those children abroad for study purposes, children that are not currently resident in Japan will not be eligible to receive child-rearing payments.


Children’s Medical Subsidies

From October 1, 2011 Nagoya City children’s medical subsidies were extended from their current scope to include a broader age range of children.


Make Your Own Nikujaga!

Sounds like Mick Jagger but Nikujaga is a dish of meat (niku) and potatoes (jagaimo). It’s a very popular home-style dish. Even if you mess up the name, it’s a great dish and you won’t forget the taste!


Keep an Eye on the Weather – Weather Warnings and Advisories

When tuning into a local TV or radio station weather broadcast listen out for these key phrases and look out for your JMA designated area and you will be able to pick out the key information about weather warnings and advisories.


Make Your Own Oyakodon!

Often served in soba restaurants and other traditional Japanese restaurants the oyakodon, literally meaning “parent-and-child donburi”, is poetic name for a chicken and egg rice bowl dish.


How Japanese Income Tax is Calculated

The “kyuyo-shotoku-gensen-choshu-hyo” (給与所得源泉徴収票) or “income tax withholding statement” can be obtained from your place of work. Statements for the previous tax year are usually available in January each year.


First Aid You Should Know

First Aid You Should Know


Make Your Own Hijiki no Nimono!

Hijiki is a type of seaweed and considered a health food. It’s rich in fiber and essential minerals such as calcium and iron. In Japan hijiki is eaten in a salad, cooked with rice, or eaten as nimono. Nimono (煮物) is a dish that is cooked in a soup with various seasoning. This ‘hijiki no nimono’ goes great with rice so make sure to cook the rice in time and eat them together! Packaged hijiki in supermarkets is black and comes in short strips about the size of a match.


Make Your Own Okonomiyaki!

Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き), literally meaning “cook what you like, the way you like”, is a pan-fried dish cooked with various ingredients traditionally associated with the Kansai region.


Make Your Own Ozoni!

For the Japanese, a new year doesn’t begin without ozoni. Ozoni お雑煮 is a simple soup dish containing mochi (rice cake), but the ingredients, taste and even the shape of mochi varies depending on the region or who you ask. For example, in Niigata, the soup is full of vegetables and fish, and grilled, square-shaped mochi is used. In Kyoto, the soup is miso based, and round-shaped mochi is used. Here is the Nagoya version of the recipe; it is very simple and easy to prepare. For the start of a new year in Japan, try this local ozoni!


Make Your Own Japanese-Style Simmered Mackerel

Yes, this is the yummy-looking, simmered fish you see in the deli section of the supermarket! The combination of oily mackerel and the sweet, shoyu-based sauce is just perfect and goes great with steamed white rice. This great flavor can be easily obtained in your kitchen. So this time, instead of heading to the deli section, go to the fish section and pick up a pack of glittering, fresh mackerel fillets!


Nagoya Municipal Libraries

People residing, working, or attending school in Aichi prefecture can borrow books from Nagoya municipal libraries


Motorcycle Licenses in Japan

Motorbikes are divided into four categories according to the amount of exhaust put out. 50cc & 125cc bikes are not allowed on expressways. What are the types of licenses required?, where can you take a test?, what documents are needed?, and how much does a license cost?


Moped Licences in Nagoya

They are small and easy to manoeuvre and park. Mopeds are known as gendokitsuki-jitensha原動機付自転車 or “gentsuki” 原付 for short. A moped may be operated with a moped license or an automobile license. A standard Japanese driving license is valid for 50cc motorbikes & mopeds. However, international licenses are not valid for motorbikes including 50cc mopeds unless you are licensed specifically for motorbikes.


Driving with an International Driving Permit

I recently went back to my home country to acquire an international driving license. Shortly after I came back to Japan, whilst I was driving my car, I was involved in a minor collision with a bicycle and the rider was un-hurt. However, the investigating police officer told me that I could not use my international driving license in Japan. How is this possible? On top of that, I was informed that I could face a prison term or at least a suspended sentence. Please tell me what could happen.


Make Your Own Yakitori!

Yakitori (焼きとり), literally meaning “grilled bird”, is a cheap side dish that is commonly served in pubs, at street-side stalls, and at festivals.


Nagoya City Public Pools

Nagoya City has 14 outdoor public pools open just for the summer season.
On July 20, all 16 outdoors pools are open free of charge! Don’t forget your swimming cap!


Calculating Your Electric Bill

Electricity usage is measured in kilowatt-hours. The price of a kWh varies depending upon your payment plan, how much electric you consume, and the size of service breaker in your home’s fuse box.


The End of Analogue TV

Is your TV set up to receive digital broadcasts? Current analogue broadcasts in Japan will be discontinued after July 24, 2011.


Going to the Dentist in Japan

To many people the sound of the dentist’s drill puts shivers down their spine, but sometimes putting off dental treatment is just not an option and a visit to the dentist is required. Besides, your oral environment can impact on your whole health so it is recommended that you have regular checkups rather than just visit when something is wrong.


Keeping a Pet in Nagoya

Keeping pets (excluding a guide dog) in a city, prefectural or public corporation apartment is prohibited. Also, the contracts for many privately owned apartments prohibit renters from keeping pets. Before signing the contract, confirm if you are allowed to keep a pet in your apartment.


Filing Income Tax Returns

All residents and salaried employees who’s total income exceeded 20 million Yen, or received income from one source in Japan and earned additional income (ex. stock dividends) exceeding 200,000 Yen (excluding retirement income), or received income from two or more sources, which was not subjected to the year-end adjustment.


Income Tax Exemptions

Taxpayers with dependents or individuals with certain circumstances may, in some cases, be eligible for tax exemptions. The following exemptions may be deducted from a taxpayer’s total annual income.


Major Earthquake Preparation Guide

According to the Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion there is a strong possibility that M7.5+ earthquake could the Tokai Region anytime in the next 30 years. Are you prepared?


TOICA – The Handy JR Pass

TOICA is the name JR Central’s rechargeable contactless smart card ticketing system. Using TOICA means that you don’t have to buy a ticket each time you travel – the ticket gate automatically calculates your fare! The cards can be repeatedly charged up and can also be used from in-station stores and vending machines.


Don’t Fall Victim to Petty Theft

In the first 6 months of 2010 there were on average over 100 reported cases of bag snatching each month. If a robber takes your bag it does not automatically mean that they are just after your cash – the loss of cash cards, credit cards, driving licenses, cell phones, and keys makes you vulnerable to identity theft, and break-ins, and will cause you a lot of cost & hassle to replace lost items.


Emergency Message System – NTT 171

To cope with communications difficulties in the event of an earthquake, authorities have designed a message bank in which you can leave and access messages to record information about yourself and confirm the safety of others.


Ward Offices in Nagoya

There are 16 ward offices and 6 branch offices serving the City of Nagoya. If you work or study full time you may find it difficult to visit your local ward office when you need to. However, Nagoya City Ward Offices & Branch Offices are now open on the 1st Sunday of the month (2nd Sunday in May and January) between 08:45 and 12:00


The Minimum Wage System

The minimum wage system is a system in which employers must pay more than the minimum wages formulated by the government on the basis of the Minimum Wages Law to employees. If wages below the minimum wage is formulated under the condition of agreement with employees, it is invalidated by the law and is regarded to have formulated the same wages with the minimum wage.


New Garbage Regulations for Nagoya City

Three changes to Nagoya City garbage collection will come into effect from Friday, April 1.


Preventing Bicycle Theft

Ever returned to your bicycle after a long day at work to find it missing? In Aichi Prefecture a bicycle is stolen every 24 minutes! Don’t become a victim, take steps to prevent it.


Tokyo Here We Come!

Whether you want to explore the City for a few days over the holidays or are going on vacation via Narita or Haneda Airports, you don’t have to spend all your pocket money on the return Shinkansen fare from Nagoya.


Free Cervical Cancer Prevention Treatment for Young Women

Cervical cancer annually affects over 400,000 women worldwide. However, there is now a vaccine available that protects against the high-risk strains of HPV infections and consequently prevents cervical cancer. Normally the vaccine series costs around 40,000 – 50,000 Yen, but as part of a City of Nagoya assistance program, the treatment has been made available for FREE for young teenage female residents of Nagoya City.


Got Digital? – Eco Points & Digital TVs

Is your TV set up to receive digital broadcasts? Current analogue broadcasts in Japan will be discontinued after July 24, 2011 and if your TV is not set up to receive digital broadcasts then you need to take action.


Nagoya City One Coin Cancer Screenings

The City of Nagoya started providing low cost cancer screenings to residents. Screenings can detect cancer at a very early stage before it spreads and becomes difficult to treat. Screenings for stomach cancer, colon cancer, uterine cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer are available for just 500 Yen each.


Child Support Allowance for Single Parents

From August 2010 the current system of government-sponsored child support allowances (jido fuyou teate) was expanded to include single fathers. Child allowances for low-income single-parent families are paid three times a year – in April, August and December. Low-income father-only families who apply before November 30 will be eligible for the allowance from December.


Health Information Supplements

The Nagoya International Center will be publishing a 3-part guide to keeping healthy in Japan.
These supplements are available in 6 languages and can be downloaded in a printer-friendly PDF format.


Paid Bicycle Parking

 Can you help me? ■Q: I left my bicycle chained to a railing outside Ozone Subway Station, but when I came back it was gone.   Parking your bicycle at a subway station used to be easy. Now leave your bicycle outside at station or on a nearby street and it will probably be taken [...]


Balcony Vegetable Garden

If you live in an apartment in the middle of the City growing a garden on a small balcony offers different challenges to a regular backyard but you can still enjoy the wonders of gardening, create a little bit more privacy, and amaze yourself with your own home-grown vegetables. If the weather turns bad, either [...]


Bicycle Registration

■The benefits are simple: – If your bicycle is stolen it is more likely to be found. – the police are well-known for on-the-spot registration checks and being caught riding a bicycle that is not registered in your name can land you in hot water. – if your bicycle is confiscated because it was illegally [...]


Metabolic Syndrome & Health Checks

- Metabolic Syndrome – Health  Checks With Work Place Health Insurance – Health  Checks With National Health Insurance – Other Medical Checks Available in Nagoya Metabolic Syndrome メタボリック症 ★What is it? Metabolic syndrome is a combination of medical disorders that increase the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. In general, a person with metabolic [...]


Long Distance Buses

Can you help me? Q: Can you help me? What’s the cheapest way I can get to Tokyo?   A: From Nagoya Station, both Meitetsu and JR operate long-haul coach services to major cities across the country. For most destinations services either depart early morning, or late at night and arrive the following morning. There [...]


Get Away for Christmas

Getting Away this Christmas!     Christmas is still a month away, but if you are planning to skip country and go home (or somewhere exotic) for Christmas, now is the time to start planning your trip.        English Speaking Travel Agents A’cross Travellers Bureau www.across-travel.com Tel: 052-954-0814 – located behind the Hisaya-odori [...]


New Restricted Parking Zones

Drivers beware! As of April special parking spaces aimed exclusively for the elderly, pregnant, and handicapped have been introduced across the country. The special parking zones are located in regular no-parking zones and without an eagle eye and knowledge of kanji are hard to distinguish from regular roadside parking spaces. If you park in one [...]


Moving Advice

Can you help me?  Q: Can you give me any moving advice?    A: Completing your contract? Finishing your study course? Or just packing your bags and moving on to pastures new? Everyone does it sometime – but moving whilst in a foreign country always has its little surprises. If you are planning to move [...]


English-speaking Vets in Nagoya

Can you help me?   Q: Are there any English-speaking vets in Nagoya?   A: Yes, there are two.   Washizuka Veterinary Nanzan Hospital – Located in Showa Ku, near Yagoto Station (google map) – Tel: 052-831-4540   Washizuka Veterinary Mizuho Hospital – Located in Mizuho Ku, near Mizuho Kuyakusho Station (google map) – Tel: [...]


Recycling for Rare Metals

  In November two schemes were launched – one national, one local – both with the aim of encouraging consumers to get into the habit of recycling electrical goods that previously were regarded as useless garbage as soon as they became defunct.   Cash in Your Mobile たんすケータイあつめタイ \(^o^)/ Did you know that on average [...]


Smoke Alarms

Can you help me?   Q: I heard that I need to install a smoke alarm in my apartment. Can you tell me more?   A: Due to a gradual increase in the number of house fire deaths, especially amongst the elderly, the Fire Defence Law was revised with the aim of having a smoke [...]


English Newspapers

There are several English Language newspapers available in Japan and single issues are usually available at kiosks at major railway stations and English bookstores. However, if you live out in the suburbs or off the beaten track, buying a daily paper at one of these places is not an option. On the other hand, no-matter [...]


International Food Shops

Are you new to Nagoya? Wondering where you can buy those groceries you crave for and other stuff from home? Or are you just looking to spice up your life with different ethnic foods? The following stores may help you find what you’re looking for. Sometimes one has a craving for snacks or familiar products [...]


City Tax Offices from April 1, 2010

From April 1, 2010 the Nagoya City city tax offices will be restructuring. Inquiries and processing of city tax (shizei市税) will only be accepted at the 3 main offices and 3 branch offices listed below.   Offices are open Monday to Friday 08:45 – 17:15); closed on weekends & holidays. – Residents of Higashi, Kita, [...]


Where Can I Learn to Drive?

More than 90% of Japanese driver’s license holders are graduates of designated driving schools. If you do not possess a valid license and would like to obtain a full Japanese driver’s license then this is way to go.


What is the Norovirus?

Can you help me? Q: I heard on the news something about the norovirus. Should I be worried about it? A: The norovirus, commonly known as the winter vomiting disease or the stomach flu, is a highly contagious virus that spreads through contaminated food and water, by contact with objects touched by infected people, and [...]


Best of The Web

Exploring the Web 20 Useful web sites for foreigners living in and around Nagoya   ★Travel ■Hyperdia – www.hyperdia.com Offers an online timetable, route, and fare finder for all train and subway lines in Japan in ENGLISH! ■123 Bus – www.123bus.net/route/nagoya/nagoya-tyo.html Book a bus ticket from Nagoya to Tokyo in English ★News & Current Affairs [...]


Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Can you help me? ■Q: Apart from using your own carry-home shopping bag instead of plastic carrier bags, what else can I do to reduce my carbon footprint? ■ A: Below are 9 actions that YOU can do at home. Each person in Japan produces around 6kg of carbon dioxide emissions a day. How much [...]


Cheap Movie Tickets

  Can you help me?Q: Where can I get cheap movie theatre tickets?  A: As you may know, movie theatres in Japan are prohibitively expensive! A regular adult ticket costs 1800 Yen! However there is no need for you to pay this high price. Discounted tickets are available both in advance and at movie theatres [...]


Sending Money Overseas

Can you help me? Q: What is the best way to send money overseas?   A:  There are 3 accepted safe methods.   ■ By Postal remittance For more information see the Japan Post website. Remittances can be made either an address or to an account (postal giro  or bank account). Fixed handling fees of 2500 [...]


English-speaking hospitals…

I have just relocated to Nagoya. Are there any medical services available in English?


STD Tests in Nagoya

Is there a clinic in Nagoya where I can get an STD test in English?


Digital Broadcast TV

★Are You Tuned In? 地上デジタル放送 Nationwide terrestrial digital TV broadcasting (chijo-dejitaru-housou地上デジタル放送) began in December 2006. Digital broadcasting areas are being gradually expanded to more rural and remote areas of the country. Current analogue broadcasts will be discontinued after July 24, 2011. Some televisions are compatible for digital TV and some are not. If you do not [...]


English-speaking Gynecologists in Nagoya

Can you help me?  Q: Can You Help Me? I think I might be pregnant. Can you recommend an English-speaking gynecologist in Nagoya?    A: ★Most major city hospitals have a combined産婦人科(さんふじんか)Obstetrics and Gynecology Department or a stand alone Gynecology Department 婦人科(ふじんか) – and there are several specialist clinics in and around Nagoya that have [...]


Flu shots

Can you help me? Q: Where can I get a flu shot?   A: Many hospitals and clinics offer influenza shots. Generally shots are available from late October to the end of January. Fees for the shots vary but tend to run from 3,500 Yen or so. Often it is necessary to make a reservation, [...]


The Tokai Hokuriku Expressway

The Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway (東海北陸自動車道 Tokaihokuriku Jidosha-do) is a national expressway linking Aichi and Gifu Prefectures with Toyama Prefecture.


Drive Across Japan for a Lot Less!

Drive Across Japan for a Lot Less! Expressway tolls are notoriously expensive. However, from March 28, 2009, the maximum toll for passenger cars on regional expressways across most of Japan will be reduced to 1000 Yen for unlimited distance on weekends and national holidays. The discounts, which will continue for two years, will apply to [...]


New Job? New School?  Save Money the Easy Way.

New Job? New School? New Travel Route? – Save Money the Easy Way.   ★Subway and City Bus Monthly Passes 定期券 Ever wondered why every commuter except you has a special monthly pass? If you commute daily on Nagoya City’s subway or city buses, it may be well worth your while. Listed here are the [...]


Rice Cookers 101

Can you help me? Q: I heard from a friend that you can cook pasta in a rice cooker. What’s a rice cooker and how do you use one?   A: Rice Cookers, known as suihanki 炊飯器, – are for cooking rice in right? Yes, but you may be surprised to know that you can [...]


Eco Shopping in Nagoya

Can you help me? Q: How do I know if a product I buy at the supermarket is environmentally friendly? A: Ever tried to buy environmentally friendly products or tried to make a conscious effort to sort your garbage, but have been prevented to do so by the language barrier? There are several symbols that [...]


Meitetsu & JR Monthly Commuter Passes

  Getting Around Aichi For Less – ★JR & Meitetsu Monthly Train Passes 定期券 Ever wondered why every commuter except you has a special monthly pass? If you commute daily between 2 stations – by JR or Meitetsu – it may be well worth your while. One, three, and six month regular commuter & student passes [...]


Getting around for less …

Subway and City Bus Discount Passes Ever wondered how come every commuter except you has a special monthly pass? If you commute daily on Nagoya City’s subway or city busses, it may be well worth your while. Listed here are the prices for 1 month passes. Passes for 3 month, and 6 month periods that [...]


Visa Overstay

I have just realized that my work visa has just expired and I am now working illegally. What can I do?


Money for Mothers

My first child is due in December, is there any financial support available from the government?


Setting Up Your Own Business

Can you help me? I want to set up my own business.


All About Traffic Accidents

Last year there were 17,796 reported traffic accidents in Nagoya City.
What would you do if you were the victim of a traffic accident? Here are a few points of advice for you to remember.


A “letter of release”?

My new employer asked for my “letter of release” from my previous employer. What is this?


Reporting Additional Income

I am currently working as an instructor at a language school. This year, outside of my regular salary from the school, I have received 180,000 Yen (162,000 Yen after tax) from a different company for some evening classes I taught. I heard that if you receive additional income outside of your regular salary then you don’t have to report it. Is this true?


Ending Employment in Japan – What You Need To Know

In Japan, the start of April is the traditional time to change and start a new job. If you’re thinking about resigning and changing employers or if you think your employer is thinking about letting you go, its best to know what your rights and obligations are before its too late.


Applying for Permanent Residence

What is Permanent Residence Status and how do I qualify for it?


Taking Pets in and out of Japan

I want to bring my dog with me to Japan. Do you have any advice?


Import Duty

With the exception of certain items (including leather goods) imported goods with a total customs value of 10,000 Yen or less are exempted from taxation of customs duty and consumption tax.


Part Time Work

  ■Students, Dependants, and Part-time Work If you are a student and looking for part time work or if you are residing in Japan on a Dependent visa (家族滞在kazoku-taizai) or Cultural Activities visa (文化活動) you must first apply to the Immigration Bureau for a special permit to allow you to engage in activities outside your [...]


Unemployment Insurance

I recently became unemployed. Can I claim unemployment benefits?


Your Visa and Japanese Health Insurance

★What’s all the hoo-hah? Updated: March 4, 2010 According to the Immigration Guideline Changes (March 2009), you would be required to present proof of enrolment “social insurance” if you want to renew your visa. So your visa would be linked to enrolment in government-approved health insurance (kokumin kenko hoken, shakai hoken, or shigaku kyosai). Being [...]


Buying a Car

Can you help me? Q: I want to buy a car from my friend. Do I need to do something? A: When you buy a car from a dealership, the dealer takes care of the registration documents and taxes. However if you buy a car, motorbike, or scooter from an individual, you will have to [...]


Getting Your Pension Back

Are you paying into a Japanese pension scheme? Planning not to be in Japan when its time to claim it? Did you know that foreign nationals that have paid into a National Pension scheme国民年金, the Employees’ Pension Insurance厚生年金, or Kyosai Kumiai共済組合, can receive a lump sum pension refund, known as the “Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment “(dattai [...]


Cancelling my mobile …

Can you help me? Q: When I bought my new cellular phone, I did not notice at that time, but there was a provision in the small print that read, “If the network connection contract is cancelled within 185 days, payment of a 50,000 Yen is required.” Four months after I bought the phone, I [...]


My driving record…

Can you help me? Q: I’m returning to Canada to work in the transport industry. I have been asked to provide a copy of my driving record. Where can I get one from?   A: Driving records are needed for such things as car insurance applications, license applications in many US States & Canadian Provinces [...]


A Crash Course Guide to Bicycle Safety

■ A Crash Course Guide to Bicycle Safety 自転車を安全に乗るためにA revised Road Traffic Law came into effect in June – containing the first changes to the nation’s cycling rules since 1978. According to Aichi Prefectural Police, the number of bicycle related traffic accident has been increasing – 3811 people were injured or killed in bicycle related [...]


Supplementary Income Payments

■Supplementary Income Payments The Japanese government is planning to provide Supplementary Income Payments (teigaku-kyufukin) to all residents, including registered foreign nationals. Only those foreign nationals that have completed Alien Registration and are registered with their local municipality by February 1, 2009 will be eligible; those with Temporary Visitor status or those who are staying illegally [...]


Getting your Baby Registered

My husband and I have just had a baby. We want to visit our relatives in our home country as soon as possible. How can we get a passport for the baby?


Getting Married to a Japanese National

The legal requirements for a marriage are governed by the laws of each home country, and the notification of the marriage is governed by the laws of the country in which the couple is to be married. For example, for Japanese nationals men have to be over the age of 18, women over the age of 16 to get married; for Chinese nationals men have to over 22 and women over 20.


Getting Divorced in Japan

The number of international marriages in Japan has sky-rocketed in recent years and now nearly 40,000 international marriages occur each year in Japan. Unfortunately the number of international divorces has dramatically increased as well. Over 15,000 international marriages end in divorce each year.


Health Insurance in Japan

There are three kinds of public health insurance in Japan, one of which is the National Health Insurance Program and the other refers to the Work Place Health Insurance System. The law in Japan requires all residents to enroll in one of the above health insurance systems.


Long-Term Care Insurance

The Long-Term Care Insurance System involves the whole of society and is run by the social insurance system to ensure long-term care for elderly. According to their needs people or families needing long term care are able to choose from medical and welfare services.


Japanese Pensions

The National Pension Scheme, Employees’ Welfare Pension Insurance, and Withdrawing from the Pension Program


Worker’s Compensation Insurance

In the case a worker is injured on the job or during commutes to/from work, by law an employer may be required to provide compensation for medical treatment and time off.


Visting a Hopsital or Clinic in Japan

Japanese medical institutions, except for dental clinics, do not normally work on an appointment system. The order of treatment is first-come, first-served, determined by the order of submission of one’s medical consultation ticket (shinsatsu-ken, which is issued by the medical institution) to the hospital.


Nagoya City Public Health Centers

Public Health Centers are governmental agencies responsible for public health, but they do not provide medical treatment themselves. Each ward has one Public Health Center, the main duties of which are to provide medical and dental advice; control infectious diseases; provide vaccinations; ensure environmental sanitation; prevent noise and odor pollution; undertake inspections to prevent food poisoning; and control the cat and dog population.


Culture Shock

Anyone who has lived overseas has most likely encountered a “honeymoon stage” and a “disenchantment stage”, among other stages. We will take a look at the various natural occurring stages one may encounter after moving here. By understanding some of the stages, one can begin to grasp their own situation and emotional or mental well-being.


Getting Internet Access

What are my internet options?


Immigration Overview to Japan

All foreign nationals who enter Japan must undergo immigration control procedures, through which your visa category and period of stay in Japan are determined. Your visa category determines the activities that you are legally permitted to perform in Japan.


Appliance Button Guides

If you have just moved in and haven’t yet figured out what each button does on a certain electrical appliances, then why not print out of these printer-friendly bilingual button guides to help you?


Mail Forwarding

If you are new to living in Japan, have recently moved, or are planning to move in the near future, and want mail that is addressed to you delivered without a hitch – you should notify the post office about your new address.


Recycling Electrical Appliances

If you want to dispose of an old TV, air conditioner, refrigerator, clothes dryers, liquid crystal or plasma display television, or washing machine you cannot simply disposed the item through your local city’s garbage collection service. Under the Home Appliances Recycling Law, these items must be recycled through the manufacturer.


Admin Notary – The Gyoseishoshi

A gyoseishoshi is someone who assists people in handling administrative paperwork to be turned into governmental offices for immigration or filing for naturalization, applying for permission to carry out certain kinds of projects, creating or registering a company, creating contracts, and inheritance matters.


Domestic Violence

Are you living in a domestically violent or abusive home? Are you being beaten? Are you living in fear from your partner? Do you always feel guilty and helpless? If your answer is yes to any of these questions there are people and organizations that can help.


Alien Registration

All foreign nationals intending to remain in Japan for 90 days or more (or 60 days in the case of infants born in Japan) must follow alien registration procedures and obtain an alien registration card. Foreign nationals 16 years of age and older must carry their alien registration card with them at all times.


Learning Japanese in Nagoya

Learners may choose from a variety of types of instruction depending on their goals.


The Japanese Education System

n Japan, compulsory education (gimu kyoiku) is from elementary school to junior high school, for children between the ages of 6 and 15; six years in elementary school and three years in junior high school.


Getting Wages from a Bankrupt Employer

You were working at a company in Nagoya for 2 years, but because your employer went bankrupt you have been on unemployment benefits and have been trying to find a job since January. You have not yet received your wages for October, November and December. What can you do, now that your previous employer is bankrupt?


Denial of Tax-withholding Certificate

Employers who refuse to issue tax-withholding certificates, known as “GenSenChouShuuHyou” in Japanese


Support for Children Of Foreign Spouses

Last year I married a Japanese man, and we have had one child. However, I also have a child to my former husband, but my current husband will not accept this child as his own. My child is not well, and has considerable medical expenses. Is it possible to request support from my current husband?


Non-renewal of contract

“It has been three years since I first started working part-time for a company. In the beginning it was a 6-month contract, but I ended up working for three successive years without going through any special renewal procedures. However, a few days ago I was told not to come to work anymore from next month because the contract will not be renewed. Without even being given the reason for the non-renewal, I feel at a loss what to do next.


Problems that may occur when an apartment is subleased

Let’s say your friend sublets an apartment to you but you begin to think about leaving because of a worsening environment. You paid your friend the guarantor money instead of paying directly to the landlord, so in this kind of situation what legal rights do you have?


Condominium Management Fees

Consequences that can result from failure to pay condominium management fees


You are a victim of a traffic accident

The number of traffic accidents involving foreign nationals has recently been on the increase. What would you do if you were the victim of a traffic accident? Here are a few points of advice for you to remember.


Denied Re-entry to Japan

A woman, married to a Japanese national, holding permanent residence, and in possession of a re-entry permit, returned to Japan with her children after visiting the Philippines. Upon arrival at Chubu International Airport, she underwent an entry examination and was refused entry into Japan. Why was she denied entry?