2021.03.01[Mon] 09:00

【Today's Guest】

Grace & Hana

2021.02.22[Mon] 09:00

【Talking about “Usui” or “Rain Water”】

So, of the Niju shi sekki or the 24 solar divisions of the old calendar that we've mentioned on this show before, this time we have Usui which literally means rain water but is the time when the temperature starts to rise and the snows changes to rain. This year, the Usui division started on the 18th of this month. The melting snow flows into fields and plains and you can finally start to hear the sounds of spring pitter-pattering in and from long ago to even now, the season is used as a guideline for when to start farming.

It's when this season begins that river otters go to catch fish in the rivers where the ice has melted. They catch the fish in their mouths and deposit them on the shores so they can continue fishing. The way they line up their catch on the shore looks like the way food offerings are lined up during a festival to remember ancestors and as such, this habit of the otters has come to be called Dassai which basically translates as Otter Festival. The word is also used to describe a person who lines up a bunch of books side by side as they look things up. That couldn't be used to describe me at all, I guess. I'm the kind of person with books all around me scattered when I'm doing research....maybe I'm mecha kucha?


【A Japanese Study Website】

If you don't know what mecha kucha means, by the way, well, then this might be a great chance to brush up your Japanese and check out the Japanese study website set up by the Agency for Cultural Affairs “Tsunagaru, Hirogaru, Nihongo de no Kurashi” translated to  Connect and Enhance your life in Japanese.

This website is for foreign nationals living in Japan to learn the Japanese language in order to communicate in Japanese and be able to use it in daily life.

Currently, there are translations for 6 languages available on the site: Japanese, English, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish and Vietnamese. However, plans are to have translations for 14 different languages available by March 2022. There are levels from one to three and you can study at the level that suits you.

The lessons use videos to introduce the Japanese you can use in daily life situations. A few examples of the lessons on the site include “Going shopping”, “Going to the hospital”, “Using a delivery service” and “Going to a restaurant”.

While watching the videos, translations in the supported languages and romaji subtitles appear underneath the videos so you'll be able to understand the meaning as well as practice the pronunciation of the words. The full script of the video is also available.

You'll be able to learn the key words and phrases that appear in the videos. You'll see words that were related to each scene as well as useful information related to the situation. The basics of the Japanese language are also explained, including the characteristics of the language.

It's a great and convenient site that lets you easily study Japanese even if there are no Japanese classrooms nearby. Just search for “Tsunagaru, Hirogaru, Nihongo de no Kurashi” in hiragana or  Connect and Enhance your life in Japanese in English. Start with the situation that interests you the most to jump start your Japanese learning. You can also find the link to this page on the Fukuoka City Official website under Support for Foreign Residents page.


【Preventing the Spread of Covid19】

And once again we are asking everyone to continue to practice basic infection prevention measures to fight against the spread of Covid-19. Wear a mask, wash your hands, gargle and avoid the 3 Cs. That means you should avoid closed rooms with poor ventilation, try not to be in crowded places and avoid close contact conversations.

2021.02.15[Mon] 09:00

【Valentine's Day】

So, as you know, Valentine's day falls on the 14th of February every year. But do you know some of the stories behind it? Apparently, in 3rd Century Rome, soldiers were banned from getting married. However, a priest, named Valentine, was secretly holding marriage ceremonies for them. Unfortunately, he was caught, charged and executed. And from this, it's said that Valentine's Day became a day to confess your love to the object of your affection. In Japan, on this day, it's become a bit of a custom to give out chocolates as in other countries around the world. However in Japan, the custom has it's unique points like the concept of Giri-Choko or “obligation chocolates” which are typically given to non-romantic relations like bosses or coworkers. Then there are Tomo-Choko or “friend chocolates” which might be exchanged among friends and the recently popular concept of Gohobi-Choko or “reward chocolates”, meaning you buy yourself some top-notch luxury chocolate to treat yourself! Cookies and macarons have become popular gifts as well in recent years. I hope you had a chance to treat yourself yesterday! If not, hit the shops today, you might get lucky and find a gorgeous box on discount. I won't lie, discounts after various holidays is my favorite time to stock up on things. I remember when I was in the US, picking up Valentine's cards for half price so that I'd be ready for the next year. It was pretty common to exchange little cards and candies at school, in fact, in elementary school, we often decorated paper lunch bags for Valentine's and taped them to our desks like little postboxes. Then during lunch, students would go around putting those cards and candies into the bags. It was always exciting to read everyone's messages and count how many candies I got.


【Fukuoka City Medical Interpreting Call Center】

Alright, well now I've got some information from Fukuoka City about help you can get if you need to see a doctor. In order to make it easier for international residents to visit the doctor, Fukuoka City has set up the Fukuoka City Medical Interpreting Call Center. The Call Center provides real time interpretation for when you are speaking to a doctor at the hospital or when you are picking up a prescription at a pharmacy. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The phone number for the Call Center is 092-733-5429. Again, that number is 092-733-5429. 18 different languages are available and while the service is free, telephone call charges may apply.


【Preventing the spread of Covid-19】

And once again we are asking everyone to continue to practice basic infection prevention measures to fight against the spread of Covid-19. Wear a mask, wash your hands, gargle and avoid the 3 Cs. That means you should avoid closed rooms with poor ventilation, try not to be in crowded places and avoid close contact conversations.

2021.02.08[Mon] 09:00


Have you seen the plum blossoms in Fukuoka? Originally from China, it's at this time of year when there are still few flowers and little green in gardens, that you can enjoy the sweet fragrance and adorable blossoms of the plum tree. You'll know that spring is on it's way when the scent of plum blossoms gently floats by on the wind, tickling the tip of your nose.
There are around 500 kinds of plum trees, both edible and ornamental and all firmly a part of Japanese life. From the fruit of the trees, a couple of well known things you can make are umeboshi, or pickled plums as well as umeshu, or plum wine in English. Among fruits, plums have a high nutritional value and are rich in proteins, vitamins, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and other minerals.
And I don't know if you know this, but the plum blossom is the flower of Fukuoka Prefecture. There are quite a few places you can visit to see plum blossoms including Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine, Hirao Sanso and Abura Yama. If you catch them at the right time, the view is just stunning. I've got a couple of plum trees in my garden that I put sliced oranges on to get the mejiro birds to come and visit. And the view of the bright green mejiro against the plum blossoms is a beautiful site and one of my favorites this season.

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2021.02.01[Mon] 09:00

【Today's Guest】

Jonathan from U.K.

(an English conversation teacher)


2021.01.25[Mon] 09:00

【Chinese Steamed Buns】

So, today our first topic is about Chinese Steamed Buns, yummy treats that you can easily snack on in this cold season. You often see them all toasty and warm lined up in cases at convenience stores. Have you every had one? I've had more than I can count....can't resist them!

Although they are originally from China, they were brought to Japan and people loved them. Some typical ones that are pretty popular are 'Niku-man', which are pork buns, 'An-man' which have sweet red bean paste stuffed inside, and 'Pizza-man' and 'Curry-man”which are pretty self explanatory. There are quite a few that you can buy frozen and cook up at home as well. Actually, if you've got some hotcake or pancake mix at home, you can make the bun part pretty easily yourself so why not try making some filled with some original flavors of your home country? I guess for me, I could try some kimchi or bulgogi in one and ummm...hamburgers in another? I might stick with the ones the professionals make!


【Tuberculosis prevention】

Now we have some important information from Fukuoka City. In 2019, 205 people in Fukuoka City were diagnosed with tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is a disease that causes inflammation of the lungs mainly by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is an infection disease that is transmitted person to person.

Symptomos of tuberculosis include coughing, phlegm, fever, bloody phlegm, chest  pain, lethargy, night sweats and/or weight loss. In the beginning, it does resemble the common cold. 

If you've noticed that you've had a cough for over two weeks, have had a lot of phlegm, you've felt lethargic or you've suddenly lost weight, please see a medical professional for an exam as soon as possible.

Even if you are infected, tuberculosis does not always develop, however if your body cannot fight the tubercle bacillus, over time, an infection may develop.

If you are diagnosed with tuberculosis, you can fight it off by taking the proper medicine every day according to your doctor's orders.

And, to prevent the spread or start of infections, make sure you get plenty of sleep, eat a good, balanced diet and get enough exercise. Making an effort every day to live healthily is the most effective prevention.

In Fukuoka City, there is a medical interpretation service available if you do need to find a hospital or need some advice. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The phone number for that service is 092-733-5429. Again, that number is 092-733-5429. Interpretation is available in 18 different languages.


【Preventing the spread of Covid-19】

And finally, a reminder that although measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 are being taken, more and more people are getting out and about. So, wear a mask, wash your hands and gargle and also practice the 3 C's. And so you don't forget, the 3 C's mean you should avoid closed rooms, try not to be in crowded places and avoid close contact conversations. It's up to each of us to help prevent the spread!

2021.01.18[Mon] 09:00

【Dai Kan-the Big Cold, or the coldest season of the year】

Well, I'm sure we've been feeling it as it is winter...that's the cold. And did you know that around the 20th of this month, there is a day called Dai Kan, literally translated as the Big Cold to mark the coldest season of the year?

It's around this time of year that the lowest temperature of the year is observed in various places around Japan. It's also the time in which Kangeiko or Mid-winter exercises are done by those practicing martial arts. The TV news often shows children in their white practice uniforms around the beach training to steel their minds and bodies against the cold.

This cold season is also when things like Nihonshu or sake and Miso are made, which actually takes advantage of the cold. And when we get through Dai Kan, it means that spring is on it's way. So, take care of yourself, try not to get sick, avoid injuries and make your way through this season. In Michigan, winter is just cold through and through and we don't typically expect to thaw out til late March so the only thing to do is to enjoy the winter as best as you can! For me, that always meant sledding on a hill not too far from my house with my dad and sister and drinking lots of hot chocolate after. There aren't really any sledding hills here in Fukuoka but I can still drink hot chocolate to get through the cold days!


【Tips on how to conserve energy in the winter】

So, in this cold, we naturally want to stay warm, but that can get expensive and it's not great  for the environment to be using electricity all the time or burning through gas. So, Fukuoka City has some information  and tips for you to help you out this winter. The city is in fact aiming for a carbon free society in light of global warming. They are working on it but it's also up to each of us to save energy as well. And with some ideas and tricks we can save some money on our electric bills as well.

First, let's talk about conserving heat. These are some pretty simple things that we can all do. Wearing layers of good heat retaining clothing is step one. Setting your heater or unit at 20 degrees Celsius is a fair number to keep it at. We all know that hot air rises, which means that all that lovely warm air from our units goes straight up to the ceiling. To bring it back down again and warm up the whole room, a house fan or circulator pointed up will help to distribute the heat. It seems that a dusty filter on your unit wastes energy so to get the most efficiency out of it, make sure you keep it free of dust with a quick vacuum. Also, be sure to keep the area around the outdoor unit clear of things.

Actually, kotatsu heated tables and electric blankets, compared to air conditioning units, can be used quite cheaply to keep things warm. And when you sleep, you don't even need to use the heat, just stick a hot water bottle in with you at night to stay toasty. This is my go to trick!

That and a fleecy mattress topper or cozy sheets will keep you warm and save you tons on electricity.

Looking at other places in the house, if you set your fridge from the strong setting to the middle setting you can save around 1500 yen a  year. In the winter, setting the fridge to weak or low is enough to keep things cold, so with all of the other tips I mentioned before, it's something you can try to save electricity.

Heated toilets seats are a wonderful thing in Japan and you can very simply save about 1000 yen a year by shutting the lid on them to keep the heat from escaping.

Just little things that we don't normally think about can result in big saving in terms of energy and money. So, as long as you can stay healthy and live comfortably, why not try a few of these tips?


【Prevention of the spread of Covid-19】

Finally, I'd like to just remind you to take care to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. Recently, because measures to prevent the spread are being taken, more and more people are getting out. So, wear a mask, wash your hands and gargle and also practice the 3 C's. That means you should avoid closed rooms with poor ventilation try not to be in crowded places and avoid close contact conversations. It's up to each of us to help prevent the spread!

2021.01.11[Mon] 09:00

【Coming of Age Day】

So, today, the 2nd Monday of January, is Seijin no Hi, or Coming of Age Day in Japan.

The purpose of the day is to celebrate and encourage those young people who have officially become, and are aware that they are, adults and are making their way through life on their own two feet.

Men and women who have turned 20 years old are invited to a Coming of Age ceremony, held by their municipality for these young adults. However, this year, due to the influence of Covid-19, some local governments may cancel ceremonies this year or break it up into several sessions.

At the ceremony, men typically wear suits and women will often wear kimono, however there are those who come in character costumes or really flamboyant get-ups as a group.

And it seems that recently, for kids who turn 10, more and more elementary schools have been holding a kind of half coming-of-age ceremony or Nibun no ichi seijinshiki. I guess it's nice to have milestones in life to celebrate. 

In the US, 16 is usually a big year to celebrate as it's when we can officially drive, assuming we've passed our driver's license test. 18 is another milestone year, we are officially adults and can vote, get married and join the army. Strange that we can't drink until we are 21 though, isn't it! 21 is usually a big party kind of birthday as it's the official drinking age. I guess it's sometime between 18 and 21 that we become adults, but even as a “adult” in age, I sometimes feel like I still haven't grown up at all. Maybe next year. Anyway, a big congratulations to all of those who are celebrating today! I wish you all the best as you begin “adulting”!


【Be careful of the Norovirus】

Now, I have some information for you from Fukuoka City. Now that we are in the winter season, it is really easy to get infectious gastroenteritis and food poisoning due to the Norovirus.

The virus is really strong and can be transmitted even in small amounts.

This virus can enter your body via your hands or through food and if it does, causes terrible symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and a fever.

You can get sick just by inhaling the virus as it's been spread through the air due to an infected person vomiting or having diarrhea. And if an infected person cooks food, the virus can easily spread to those who eat that food. If you think it sounds terrible, well, you're right. It is.

Also, be careful when eating shellfish like oysters, because if they aren't thoroughly cooked to the right temperature, you can get the virus from them.

Severe vomiting and diarrhea can cause dehydration so if you do get sick, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

People generally recover after 2 to 3 days but even if you no longer have symptoms, the virus can still be detected in your stools from a week to a month later. 

So, to prevent the spread of this virus, please take the following precautions. First, before you cook or eat and after you use the toilet, make sure you use soap to wash your hands.   

Wash your cooking utensils thoroughly with boiling water or chlorine bleach.  Alcohol sprays aren't very effective against the Norovirus. However, the virus will die if exposed to temperatures from 85 to 90 degrees for over 90 seconds.  So make sure you cook your ingredients all the way through, really scrub any veggies and fruits that you eat raw and avoid cooking when you don't feel well.


【Prevention of the spread of Covid-19】

I've got one more thing for you today and that is to ask you to take care to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. Recently, because measures to prevent the spread are being taken, more and more people are getting out. So, wear a mask, wash your hands and gargle and also practice the 3 C's. That means you should avoid closed rooms with poor ventilation try not to be in crowded places and avoid close contact conversations. It's up to each of us to help prevent the spread!

2021.01.04[Mon] 09:00

【Today's guest】


(English Teacher)



2020.12.28[Mon] 09:00

【Toshi Koshi Soba or Year-Crossing Noodles】
In Japan, New Year's Eve is called Oomisoka and on the eve of the 31st, people traditionally eat Toshi-koshi soba. Toshi-koshi soba is translated as “year-crossing noodles”, the idea being that when you eat these long noodles, you can live a long life and throw out all the hardships and bad luck from this year and cross into the next year. All around Japan, different regions have their own different kinds of toshi-koshi soba. And the time to eat them? Well, usually before the clock strikes midnight to ring in the new year.

You can get these noodles at many places now, not only at restaurants but also at convenience stores and supermarkets so if you've never tried them, perhaps this year is a great chance to try them. Of course, if you or someone you know has a soba allergy, you'll want to be careful! For those who can't have soba, udon, somen or even ramen are delicious substitutes!

Oh yeah, it's actually said that new year's eve is the busiest time of year for soba shops!
In my hometown, we don't really have any kind of special food that we eat for the new year although I've heard that in some parts of the US, like in the South, they eat black-eyed peas and some other foods as they are supposed to bring luck in the new year. I think though that most people just do some kind of countdown party and there's a lot of champagne drunk as the clock strikes 12. When I was young, it was a tradition in my house for my parents to have a glass of Bailey's liquor and to let us have a small amount at midnight to celebrate.


 【Ward office consultation and putting out the garbage over the New Year Holidays】

Now, I have some information from Fukuoka City. Over the new year holidays, there are a few changes to ward office consultation hours and days on which you can put out the garbage. For ward offices and the  Health and Welfare Center, please be aware that these places will be closed from Tuesday the 29th of December to Sunday the 3rd of January. The last day they will be open in 2020 is Monday the 28th  of December. They will reopen in the new year on Monday the 4th of January.

In the days before and after the new year holidays, the ward office consultation counters will be busy so make sure you give yourself plenty of time when you go there.

Also, from the Thursday the 31st of December to Sunday the 3rd of January, please do not put out your garbage for pick up. This includes burnable and nonburnable garbage and glass and pet bottles. Burnable garbage can only be put on your area's decided garbage day up to Wednesday the 30th of December. For nonburnable garbage and glass and pet bottles, if Sunday January 3rd is your regular day to put them out, instead they can be put out beforehand on Wednesday the 30th.

Also, applications and pickup for oversized garbage will be stopped between Tuesday, December 29th to Sunday, January 3rd , so please be aware of that.


【Prevention of the spread of Covid-19】

Last but not least, make sure you take care over the holidays to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. Although measures to prevent the spread are being taken, more and more people are have been getting out and with seasonal events like New Year's Eve and the New Year holiday, there will be, no doubt, a number of opportunities for people to get together. So, wear a mask, wash your hands and gargle and also practice the 3 C's. And so you don't forget, the 3 C's mean you should avoid closed rooms, try not to be in crowded places and avoid close contact conversations. It's up to each of us to help prevent the spread!

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  • Colleen
  • Colleen
  • 誕生日:11月11日
    出身地:USA Detroit, MI
    特技:I can plan a party at anytime!
    好きな音楽:Almost everything, depends on my mood.