2020年12月

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!

2020.12.21[Mon] 09:00

【Christmas】

Well, happy holidays to everyone, Christmas is almost here,  and I hope people are feeling some of the winter holiday cheer. Christmas is thought to be the day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and they say the word Christmas comes from Christ's Mass. In Japan, it's said that the first Christmas party ever held here was in the beginning of the Meiji period. Now, it has become something of a national event that transcends religion, celebrated at the end of the year even throughout households that don't have anything to do with Christianity.

And, in Japan, when Christmas comes, fried and roast chicken do some good sales. It's a bit of a tradition to see people waiting in long lines outside of chicken fast food shops trying to get their holiday feast.

If you are planning to get together with friends for a Christmas party this year, try to keep your group small, make sure you have plenty of ventilation and try to wrap things up within two hours. Doing a home party online with each of of your friends might not be a bad idea either! I've got a quiet dinner planned for Christmas day and I might try to meet with a couple of friends to do a gift exchange over the weekend but I'll be sure to avoid the 3 C's to keep  myself and everyone else safe!

 

【Spend the New Year's Holiday safely】

Next, I have some important announcements from Fukuoka City.

From the end of the year to the start of the new year, there are a lot of opportunities to drink alcohol.  So, make sure, 100%,  that you don't drink and drive, don't let others drink and drive, never forgive those who do drink and drive and don't ignore someone who would drink and drive. Even cycling after drinking is against the law. And it's important to remember that you can sometimes have alcohol in your system the next day. Even if you think you only have a little bit of alcohol left in your system, it doesn't mean you should drive, because you shouldn't. If you know that you need to drive the next day, then just don't drink the day before.

Every year, the end of the year sees more and more traffic accidents.  If you are out, late at night, make sure you are wearing bright or reflective clothes that are easy for drivers to notice.  And if you are driving, make sure you turn on your lights earlier in the evening.

Next, we have a warning for you about bag snatching incidents. There have been a number of these crimes from the evening to midnight in places where there are few people around. A lot of these incidents have occurred with the criminals riding motorbikes and snatching bags as they pass by. To avoid being involved in such an incident, make you carry you bag on the side opposite to the road and pay attention to your surroundings, making sure you look back behind you if you sense signs of people or hear a motorbike.

Finally, please be aware that suspicious phone calls claiming to be from the Immigration Bureau or Embassy have been reported recently. Things like “There is something wrong with your visa” or “Your fake passport has been found and you can't return to your home country. You need to pay to undo this situation” have been said. The Immigration Bureau would never call and ask you to transfer money. Please be careful of incoming calls from numbers that you do not know.

Take care of yourself and those who are important to you to have a safe and secure end of year and start to the new year.

 

【Prevention of the spread of Covid-19】

And recently, although measures to prevent the spread are being taken, more and more people are getting out and with seasonal events like Christmas, 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 Covid-19.

2020.12.14[Mon] 09:00

【Toji-The Winter Solstice】

Well, today, I've got another little bit of Japanese culture that I think may occur in many other countries around the world. In Japan, it's called Toji and it's on December 21st. Toji is one of Niju-shisekki, the 24 divisions of the solar year from the old calendar. And this is when we have the shortest day and longest night of the year. In Japan, on Toji,  people traditionally take yuzu baths, basically they have yuzu floating in their bath, making it quite fragrant, and eat pumpkin.

The yuzu bath is said to help blood flow which warms up the body and also helps to prevent colds. The pumpkin is supposed to strengthen the skin and mucous membranes which should provide resistance to infectious diseases. It has also long been said that if you eat pumpkins during the winter solstice, you won't catch a cold. I can't say that I've heard of eating anything special on the winter solstice, but I do know that many people say a hearty, hot bowl of chicken soup is what you need for the winter to keep yourself healthy! That, and ginger and lots of vitamin C to keep the colds away. Fortunately, It's mikan season in Japan so getting that vitamin C is no problem! With Covid-19 and influenza prevalent this season, make sure you eat lots of nutritious foods and take care of yourself as you make your way to the end of this year and into the next!

 

【Foundation Consultation Desk】

Next, I have some information from Fukuoka City about the Fukuoka City Consultation Support Center for Foreign Residents. This support center can give information on, as well as introduce the appropriate contacts, for things related to general life here such as residency procedures, employment, medical care, welfare, childbirth, child-rearing and child education. The phone number for the center is 092-262-1799. Again, that number is 092-262-1799. The center is open from 8:45am to 6pm on weekdays but is closed on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays and for the New Year's holiday period. If you  call, help is available in 19 different languages.

 

【The Christmas Market】

I'm sure you've started to feel a bit of the holidays around you as illuminations go up around the city and every year, from November to December until Christmas Day, the Fukuoka Christmas Market is held in both Hakata and Tenjin and has become a bit of a winter tradition in Fukuoka City.

It's actually the largest Christmas Market in Japan and there are a number of shops all lined up around the square. It's an event where you can enjoy warm drinks like mulled wine and hot chocolate and delicious foods all while taking in the Christmas illuminations and decorations all around you.

This year, the festival is being held in 4 locations around the city-at the plaza in front of Hakata Station, at the Fureai Hiroba in front of Fukuoka City Hall, as well as at the El Gala Passage and IMS Square. Whether with family, friends, or a sweetheart, it's a wonderful chance to make some fun winter memories.

 

【Prevention of the spread of Covid-19】

Of course, if you do go, it's important to keep in mind that we still need to take care this winter to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. Although measures to prevent the spread are being taken, more and more people are getting out and with seasonal events like Christmas, 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!

2020.12.07[Mon] 09:00

【Oseibo-Winter gift-giving】

So, I know this season, many people are thinking about presents to give and get. In many cultures, it is a season of gift-giving and in Japan, it is the season to give Oseibo. If you haven't heard of Oseibo, it's a custom in which a gift is given to those who have taken care of you throughout the year, a kind of thank you for everything they've done over the year. Often it is food or drink but there are a number of different gifts given.

This tradition is said to have originated in the Edo period. At the end of the year, merchants would present gifts to landlords or business partners while also giving the message of “I am always indebted to you, thank you for your continued support”. Oseibo is normally given from the beginning of December to just around the 25th of December but in Kyushu, most people get their Oseibo delivered between the the 10th and 20th of the month. Is there anyone you want to thank this year for their care and support? It might be nice to send them a little something! I usually prepare a little something for those who have helped me out, for me Christmas is a big occasion anyway so giving gifts this season is a pretty normal thing to do. This year, I have some really nice chocolates and jams I want to give out. I've also got masks, that I've made, to pass out as well. Hopefully all of it will be well received!

 

【World Human Rights Day and Human Rights Week】

Next, I have information from Fukuoka City about human rights. Human rights are  the inalienable rights which everyone is entitled to as a human being from the time they are born.And December 10th is Human Rights Day and this isn't something just in Japan, it is something that take place all over the world and is a day to think about Human Rights. And from December 4th to the 10th is Human Rights Week, and here in Fukuoka City, a Human Rights Respect Week is held with the goal of creating a comfortable, discrimination free place to live.In the same way that we recognize ourselves as individual, irreplaceable beings, at the same time, others are also individual, irreplaceable beings. And so this is an important week to recognize that all of us are valuable, precious beings.

We need to eliminate prejudice and discrimination against women, children, the elderly, foreigners, those with disabilities and all others who may face that negativity. Simply, we need to respect one another's human rights.

So let's keep compassion and a person's irreplaceability in mind.

 

【Illegal waste dumping】

I hope this doesn't really need to be said, but dumping oversized garbage and household waste in the mountains, forests, by the seaside, by rivers, on the road, or in parks is illegal.

In Fukuoka City, at the end of the year, many people do a big house clean and a lot of garbage is produced. As such, December has been designated as “Illegal Dumping Prevention Reinforcement Month”. Activities will be undertaken to strengthen measures to prevent illegal dumping of waste.

Fukuoka City has, in cooperation with the police, installed surveillance cameras and warning signs in places where illegal dumping is common and will carry out patrols of those areas.

Home appliances like TV's, refrigerators and freezers, washing machines and dryers, air conditioners and the like are all subject to the Home Appliance Recycling Law and there is a set way to dispose of them. If you are buying replacement appliances, the shop will pick up your old appliance. In Fukuoka City, you can speak with Best Denki or Yamada Denki for help with this.

When disposing of these items, recycling fees or collection and transportation fees are necessary. Traders who advertise that they collect unneeded items for cheap are illegal collectors who have not received permission from Fukuoka City. Please do not use these unauthorized collectors as problems such as illegal dumping, high fees and improper processing of waste may occur.

 

【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 this winter to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. Although measures to prevent the spread are being taken, more and more people are getting out and with seasonal events like Christmas, 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. It's been a while since I've mentioned them, but you should avoid closed rooms, make sure they are well ventilated, 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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DJ紹介

  • Colleen
  • Colleen
  • 誕生日:11月11日
    血液型:AB
    出身地:USA Detroit, MI
    特技:I can plan a party at anytime!
    興味あること・趣味:居合道、柔術、料理、スキューバダイビング
    好きな音楽:Almost everything, depends on my mood.

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