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2021.11.29[Mon] 09:00

Rules & Manners(ルール・マナー) , Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健)

【Stove and Heater Safety】

Well, we are very nearly to December now and it really feels like winter is settling in. And so, I have no doubt that your heaters, portable stoves and other warm equipment is out being used. And so today, I want to share with you a few tips on using them safely.


Naturally, make sure that there is nothing flammable around your heating units, things like paper or cloth. When you are using gas or kerosene heaters, make sure you ventilate the room on a regular basis.

Apparently, there have been reports of products in bathrooms and toilets as being the cause of some fires; the warm water wash function on the toilet seat was the reason for one of these fires, so it's important to make sure your appliances are up to date and that there is no dust build up around the plugs as this can be the cause of fires. Just a quick clean with a vacuum hose or dry wipe will take care of that.


With the cold weather, making hotpots at home becomes a more regular thing, especially in my house, but if you are using one of those little table top stoves, make sure you have put the canister in the stove correctly and have moved anything flammable out of the way as accidents have happened. And when you throw the gas canister away, make sure there is no gas left in the can. To be sure of this, take the can outside away from any possible flames, and lay some paper or cloth on the floor. Press the nozzle down on that cloth or paper and let it spray until nothing comes out. Once  that's done, you can put the empty can into the blue Non-burnable Garbage bag.



【World AIDS Day】

Next, I have a few announcements from Fukuoka City.

First is about World Aids Day on December 1st. Every year around the 1st of December, around the world, various events and activities take place, to deepen awareness and understanding of AIDS.

Even after being infected by HIV, definitive symptoms may not appear for a period of time and so it is believed that there are a number of people who have been infected but will not be diagnosed until the onset of AIDS. By detecting HIV infection early and receiving the appropriate health care and treatment, the onset of AIDS can be delayed.


At the health and welfare centers of each ward, HIV screening is offered. This screening is free of charge and anonymous. So, if you think you may be at risk, get checked as soon as possible. Screening is only on certain days so make sure you check which days before you go.

And, I don't know if you know this but the red ribbon is a symbol that shows awareness and solidarity with those affected by AIDS. The red ribbon announces to others that you have no prejudice against people affected by AIDS and gives that message that we will not discriminate against those living with AIDS. So for World AIDS Day, let's all take the time to learn the correct information about AIDS and how to prevent it.



【Illegal dumping of garbage or Fly-tipping】

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 the 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 “Free pick-up for items you don't need” 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.

2021.11.22[Mon] 09:00

DJ's Recommend(DJのオススメ)

【Christmas Events and Illuminations】

You may have noticed that in Japan, the moment Halloween ends, Christmas decorations and promotions show up everywhere. I actually saw one of my local supermarkets getting the Christmas sweet packs out on the floor on Halloween! For me, growing up in the US, holiday decorations didn't go up until we got through Thanksgiving, which in the US is the 4th Thursday of November. This year, that will be this coming Thursday the 25th.  Anyway, in the US, my family would usually get our Christmas tree up the first or second week of December. My dad wasn't the type to rush into these things, we usually bought a live tree and if you put it up too early, by Christmas we'd have lost a lot of pine needles, as we were terrible about remembering to water it. Christmas morning meant stockings, then breakfast and then presents. My sister and I used to wake up so early just to go into the living room to look at the Christmas lights and see all the presents Santa had brought us. In the afternoon, we always went to my aunt's house where the whole family gathered for a potluck, more presents and a couple good games of poker. In Japan, my Christmas is a bit quieter, but I do still put up a tree and decorations. In past years, I'd invite friends around to celebrate with me and I'm hoping to do so this year if everything looks alright. I usually cook a big main meal, a few years back I did Beef Wellington, another year it was ham, I've done roast chicken and most recently I did a beautiful crispy slab of pork belly. Mashed potatoes and gravy are a must, mashed potatoes are easy to make but I know gravy is sometimes a mystery for Japanese people. It's easy to make, the simplest way would be to make a roux with flour and butter. Add a consomme bouillon cube and hot water, mix and simmer until thickened. It will give you an idea of what gravy is. For real gravy though, you need to roast some meat and take the drippings to make the gravy base. I like to add sauteed onions and mushrooms to the gravy and lots of herbs like thyme, sage and parsley. There are recipes online so if you want to try something different for Christmas, just find a recipe that suits your fancy!



Christmas Illuminations

Well, all this talk about Christmas has me all excited for the season now! I guess going out to see some of the Christmas illuminations around the city will put me in the holiday spirit even more. All around Tenjin and Hakata, shops and even some houses are brightly adorned with lights and other holiday decorations. Some places change up their decorations every year with different themes depending on what they are doing and others keep it consistent, and something to look forward to every year. Getting hot wine like at the Christmas market is probably the smarter thing to do. Enjoy the lights and stay warm!



Illuminations Around Fukuoka

There are quite a few places to see Christmas Illuminations around the city and one handy guide for foreigners with that information is Fukuoka Now, a free monthly magazine. There are usually lots of pictures and it's pretty easy to understand where to go. Take a look and head out for those bright lights with your partner, friends, family or even on your own!  You can find the magazine online if you look up Fukuoka Now.




The Christmas Market

I mentioned getting hot wine at the Christmas Market a bit earlier, so if you were wondering about that, well, in Fukuoka, every year from November to December 25th, there are Christmas Markets set up in Hakata and Tenjin that really give you that wonderful cozy winter feeling. It is the largest Christmas Market in Japan, set up over a few different places with stalls lined up under the Christmas decorations and lights. You'll find a range of delicious drinks like hot chocolate and that hot wine I mentioned,  as well as a pretty good menu of foods to try. It's a fun event and this year the markets will be set up at the square in front of Hakata Station and Fureai Hiroba Square in front of Fukuoka City Hall in Tenjin.

There will also be a light up in Nakasu called “Nakasu Kibo no Hikari” which started last year. The trees along the road in Nakasu are lit up from 5pm to midnight, making it another spot to enjoy.

2021.11.15[Mon] 09:00

Housing(住宅) , Other Topics(その他)


Autumn is a comfortable season, it's easy to spend time indoors and outdoors, with temperatures that are just right. It's also a great time for a little bit of sightseeing, of course in the city, but also in nature. And in Fukuoka, there are quite a few areas pretty close to the city where you can enjoy Autumn's nature and flowers, especially cosmos, which are in season right now.

Cosmos come in colors like pink, white, dark red, yellow, orange and are a colorful addition to the season every year. They're pretty hardy flowers and if there's sun and decent ventilation, it seems like they'll grow just about anywhere. In Fukuoka City, there are a several places where you can enjoy these flowers. One pretty well known place is Umino-nakamichi-kaihin-koen, which is easily accessible by train and in addition to the flowers is a popular leisure spot where you can enjoy a beautiful sea breeze. There are large fields with different flowers throughout the year, including tulips, nemophila, roses, and rape blossoms. I like cycling there, it's a bit of trek from my house but well worth it.

Nokono-shima is another place to see the cosmos. You can catch a ferry from Meinohama, it only takes 10 minutes to get across, and once you're there, enjoy a kind of resort feeling. Nokonoshima Island Park is where you'll find a huge field of cosmos with the sea in the background. In the spring, this same area has a fabulous view of cherry blossoms and rape blossoms as well.

If you've got time on your day off, why not head toward one of these places for a relaxing, natural kind of day? I've got a trip out to Uminonakamichi already planned!



Today, I have some information from the Fukuoka City International Foundation to share with you.

 Call for Applications for International Student Housing: Family Rooms】

Currently, there are some student housing family rooms open to applications for international students enrolled at Universities in Fukuoka City or the Fukuoka Metropolitan area.

To be considered, applicants must be enrolled in a University and also be willing to participate enthusiastically in projects conducted by the Fukuoka City International Foundation. The lease period is for 2 years and single tenants will also be considered.

For more information about the application and other requirements, please visit the Fukuoka City International Foundation's homepage or send an email to dorm@fcif.or.jp with any questions you may have.


Legal Consultation】

The second piece of information from the Fukuoka City International Foundation is about legal consultations.

Is there anything you don't understand about residency status and term of stay regulations? If there is, free consultation is available for the foreign residents of Fukuoka at the Fukuoka City International Foundation. Consultations are held every second Sunday afternoon of the month from 1pm to 4pm. Please register by 3:30 on that day.  A gyousei-shoshi, or administrative lawyer, will answer your questions and offer consultation.

There are English and Chinese interpreters present, and so, consultation in English, Chinese and Japanese does not require a reservation. For other languages, please consult with us at least one week in advance.

If you choose to use these services, please know that confidentiality is guaranteed.

For reservations or more information, please call 092-262-1799. Again that number is 092-262-1799. Calls will be accepted between 8:45 am and 6pm on weekdays.

And to prevent the spread of Covid-19, measures are being taken so please wear a mask and disinfect your hands when you come for a consultation.


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2021.11.08[Mon] 09:00

Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健) , Disaster(災害)

【The Kyushu Sumo Tournament】

Well, it's time of year again...what time of year you say? The time of year in which you may see sumo wrestlers in yukata, around the city. That's right, the Ozumo Kyushu Basho is back. Have you ever seen a sumo match live?

Well, from the 14th to the 28th of November, you might have a chance. The Ozumo Kyushu Basho or Kyushu Sumo Tournament will be held during that time at the Fukuoka International Center. It's been two years since the last Kyushu Basho due it being cancelled because of the pandemic.

Many of the Sumo wrestlers you may spot around town are still minor but in the future, many of them will become famous. The sumo whose names are often mentioned on TV and in newspapers don't often appear in public, as they are quite popular.

You can get tickets to see the sumo matches for only 2000 yen for the cheapest seats, but be prepared to line up from first thing in the morning to get those tickets. The best seats in the house, called Tamari, are about 20,000 yen per person. It's a sumo fan's dream to watch a match from a Tamari seat at least once in their life. As it's been two years since the last Kyushu Basho, there is no doubt that this year's event is going to be exhilarating. It's been about 10 years since I last went so I'm definitely thinking about going this year.


【Autumn's National Fire Prevention Campaign】

Now I have some information from Fukuoka City. This year, November 9th to 15th is the Autumn National Fire Prevention Campaign week. As we move from Autumn to Winter, the air becomes drier and incidents involving fires increase. In Fukuoka City last year, there were 261 incidents! The main causes of incidents involving fires include cigarettes, gas burners and home heaters.

Some concrete examples of the incidents that might occur are when clothes hanging to dry or curtains are near a gas heater catch fire, or when your futon or blanket is too close to the gas heater and, while you are sleeping, catch fire. It's really dangerous to put things that might be flammable near a gas heater. Also, don't forget to switch off the gas heater when it's not in use.

You've also got to be careful with those little gas burners. When it gets cold, and you want to make a nabe or hot pot at the table, the gas burner often comes out. And when you do use it, make sure you're far enough away from anything flammable, like curtains or blankets.

Finally, be careful of starting fires with cigarettes. This should go without saying but do not smoke while in bed and don't let your cigarette butts just pile up. Make sure you put your cigarette out completely when you are done smoking.

Also, check that the smoke alarm in your house is working and that your fire extinguisher is up to date every now and again. It's important to practice fire safety every day.


【Nice Teeth Day】

One more announcement for you. November 7th and 8th are Iina, Iiha day. It's a bit of word play with the sounds of the month and days and basically it means 'ahh, lucky you, nice teeth' day. So what's happening on these days? They are a reminder for everyone to take care of those handy, dandy chompers we have in our mouth that let us bite down on and chew the food we love so easily. Of course, to keep our mouths healthy, it's important to brush our teeth every day to keep our mouths clean. In addition, regular checkups for cleaning, cavities and other oral diseases are something to get done to make sure you can keep your teeth healthy for years to come.

Fukuoka City wants to help its residents out with that with milestone dental examinations. Residents who have celebrated their 35th, 40th, 50th or 60th birthday between April 1st to March 31st of the following year can go for a dental and gum examination for only 700 yen. For residents who have turned 70 during that period, the examination is free. In addition, women who are expecting can receive a free prenatal and postnatal dental exam once during pregnancy and once within one year after childbirth.

You can get advice on how to brush your teeth better and also check if you're missing any spots when you go for your exam. It's important to know if you are missing spots, as you want to keep your teeth as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Take this time to look back on your eating habits and oral care, is there anything else you should be doing?

2021.11.01[Mon] 09:00

Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健)

【Apartment Day】

In Japan, November 6th is Apartment Day. For most of us, this might not seem like a thing, but it seems that on this day in 1910, Japan's first wooden apartment was completed in Ueno in Tokyo. It was actually prohibited to construct wooden apartments with three or more floors for a long time, so this building was a big deal. The apartment was called the Ueno Kurabu or Club and was a 5 floor, 70 room apartment with a western style exterior. Located right next to Ueno Park, it was equipped with shared washrooms, bath tubs and telephones and residents paid to use the bath.

The people who lived in the building were mostly civil servants, company employees and teachers and there were no single residents. And it wasn't limited to Japanese residents only, Russian and French people also lived in the building it seems. This wooden apartment could be rented at a reasonable price but noises were surprisingly loud. And when living there, it was important to remember that you were living with others so you had to be careful of doors opening or closing, the sound of walking in the room, and voices in conversation.

In Japan, there is an expression 'Otagai-sama'. It translates as 'mutual' but it means that you and another person are in the same position or situation. If you can hear the sound of someone doing something in another room, then it means they can hear the same when you are moving around. Something important to remember as you enjoy your life in Japan.


【COVID-19 Vaccination information】

Now, I have some important information from Fukuoka City to share with you.  Fukuoka City has been working toward making sure everyone who hopes to be vaccinated can do so with peace of mind. In Fukuoka City, anyone over the age of 12 who is registered as living in the city and is eligible for vaccinations will receive COVID-19 vaccination notice in the mail. If you have not yet been inoculated but hope to do so, please visit the Fukuoka City homepage for information on where you can get your vaccination done. 

The vaccine is free. You will be given 2 of the same dose, 3 to 4 weeks apart.

After you receive your vaccination, a sticker will be placed on your vaccination sheet. This shows that you have been vaccinated and which vaccine you have received. This is an important document, so make sure you do not lose it.


For  information on vaccinations or to make a reservation, you can call 092-260-8405. Again, that number is 092-260-8405. Calls will be taken between 8:30 am and 5:30pm every day. 7 languages are available at that number, including English, Chinese, Nepali, Vietnamese and Korean.



【Preventing the spread of Covid-19 and Influenza】

With winter coming, the spread of the Flu becomes quite common. And with Covid-19 still being spread, it's possible to get sick with both at the same time.


So, to prevent that, with the same measures you've been taking to prevent the spread of Covid-19, like washing your hands, wearing a mask and keeping enough distance between yourself and others, please continue to do the same to prevent the spread of the Flu.


If you do get sick, to prevent it from becoming a heavy illness, you may want to consider getting the Influenza vaccine as well. If you do plan to get both the vaccine for Covid-19 and the Flu, make sure you get those injections done at least 13 days apart.

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  • Colleen
  • Colleen
  • 誕生日:11月11日
    出身地:USA Detroit, MI
    興味のある事:I'm studying patisserie and languages