2022.01.10[Mon] 09:00

Japanese(日本語) , Housing(住宅)

【Ways to Battle the Cold without Burning through Electricity!】

January 20th is known as the coldest day of the year and is called “Dai-kan” in Japanese which translates to “Big Cold”. Sometimes winter brings in cold that is so harsh that even if you are using heaters and other warming appliances, the room doesn't manage to warm up. And as you're trying to get that room warm, you end up keeping the heater on which means a big electric bill later. But then again, if you try to just grin and bear it and stand the cold, you'll end up making yourself sick. So here are a few tips to help you get through the winter cold.
First, get some thick curtains. There are curtains made especially for holding in the heat and also provide soundproofing. So if you are looking for some new curtains, these are the ones you want to protect you from the cold outside. You also want to avoid letting drafts in through the window, so make sure your curtains are long enough to touch the floor. If there are windows you don't need to open, I would also recommend putting thick, clear vinyl over them. You can either tape it over the window or make a frame that fits into the window. My dad did this every year in his bedroom and it made a huge difference without sacrificing the daylight.
Another thing to do is get a nice thick carpet or rug. You can really feel the cold through the flooring in houses and apartments in Japan. By putting a carpet down, that fluffy goodness will keep a layer between you and the cold hard floor, making your feet happier for sure. It also serves the double purpose of providing some soundproofing too.
If you're trying to save a bit of cash, you can still find some good stuff at the 100 yen shop they've got those interlocking sponge mats, cushions and other things that will help you get through the winter. My winter necessity is my “yutanpo” or hot water bottle. I keep that at the foot of my bed and it keeps me warm all night. It brings the cats to the bed too, adding to the warmth!



Some information from the Fukuoka City International Foundation to share with you.

【Japanese Chatting Salon】

Today's information is for any international students who are studying in Fukuoka. Do you about the monthly Japanese Chatting Salon? Using Zoom, international students and Japanese volunteers meet one on one or in small groups to talk about topics that interest them. If you are looking for a chance to use daily Japanese as well as practice the Japanese you've learned in class, or just want to chat with a native Japanese speaker, then definitely join in! The sessions are free and the next session will be held online on January 31st

To learn more about this event or to make a reservation, please visit the Fukuoka City International Foundation's website or the Attaka Fukuoka Facebook page. You can also call the Foundation at  092-262-1799. Again that number is 092-262-1799. Phone calls will be accepted from 9am to 6pm on weekdays.

Definitely check it out!


【 Looking for Residents for the International Student Dormitory】

The Foundation is also looking for students who are interested in living in their international student dormitory. Applications are open to international students who are currently enrolled in universities and graduate schools in the Fukuoka Metropolitan area. Other qualifications for residency in the dormitory include being able to actively participate in and cooperate with projects held by the Fukuoka City International Foundation. The period of residence is for two years from the day you move in. Single residents are also eligible.

For more information and other application requirements, please check the Fukuoka City International Foundation's website or contact them by email at dorm@fcif.or.jp.

2021.10.11[Mon] 09:00

Japanese(日本語) , Housing(住宅) , Events & Entertainment(イベント・娯楽) , Other Topics(その他)

【Osmanthus/Fragrant Olive】

Kinmokusei or Osmanthus fragrans in English, perhaps more commonly know as Fragrant Olive, is in bloom this season, full with it's tiny orange blossoms. You'll probably see it when out walking and will definitely be able to identify it from its sweet smell that fills the air. It's the scent that tells you that fall is right around the corner!

In the past in Japan, this flower was often planted near pit toilets as it was an effective deodorizer. Later, the scent became the standard for toilet air freshening sprays! Perhaps due to that, older generations don't have an overly fond image of the flower. Younger generations however don't have the same association with the flower and tend to enjoy its fragrance.

The flower is actually, also, edible. In China, where the flower is originally from, it is often candied or put into liquors. Yang Guifei, known as one of the 4 beauties of ancient China, was said to drink sake made from Kinmokusei. Hmm, if this was part of her beauty routine then I wonder where can I find some of this sake!

At any rate, it's a flower whose scent can be enjoyed now, just follow your nose!


【Information from the Fukuoka City International Foundation】

The International Japanese Speech Contest

Today, we also have information from the Fukuoka City International Foundation.

Have you heard of the International Japanese Speech Contest that they hold every year?Well, this year, it will take place on October 16th. Speeches are given by students from Japanese classes and from Japanese language schools in the Fukuoka Metropolitan area. The topic of the speech is up to the participant and ranges from their experiences living in Fukuoka City to their dreams for the future, of course, delivered in Japanese. If you have a chance, come and support these students and listen to the fruits of their language study labor! You can attend the contest in person on the day or watch the speeches online later! If you are interested, please visit the Fukuoka City International Foundation's website to make reservations to attend or watch the videos of the speeches.


Call for Applications for International Student Housing: Family Rooms】

Alright, next is the call for Applications for International Student Housing. 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.


Information on the Mail Magazine】

And now, I want to share a little information about Fukuoka City International Foundation's monthly mail magazine. The magazine, published in English and Japanese, shares news and information about international exchange events and cooperation and is available to everyone!  Just search for FCIF in your web browser and sign up on the Foundation's website to receive that valuable information! If you want to know more about the Fukuoka City International Foundation or have any questions, you can contact them during the week between 8:45am and 6pm at 092-262-1799. Again, the phone number is 092-262-1799.

2021.05.31[Mon] 09:00

Japanese(日本語) , Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健)

【June Bride】

Well, we are just a day away from June and you know what that means? In Fukuoka, it typically  means rainy season, but I'll get to that in a minute. June is the season for weddings, it's said from long ago in Europe, if you are married in June, you'll be a happy bride. There are many reasons for that, but it seems the strongest reason behind the idea of the June Bride comes from ancient Greek myths. Zeus's wife Hera, who is also known as Juno in Roman myths, from which the name June comes, is the goddess of women, marriage, childbirth, family and so on and so getting married in June is fortuitous.

Getting married in June also makes sense if you look at it from an agricultural point of view. In Europe, March to May is a busy time for farmers so weddings were supposedly prohibited meaning everyone who wanted to get married would do so after that time, in June.

The idea of the June bride spread in Japan from about 50 years ago. It seems it started because the hotel industry had a lot more free time during the rainy season and in order to increase the number of weddings at the hotels in June, they ran campaigns to push the June bride idea.

In the US, the June bride idea is a popular one and probably came from Europe. And in the US, a popular tradition when getting married goes with this little rhyme which comes from England. “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” and the forgotten line “A sixpence in your shoe.” Supposedly by having all of these somethings, the marriage will be happy and blessed.


【Kind and Easy Japanese Radio Lessons】

Now, I have some information from Fukuoka City about a new way to study Japanese. Beginning in June,“Kind and Easy Japanese Radio Lessons” are set to broadcast! This program will use “Easy Japanese” spoken slowly, for international residents who still don't really understand Japanese.

Foreign residents will able to get the information they need to know for life in Japan.

The program will be broadcast on the radio every Friday from 11:54am and the first broadcast is this Friday, June 4th. Even if you don't understand all of it or if you miss the broadcast, don't worry! The script from the program will be available on Love FM's website. And you 'll be able to listen to the program's podcast as many times as you'd like. So, be sure to listen!


【HIV Testing Week】

Some more important information to share with you here. June 1st to the 7th is HIV testing week. Just last year, medical institutions in Fukuoka City reported  26 new HIV infections and 9 AIDS patients.

To prevent the spread of HIV, the early it is discovered, the faster it can be treated.  

Even if someone is infected with HIV, few symptoms appear, which is why testing is necessary to know if someone is actually infected.

Free, anonymous HIV screenings will be held at the health and welfare centers of each ward. Screenings are on a specified day, so please visit the homepage of your local health and welfare center before you go.

If an HIV diagnosis is made in the early stages, with proper health management and treatment, the onset of AIDS can be delayed. So if you think you may be at risk, please get checked as soon as possible.

2021.05.10[Mon] 09:00

Japanese(日本語) , Other Topics(その他)

【May's Clear Skies】

Have you heard the Japanese word “Satsuki-bare”?

I’m sure many of you have an image of May as a Sunny, breezy month.

The new green leaves all around are bright and shiny, it’s neither too hot or too cold, or too humid for that matter, which makes it easy to enjoy the days. 

However, the meaning of Satsuki-bare doesn’t actually refer to all of this nice weather! In the old days, May was “Tsuyu” or rainy season and “Satsuki-bare” only referred to those clear days between the rainy days.

It’s not unusual for the wrong meaning of a word to become quite common, so now both meanings, beautiful clear weather and the clear weather between the rain, are in the dictionary.

I hope you have a chance to enjoy May’s clear skies!


【The Opening of the Electronic Library】

Now, I have some information from Fukuoka City that might help you get through any rainy days! The Fukuoka City public library has begun book check-out and returns on a electronic library system. With the electronic library, you don't need to go to the library to borrow books if you've got a computer, tablet or smartphone. You can just go online and borrow the books you want to read for free with this service.


From novels to history to health and cooking, there are around 7000 titles, including picture books, that you can borrow. There are also audio books and large print titles available.


If you live in Fukuoka City or work or go to school in the city, you are eligible to use this service. You do need a Fukuoka City Public Library card to use this service though. If you don't have a card, the card has expired, or if you are coming from outside of the city to work or study, then please visit either the Fukuoka City Public Library or one of its ward branches to register with the Amikas Fukuoka City Gender Equality Promotion Center Library.


You can borrow up to 3 books for two weeks through this service. The books will be automatically returned to the library once the two weeks are up. If you are thinking about studying Japanese, or just want to read something in English, then you should definitely use this service. There are a variety of books in Japanese, English and other languages waiting for you to check out. 


【A Warning about Vaccination Scam Phone Calls】

Now, I have some important information to share with you in regards to the Covid vaccine roll-out. Apparently the Consumer Affairs Center has been receiving reports of phone calls being made by fraudsters out there trying to scam people out of money or personal information. They claim to be calling from the health center and say things like “You can receive the Covid vaccine. Your money will be returned at a later date, but we need you to do a bank transfer for it first.” Other calls say “ You can get the Covid vaccine for free” but then asking for personal information.


For the vaccine roll-out, your local city, ward and town offices will NOT ask for money or personal information by phone or by email. The vaccine will be free. In addition, you will receive a “notification for vaccination” by post. So, be aware of and on your guard against these scam phone calls and phishing emails.


2021.05.03[Mon] 09:00

Japanese(日本語) , Other Topics(その他)

【Mother's Day】

Here in Japan the second Sunday of May is Mother's Day. It's the same day in the US and actually originated there. During the Civil War in the US, there was a woman named Ann Jarvis who took care of wounded soldiers. She was also the founder of the Mothers' Day Work Club which helped to improve health and sanitary conditions for all, even for these soldiers whether they were friend or foe. She continued her work until she died. In 1908, 2 years after Ann's death, her daughter arranged the first official observance of Mother's Day coming near the anniversary of her mother's death. And to those who attended, 500 white carnations her mother's favorite, were given. It was around 1915 that Mother's Day spread to Japan. Carnations are the most popular flowers given on that day and they have some meanings language of flowers. Red carnations mean “Love to your mother” and “A mother's love”. White carnations mean “In memory of my late mother”.

What do you think you'll do for your mother on Mother's Day? If she's nearby, I'm sure she'll appreciate seeing you. If she's far away, knowing that you are thinking about her will no doubt warm her heart. I'll give my mom a call on the day, and will possibly arrange a dinner delivery for her and my sister to share. And then they can share picture with me. It's kind of like being there with them despite being thousands of kilometers away!


【The Japanese Chatting Event and Consultations with an Administrative Lawyer】

Now, I've got some information from the Fukuoka City International Foundation that I'd like to share with you. First, is for international students studying in Fukuoka. Did you know that there is a Japanese Chatting Event held every month on the last weekday of the month? Using Zoom, international exchange students and Japanese volunteers chat one on one or in small groups about a variety of topics. Whether you want to practice your daily Japanese or something you learned in class, or if you just want to chat with a Japanese person, this is the perfect opportunity to do so. It's completely free to participate, so check it out.

And the second announcement I have is in regards to residency status and term of stay regulations. Is there anything you don't understand? If there is, you can meet with  a gyosei shoshi or administrative lawyer at the Fukuoka City International Center on the 2nd Sunday of each month. There, the lawyer will answer your questions and offer consultation for free. Confidentiality is guaranteed, so please feel at ease to make use of this service!

For more information on times and reservations for the Chatting Event and consultations, please check the Fukuoka City International Foundation's website or call 092-262-1799. Again the number is 092-262-1799. 


【The Japanese Class Map】

Going back to Japanese studies, if you are interested in finding classes, well there are actually quite a few, taught by volunteers, in Fukuoka City. There are different levels and different fees for each but to help you with that, I'd like to introduce you to the Japanese Class Map.

There are a variety of classes available: Beginner level classes that take it slow, kanji classes to brush up on your characters, classes for learning about Japanese culture, classes that combine study with fun exchanges and many more. All you have to do is search for “Fukuoka City Japanese Class Map” in your browser and look for the classroom near you!


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.

2020.09.21[Mon] 09:00

Japanese(日本語) , Rules & Manners(ルール・マナー) , Events & Entertainment(イベント・娯楽)

【Respect for the Aged Day】

Today's first topic is about Keiro no Hi or in English, Respect for the Aged Day. It falls on the 3rd Monday of September, and this year that happens to be today, Monday the 21st. On this day, we celebrate the longevity and wisdom of and give respect to the elders in our society. Usually, people go out for a meal with their grandparents or even take a trip somewhere but due to Covid-19 this year, I guess quite a few people might be doing online get-togethers with their families.  And although the dates are different, depending on where one is, it seems that all around the world, like in China, Korea, the US and other places, people have days on which they pay their respect to the elderly and honor and celebrate their lives as well as wish for their continuing good health. Unfortunately, all of my grandparents have passed away, but I often write letters to my grandfather's older sister who is a very sprightly 99 years old. Her 100th birthday is next year and hopefully I'll have a chance to make a visit to the US to celebrate with her and the family. Until then I'll have to keep writing though, sharing my life in Fukuoka with her, through pictures and words. She doesn't have internet or a computer or anything like that so it's the only way really!! It's nice writing letters though, and if she's anything like me, getting mail that isn't a bill is always a thrill. If you're thinking of a little something to do for someone around you perhaps a handwritten letter?


【Important information from Fukuoka City】

Bicycle Insurance

Now, I have some important information from Fukuoka City about bicycle insurance. Beginning the 1st of October, anyone who rides a bicycle will be required to have bicycle insurance according to a change in the law.

Whether you're commuting to work or to school, only going for a bit of shopping,  have a company that has employees on bicycles to get to jobs or are a company that rents bicycles, anyone and everyone that rides a bicycle must have insurance.

If you have a child that rides a bicycle, then a parent or guardian needs to sign up for insurance for them.

Why is this all necessary? Well, if you have an accident while on a bicycle, you may have to pay quite a lot of money to the injured party. However, if you are enrolled in an insurance policy, if that accident does happen while you are riding a bicycle and you injure another person, the costs for hospitalization and other costs will be covered. 

So, if you ride a bicycle, make sure you get insurance so that you are covered if you ever do have an accident! Of course you want to avoid that so, make sure you also follow the traffic rules!

You can check the Fukuoka Prefecture website for some information, there are links to some insurance companies, but it is all in Japanese so get someone to help you if necessary. I'll post some of the links on the blog, if I can.







You can find these and more on the Fukuoka Prefecture page (Japanese only):



The Fukuoka Knowledge Test

How much do you know about Fukuoka? Do you know the difference between Fukuoka and Hakata? Or what 'Bari Kata' is?  If you do, good job you are well on your way to perhaps passing the Fukuoka Knowledge Test. What's that you say? Well, it's a kind of exam that Fukuoka City has set up to help widen and deepen your knowledge pathways of Fukuoka.  And, if you pass the Fukuoka Knowledge Test, you can get discount tickets to sightseeing attracts,  the history and art museums here as well as receiving a special gift. 

If you are interested in the Fukuoka Knowledge Test, then just take a look at its homepage. There is information on the exam as well as games to help you brush up on your knowledge of the history and culture of Fukuoka. There are also short films that will introduce you to the charms of Fukuoka. It's a fun way to learn a little more about Fukuoka.

There's still a lot to discover, even for the longtimers here. So check out that homepage and start your Fukuoka journey. The site address is fukuokakentei.com. Again, that is fukuokakentei.com.

Oh, by the way, if you didn't know the answers to one of the questions earlier, Bari Kata refers to the doneness of the noodles in ramen. “Yawa, kata, bari kata, hari gane “ are just some ways to  say how done you want your noodles when you order a bowl of ramen. Bari Kata is a bit harder than normal, kind  of al dente. Did you know that?

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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