Events & Entertainment(イベント・娯楽)

2020.12.14[Mon] 09:00

Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健) , Children & Childcare(子ども・子育て) , Housing(住宅) , Events & Entertainment(イベント・娯楽)

【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!

2020.11.16[Mon] 09:00

Events & Entertainment(イベント・娯楽)

【”Shichi-go-san” Seven-Five-Three】

Yesterday, November 15th was Shichi-go-san or the Seven-Five-Three event. Have you heard of this? It's a traditional event that everyone born in Japan will experience. It's an event that celebrates children as they grow, at the ages of seven, five and three.

Wearing bright clothes, families take the children to shrines to visit their local deities and thank the deities for the successful growth of their children for that year and to pray for future happiness and longevity.

Nowadays, girls visit the shrine twice, once at three and once at seven, and boys visit once when they are five. However, depending on the area, some children may go the year before they turn 7, 5 or 3. Most visits are usually made sometime from the beginning to the middle of November, but often centered around November 15th. If you have visited a temple or shrine recently, you may have seen children all dressed up in beautiful kimonos. Although the time for it is nearly over, if you do happen to see a family celebrating the event in the next few days, give them a bright smile and a shout of Omedetou, or Congratulations!

I can't say we have anything like this in the US where I'm from, although a 6th birthday seems to be a big thing for some. I guess it's kind of the time when a child transitions from being a toddler to the next stage and is usually when kids are starting primary school. I had a pretty big birthday for my 6th, actually my birthday is in November and we had loads of my school friends over to celebrate with me. If I'm honest though, I don't remember much, it turns out I had the flu that day and ended up leaving my own party early!

 

【The Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize】

Asia is home to a diversity of ethnic groups, languages, and cultures, which coexist with each other and depend on each other.  The Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize was established in 1990 to  honor the eminent achievements of individuals, group or organizations who create as well as preserve the many distinct and diverse cultures in the Asian region and convey these cultures to the world.

Unfortunately, this year's event was cancelled due to Covid-19, but a special website has been made looking back over the 30 year history of the Fukuoka Prize. Messages from previous award winners as well as videos of past events will be presented. The site will also introduce award winning speeches, performances of traditional Asian musical instruments and Butoh and exchanges between award winners and students. Just search for Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize and enjoy the wonderful memories and images that can only be seen on this special website.

 

【30th anniversary celebration of the Fukuoka City Museum】

Another 30th anniversary celebration is happening this year as well. And that is the 30th anniversary of the Fukuoka City Museum. To celebrate, the museum is holding a 30th anniversary exhibition called “Treasures of Fukuoka” at which you'll see selected national treasures and important cultural properties from the museum's own collection. Of these, two very special swords are some of the artifacts you won't want to miss. These national treasure swords, “Heshikiri Hasebe” and “Nikko-Ichimonji”, are being displayed at the same time for this exhibition, typically they are displayed separately, and you'll also see the armor with them. In addition, traditional crafts such as Hakata Dolls, paintings and old photographs related to the history of Hakata festivals and other important arts and crafts, like the cultural property designated lantern craft will also displayed. Admission is 700 yen but Jr. High School students and younger are free.

This Autumn, head to the Fukuoka City Museum to search for some of those Treasures of Fukuoka! You can also check some of the museum's displays while at home too. On the Fukuoka City Museum homepage, 7 of their well-known properties have been rendered into 3D for anyone to see. Top to bottom, left to right, you can zoom in and have a look at every little detail. At home and at the museum, there's lots to see and enjoy.

2020.11.09[Mon] 09:00

Events & Entertainment(イベント・娯楽)

【Ritto】

Today, I want to introduce to you “Nijyuu Shisekki, the 24 seasonal divisions of the year based on the old, traditional calendar that was used in Japan. Of them, one is called Ritto, which means the start of winter. Every year, this day falls on the 7th or 8th of November and this  year it was on Saturday, the 7th of this month. As the chilly north winds start blowing in, it definitely starts to get colder, and we can think of it as a sign that winter is coming.

This is also the season in which homes might use fire, and so many temples and shrines hold “Chinkasai” or “Fire-extinguishing festivals”. In Fukuoka City, in the Nishi ward at Atago Shrine, the god there is a well-known fire-extinguishing and fire prevention deity and a Fire-extinguishing festival was held there on the 1st of November. Did you know about it? If you went, you would have seen a traditional Shinto ritual to help prevent fires in Fukuoka.

Of course, be careful of fires at home. Although we may not use an open hearth to warm our homes anymore, it's still important to be careful when using gas and older electric heaters. Speaking of heaters, make sure you are ready for winter when it comes! Whether that means dusting off the old heater, getting the kotatsu out or sealing gaps in the windows to keep the wind from getting in, make sure you do it before winter gets here! My dad always put up plastic sheeting over the windows in his bedroom when winter came. He made special frames to fit in the window space and used a thick, clear vinyl. It was pretty amazing how much warmer the room was than without them! I might try it on my bedroom windows this year.

 

【Japanese Gardens and Autumn Colors】

Before it gets too cold though, you might want to see some of the beautiful Japanese gardens that are in Fukuoka City. There are actually quite a few around town including Yusentei Koen, Shoufuen, Rakusuien and of course the Ohori Koen Japanese Garden. They're all pretty easy to get to, so when you have a chance, definitely check at least one of them out!

In these Japanese gardens, you can enjoy the beauty of the four seasons in a decided space. For just a small fee, you can also enjoy a bit of matcha while relaxing and admiring the view of the garden. This season is highly recommended as well, because the leaves will begin their transformation to the bright red, orange and yellow colors of fall. In Fukuoka City, there are some other popular Autumn color spots that you  may  or may not know about. Around the Fukuoka City Museum, Aburayama's Citizen's Forest, Momiji Hachimangu Shrine as well as a number of other places, you'll be able to see wonderful Autumn foliage from November to December. Of course, as you enjoy the splendor of Autumn in Fukuoka City, don't forget to take measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

 

Go to Eat Campaign】

 Recently, it seems there are more opportunities to go out and eat. Maybe it's part of that Autumn Appetite idea that I mentioned a few weeks back. Whatever you do, when you're out and about, make sure you take measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 while enjoying your time out. When you go out to eat, the Infection Prevention Declaration Sticker may be a handy guide for choosing a restaurant. This Infection Prevention Declaration Sticker is a sticker which shows which stores and facilities have implemented measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19. This may come especially in handy with the launch of the Go To Eat campaign last month. If you are planning on taking advantage of the campaign for your meals out, just look up Go To Eat Campaign on the internet to get information on how the campaign works and which restaurants are participating.

2020.10.12[Mon] 09:00

Events & Entertainment(イベント・娯楽)

【Autumn Appetite】

Alrighty, well, we're already well into October, the rice harvest is done, autumn veggies are just about at their peak and it's time to tuck into all of those hearty, hot dishes that are perfect for the season.Autumn is such a delicious season in Japan. Not only are different grains, rice and sweet potatoesabundant this season, but you've also got so many other seasonal ingredients like pears, grapes and chestnuts to enjoy. It's truly a fruitful season in Japan and is, no doubt, a pleasure for those who live here and also one reason why Japan feels its four seasons are so clear.

Did you know that in Japan, when people think of Autumn, they also think of the expression “Shoku yoku no aki”? It translates as “Autumn appetite” but we'd probably say Fall is the best season for eating or Autumn is the season for hearty appetites, in English. But why would we be hungrier in the Autumn anyway?Some say it's because the appetite we lost due to the heat in the summer has come back in addition to there being a ton of delicious season ingredients out there for us to enjoy. However, it seems there might be a bit of science behind this as well, as our basal metabolism, or the amount of energy we need keep our bodies functioning at rest, increases.

Whatever it is, I know that I've definitely got an appetite this season! Some of the main vegetables in autumn in Japan are potatoes, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, burdock root and sweet potatoes. Those ingredients sound perfect for making some delicious hot dishes! I'd probably make a nice stew with most of them with a sweet potato bake for dessert. What recipes do you have for this season?

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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.

 

http://fukuoka-hprtsa.jp/

http://www.au-sonpo.co.jp/pc/bycle/

http://www.sjnk.co.jp/kinsurance/medical/contents1/

https://www.nisshinfire.co.jp/tsumitate/joye/bicycle/

http://www.ms-ins.com/personal/kega/cycle/

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

https://www.pref.fukuoka.lg.jp/contents/bicycle-insurance.html

 

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?

2020.09.14[Mon] 09:00

Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健) , Events & Entertainment(イベント・娯楽)

【Emergency day or First aid day】

Last week I mentioned that September 9th was Choyo no Sekku but it was also KyuKyu no Hi. This is translated as Emergency day or First aid day and it was started in 1982 by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. If you know some Japanese, you'll know that the number 9 is Kyu. Double 9 puts together kyukyu, the Japanese word for "emergency". The day is designed to remind us to be grateful for health services and to be aware that sometimes things quickly take a turn for the worst. When that happens we need to be ready to help. In particular, if someone suddenly becomes ill or is injured we need to know how to treat that person.

If you need to call an ambulance or if you discover a fire, make sure that you call 119. Again that emergency phone number is 119. If you need help because someone has suddenly fallen ill or has been injured or if there is an accident or disaster, do not hesitate to call this number. There are 18 different languages available for the 119 emergency phone number.

【Getting out and about】

So, today I've got some fun information if you are looking to get out of the house for a bit. How does a trip to the Fukuoka City Zoo and Botanical Garden sound? It's right in the Chuo ward in the city and there are a number of different animals and a variety of flowers and plants to see there. You can go by bus or by subway. If you go by subway, that stop is Yakuin Odori, make sure you exit via the Zoo and Botanical Garden side. From there, you can grab a taxi or bus but walking is recommended as it is a pretty nice stroll to the Zoo. Entrance is only 600 yen for adults and 300 yen for high school students. Jr high students and younger get in free. If you're interested, check out their homepage at zoo.city.fukuoka.lg.jp. Again, that website is https://zoo.city.fukuoka.lg.jp/

You can see the baby giraffe and kangaroo that were born there this year, they're already getting big so quickly! I actually visited the zoo and botanical garden last month and highly recommend visiting the Tenbodai Cafe in the botanical garden. Not only is there a great view, but the coffee was amazing value and the pizza was so delicious! I also saw a ton of flowers that I'd never seen before. I can't wait for autumn colors to come, there is actually an autumn color area in that garden. I visited the zoo side as well and it looks like they are doing quite a bit of work rebuilding the areas for the animals. It looks like they're working to make a more natural and interactive space for visitors and a more comfortable space for the animals.

Of course, measures are being taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and so there is sanitizer at the entrance for your hands and posters have been put up   and announcements are being made to remind you to maintain social distance and to wash your hands at regular intervals. And don't forget to wear a mask when you do go out as part of those measures!

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2020.07.20[Mon] 09:00

Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健) , Events & Entertainment(イベント・娯楽) , Other Topics(その他)

【Goals for the Summer】

And that topic is goals for the summer. So what are your goals this season? Planning to work off all that time spent at home this past spring? Or maybe you want to spend more time at home and binge watch some new TV series. Or perhaps some time making video calls to catch up with family and friends at home? As for me, my goals include exploring the less traveled areas and perhaps a few of the more touristy areas of Japan. After months indoors, I've got the travel bug, my feet are just itching to go and so I have plans to travel around a bit. Most of my travel will just be one day trips, perhaps an overnight stay here and there, I think. There's a lot of Japan I haven't seen despite having lived here for over 15 years and it looks like domestic travel is the way to go this year. I do have one big trip planned for next week, I'll head to the Fuji mountain area and do a circuit around the mountain. The mountain is of course closed to hikers this year but my plan does not involve any kind of hiking. Instead, I'm hoping to get as many views of Mt. Fuji from as many angles as possible. I'll start in Hakone and head around to Fujinomiya and then to Kawaguchiko. Hopefully the weather will be nice and I'll have a good picture to share with you on blog on the LOVE FM website.

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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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