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?

2021.08.23[Mon] 09:00


【Vegetable Day】

This morning, I've got a topic that will hopefully make you want to eat your veggies! August 31st is Vegetable Day, because August 31 can be read as Ya-Sa-I in Japanese. Did you know that the daily recommended amount of veggies for an adult is about 350 grams? That's not really a lot if you think about it, but according to research, most of us are about 60 grams short of getting our daily total in! That's easy to fix though. All you need to do is add one dish of leafy veg to your meal.  A side of sauteed spinach or a mini veggie stir-fry or even a little green salad will do!

I bet there's been times though when you've gone to the store to buy your veggies, not quite getting through all of them before they went off and ended up throwing them away. It hurts. The key to avoiding that is getting cut vegetables. You can get pre-cut vegetables in single serving portions at a number of supermarkets and convenience stores. If you are worried about all that packaging, you can also prep cut veggies yourself and store them in the freezer. You just need a little time and possibly a quick YouTube tutorial viewing. Having pre-cut veggies on hand is convenient because you can make soup in little time, throw some extra veggies on top of your ramen or whip up a stir-fry, making sure you get in your 350 grams a day!

I actually did a challenge with my friends once in which we had to try to eat at least 10 kinds of vegetables each day for a month. It sounds hard but it's actually quite easy with a little creativity. I think I managed 20 different vegetables in one day! Nabe or hotpots are a easy way to eat lots of vegetables but mincing carrots, onions, mushrooms and garlic and adding them to burgers is another sneaky way of getting plenty of veg in!


【Disaster Prevention Day and Stockpiling Encouragement Week】

Now, I have some information from Fukuoka City. Disaster Prevention Day is an annual awareness day and is on September 1st. And in Fukuoka City, the week of the 1st to the 7th of September is Fukuoka City's Stockpiling Encouragement Week. Stockpiling refers to keeping a good supply of food and other necessities in your home. And through this one week event, the city hopes to raise its citizens' awareness of disaster prevention, including the need to stockpile in both our homes and workplaces.

So why do we need to stockpile? Well, if there is an earthquake or typhoon, even if you aren't in danger, without food or water, we can't survive. If the stores shut down, we can't buy the food and drinks we need. If our water system is stopped, there's no water to drink either. And, if the electric and gas are out, there's no way we can cook food. So, in order to really be safe, it's important to keep a rolling stock.

Alright, so what should be stockpiled?

You should have drinkable water and 3 days worth of food. One person needs roughly three liters of water per day, something to keep in mind. Emergency foods like freeze-dried rice, canned foods, biscuits, chocolate bars and hardtack are some things that are good to have on hand. Food that doesn't need to be cooked is essential.

If you have a radio and flashlight, make sure they have batteries. And if you take medicine, or need bandages or anything like that, make sure you have extra supplies in with your first aid kit. If there is an infant in your family, make sure you have diapers in your supplies as well.

In addition to the water you'll need for drinking, you'll also need water for flushing the toilet and other sanitary needs. Keep a water tank full of water on a daily basis or fill the bathtub so that you do have that extra water on hand.

Buy a little more than you usually do, of the foods you normally eat, and as you use them up, make sure you replace them so that you always have a little more than enough in your house. This is your rolling stock. This is recommended because then you don't have to worry about expiration dates like when you keep a bag full of emergency food in your closet.

We get typhoons every year, so take a look at what you have in your home and make sure you are prepared.

2021.06.07[Mon] 09:00


【Cleaning Your Washing Machine】

June is a time in which we not only get a lot of rain but also have a lot of humidity. And it's during this season that mildew and mold grow easily, so it's important to keep food and other ingredients in the fridge to keep them fresh. But there's something else you might want to think about keeping fresh. When was the last time you cleaned out your washing machine? Washing machine? It washes, so it doesn't need to be cleaned is what some might think. But in fact, you should clean out your washing machine at least once a month to help prevent the growth of germs and mold and mildew. The easiest way to clean your washing machine is with some baking soda, it's called “Jyu-Sou, which you can pick up at a 100 yen shop. Put it in the empty machine, run the cycle and when the machine fills up with water, stop it there and let the water and “Jyu-sou” mixture sit for 5-6 hours. Dirt and other bits will float to the top over that time. Scoop all of that out, and then let the machine finish its cycle. Once all the water has drained, leave the lid of the machine up so that the inside can dry out. There are also some special machine cleansing detergents on the market which can also be used to keep your machine shiny and clean, so when you have the chance, give your washing machine a thorough cleaning!

Oh and when you do the laundry, if you live in a place with thin walls, try to avoid doing your wash too late at night as the spin cycle can be pretty noisy for the folks around you.

【Rainy Season and Heavy Rains】

Now for some information from Fukuoka City. As you know, throughout Japan, June and July are the months when we get lots of rain, it is Japan's rainy season. And this year, rainy season started much earlier than usual, in Northern Kyushu, it actually started on May 15th. And with heavy rains, it's much easier for natural disasters to occur, so please take care during this rainy season.

Last year in July, we had record breaking rainfall and Fukuoka prefecture experienced quite a lot of damage from it. So, when it is raining heavily, please keep yourself safe and stay away from places like rivers, coastlines and mountain overhangs as they can be dangerous.

On the Fukuoka City Official Website, hazard maps and disaster prevention information is available for you to check at any time. So before a disaster happens, take the time to find out what areas around you might be dangerous and how you should evacuate in the case of a disaster.

If evacuation to an evacuation center becomes necessary, make sure that you do wear a mask and wash your hands to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. For more information on all of this and more, please look up “Support for Foreign Residents” and take a look at the disaster prevention information that is available on that Fukuoka City Foreign Resident Support page.

You will also find important information on the Fukuoka City's Official Facebook page “Global Community Fukuoka”, as well as on the Fukuoka City International Foundation's Facebook page “Fukuoka City International Center/ Attaka Fukuoka”, in a number of foreign languages. If you follow these pages, then whenever important information is posted, you'll be sure to get it!



I have another announcement that might come in handy for you this rainy season and that is the umbrella sharing service “I-Kasa” that we have here in Fukuoka City. With your smartphone, you can easily arrange to rent an umbrella when you're stuck outside without one. Pick-up points are at places like subway and train stations as well as at department stores.

It only costs 70 yen to rent an umbrella for 24 hours which is cheaper than buying one of those cheap plastic ones and it's much friendlier to the environment. Definitely take advantage of this service on those days when the rains come without warning.

For more information, just look up I Kasa Fukuoka.

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2021.03.22[Mon] 09:00

Housing(住宅) , Disaster(災害) , Other Topics(その他)


Well, the topic up to bat today is Pro-Baseball! Have you ever watched a game here in Japan? Baseball is a really popular sport in Japan and Nippon Professional Baseball consists of two leagues, the Central League and the Pacific League, each of which has 6 teams. They play to win, of course, and work to become number one in their league. The final showdown is when the top team from each league plays to be the number one team in Japan.

Fukuoka City's home team, the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks are part of the Pacific League and their stadium is Fukuoka PayPay Dome. The Hawks are a strong team and this year are hoping to keep their position as the number one team in Japan for the 5th year in a row. The season starts in just a few days on Friday, March 26th this year, so if you've got the chance, why not catch a game!

I guess I could say I'm a supporter of the Hawks, seeing as how Fukuoka has become my second home. I mentioned way back that I'm from Detroit and, of course, support that team. Baseball fans, do you know which team belongs to Detroit? If you said the Detroit Tigers, you are correct!



【Citizen's Disaster Prevention Day】

Now I have some information from Fukuoka City.

On March 20th, 2005, the Fukuoka Prefecture Western offshore earthquake hit Fukuoka City. And so that people would not forget what happened on that day, March 20th became Citizens' Disaster Prevention Day. We never know when a disaster might strike and it's up to each and every one of us to prepare on a daily basis so that we can take appropriate action and protect ourselves for when something does happen.

If you look at Fukuoka City's homepage, you can check hazard maps and get information on disaster prevention and what you should take with you if you need to evacuate. If you check Support for Foreign residents, you'll find disaster prevention information for foreign residents so make sure you check that important information regularly. Citizens' Disaster Prevention Day is an opportunity to think again about disaster prevention for the safety of our ourselves, our families and the community.



【Special Weekend Open Hours at Ward Offices】

As March and April are busy months for moving house, consultation desks at the ward offices tend to get crowded. Therefore, on Sunday, March 28th and Sunday, April 4th, ward offices will be temporarily opened to allow those who are too busy during the week to submit their notifications of moving in or moving out. On those days, moving in or moving out notifications and other paperwork related to moving house will be accepted between 10 am and 2pm.



【Preventing the spread of Covid-19】

And once again, we are asking everyone to continue practicing 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.

2020.09.07[Mon] 09:00


【The Chrysanthemum Festival, Choyo no Sekku】

This morning I'd like to introduce you to something called Choyo no Sekku or the Chrysanthemum Festival. In Japan, when people used the lunar calendar, there were five days in the year called sekku and on these days, particularly important traditional events were held. One of them is Choyo no Sekku which falls on the 9th day of the 9th month.   Although many probably aren't familiar with “sekku” anymore, it's on this day, also called the Chrysanthemum Festival, that people would decorate their space with chrysanthemums, drink sake sprinkled with the flower's petals and eat chestnut rice in the hopes of having a long, healthy life.

This is actually a custom that came from China. Since ancient times, odd numbers have been considered auspicious in China and 9 is the highest of the odd numbers so the double 9 pairing of September 9th is a particularly auspicious day. As a result, Choyo became one of the 5 “sekku” days.

I guess a lot of people are feeling a bit stressed out these days due to the Coronavirus and other factors. Some say that flowers help to reduce stress so why not decorate with some Chrysanthemums this season? They're also the flower of November in Western cultures so there's no reason not to enjoy them for a couple of months!


Disaster Prevention Day and Disaster preparedness Week

Every year on September 1st is Disaster Prevention day. And in Fukuoka City, from the 1st to the 7th of September, is Fukuoka City's Disaster Preparedness week, preparedness referring to making sure you have enough food and other items stored up and ready for when something happens. The city wants its citizens to be aware that disasters can happen and the first step to understanding that is encouraging all of us to have supplies stockpiled in our homes and companies.

So why is this so important? Well basically, if a typhoon or earthquake hits and you are lucky enough to find yourself unscathed, without food and water you can't survive. Stores won't be open so you won't be able to buy supplies. If the water system shuts down, there won't be any water to drink. And if electric and gas services are disrupted, there will be no way to cook food. So, in order to survive after you emerge from a disaster unscathed, it is important to stockpile your supplies on a daily basis.

So the question is now, what do we need. Well, you need water for drinking and food, enough for at least 3 days. Three liters of water per person per day is what is recommended. Emergency food like instant rice, canned goods, dry biscuits, chocolate bars, hardtack and the like, are good things to have on hand because then, even if you can't cook, you'll still have something to eat. If you have a radio and flashlight prepared, always check that the batteries are still good. And make sure you have any medicines you need to take as well as bandages and other medical supplies prepared. For households with infants, diapers are also an essential item to have prepped.

In addition to the water that you'll need for drinking, you'll also need water for things like flushing the toilet. So be prepared by keeping a plastic jug filled with tap water or filling the bathtub with water.

You don't need to have a ton ready all at once. Just buy a little more of what you would normally buy and as you eat it up, just buy more to replace it. In this way, you'll have a “rolling stock” and it's a good way to always have an amount of stockpiled food ready in your home at anytime. It's also convenient because you can prepare for any emergency without having to worry about expiration dates on your food stocks. 

Typhoons often occur this time of year so take a look and make sure your stocks are ready.

2020.08.03[Mon] 09:00

Community(コミュニティ) , Disaster(災害)

【500 yen Lunch Meal】

So, what are you thinking about for lunch today? What do you usually do? Are you a convenience store lunch kind of person or do you pack your own lunch? I often pack my own lunch but I love a good a deal and around the Fukuoka area there are a number of places that do the “one coin” or 500 yen deals and one of my favorite places happens to be Saizeriya. Not only are there pasta lunches, which you would expect, but there's also curry, doria and hamburg choices as well. If I'm feeling really hungry or just being greedy, I can get two lunches, stuff myself and not break the bank. I can even go back for dinner later, order off the regular menu and still find myself with cash in my pocket. Maybe I sound like a cheapskate, but who doesn't want good value for their money? I guess what I'm having for lunch today is pretty obvious, hey?


Preparing for heavy rain and evacuations while taking into consideration COVID-19

In Japan, we often get typhoons. And so, it's best to check in advance what we need to do to for when the heavy rains come.  If you look at Fukuoka City's homepage, you can check hazard maps and get information on disaster prevention. If you check Support for Foreign residents, you'll find disaster prevention information for foreign residents so make sure you check that important information regularly.

In order to protect your life, it's important to know to where you should evacuate and to do that you need to plan in advance. First, take a look at flood and landslide hazard maps. You need to know if the area where you live poses any kind of danger.

If your home is in a safe location or if you live in a condominium or apartment where the higher floors are a safe place even if a disaster occurs, then do not leave your home and make sure you stay tuned to the TV, radio or other media to receive updates as information comes in.If your home may be in danger, then you need to either escape to an evacuation center or to a friend's home. Make sure you check a hazard map to ensure that your escape path is a safe one.

When you do evacuate, there are a few things that you should absolutely bring with you. These are things like water, some kind of food, clothes, hygiene or health supplies, a flash light, medicine, face masks and a thermometer. At the very least, you need to have three days worth of these supplies prepared.

This year, with the spread of COVID-19 , we need to take extra care and so if you are at an evacuation center, please wear a mask, wash  your hands and practice cough etiquette.

For emergency information on disasters, please visit Fukuoka City's Facebook page for foreign residents called (Global Community Fukuoka) or the Fukuoka City International Foundation's Facebook page. In addition, through Fukuoka City's disaster prevention mail, LINE and the disaster prevention application TSUNAGARU Plus, you will receive notifications so be sure to use these as well.

2020.06.22[Mon] 09:00

Rules & Manners(ルール・マナー) , Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健) , Community(コミュニティ) , Disaster(災害)

【My Dad】

Well, as you know, Father's day was just yesterday and it got me to thinking about my old dad. He'd be insulted hearing me say old though! He's a pretty cool guy, definitely has his faults, who doesn't, but I've learned a lot from him. Although I thought he was pretty annoying when I was growing up, making me help him out with things when I really just wanted to go out and play, looking back, everything he made me do has proved to be useful even though at the time I had no idea that it would be. I'm pretty handy around the house when I need to be thanks to him, I can repair small things, change the oil and tires on my car even though I don't have one now, take care of my bicycle, know how to work powertools, build a fire, set up camp....the list goes on. I'd say if there were ever a case in which we needed to survive on our wits and skills, my dad would be the first person I'd look to. I, of course, wished him a happy Father's day yesterday. It would've been nice to have sat down and had a beer with him, but without a dokodemo door or a Star Trek style transporter it's kind of hard. Virtually it is as well, he's not quite up with the digital times. Guess I'll have to save it for the next time I'm back in the US.

【Important information from Fukuoka City about disaster prevention】

Now it's time for a couple of announcements from Fukuoka City. The first is about disaster prevention. In Japan, from June to July we have a rainy season, a time in which there is a lot of rain. And due to all of this rain, this is also a period in which natural disasters easily occur.

In July 2017, in Fukuoka Prefecture, record levels of heavy rain caused a huge amount of damage. During heavy rains, do not go near rivers, coasts or cliffs near mountains as these become dangerous places. Please take actions that will protect your life.

You can take a look at Fukuoka City's Homepage to find information on hazard maps and disaster prevention. If you check Fukuoka Support for Foreigners, Fukuoka City's support page for foreign residents, you can also see this disaster prevention information.

Make sure you check, in advance, the evacuation centers and safe routes for the area that you live in, because you never know when danger will strike.

Important information is also posted on Fukuoka City's official Facebook page “Global Community Fukuoka” and on the Fukuoka City International Foundation's Facebook Page “Fukuoka City International Center/Attaka Fukuoka”. If you follow these pages, you will receive regular updates on important information.

 There is one more service to mention here from Fukuoka City. An umbrella sharing service called “Ai Kasa” has been put into place and can be utilized via LINE. The umbrellas are easy and cheap to rent and you'll find them in the subway stations and around department stores, so if there's a sudden downpour, you don't have to worry about being caught out in the rain!

For more information, please search for “Ai Kasa Fukuoka Shi” on the internet.


Information from the National Health Insurance

Next is information about national health insurance. In Japan, everyone is required to sign up for health insurance and I'm sure everyone has. By paying for insurance, you will reduce the amount you have to pay at the hospital if you need to go for an illness or injury. There are three types of insurance available but at this time, we're covering information for those who have national health insurance.

The insurance premium for that is decided every June and a notification will be sent in the middle of June. Please confirm your insurance premium when it comes and pay before the deadline.

Insurance premiums are based on your income from the previous year.

For households whose income has decreased due to the effects of the new coronavirus, please consult the ward office as you may be able to reduce taxes.

For households who have enrolled in national health insurance but whose previous year's income is unclear, a National Health Insurance Income Report has been sent.

If you have not yet submitted this report, please fill in the necessary details and post it or take it to your local ward office or branch office.

 If there is anything that you don't understand, you can consult by phone in 18 different languages. This phone number is 092-753-6113.  Again, this phone number is 092-753-6113. This phone number will connect you to the ward office after you speak with an interpreter. Please tell the interpreter which ward you live in and what you are calling about.


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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