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2023.07.03[Mon] 09:00

Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健)

【Tanabata】

This coming Friday, the 7th of July is when Tanabata is celebrated in Japan.

Tanabata is a tradition where colorful strips of paper called "tanzaku" (made of paper) are hung on bamboo branches. It's a tradition that is familiar to most people in Japan from childhood.

According to the legend, two stars representing a married couple were separated by the Milky Way and allowed to meet only once a year on this day. However, if it rains on that day, they cannot meet. It is believed that writing wishes on tanzaku and hanging them up will make those wishes come true. In the US, I learned the story as the Chinese legend about the Weaver and the Cowherd  and it seems that it refers to the stars, Vega and Altair. Of course, forbidden love or faraway love is a common theme in stories throughout history which is no doubt why the tale has endured and exists in Japan as well.

Various events are held in different regions, and in Fukuoka City, you can experience Tanabata events at Fukuoka Tower. Until July 7th, the tower will be illuminated with a special Tanabata-themed display. You can also write your wishes on tanzaku and hang them up. There will also be a festival from July 5th to 7th. So go out and enjoy these festivities!

 

 

【Fukuoka City Information】

Warnings about Heatstroke

Now I have some information from Fukuoka City about preventing heatstroke as we get into the hot days of summer.

Heatstroke occurs when the body fails to regulate its temperature properly due to heat and intense physical activity, leading to an imbalance of body fluids and electrolytes. Symptoms of heatstroke include headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, and nausea.

If you are feeling these symptoms, and unable to drink water on your own, or if cooling your body and replenishing fluids and electrolytes does not lead to recovery, please call emergency services at 119 and request an ambulance. Particularly from July onwards, as the temperatures start to rise after the end of the rainy season, there is a rapid increase in heatstroke-related emergency transport cases. During this period, be cautious as the humidity is high and your body may not be acclimated to the heat.

 

Heatstroke can happen not only outdoors but also indoors. Additionally, wearing masks during summer increases the risk of heatstroke, so caution is necessary. Here are some tips for preventing heatstroke:

Stay hydrated by drinking fluids regularly. You should drink things like barley tea or water during normal daily activities, and  rehydration drinks or sports drinks when engaging in physical exercise. Replenish both fluids and electrolytes when you sweat.

Wear a hat and use a parasol to avoid direct sunlight.

Use air conditioning and fans effectively to keep the room temperature below 28 degrees Celsius.

Use cooling items such as cooling sheets or ice pillows.

Maintain a balanced diet, get sufficient sleep, and manage your overall health.

Remember to take necessary precautions and prioritize your well-being during the hot summer months to prevent heatstroke.

2023.06.26[Mon] 09:00

DJ's Recommend(DJのオススメ)

Colleen's Recommendation

photo by Colleen

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2023.06.19[Mon] 09:00

Events & Entertainment(イベント・娯楽) , Other Topics(その他)

Hydrangea Season photo by Colleen

【Hydrangea Season】

From June to July, during Japan's rainy season, you can enjoy the sight of one of Japan's native plants, Ajisai, or Hydrangea in English.

These blooms, which look like flowers are not considered true flowers. Sepals, or modified leaves, make up most of the bloom and can be seen in colors from white to shades of blue. 

In Fukuoka city, you can easily enjoy hydrangeas in various places such as the Fukuoka City Botanical Garden and Maizuru Park located in the ruins of Fukuoka Castle. You can also see approximately 10,000 hydrangea plants of about 70 varieties blooming at Uminonakamichi Seaside Park and at Nokonoshima Island Park along the Hydrangea Path that they have there.

Another must-see location is Hakozaki Shrine, known as one of the three great Hachimangu shrines in Japan, which features 100 species and 3,500 hydrangea plants in its Hydrangea Garden.

Although the rainy season can be a bit gloomy, going to see these vibrant hydrangea blooms is sure to bring some cheer to your day!

 

 

【Fukuoka City Information】

The World Aquatics Championships

Now, I have some information from Fukuoka City.

The upcoming Fukuoka 2023 FINA World Championships is just a month away. On July 14th, Fukuoka will host the World Aquatics Championships for the first time in 22 years.

This event, which includes swimming, artistic swimming, diving, high diving, water polo, and open water swimming, features 6 disciplines and 75 events, comparable to the Olympics. Approximately 2,400 athletes from over 200 countries are expected to participate. You will be able to experience the excitement and inspiration of top athletes from around the world competing in Fukuoka.

The Japanese national team will include notable athletes such as Tomoru Honda, silver medalist in the butterfly event at TOKYO 2020, Yui Ohashi, double champion in individual medley, Rikako Ikee, who achieved four titles in butterfly and freestyle at Japan Swim 2023, and Yukiko Inui, gold medalist in artistic swimming at the Budapest 2022 World Championships.

For the schedule of events and ticket information, please search for "Fukuoka 2023 FINA World Championships Tickets" .

Let's enjoy the festive atmosphere of the event together at the venue and on television, where the citizens of Fukuoka and spectators from around the world come together in excitement for this event.

 

 

To continue, I'd like to share a little bit of information from the Fukuoka City International Foundation.

Through the Foundation's official LINE account, you can can get advice on daily life in Japan or make an appointment for free professional consultation using the LINE call feature. Telephone interpretation is available in 22 languages, so please feel free to contact them. In addition, you can get information on the Foundation's events and announcements for international residents. Please add the Foundation's official LINE account to your friends' list from the Fukuoka City International Foundation website. The foundation will not accept consultations via the LINE talk chat function, but you can use the inquiry form on the foundation's website if you want to send a message about anything.

2023.06.12[Mon] 09:00

Rules & Manners(ルール・マナー) , Other Topics(その他)

【The Summer Solstice】

Next week, the 21st of June, marks the summer solstice or “Geshi” in Japanese.

The summer solstice is the day with the longest period of daylight from sunrise to sunset. It is also the day of the year when daytime is the longest, about 4 hours and 50 minutes longer than the winter solstice "toji", which is the shortest day of the year.

After this day, summer officially begins, and the temperatures start to rise. As it gets hotter, it's common for our appetite to decrease, and there is a tendency to consume lighter, refreshing meals, which can actually lead to nutritional deficiencies. It's important to maintain a balanced diet and ensure that you're getting enough nutrients, such as vitamin C and potassium, to help you get through the summer.

Additionally, engaging in moderate exercise and getting sufficient sleep are also crucial for getting through the summer season.

So, let's all get ready for the summer by focusing on nutrition and building our physical stamina.

 

 

Fukuoka City Information

Taxes

Now, I have some information from Fukuoka City. If you live in Fukuoka City, and have earned more than 1 million yen the previous year, from January 1st to December 31st, you may need to pay taxes. You will receive a tax payment notification around the 15th of June. Please make sure you open that envelope, it has information on when you need to pay and how much will be due. You can pay at convenience stores, the bank or even the post office. If you are a regular company employee, these taxes may be taken out from your salary by your company.

If you do not pay your taxes, you may risk facing difficulty when it comes time to renew your residence status or risk being subject to seizure of property.

If there is anything you don't understand, or if you may have difficulty making payments, please consult with your local ward office. You can also consult by phone in 18 different languages. The phone number for this 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 that you are calling about taxes.

 

 

Foreign Student Taught Language Classes-Recruiting for Classes

I also have some information from the Fukuoka International Foundation to share with you about the language classes being taught this year by international exchange students.  The classes offer the opportunity to learn languages from various countries, such as Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Vietnamese, German, and Arabic. Through interactions with international student instructors, you will not only learn the language but also gain insights into their native cuisines and cultures. The classes will be conducted in Japanese.

The venue for the classes is Fukuoka City International Hall, which is just a 5-minute walk from Nakasu-Kawabata Station on the Fukuoka City Subway.

The courses run from July 2023 to February 2024, totaling 8 months with a total of 28 lessons. The total tuition fee for each course is 33,000 yen.

For more detailed information regarding the languages offered, schedule, and other information, please visit the Fukuoka City International Foundation. You can search for "Foreign Language Classes Taught by International Students" on a search engine to access the page you need.

The application deadline is June 20th. They're looking forward to getting your applications!

2023.06.05[Mon] 09:00

Disaster(災害) , Other Topics(その他)

Firefly Watching

photo by Colleen

Firefly Watching

This season is firefly watching season. It's the time of year, in which you can watch these adorable, glowing bugs dance along streams and rivers. Fireflies are one of those symbols of summer in Japan, and definitely tells us summer is nearly here. With their faintly glowing lights, flickering in and out, people can't help but to be captivated by their charm.

The best time to see fireflies is at the end of May and the beginning of June. They can be found around areas with very clean water, and in Fukuoka there are quite a few places to see them.

Motogigawa Shizenkoen in Fukutsu City is where you'll find a place called Hotaru no Sato, or the village of fireflies, and Tanadashisuikoen Park in Tohomura are quite famous places to see fireflies, but there are also places right here in Fukuoka City. One place is the rooftop garden at Hakata Station. It's called the Tsubame no Mori Hiroba and is a great place to forget the hustle and bustle of the city for a moment and enjoy the beauty of nature. So, if you are in Hakata, definitely check it out.

When you do go to see these rare insects, make sure that you don't try to catch them or surprise them. They too are living creatures and appreciate good manners.

 

 

【Fukuoka City Information】

Rainy Season and Heavy Rains

Now, I have some information from Fukuoka City. In Japan, June to July is rainy season and is called "tsuyu" in Japanese. It is a period of frequent rainfall and is also a time to be cautious as it is also a season when heavy rain disasters can occur. 

In recent years, Fukuoka Prefecture has experienced significant damage due to record-breaking heavy rainfalls during the rainy season. When it is raining heavily, please avoid going near places that can become dangerous during these rainstorms, such as rivers, coastlines, and mountainsides. It is also important to take action to protect yourself during this time.

One thing you can do is to check hazard maps and disaster prevention information on the Fukuoka City website. It is advisable to familiarize yourself in advance with the risks and evacuation procedures specific to your residential area. For more details, search for "Fukuoka City Multilingual Portal" and refer to the "Disaster" page.

Important information from Fukuoka City is also shared in multiple languages on the official Facebook page "Global Community Fukuoka" and the Fukuoka City International  Foundation Facebook page "Fukuoka City International Center/ Attaka Fukuoka." Follow these pages to stay updated on important information.

 

 

Aikasa

In addition, to help you out during rainy season, the city of Fukuoka provides a shared umbrella service called "AIKASA." There are spots at subway stations and department stores where you can borrow umbrellas, and you can easily rent them using your smartphone. These umbrellas are available 24/7 for 110 yen, cheaper than buying a disposable umbrella and also, environmentally friendly. Consider using this service when you're suddenly caught out in a rain shower!

2023.05.29[Mon] 09:00

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

【Rainy Season】

Well, for those of you who have been here for awhile, you know that in Japan, there is a seasonal phenomenon known as the "rainy season or tsuyu," during which time we see many rainy and cloudy days over about a month as the seasons change from spring to summer. If this is your first year here, well hopefully, you like the rain. 
Although heavy rains can sometimes cause natural disasters, they are also a blessing as they give us water for what can be a long dry season over the summer. 
In Fukuoka, the rainy season usually begins in early June and ends in mid-July.
Since landslides and floods are more likely to occur, it is advisable to reconfirm evacuation methods and evacuation sites in your area. Also, check your weather forecast every day so that you know what to wear when going out and when is best for drying your laundry outside. I'm sure neither you or your clothes care to be caught in a rain shower unprepared! 

It's not all bad though. As I mentioned before, rainfall during the rainy season is essential for making sure we have enough water , which is vital for daily life and the growth of crops.
This season is also the time to enjoy the seasonal flowers, hydrangeas. They are at their most beautiful in the rain and bring a lot of color to otherwise dreary days. 
Make the most of the rainy season by spending time at home to relax and enjoy the soothing sound of the rain.

 

 

Fukuoka City Information

Easy Japanese Radio

Now I have some information from Fukuoka City about Easy Japanese Radio. From June, a new program, Yasashi Nihongo Rajio Kouza or the Easy Japanese Radio Course will start airing. This program is for international residents who are still working on their Japanese skills and is a chance to listen to easy Japanese spoken at an easy pace. Information international residents will find useful in regards to living in Fukuoka will be shared.

The program will be on every Friday from 9:54am and the first program will be aired on June 2nd . If you can't understand everything, or miss what what was said, don't worry! You will be able to see the script for the program on Love FM's website and also listen to the podcast as many times as you want. It's a great chance to practice not only your listening skills but also pick up some new, useful vocabulary. So, tune in on June 2nd!

 

 

HIV Testing Week

Alright, I have 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 37 new HIV infections and 11 AIDS patients.

To prevent the spread of HIV, the earlier 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.

2023.05.22[Mon] 09:00

Other Topics(その他)

【Fukuoka's Yatai】

Fukuoka is a city of gourmet food! Fukuoka is known for its yatai, or food stalls and the number of stalls is said to be the largest in Japan. They are so popular here, actually, they themselves are a kind of sightseeing spot. There are about 100 yatai stalls over the two main areas, the Nakasu area and the Tenjin area!
You can enjoy a wide variety of gourmet Hakata foods such as ramen, yakitori, and gyoza, as well as international cuisine from China, Spain, France, and other countries.
Recently, more and more of these places are offering cashless payment services and have foreign language menus.
Yatai stalls represent a big part of Fukuoka's food culture and are a great place for people to interact with each other. If you haven't visited a yatai stall yet, why not try one during this season when the weather is perfect for dining outdoors?

 

 

【Fukuoka City Information】

Consultations on Immigration, Residency and Nationality Matters.

Is there anything you don't understand about residency status and term of stay regulations? If there is, the Fukuoka City International Foundation provides free consultation on these matters to the international residents of Fukuoka City.

Consultations are held every second Sunday of the month. They are offered from 1:00 to 4:00 PM, but you must register by 3:30 PM. A gyousei-shoshi, or administrative lawyer will answer your questions and offer consultation. The consultations will take place on the 4thfloor of the Fukuoka City International Center.

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 the center at least one week in advance.

 

 

Using Line Call for Information and Advice

Also, if you need to get in touch with the Fukuoka City International Foundation, you can reach them through the official LINE account.

If you connect with the Foundation's official LINE account, you can make an appointment for consultations on daily life or free professional consultation using the LINE call feature. Telephone consultations are available in 22 languages, so please feel free to contact them. In addition, you can get information on the Foundation's events and announcements for international residents. Please add the Foundation's official LINE account to your friends' list from the Fukuoka City International Foundation website. The foundation will not accept consultations via the LINE talk chat function, but you can use the inquiry form on the foundation's website if you want to send a message about anything.

2023.05.15[Mon] 09:00

Rules & Manners(ルール・マナー)

【Baby Stations】
For the new parents out there who are worried about taking your babies out with you on a day out in the city, this information is some great news for you. Fukuoka City has a variety of "baby stations," or "akachan no eki" , located throughout the city, where you can breastfeed and change diapers which makes outings with infants a whole lot easier.

The symbol for these facilities is an illustration of a pink baby's face. To find out where these facilities are located, you just need to access Fukuoka City's official LINE account.
Simply by sending your location information, you can find a nearby "Baby Station," . Talk about convenient!

With an infant in tow, you may be a little hesitant to go out because you are worried about breastfeeding, diaper changing and everything else that goes with taking care of a baby, so make good use of these baby stations and enjoy your shopping, dining or sightseeing day out in the city.

 

 

【Fukuoka City Information】

Light vehicle tax

Now I have some information from Fukuoka City about the Light Vehicle Tax.

People who are in possession of a motorized bike or a light vehicle, as of April 1st, must pay a light vehicle tax.

If you do have a motorized bike or light vehicle, you will receive a tax payment notification in the post, so make sure you take a look inside. Payment is due by the 31st of May and you can make your payment at a convenience store, bank or post office.

If you do not pay your taxes, like the light vehicle taxes, you may run into difficulties when it comes time to renew your residency visa  and you may face having your assets seized.

If there is anything you don't understand or if you are finding it difficult to pay your tax, please contact your ward office for consultation. If you contact them by phone for consultation, 18 different languages are supported. That phone number is 092-753-6113. This phone number will connect to the Multilingual Interpretation Center. After registering with them, you will be connected to your ward office. When you call, make sure that you tell them which language you need to use, the ward in which you live and that you are calling in regards to paying your taxes.

 

Bicycle parking manners

For those of you who commute by bicycle, this is important information for you. There are a lot of us who get around the city by bicycle and it's important to make sure that we are parking in designated bicycle parking areas.

Bicycles parked in areas other than bicycle parking lots, like on the street or in public parks are considered an obstruction to pedestrians or even a nuisance, and are therefore subject to removal under the assumption that they are abandoned bicycles.
Fukuoka City charges a fee of 2,500 yen to return a bicycle that has been removed, and if the bicycles are not picked up within a certain period of time, they will be discarded.
There are bicycle parking lots near shopping centers and stations that offer free parking for set periods of time, so even though it might seem like a hassle, make use of them because it's a lot better than paying money to get your bicycle back from bike jail!

2023.05.08[Mon] 09:00

Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健)

【Mother's Day】

Sunday the 14th is Mother's Day or Haha no Hi, in Japan. In the US, Mother's day is on the same day, the second Sunday of May, and usually we treat our moms to a nice breakfast and give her some kind of present. When I was kid, we often did something in art class to give as a gift to mom. That's pretty typical, I think. Once you're a bit older and have money from a job, it's usual to give flowers. Roses are probably the most popular in the US.

In Japan, like in the US, it's a day to say thanks to mom and show her gratitude for everything she's done for you. Carnations are the typical flower to give here, with red being the most popular. In the language of flowers, it means ”love for mom”, “ardent love” and “belief in love” which are sentiments to share on Mother's Day. In addition to giving flowers, giving her something she would like is also nice, even if it's not an object per se. Many people in Japan spend time with their mothers by going out for the day or having a meal together. It could be hard to see your mom in person on the day, due to work or distance, but you can still show your appreciation with a few words. This week, take the time to express how much your mom means to you!

 

 

【Fukuoka City Information】

Covid Vaccinations

 Now, I have some information for you from Fukuoka City about Covid-19 vaccinations.

Fukuoka City has been working toward making sure everyone who hopes to be vaccinated can do so with peace of mind. And this year as well, 2023 or Reiwa 5, free vaccinations for the Novel Coronavirus are available.

From May 8th until August, the Omicron Adapted Bivalent vaccine will be administered for the spring booster shots.

Those who have received their first and second vaccinations, and who are over 65 years old, between 12 and 64 years of age with underlying medical conditions or healthcare workers are eligible for this booster shot, three months after their last vaccination.

From September, the autumn booster shots will be given and will be available to anyone 5 years and older who has had both their first and second vaccinations. 

When the inoculation coupon arrives, please visit the reservation site or call the vaccine call center to make a reservation. Please wait until that coupon does arrive.

If you haven't received that coupon, please phone the call center to have it issued again. 

People who have recently relocated to Fukuoka City from overseas and who hope to get vaccinated need to fill out an application to receive the inoculation tickets.

For questions regarding vaccinations, to make a reservation or to apply for the inoculation ticket, you can call 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 and Korean.

 

2023.05.01[Mon] 09:00

Events & Entertainment(イベント・娯楽)

【DJ recommended restaurants】

This week. I'd like to give you a few restaurant recommendations if you are looking for a place to eat. There are so many great places in Fukuoka, whether you are looking for seafood, grilled meat, noodles, spice and so on.

First, if you are in the Daimyo area and craving izakaya food, then Tarafuku is my recommendation. It's my go-to restaurant for myself and my partner and also a great place to bring people who are visiting Fukuoka. The building and the inside looks well-loved, old but full of character and a lively atmosphere. The menu is excellent, there are so many izakaya standards like fried chicken, or rolled omelettes, but you'll also find seasonal specials taking advantage of the ingredients for that season. The menu is all in Japanese and the specials are often handwritten, so if reading is still a work in progress, invite your kanji reading friends out! As for what I would recommend at Tarafuku, well, I like to try something new every time and I would just say to try whatever catches your eye. You'll want to make a reservation if you go, it's usually pretty busy. 

Another place that I find myself going back to time and time again is D. Khajana, an Indian restaurant near Ohori Park. The lunch menu is more than reasonable, I've always walked out so satisfied and everything is delicious. You can even do takeout by calling ahead, or if you have time to wait a bit, ordering at the store. Definitely get some shish kebab, it's often in the set menus.

One more recommendation is Taco Mia, also by Ohori Park and with a branch at Momochi Beach that is open for the season. I sometimes place an order for pickup for their quesadillas or burritos and have a kind of picnic lunch at Ohori. If you are by Momochi beach though, enjoying the sea air, definitely go into their shop there. Thinking about their tacos is making me so hungry.

If you've never been to any of these places, perhaps over the holiday week you'll have a chance to check them out. If you're trying to avoid crowds, then get takeaway  from D. Khajana or Taco Mia and enjoy a leisurely dinner and maybe movie at home with friends. If you're planning to just jump into the feeling of Fukuoka, then Tarafuku is the place for you. I'm sure it'll have an especially fun atmosphere with the holiday week and all the visitors that will be in Fukuoka enjoying their time here!

And, if any of your friends are looking for places to go, you can always share these suggestions with them!

 

 

【Fukuoka City Information】

World Aquatics Championship and the World Aquatics Masters Championships

Now, I have some information from Fukuoka City. You've probably seen the posters up, but if you haven't, from July 14th to 30th  Fukuoka is hosting the ‘World Aquatics Championships Fukuoka 2023’ and from August 2nd to 11th, the ‘World Aquatics Masters Championships Kyushu 2023’.

 The World Aquatics Championships is a swimming event comparable to the Olympics, where the world's best swimmers compete in 75 events in 6 sports.

And the excitement of watching the world's top swimmers competing against each other can be experienced in Fukuoka.
Fukuoka citizens and spectators from all over the world will have the chance to come together and enjoy the festive atmosphere of these championships!

For more information about the competition schedule and tickets, please look up "World Aquatics 2023".

The World Aquatics Masters Championships are open to everyone over the age of 25 with the aim of realizing "health, friendship, and mutual understanding.
The championships will be held in the three Kyushu cities of Fukuoka, Kumamoto, and Kagoshima, and 10,000 swimmers from around the world will participate. Applications will be accepted until June, so if there is someone interested in participating among your friends and family back home, let them know about it!

Enjoy this year's summer in Fukuoka, where you can feel the excitement of swimming and competitions!

 

DJ紹介

  • 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
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