Monthly Archives: March 2015

Extreme Weather

Tokyo is especially prone to weather related disasters, including typhoons, heavy rains, windstorms and snow. In the event of such disasters it is important to safeguard against injury and damage caused by falls or by flying debris.

Earthquake Preparation

Basic Facts and Disaster Prevention Earthquake Intensity (Shindo) When an earthquake occurs in Japan, in addition to the standard magnitude scale a second scale known as is employed. This scale is unique to Japan and measures the degree of shaking

Tokyo Flowers in Spring

The smell of spring is in the air, and it seems like everyone is looking forward to the cherry blossoms and making plans for hanami…but what are the other flowers that blossom in the city? Here are some flowers that

Japanese Clinics & Hospitals

The first challenge facing anyone seeking medical attention in Japan is finding the right facility. Read about the differences between clinics and hospitals, and why you should choose a clinic for non-emergency cases, on this page.


This waterfront area on the other side of Rainbow Bridge from Shimbashi has many modern architectural sights including the FUJI Television Building, hotels and shopping malls. It is also beautiful at night.

Mount Takao

This 599m high sacred mountain is a popular day hiking spot for Tokyo residents. From the peak, on a clear day, you can see central Tokyo and Mount Fuji. The colorful, wooded hills create a stunning background in autumn. The


Just a short train ride from Tokyo, Japan’s 2nd largest city is well-known for the sea breezes and newly renovated bay area. It also has a wealth of other attractions.


The many shrines and temples set amid the wooded hills bring to mind a poetic, oriental image of Japan. At Kamakura station’s east exit, there is a red Torii (gate) which is the side entrance to Kamakura’s symbolic shopping street.


From Tokyo, Hakone is the closest Onsen (hot spring) resort, but this scenic area also has museums and art galleries. A ropeway trip to the top of Mount Hakone will give you spectacular views of the surrounding countryside as well


Nikko, famed for being a World Heritage site, is situated northwest of Tochigi prefecture in the northern Kanto Region. Nikko Toshogu, the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu and an impressively decorated shrine, the fascinating 97m high Kegon-No-Taki waterfall and finally Lake

Mt. Fuji

It is not only the highest mountain in Japan, but is also a famous symbol of Japan. Many people like the thought of climbing Mount Fuji, although it is not easy and can only be climbed during July and August.

Driver’s License in Japan

You can drive using a foreign license with an International Driving Permit or an official translation (depending on your country) for the 1st year, but you must get a Japanese driver’s license after the 2nd year. To transfer to a

Expressways in Japan

The expressway (“Kosoku-doro” / “高速道路” or “Jidoushado” / “自動車道”, in Japanese) is probably a much quicker option for long distance travel. For the most part, you will have to pay to use them. Charges are either flat-rate or distance-based. For

In Case of Car Accidents

Try to keep the scene as it happened. Rescue anyone who is injured. Call “119” (Ambulance) if there is anyone injured. Call “110” (Police) and explain the location and situation. Move the vehicle if it gets in the way of


Communication is vital when visiting the hairdresser, and not being able to tell exactly what you want can lead to a hairstyle that you are not satisfied with. Since some hairdressers are not used to all hair types and hair

Beauty & Healing

Tokyo has a wide variety of salons with English-speaking staff specializing in such areas as skin care, waxing, oil/stone massages, and acupuncture. You can also find locations that use organic products, provide services for men, or that offer prenatal massages.

Fitness Clubs & Tai Chi

Sign up for a membership at one of the gyms or fitness clubs in Tokyo and make a commitment to staying in shape. Many are in locations which can be easily accessed on your way to or from work.  


There are gyms, pools, golf clubs, baseball and soccer teams where you can enjoy sports activities in and around Tokyo and Yokohama. A number of groups, online forums and websites have also been formed by local fans to help non-Japanese

Owning a Car in Japan

Buying & Selling Buying a car involves a lot of paperwork and complicated procedures, but in most cases, for an extra fee, you can have your car dealer do them for you. In order to own a car, you must

List of Car Dealers

Here are some companies that have full English support.   Authorized Car Dealers             Car Dealers            

Medical Expenses & Health Insurance

Japan’s Public Health Insurance system ensures that residents will never have to pay more than 30% of the cost of most medical treatment. Find out more about payment procedures and health insurance on this page.

Child Immunization

If you are bringing children to Japan, or have a child here, it is vitally important to ensure they receive the recommended vaccinations. Get more information about vaccinations available in Japan and the childhood vaccination schedule on this page.

Having a Baby in Japan

Pregnant women must register their pregnancy at the local municipal office. They will receive a handbook Boshi-Techo (“母子手帳”, maternity health record book) and Haha-to-Ko-no-Kenko Bag (“母と子の健康バッグ”, health bag for mother and child), filled with all the important detailed information and forms necessary for having a baby in Japan.

In the Event of a Large-scale Earthquake

First Steps When you feel strong tremors, take cover, protecting your head with your arms or belongings such as a bag, cushion, or coat. Tremors can cause doors and windows to warp, so ensure your escape route by opening one

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