Wednesday, July 31, 2013

[HEALTH] HFMD Outbreak July 2013

The number of patient report of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) has reached alert level in all the wards except Tsurumi in Yokohama (17/18 wards) in the mid-July, 2013. 31.5% of the reported patients are 1 year-olds.

The most popular virus this time is CA6, whose symptoms tend to be bigger spots (rash) not limited to hand, foot and mouth.

To avoid the infection, we should wash our hands regularly and pay attention when dealing with diapers and toilette trashes.

Source: Yokohama Health and Welfare Bureau (in Japanese)

Monday, July 29, 2013

[GOVERNMENT] Research on Childcare Support by the city of Yokohama

This letter was delivered to my place a few days ago and one of our admin members got one, too.

This is a questionnaire from the Department of Children and Young People of the city of Yokohama, and it was sent to 67,000 caretakers of pre-school children at random.

The city wants to know the real needs of childcare to start a new childcare support system in about two years.

So it is nothing obligatory and was all written in Japanese (and is supposed to answer in Japanese).

If you wish to answer, put the sheets into the blue envelop and send it by 23rd August, 2013 (the return postal stamp is not necessary).

Friday, July 26, 2013

[USEFUL INFO]Free Wi-Fi Service for Visitors from Foreign Countries

If your family or friends visit you in Yokohama, and they have smartphones or tablets, they can make use of free wi-fi service provided by Yokohama and NTT East.

Please visit the official site below for more information.

Yokohama Visitor's Guide Page

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

[IMCY] To Leave Comments on this Blog (Technical Announcement)

Thank you for reading this blog. We have received some spam-ish comments on this blog and we changed the setting.

Now everyone can leave comments but if you are not logged into Google (or some other services like WordPress etc.), you are asked to type some letters and it also requires the approval of the admin.

Please select your profile. If you don't have any, you can choose 'Name/URL' or 'Anonymous' (the former is better).

You don't have to add URL.

This is a 'publish' window after a 'preview'.

You are asked to type the letters (/words).

"Your comment will be visible after approval"
Please wait for a while.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

[SPORT] Sumo Yokohama Tournament 13th October, 2013

A one-day Sumo tournament is held every year in Yokohama since 5 years ago. And the 6th Yokohama Tournament is held on 13th October.

Date: Sunday, 13th October, 2013
Place: Yokohama Bunka Taiikukan (Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium)
5min walk from JR Kannai or Yokohama Subway Isezaki Chojamachi


8:00- Open practice
9:00-10:00 Communication with sumo wresters (shaking hands, signature, of charge at 1F Lobby)
10:00- Wampaku Sumo (kids' sumo)
11:00- Tournament of the lower rank wrestlers (幕下 Makushita)
12:00- Tournament of the middle rank wrestlers (十両 Jyuryo)
13:30- Entrance of the higher rank wrestlers (幕内 Makuuchi) and the top wrestlers (横綱 Yokozuna)
14:00- Tournament of the higher rank and the top
15:00 End

Tickets available at major ticketing agents (Pia, e-plus, Lawson etc...)
1F seats 10,000-13,000 Yen/person
2F 5,000-8,000 Yen/Person
Children under 3 is free.

Website (in Japanese)

<***What is Sumo?***>
Sumo wrestling is a traditional Japanese sport by men.
Two sumo wrestlers (力士 rikishi) fight on Dohyo (土俵) ring. If one steps out of Dohyo or puts a hand on the ground, he loses.
The wresters are divided into two groups in each tournament (which usually lasts for 14 days): East (東 higashi) and West (西 nishi).
If a wrester wins, he gets one white star (白星 shiroboshi) and if he loses, he gets a black star (黒星 kuroboshi) and the one who gets the most white stars wins the tournament. If a lower rank wrestler beats a top wrester (横綱 Yokozuna), it is called a "gold star (金星 kinboshi)".

The wresters belong to a team called "Room (部屋 heya)" and practice under a coach(親方 oyakata) of the room. Sometimes the ring names of wresters in a same team share a same kanji. There are many wresters from foreign countries but the number of them in each room is limited now.

There are women sumo nowadays but the professional sumo doesn't allow any women in the ring.

You can also refer the official website of Nihon Sumo Kyokai

[EVENT] Tsurumi Summer Holiday Festival, Saturday 20th July, 2013

Place: Salvia Hall, Trusumi-ku
Date: Saturday 20th July, 2013, 10:00-17:00

Contents: Japanese Speech contest by foreigners, international food booths, playground etc...

More info in English is available at Tsurumi International Lounge website. Here

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Temporary Child Care Service in Yokohama-city

Some of the child care center have the temporary service.
This is for gardians cannot manage to take care of their children for temporary job,job-traring,hospital stays and having child-rearing anxiety.
Garian(s) can use the service even if they don't have a regular job(s).

Thursday, July 11, 2013

[EVENT] Events in the Three-Day Weekend 13-15 July, 2013

This is a brief list of events going on during the three-day weekend around Yokohama.

-Yakumo Shrine Reitaisai Festival (Omachi, Kamakura)

13rd July
9:30~ Ceremony
19:00~ Portable Shrine
Website (English)

-Hanabi (Fireworks) Symphonia 

13-14, 27 July, 10-17 August 20:30~
Hakkeijima Sea Paradise
Website (The news in Japanese, but they have English page for general info)

-Sankeien Early Morning Lotus Observing

13-15, 20&21, 27&28 July, 3&4, 10&11 August 6:00~
Website (Japanese)

-Special Exhibition Mammoth YUKA

13 July-16 September 9:00-17:00
Pacifico Yokohama Exhibition Hall A
Ticket: Adult 2200 (pre-sale 1800), Elementary & Junior High students 1200(pre-sale 900)
*Pre-sale tickets by 12 July.
Website (Japanese)

-Yamate Bluff 18 Salon Concert

14 July 14:00~
Free entrance

Website (Japanese)

-Yokohama Noh Theater, Kyogendo

14 July, 14:00~
Ticket: 2000 yen
Website (English)

-Enoshima Tenno Sai Festival

14 July 9:30~
Portable Shrine
From Enoshima to Katase beach
Website (Japanese, general info in English)

-Kawasaki Daishi Summer Festival 

Samba Carnival
15 July
1) 15:00~15:30,  2) 17:00~18:00
13:30~ Samba workshop for kids in front of Kawasaki Daishi station
Flyer (in Japanese)

-Hakone Miyagino Suwa Shrine Shishimai (Lion Dance)
14-15 July
Website (Japanese, general info in English)
The dance starts on 14th 18:30~ and 19:00~
The main festival is on 15th 
13:00~ Ceremony
Bus from Hakone Yumoto, get off at Miyagino, 5 min on foot

[SHOP] Kimono Shop Hirota-ya in Hodogaya

The Kimono is a Japan's traditional costume. I this article, I would like to introduce my favorite kimono shop along with some facts about the kimono. 

Hirotaya is on route 201, 5 minutes walk from Sotetsu Line Tennocho station to the JR Hodogaya station direction. It was established more than 80 years ago and registered as a "Museum at the corner of street", which is a project with Hodogaya ward. 


I visited there to buy a new Yukata. The yukata price was from 2980 Yen and majority was 6800 Yen.
The Yukata(浴衣/ゆかた) is a casual clothes for summer, which used to be a kind of bath robe or a night dress. It is still used for that purpose, as you can see in that yukatas are offered at Onsen Ryokan (a traditional style hotel with hot spring).
Popular patterns are generally summer flowers, such as morning glory, balloon flower, dianthus etc...

People used to wear a yukata without an undershirt or an underskirt but as the material is very light and it shows through a little, people often wear an underwear for yukata (ゆかた下 yukata-shita).
Other thing you need to wear a yukata are Obi belt (帯/おび)and some koshi-himo cords(腰紐/こしひも).

This register has been used for nearly 80 years!! There are much antique furniture in this shop.
These cloths behind it (反物/たんもの) are for made-to-order kimonos. There are various types of kimonos. The popular one is called Furisode(振り袖/ふりそで), with long sleeves, colorful and gorgeous patterns. It is for unmarried (young) women and people often wear at the coming of age day (20 years old) and weddings. Married women wear short-sleeved kimonos.

The shop sells all the necessities for wearing a kimono: shoes, bags, socks, cords collars etc...
These kimono shops usually serve kimono cleaning, stain removal, size adjustment, repair, family emblem print and so on.

Shop Information:
Hirota ya
2-163 Iwama-cho, Hodogaya-ku, Yokohama
(Toll Free: 0120-41-5529)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

[LIFE] How To Maintain Your Air Conditioner

One of my friends told me that her air conditioner didn't produce enough cool wind, so I asked her if she had cleaned it up.

Yes, air conditioners need cleaning. And the first thing you should check when you have problem with your air condoner is if it's cleaned or not.

There are various models and the latest ones don't require cleaning but they do it by themselves.

 For example, this is one of our air conditioner. It's  a DAIKIN 2012 model and they don't require cleaning often. It automatically cleans the dust or dries up inside if we set it (Yes, we must set it using a remote).

フィルター掃除: Filter Cleaning
内部クリーン: Inside Cleaning (reduce molds and bad smell by drying)
The spec guide advises that "Filter Cleaning" should be done everyday.

 When I open the front panel, it looks like this. If they need cleaning (the streamer unit, the dust box and the dust brush), they let us know by blinking each lamp.
 This is another one which is rather old (Mitsubishi).
 We can see the filters and they need to be cleaned once a month using a vacuum cleaner. These filters are removable, so please get them off and vacuum.

If they're really dirty/oily, you can prepare a warm water with some drops of neutral detergent in a bucket soak, rinse and dry.
CAUTION: Please don't put back the wet filters to the air conditioner!

Inside, we can see it's dirty but can't reach... in this case, we need to call the professional...

Air conditioner cleaning (エアコンクリーニング)costs about 8000~12000yen per machine. Discount available for the second and more machines at the same time. The easiest way is to ask 家電量販店 household electrical appliance retailer such as Yodobashi, Bic, Kojima, Yamada etc... where you bought the conditioner (if possible).  The leading house cleaning company Duskin also offers air conditioner cleaning.

*Please note that these are just two examples. There are various models and each of them has different way of maintaining... Please have someone to translate the specification guide of your air conditioner.

After the earthquake, we are asked to save electricity. The government recommend that we set the temperature of air conditioner to 28 degrees C or use an electric fan (or a circulator) if possible. And switching off the air conditioner often doesn't save electricity, because it uses a lot of energy to boot. But we should keep the room temperature at about 28 C for our health!!

Here I embed the Electricity Usage Status gadget by TEPCO. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

[IMCY]Yukata & Saree trial event at Kokkoro, Hodogaya

[IMCY] Yukata & Saree Trial Event

  We are going to have "Yukata & Saree Trial Event" for mothers of  pre‐school children(0-6 years old children) at the Hodogaya Childcare Support Base, Kokkoro on Tuesday, August 6th, 2013, from 11:00 to 12:30. No reservation required and it's free of charge.  
  Kids can also try on yukata and play there with toys and friends.Those who would like to try on yukata/saree, please come in clothes easy to change, for example a camisole and a pair of leggings.

[LEISURE]Walking With Dinosaurs Live Arena Tour in Yokohama 12-15 July, 2013

You won’t want to miss this spectacular traveling exhibition of 20 life-size dinosaurs coming to Japan this summer. Be amazed and thrilled as the greatest creatures ever to walk the earth return before your eyes. Tickets can be purchased at convenience stores (SevenEleven, Lawson, CircleK Thunks, Familymart and Ministop) or ticketing agent like Pia, Lawson Ticket, E-plus etc.
Fee: Child: 3,150-9,450 JPY Adult 4,200-10,500 JPY
*Ticket price differs in the grade of the seat.
*A child 3 and up needs a ticket. A child under 3 years old without a seat per adult is free. 
12 FRY:15:00~, 19:00~
13SAT&14SUN: 11:00~, 15:00~, 19:00~
15MON: 11:00~, 15:00~
Location: Yokohama Arena (English site)
Address: 3-10 Yokohama, Koho-ku, Kanagawa
Tel: 045-474-4000

Official Website

Thursday, July 4, 2013

[EVENT] Group "WA" International Party 4th August in Higashi-totsuka

Group "WA" is an international exchange organization based in Higashi-totsuka.
Official Website

They are going to have "Party Party" on August 4th, 2013, from 13:30-15:30 at Totsuka Kumin Katsudou Center.

Please find more details in the PDF.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

[WORKSHOP] Family Sewing Workshop 26 & 27 July in Kannai

公益社団法人服飾文化研究会 (Fukushoku Bunka Kenkyu Kai)   The institute of clothing culture is having workshops for family to create little dolls, pouches etc...

Please take a look at their website to see the pictures of the projects.

Place: Fukushoku Bunka Kenkyu Kai
8-129 Chojamachi, Naka-ku, Yokohama
Access: 7-min walk from JR Kannnai North Exit/ 5-min walk from Keikyu Hinodecho station / 5-min walk fromYokohama Subway Isezaki-Chojamachi station Exit 6A

Courses A-D
A) 26th July (FRI) 10:00-12:00
B) 26th July (FRI) 13:30-15:30
C) 27th July (SAT) 10:00-12:00
D) 27th July (SAT) 13:30-15:30


Instruction 500 Yen + Material charge (paid at the spot)
Zori with cloth (Nuno Zori) 500 yen / Hand ball cat  (Neko no Otedama) 300 yen / Hand bag (Tesage) 1500 yen / Kinchaku pouch 1000 yen / Pink Rose cushion (Bara no pink cushion) 500 yen / Book cover 600 yen / Emergency hood (Bosai Zukin) 2000 yen

2 Tsurushi Kazari (garlands)- One Day - instruction charge 1000 yen + material 800 yen
4 Tsurushi Kazari (garlands)- Two Days- instruction charge 2000 yen + material 1500 yen

Kindergarten, Elementary, Junior high and up (children under 10 years old should be accompanied by their guardian).

Class size: 50 people at max / each course

What you bring:
A sewing set

Inquiries and application:
TEL/FAX: 045-252-2312

[CHILD CARE] Child Care Services in Yokohama

Here is a link to a PDF file provided by the city of Yokohama, which introduces childcare services available in Yokohama when you would like to leave your child(ren) in someone's care.

I would like to leave my child in someone's care. What shall I do?

[SPORT] Public Swimming Pools in Yokohama

It's summer and kids (and adults, too) love swimming in a pool! There are many public swimming pools in Yokohama.

Here is the list of indoor swimming pools in Yokohama (provided by the city of Yokohama)

And the list of outdoor swimming pools.

Indoor swimming pools are basically open all year (except for New Year holidays, regular closure, or safety check day). Outdoor pools are open during summer. There are more outdoor pools in Yokohama but it seems that there are only pools managed by the city of Yokohama in the list. Other outdoor public pools are managed by a management association assigned by the city (we'll make the list later).

-Most of the swimming pools accepts kids who don't need diapers (finished potty training).
-And some requires a swimming cap for both children and adults. (In that case, swimming caps are available at the counter).
-Condition of use varies in each swimming pool. Some provides free rental bath towels while others don't allow shampoo/soap at the shower room etc... So we need to ask the staff or local friends.


Here's my own experience at one of the indoor swimming pools. We paid the charge and enter (took off our shoes), I bought a swimming cap (¥400) at a vending machine because it was required. There was a free locker for valuables, so I put my purse and cellphone. The lockers at changing room required 50 yen. We changed into a swimsuit, took a quick shower, and went into the pool. There were a pool for adults, a pool for kids, and a pool for little ones (preschool age) with little sliders. There was no limit of time. There was also a sauna room. The use of soap was not allowed at the shower room.

[EVENT]Family Puppet Theater Workshop 20&21 August at Yokohama Doll Museum

Family Puppet Theater Workshop 「親子で楽しむ人形劇」

Date: 20th and 21st August, 2013 10:30-12:30

Place: Yokohama Doll Museum (Official website in English)
4F Akaikutsu Theater and the foyer

Day1: Let's make puppets
Day2: Let's play a puppet drama

1600Yen for Adult (Doll Museum Pass + a Puppet-make kit)
900Yen for elementary and junior high school student (Doll Museum Ticket*2 + a Puppet-make kit)
600 Yen for preschool child (a Puppet-make kit)

What to bring: writing implements, a pair of scissors

For 20 people (in order of application)
Deadline: 15th August, 17:00
Please call the Doll Museum: 045-671-9361 (9:30-17:00, closed on Mondays)

Instructors: Kanagawa Puppet Theater Network "Kamome no Kai"