2021.05.10[Mon] 09:00

Japanese(日本語) , Other Topics(その他)

【May's Clear Skies】

Have you heard the Japanese word “Satsuki-bare”?

I’m sure many of you have an image of May as a Sunny, breezy month.

The new green leaves all around are bright and shiny, it’s neither too hot or too cold, or too humid for that matter, which makes it easy to enjoy the days. 

However, the meaning of Satsuki-bare doesn’t actually refer to all of this nice weather! In the old days, May was “Tsuyu” or rainy season and “Satsuki-bare” only referred to those clear days between the rainy days.

It’s not unusual for the wrong meaning of a word to become quite common, so now both meanings, beautiful clear weather and the clear weather between the rain, are in the dictionary.

I hope you have a chance to enjoy May’s clear skies!


【The Opening of the Electronic Library】

Now, I have some information from Fukuoka City that might help you get through any rainy days! The Fukuoka City public library has begun book check-out and returns on a electronic library system. With the electronic library, you don't need to go to the library to borrow books if you've got a computer, tablet or smartphone. You can just go online and borrow the books you want to read for free with this service.


From novels to history to health and cooking, there are around 7000 titles, including picture books, that you can borrow. There are also audio books and large print titles available.


If you live in Fukuoka City or work or go to school in the city, you are eligible to use this service. You do need a Fukuoka City Public Library card to use this service though. If you don't have a card, the card has expired, or if you are coming from outside of the city to work or study, then please visit either the Fukuoka City Public Library or one of its ward branches to register with the Amikas Fukuoka City Gender Equality Promotion Center Library.


You can borrow up to 3 books for two weeks through this service. The books will be automatically returned to the library once the two weeks are up. If you are thinking about studying Japanese, or just want to read something in English, then you should definitely use this service. There are a variety of books in Japanese, English and other languages waiting for you to check out. 


【A Warning about Vaccination Scam Phone Calls】

Now, I have some important information to share with you in regards to the Covid vaccine roll-out. Apparently the Consumer Affairs Center has been receiving reports of phone calls being made by fraudsters out there trying to scam people out of money or personal information. They claim to be calling from the health center and say things like “You can receive the Covid vaccine. Your money will be returned at a later date, but we need you to do a bank transfer for it first.” Other calls say “ You can get the Covid vaccine for free” but then asking for personal information.


For the vaccine roll-out, your local city, ward and town offices will NOT ask for money or personal information by phone or by email. The vaccine will be free. In addition, you will receive a “notification for vaccination” by post. So, be aware of and on your guard against these scam phone calls and phishing emails.


2021.05.03[Mon] 09:00

Japanese(日本語) , Other Topics(その他)

【Mother's Day】

Here in Japan the second Sunday of May is Mother's Day. It's the same day in the US and actually originated there. During the Civil War in the US, there was a woman named Ann Jarvis who took care of wounded soldiers. She was also the founder of the Mothers' Day Work Club which helped to improve health and sanitary conditions for all, even for these soldiers whether they were friend or foe. She continued her work until she died. In 1908, 2 years after Ann's death, her daughter arranged the first official observance of Mother's Day coming near the anniversary of her mother's death. And to those who attended, 500 white carnations her mother's favorite, were given. It was around 1915 that Mother's Day spread to Japan. Carnations are the most popular flowers given on that day and they have some meanings language of flowers. Red carnations mean “Love to your mother” and “A mother's love”. White carnations mean “In memory of my late mother”.

What do you think you'll do for your mother on Mother's Day? If she's nearby, I'm sure she'll appreciate seeing you. If she's far away, knowing that you are thinking about her will no doubt warm her heart. I'll give my mom a call on the day, and will possibly arrange a dinner delivery for her and my sister to share. And then they can share picture with me. It's kind of like being there with them despite being thousands of kilometers away!


【The Japanese Chatting Event and Consultations with an Administrative Lawyer】

Now, I've got some information from the Fukuoka City International Foundation that I'd like to share with you. First, is for international students studying in Fukuoka. Did you know that there is a Japanese Chatting Event held every month on the last weekday of the month? Using Zoom, international exchange students and Japanese volunteers chat one on one or in small groups about a variety of topics. Whether you want to practice your daily Japanese or something you learned in class, or if you just want to chat with a Japanese person, this is the perfect opportunity to do so. It's completely free to participate, so check it out.

And the second announcement I have is in regards to residency status and term of stay regulations. Is there anything you don't understand? If there is, you can meet with  a gyosei shoshi or administrative lawyer at the Fukuoka City International Center on the 2nd Sunday of each month. There, the lawyer will answer your questions and offer consultation for free. Confidentiality is guaranteed, so please feel at ease to make use of this service!

For more information on times and reservations for the Chatting Event and consultations, please check the Fukuoka City International Foundation's website or call 092-262-1799. Again the number is 092-262-1799. 


【The Japanese Class Map】

Going back to Japanese studies, if you are interested in finding classes, well there are actually quite a few, taught by volunteers, in Fukuoka City. There are different levels and different fees for each but to help you with that, I'd like to introduce you to the Japanese Class Map.

There are a variety of classes available: Beginner level classes that take it slow, kanji classes to brush up on your characters, classes for learning about Japanese culture, classes that combine study with fun exchanges and many more. All you have to do is search for “Fukuoka City Japanese Class Map” in your browser and look for the classroom near you!


2021.04.26[Mon] 09:00


【Today's Guest】



2021.04.19[Mon] 09:00

Children & Childcare(子ども・子育て) , Community(コミュニティ) , Other Topics(その他)

【The Long Holiday】

Every year in Japan, at the end of April and into the beginning of May, we've got a handful of national holidays that translates into a long holiday for all of us, often referred to as Golden Week. During this time, there are usually festivals and events held all across Japan, however due to Covid-19, many of these events have been cancelled or are on a much smaller scale than before. I imagine many people will be enjoying online events and travel this year though. Golden Week starts with Showa Day on the 29th of April. What do you have planned this year? A bit of a stay-cation at home perhaps? Or maybe visiting some hot spots in your area? I'm hoping to see some of the wisteria around Fukuoka. The Kawachi Fujien Wisteria Garden has become famous thanks to its beautiful wisteria tunnel, but here in the city there are a couple of places that are just a stone's throw away, like the wisteria near the Fukuoka Castle ruins, or in Futsukaichi at Buzoji Temple. They're cycle-able places, so that's probably where you see me over the holiday! On my bicycle, searching for wisteria and enjoying the hopefully great weather!

【The Volunteer Bank to Support Foreigners】

Now, we have some information from Fukuoka City. From April, the Fukuoka City International Foundation has started a Volunteer Bank to Support Foreigners. Those who want to help the international residents of Fukuoka, by using their language skills, can register with the Volunteer Bank under the following categories: translation or interpretation, international exchange and assistance in case of disaster.

Currently, the Volunteer Bank is looking for participants. Participants will help interpret Administrative Scrivener Consultant meetings and translate posters as well as provide online support to people who don't understand Japanese and are having troubles. Other activities might include helping local civic centers with planning and setting up international exchange events or festivals and supporting interpreters during disasters as well as helping to give translation  and interpretation at disaster drills. 

To be a volunteer, you must be over 18 years old and live in the greater Fukuoka area. You must be proficient in Japanese and on one other language, at least above a daily conversation level. And you must be able to set aside enough time to participate in the volunteer activities. Your nationality does not matter.

This is for those who feel like they want to help with international exchange and build their language skills. Your efforts will promote mutual understanding and international exchange between Japanese and foreign residents, leading to a safe and secure life together.

If you are interested, please visit the Fukuoka City International Foundation's website or give the foundation a call. They are waiting to hear from you!

I have another announcement here for those of you who are struggling with letters from school because you can't understand Japanese. At the Fukuoka City International Foundation, another language support program called “Tutor Program” has been started. The “Tutor Program” is a one on one service that will match you with a tutor that you can contact online. You'll be able to ask this tutor to give you simple translations of letter and other documents as well as get advice on daily living.

If you are a foreign resident of Fukuoka City and think you will be able to communicate with a tutor online, then you are eligible for the program. Please visit the Fukuoka City International Foundation's website or call the Foundation for more information.

The phone number for the Fukuoka City International Foundation is 092-262-1799. Again, that number is 092-262-1799. You can call anytime from 8:45 am to 6pm. Feel free to contact the Foundation with any questions you have!

>> 続きを読む

2021.04.12[Mon] 09:00

Rules & Manners(ルール・マナー)

【Tulips-The Spring Flower】

When you think of spring, what flower comes to mind? There are quite a few but maybe the one that really represents the season is the tulip. The leaves and petals are simple but beautiful and that's maybe why it's one of the most popular bulb plants in the world. Countless varieties have been bred, over 5000 are officially registered, and at present about 1000 varieties are grown around the world. White, red, pink and yellow, there are so many colors to admire as you look at these wonderful flowers.

In flower language, generally tulips mean “compassion”, however each individual color has its own meaning as well. In Japan, bulbs brought back from from France around the end of the Edo period are considered to be the introduction of the flower here. Around Fukuoka City and in Kego park, you'll find a variety of tulips blooming. If you find one, get a picture, eh!

【Garbage rules】

I guess there are quite a few people starting a new life in Fukuoka City this season so I have some important information from Fukuoka City on rules when putting out the garbage.

In Fukuoka City, garbage is divided into three categories: Burnable, non-burnable and empty glass and pet bottles. You can buy the designated Fukuoka City garbage bags for each category at convenience stores and supermarkets. 

The red bag is for burnable garbage. Use this bag when throwing away things like food scraps, paper cuttings, clothes, and plastic. The blue bag is for non-burnable garbage. Things like empty cans and glass would go in this bag to be thrown away. Finally, the yellow bag is for empty glass bottles and pet bottles.

Garbage pick up days where you live are on decided days. Burnable garbage is picked up twice a week and non-burnable and glass and pet bottles are collected once a month. You can put out your garbage after sunset until midnight on your garbage pickup day in the designated spot for your residence.

If you add Fukuoka City's official LINE account to your friend list, and register your location, you'll receive a notification on your garbage collection days. You can also look up which category something you want to throw away belongs to with this account. You only need to enter the name of your garbage.

If your garbage is too big to fit or too heavy for the garbage bag, you will need to throw it away as oversized garbage. For this kind of garbage, you need to contact the Fukuoka City Oversized Garbage Center by phone, internet or LINE to arrange to have the item collected. In this case, there is a fee and a specific day and location for pick up so make sure you check all of that before throwing any oversized garbage away.

The phone number for the Oversized Garbage Center is 092-731-1153, again that is 092-731-1153. The center can give assistance in 18 different languages.


【Preventing the spread of Covid-19】
And once again we are asking everyone to continue practicing basic infection prevention measures to prevent 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.

>> 続きを読む

2021.04.05[Mon] 09:00

Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健) , Children & Childcare(子ども・子育て) , Housing(住宅)

【New Beginnings & DJ Introductions】

It's April now and I wonder if you know the wamei, or Japanese name for the month. Although we might think it's shi-gatsu, actually, it has another name and that's Uzuki with the kanji for rabbit in it. I guess rabbits kind of signal spring, at least if you think of Easter, which I talked about last week. Anyway, April is when school and company entrance ceremonies take place and it's also the time of the year when we think about new beginnings in our life. So, speaking of new starts in this season, let me begin with introducing myself again! My name is Colleen Mathieu and I have worked with LOVE FM for over 10 years now. My regular program is on Saturday mornings from 8am to 10 am and it's called Earth Feeling. It's a really chilled out morning program with pretty relaxing music to help you get the weekend started. Tune in when you have the chance! I've lived in Fukuoka for 16 years now, it's become my second hometown after Detroit, Michigan in the USA where I'm originally from. Some of my favorite things about Fukuoka is the Hakata dish, goma saba which is raw mackeral in a sesame sauce, taking walks around Ohori Park, and just how convenient the city is to get around, especially on a bicycle. Two things that surprised me when I came to Fukuoka was first, how cold the houses are in the winter. I'm from Michigan but maybe because we have central heating you never feel so cold inside! The second was how empty many of the beaches were in May and June, even on hot days. In Michigan, if the temperature was high enough, even if the water in the lakes was freezing cold, you'd see people at the beach! Maybe it's just Michiganders? What do my fellow English speakers do on those days?

Well, that's just a little bit about me and I want to say thank for listening over the last year and I hope you'll continue to tune in every week for this short program!

As we all enter this new season and possibly new environments, I'm sure there are some who haven't quite got the hang of things and might feel stressed or nervous, so make sure you get plenty of rest and relaxation on your days off. This month will be a full month, but make it fun and enriching. After all, even with all the work we might need to do, we've got Golden Week at the end of it to look forward to!


【Fukuoka City Consultation Support Center for Foreign Residents】

Next, I have some information from Fukuoka City. If there's anything that you are worried about or if you want some advice on, the Fukuoka City Consultation Support Center for Foreign Residents is here to support you. 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. So as you start your new life here, if you have any worries or something you don't understand, don't hesitate to call.


【Preventing the spread of Covid-19】

We've still got to be careful , so 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. 

2021.03.29[Mon] 09:00


【Today's Guest】

Carl (English Teacher, Youtuber)


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.

2021.03.15[Mon] 09:00

Rules & Manners(ルール・マナー) , Housing(住宅)

【Spring Storm Warning】

Although spring has a calm and gentle image, the weather can be rather unstable. In the US we often say March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb because the weather can really come roaring in some days, so be ready for sudden changes in the weather. When the cold air from the North and the warm air from the South crash into each other, we get low atmospheric pressure causing these “Haru no Arashi” or May Storms in English. Typhoon-like blasts of wind and storms, blizzards and high waves on the coast can occur during this time. So make sure you keep up with weather reports and try to avoid going out when it seems like the weather is going to take a turn for the worse. Also, prepare yourself for these storms and violent winds in the same way you'd do typhoon prep. It's always better to be safe than sorry! And don't forget, as Spring approaches, there's often a huge gap between the morning and evening temperatures so dress appropriately!



【Garbage from moving house】

Also with Spring comes moving season and it tends to be a time when we see a lot more oversized garbage like furniture and home appliances put out. So, today, I've got some information to share from Fukuoka City on how to dispose of that oversized garbage.

The first way to do it is by applying for pickup with the Oversized Garbage Disposal Call Center. First, contact them by phone or by internet, or even through the Official Fukuoka City Line Account, to put in your application and then purchase the appropriate oversized garbage disposal ticket.

The garbage pickup day will be roughly one week after you apply.

You must put out the garbage by 8:30am on the collection day in the designated spot.

The phone number for the Oversized Garbage Disposal Call Center is 092-731-1153. Again, that number is 092-731-1153.

If you apply via the internet or Line, you can do so at your convenience, 24 hours a day.


The second way is to take your oversized garbage to a processing facility yourself. First, apply before going by phone or on the internet, and then take your garbage to the facility. The handling cost is 140 yen for every 10 kilograms. To contact the Carry-in Garbage Call Center, please call 092-433-8234. Again, that is 092-433-8234.


For TV's, refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, clothes dryers and air conditioners, according to the home appliance recycling law, there are specific guidelines for disposal.


You can have the old appliance removed by the firm installing the new one or you can contact the store where you originally bought the appliance. You can also contact the Best Denki or Yamada Denki in your city about disposal. Recycling fees as well as fees for collection and transport will be required.



【Preventing the spread of Covid-19】

And once again we are asking everyone to continue to practice 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. 

2021.03.08[Mon] 09:00

Rules & Manners(ルール・マナー) , Housing(住宅)

【Sakura-mochi-Cherry blossom rice cakes】

This morning we're starting off with something pretty yummy and that's sakura mochi or cherry blossom rice cakes, THE Japanese sweet of spring.

It seems that sakura-mochi can be spread into two main categories. There is the Kanto style Chou-mei-ji and the Kansai stayle Dou-myo-ji. Both of them are simply called sakura-mochi but when they need to be differentiated, they're called by the names chou-mei-ji and dou-myo-ji. So what's the difference? Well, chou-mei-ji uses flour to make a dough that is baked. Sweet bean paste is wrapped in it and you get a crepe like sweet in this style. In the case of dou-myo-ji, mochi rice is used to make manju, which looks like a bun. Both are wrapped in salted pickled sakura leaves. They're sweet with a little salty kick and absolutely delicious. Although, if you eat the leaf or not, is really up to you! I'm a fan of the salty pickled leaf, but then again I'm more of a savory than sweet kind of person.



【The earlier the better-House moving procedures】

Alright, now I've got some information from Fukuoka City for you.

Every year at the end of March, the consultation desks at the city ward offices get busy with people wrapping things up for the fiscal year and so the city asks that if you are moving, to come in as soon as you can to get your house moving procedures wrapped up.


If you are moving out of Fukuoka City, you need to submit a notification of your move by the day you move out. The city will then issue a “moving-out” certificate which you'll need to show at the municipal office of your new address. If you are moving to another address within Fukuoka City, you do not need to submit a “moving-out” notification but you do need to submit a “moving-in” certificate to your local ward office within 14 days of your move.


The ward offices have a convenient online reservation system that you can use for these moving procedures. Just make a reservation from your phone or computer, at least 5 business days in advance. You put in the change of address and the date you want to go in to get things done and when you arrive at the ward office to complete your moving procedures, your time at the consultation desk will go quicker and smoother.


You can see what documents or information you need to bring with you if you just check Fukuoka City's official Line account. Two things you shouldn't forget are your residence and my number cards.  You can also check how busy the consultation desk is through that Line account so take advantage of it!


And one more thing. When you move, you have to arrange to have your water turned on or turned off yourself. To get that done, you need to notify the waterworks bureau at least 4 business days in advance of the day you move. You can do that by phone by calling 092-532-1010. Again that phone number is 092-532-1010. The website says they support a number of languages. You can also take care of it via the internet but you need to do that 5 business days in advance of your move. Just type in “Fukuoka shi suido kyoku” in hiragana in your search engine.



【Preventing the spread of Covid-19】

We've still got to be careful , so once again, we are asking everyone to continue to practice 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.

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  • Colleen
  • Colleen
  • 誕生日:11月11日
    出身地:USA Detroit, MI
    特技:I can plan a party at anytime!
    好きな音楽:Almost everything, depends on my mood.