Monthly Archive July 2013

ByRay Proper
Jul 31, 2013

My Brasil Mercado – Brazilian Supermarket in Nagoya

Smy-brazil-brazilian-food-nahop for authentic Brazilian groceries and goods at this grocery store in Minato Ward, near Tokai Dori Station. They have a large selection of meats and other Brazilian, South American, and Filipino foods, as well as a buffet style restaurant for your dining enjoyment.

My Brasil Mercado Brazilian Supermarket

Aichi, Nagoya, Minato Ward
Shichibancho, 2-11-1

From Tokai Dori Station, Exit through exit 4 and turn left. The store is just a little way down that street.

View Larger Map


ByRay Proper
Jul 25, 2013

English Speaking Dermatologist in Nagoya

doctor_japanDermatology, or a clinic that deals with the skin and its diseases is a unique specialty with both medical and surgical aspects.  A dermatologist takes care of diseases, in the widest sense, and some cosmetic problems of the skin, scalp, hair, and nails, but it is important to find a doctor that has experience with skin of your type, and in Japan that can be a challenge.  Here are a few clinics in Nagoya that offer services to foreign clients in English.  Please note it is unlikely that the receptionist speaks English, and you may need to speak to the doctor directly to get English service.

As doctors are busy, and unlikely to be available to take calls on a regular basis, it is probably best to have a Japanese speaker make the appointment for you.

Hoshino Dermatology Clinic

  • Address – 1-1905 Hara Tempaku-ku Nagoya JAPAN 468-0015
  • Phone     052-804-0120
  • FAX         052-805-2650
  • E-Mail
  • WEB

Hoshigaoka Skin- Hoshigaoka Branch

  • Address 2F 113 town center Hoshigaoka address Inoue, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 464-0026
  • Phone      052-781-6261
  • FAX         052-781-6211
  • E-Mail

Hoshigaoka Skin – Meieki Branch

  • Address 19 1-1-4 JR Central Towers floor Meieki Nakamura-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 450-6019
  • Phone      052-541-7704     
  • FAX          052-541-7705
  • E-Mail]

You can find a generic article about Dermatology in Japan, including an interview with a doctor specializing in foreign clients by clcking through to this article on




ByFirst Admin
Jul 24, 2013

Bompreco Mercado – Brazilian Supermarkets in Nagoya

bompreco mercado brazilian food nagoyaFor some years now I’ve taken little trips to a Brazilian supermarket, Bompreco Mercado, which has a butcher that sells meat in large cuts and at very reasonable prices. On the first floor is the supermarket, a mobile phone shop, a butcher and a little bakery corner which sells delicious warm cheese bread.

On the second floor, among other things, is a beauty salon, video shop, and a fast food joint which has really nice steak burgers and other Brazilian treats.

On the third floor there is an all-you-can-eat restaurant that comes highly recommended by friends, although I have not yet eaten there myself.
Here are the details:


Bompredo Mercado Komaki Shop (near Komaki IC)

1368-1 Ikenomen Muranaka Komaki-shi Aichi-ken
Ph: 0568-71-8333
Opening Hours: 9am to 9:30pm, every day of the year

View Komaki X-Pat Map in a larger map

And here is the information for the other shops in Aichi Prefecture:

Bompredo Mercado Nagoya Shop

1-30 Aburaya-cho Minato-ku Nagoya-shi
Ph: 052-389-2856
Opening Hours: 9am to 9:30pm, every day of the year

Bompredo Mercado Toyota Shop

61-1 Shimohosoike Yoshiwara-machi Toyota-shi Aichi-ken
Ph: 0565-51-5606
Opening Hours: 9am to 9:30pm, every day of the year

Bompredo Mercado Seto Shop

1-115 Kawanishi-cho Seto-shi Aichi-ken
Ph: 0561-85-7108
Opening Hours: 9am to 9:30pm, every day of the year

Jul 23, 2013

Kakinuma Seikeigeka Orthopedic Clinic

Kakinuma Seikeigeka Clinic (かきぬま整形外科)

Branch of medicine: Orthopedics
Telephone:               052-701-6801
Address:                   3-11-1 Daiman-cho, Meito-ku, Nagoya
Address:                   3-11-1 Daiman-cho, Meito-ku, Nagoya

Clinic Hours

Reception hours Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
9:00 – 12:30 ×
14:00 – 15:30 × × ×
15:30 –  19:00 × ×
Closed on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, Sundays and public holidays

◎Reservations only (052) 701-6801

○ Walk-ins accepted

Kakinuma Seikeigeka Clinic Notes 

– 16 minutes walk from Issha Station or Hoshigaoka Station.
– Parking available.
– Appointment not required unless noted above.
– Reserve by phone at (052) 701-6801.

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Jul 23, 2013

Anjo Kosei Hospital in Aichi, Anjo City

Anjo Kosei Hospital – 安城更生病院

  • Branches of medicine:   Internal medicine, psychiatry, gastroenterology, orthopedics, pediatrics, surgery, cardiology, endocrinology, dermatology, urology, neurology, obstetrics  and gynecology.
  • Telephone: 566-75-2111
  • Address: Higashihirokute-28 Anjocho Anjo, Aichi Prefecture 446-0026
  • Website:
  • Hours:
Reception hours Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri 1st and 3rd Sat
08:30 – 17:00*


  • English level very basic, but translator can be provided.
  • Closed on Sundays, public holidays, 2nd, 4th and 5th Saturdays
  • Patients without  appointments seen from 8:30am-11:00am on weekdays and 1st and 3rd Saturdays.
  • Five minutes walk from Hekikaifurui Station on the Meitetsu Nishio Line

Use this map to find other doctors in Anjo, Aichi Prefecture

  1. You can click on any icon to get more information (this info is also listed below the map)
  2. Each location has its own page with more information about it.  You can access this specific location information (such as English ability, etc) by clicking the “JIS Info” link.

Ladies Clinic/Child Health=Yellow
General Hospitals=Red

ByRay Proper
Jul 19, 2013

Getting Your Scooter License in Nagoya

Japan-driver-licenseIf you live in Nagoya itself you do not need much in the way of a car or scooter to get around-a bicycle would likely be more than sufficient.  For those times when it is just a little too far, the public transportation system is pretty convenient and will generally get you anywhere you need to go.

There are times, even in Nagoya when a scooter is convenient, such as when lugging a weeks’ worth of groceries home on the subway, but if you live outside of the city, or far from the subway lines, a  scooter can make a huge difference in your quality of life and the good news is; getting a 50cc or smaller scooter-only license is fairly painless.

If getting licensed to drive a car is your aim, this is not the article for you, but you can find more information on that subject at Japan Drivers License, If you are already licensed to drive a “regular car,” the standard driving license in Japan, you are already licensed to ride a scooter of the size discussed in this article; 50cc or less. Congratulations, you are now free to move about the country on your scooter.

If that is not the case, you will need to get licensed to ride a scooter.

For the purposes of Japanese law, a scooter is a two wheeled vehicle with an engine size of less than 50cc. Anything else is a motorcycle, and you need a separate license that is much harder and more expensive to get to ride one. The “large scooters” you see cruising the streets are not classified as scooters, but rather “automatic transmission motorcycles,” and you require a special license.

Getting a 50cc engine or below scooter license requires roughly 10,000 yen, and about a half a day of your time.

Getting a motorcycle license, will cost 10x that amount to start with, and increases in increments of time and money based on engine size.

Getting Your Scooter License in Nagoya, Aichi

To start with , you must take a written test at the Hirabari Driving Center. The test is not especially difficult, but a passing grade is 90% or better.  The translations might be a little rough, but understandable. The best way to prepare for this exam is to read “Rules of the Road”, available from the Japan Auto Federation.

After passing the test , you will be taken to a classroom for the indoor portion of the Safe Driving Course. It is conducted in Japanese. Just nod and smile; they will probably assume you do not understand but it wont matter, this is not a graded exercise and as long as you stay awake you should be OK.

After the class you will be taken to a driving course for the outdoor portion of the Safe Driving Course, which is 2 hours and introduces you to the basics of the scooter: how to use the kickstand, start it, accelerate, brake, etc. At the conclusion of the class you will get your license if you have managed not to hurt yourself or others.

Requirements for Riding a 50cc Scooter scooter_cub


  • Regular (car) driver’s license holders are also licensed to drive a scooter of 50cc or less
  • Be 16 years or older

Required Tests

  • Written test (48 questions in 30 minutes, a passing grade is 90% or better )
  • No driving test (practical application)
  • 3 hour Safe Driving Course

Required Items

  • Juminhyo (住民票) / Resident record – issued within the past 90 days
  • Passport
  • Zairyu card (在留カード) / Residence card
  • Pencils, eraser, black pen
  • Eye glasses or contact lenses (there is a vision check)

Fees Required

  • Exam fee:1,500 Yen
  • Safe Driving Course fee: 4,500 Yen
  • Processing fee: 2,050 Yen

Procedures at the license center

  1. Buy the application form at Window #11 (1,500 yen)
    (Ask for “Gentsuki menkyo shinsei-sho” / 原付免許申請書)
  2. Fill out the form and submit the application form and the documents listed above, at Window #13.
    (If it is first time to get a Japanese driver’s license, go to Window #14 instead.)
    You may request “English test” here. (the form needs to be written in Japanese, so you may need someone with you to assist with this)
  3. Go to vision test at location #2.
  4. Go upstairs to the Waiting Area (#21) to take written test. (English is available)
  5. The written test is given twice a day; at 9:30 am and 10:30 am. The test rooms are to the right of the waiting area. Someone will call you to line-up about 10 minutes before the test begins. Usually the “special” tests are called first (they will be holding the test booklets) so be alert.
  6. There are 48 questions on the test (46 True/False, and 2 with pictures) and you will have 30 minutes to complete it. A score of 90% correct is needed to pass.
  7. When the test is done, go downstairs and wait for the results to be announced. This will be at location #18 at 10:40 am for the 9:30 am test, and at 1:00 pm for the 10:30 am test.
    If you pass: Your test number will be appeared on the results board. Go to window #11 and purchase the safety lecture / 原付講習料 (4,500 yen) and license issuing / 交付手数料 (2,050 yen) forms
  8. You will be directed to a room for the scooter safety lecture (lecture is in Japanese).
  9. This will be followed by a practice session on the scooters. There are two scooter practice areas out on the test course. You will go out as a group. Follow all of the directions. They are very precise and important.
  10. When the practice session is finished (at 2:00 pm or 4:40 pm, depending on which test you took) you will receive your scooter driver’s license, which is valid for scooters up with engines up to 50 cc.If you fail: Your test number will not be appeared on the results board. You can take the test again on another day.
  • Applications are accepted from 8:45 am until 10:00 am Monday-Friday at Window #13.
  • Wear shoes; loafers, sneakers, and other “easy to ride in” shoes are best. Sandals, clogs, and high heels (women) are not allowed.
  • Assistance from H&R consultants is available at JPY 10,800 / hour (tax included) *optional

N.B. Heisei 27 = 2015, Heisei 28 = 2016, Heisei 29 = 2017, Heisei 30 = 2018、Heisei 31 = 2019

Good luck, and happy motoring!

ByRay Proper
Jul 17, 2013

Escape the Heat of Tokyo at the Aquarium!

Aquatotto Gifu (Gifu World Fresh Water Aquarium)

Summer in Tokyo is hot, humid, and generally uncomfortable.  Walking outside for any length of time in the summer’s heat in Tokyo will leave you “glistening” and tired.  The average temperature in August is a high of 27°C / 80.6°F with a low of 25°C / 77°F, but just the other day it was in the middle 30’s /95°F.   To escape the heat you can duck into a convenience store, supermarket, or other shopping center where the air conditioned temperature is likely to be more like 16°C / 61°F; less than half that high.   After a few minutes of comfort, suddenly you realize that your “glistening” clothes are now freezing cold and start thinking of heading back outside; a sun inspired Catch 22 and ongoing joke on the population of Tokyo.

Things are not so bleak as all that though, you can find ways to stay cool and have fun at the same time.  One great place that will cool you off is the aquarium, and Tokyo and its surrounding areas have more than you might expect!  There are at least 7 in Tokyo itself, and a few more in the surrounding areas.

  • Sunshine Aquarium
  • Sumida Aquarium
  • Tokyo Sealife Aquarium
  • Epson Aqua Stadium
  • Tokyo Tower Aquarium
  • Inokashira Shizen Bunkaen Aquarium
  • Shin Enoshima Aquarium

Shinagawa Aquarium

At the Shinagawa Aquarium you can experience a real “walk under water” while  sea bream, shinagawa_aquariumstingrays, and turtles swim overhead and around in their famous “sea tunnel!”  Or visit the  “Shark Hall” where sand tiger sharks, grey reef sharks, and other sharks from all over the world  are displayed in an oval tank which puts you in the middle of a three-dimensional school of sharks!  If sharks are a bit too much for you, how about the Dolphin and Sealion Show, which includes all that has come to be expected from such shows; jumping, “humorous gestures,” etc.

Shinagawa Aquarium

 Tel :  03-3762-3431 (Taped information), 03-3762-3433 (Office)
Website :
Address : Shinagawa-kumin Park, 3-2-1, Katsushima, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
Admission : Adult (16+): ¥1,100 / Student or child (6 through 15): ¥600 / Child (under 5): ¥300

 There is plenty of information out there about the remaining aquariums, take a quick surf through and see if anything looks like a day at the beach for you!  Keep cool Tokyo!

ByFirst Admin
Jul 14, 2013

Play Mini Golf at Tsurumai Park

Tsurumai Park Mini GolfYou can play mini golf, “putt putt” or “baby golf,” in Japanese, at Tsurumai Park Baby Golf at Tsuruma Park near Tsurumai Station!  This is a great way to kill a couple of hours with the family within the city, and it costs less than any drinks and snacks you might buy at the convenience store to go along with your outing!  A couple of hundred yen per round on this 9 hole hole course.

Open 10:00 to 17:00 (Reception closes at 16:30)
※ The course is open only Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from December to February


  • Adults / 200 yen
  • Children (junior high school or below) / 100 yen

English Translation of Golf Page on Tsuruma Park Website

Japanese Version of Golf Page on Tsuruma Park Website

The course is adjacent to Tsurumai library (with some English books), for some air-conditioned relief when it gets too hot!


ByRay Proper
Jul 09, 2013

Six Things You Should Know About Tokyo

Tokyo_SkylineYou might be interested in this article from The History Channel in the US, “Six Things You Should Know About Tokyo.”  If you live in Tokyo  these might not come as a surprise, but then again… they may still.  You can read the introduction here, and click through to read the complete list at the History Channel’s website.

“On July 8, 1853, U.S. Commodore Matthew Perry led the U.S. Navy’s East India Squadron into Uraga Harbor in Edo (modern-day Tokyo), Japan, in what became the first step toward the “opening” of the Asian nation to western trade and influence after more than 250 years of “isolation” under the ruling Tokugawa shogunate.

The arrival of the Perry expedition and the U.S. Navy’s “black ships” led to a series of economic, political and social crises that brought tremendous upheaval to the country—followed by unprecedented growth—paving the way for the rise of modern Japan.

One hundred and sixty years after Matthew Perry’s arrival in Japan, here are some things you may not know about the nation’s capital.”

Six Things You Should Know About Tokyo — History in the Headlines.


ByRay Proper
Jul 09, 2013

International Mothers Community in Yokohama (IMCY)

IMCY_International_Mothers_International Mothers Community in Yokohama (IMCY) is a group for international mothers who live and raise children in Yokohama. There is a growing number of international families in Yokohama, especially non-Japanese speakers, but living information in English or other languages is very limited.

We found that raising kids in a foreign country was very challenging and decided to start the group in March, 2013.

IMCY is registered as “citizens’ group” in Naka, Nishi and Hodogaya wards in the city of Yokohama and there are more than 80 online members on Facebook, where they can post questions or share some information.

We also have a blog where we provide family event information, English translation of letters from the city /ward regarding childcare, local news, articles on Japan and its culture etc…

We are going to have “Yukata & Saree Trial Event” for mothers of young 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, but you need to register your child(ren) and yourself with the Childcare Support Base (it’s free) to use the facility.

International Mothers Community in Yokohama Event 2013

For more details, please visit the IMCY Blog:

Where you can find more useful information and fun events in Yokohama.

Or at our Facebook Group:

Please note that this Facebook group accepts basically  only (pre-)mothers living in or around Yokohama. It would be greatly appreciated if you could inform any of our admin members that you fulfill the condition along with your request to join the group.  Requests that do not meet ( or do not seem to meet) these requirements will be denied.

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail to: (at)