Monthly Archive April 2014

ByMark Guthrie
Apr 28, 2014

Asahi Brewery in Nagoya

photo (1)When it comes to alcoholic beverages, the Japanese are most proud of its sake and rightly so. However, while sake is one of the most recognisable totems of Japanese culture, outside of the country, you’ll be hard pressed to find many people who regularly drink it. Yet, when it comes to Asahi Super Dry, it is a different story altogether. Pretty much every sushi or noodle bar worldwide is stocked with the famous silver bottles.

Asahi is of course one of Japan’s biggest brewers, which means that vast quantities of beer are made in factories all over the country. One of them is here in Nagoya and, for absolutely no charge, you can take a trip around.

After getting picked up from Shin-Moriyama station on the free shuttle bus you can be led around the factory floor to learn about the beer making process and history of the Asahi company. You can witness the marvel of modern machinery, and hide your jealousy of the official beer tasters whose job is to sip two bottles of beer every day.

Around three hundred people take the tour daily, with coach trips coming from as far as China and Korea to see how the famous beer is made. However visitors wanting to see the factory in motion must visit on weekdays and non-holidays, as the factory closes on Saturdays and Sundays. Should you visit on one of these days, you will instead be shown an interesting film of the factory in full flow.

The tour itself takes approximately 55 minutes to complete, and at the end you are shown to the bar. There you have twenty minutes to test three of Asahi’s main draft beers: Asahi Premium, Asahi Black and, of course Asahi Super Dry. There is a three drink limit, however anecdotal evidence shows that this is not always strictly adhered to. For those who do not wish to drink beer, are under 20 years of age, or are driving there is a wide range of soft drinks to choose from.

There is of course the somewhat obligatory tour gift shop, but it is unobtrusive and, well, it sells beer, so there can surely be no complaints in that department. After you have finished your shopping, should you be so inclined, the shuttle bus can return you to the station.

The tours are available daily from 09:30 with the final tour starting at 15:30. If you don’t want to take the free bus, the factory is a fifteen minute walk from Shin-Moriyama station. Reservations are a must and tours in Japanese can be booked online (www.asahibeer.co.jp/brewery/nagoya/). If you would like to be accompanied by an English speaking guide these can be arranged by calling 052-792-8966 between 08:30 and 17:00.

By Mark Guthrie

ByMark Guthrie
Apr 26, 2014

Nalajima Orthopedics Clinic, Hyōgo, Kobe City

Nalajima Orthopedics Clinic – なかじま整形外科

Branch of medicine: Orthopedics

Telephone:  078-753-9222

Address:  3 Chome-8-10 Shioyacho, Tarumi Ward, Kobe

Website:  www.myclinic.ne.jp/nakajima/pc/ 

Hours:

Reception hours Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
8:30 – 12:00 ×
16:00 – 19:00 × × ×

 

Use this map to find doctors in Kobe

  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.

Key
Clinics=Green
Ladies Clinic/Child Health=Yellow
Dentist=Purple
General Hospitals=Red

ByRay Proper
Apr 17, 2014

Top 5 Parks Near Nagoya

A list of the top 100 Japanese city parks was compiled by the Japan Green Parks Institute in 1989, and on that list you can find 5 parks in Aichi Prefecture, all within a reasonable distance from Nagoya City itself. If you are looking for a great day trip for you and your family or friends, you could do worse than getting outside for a day in the park!

Okazaki Park, Okazaki City

Okazaki_park_aichiOkazaki Park includes Okazaki Castle, the museum, and many historical points.  For 300 years Okazaki Castle has been honored as the birthplace of deified local historical figure Tokugawa Iyeyasu and cradle of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

You can enjoy views of cherry blossoms and Japanese wisteria along the Oto River in spring nearly unparalleled in the region; Okazaki Park is listed among “Japan’s Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots.”  Another point to note are the “Great Ieyasu Kou Aoi Bushoutai” warlords strutting around the park to entertain tourists in their armor.  You can get photos with them, or see their show.

While this park is about an hour outside Nagoya, you will find the scenery and relative peace of the park worth the trip out of town.

Photo:Creative Commons "Okazakikoen" by Japandr (CC BY-SA 3.0) -Modified

Higashiyama Park, Nagoya

higashiyama_botanical_nagoyHigashiyama Park includes the Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens, as well as a variety of smaller attractions, shops, and restaurants in addition to the usual playgrounds, trees, and grass found in the usual park.  This park, however is anything but usual; it is huge, well appointed, and well cared for.  A lot of thought has gone into it, and a lot of special events occur there.

You can feed animals at the zoo, sit under the blossoming trees (cherry, plum, wisteria, and apricot), or stroll through a number of gardens filled with flowering plants.   If that is not enough, there are 500+ species of animal at the zoo, including:  koalas, giraffes, and even a rare leopard, and the Higashiyama Sky Tower, whose 360 degree view of the Nagoya skyline is among Japan’s most popular night views.

Higashiyama Park  has a dizzying array of things to see and do, to the point that you will not likely see it all in one day.

Photo:Creative Commons "Higashiyama botanical gardens" by KAMUI (CC BY-SA 3.0) -Modified

Odaka Ryokuchi Park, Nagoya

odaka_ryokuchi_park_nagoyaOdaka Ryokuchi Koen is in Midori-ku in the southern part of Nagoya City.  While the park is accessible by train just a 5-min. walk from Sakyoyama (左京山) Station on the Meitetsu Line, the park is a bit out of the way, and is most favored by those with access to a car.  If you make the trip though, it is well worth the effort.

The park is drive through, and offers a number of attractions worthy of a family outing including:

  • Year round camp ground
  • Day camp ground (The sand sites without BBQ areas are free to use, no reservation required.)
  • Japanese garden , stream garden, iris garden, plum tree grove, cherry tree grove
  • Miniature golf
  • Go-cart circuit
  • Climbing wall (more for kids)
  • Dog runs
  • Paddle boats on Biwagaike Pond
  • Playgrounds with “long and short” slides
  • (Dinosaur Park)
  • 4 swimming pools
  • tennnis courts
  • Baseball and soccer fields 

Takayama-1-1 Ōdakachō  Midori-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi-ken

Photo:Creative Commons "Ōdaka Ryokuchi, May 2011 a" by artiechaut_1868 (CC BY-SA 2.1) -Modified

Meijo Park, Nagoya

meijo_park_castle_nagoyaMeijo Park includes  Nagoya Castle, Ofuse Pond,  Meijo Park Flower Plaza, Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, and the Nagoya City Archives.  The park is conveniently located in Kita-ku, just a few minutes from Shiyakusho and Meijō Kōen Station on the Meijo Line.

Mejio Park is a great place to see cherry blossoms in April, and wisteria in April and May.  There are ball fields and playground equipment, and one of the coolest things is a big windmill set in the middle of a tulip garden!  While it lacks the “attractions” of our previous parks, it is a perennial favorite for hanami, jogging, and walks in the sunshine.

Photo:Creative Commons "Meijo Park" by Alpsdake (CC BY-SA 3.0) -Modified

Ochiai Park Kasugai City

ochiai_park_kasugai_nagoyaOchiai Park is best known for its 1ooo cherry trees representing 90 variety of cherry (making the hanami season last a bit longer than other places), and for the Kasugai Fireworks festival which is held annually in July.

It also features a large pond with a fountain that is lit in 7 colors after dark, and what looks like a pumping station made of red erector set pieces.  While quite large and well appointed with ball fields and playgrounds, it is not easily accessible by public transportation.  It is best reached by car, or from Kasugai Station, but from there  it is… a hike.

Photo:Creative Commons "Ochiai_Park_(Kasugai)_7, May 2011 a" by KKPCW (CC BY-SA 2.1) -Modified

Get out there and play a bit, and let us know what you thought about these parks, or suggest alternatives if you think your favorite spot is better than one or all of these.  We would love to hear from you!

ByRay Proper
Apr 08, 2014

Importing Pets into Nagoya

chibi_cat_petWhen relocating to Japan you may find yourself unable to give up your family pet for the duration of your life in Japan, but don’t worry because you don’t have to! The process of importing a pet into Japan is time consuming, but it is not hard. One thing you may want to consider though is that bringing a pet with you to Japan will significantly impact the selection of properties available to you.

Less than 10% of available properties will allow you to keep a dog, specifically a small dog. Big dogs and cats are a real challenge to accommodate in Japan, and will seriously limit your options. That being said, sometimes leaving a pet home feels like leaving a child home so the sacrifice may worth it; I know I would never leave my cat home!

In order to bring your pet into Japan you will need to start well in advance. Fully satisfying the import regulations you must comply with will take at least 7 months from the date of the first rabies vaccination. The Japanese Animal Quarantine Service (AQS) is the official source of information regarding the import and export of pets in Japan. We recommend you familiarize yourself with the timelines and procedures available on their site.

The main requirements are listed below. With proper advance planning some pets will only require a quarantine period as short as 12 hours. If your pet meets all quarantine requirements on arrival, then you may be able to take them home with you on the same day.

1. Veterinarian implanted identity microchip 

Dogs and cats must be individually identified by microchip in either the ISO 11784 or 11785 standards.

2. Rabies vaccinations

Dogs and cats must be immunized against rabies with inactivated or recombinant vaccines at least twice after the microchip is fitted.

3. Blood Test

For the measurement of rabies antibody levels.

4. 180 day waiting period.

Dogs and cats are required to undergo a waiting period of at least 180 days between the date of the blood sampling and the date when dogs and cats arrive in Japan.

5. Certificate of export country

The importers need to obtain a certificate issued by the responsible government agency of the country of export stating the previous details; the First-step to the Fourth step have been completed.

6. Import inspection on arrival in Japan.

More details about the process can be found here at the AQS Website in English. Fully and correctly completing the processes required may allow you to pick up your pet as soon as 12 hours after it arrives in Japan. If any one of these processes are not fully or correctly completed your pet will be held in quarantine for as long as it takes to complete the missing steps. This means your pet could be held as long as 180 days. (They do treat them well though!)

About dogs and cats 

AQS information pertaining specifically to cats and dogs can be found Here.

Shipping your pet to Japan as cargo

If you want to ship your pet to Japan separately as cargo you will need to contact the airline. Many airlines will NOT transport pets between May and September due to the heat, or between December through February due to the cold. This is to protect your pet, as during some portions of its journey it will be staged in non-climate controlled areas of the airport that would endanger your little friend.

After confirming that your airline will accept your pet, you need to make arrangements to have someone meet your pet up at the airport cargo terminal and complete the necessary paperwork before accompanying your pet to the quarantine facility.

Pet Export Companies

Due to the language barrier in Japan, it may be easier to have a professional pet transportation company assist you with the preparation of documents and transportation arrangements. Please see the Independent Pet and Animal Transportation Association International Inc.’s (IPATA) website for more information on companies that can assist with transporting pets all over the world.

A company that comes highly recommended is Pet Relocation – http://www.petrelocation.com/. They are able to assist in door-to-door services, including import/export documentation, veterinary procedures, booking of airline tickets, boarding accommodation and more. Pet Relocation has been in business for over 40 years and offers customers a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.

Please take a look at their website or call  1-877-738-6683 for quotes and further information.

After You Arrive: Quarantine Facilities

Depending on the size of your pet, there are several options of room type and size in quarantine. The price depends on the size, but an average space is about JPY 4000 per day for food and lodging. You will be able to visit your pet during visiting hours, and it is also possible to send your pet’s favorite foods, snacks and toys with them.

When the quarantine period is over, you may go in person to pick your pet up at the kennel. Alternatively, the facility staff can make arrangements to deliver your pet to your home. Please note that all quarantine related payments, including the delivery fee if you choose this option (approximately JPY 20,000), must be completed prior to your pet’s release.

Getting Home with your Pet

Besides mailing your pet, there are a lot of ways to get them home with you from the airport. Here are a few options.

  • Train – Your pet must be in a cage. There may be size restrictions or “excess baggage” charges; please contact the specific train line for details.
  • Limousine Bus – Most will allow pets in cages, but again, there may be size restrictions or “ “excess baggage” charges; so please contact the bus company for details.
  • Subway – Your pet must usually (depending on the company) be under 10kg and in a cage. However, again, there may be size restrictions or “excess baggage” charges; so please contact the company for details.

Pet Registration

In Japan, you must register a dog (but not a cat) at your local city ward office. When you do this you will need to take the Quarantine Certificate you were given at your port of entry. You only need to do this once in Japan, although if there is any change in status (i.e. the dog is lost, your address changes, or you leave Japan) then the city ward office must be notified.

Etiquette and Care

If you live in an apartment, your pet will need to be placed in a carrying case or held in your arms when crossing or utilizing common areas such as the lobby and elevators.

Unlike some other countries, people here basically always pick up their pets droppings. The easiest way is to carry a plastic bag with you whenever you take your dog outside.

Dogs may not run loose. Your dog must be on a leash at all times when outside.

“No dogs allowed” signs in Japan are usually easy to understand even if you cannot read Japanese. Please be on the lookout for these signs and stay out of restricted areas.

Pets are required to have a rabies vaccination every year. The ward office will send you a reminder to vaccinate your pet in Japanese. You should then contact one of these English speaking veterinarians and schedule an appointment.

Veterinarians in Nagoya

These are some veterinarians with English speaking staff in Nagoya.

Washizuka Veterinary Nanzan Hospital

– Located in Showa Ku, near Yagoto Station (google map)
– Tel: 052-831-4540

Washizuka Veterinary Mizuho Hospital

– Located in Mizuho Ku, near Mizuho Kuyakusho Station (google map)
– Tel: 052-851-2039

 

ByMark Guthrie
Apr 06, 2014

Kitayama Family Clinic Aichi, Nagoya, Moriyama-ku

Kitayama Family Clinic – きたやまファミリークリニック

Branch of medicine: Internal medicine, pediatrics

Telephone: 052-795-3900

Address:  5-14-41 Obata, Moriyama-ku Nagoya

Website:  www.myclinic.ne.jp

Hours:

Reception hours Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
8:30 – 12:00 ×
16:00 – 19:00 × × ×

 

 

Use this map to find medical providers in Moriyama-ku

  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.

Key
Clinics=Green
Ladies Clinic/Child Health=Yellow
Dentist=Purple
General Hospitals=Red

ByMark Guthrie
Apr 06, 2014

Hakushima Clinic Hiroshima, Naka-ku

Hakushima Clinic – 白島クリニック

Branch of medicine:  Internal, gastrointestinal division, herbal medicine, rehabilitation, surgery, allergology

Telephone:  082-223-8455

Address:  15-8-2 Higashi Hakushima-cho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima

Website:  www.hakushima-cl.com

Hours:

Reception hours Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
9:00-13:00 ×
14:00-18:30 × × ×

 

 

Use this map to find medical providers in Hiroshima

  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.

Key
Clinics=Green
Ladies Clinic/Child Health=Yellow
Dentist=Purple
General Hospitals=Red

ByMark Guthrie
Apr 06, 2014

Nagoya South Dental Health Care Center Aichi, Nagoya, Minami-ku

Please be aware that there may not be an English speaking member of staff available, so it is advisable to bring an interpreter if at all possible.

 

Nagoya South Dental Health Care Center – 南歯科医療保険センター

Branch of medicine: Dental Surgery

Telephone:  052-824-8844

Address:  Shiei-jutaku Maehama-so 1F 58-1 Aza Matsuhigashi, Kasadera-cho, Minami-ku, Nagoya

Website:  www.city.nagoya.jp

Hours:

Reception hours Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
9:00 – 11:00 × × × × × ×
13:00 – 15:00 × × × × × ×
Excluding holidays and Dec 30 to Jan 3

 

 

Use this map to find emergency medical providers in Nagoya

  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.

Key
Clinics=Green
Ladies Clinic/Child Health=Yellow
Dentist=Purple
General Hospitals=Red

ByMark Guthrie
Apr 06, 2014

Nagoya North Dental Health Care Center Aichi, Nagoya, Higashi-ku

Please be aware that there may not be an English speaking member of staff available, so it is advisable to bring an interpreter if at all possible.

 

Nagoya North Dental Health Care Center – 北歯科医療保険センタ

Branch of medicine: Dental Surgery

Telephone:   052-915-8844

Address:    Nagoya-shi Sogo Shakai Fukushi Kaikan 7F (Kita Ward Office 7F) 4-17-1 Shimizu, Kitaku, Nagoya

Website:  www.city.nagoya.jp

Hours:

Reception hours Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
9:00 – 11:00 × × × × × ×
13:00 – 15:00 × × × × × ×
Excluding holidays and Dec 30 – Jan 3

 

 

Use this map to find emergency medical providers in Nagoya

  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.

Key
Clinics=Green
Ladies Clinic/Child Health=Yellow
Dentist=Purple
General Hospitals=Red

ByMark Guthrie
Apr 06, 2014

Aichi Dental Health Care Center Aichi, Nagoya, Naka-ku

Please be aware that there may not be an English speaking member of staff available, so it is advisable to bring an interpreter if at all possible.

 

Aichi Dental Health Care Center – 愛知医科医療センタ

Branch of medicine: Dental Surgery

Telephone:  052-962-9102

Address:  Aichi Dentist Center. F3 3-5-18, Marunouchi, Naka-ku, Nagoya

Website:  www.city.nagoya.jp

Hours:

Reception hours Mon Tue Wed Thr Fri Sat Sun
9:30-12:00 × × × × × ×
Holidays, Bon period(Aug 13-15)  9:00-12:00

Dec 29, Jan 4  9:00-11:00

Dec 30-Jan 3  9:00-11:00, 13:00-15:00

 

 

Use this map to find emergency medical providers in Nagoya

  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.

Key
Clinics=Green
Ladies Clinic/Child Health=Yellow
Dentist=Purple
General Hospitals=Red