Hyogo’s Ashiya City Garbage Bag Changes 2023

Apr 28, 2023 By William Farrow

Residents of Ashiya City in Hyogo Prefecture should be aware that the rules regarding garbage bags will change in October 2023, and a transition period has already begun as of April 2023. Ashiya City has asked that all garbage belonging to both the burnable and the non-burnable garbage groups be...[ Click to read more ]

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The NHK Man and NHK Fee – FAQ

Mar 01, 2023 By

NHK, Japan's national public broadcasting organization, is funded by TV receiving fees paid by households in Japan that have a TV set. Therefore, you must legally pay the NHK TV receiving fees if you live in Japan and have a TV. The NHK TV receiving fees are used to fund...[ Click to read more ]

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Bringing or Importing Medicines into Japan

Dec 06, 2022 By Ray Proper

When traveling to another country, laws can radically differ from your home country. This is especially true in Japan concerning prescription and OTC medicines. Medicines one may find no problem back home can be non-existent here, and other medications can be why you were arrested. We have compiled some links and...[ Click to read more ]

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My Number – The Social Security and Tax Number System in Japan

Jan 08, 2022 By Jason Gatewood

Starting in October of 2015, all citizens and lawful residents were issued a number called a 個人番号 kojin bangō which is also colloquially called My Number, even by Japanese speaking people -- マイナンバー. The numbers will basically be used as a "unique identifier" in a database, which is pretty much what it...[ Click to read more ]


Tokyo Foreign Resident’s Support Center

Jul 29, 2020 By Jason Gatewood

As a foreigner in Japan, dealing with governmental bureaucracy takes a few more steps than you might be used to. Finding information about starting (or relocating) a family and/or business here, or what is needed to navigate the legal system, can be a real challenge. There’s the expected nuance that...[ Click to read more ]

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Here’s what has changed with Japan’s new cycling laws

Jul 01, 2020 By Jason Gatewood

You’ll be forgiven for thinking that many of the bicycling laws you may have grown up within your home country are heavily enforced in Japan as well since there is more bicycling traffic here than most other places in the world, but the reality is starkly different. While there are...[ Click to read more ]

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Making sense of the Consumption Tax rate hike

Sep 27, 2019 By Jason Gatewood

It’s officially happening after many delays and false starts, Japan’s consumption tax (消費税 shohizei) will go from 8% to 10% on October 1st, 2019. The tax is levied on almost every purchase, from food and drink to train fares and utility bills; even the fees incurred from using the ATM...[ Click to read more ]

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How to ease the impact of Japan’s impending consumption tax hike

By Jason Gatewood

In order to ease the overnight transition into a higher tax bracket, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has begun a program that will effectively refund the difference back to consumers. But there are a few catches of course; its only in effect for 9 months beginning 1 October...[ Click to read more ]

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Bicycle Liability Insurance

Aug 28, 2018 By

There are two major cities in Japan that require bicycle riders to maintain liability insurance as a condition for riding in the city.  These are: Osaka City Nagoya City Clients and readers living or visiting these areas must be aware of this responsibility before hitting the road, but everyone should...[ Click to read more ]

Get Inked! A History of and Places to Get a Tattoo in Hiroshima

Aug 24, 2017 By Jade Brischke

Even before I came to Japan, I’d heard stories about tattoos being a no-go if you wanted to go to an onsen (hot spring) or public bath and a definite no-no for getting a job. As far as the Japanese were concerned, the only people who had tattoos were yakuza...[ Click to read more ]