6. Daily Life (2/2)
More than 40,000 convenience stores, known as konbini, can be found across Japan. Most stores are open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week and they constantly produce new innovative products and services. Although most of what you need for daily life can be purchased here, generally discount prices are not available. They usually offer a wide range of services -such as ATM banking, copier/fax services, ticket reservations for sport events and concerts, digital camera prints, bill payment including utilities, cell phones and some tax bills, and a limited range of delivery and postal services.
Modern Japanese supermarkets are organized much in the same way as their Western counterparts. They offer foods, clothes, and daily necessities usually at low prices. There are many large-scale chain stores, whose advertisement leaflets are periodically delivered with newspapers. Some large-scale electrical appliance stores offer products at quite reasonable prices.
Department Stores (also called “Hyakka-ten” in Japanese)
Department stores deal with higher quality products than supermarkets do. Prices are therefore higher, but much care is given to the nice wrapping of purchases and polite treatment of customers. They typically feature women’s clothing on many of their floors, with additional floors of men’s and children’s clothes, and home furnishings. Basement floors usually house a food department, while the top floors are restaurant floors featuring various types of restaurants. They are open on Saturdays, Sundays and most national holidays and some are instead closed on one weekday per week.
Flea markets, garage sales and bazaars for recyclable goods.
You will find many events held in various places where you can buy secondhand, used goods at surprisingly low prices. Some garage sales are held twice or three times a month, although not on a regular basis, in the vicinity of the University (Suita Campus) in Bampaku Kinen Park. ( See the following website for more information (http://www.garagesale.co.jp/)
The International Student Center organizes bazaars for used goods in spring and autumn. Also, information on international associations of each city, recycling centers, systems within the University and flea markets is introduced at IRIS, Information Room for the International Students. (https://ciee.osaka-u.ac.jp/en/)
Japan Currency (¥:Yen)
Consumption tax (10%) is applied to all products throughout Japan; 8% for food (not included medicine), drinks (not included liquor), and delivery and take-out service.
Usually, a credit card may not be used to purchase a short distance train and local bus ticket. It is a common rule to pay in cash if the sum used is less than 1,000 yen. In Japan, you need to carry some cash at all times unlike some countries where it is possible to pay for most things by credit card.
There is no custom of tipping in Japan.
Newspapers, TV and Radio
There are five national newspapers (Yomiuri, Asahi, Mainichi, Sankei and Nihon Keizai), local newspapers, and English-language newspapers such as The Japan Times, The Daily Yomiuri, the Asahi Shimbun, and the International Herald Tribune. You can also read any of these on the internet. Also, you can buy daily newspapers at station news-stands and convenient home delivery is available. If you would like to subscribe to a newspaper published in your native country, contact Overseas Courier Service Co.Ltd. (OCS) (Tel: : 06-6473-2634). The Osaka Municipal Central Library and Osaka International House Foundation offer the world’s major newspapers for public reference.
- The Japan News(Yomiuri)
- Asahi Shimbun
- Mainichi Shimbun
- Sankei Shimbun
- Nikkei Shimbun
- The Japan Times
- Overseas Courier service(OCS)
- The Osaka International House Foundation
- Osaka Municipal Library
There are six VHF TV broadcasting stations (NHK General, NHK Educational and four pirvate stations), and three UHF TV broadcasting stations that can be received in the Osaka area. To receive bilingual broadcasts, you need either a TV with a bilingual feature or a bilingual adapter. Households with a television set must pay a viewer fee to NHK (Japanese Broadcasting Corporation) (Tel:0120-151515(Japanese only))every 2 months.
You will receive a discount for advance payments of 6 months or 12 months.
NHK offers three payment options as follows:
- Automatic withdrawal from the designated banking account.
- Make a payment with an invoice slip from NHK at a bank, post office or convenience stores.
- Direct payment to NHK’s bill collector.
[ Satellite Broadcasts ]
Simply by purchasing and installing a compact parabolic antenna and a special tuner, you can receive broadcast satellite (BS) broadcasts on your television set. Subscription fees are charged. The following channels are available: NHK No.1& No.2 Satellite and other satellite and broadcast options. Also for a fee, communication satellite (CS) broadcasting stations provide TV news programs, music, and movies, CNN, SKYPerfecTV!.
[ CATV (Community Antenna Television) ]
By subscribing to CATV, you can receive television broadcasts, satellite broadcasts, CS broadcasts, FM broadcasts, public service broadcasts and CNN News services. You must first make a contract and request installation to receive these services. The CATV service is currently only available in a limited area, but the service will be available throughout Osaka City in the near future.
For further information, contact:
There are five AM broadcasting stations and five FM broadcasting stations in the Osaka area. As multi-language broadcasting stations, FM CO.CO.LO (76.5 MHz) and NHK Second Radio Station (828 MHz) are on air in Osaka.
At night, most of people usually try not to make loud noise in Japan. People turn down the TV and use ear phones when listening to music, and even try to avoid washing clothes or doing vacuum cleaning at night. Also, try to keep your voice low when you have friends over to your house at night. Such sense of social etiquette will be needed for you to live comfortably surrounded by the thin walls and floors of some lodgings in Japan.
You may believe that there is no big difference in how to use a kitchen in all countries. However, some landlords are not willing to rent their houses to a foreigner because of the use of kitchen. The following are some basic tips to remember.
- Wipe off splashed grease and dirt in the kitchen after cooking fried or sautéed food.
- Ventilate the kitchen during and after cooking.
- Habitually clean up the kitchen each time you finish cooking. (Cover tables and wall with aluminum foil will help to prevent stains)
In Japan, all trash must be separated according to its category. It will be collected at a certain time of the day in a designated area. Otherwise, garbage will not be taken away. It may be no exaggeration to say that keeping this rule is the first step to adjusting to life in Japan.
Each city has its own rules on the disposal of household garbage. Please make sure you ask your landlord, neighbors or city office about the rules for your area and follow them. Generally, garbage that you cannot put into the designated bag regardless of whether or not it is burnable or unburnable needs to be collected on a designated date for a fees.
The following are the contact telephone number and websites of the department of each city office for inquiries about disposal of garbage.
- Suita City -Environmental Dept. Resources and Recycling Office Tel: 06-6832-0026 (WEBSITE provides machine translation by multiple language)
- Toyonaka City-Waste Management Office, Department of Environment Affairs Tel: 06-6858-2275
- Minoh City-Waste Management Division Tel: 072-729-2371
- Ibaraki City -Environmental Business Division Tel: 072-634-0351
- Ikeda City-Environment Policy, Research & Management Division(pp.23) Tel: 072-754-6240
“Assistance for Foreigners at Times of Disasters” is a useful information source created by the Tokyo International Communication Committee. This Q&A type manual covers various aspects when foreigners face trouble in the case of disasters such as earthquake.
Eight languages (Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Nepali, Portuguese and Spanish ) are available in PDF format.
Please remember two emergency phone numbers. One is “110” for the Police Department and the other is “119” for the Fire Department. These calls are free in Japan and can be made from public phones or mobile phones.
24-hour duty policemen are assigned to Koban (police box) which are located near stations and various other areas. They patrol the neighborhood, handle theft and other criminal reports, take care of traffic accidents and lost and found items and give directions.
Call “110” or go to the nearest Koban to report the crime. Also contact your bank or credit card company if your cards or bank cards are stolen.
Regardless of the size of the fire, when you see a fire, you need to dial “119” and call out in a loud voice to let the neighbors know it. It is important that you prepare an extinguisher in case of fire. Participate in fire drills in your community and brush up your prevention skills with an extinguisher.
Dial “119” first if anyone is injured, then dial “110” for report. If you are involved in an accident, you should record the name, place of work, telephone number, license plate number and insurance status of the other parties. Also get the names and telephone numbers of any persons who witnessed the accident. When the police arrive at the scene, follow their instructions. Please note that NHI (National Health Insurance: page XX) does not cover medical costs incurred by traffic accidents. Those costs will be reimbursed at a later date from the voluntary insurance maintained by the party found to be liable for the accident.
Later on, if any trouble occurs relating to the accident, contact the Traffic Accident Consultation Section of your city office.
Lost and Found
If you have lost items, report to the nearest Koban as soon as possible. If you are at a train station or a department store, hand over the items you have found to a station attendant or to the lost and found section of the store.
Sudden illness and injury
If your injury or sickness is not serious enough to necessitate calling an ambulance and you think you can make it to the hospital by yourself, use a taxi or drive by yourself. In instances where you don’t consider the situation to be an emergency, but nonetheless need to find a doctor, please phone the hotline→(Osaka Municipal Emergency Medical Information Center Tel: 06-6761-1199 (Japanese only)). Call an ambulance on “119“, in case of a medical emergency or serious injury ONLY. Keep the phone line switched on for a while, so that you can comply if the ambulance attendant asks you for assistance in caring for someone in distress. The ambulance attendant carries a checklist of symptoms written in about 15 languages.
Japan is an earthquake-prone country. Please act in a calm manner if an earthquake happens.
[ In case of earthquake ]
- Protect yourself by hiding under a table, or protect your head with a pillow or a cushion.
- Turn off all heat sources immediately.
- Secure a way to evacuate the premises.
- Evacuate on foot, do not use elevators.
[ Prepare yourself ]
- Prevent objects such as furniture or electrical appliances from falling over by securing them in place.
- Prepare a survival emergency kit. The followings are typical items in the kit – flashlight, batteries, portable radio, lighter, matches, candles, non-perishable food, bottled water, thick cotton gloves, tarpaulin, extra clothes, pens and notepad, and first-aid kit.
- Check your emergency survival kit regularly to see if the food use-by date or any necessary items have gone missing so that the kit is usable when it is needed.
- Besides these items, make sure you keep valuables (passport, alien registration card, bankbooks, cash, medicines – if you are on medication) handy with you.
- In the event of a disaster, please do not forget to report your stay to your embassy or general consulate to let them know you are safe.
- For more information about evacuation advice, access at “Osaka Disaster Prevention Net”.
run by Osaka Prefecture → http://www.osaka-bousai.net/en/pref/
- Check the public evacuation centers of your residential area in advance.
→ http://www.osaka-bousai.net/pref/RefugePlaceList.html (Japanese only)
Typhoon, Torrential Rain
Typhoons are a type of tropical storm generated normally between May and November. Japan is approached or sometimes hit by a number of typhoons between July and October every year.
[ If typhoon or torrential rain hits your area ]
- Don’t go outside and stay away from dangerous spots.
- Check the weather news on TV or radio for the latest storm watches and warnings
- Stay away from flooded streets and from downed power lines.
- When Osaka Prefecture officially announces “hurricane warning”, our guidelines for classes are as follows:
- When the warning is called off before 6 am, all classes will be on schedule.
- When the warning is called off before 9 am, afternoon classes will be on schedule.
- When the warning is still called on 9 am or later, all classes will be cancelled.
|Conversion Calculator ℃→°F：1.8 × ℃ + 32 = °F °F→℃：(°F-32)×0.555=℃|
Please note these figures are for your reference only. Actual sizes may vary according to manufacturers and products. Also, some countries allow and adopt various ways of notation on the products.
|Women’s Clothing size||Women’s Shoe size|
|Men’s Shirt：Shirt Collar||Men’s Shoe size|
Weights & Measures
|6. Daily Life (1/2) «||» 7. Housing|
|« Back to Index|