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Daily life

Here is a list of information on your daily life, especially on issues which our visitors sometimes face when they start their stay in Okazaki.
 

Lifelines

Utility bill payments of electricity, gas, and water can be made at a bank, post office, and convenience store. Also, the payment can be made by an automatic bank debit.

Electricity
The electrical frequency differs between eastern (100 volts/50 hertz) and western (100 volts/60 hertz) Japan. An electricity bill is paid once a month.
Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture
Frequency: 100 volts/60 hertz
Please contact the Chubu Electric Power Company branch (Okazaki Office: 0120-985-610) for instructions and apply to begin use.
(Chubu Electric Power Company Customer Service Office)
http://www.chuden.co.jp/english/price/epri_procedures/emec_servicenetwork/index.html?ceid=ul_me (English)

Gas
There are two types of gas service: city gas and propane gas. You need to have the gas company to come to open the main valve. On the appointed date, staff from the gas company will visit and open the main valve after checking your gas appliances. To open the main valve, you have to be present at the scene. The utility rate is paid once a month.
In Okazaki area, please contact Toho Gas Okazaki Office (+81-(0)564-21-2231) for instructions and apply to begin use.

Water
The tap water in Japan is drinkable. As each local government supplies the water, after you moved in, Please contact the City of Okazaki Water Supply Bureau (phone: +81-(0)564-23-6334) for instructions and apply to begin use. The utility rate is paid bimonthly.

Garbage
Rules of garbage disposal and resycling in Okazaki are explained in detail in "6. Garbage Disposal Rules and Recycling" in the link shown below.

Practical Guide to Living in Okazaki (in Okazaki International Association web page)
http://oia1.jp/oia/menu-english/practical-guide-to-living-in-okazaki/
 

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Telephone and Internet

Landline (Residence Telephone)
Please contact the following number when you have an inquiry about having a new telephone installed.

NTT West 116

Pay Phone
¥10 coins, ¥100 coins and telephone cards are available to make a phone call. Telephone cards are available at co-op stores or convenience stores. An international phone call can be made with a pay phone that has a label that says “international phone call”.

Mobile Phone
When you purchase a mobile phone, please bring your residence card and go through the procedures at mobile phone companies or their agents near you.

NTT  docomo http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/ (English)
softbank  https://www.softbank.jp/en/mobile/(English)
au  http://www.au.kddi.com/english/index.html (English)

Internet
Because internet connection methods vary by communication environment, please select a provider and make inquiries about their services. The following are web pages (in Japanese) of major providers in Japan.

OCN http://www.ocn.ne.jp/
Nifty http://setsuzoku.nifty.com/
Sonnet https://www.so-net.ne.jp/access/
Yahoobb https://bbpromo.yahoo.co.jp/
 

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Banking and Insurance

Banking
When you open a bank account at an ordinary bank or a JapanPost Bank, you can make a deposit, send a remittance, initiate direct debit, pay your credit card bill, change money, receive your salary, etc. Most banks are open Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 15:00 and opening hours of ATMs vary considerably by location.

JP Banks are situated inside post offices. Most JP Banks are open Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 16:00 and opening hours of ATMs vary considerably by location.

(1) Necessary Documents to Open an Ordinary Bank Account
① Passport
② National health insurance card or residence card
③ Seal
④ Cash for deposit

(2) Necessary Documents to Open a JP Bank Account
① National health insurance card or residence card
② Signature or Seal

※It is preferable to open an account at the nearest bank to your place of residence or workplace.

Credit Cards
Foreign researchers and SOKENDAI students can have a credit card be issued at the shop of NINS Okazaki CO-OP in Myodaiji campus.

Insurance
When you have no health insurance coverage, you will pay a hefty medical expense in regard to healthcare facilities. Those with a period of stay of over three months must be enrolled in the National Health Insurance in Japan after coming to Japan and submitting the notification of the place of residence. If employed by NINS or another institute, you can be enrolled in social insurance or the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Mutual Society of Health Insurance.

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Transportation

Public Transportation
The transportation network is extensive in certain places in Japan. When you’re using the same route very often, the fare can be real cheap if you buy a book of tickets and commuter pass.

"Aichi Now", Official site for tourism Aichi
https://www.aichi-now.jp/   (Japanese)
https://www.aichi-now.jp/en/   (English)

Web sites of transportation companies in Aichi area:

JR Tokai http://jr-central.co.jp/ (Japanese)
http://english.jr-central.co.jp/index.html (English)
Nagoya Railroad http://www.meitetsu.co.jp/ (Japanese)
http://www.meitetsu.co.jp/english/ (English)
Kintetsu Corporation http://www.kintetsu.jp/ (Japanese)
http://www.kintetsu.co.jp/foreign/english/ (English)
Tokai Transport Service Company http://www.tkj-i.co.jp/ (Japanese)
Toyohashi Rail Road http://www.toyotetsu.com/ (Japanese)
Transportation Bureau, City of Nagoya (Subway) http://www.kotsu.city.nagoya.jp/jp/pc/ (Japanese)
http://www.kotsu.city.nagoya.jp/en/pc/OTHER/TRP0001448.htm (English)
Transportation Bureau, City of Nagoya (City Bus) http://www.kotsu.city.nagoya.jp/jp/pc/bus/ (Japanese)
http://www.kotsu.city.nagoya.jp/en/pc/OTHER/TRP0001448.htm (English)
Meitetsu Bus http://www.meitetsu-bus.co.jp/ (Japanese)
http://www.meitetsu-bus.co.jp/english/index.html (English)
Mie Kotsu http://www.sanco.co.jp/ (Japanese)
http://www.sanco.co.jp/foreign/english/index.html (English)


Driver's Licence
There are three ways for a non-Japanese driver to be entitled to drive a car in Japan. Please contact a local police station for details.

① Foreign nationals driving with an international driver’s license in Japan
・Only international driver’s licenses issued by contracting countries to the Geneva Convention are valid in Japan.
・An international driver’s license (size, color, and form) that conforms to the model set out in the Geneva Convention.
・The international driver’s license is within one year from the date of issue
・Permitted to drive for the period of one year starting from the date of landing in Japan
・Vehicles permitted to drive are the ones bearing a stamp in the A-E rank of the international driver’s license

Note:
When a Japanese person who is registered in the basic resident register departs from Japan or a foreign national who is registered under the Alien Registration Law departs from Japan upon acquiring permission for re-entry and subsequently lands in Japan again doesn’t qualify as landing which marks the starting date of the computation for driving with an international driver’s license without more than three months from the said date of departure to landing. (Article 107-2 of the Road Traffic Act)
http://www.pref.aichi.jp/police/english/index.html (English)

②Foreign nationals driving with a foreign driver’s license in Japan
・A foreign driver’s license issued by Italy, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, France, and Taiwan.
・With a translation in the Japanese language attached thereto that is prepared by a party including JAF or a consulate
・One year after you have landed in Japan

Note:
When a person who is registered in the basic resident register departs from Japan or a foreign national who is registered under the Alien Registration Law departs from Japan upon acquiring permission for re-entry and subsequently lands in Japan again doesn’t qualify as landing which marks the starting date of the computation for driving with an international driver’s license without more than three months from the said date of departure to landing. (Article 107-2 of the Road Traffic Act)
http://www.pref.aichi.jp/police/english/index.html (English)

③Foreign nationals driving with a Japanese driver’s license in Japan by taking the driver’s license test as Japanese do (Japanese driver’s license)Or you may use the following procedure:
Switching from a foreign driver’s license to a Japanese driver’s license
・After acquiring a foreign driver’s license, you must have stayed in that country for a total of three months.
・When you apply, the foreign driver’s license must be a valid license in that country.
・A Japanese address is necessary.

(Required documents)
a foreign driver’s license
a copy of the two sides of the foreign driver’s license
a written translation of the foreign driver’s license
passport
a copy of the passport (pages with photo, expiration expire date and visa)
residence card
a copy of the two sides of the residence card
a photo for the driver’s license application

*As some other required documents vary in different countries, please contact the police station at each location for further information.

(Contact Information)
Aichi Prefecture Driver’s License Bureau +81-(0)52-800-1351
Higashi Mikawa Driver’s License Center +81-(0)533-85-8989

Note:
Taxi
You can flag a taxi at a taxi stand around a train station or public facility or on the street. A plate on the dashboard in the lower corner of the windshield indicates whether a taxi is vacant or not. A red plate indicates that the taxi is vacant, while a green plate indicates the opposite (see illustration below). During the night a light on the roof of a taxi can indicate that the taxi is vacant. When you board a taxi, note that the vehicle’s left rear door is opened and closed remotely by the driver. You are not supposed to open or close it by yourself. Furthermore, you are not supposed to tip taxi drivers, as the service is included in the price. Pay the fare before you get off and if you pay through a credit card, available credit cards are displayed inside the taxi. Although you can also book a taxi by making a phone call to the taxi company, an additional cost may be charged.


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Shopping and Restaurants

In Okazaki area, we have a huge shopping mall within a walking distance from IMS. There are many restaurants in the shopping mall. We also have some restaurants and convenience stores in ten minutes by walk. Additionally you can buy fresh vegetables at Higashi-Okazaki station.

Note:
Morning Market "Funaichi"
Location: Funaichi-dori, Hachiman-cho, Okazaki
Date: 2nd, 7th, 12th, 17th, 22nd, 27th (Every month)
https://okazaki-kanko.jp/event/669 (Japanese)

Shops and Restaurants which provide Halal food.

Import Shop KOKO ( Mainly Brazillian foodstuffs)
3-14 Tosakishinmachi, Okazaki
https://tabelog.com/aichi/A2305/A230502/23043441/

Gyomu Super Okazaki  (A wholesale supermarket)
5-10 Tosakimotomachi, Okazaki
https://www.gyomusuper.jp/shop/detail.php?sh_id=691

Madina Halal Restaurant  (Restaurant and Halal foodstuffs)
1-11-13 Imaikecho, Anjo, Aichi
https://tabelog.com/en/aichi/A2305/A230503/23054427/
 

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Welfare services in IMS

In Myodaiji campus of IMS, we have a staff's restaurant "IF". We also have shops of NINS Okazaki CO-OP both in Myodaiji and Yamate campus.

Staff's Restaurant "IF",
Open at the Faculty Club 1F, Monday - Friday: 11:45 - 13:30

NINS Okazaki CO-OP,
Open at the Faculty Club 2F, Monday - Friday: 11:00 - 17:00 (- 16:00 during summer)

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