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How to Purchase an Electrically Assisted Bicycles – Tips and FAQs

Panasonic bike

Electrically assisted bicycles is a great way to save money while burning off some extra calories! When you take a stroll down the street mums riding electrically assisted bicycles are bound to soar by. The number of people purchasing electrically assisted bicycles escalated after the March 11 earthquake in 2011; as …

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Donate or Sell Used Clothes in Tokyo

So if you have been in Tokyo for more than a few seasons and love clothes than you are probably ready and wondering how to donate or sell used clothes in Tokyo.  Watch my video on youtube to see how my clothes purge went. To get motivated, I read the …

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How to Hire a Helper in Japan

One of the most common conversations amongst busy moms and working parents is how to hire a helper. There is a lot to consider but here some info to help you out. The three most common options are; 1. hire a local service company to provide help, 2. sponsor a …

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Gas Stations in Japan – Useful Terms and Phrases

Tokyo Gas Stations

If you decide to own a car in Japan or use Car Sharing (ORIX / Careco / Times) you’ll have to fill up on gas. Japanese gas stations / gasoline stands (ガソリンスタンド) offer self-serve stations or full-service stations where they’ll fill up the tank so you’ll never have to leave the car. …

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Which Japanese Rice to Buy? – Types, Price and More

Japanese Rice gourmet city rice aisle

If you’ve wandered into a Japanese supermarket simply shopping for rice, you have probably been surprised and maybe overwhelmed by the variety. White rice, brown rice, non-wash rice the list goes on! Japanese rice is more than a source of carbohydrate, it is a part of Japan’s culture. According to …

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Must Have Top 10 Japanese Laundry Products.

Japanese laundry products

Tokyo is a clean city on the surface but the everyday pollution and fast pace of life can take a beating on your clothes, so here are our top Japanese laundry products to help you out. As a mom of four and a pet owner I highly recommend these Must …

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Quick Guide: Survival Restaurant Japanese for Families

Here is our quick Guide to Survival Restaurant Japanese for Families. Apprehensive about dining in a Japanese restaurant? No worries! Here are some useful phrases to use when dining out. *** Quick Guide: Survival Restaurant Japanese for Families *** When you walk into a restaurant you will be greeted with …

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Tokyo Bike Rental – Fun, Easy and Cheap

Tokyo bike rental Japan bike 1

If you are living in or visiting central Tokyo, the Docomo Tokyo bike rental program is a great new solution to getting somewhere fast and cheap while having fun! We use it when our kids’ bikes are in for repairs, and when we have visitors.  My airBNB guests love them! The …

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Top 10 Ways to Survive Hay Fever (kafunsho) Season in Japan

hay fever

If you`re suffering from excessive sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose or a scratchy throat you might be experiencing an allergy from Japanese cedar pollen, or sugi tree – known as kafunsho (花粉所)/hay fever.  To help deal with the pollen this season we listed a few ideas from Amazon.co.jp to help you and …

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Got Head Lice? – How to Treat Lice In Japan (シラミ)

Hot lice? Lice treatment in Japan

Got Lice? Learn how to treat lie in Japan. Lice is SHIRAMI in Japanese (シラミ).  First reaction is ick, yikes, embarrassment, worry. Get over it quick and take action. Lice are very common in Japan, especially on kids in daycare, nursery and elementary. Any kid can get it. We talked …

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Times Car Plus – Car Rental by the Hour

Japan car sharing makes renting a car easy. Times Car Share, along with ORIX and Careco, have locations throughout Japan and many in Tokyo with a variety of cars from compact to vans, basic to luxury, electric to gas. We`ve used ORIX, Careco and Times Car Plus and am happy with all services. What …

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Inflammation and Hives from Kemushi (Caterpillars)

If you have curious kids who love bugs then tell them to stay away from this one, the hairy caterpillar/kemushi. Take care to avoid these “hairy” caterpillars as they have developed hairs or sharp spines that are capable of transmitting various toxins causing inflammation and hives on the skin. In most cases direct …

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How to Do a Furikomi (Bank Transfer) in Japan

What is Furikomi? Furikomi (お振り込み / お振込) is an electronic funds transfer between your bank account and a recipient. Many banks have upgraded their ATMs to offer this service in English however some only offer the service in Japanese. What is needed for Furikomi? Cash Card Name of recipient Name of …

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How To Use A Japanese Washing Machine

How To Use A Japanese Washing Machine Japan is full of wonderful, high-tech gadgets and appliances, but when it comes to getting laundry done, sometimes you just want something functional that can deliver. While this guide to using a Japanese washing machine won’t make laundry day any more fun, it …

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Guide To Japanese Air Purifiers

Guide To Japanese Air Purifiers

Guide To Japanese Air Purifiers Air purifiers  (空気清浄機/くうき せいじょう き/kuuki seijyou ki ) improve the air quality in your home or office by filtering out pollutants like dust, smoke, pet dander, and pollen. Some air purifiers in Japan also double as humidifiers (加湿器/かしつき/kashitsuki). With Spring underway, you may be searching for …

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Guide to Rice Cookers in Japan

Guide to Rice Cookers in Japan Rice is the staple of the Japanese diet and there’s no shortage of rice cookers (炊飯器 | すいはんき | suihanki) on the market that aim to make modern-day cooking as efficient as possible. This guide will walk you through the basic functions of a …

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How to Redeliver a Japan Post Package

I love the quick and efficient delivery system in Japan however sometimes we`re not home during the day to retrieve the package, and some may have issues reading/calling to redeliver the mail. Japan Post makes it easy to redeliver packages using their English-language call option but the wait to connect …

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Shopping Online in Japan

Considering our modern busy lifestyles and the prevalence of technology, it’s no wonder that many of us gravitate towards shopping online. But, shopping online in Japan can be very different that what you’re used to. In this guide, we’ll take a look at online shopping in Japan, major retailers, shipping …

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Guide to Point Cards in Japan – How to Earn and Redeem Points

Guide to Point Cards in Japan - How to Earn and Redeem Points

Guide to Point Cards in Japan – How to Earn and Redeem Points Go shopping anywhere in Japan, and you’re bound to be asked: Do you have a point card? (ポイントカードはお持ちですか?/ぽいんとかーどはおもちですか?/pointo ka-do wa omochi desu ka?) You might think that point cards take up valuable real estate in your wallet. But, …

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Bringing Your Dog or Cat to Japan – How to Prepare

Bringing Your Dog or Cat to Japan – How to Prepare Moving abroad can be stressful. Add your furry family member to the mix, and you’ve got a lot to juggle – airline accommodations, vaccines, endless paperwork, and not to mention the possibility of quarantine. If your plans to move …

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Renewing your Japanese Drivers License – Samezu Center

Japanese Drivers license

Renewing your Japanese License is a simple yet time consuming process. Approaching your birthday, a postcard will be sent to your home to remind you of the renewal. The license holder has a window of one month before and after their birthdate to renew. Expect to spend at least 2.5 hours …

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