Setsubun

Writer: Karen W.
Editor: Karen W.
Translator: Trang D.

How is everyone spending this winter vacation? In my January article, I already introduced Japanese New Year’s celebration and I hope you enjoyed reading it. I really enjoy the Japanese New Year, which I expressed in that article. (This link’s Japanese New Year’s celebration article https://timesoftiu.com/2021/12/31/new-year-festivals/)
How about you? I hope that our articles on Japanese culture will help bring you closer and closer to the unique traditions of Japan. I am writing a series of articles on “Japanese culture” with the hopes that TIU students, especially our E-track students, can get to learn more about Japanese culture. So, for this month’s article, I would like to introduce the traditional Japanese, Setsubun.

  1. What is Setsubun?

Setsubun (literal translation: seasonal division) is said to have its origins in an event called “Tsuina,” which was held on New Year’s Eve in the Heian period (794-1192) in the Imperial Palace (where the Japanese emperor used to hold political affairs). It is said that this event was a ceremony to drive away the “Toneri”, who dressed up as plague demons, by the “O-shonincho”, who became the “Ho-sou-shi” (a demon-chaser), wearing a four-eyed mask. It is said that the chief priest who participated in this ceremony would use a peach bow and a reed arrow to protect the “O-shonincho”.

Do you know why Setsubun is held in February although it is considered to be a New Year’s Eve event? This is because the calendar used in the Heian period and the modern calendar are different. 

The calendar used today is the “Gregorian calendar (also known as solar calendar),” which is based on the movement of the sun. The lunar calendar used in the past was called the “lunisolar calendar,” and a month started when the new moon cycle began. Since the cycle of the new moon averaged a total of 29.5 days, it was about 11 days shorter than the “solar calendar” year. Today, the “solar calendar” is used but the same date in the “lunisolar calendar” is different from year to year. This New Year’s Eve in the lunisolar calendar was February 3, 2022.

https://www.izasa.co.jp/blog/setsubun-638/

https://www.kohfukuji.com/event/tsuinae/

https://www.nao.ac.jp/faq/a0304.html

  1. Things to do on Setsubun

 There are two main activities during Setsubun in Japan.

The first activity is “bean-throwing”, which is also done in the “Tsuina” ceremony introduced in the previous section. This year, Setsubun is held on February 3, right before Risshun (February 4), the day markingthe division of two seasons, winter and spring. It is easy to feel the change in temperature when the seasons part, and it is said that we are more prone to colds and other illnesses during this transition time. Therefore, in order to lead a healthy life, it is necessary to drive these “demons” away. The most common way is to throw beans. Since ancient times, “Setsubun” has been held in many parts of Japan as an occasion when people ward off bad luck and wish for happiness in the new year. Exorcising bad luck in Japan is one of the traditions done on New Year’s Eve. Another important thing to remember is when you are throwing beans, you should also shout this out loud: “Oni wa soto, Fuku wa uchi. (Devils out! Fortune in!”). It is believed that by doing this, we can get rid of “demons” (illness and disasters) and invite “good fortune” (health and happiness) into the house.

The second ritual of Setsubun is to eat the “ehomaki” in silence, facing the direction of the year’s – “eho” (the direction of the god Toshitokujin, which is considered to be the most favorable direction of the year). Ehomaki is a thick sushi roll wrapped in rice and seaweeds, with different types of ingredients from eels, eggs, mushrooms and so forth). It is said that by doing so, one can enjoy prosperity and good health. At the same time, it can be somewhat difficult to eat the ehomaki, you should not cut it into rounds and eat it together with other dishes. This is because “cutting the ehomaki” is said to bring bad luck, since it is associated with the word “karma, meaning that a person’s relationship with another person will be hampered. In my family, we were told that, “If you can eat ehomaki facing the direction of Eboshi without saying a word, your wish will come true. By the way, this year’s direction is “North North West”. As I only know the simple the direction such as east, west, north, south, and northwest, I use a compass every time before eating to confirm the direction. You can check the link below.

  1. How TIU students spend Setsubun

When I asked TIU students, most J-track students (students studying in Japanese track in TIU/ non-Etrack students) answered that they would usually throw beans on Setsubun. That shows how familiar Setsubun is to J-track students. Indeed, I have took part in Setsubun in kindergarten, schools, and in various places as a child. Here is how everyone has spent their “Setsubun“:

 

Student A

“We throw beans at people wearing demon masks, and the number of beans we eat equals our age.”

Student B

“We usually use soybeans for bean-throwing, but in my family, we want to eat beans without wasting them, so we prepare peanuts.”

Student C

“I buy ehomaki at the supermarket and eat them facing the direction of the year’s blessing.”

Student D

“I enjoy making ehomaki with my family and I always add my favorite ingredients.”

Student E

“I usually go to the Setsubun Festival at the shrine near my house.” 

I experienced my last “Setsubun” at my part-time job, as I finally reached the age when I can start working.”

Student F

I made ehomaki at the sushi restaurant where I work. The pay was higher than usual so we were quite happy, but it is undeniable that we were all exhausted after the busy shift.”

 Thank you very much for reading this article about Setsubun. I hope you learned something new about the culture of Setsubun in Japan! If you have just arrived in Japan and have never eaten ehomaki before, you can always buy them at convenient stores and supermarkets, so please give them a try. When you do, make sure you don’t cut the ehomaki, and try to eat the whole thing in silence. It’s harder than you think! Anyway, that’s all for today’s article. Please look forward to our next article on Japanese culture, which will be on a special cultural event in March called Hinamatsuri (Doll’s Day)!

Interview with the Cultural Federation Executive


Writer: Karen W.
Editor: Aika M.
Translator: Ezekiel K.

Hello everyone. How did you make the most of your time at college this past academic year? At the ceremony where I graduated from high school, I was told that “college students should try everything.” In response to this advice, I joined a group that was named “ESS,” despite the fact that I was terrible at English. Sometimes, the more senior members of “ESS,” which I was a part of, would say things like, “I’m going to a meeting of the Cultural Union Executive Committee. So, tell me, what exactly is this “Cultural Union Executive Committee” and how does it function? In order to obtain this information, I was granted the opportunity to speak with the head of the “Cultural Union Executive Committee.”

To start with, the “Cultural Union Executive Committee” is one of the four student organizations at TIU that appear to be known as “Quattro Arra” (four wings in Italian). The “Quattro Arra” comprises the “Executive Committee of the Cultural Union” and three more organizations: the Athletic Association Headquarters, the School Festival Committee, and the Student Association Executive Committee. These four groups (wings) respect students’ perspectives, provide entertainment for students, cultivate the futures of students, and enhance Tokyo International University. If you would like additional information, please visit the following page. Additionally, this material is available in the document library of POTI under Students, 030 Student Life, 2022 Quattro Arra.pdf.
https://tiu-op-yard.tiu.ac.jp:10443/proself/list/get.go/91IAWCgA85QBBliB0EWOKRdworHKvIHeTMiCS
2sA/%E5%AD%A6%E7%94%9F%EF%BC%8FStudents/030_%E5%AD%A6%E7%94%9F%E7%94%9F%E6%B4%BB/2022%E3%82%AF%E3%82%A2%E3%83%88%E3%83%AD%E3%83%BB%E3%82%A2%E3%83%BC%E3%83%A9.pdf


1. Introduction of the Leaders of the Cultural Coalition Executive Committee
First, let me introduce the leaders of the Cultural Union Executive Committee.

*I only asked questions that could be answered, so as to avoid a violation of the privacy of personal information of my interviewee. These points are listed in bullet form below.

Name: Yuta Manaka

Year: the 4th year

Department:
Department of International Media Studies, Faculty of International Relations

How I joined the Cultural Coalition Executive:

I was invited by a senior member of the club I belonged to at the time.

Rewarding:
I had more opportunities to talk with the chairpersons of each activity, the Student Affairs Division, the Student Association Executive Committee, and the School Festival Executive Committee, and I learned about the events that each organization holds and what goes on behind the scenes.

The process of serving as a leader:
I was recommended by the previous chair of the committee.

Leadership Preparedness:
To do activities moderately and loosely so as not to burden the members.

2. [Question] What kind of organization is the Cultural Coalition Executive Committee?

Activities and tasks:
To maintain contact between the Student Affairs Division and each activity, and to
communicate with each activity regarding matters of communication, questions, and
urging of documents to be submitted, etc., so that the activities of the clubs can run
smoothly. Regularly hold events such as training camps and ball game tournaments.
Hold regular meetings once a month to share information about the club’s activities and the
the student affairs office.

The number of people involved in the activity: approx. 20

Period of activity: All year round

The organization’s action policy:
To ensure that club activities run smoothly, accurate communication is made, and
events such as training camps and ballgame tournaments are held to strengthen the
connections between the various activities.

3. PR for the Cultural Federation’s Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of the Cultural Federation holds events such as training.
camps and ball game competitions for clubs belonging to the Cultural Department. It is a valuable opportunity to interact with club members who are engaged in a variety of activities.
Thank you for reading this far. What do you think? Did you get a sense of what the “Cultural
Union Executive Committee” does? When I was participating in club activities in casual
manners, I learned for the first time that there are people who support these activities. If you are interested, please join the club activities.
























This is a group photo from a ball game held in 2021.

New Year’s around the World

Writer: Honoka A.
Editor: Karen W.
Translator: Theo F.

It’s December and the fall semester will soon be over; there are only a few days left in 2022. In this article, we will introduce the differences between how New Year is celebrated in Japan and abroad. A previous ToT article, ‘New Year Festivities’, can be read at the link below.

・Celebrating New Year’s in Japan

In Japan, the period from 1 to 3 January is called ‘Sanganichi’, when many shops are closed and people spend time with their families and relatives, eating delicious food. Many Japanese people go to shrines and temples at the start of the year to pray to the gods for good health and good fortune for the year ahead.

Also, as in the English ‘Happy New Year’, when the new year arrives, we say “Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu” is a greeting that is used to welcome the new year. This greeting is meant to congratulate people on welcoming God and a safe new year.

In Japan, there is a kind of greeting card called ‘nengajo’, which is sent to relatives and friends, and New Year’s greetings are sent on postcards.

Osechi and ozoni are special dishes that are eaten only during the New Year. As the taste and ingredients of ozoni differ from region to region and from household to household, if you have the chance, please be sure to compare them.

Reference: https://sittaka.info/?p=633

Osechi

Ozouni

・New Year’s in other countries

As cultures differ, the way in which we celebrate the new year also differs.

In the USA, there is a countdown in Times Square in New York, while in the UK, the countdown fireworks at Big Ben are famous. However, it seems that these countries only celebrate the first day of the year; people who have to work will resume working from the 2nd.

On the other hand, many countries have unique ways of celebrating. In Ecuador, there is a custom of burning one’s portrait photos on New Year’s Eve. This is meant to dispose of the past, and people collect and burn photos that symbolize the year to go. Therefore, on New Year’s Eve in Ecuador, the whole country is filled with the colour of flames.

In Vietnam, the New Year is also celebrated during the Lunar New Year (called “Tet” in Vietnamese). For this occasion, Vietnamese people decorate their houses with flowers. The flowers decorated seem to vary according to region, with pink peach flowers for those living in the north and yellow plum flowers in the south.

A staple traditional Vietnamese New Year’s dish is steamed rice with mung beans and seasoned pork on top of glutinous rice, rolled up like a sushi roll and wrapped in banana leaves, called ‘banh chung’. This is usually homemade in every household.

Furthermore, in Denmark, people throw plates at the door of their neighbours on New Year’s Day. It is believed that the families with dishes thrown at them will be blessed with happiness, and the more plates, cups and other crockery thrown at it, the luckier the family will become. It is said that a family with many broken dishes at the door of their house at New Year’s is a sign that they have that many loyal friends.

Overall, we can see how different cultures celebrate the New Year differently. Before we dive into 2023, why not meet some new people at the English Plaza or Japanese Plaza to learn about their cultures?

References: https://www.fujingaho.jp/culture/a60607/unique-ways-to-celebrate-new-years-across-the-globe-181221-hns/

https://www.fujingaho.jp/culture/a60619/unique-ways-to-celebrate-new-years-across-the-globe-181221-hns2/

・New Year Greetings

In English, “Happy New Year” is said to have three different meanings. The first one roughly means “happy to see you this year”, the second one means “have a great year” and the third one means “hope you have a fun year”.

However, as mentioned at the beginning, in Japan, “Happy New Year!” has the meaning of “congratulations on welcoming God and a safe new year”. As much of Japanese culture is steeped in Buddhism, respect for the gods is embedded in the meaning of the phrase ‘Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu’. In English, “Happy New Year” has no religious meaning, so it differs from the Japanese greeting. This difference between Japanese and American New Year’s greetings suggests that the meaning may differ from culture to culture and country to country.

Reference: http://eitangotsukaiwake.suntomi.com/index.php?Happy%20New%20Year%E3%81%AB%E3%81%AF%E4%BA%8C%E3%81%A4%E3%81%AE%E6%84%8F%E5%91%B3%E3%81%8C

・”Happy New Year” in other languages

Chinese: 新年好 (Shin Nian Hao)

Korean: 새해 복 많이 받으세요

French: Bonne annee

Other countries will have different New Year’s greetings. Why not ask your friends and teachers how they say it in their countries and try to acquire a new language?

References: https://ej.alc.co.jp/entry/20190102-happy-new-year-languages

In this article, we introduced the different ways of spending New Year’s Day. How do you plan to spend New Year’s Day? I plan to spend it with my family and eat delicious food. And how about setting goals for the new year? Please let us know how you spend your New Year’s and your goals for 2023 in the comments below!

Winter Illuminations in Japan

Writer: Saki N.
Editor: Karen W.
Translator: Theo F.

As the weather gradually gets colder, we head into December. Christmas gets closer and streets become decorated with beautiful lights. Have you ever seen them?

Today, I would like to write about winter illuminations that you can visit without having to transfer trains from the university, are recommended by TIU students, and are displayed in our university!

1. Winter Illuminations you can visit without having to transfer

① Shibuya, The Blue Cave

Many people may know this ‘Blue Cave’ as it is a very popular illumination spot. It is being held for the first time in three years, partly due to COVID-19. This year’s ‘Blue Cave’ also features a giant Christmas card set up with music box sounds at the Yoyogi Park Zelkova tree-lined area. Lighting times are subject to change, but please visit before Christmas ends to enjoy the sacred blue atmosphere.

Date and Time: 12/8 to 12/25, from 17:00 to 22:00

Place: Along the Shibuya Park Street towards the Yoyogi Park Zelkova Trees

From school, you can arrive at Shibuya in 54 minutes.

Reference: https://illumi.walkerplus.com/detail/ar0313e165714/

② Sunshine Aquarium, Marine Garden Illumination

This illumination differs from the ‘Blue Cave’ in that it features different vibrant colours. The lights reflecting on the natural greenery and water, combined with the night view of Ikebukuro, creates a very magical space. This illumination takes place all year round, but during autumn and winter, special night-time opening hours take place from 18:15 to 21:00, allowing visitors to enjoy a wonderful illumination that matches the night-time hours.

To get into Marine Garden, you have to first pay for the aquarium ticket, which costs 2400 yen for adults and 1200 yen for kids.

You can reach Ikebukuro in around 37 minutes from the university.

Reference: https://illumi.walkerplus.com/detail/ar0313e17432/

2. Winter Illuminations recommended by TIU students

Although these locations might require some transferring from Kasumigaseki, it is not that complicated.

① Ebisu Garden Place

The beautiful champagne-gold illumination lights of Ebisu Garden Place, combined with the large, colourful chandelier in the centre square, creates a mystical atmosphere.

Date: 11/12 to 1/9

The huge chandelier lights up every 30 minutes from 5pm to 11pm.

From Kasumigaseki you can first go to Ikebukuro, then transfer to Yamanote Line, and get off at Ebisu. This takes around 1 hour and 5 minutes.

Reference: https://www.ozmall.co.jp/xmas/illumi/tokyo/32532/

② Roppongi Hills: O-Yane Plaza

The Roppongi Hills Christmas Market is held at the O-Yane Plaza in Roppongi Hills. This venue is said to be the world’s largest reproduction of the Christmas Market in Stuttgart, Germany. Along with beautiful Christmas lights and decorations, you will find original German Christmas goods and authentic German food, such as glühwein and sausages. Enjoy the atmosphere of a German Christmas while eating warm and delicious food, which is more Christmassy than Japanese illuminations.

Date and Time: 11/26 to 12/25 from 11:00 to 21:00

Get off at Ikebukuro and transfer to Yamanote Line, where you should get off at Yoyogi station. From here, get on the Toei Oedo Line and get off at Roppongi station. This takes about 1 hour and 13 minutes. 

Reference: https://www.roppongihills.com/sp/christmas/2022/illumination-event/market.html

3. Winter Illuminations at TIU

Every Christmas season, TIU’s First Campus holds an illumination display in front of the gate, next to Building 2 and on the path leading to Buildings 3 and 6. It gets dark earlier in the winter, but the twinkling lights make the inside and outside of the campus warm and festive. Even if you don’t usually stay at school until late, why not spend a little longer than usual at school and enjoy the illuminated campus on your way home?

———–

In this article, we have introduced you to winter illumination locations both in Tokyo and here at TIU. Winter in Japan is very cold, but please enjoy the beautiful illuminations with your loved ones while drinking a hot drink and creating wonderful winter memories.

Please take a look at “Using the Train in Japan” on our website if you are interested! https://timesoftiu.com/2022/11/14/using-the-train-in-japan/

References for transit: https://transit.yahoo.co.jp

Opportunities to make friends with E-track students

Writer: Juri A.
Editor: Aika M.
Translator:Ezekiel K.

  Because of its name “international”, many students enter TIU with the expectation that there will be many international students and that they will speak English with people from other countries on a daily basis.

 Did you make friends with E-track students at TIU? I guess not many students can say “Yes, I have made many international friends” because it is harder than you expected. However, I also see some J-Track students who enjoy talking with E-Track students on campus. What are the differences between people who have many E-Track friends and those who don’t? In this article, I would like to introduce some tips for making friends with E-track students.

1 Join a student internship or club

 SLI (Student Leadership Interns) is a university-sponsored internship program on the TIU campus 1. The internships are a mix of E-track and J-track students (with a few exceptions), where students use English and learn skills that will be useful in their job hunting in the future. In addition to these benefits, you will also have the opportunity to interact with E-track students.

 Club activities and clubs are also open to E-track students, giving them a chance to interact with each other. Clubs with vast numbers of international students are E.S.S. and TEDxTIU. There are also international students in other club activities, so participating actively in a club is a good idea.

2 Taking courses that are offered for both J-Track and E-Track students,  or  taking E-track courses. 

 Although not widely known, J-track students can also take classes with E-track students. If you feel overwhelmed and find it challenging to take E-track classes due to your language ability, we recommend that you first take a class for both E-track and J-track students, such as Cross-Cultural Communication, Contemporary Global Issues and Japan, and Business Negotiation. Mixed classes are rare, but you will have the opportunity to work on assignments and have discussions with E-track students in a teamwork environment, so you will inevitably have conversations with them. The teachers also take care of the students, so anxious students can comfortably participate in the classes. Both classes require a TOEIC score of 700 or higher.

3 Actively participate in exchange events

 Are you familiar with cross-cultural exchange events? The cross-cultural exchange events are sometimes hosted by a GTI teacher and sometimes by an SLI internship. Although it depends on what kind of event you join, participating in these events is the first step to making friends with international students. Campus Globalization, to which the author of this article belongs, also holds regular workshops for E-track and J-track students to interact with each other. Even J-track students who are not good at English can comfortably speak up and challenge themselves in this program, so try a CG-sponsored workshop!

How was this article? I believe there are more opportunities to make friends with international students. The only person who can color your campus life is you! Try any one of these and start a great new semester!

Using the train in Japan

Writer: Kurooto B.
Editor: Prashan J.

Many students use the train to commute to TIU. This is evident by the fact that Kasumigaseki station is full of TIU students in the morning and evening of weekdays. Some international students routinely use the Tobu Tojo line. We will give the perfect guide for using the train in Japan and specifically the Tobu Tojo Line, which many TIU students use daily.

1. What You Should Know About the Train in Japan.

1.1. How Do You Pay for the Train?

You can take the train in Japan by purchasing either a ticket or a prepaid card. You have to make a purchase at the ticket machine each time you take the train, if you choose to use a ticket. The price of a ticket depends on how far you will go. For example, the ticket price from Kasumigaseki Station to Kawagoe Station costs 170 yen. In contrast, Kasumigaseki Station to Kamifukuoka Station costs 200yen because Kamifukuoka Station is a little bit farther from Kasumigaseki Station than Kawagoe Station. 

You can also use a prepaid card, such as Suica and Pasmo. The prepaid cards are collectively called IC cards, and Pasmo and Suica are the most popular IC cards which are mainly used in Tokyo and its neighboring prefectures. IC card allows you to go through the ticket gate smoothly. Also, you don’t even have to buy a ticket, which requires checking the price, putting coins into the ticket machine, and sometimes waiting in line to use the machine.

If you take the train to TIU and have classes every weekday, a student commuter pass will help you save the transportation fee. For example, a student from Kamifukuoka Station who has classes every weekday needs to pay 8,000 yen a month when buying tickets. However, you will only pay 3,220 yen a month when using a student commuter pass

1.2. Manners and Rules When You Take the Train.

There are some manners and rules that you should follow when taking the train. You may find some of these unwritten rules to be strange and even wonder why you need to follow them. Here, we will explain some of the manners and rules and why you have to be careful of them when taking the train.

1) Do Not Use Mobile Phone around a Priority Seat.

The Priority Seat is intended for people who need to sit down, such as people with disabilities, elderly people, and pregnant women. So why should you not use the mobile phone around a priority seat? It is because a person sitting on the Priority Seat might have a pacemaker. Because a pacemaker is easily affected by the cellular radio waves, you should think twice before using your mobile phone around a Priority Seat

2) Why Do People Not Sit Next to You?

You may realize something weird when you are on the train. Some people stand instead of sitting on the seat even if some seats are available. This is because some people don’t want to be too close to each other. Japanese people tend to like a relatively larger personal space, often avoiding situations where they are close to each other.

3) Women Only Car

Japan has the Women Only Car, which only women can ride. For example, in TobuTojo Line, one out of 10 or 8 cars is designated for only women from 7:20 to 9:30 A.M. on weekdays. 

2. What You Should Know About the Tobu Tojo Line.

There are a lot of students taking the train to TIU. Many students use the Tobu Tojo Line. So, we will give you some helpful tips on using the TobuTojo Line here.

2.1. Which Train Should You Take; Local or Express?

One of the most confusing things about the train in Japan may be the train category. Even though you choose the correct Line, you may not be able to reach your destination unless you choose the right train category. In TobuTojo Line, there are four main train categories; Local, Semi Express, Express, and Rapid.

Local

Local trains stop at every station on the line. One benefit of taking a Local train is that these trains are always less crowded. People who commute to their workplace usually take an Express train, so fewer people are on the Local one. 

Semi Express

Semi Express trains are faster than the Local train because they skip some stations. The Semi Express train is an appropriate choice when you go to a station which Express trains skip.

Express

Express trains are faster than Semi Express trains because they skip more stations. Because it doesn’t stop at many stations, always make sure to confirm if the Express train stops at the station you want to get to before taking the train. On TobuTojo Line, the Express train makes it possible to go to Ikebukuro Station from Kasumigaseki Station in less than 40 minutes.

Rapid

Rapid trains are the fastest. It stops at a very few stations. Be cautious of the fact that these trains do not stop at Kasumigaseki station! So when you need to get off at Kasumigaseki station, always make sure to change to one of the other types of trains beforehand.

In Japan, the train is essential transportation. It allows you to go everywhere at a reasonable cost. Understanding the train system in Japan will allow you to get around without much hassle. We hope this article helps you navigate your way through Japan better!

Living Alone – Moving

Writer: Karen W.
Editor: Kurooto B.
Transrater: Juri A.

Hello everyone. Many people will be moving to the Ikebukuro campus starting next fall semester. Many international students will start living alone instead of in a dormitory in Ikebukuro, where rent and prices are higher than on the first and second campuses! Besides the help from PA, this information from J-track students and E-track students who have been living in Japan, will be useful for living on your own. I am going to share experiences from students that I have heard from on SLI’s official instagram account. 

First off, I will introduce the process of finding a place in Japan.

  1. Decide what you require for the room.

The first thing you have to decide when you start finding a place is to know what kind of  room you want to live in, where to live and what is around the area. You need to determine these conditions, otherwise you don’t know what kind of room you should look for. 

②Go to the real estate agent

Once you have decided on what kind of apartment you want to live in, you can search for the various real estate agents online such as “SUUMO, MiniMini and ApamanShop”. If you are an exchange student who has just arrived in Japan and don’t have a clue about how anything works around here, you should consult with friends or acquaintances who have stayed in Japan for a while and who are a part of  the SLI’s PA team and visit these agencies together.

 ③Go to view a room

After you find the room where you want to view, go to view inside the apartment with an agency. Once you find a good room, for some people, the only problem will be the cost to rent the room.

 ④Sign a contract

In order to rent an apartment, you have to prepare a large amount of money for an initial fee. like 100 thousand yen to 200 thousand yen. Also, you have to fill out all the required forms, and open a bank account to pay the rental fee.

④Prepare to start living in

To start off your new life, you have to bring your household goods from your hometown or the previous place and install an electric appliance. Also, you have to ask your family, friends or relocation company to carry your stuff in. To get electric appliances, use an appliance store near your new home, a second-hand store, or an app such as Zimoti. Moving costs a lot so it is important to find out the easy and inexpensive way to get the things you need.

 Next, we asked TIU students who have moved in before they found a room about the things they did for moving over @tiu_sli, SLI’s official Instagram account. It can be divided into the following three main categories.

(1) How long it takes to find a place to live in.

(2) How do you find a place?

(3) During the moving process

Student A: (1)

(1) It took me about 3 months. During this time, I went to see many different rooms, but I couldn’t find a good place at all, so it took a long time. However, I was able to move in about 10 days after I found a room, so I was able to move in very quickly. However, I could only see the places which are managed by the real estate agency that I consulted with. Also, the service provided by that agency was not good, so I feel a little uncomfortable living there.

(3) I had to do all the moving stuff by myself.  It was very tough for me. Also, It was difficult to find a good place so it took a long time. What is more, the way of sales approached by the agent who was in charge of me was so bad that it made me feel awkward.

Student B

(1) It took me about two months to find a place!

2) I was searching for a place by using the Sumo app and Kawagoe’s Minimini on site, and even signed a contract there.

3) It was hard to find a place that suited my needs. I even had to pay for appliances besides the rent fee so it is important to discuss with your parents.

Student C

(1) When I started living in a shared house, it only took me to decide on a place to live in .

(2) I asked a real estate agent to help me find a place.

(3) When I was looking for a place, I had to decide on if it is close to the station and the direction of the house, so it was difficult to find a good compromise.

Student D

It took me about 3 months to move in.

2) I talked with real estate agencies and looked at land when looking for a place.

(3) It was difficult because I had to decide on a room while looking at feng shui.

Student E

It took me about one month.

I looked on the Internet and asked friends to help me find a room.

(3) It was difficult to find an ideal place because of the rent problem.

Student F

(1) It took me about 10 days to find a place.

2) I made an appointment with a real estate agent and decided to move in on the same day, so I was able to move in quickly.

3) It was difficult to carry furniture in.

 Thank you to everyone who cooperated in the survey. If you are thinking of moving, please keep in mind that it usually takes at least a month from the time you start looking for a place until you actually start living there. Some people manage to find a place and move in within 10 days, but please don’t be in a hurry and make sure to select the place that fits your criteria. This series on “living alone” will continue. Please look forward to the next article.

Halloween in Japan

Writer: Honoka A.

Editor: Karen W.

Translator: Ezekiel K.

Hello everyone. It’s already October, and the temperature is gradually becoming more comfortable.  What comes to your mind when you think of October? Many people think of Halloween, don’t they? In this article, I would like to introduce you to Halloween in Japan. Also, how do TIU students spend Halloween? I’ll show you the details (or how it looks) at the end of this article.

What is Halloween?

Halloween dates back more than 2,000 years. It is said to have originated from “Samhain,” a European Celtic festival. Samhain, which means “the end of summer,” was rooted in the lives of the ancient Celts as a religious event to celebrate the autumn harvest and drive away evil spirits. Because it was believed that the souls of the dead would return to their families, people began wearing costumes and masks, placing lanterns made of turnips called jack-o’-lanterns in their homes, and protecting themselves from the souls of the dead. Today, Halloween has spread to many countries and is celebrated in ways that are distinct from its origins. For example, instead of kabuto, Jack O’Lanterns are now made from pumpkins, which are relatively easy to make, and children say “Trick or Treat,” which means “give me candy or I will play tricks on you,” to adults to receive sweets.

(Reference: https://skywardplus.jal.co.jp/plus_one/calendar/halloween)

History of Halloween in Japan

Kiddy Land Harajuku is credited with being the first store in Japan to have taken part in Halloween in the 1970s. Later that year, in 1983, the same Kiddy Land Harajuku store hosted a Halloween parade to promote Halloween merchandise sales.

The “Disney Happy Halloween” costume event at Tokyo Disneyland in 1997 was the catalyst for the rapid rise in Halloween awareness. Halloween has since become an autumn tradition at the Tokyo Disney Resort. Since then, the word “Halloween” has been seen in a variety of places, with various stores selling Halloween-only packages of candy and Halloween costumes since late September. Because of the advancement of social networking services in recent years, it has also become a tradition for many people in Japan to dress up in costumes and gather in Shibuya. Every year, a large crowd gathers at the scramble crossing, and the event makes headlines. However, many people with bad manners have been seen in recent years, and this has become a problem.

(Reference: https://intojapanwaraku.com/culture/41323/)

How does Halloween differ in Ireland and Japan?

Tradition dictates how Halloween is observed. In families throughout Ireland, children prepare costumes and games in advance of Halloween.  On the day of the celebration, dinner is served with a traditional cake called a “barn black.” Various things are prepared inside and baked, and a person’s fortune is divined by what comes out when he or she cuts into and eats the cake. For example, if a ring comes out, it means that the person will get married within a year.

It also means “spending precious time with family,” a tradition that is kept alive by such events as the Halloween Parade. Halloween is a big event for Irish people. 

On the other hand, in Japan, it is not only in Shibuya, but many stores around the country sell various Halloween packaged sweets and goods. As a result, many people exchange sweets with their friends at school, dress up in costumes at Halloween parties, and children receive candy from adults. These are different from the original Halloween celebrations in Ireland, where many Japanese spend their time eating lots of candy.

(References: https://prtimes.jp/main/html/rd/p/000000037.000017681.html)

Halloween at TIU

This October, SLI has hosted two Halloween-related events. Come dressed in your favorite costume to party and make new friends.

PA : Halloween Party with Peer Assistant Team

The Peer assistant team will host a Halloween party on Wednesday, October 26th at Building No.2 class room 231. You are all invited. Please see the poster below for more information.

EP: English Plaza Halloween Night

The English Plaza team will host a Halloween night on Friday, October 28th at the English Plaza building. You are all invited. Please see the poster below for more information.

This time we introduced Halloween in Japan. How do you spend Halloween in Japan? In Japan, people often exchange sweets with their friends, so why don’t we all bring our own sweets on the day of the event?

Autumn of Sports

Writer: Saki N.
Editor: Karen W.
Translator: Ezekiel K

Hello everyone. How are you doing now that the summer heat wave is over and it’s getting cooler in the mornings and evenings? Now is the time of year when the sweet autumnal fragrance known as kinmokusei can be smelled near school gates and in the city streets. There is a tradition in Japan called “Autumn for Sports.” During this time of year, many sport meets and competitions take place in different parts of the country.

  1. Origin of “Autumn of Sports”

First, I would like to explain how the term “Autumn of Sports” came to be. This origin is closely related to the “Tokyo Olympics” and “Sports Day.”

On October 10, 1964, the Tokyo Olympics were held. This is because, according to historical data, there was a very high likelihood that the weather in Japan would be pleasant on this day. After the Olympics, Sports Day, a national holiday, was established on October 10 to celebrate this day. (Sports Day is now observed during the second week of October.) Since the Tokyo Olympics and the foundation of Sports Day, several sports-related activities have been organized in September and October in various places, and this time period is said to have become widely known as “Sports Autumn.”

(Reference: https://lab.life-socket.jp/blog/20)

  1. Three Advantages of Exercising in the Fall

Next, we will discuss three benefits of exercising during Fall.

The first is to raise the internal body temperature. To increase body temperature, it is essential to exercise, increase muscle strength, and boost metabolism. When the body’s metabolism improves, immune cells are activated, making it less susceptible to illness.

The second goal is to combat obesity. When a person develops an exercise routine and gains muscle mass, their metabolism increases. As the basal metabolic rate increases, the amount of energy required for daily activities rises, and the body should adapt to a state where fat is burned more efficiently.

Thirdly, It reduces stress. Not only does exercise alleviate stress, but it also helps build a body and mind that are resistant to stress. Continued exercise provides a steady supply of serotonin and endorphins, which help stabilize the mind and are believed to alleviate stress and fatigue.

Without you even realizing it, stress can build up in your daily life due to things like homework and classes. In order to maintain your mental health, you should engage in moderate exercise. In addition, autumn mornings are chilly, so you may be reluctant to leave your futon or room. However, once you step outside, the warm sunlight and the sweet scent of the golden osmanthus will be awaiting you, so please try to move your body after a delicious autumn meal! 

(Please note that the above information may vary from person to person.)

(References): 

  1. https://ogalife.com/20191102-1/.
  2. https.//heisei-ikai.or.jp/column/exercise-mental-health/

  1. Facilities and parks

Last, we’ll talk about the facilities at TIU and two parks close to the university where you can enjoy autumn.

First, the second campus of Tokyo International University features a weightlifting field, a training room, basketball and volleyball courts, as well as tennis courts. In the training room, students can engage in basic exercises as well as advanced and functional ones. Physical education and club activities are also conducted on the basketball and volleyball courts. Physical education classes and official garden tennis club activities utilize a total of eight tennis courts, complete with lighting equipment. It is possible that many students who use Campus 1 are unaware of these facilities. Students who are interested are encouraged to enroll in classes and clubs.

(Reference: https://www.tiu.ac.jp/campus/campus02)

Next, we will introduce parks within close proximity to the university

The first is Kawagoe Suijo Koen (Kawagoe Water Park). To get there, take a 15-minute walk from Nishi-Kawagoe Station on the JR Kawagoe Line, or take the Seibu Bus bound for Kasumino from Kawagoe Station or Hon-Kawagoe Station, and get off at “Suijo Koen Iriguchi” (10-minute walk to the park). The vast grounds of this park are its main draw. There are lawn areas, futsal and table tennis fields, walking trails, tennis courts, and other amenities. Visitors can also view the autumn leaves. Autumn leaves symbolize autumn in Japan, so after a picnic on the lawn, it would be nice to play sports or go for a walk while watching the leaves change color.

(Reference: https://www.parks.or.jp/kawagoesuijo/guide/000/000083.html)

Second is the Kawagoe Exercise Park (Kwagoe Undo Koen). To get there, take a bus from Kawagoe Station on the JR Tobu-Tojo Line or Hon-Kawagoe Station on the Seibu-Shinjuku Line headed for Kawagoe Undo Koen. Get off at Towamu Koedo Hospital and walk 10 minutes toward Ageo Station West Exit. This park has a grassy area, tennis courts, and an athletic field. So, it would be fun to play tennis, go jogging, play badminton, or catch a ball in the square while being aware of your surroundings.

(Reference: https://ambase.info/gym2/saitama/kawagoe.html)

Thank you for reading this far. In this article, I introduced “Autumn for Sports.” Autumn is a lovely season, with warm sunshine and a light breeze. Please enjoy a healthy fall, both physically and mentally, by engaging in moderate exercise..

Tips for Spending the Rainy Season Comfortably

Writer: Karen W.
Editor: Kurooto B.
Translator: Juri A.

Hello, everyone. The weather has been so unstable that it starts to rain and clear up even during the day. Are you living comfortably? People recognize there are 4 seasons in Japan in general. However, did you know there was a concealed season “Tsuyu(梅雨)” from the end of spring to the beginning of summer? Tsuyu is just around the corner. It is getting time for you to enjoy the Japanese humid and gloomy weather, which is peculiar to this season. When this season approaches the end, then  Japanese summer starts off finally.  Until then, don’t you want to spend a humid and cloudy rainy season more comfortably even if it is only slightly? Some people who support it positively might say “Thanks for a rainy season to moisturize my throat!”, but this is an extremely minor case. I, the author of this article, had an interview with someone who has lived in Japan for a long time to have some tips for living a more comfortable life during Tsuyu in Japan. Therefore, I share some tips from them in this article.

In the first place, what season is Tsuyu like? Japan meteorological agency’s website gave specific information and definition of Tsuyu, so let’s go look at the truth about Tsuyu. “Tsuyu is a seasonal atmosphere that frequently emerges from clouds and rain during the season changing from spring to summer.”    『梅雨(つゆ)は春から盛夏への季節が移り変わる時期に雨や曇りの日が多く現れる季節現象です。』

(Reference) 高松地方気象台 梅雨 2022/05/27 15:33時点

https://www.jma-net.go.jp/takamatsu/3_bousai/shizengenshou/kishou/tsuyu/tsuyu_uryou.html The rainy season appearantly begins from about the end of May to the middle of June in all the prefectures except for Okinawa. There will be heavy rain as soon as the rainy season starts, so an umbrella and rain gear are likely to become your daily necessities to bring with.

(Reference) 2022年「梅雨入り予想」九州は梅雨入り早々大雨 6月には四国・本州も雨の季節 2022年05月26日16:25

https://tenki.jp/forecaster/keiko_mochizuki/2022/05/26/17595.html

Preparation

  The CG team collected questionnaires from the Instagram users who follow our official account @tiu_sli. What do other people do to prepare for the Rainy season?

 I am going to share 5  ideas from the questionnaires in this article.

①Check a weather forecast 

 You need to check the weather forecast frequently because it tends to rain and change the weather during the day in Tsuyu. Even if you checked it in the morning and said no rain today, it can turn to rain out of the blue when you are on your way home. Therefore, to prevent getting wet by a sudden rain, catching up with the weather, and being ready with an umbrella and towel on hand would be perfect.

 

②Laundry

There is rarely a sunny day during Tsuyu and rain usually lasts for a week. However, you can not just simply ignore your pile of washing clothes. You can dry your laundry in the bath, which has a dehumidifier. In case you do not have it and drying with an air conditioner that can set up the timer is highly recommended. You have to be careful setting up the timer properly and turning on a cooler, otherwise, it would be half-dried and the electoral fee goes up.

③Hairstyle 

A humid rainy season makes your hair frizzy and hard to tackle and style your hair. In this case, an iron and dryer help to come off the humidity on your head and style with hair oil. These methods make your hair even smoother. For those who have fringe hair and have a favorite hairstyle, your hairstyle would easily come off even if you concrete your hair with wax. Therefore, it is important to have a stressful hairstyle during Tsuyu.

Wearing a bandana and hats are recommended because it is easy to put your hair up and it looks fashionable.

④Going to Coffee

 Rainy days make you feel gloomy to go out but it is boring to stay at your home. If you are so, then it would be good to go to a library and cafe where you can keep your rain out. Some shops have a special discount for only a rainy day and you can stay cozy and more comfortable than usual. This is recommended to refresh your mood.

⑤Changing the air

Humidity goes quite high during Tsuyu in any case so that makes you hesitate to open the window. However, the temperature goes up and that makes mold easily if you keep the window closed. Also, it is effective to take a humid away by putting the desiccant in the cabinet or leaving the ventilation far turn on.

 Thank you for reading until the end. What is your memory of Tsuyu like? There would not be many sunny days and the damp weather so you may be feeling down. It would be my pleasure if any of the tips introduced in this article went practical and you could spend your rainy season comfortably. Await for the next upcoming article!