In Japan, June is called 'Mina-zuki' which stands for 'the month of water'. It seems to have the original meaning such as 'the month to install water into rice fields.'
By the way, we would like to share with you about 2 information this time.

1) The coronavirus vaccination rollout for people over 65 in Japan has been carried out already.
The timing of your receiving "Vaccination ticket (coupon)" is different according to your age and health status. Please continue to take care of yourself and stay safe until you receive it.

You can check from the below site about the information regarding COVID-19 vaccination from Kawasaki city. 

Kawasaki City COVID-19 Vaccine Reservation Call Center
Phone: 0120-654-478 (8:30-18:00 Monday - Sunday)
Languages such as English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish are available.

You can consult with the One-stop-center at Kawasaki International Center about questions regarding the vaccination program. Please check our website here.

2) We will start the free consultation on zoom from July 1st, 2021. The details will be announced next time.

Persons who wish to apply for public housing, but who are not sure how, can attend this session and get help filling out their forms.
(English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian and Nepalese Interpreters will be available. Reservation required)
Application criteria: Resident of Kawasaki City for at least a year, or have worked at the same job in Kawasaki City for at least a year

* Date and Time: Saturday June 12th, 10:00am -noon
* Place: Kawasaki International Center
* Application Period: Wednesday June 9th, 16:30pm
* Apply by phone Tel: 044-455-8811 or e-mail: soudan39@kian.or.jp
* What to Bring: items proving your income over the previous year (certificate of income and withholding tax, or proof of payment form)

Satsuki flowers

Japan has a calendar peculiar to their country. It is called 'Wareki' which started to be used since 7th century. Each month is named differently. For example, May has the Wareki name as 'Satsuki'. Rice has been a staple food in Japan since ancient years ago and it is consider May is the good season for rice-planting. People in the old times used to call the month 'Sanae-tsuki' which stands for the month to plant rice seeding, and this word is eventually shortened to 'Satsuki'.
The flower 'Satsuki tsutsuji' (English name 'Azelea') blooming in May is called 'Satsuki' whose neme is shortened from 'Tsutsuji'.
Satsuki flowers erupt various colors from late spring till early summer and give us a lot of energy and peace to us.

It will soon be ‘Golden Week’ vacation that includes four national holidays, beginning from April 29 (Showa Day) and ending on May 5 (Children’s Day).
May 5th is traditionally called ‘Tango no sekku,’ and is also currently called ‘Children’s Day.’ On this day, we celebrate boys’ health and growth; while the Girls’ Festival is known as Hina-matsuri (literally Doll’s Festival) on March 3rd.
Tango no sekku originally started in the Nara period (710–794) at the Imperial Court of Japan, on the day of Tango, which was May 5th of Japan’s old lunar calendar and marked the change of seasons, as a habit of taking a Shōbu-yu (bath in which bundles of Japanese iris are floating) and drinking Shōbu-sake (liquor in which an iris leaf is soaked), because it was believed that iris was good for health and had apotropaic effects. And then it became a seasonal event to expel evil and disease.
Later, with the rise of the samurai (warrior) class, Tango no sekku came to be celebrated because the Japanese name of iris (Shōbu) is a homophone of their martial (Shōbu) ethos.
Eventually this event became prevalent in townsman society in the middle of the Edo period (1603–1868) as a celebration of the birth and growth of boys, which has been continued until today.
During ‘Golden Week’ vacation, it would be nice to be relaxed by taking a Shōbu-yu as well as to prevent infection.

In Japan, the new fiscal/business year has started on April 1st with a lot of cherry blossoms blooming. As we announced in the last log, our consultation service for foreign residents has been improved from April 1st and the opening hours has been extended to 9am – 5pm (Open during lunch time, too). During these hours, you can receive the consultation service anytime in any of 11 languages with the use of support provided by our consultation staff, but also by an interpreting company we contract with.
Please feel free to call us, e-mail to us or visit us if you find any question about any topic around you!
Our consultation staffs of 11 languages are pleased to support you as much as possible.

Open hours changed to 9:00am–5:00pm, from April 1st, 2021. No lunch break.
You will be able to receive the English consultation from Monday through Saturday as the same way as previously.
In the case the English speaking consultation staff is not available, we will provide consultations and information by connecting our contracted interpreting company.

Kawasaki International Center
TEL: 044-455-8811
E-mail: soudan39@kian.or.jp
Address :〒211-0033, 2-2 Kitsuki Gion-cho, Nakahara-ku, Kawasaki-shi

I have found myself lately feeling the scent of spring. In the Kanto area the cherry blossoms is blooming earlier than usual this year, with its peak sometime between late March and early April.
In Kawsasaki City there are many parks and green spaces that have a lot to offer. We'll introduce a couple of good places here to see the cherry blossoms.
Nikaryo Irrigation Channel (Tama Ward, 2-minutes walk from Shukugawara Station on the JR Nambu Line)
This historical irrigation channel was built during the Edo period. About 400 cherry trees line the watercourse for about 2 kilometers.
Asao River (Asao Ward, 3-minutes walk from Kakio Station on the Odakyu Line)
About 250 cherry trees line the river, weaving together overhead to form a pink tunnel.
Just as last year we are supposed to enjoy cherry blossoms quietly without having Hanami parties under the cherry trees, which might add a little extra je ne sais quoi.

The Kawasaki foundation provides the streaming service of their plays in aim to prevail and develop Japanese traditional performance arts. You can watch Noh-gaku plays at the below sites with English subtitles.

The original Noh-gaku dates back to the end of 13th century and it was flourished as a samurai culture since the 14th century. Noh is Japan's oldest form of musical theater and registered as UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. Please check this website for further information about Noh.

'Hirnamatsuri', 'the Girls' Festival' or 'the Doll's Festival,' is celebrated on March 3rd in Japan. It is also called 'Momo no Sekku', which means 'Peach Blossom Festival.' People began this event in the late eighth century of the Heian period (794-1185). It is an occasion to pray for young girls' growth and happiness.
Most families with girls display dolls dressed in Heian period court costumes, peach blossoms, cake cubes (hina arare) and diamond-shaped rice cakes (hishimochi). We celebrate the day by eating mixed sushi with colorful ingredients (Chirashi-zushi) and drinking sweet white liqueur (Shiro-zake).
By the way, May 5th is the Boys' Festival in Japan. We will introduce this event on the blog later.

The Japanese government has extended the state of emergency covering Tokyo and other regions to contain corona-virus outbreaks by one month until March 7. We must remain vigilant for a while longer though coronavirus cases are declining. If you live in Japan as foreign residents, we assume that your family at home are very worried about you under this coronavirus pandemic.
But we have a small but good news for you, which we hope helps to conforms you living in Japan. The coldest time of the year is still upon us in February, but we see petit pink flowers called ‘Ume’ in bloom under this cold weather. This signals one step before the beautiful and cheerful spring season comes!

If you have any problem or worries about topics such as Japanese study, visa, pension, child care and so on, please feel free to call us (Tel 044-455-8811).
You can receive consultations and information in any of 11 languages including ‘Yasashii Nihongo’ or easy Japanese.