Just a collection of some useful internet resources for all aspects of your time here in Kumamoto. If you have any links to recommend, please get in touch with us and we’ll add it right away!
JET and Life in Japan/Kumamoto:
- CLAIR Multilingual Living Information – Information about daily life necessary for foreigners residing in Japan.
- Japan Meteorological Agency – JMA information on weather, earthquakes, tsunami and typhoon advisories.
- Japan Pension Service – Information on your Japanese pension and withdrawal procedures.
- Claim Form for Lump-sum Withdrawal Payments
- Statement of Earnings Translation – A template you can use to translate your Statement of Earnings (gensen choushuu hyou) into English for your home country taxes.
- Japan Post International Shipping Rates – Japan Post provides a rate calculator to get an estimate on how much and how long it will take for you to ship things out of Japan.
- Japan Post International Shipping Labels – Register and print international shipping labels easily using the JP My Page Service.
- [OUTDATED] Kuma-Gun, ALT Guide – A collection of event and lifestyle information specific to Kuma-gun in southern Kumamoto. Written and maintained by two former Kuma-Gun JET ALTs.
- Kumamoto-I – Facebook site run by the same people who also operate a mailing list for Kumamoto information in English.
- Kumamoto Tourism – The Prefecture’s official PR and tourism site (in English).
- Fuji News Network – Japanese news site that has videos with transcripts (handy for study as well [Japanese only]).
- Japan Today – Tokyo-based online newspaper which prints in English news of a variety of topics.
- Japan Times – Online portal for Japan’s longest running English newspaper.
- News on Japan – A collection of Japanese news stories spanning society, education, political, and more in English.
- NHK World News Feed – Source for Japan-centric and world news from NHK, in English.
Japanese Study and Reference:
- Anki – a spaced repetition flashcard program absolutely invaluable to serious studiers.
- Eijiro – J<->E dictionary
- Jisho.org – Online J <-> E dictionary
- Goo Dictionary – Online J<->E dictionary
- weblio – Online J <-> E dictionary that also contains expressions and more casual explanations and usages
- Hiragana Megane – Attaches furigana to kanji on other pages
- iKnow – Online courses that provide you with directed study you can fit to your schedule.
- Lang-8 – Write journals in Japanese and have them checked by native speakers for free. Highly recommend.
- Tae Kim’s Japanese Grammar Guide – A complete, thorough and easy to understand guide to Japanese grammar.
- Amazon.jp – Amazon rules the world of media for a reason, they’ll get pretty much anything you want to anywhere you want. Free shipping on orders over ￥1500.
- Amazon.jp ATM/Conbini/etc. payment instructions.
- Instructions for getting a pre-paid Amazon.jp gift card at 7-11 (to use in lieu of a credit card).
- Apple Store – The Japanese Apple Store site in English.
- Edoya – For all your dried fruit and nut needs (Japanese only).
- Ezo Beer – Real beer! Offering microbrews from Oregon and Japan, as well as imports from Scotland, Belgium and Holland.
- The Flying Pig – a mail-order service sourcing foreign and bulk foods as well as various other sundries from Costco.
- iHerb – Vitamins, supplements and natural health products, (including food), cleaning products, and more. Cheap shipping to Japan.
- Kakaku – Similar to eBay or Amazon.com, but specific to Japan (Japanese only).
- Rakuten Direct – E-drugstore featuring a huge variety of products. Shipping is free if you spend more than ￥3,980. (Japanese only)
- The Meat Guy – Mail-order meat! If it was once an animal, they’ve got it.
- Natural House – Organic and natural foods (Japanese only).
- Oddball – A shoe seller specializing in large shoes (13+ ) for men. (+$50 for international shipping)
- Play-Asia – Seller of multi-region video games for virtually every console/system. They’re based in Hong Kong so shipping is usually pretty quick.
- Strawberry Net – Seller of a wide variety of imported perfume, cosmetics and skin care products. Free shipping.
- Tengu Natural Foods – Also know as Alishan, this site features natural/organic and health foods from around the world. Great source for grains, legumes, and vegan options.
- Victoria’s Secret – Western-sized ladies’ undergarments shipped (quickly, so we’ve heard) to Japan.
Arts, Theaters and Entertainment:
- Aeon Cinema (Kashima) – Schedule of films at the Aeon Cinema in the Aeon Mall in Kashima.
- CAMK – Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto features a number of revolving exhibits.
- Central Cinemas (Omuta) – Schedule of films at Central Cinemas in the new Aeon mall in Omuta.
- Classic Cinemas (Tenjin) – The Toho cinema in Tenjin (Fukuoka) has limited showings of classic western movies (not John Wayne “western”, occidental “western.”) This is a schedule of current and upcoming films.
- Denkikan (Kumamoto City) – “Art house” cinema in downtown Kumamoto, off of Sun Road (above the Freshness Burger). The specialize in smaller Japanese films and western films that don’t normally show in the larger national chains.
- Kadokawa Cinemas (Kumamoto City) – Schedule of films at the Kadokawa “Grand Paleta” Theater in the city.
- Toho Cinemas (Kikuyo) – Schedule of films at Toho Cinemas in the Hikari no Mori mall in Kikuyo (northeast of Kumamoto City).
- Toho Cinemas (Kumamoto City) – Schedule of films at the Toho Cinemas in the YouMe Town mall off of the 57 bypass in Kumamoto City.
- Toho Cinemas (Uki) – Schedule of films at the Toho Cinemas in the Uki Value mall.
- Yachiyoza Theater (Yamaga) – Traditional Japanese theater built in 1910, and recently restored, showing traditional Japanese performance art (kabuki, noh, etc.). Well worth the trip to Yamaga. Open for daily tours as well.
Travel and Tourism:
- Air Do – It doesn’t fly out of Kumamoto, but it’s great for making connecting flights out of Tokyo, including to Hokkaido, and it can be just as cheap as Skymark.
- CouchSurfing – This site allows you to find people around the world who are willing to host you for a time while you travel. In turn it allows you a chance to host other travelers in your home.
- etour – Japanese site similar to travelocity or Kayak (Japanese Only).
- HyperDia – Train schedules for all of Japan.
- Jalan – Cheap hotel deals and packages. Easy to search by location by just clicking on the map on the first page and zooming in to where you want to go, then listing your dates and info including price limit. You need to sign up (for free), but highly recommend for finding fun deals in completely new places. There are hotel reviews and star ratings, and you can search other plans for the same hotel without leaving Jalan (English available, but not all offers and actual prices are listed in the English version of the site: Japanese site is recommended).
- Jorudan – Train schedules for all of Japan.
- Lonely Planet Hotel Guide – Exactly what the name implies. Search the world for hotels and hostels endorsed by Lonely Planet.
- H.I.S. Travel – Some of the cheapest flights available. Link to their English site in Fukuoka, but they also fly from Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka.
- Skymark Airlines – Just like Solaseed Air, but cheaper, flies out of Fukuoka and Nagasaki to locations nationwide.
- Solaseed Air – Cheap airline tickets, especially if you book 2 months in advance. They fly out of Kumamoto. (Japanese only).
Health and Lifestyle:
- AJET Special Interest Groups – Forums for AJET’s SIGs (including religious/spiritual groups, ethnic/nationality groups, activity groups, and charity groups).
- English Doctors – A Google map listing and showing the location of English-speaking doctors in Kumamoto (thanks to Ryan Urie for putting it together).
- M-Cube – Online medical translator (additional downloads necessary for use).
- Stonewall – A special interest group for LGBT+ JETs.
- United Kingdom
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United States of America
Other Cool Sites:
- All Cinema – A movie and DVD database that helps you find the Japanese titles of western movies (for example, “Napoleon Dynamite” is called 「バス男」 in Japanese).
- Book Mooch – Give books away that you don’t want, get books you do want. Only cost to you is shipping on books you send.
- Earthquake Plotter – USGS site showing the most recent earthquakes and their size. The map can be moved all over the world. You can click on earthquakes for more info, and report what it was like if you felt it.
- Metropolis – An interesting English e-zine based in Tokyo.
- PostCrossing – PostCrossing.com is a great way to engage your students with internationally minded people from all over the world. Send a postcard (in English) get a postcard (in English). Great language practice and introduction to native and non-native speakers of English.
- WWOOF – World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms is a great opportunity to get out and see rural Japan. Volunteer time and labor, get room and board, and knowledge.