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TOKYO City Information

TOKYO City Information 

This page shows material that was broadcast on Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s “TOKYO City Information” radio program.
(Inter FM 76.1 MHz)
Saturday 09:56-09:59 a.m., (Rebroadcast) Sunday 09:56-09:59 a.m.

November 22

First, we have an announcement on the results of a survey on safe stove usage. Every year, the number of house fires caused by stoves increases when winter season comes around. When asked what they thought was the most likely to cause a fire of all home-heating appliances, around 80 percent of respondents answered "kerosene stoves." Just 4 percent of respondents thought that electric stoves topped the list. In the area served by the Tokyo Metropolitan Fire Department, though, there are many fires caused by electric stoves. This means there's a gap between Tokyo residents' understanding and the actual situation. Whenever you have a futon, clothing, magazines, or other flammable material near an electric stove, there is a chance it could come into contact with the heater and cause a fire or burns. To prevent accidents by keeping the area clear between your stove and all flammable items.

One of the best places in Tokyo to see the autumn colors is the Rikugien Gardens. The park is currently holding its 14th annual fall event where the brilliant trees and the Japanese-style garden are illuminated after dusk. This event provides breathtaking views of the yellow and crimson leaves, both on the trees and floating on the beautiful waters of the gardens. And while you’re at the park, you can enjoy light meals and sets of Japanese sweets and green tea and shop at the gift shop for Rikugien souvenirs. The illumination event runs through Sunday, December 7th. Rikugien Gardens opens at 9 a.m. and park hours will be extended to 9 p.m. during this special event. The lights come on at sundown and will stay lit until the park closes. Also, on the first and third sunday of each month, the park offers free guided tours of the gardens in English, beginning at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. To take part in the tour, gather in front of the park’s service center. Admission is 300 yen for adults and 150 yen for seniors. To get to Rikugien Gardens, take the JR Yamanote or Tokyo Metro Namboku Lines to Komagome Station. It’s a 7-minute walk from there.

November 15

December 1st is World AIDS Day. To mark this occasion, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government observes Tokyo AIDS Prevention Month from November 16th through December 15th, holding campaigns to boost awareness of the disease. During 2013, the number of reported HIV and AIDS cases averaged 1.3 people per day in Tokyo. Many of these patients are aged from their twenties to their forties. Tokyo also has a higher ratio of people who only learn they have the condition once they develop full-blown AIDS, making prevention especially important. If HIV infection is detected early, medicine can be used to prevent it from developing into AIDS while the patient continues to lead a normal life. The important thing is to detect and treat HIV as soon as possible, so if you’re at all concerned, please get tested. During Tokyo AIDS Prevention Month, the Tokyo authorities are expanding their regular program of testing. At the Tokyo Metropolitan Minami-Shinjuku Testing and Counseling Office near Shinjuku Station, you can get free, anonymous testing on weekday evenings and on weekends. You’ll need to make a reservation by calling 03-3377-0811. Available times are from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and from 1:00 to 4:30 on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Please note that the Testing and Counseling Office can only offer service in Japanese. You can also use your smartphone or other mobile phone to access ( to make your testing reservation.

Once again this year, commercial facilities in the Tokyo Waterfront area will be taking part in the “Illumination Island Odaiba 2014” event, decorating their spaces and lighting them up all at once. This year’s theme is “Glittering Christmas Fantasy.” A total of 11 facilities in Odaiba will install thrilling illuminations that can only be experienced here. Other events taking place in December will include the “Rainbow Bridge Special Light Up” illumination and the “Odaiba Rainbow Fireworks 2014” show. The Christmas season provides the most fantastic atmosphere of the year. Why not enjoy it down at the Tokyo Waterfront area, with its great nighttime seaside views? “Illumination Island Odaiba 2014” takes place from November 20th through Christmas, December 25th. For more details, go to the official website at (

November 8

From fall to winter each year, norovirus and other infectious intestinal sicknesses hit Japan, leading to many reports of group illness from daycares and preschools, elderly care facilities, and other locations. These forms of gastroenteritis can involve stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and fever. Norovirus spreads mainly via feces or vomit from a person sick who has the disease. You can also catch them by eating food ingredients that have been in contact with a sick person. The best way to keep from catching this viral disease is by washing your hands. Be sure to clean your hands carefully after using the bathroom, before preparing food, and before eating meals. It’s also important to thoroughly heat oysters and other shellfish before eating them during this season. There is no particular means of treating these illnesses, although doctors can take steps to alleviate the symptoms. Diarrhea can lead to dehydration, particularly among elderly and very young patients, so take care and see a doctor at an early date if you need to.

The annual Tokyo-to Kanko Kikka Taikai or Chrysanthemum Show is currently taking place at Hibiya Park in the center of Tokyo. This is the 92nd time for the show to take place, and it’s a great chance to see some 2,000 highly cultivated chrysanthemum, including the winners of prizes from the prime minister and the governor of Tokyo, as well as flowers in the potted plant, cut bloom, and bonsai categories, the Edo-style and drooping potted flowers, the large, round fukusuke blooms, and the varietals for commercial use. The gardeners have dedicated themselves to creating these beautiful blossoms that are a symbol of Japan’s autumn season. It will be a perfect timing to view them. The show runs through Sunday, November 23rd, a national holiday. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, with events ending at noon on the final day. It all takes place at the grass field at Hibiya Park in central Tokyo. To get there, take a short walk from Kasumigaseki or Hibiya stations on the Tokyo Metro or from Yurakucho on the JR or Metro lines. There is no admission fee to see this event.

November 1

The Association for Nakano International Communication will be offering free Professional Consultation services for Foreign Residents on Saturday, November 8th. You can talk with professional consultants about law, visa, tax, labor education and other problems of daily life. Interpretation by volunteers interpreters speaking English, Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Indonesian and Thai  will be present. No appointment is necessary and confidentiality will be strictly observed. The center staff will communicate in simple Japanese, so even if you are a non-Japanese speaker please do not worry about the language. Consultation will be held from 1p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 8th, at Nakano ZERO Nishikan. To get there, take the JR or Tokyo Metro Line and get off at Nakano station. It’s an 8 minute walk from the south exit. For more information, call Association for Nakano International Communication at 03-5342-9169.

This coming Monday, November 3rd, Koishikawa Korakuen in Tokyo’s Bunkyo City will hold a special event, “Enjoying a Day in Autumn.” First, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., there will be a hands-on workshop on how to make a warabotchi—a straw decoration for a garden tree that also protects it from the cold weather of winter. This activity is open to all comers, but it will be closed once the materials run out. In addition to the park admission, there will be a small 50-yen charge for this event. The explanation will be only in Japanese, but give it a shot if you can! There will also be open-air tea ceremonies for you to enjoy from 11a.m. to 3 p.m., offered six times in all: twice before noon and four times after noon. Each ceremony is open to the first 30 participants to show up. There’s no charge for these tea ceremonies, although you need to pay admission to enter the park. Koishikawa Korakuen also offers guided tours of the park in English. To take part in these, show up at the open space around the weeping cherry at 10 o’clock on Saturday morning. There’s no charge for the tours, but you do need to pay to get into the park. Koishikawa Korakuen’s hours are from 9:00 to 5:00 daily. Admission is 300 yen for adults and 150 yen for seniors aged 65 and older. To get there, take the Toei O-Edo Line to Iidabashi and walk about 3 minutes from there.

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