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Mind The Gap: October 2006

Author: Kate Neath, Issue: October 2006, Topic: Education, Mind the Gap, News, Newsletters, Students

Hi Everyone! The cool nights and golden leaves of Autumn have arrived, so try and enjoy the last couple of months of relative warmth until winter hits. Although, we do have skiing and snowboarding to look forward to! Don't forget to go and see the Tsuchiura Fireworks, they are spectacular! Talk to you soon, Kate

Join Tsukuba Students Mailing List!

We have a new mailing list specific for international students of Tsukuba University! To join, register at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tsukubastudent/ (use yahoo.com email).

Everyone is encouraged to join this mailing list so that we can tell each other what’s going on in Tuskuba University, we can organise parties, give advice and answer questions, send reminders about exams and visa extensions, etc.

Tsukuba Uni Festival

The Tsukuba Uni Gakuensai 2006 will be held over three days on Sat 7, Sun 8, & Mon 9 October (Mon is a public holiday). There’ll be lots of Japanese and international food, music, concerts, face and body painting, clothes and products for sale. Hopefully there isn’t a typhoon this year! Check out the website:


If you want to participate and have a stall in the festival to sell food or products, you can apply for next year. The application period is early in the year, and takes several months of meetings to organise.

Drivers License Renewal

Your Japanese Driver’s License needs to be renewed three years after you received your first license and every 5 years after that. You can renew at the Tsukuba police station, and you have to attend a compulsory 2 hour lecture if this is your first time to renew. The lectures aren't held often and it is crowded, so it’s recommended to go and reserve your place as soon as possible. For more information, check the Alien Times website: http://www.alientimes.org/Main/RenewingYourJapaneseDriversLicense

Small Car – 4 people max!!

For all of you who own a small car (yellow-plate; keijidousha), I have an important notice!!! In Japan, only 4 people are legally allowed to ride in a keijidousha (ie. Driver, front passenger, and 2 in the back). I was picked up on the weekend by the Police for having 5 people in my car (which I thought was alright, as 3 people can squeeze in the back seat). It cost 6,000yen fine, and filling out forms in the back of the police car. So please be careful everyone, and check your shaken (car registration papers) for any legal requirements.

Welcome New Students!

We have more new students arriving in early October, so please help them settle in to life in Tsukuba. If you are a new student and need some help, please ask the International Student Center (ISC), your faculty office, or your sensei and friends, and you’re also very welcome to write to us at: mindthegaptsukuba[at]yahoo.co.jp We are here to answer any questions you might have!

Tsuchiura Fireworks

Held on Saturday 7 October 2006 (6:00-8:30pm). Recommend to go by bicycle (follow road past Marumo to get there) and take a jumper as it will be cold in the evening on the way home. Here’s the website: http://www.tsuchiura-hanabi.jp/

Sports Day

Tsukuba Uni ‘Sports Day’ is held every year in Spring and Autumn – this month it will be held on 21-22 October. Everyone can participate, and I’ve heard it is a lot of fun! The application period ended 29th September, so if you missed out this time, remember to apply for next Spring. There’s a whole range of sports, such as soccer, basketball, volleyball, so you can make a team with your friends and enter the competition!

ISC Field Trips

I highly recommend applying for these field trips, it’s a great inexpensive way to see historical places of Japan, enjoy delicious Japanese food, and stay in beautiful traditional hotels with onsens to relax in!

Choose a destination: Kyoto or Nara/Aichi
Application period: Tues 24 Oct – Thurs 2 Nov.
Travel dates: Mon 27 Nov – Wed 29 Nov

There is more information available on ISC website:

Foreign Buyers Club

Do you miss food, chocolate, health products from home? The Foreign Buyers Club is an online service for foreigners living in Japan, with a wide range of products that are delivered straight to your home.

http://www.fbcusa.com - also has British and Aussie websites, and international foods.


Views from the Shokudou

Why did you choose to study in Japan?

Pierre Levy

France, Post-doc researcher, Kansei Science.
At the end of my engineering degree, I did an internship in a French sportgood-maker company. This company sent me to Japan to make design projects in cooperation with Japanese companies. After my internship, I had been working one year in this company, staying in Japan, before I decided to return to university for graduate studies. It happens that my professor, in my home university, was in contact with some professors in industrial design in Tsukuba. So I met them, and we had really interesting talks, which motivated me to apply to the scholarship to come to the University of Tsukuba. However, I discovered here the new research field of Kansei Information Processing, and I applied to become a doctorate student in Kansei Science. Actually, it is by chance that I came to study in Japan. The sport company sent me to Osaka, and I liked the life there. And I had the opportunity to stay here, to do what I wanted to do, studying in design, in a place where it is not done as other places in the world. Japan is a very specific country for industrial design. So I gave it a chance and came here!

Katherine (Kitty)

Australia, 3rd Year, Japanese Language & Culture
From the young age of seven, when my father taught me Hiragana, I have always been interested in Japanese culture. So when I was offered a chance to study overseas, I jumped at the chance. All my life I had studied Japanese, so therefore coming to Japan was an obvious choice. Not only am I interested in the language, but also the culture of Japan. So I came to Japan with the desire to immerse myself in Japanese life

Huang, Kuang-Huei (Cindy)

Taiwan, Research student, Dance Course
I chose Japan because my father had graduated from Tokyo Buddhism University. And, my grandpa lived in Japan for 6 years. And, I like Japan’s dance very much. And, I wanted to realize Japan’s culture more. That’s all.


Australia, Research Student, Comprehensive Human Science, Art, History & Theory
When travelling, I have often met interesting Japanese people, usually driven by quite personal ambitions - like the guy I met in Mongolia, who was travelling with no change of clothes, a couple of cameras, a ukelele (which was always in his hands), a music stand, and hyaku-en toys for kids he might meet. Then there was the medical student who had decided, a year before graduation, to learn Uyghur in Kashgar, China; becoming that university's first Uyghur-speaking foreign student! Since then I have often had similar encounters. Of course my research subject, in drew me here; with funding, but I think it was these friends and characters who made me want to learn Japanese origianlly, and to try and see what sort of place they came from.

Florence Lahournat

France, 5th year PhD, History & Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology
From my first year in university, back a looong time ago, I've been studying japanese language and culture as a speciality, so coming to Japan to go further deep inside my study field was quite a logical development. Through the years I've come to specialize in the study of ritual objects used in the magical and religious context of ancient Japan. To pursue this research, I needed an important amount of (Japanese) written material, which was obviously close at hand in Japan...so here I am!

Luis Morales Saiki

Mexico, 1st Year PhD, System & Information Engineering
My field of study is robotics, so what better country than Japan for studying about Electronics and Robots. There are other countries good in the field but I was also interested in the culture and language, so here I am enjoying and suffering at the same time!

Comments, Questions or Information?

Please email to Kate Neath at:

We will try to include them in the next issue!

<< Tsukuba Science Festival 2006 | Master Index | Tsukuba City Hall Newsletter: October 2006 >>

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