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Mind The Gap: June 2006

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

Hello Everyone! This is a brand-new and exciting newsletter for students of Tsukuba University. We decided it was time that we had an extra source of important information about living and studying in Japan, catered especially for the students of Tsukuba! We are here to make your life easier and make sure that you enjoy this unique opportunity to study abroad. We will keep you up-to-date monthly with important notices and deadlines for visa/documents/entrance exams, and we will try to answer all your questions about living and studying in Tsukuba and anything you are wondering about! Please look for this newsletter every time you come to the International Student Center (ISC). Talk to you soon! Kate

Important Information in English

There is very important information in your International Students’ Guidebook 2006 (orange book, available at International Student Center (ISC)) and on the website www.intersc.tsukuba.ac.jp regarding:

  • Japanese language classes
  • Scholarships, and extension of Monbusho
  • Entrance Exams for Masters/PhD
  • Health Center opening hours, medical reimbursement
  • Dormitories and renting an Apartment
  • Drivers license

There is also a new updated website in English for the Tsukuba City Hall (Sakura Branch, ‘Shiyakusho’): http://www.city.tsukuba.ibaraki.jp/hp/e_hp/guide/cityhall.html with lots of information including:

  • Alien Registration and visa requirements
  • Renting an Apartment - garbage, electricity, water
  • Getting a Japan Drivers License, buying a car

Entrance Exams for Masters/PhD

Information on dates and times of entrance exams are on the Tsukuba University website in Japanese – note that it has not been updated yet for the exams in August 2006, so keep an eye on this website for updates in the near future. http://www.tsukuba.ac.jp/nyushi/g-guide/info_grad.html

If You Change Your Address (or Phone)

Notify the ISC, your Academic (Faculty) Office, Tsukuba City Hall (1st Floor) and National Health Insurance (3rd Floor), Post Office, Bank and Credit Card, Drivers License (at the Tsukuba Police Station), Mobile Phone.

Important Notices!


On the 21st April 2006, a man attempted to enter a girl’s room at night in Hirasuna Dormitories. The man tried to climb through an unlocked window in the girl’s double-dorm room (1st Floor) while they were asleep, but he ran away when the girls woke up and started screaming. As cases of intruders and robberies tend to increase during the warmer months, please make sure you lock your window and put the chain on your door at all times. Also, buy a fan or air-conditioner to keep you cool during summer, rather than leaving your window open at night.

Emergencies Phone Numbers

For real emergencies, call Police on #110, or Ambulance/Fire Station on #119 (if you call, first say ‘kyukyu-desu’ for Ambulance or ‘shoubou-desu’ for Fire Station). For general enquiries or problems, call Tsukuba Police Station on 029-851-0110. Speak in Japanese.

Asbestos in Dormitories

Asbestos – there is a notice about asbestos in the dormitories. They will start repairing the dormitories soon (dates haven’t been published yet). They will repair one building, and then students from the building next to it will move in to the repaired one, and then their building will be repaired. This will continue, with students moving along into each repaired building, one building at a time. You will not have to move back, so it is only necessary to move once. So you will have a new address (a new room number). Remember to notify the International Student Center, your Academic (Faculty) Office, and the Tsukuba City Hall, etc, of your new address.

Extra Handy Hints


If you get the flu, injury, tooth ache, etc, go to the Health Center (just up the ramp from the Post Office) for a free Doctors consultation (check opening hours in the orange ISC Guidebook). Make sure you get there early (at about 8:30am) to line up, as they only have room for the first 15-25 students. When you get there, fill out the forms (there is green English version available on the table to copy from) and show your student ID card. If the Doctor prescribes some medicine, you can receive it for free (from the window on the right). If you need a Doctor on the weekend (or when the Health Center is closed), look on the internet for a Doctor and remember to take your National Health Insurance Card with you. There’s a list of Medical Clinics on the Tsukuba City Hall website (in English). You will have to pay for the consultation and medicine, and keep your receipts to obtain medical reimbursement later (fill out form at International Student Center to get your money back).

Renting an Apartment

If you are moving to a new apartment, get all the necessary documents from the International Student Center (ISC). This includes 2 forms for your Real Estate agent to fill in, a form for your Academic Advisor to sign, your pledge, and fire/accident/robbery insurance (pay 14,000yen for 2 years). These documents are all necessary to obtain a guarantor for your apartment (Japanese students usually ask their parents to sign as a guarantor, but we can ask ISC). Note – it is required to submit these documents to the ISC before you sign the new contract for your apartment. It will take 3 working days to carry out the paper-work at the ISC. The next step is to show the documents to your Real Estate agent, keep one copy for yourself, and then you can make the contract and move in to your new abode!

Car Tax and Insurance

Annual car tax is 4000yen per year for a yellow plate car (keijidousha, small engine) and ~40,000yen per year for a white plate car. The car tax bill will come by post every year, so remember to pay it. Regarding car insurance, remember to contact your insurance company and renew the contract every year. If you haven’t had a car accident, the payment per month will be reduced. If you do not renew the contract on time, you will have to start again with a new contract.

Plans for Summer, 2006

Don’t know what to do for summer holidays?

  • English Summer Camp in Nasu (21 July-12 August, 2006; receive 21,000yen)
  • Homestay in Aichi or Hokkaido (cost~60,000yen)
  • Intensive Summer Course 2006 in Hiroshima (cost 20,000yen), deadline 1 May 2006.

Ask at the International Student Center for a pamphlet and application form!

Views from the Shokudou

What is your advice for new students?


Romania, 2nd Year Masters student, Area Studies
Don't forget to go to the City Hall AFTER you shift to your new apato! Also for girls/women watch your laundry and maybe it wouldn't be a good idea to hang personal items like lingeries outside on the balcony!

Michael Strausz

United States, Foreign Researcher, Political Science// Buying a used car saved me a lot of money, but be careful to ask about the shakken deadline, and try to buy one which won't come up for inspection until you are done with it.

Teddy Harianto

Indonesia, 4th Yr Undergraduate, College of Science Engineering

When you rent an apartment, some places need 3 months payment for deposit and may also need another 3 months for key money. So, be sure to check before you rent.

Comments, Questions or Information?

Please email to Kate Neath at:

We will try to include them in the next issue!

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