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Mind The Gap: May 2007

Author: Kate Neath, Issue: May 2007, Topic: Education, Mind the Gap, News, Newsletters, Students

Hi Everyone! Looking forward to Golden Week? Although trains and tourist spots will be really crowded, it is still a great time to do some sightseeing in and around Tokyo. Have fun! Kate

Join Tsukuba Students Mailing List!

We have a mailing list for international students of Tsukuba University!

To join, register at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tsukubastudent/

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.

International Student Center (ISC)

The International Students' Guidebook has been uploaded on the ISC webpage and has information on life in Tsukuba and the University. Here is the website:


Graduate Admission Schedule

The admission schedule into the graduate school has been updated on the website of the ISC:


Also check page 1 and 2 of the pdf file of the ISC Guidebook:


This outlines the new organization and also the admission procedure into graduate school. The original information, in Japanese, is on another page of the university, at the link provided in the page of the ISC. There is a slightly different organization of the Masters and the Doctoral programs than in the previous years, so it might be a good idea for new students to take a closer look at this information.

Free Wireless Internet at University of Tsukuba

Do you have wireless LAN on your laptop computer?

Internet can be accessed anywhere inside Tsukuba University, including the dormitories, for FREE!. The University of Tsukuba created a hotzone last year to provide seamless and secure communications anywhere, anytime, for students and faculty, using a wireless mesh network solution from Nortel. It covers a 230,000 sq metre area of the campus and enables outdoor broadband wireless access to the internet and the university network, without new hardware or software required.

Access: Website: http://www.cc.tsukuba.ac.jp/wmn/wmn.html

Inside Tsukuba University campus, enter (for shokudou area) or (for dormitory area) in internet explorer browser (check website http://www.cc.tsukuba.ac.jp/wmn/wmn.html if in different area of University campus. It seems the access code is different depending on the area of campus). Enter your ID and password. Your ID is the 13 digit number on back of your student card, plus @utid (*************@utid). Your password is the same as the one you use for library. NOTE: TWINS ID and library ID is different - can only access to wireless LAN with library ID.


Tsukuba International Festival Sat 12th May (12 - 6pm) and Sun 13th May (10am - 5pm). Lots of yummy food, activities, and products from around the world!

Mt. Tsukuba Azalea Festival Sat 5 May (11am) - Children's Day. Sat 12 May (11am) - Machitsuki (pounding of mochi or rice cake). Sat 19 May (11am) - Performance by a traditional Toad's Grease seller at the outlook floor of the building in front of Tsukuba Sanchou Station. Sat 19 May (1pm) - Charity Tsukamidori(grabbing) game at cable car Miyawaki Station.

36th Kasama Azalea Festival 28, 29 April & 2, 5 May (10am-3pm) Japanese Tea Ceremonies. 3 May (10am-3pm) - Japanese harp concert. 4 May - traditional Japanese festival music in Kasama (10am-12pm) and Iwama (12noon-3pm)

Spectacular Shamizen Concert

The Yoshida Brothers Energetic and exciting modern shamizen concert Date: 16th June Time: doors open at 6pm, concert starts at 6:30pm Place: Nova Hall, Tsukuba Center Tickets: 5500 yen, on sale from 15th April (PH: 029-852-5881)


Did you know Tsukuba has it’s own blog in English? It is updated daily with the latest info by Tsukuba residents. Check it out!


TV Drama "Seito-shokun!"

From April 20, a new TV drama "Seito-shokun!" started on Friday on TV Asahi (Channel 10). "Seito-shokun!" is originally based on a girls' manga which had been run from 1977 to 1984 by SHOJI Yoko. This TV drama is actually being filmed at the Azuma junior highschool in Tsukuba. If you are interested in filming of TV dramas, you can visit the film-set on Saturday or Sunday. But please be sure not to interrupt the filming team!

Tokyo Tourist Spots

Will you have family or friends visiting you in Japan soon? Often visitors come for about 10 days to visit Japan, and if it’s their first time to Japan, I recommend spending 2 days in Tokyo, 3 days in Kyoto, and the other days for travelling, festivals, sumo tournament, onsen (all depending on season). Whenever I have visitors, I always take them to the following places in Tokyo:

Meiji Shrine – my favourite shrine in Japan. It is best to visit Meiji Shrine on Saturdays, as guaranteed to see a traditional Japanese wedding (see top left photo on front page), which is a very special and rare chance. There’s a nice walk under big shady trees to get to the shrine, so a nice relief from the busy streets of the city. Also, behind the shrine, if you continue walking along the path, you’ll reach a beautiful big park with grass to relax on, and watch the turtles basking in the sun next to the pond.

Harajuku – shops and outrageous outfits. You can walk from Harajuku to Shibuya (only about 20 min), and there’s lots of trendy shops to look at along the way in the back streets.

Shibuya – famous busy intersection and Hachiko statue, shops.

Asakusa – beautiful place and good for souvenirs.

Others – Ueno Park for museums, new National Art Gallery in Roppongi, Roppongi Hills.

YOUGAKUSEI COMICS by Herb Fondevilla


Views from the Shokudou

What’s the most embarrassing thing you've done in Japan?

Like in the comic above, everyone has made a mistake or been in an embarrassing situation at some point during their stay in Japan. For me, the most embarrassing situation was my first time to the dormitory ofuro (I won’t go into details!). Let’s ask some students at Tsukuba University!

Benjamin San Jose, Philippines, 2nd year MA, International Political Economy

I went to Kyoto a few years ago. Although I couldn't understand Japanese, I somehow managed to travel from Hiroshima to Kyoto. As I was enjoying the sights, I rode a local bus towards the Kinkakuji. After grabbing a seat, I found myself being stared by an old Japanese lady standing along the bus aisle. I thought that she was rude since she was staring at me as a Gaijin. It was only after getting off the bus that I realized I was seating at the 'Priority Seat' the whole time.

Wong PoiFun, Malaysia, 1st year MA, Area Studies (SEAsia),

When I was still in Okinanawa, my friend and I decided to go out for some shopping. Since we were new to the place and couldn't speak Nihongo back then, we realized that we couldn't get home! We had to ask people around on how to get back to the place where were staying by telling them the name of the nearby university.

Comments, Questions, or Information?

Please email to Kate Neath at: mindthegaptsukuba[a]yahoo.co.jp We will try to include them in the next issue!

<< Sumio Kawakami at the Tsukuba Art Museum | Master Index | Tsukuba City Hall Newsletter: May 2007 >>

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