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Administrative Interpreters and Counseling are now available!!

Administrative Interpreter & Consultation, Kyoto International Community House
<TEL>Tel 075-752-1166
<DAY> English : Tuesday, Thursday, Chinese : Wednesday, Friday
<TIME> 10:00 to 16:00

The training of Administrative Interpreters and Counseling

The training of Administrative Interpreters and Counseling

A review of Welfare issues has revealed that “back up” for living in Japan should be better. But complicated processes at a city hall need to be followed.  This is probably hard for non Japanese speaking people, so support by interpreters is in need.

Administration interpreting and counseling has started at Kyoto City International Foundation from October. Prior to the project, five sessions of training were held.  On the forth session, Ms. Hiromi Onoe, interpreter, mainly working in legal and living support, and Ms. Namiko Iida, counselor for foreign residents, came to the training.  Ms. Onoe defined interpreters as mediators of communication and shared interpreting technique useful for issues about administration of justice and business.

She strongly asserted the importance of  understanding each persons background as well as language skills.  She listened to more suffering stories than joyful cases.

The key was to get rid of prejudice. They then had some technical training such as developing concentration and finding key issues.  Then they moved to roleplays of practical cases.

First one was following : A Chinese woman came at a ward office in order to apply for a child allowance. She did not understand what the officer said so the officer called the Interpreter Service. The Interpreter interviewed her asking about her marriage status and the upbringing and nationality of her child,instead of the officer.  The interpreter then explained which documents were required and the way that payment would be received.   In the end the interpreter said, “I had no idea about the short term of the child allowance.”  The officer expected too much of her!.

Next was following : A foreign student was discharged from her job and she wanted to talk with an attorney. The attorney was not available, so the receptionist took care of the call. Her senior co-worker said, “Silly girl, you got fired, go away”.  She thought she was fired.  The counselor conducted an interview and asked if she had been given a discharge notice and if she could get her salary from the last month.  She worked longer than the regulation hours, as she was a foreign student trying to make tuition and living expense, so she was worried about someone reporting her to immigration. The counselor confirmed that there was no relation to the immigration office and gave her the advice.

Japanese people are unaware of these problems that foreign residents face with legal barriers.  I hope everyone understands this situation, even though Japanese people have never had this experienced.  All people who live in a foreign land need to be supported well.  Live vigorously!!


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A walk to Daimonji-yama hill

A walk to Daimonji-yama hill

A walk to Daimonji-yama hill

Many people visit Ginkakuji Temple. However, most people do not go behind Ginkakuji Temple. That’s a pity. There are beautifully colored maple trees. Let’s have a look at them on a fine day in late October or early November. You can find a shrine gate (torii) from the entrance of Ginkakuji Temple (1). Take the slope to the right of the gate. After about five minutes of walking, you will get to a parking area. Look! There are beautifully colored trees (2). The place is quiet, with few people. You can take photos in no hurry.

If you like walking, let’s go further. There is a mountain path starting from the colored trees. Be careful, your shoes may get dirty. Walk for five minutes along a river, then you will find cups on the left hand side. O-jizo-san statues are near by them. A small stream (3) flows from the hills. Feel free to drink the water. Some people come to this place everyday to take the water in containers and use it for drinking and cooking.

If you like trekking, go ahead and follow the mountain path. Daimonji-yama hill is famous for the “Gozan no Okuribi” ceremony held annually on the night of August 16. You can walk all the way to the “Dai” character. Did you know that? Walk, take a rest, walk again, and take a rest again, going on the winding steep slopes. Say “Konnichiwa” when you pass other hikers. You do not have to worry about being alone in the mountain. 

The stone staircase tells that you are near to the goal. Now, you’ve reached the “Dai” character of Daimonji-yama (4). What a wonderful full view of Kyoto city! Kamo-gawa river, Gosho (imperial palace), Kyoto Tower, ... can you find the places where you have been? We can see that Kyoto city is surrounded by beautiful mountains. You can enjoy a full view of Kitayama.

Behind Ginkakuji Temple -- the path missing in guide books for tourists. Please enjoy it in the season with colored trees. A new view may be added to your Kyoto.

- ISHII Takugo

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Let’s Enjoy Cooking a Japanese Dish

Healthy, less oil and creatively prepared - known characteristics of a Japanese dish. In restaurants we find ourselves having a keen look at the food and wondering how it was made and which ingredients were used. In supermarkets we often see vegetables that are rare to our eyes and make us ask “How do you cook this?” or “How do you eat this?” If we compare our country's vegetables with those of other countries, some may have a similar shape but differ in color or the other way around. For example the eggplant. Japanese eggplants are short and rounded while the eggplants of Taiwan are long. The bitter gourd (hard-skinned fleshy fruit) of the Japanese eggplant is green and Taiwan's gourd is white.

How about challenging yourself and let's cook a simple yet delicious Japanese dish!

Bitter gourd, Carrots and Seaweeds Salad

Bitter gourd, Carrots and Seaweeds Salad

I. Bitter gourd, Carrots and Seaweeds Salad

  1. Cut both the bitter gourd and carrots into small strips (about 3 cm). To lessen the bitter taste of  bitter gourd, boil it with salt for a few minutes and drain. Mix and set aside.
  2. Cut into small pieces the pickled ume and mix with mirin and soysauce. This will be the salad dressing.
  3. Mix in a bowl the ingredients in No.1 and the dressing and add a small amount of sesame seeds.

II. Eggplant and Fish Agedashi

  1. Cut off the tip of the eggplants and cut it in half lengthwise. Make a crosswise slit in the peel in order to macerate the taste. Then cut the fish conger myriaster into small peaces and dredge in flour.
  2. Put the eggplants and conger myriaster in heated oil and deep fry them. Next, put odasi, soy sauce, and mirin in a pan (Japanese nabe) and add salt to taste.
  3. Then, we are all set. Itadakimasu!
Let’s Enjoy Cooking a Japanese Dish

Let’s Enjoy Cooking a Japanese Dish

In Japanese dishes, odashi is the most important seasoning. If you want to make it yourself, put water and conbu(a kind of Japanese seaweeds) in a pan and bring to the boil. Next, take off the conbu, and add dashigatuo (dried bonito broth) and wait a couple minutes, and take it off the heat. Then it’s finish. You can also buy odashi at the super market.

-KYO Eelu
- translated by Alta ENLILE

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Kaden-ryohanten is the store which sell a large number of electrical home appliances in a large store. They pride themselves upon having a huge selection of goods. One Kaden-ryohanten, the mass home electronics retailer, opened at the end of August, and is situated to the west of the Kyoto Station. Such Kaden-ryohanten will open around the station one after another in future years. One is going to open in the Kujyo area to the south of the Kyoto Station in June next year; and there are plans for another to open to the north of the station. The emulation of mass home electronics retailers is likely to become intense in the areas centering on the Kyoto Station.

- translated by DOI Ryoko

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My favorite Kyoto

Lisa Sharp

Lisa Sharp

When I arrived in Japan, I was elated. A new life.

When the honeymoon passed, I felt overwhelmed. My new home was full of new noises.

Of  course I found peaceful respite in gardens, but I was looking for a place to make my own.

In October 2006, I heard rumors about the Yamashina canal and its beautiful fall foliage and possible wild boar. I couldn’t think of a better place to run. The boars would at least increase my speed in upcoming races.

After a week of running up the wrong hills, I stumbled upon it and was awestruck. Explosions of red, yellow and orange from all directions and a lack of humans! What luck!

Fall on the canal was ever-so-brief, but glorious. As I ran my eight-kilometer loop, I marveled at the colors surrounding me.

Winter was a time of homesickness for me. The holidays hit hard and with them a sense that I should be somewhere else. I went to the canal to run. In actuality the time there and exhaustion that overtook me after drawing too many frosty breaths may have saved me.

Then I waited for spring. Every run I looked around wildly for the much anticipated Cherry Blossoms. When they came, the canal took on a festive atmosphere complete with random takoyaki vendors.

The canal became my safe place. It was where I headed when there was too much in my head. And it has defined my time here like nothing else.

- Lisa SHARP

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Event Information

Free Counseling Day for Non-Japanese Residents 2007

Specialists in the following fields will provide counseling and information: Legal advice,Visa / Status of residence, Taxation, Social insurance / Pension, Mental health. Interpreters are available.

Date: Dec. 1st (Sat) 1PM-5PM Sponsored by Kyoto City International Foundation
APPLICATION:Tel 075-752-3511 Please apply via phone.
Volunteer interpreters are wanted!

Kyoto Guide Club One Day Tour - Kurama-Yama & Kibune Hiking

The Kyoto Guide Club is a volunteer organization sponsored by The Kyoto City International Foundation. This unique tour is to introduce foreign residents to Kyoto’s attractions that cannot be found in guide books. Please check the detail information on the web site.

Date: Oct. 14th (Sun), 2007, 10:00-15:00
Cost: 160 Yen for admission price
Eligibly: Non-Japanese residents of Kyoto, limited to the first 30 applicants

Inquiry & Appliations: Please apply at Kyoto International Community House, or call Tel075-752-3511.

Kyoto City Hall Flea Market If you don’t need it give it to someone who does!

When: Oct 8 (Mon) Nov. 18 (Sun), 10AM-4PM
Where: On the corner of Kawaramachi Dori and Oikeseihoku,in front of City Hall
Check for the future schedule.
Sponsor: Plus One Network Tel075-229-7713

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Designed by Yukie Mizoi (HP Volunteer)