Typical Japanese lifestyle and everyday living
Climate and weather
Kashiwa City and Nagareyama City are located in Chiba Prefecture, which has a relatively moderate climate throughout the year. However, please be aware that during the mid-summer, the temperature can still climb well in excess of 30 degrees Centigrade, which, compounded with typically high humidity, can create the uncomfortable conditions associated with the hot summer. Also, snow falls in Chiba Prefecture during the mid-winter months.
From summer to autumn, Japan experiences several typhoons (tropical storms) every year. It's best to be prepared for these storms by storing an emergency kit (with flashlight, batteries, food, water, etc.) in an accessible place. Also, you should familiarize yourself with your nearest local emergency shelter.
Be aware of mold
The months of June and July are known as the "rainy season" in Japan.
Generally, it is not a problem to drink tap water in Japan. However, if you don't like the local water smell or taste, it's best to boil your water, use a water purification system, or buy bottled mineral water.
The traditional lifestyle without shoes inside a building
In almost all Japanese homes, you step up to enter from the front door area after you take off your shoes. Sometimes, you will wear room shoes (slippers) inside the house, but you should take off these slippers when you enter a tatami (Japanese straw mat) room. Nowadays, at most offices, you don't have to take off your shoes to enter, but there are still a few traditional businesses in which you have to take off your shoes.
Bathroom and toilet
Pay attention to the traditional Japanese etiquette when taking a bath, especially when you visit someone's house or a public bath.
Wash and rinse off your body, before you enter the bathtub.
In Japan, there are 2 styles of toilets (so-called "Japanese style" and "Western style"). If you use the "Japanese style" toilet, you will have to squat. Except for toilet paper, please do not flush any other foreign objects, such as sanitary napkins or the cardboard core of the toilet paper roll.
At most Japanese and Chinese restaurants, chopsticks are usually served. If you can't use chopsticks, please don't hesitate to request silverware.
In Japan, when you purchase goods or use the money transfer service at the bank, you have to pay the Japanese 5% consumption tax.
Basic information for shopping
Holiday and National holiday
Almost all government offices, banks and post offices are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and National Holidays in Japan, but many department stores, shops and restaurants are open on these days.
In Japan, if a National Holiday falls on a Sunday, the next day (Monday) will be observed as a holiday. In addition to the Japanese National Holidays, many public offices, banks and schools will also close for a few days in mid-August, for a period of days known as "Obon" (the Buddhist event), as well as at the end of the calendar year and the beginning of the new year (especially January 1 to 3).
Use 10 yen coins, 100 yen coins. or a telephone card to place a phone call.
TV and radio
In Japan, you can enjoy watching the TV or listening to the radio, and are authorized to receive any TV or radio broadcasts that with your TV or radio antenna.