Sign for an NHK contract

If you are living in Japan, you may be familiar with NHK. NHK staffs come to the residents once in a year to ask you to sign a contract to pay for NHK if they find a TV in your home! It sounds ridiculous but that what happened to me.

I just tried to stop the contract now because as you know that the TV programs are only being broadcast in Japanese and we do not understand Japanese. I tried to call any phone number in the NHK flyer, but none answering.

Fortunately I found this contact:

NHK Nara Public Relations Department Sales Dept.
0742-27-5911

And the staff there speaks English well…helped me a lot to deal with this problem. She warn me to be careful about giving a signature related to income/money with foreigners,..including NHK staff…ahaha…She said that I need a prove if I already disposed my TV properly, by showing an official receipt from the TV manufacturer,..this is another problem,..

Best thing to do before you meet the NHK staff is by peeping on the hole in your door,..if you are sure he is an NHK staff, NEVER open the door. This is an advice from my Japanese friend. But, since we have no TV anymore, it will be fine to open the door.

 

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Hoikuen/Nursery around NAIST

As a working mother (I work as a student :), I am eligible to send my children to hoikuen, or full day nursery. The kindergarten (yochien) school time is short, from 9 am to 1 pm, so I can not work for long time at school. There is one yochien close to NAIST, Takayama yochien. Hoikuen school time is much longer, from 9 am to 6 pm. We can pick up the children later, but we have to pay additional fee.

There are several (relatively) close hoikuen around NAIST: 1. Kitayamato hoikuen, 2. Pure (pyu-a) hoikuen, 3. Mayumi hoikuen, 4. Shikanodai hoikuen.

Kitayamato hoikuen is located in Takayama-cho, in front of Takayama elementary school (takayama gakko mae). I put Kitayamato hoikuen at the first place because it has a school bus. It very convenient. Especially because the bus passes through NAIST dormitories. I usually go there by bicycle during no-bus period. It takes about 15-20 min ride (I do not have any license), 30 min walk.

Pure hoikuen is close to Aeon mall. We can take bus No. 82 bound for Takanohara, or just go by bicycle (about 15-20 min).

Mayumi hoikuen is close to Gakken kita ikoma station. We can go by bus bound to Gakuenmae station, or again by bicycle if you only have that bike :p The owner of gakken mayumi hoikuen is the same as Kitayamato hoikuen. Kitayamato hoikuen is much older. This school is also has a school bus (I saw a school bus when I went there, but I am not sure if its route also passes NAIST area).

Shikanodai hoikuen is also close from NAIST. But road of closest route was very steep and inconvenient…that is why I put it at the last place :p But we can go there by bus. First, we take bus to Aeon mall (bus No. 82), then change to another bus bound for shikanohatacho.

For a working parent, hoikuen is much better than yochien. And I experiences various exciting events, such as undokai/ sport festival, happyou/children prefomance/show, tomari hoikuen, etc.

The tuition fee will depend on your income. If you have no income, do not worry, you will just pay a couple thousand yen. But we still have to pay for the school bus (3000 yen), monthly book, and snacks.

 

 

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Shikanodai Elementary School

Today I have to visit Shikanodai elementary school with my son who will enter the school next year. He had medical check up and uniform fitting.The school can be reached by about 30 min walk or 15 min bicycle ride from NAIST dormitories. But the road is not friendly for bikers, even for electric bike. It is quite steep.

As an elementary school, the school is big enough. Each grade has 4 classes (If I am not mistaken). I notice that there are cooking lab and English class. There are also wide yard and swimming pool. It seems very interesting to be the student here. I do not know yet about the school tuition fee.

You can find Shikanodai elementary school at: Shikanodai nishi 1-5-2 on google map.

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Go to dentist @Yumehana clinic, AEON Mal, Gakken Nara Tomigaoka

Last week was my first time to go to dentist ( but not for my children who had been treated earlier). It was good. One staff is very good in speaking English (because actually she was majoring English at college) and so helpful. It was my first experience to visit dental clinic in Japan. And I was surprised because it is a must to take X-ray photo and digital photo of all of your teeth. The dentist needs this information to make a treatment plan.

I thought I had a big cavity on my tooth, but it just an old treated cavity which the filling had been gone…I ate it already ­čśŽ

The plan for me is to refill the cavity with metal filling, and to do teeth cleaning. That was all. And for this first visit, I had to spend about 3000 yen. This price is not very expensive comparing to the price in my country..But the price for children is very good!

My daughter had problems with root cavities on her 2 front teeth. She got 3 times treatments. The first treatment, the dentist cleaned the cavities and removed the nerves, then filled with medicine. It cost only about 600 yen. The second treatment, the dentist changed the medicine to antibiotic, and took an X-ray photo. It cost only about 800 yen. Finally, the filling for 2 teeth was just 1200 yen (the teeth was covered with the filling outside to make the tooth size normal). So, if you have children, do not worry to take them to dental clinic in Japan.

 

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Simple cooking #1: special tamagoyaki

Telur adalah bahan makanan yang wajib tersedia di dapur. Entah mau dibuat telur rebus, telur ceplok, atau telur dadar. Yang lebih spesial kalau dibuat tamagoyaki atau telur dadar gulung versi Jepang. Tetapi saya juga punya resep tamagoyaki versi saya yang lebih simpel proses membuatnya, dan tentu saja tanpa menggunakan mirin.

Bahan:

  • Telur 4 buah
  • Bawang putih 2-3 siung, haluskan
  • Daun bawang, iris tipis
  • Tomat ukuran sedang 1 buah, iris tipis jadi 4-5 bagian
  • Garam
  • Merica

Cara membuatnya: campur semua bahan, kocok hingga tercampur merata. Kandungan air dari tomat ini akan membuat telur dadar tidak berminyak/kering dan menjadi lebih lembut. Panaskan minyak goreng di wajan, sekitar 4-5 sendok makan. Tuang semua adonan tadi. Tunggu hingga selapis adonan mulai matang, langsung lipat, tanpa menunggu semua bagian menjadi matang.

Waktu telur dilipat memang adonan yang belum matang akan turun ke bawah. Setelah adonan yang turun tadi sudah agak matang, lipat lagi, begitu seterusnya. Jadi setiap adonan yang belum matang akan turun ke bawah, lalu kita lipat lagi, ditekan-tekan, hingga telur tergulung rapi dan matang sempurna, tetapi tetap lembut di bagian dalamnya. Insya Allah fotonya menyusul…

 

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Pergi ke Dokter

Di Jepang ini, saya beberapa kali pergi ke Dokter, khususnya dokter anak. Ada beberapa dokter dan klinik yang pernah saya kunjungi.

1. DOI Clinic

Klinik ini merupakan klinik untuk anak, berlokasi di Minami Tawara-chi, Ikoma. Hal yang spesial dari klinik ini adalah dokternya bisa berbahasa inggris. Selain itu, klinik ini cukup lengkap menurut saya. Berbagai macam kit tersedia untuk diagnostik infeksi bakteri, mikoplasma, maupun virus. Selain itu terdapat nebulizer dan alat untuk X-ray. Di depan klinik ini terdapat Apotek, Sakamoto pharmacy, tempat untuk menebus respnya. Biasanya kami ke sini dengan naik taksi. Untuk pulangnya, saya meminta tolong staf di Apotek/klinik untuk memanggilkan taksinya, hehe..

2. Clinic Mall Recolax

Lokasinya di gedung Recolax lantai 3, depan stasiun Gakken Nara Tomigaoka. Di klinik ini terdapat beberapa dokter spesialis, yaitu dokter spesialis tulang (Kotake sensei), internist, dokter kandungan/obsgyne, dokter THT, dan dokter mata. Saya pernah beberapa kali ke dokter Kotake waktu anak saya jatuh dan mengalami “pulled elbow”/dislokasi tulang sehingga siku tidak bisa dibengkokkan. Tarif di klinik ini memang relatif lebih mahal, tetapi klinik ini lengkap dan untuk anak-anak usia di bawah 6 tahun, semua biaya akan diganti oleh pihak Ikoma. Di klinik ini juga terdapat alat MRI.

3. Klinik Gigi di Mall AEON Tomigaoka

Di lantai 1 Mall Aeon, terdapat dokter gigi juga. Pasiennya lumayan banyak, khususnya anak-anak. Pelayanannya baik dan jika kita kesulitan berkomunikasi, mereka menggunakan gadget untuk menerjemahkan ke bahasa yang lebih mudah dipahami. Untuk periksa, kita harus membuat janji terlebih dahulu karena ternyata sudah banyak pasien yang mengantri.

4. Klinik tulang Ariyama

Klinik ini berlokasi di Tomigaoka-3-chome. Halte bus ketiga dari Stasiun Gakken Nara Tomigaoka, jalur bus No. 112 jurusan Gakuenmae. Saya mengunjungi klinik ini karena masalah yang sama pada anak saya yang lain dan kebetulan pada hari Sabtu dan klinik di Recolax sudah tutup.

 

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Halal Restaurants in Kansai Airport

Kansai airport merupakan tempat favorit saya untuk makan Udon. Di Kansai airport sendiri terdapat 2 restoran halal, sanuki udon, di lantai 2 depan domestic arrival dan halal soba di lantai 3. Di hotel Nikko, sebrang Kansai airport, juga tersedia makanan halal, tapi lebih tepatnya saya kurang tahu. Untuk sobanya sendiri, saya belum pernah mencoba karena memang harganya relatif lebih mahal daripada makan udon, hehe..

Di restoran udon, juga tersedia beberapa macam tempura, oden, dan inari sushi. Mengapa saya tidak makan udon di tempat lain? Karena biasanya kuah udon mengandung mirin (kandungan alkohol dari mirin 1~14%) yang membuat jadi tidak halal. Begitu juga inari sushi, tofunya direndam mirin agar terasa manis, begitu juga nasinya. Sebagian besar masakan Jepang memang menggunakan mirin. Yang paling sederhana misalnya, tamagoyaki (Japanese style of “Telur dadar gulung”) juga dibuat menggunakan mirin.

Selain itu, di Kansai airport juga sudah tersedia tempat khusus untuk snack berlabel halal (di lantai 3), meski baru 2 item. Sedangkan item yang lainnya adalah produk yang tidak mengandung babi dan alkohol, tetapi belum tersertifikasi halal. Yang meski di cek ulang ialah kandungan mirinnya juga…┬áMinimal kita sudah lebih dimudahkan untuk memilih produk yang aman, insya Allah.

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