English 繁体中文 日本語

Okazaki City Guide
Search 


Local Relations

Although the city is increasing in size, it is still customary for new residents to introduce themselves to their neighbours, and to join the town association (chounai-kai). There is a small fee, and it will differ from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. One thing to be aware of is the "kairanban" - a bulletin that is circulated informing people of upcoming events such as gutter cleaning, health examinations, security issues and so forth. If and when you receive one, don't throw it away or hang on to it. Have a read and then pass it on to your neighbour. If you can't read Japanese well enough, ask a friend or your neighbour.

Noise in Residential Areas

Although the population density here is less than many comparable cities in Japan, the houses are close to each other (and many apartments have thin walls). Residents tend to have different lifestyles, some work days while others work nights, some have children etc. Particularly at night, it is important to keep noise to a minimum, which is one of the reasons why if you want to have a party its sometimes best to hold it in a bar or other location. Little things make a difference, such as not leaving your car idling, holding last minute goodbye conversations inside with the door closed instead of outside in the carpark etc. The volume of your voice may also need to be lower than what you are used to at home.

Public Baths

If you visit a public bath please note that the custom is to first wash yourself thoroughly. Japanese bathrooms are made up of a bath and a washing area. First, wash yourself thoroughly in the washing area, and then after rinsing thoroughly, get into the bathtub. A bath in Japan is for soaking and warming up the body, not for washing. As the entire family uses the same bath water, make sure to keep the water as clean as possible for the next person, and do not drain the tub until after everyone is finished bathing.

Post Offices

Post Office
There are nearly 25,000 Post Offices (Yuubinkyoku) in Japan, and Okazaki has oodles of them. Besides providing a variety of safe, secure and speedy postal services, Post Offices also offer savings deposits, remittance services (by money order and transfer), foreign currency and traveler's check services. You can also pay your utility bills (gas, water, power and some others - telephone etc.), though a convenience store is often quicker.

Size and Weight Restrictions

Letter-Post

Classification Weight Dimensions
Maximum Minimum
Postcards --
a+b+c=90 cm
(a) up to 60 cm
a+2b=104 cm
(a) up to 90 cm


a+2b=17 cm (a) over 10 cm

Letters Up to 2 kg
Printed matter Up to 5 kg (Note 1)
Up to 30 kg (M-bags)
Literature for the blind Up to 7 kg
Small packets Up to 2 kg

Note 1:Up to 2 kg for printed matter addressed to Canada, and printed matter (other than books) addressed to Ireland.

EMS and Parcel Post

Classification Weight Maximum size -- Minimum size
EMS Up to 30 kg(Note 1) A a+b+c+d+e=3m
(a) up to 1.5m
B a+b+c+d+e=2m
(a) up to 1.05m
Size A or B applies according to the destination.(Note 2)
Minimum size is
the same as that
for letter-post items.
UPU parcel post Up to 20 kg(Note 1)
Special
parcels
To Philippines Up to 20 kg a+b+c+d+e=2m
(a) up to 1.05m
To South Africa Up to 10 kg a+b+c+d+e=1.8m
(a) up to 1.05m

Postal Rate

See below for Airmail, Surface Mail, Parcel Post and Economy Air rates.

Airmail Rates


Zone Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3 Special mail sevices available
Destination Asia,Guam,
Marshall Is.,
Midway snd others
North America,Central
America,Oceania,
Middle East,Europe
Africa,

South America

Registered Insurance Express Advice of
delivery
(Note 1)
Classification Weight
L
e
t
t
e
r
s
Standard-
sized items
Up to 25 g 90 yen 110 yen 130 yen YES YES
(Note 2)
YES YES
Up to 50 g 160 yen 190 yen 230 yen
Nonstandard-sized
items
Up to 50 g 220 yen 260 yen 300 yen
Up to 100 g 330 yen 400 yen 480 yen
Up to 250 g 510 yen 670 yen 860 yen
Up to 500 g 780 yen 1,090 yen 1,490 yen
Up to 1 kg 1,450 yen 2,060 yen 2,850 yen
Up to 2 kg 2,150 yen 3,410 yen 4,990 yen
Greeting cards Up to 25 g 90 yen 110 yen 130 yen -- -- -- --
Postcards Uniform rate of 70 yen for anywhere in the world YES -- YES YES
Small packets Up to 50 g 120 yen 150 yen 170 yen YES -- YES YES
For each additional 50 g or
fraction over 50 g up to 1 kg
+70 yen +90 yen +120 yen
For each additional 250 g or
fraction over 1 kg up to 2 kg
+175 yen +225 yen +300 yen
Aerogrammes Uniform rate of 90 yen for anywhere in the world YES -- YES --

Note: Please confirm details about destinations at the post office counter.

Surface Mail Rates

Classification Weight Rates Special mail services available
Registered Insurance Express Advice of
delivery
(Note 1)
Letters Up to 20 g 90 yen YES YES
(Note 2)
-- YES
Up to 50 g 160 yen
Up to 100 g 270 yen
Up to 250 g 540 yen
Up to 500 g 1,040 yen
Up to 1 kg 1,800 yen
Up to 2 kg 2,930 yen
Postcards -- 60 yen YES -- -- YES
Small packets Up to 100 g 130 yen YES -- -- YES
Up to 250 g 220 yen
Up to 500 g 430 yen
Up to 1 kg 770 yen
Up to 2 kg 1,080 yen

Note 1: Registered or insured mail only.
Note 2: Not available to some destinations.
Note 3: For detailed conditions, please contact your post office.

Parcel Post Rates

Handling Airmail Surface mail Special mail services available
Zone Destination Weight Up to
500 g
For each
additional
500 g
up to 5 kg
For each
additional
500 g
up to 10 kg
For each
additional
1 kg
over 10 kg
Up to
1 kg
For each
additional
1 kg
up to 10 kg
For each
additional
1 kg
over 10 kg
Registered Insurance Express Advice of
delivery
Zone 1 East Asia
(China, Korea, Taiwan, Mongolia and others), Guam, Marshall Is., Midway and others
yen
1,700
yen
+350
yen
+300
yen
+400
yen
+1,500
yen
+250
yen
+200
-- YES
(Note 1)
YES
(Note 1)
YES
(Note 2)
Zone 2 Southeast Asia and
Southwest Asia
(India, Malaysia, Pakistan,
Thailand and others)
2,100 +600 +500 +700 1,700 +400 +300
Zone 3 North and Central America
(Canada,U.S.A.,
Mexico and others),
Oceania and Middle East
(Australia,New Zealand Iran,
Israel and others),
Europe (Germany,
Great Britain and others)
2,500 +850 +750 +950 1,800 +550 +350
Zone 4 Africa (Kenya,Nigeria,
South Africa (Rep.)
and others),
South America (Brazil
and others)
3,200 +1,400 +1,200 +1,600 2,200 +450 +350

Note 1: Not available to some destinations.
Note 2: Insured parcels to some destinations, only.

Economy Air [SAL] Parcel Post Rates

Zone Destination Weight Special mail services available
Up to 1 kg For each
additional
1 kg
up to 5 kg
For each
additional
1 kg
up to 10 kg
For each
additional
1 kg
over 10 kg
Registered Insurance Express Advice of
delivery
Zone 1 East Asia
(China, Korea and others)
yen
1,800
yen
+600
yen
+500
yen
+300
-- YES
(Note 1)
YES
(Note 1)
YES
(Note 2)
Zone 2 Southeast, Southwest Asia
(India, Malaysia, Pakistan,
Thailand and others)
2,200 +700 +600 +400
Zone 3 North America (U.S.A., Canada), Central America, Oceania, Middle East and Europe 2,700 +1,150 +1,050 +700
Zone 4 Africa and South America 3,400 +1,600 +1,450 +1,000

Note 1: Not available to some destinations.
Note 2: Limited to insured parcels to some destinations.

 

Courier Services, Moving/Leaving

    If you move into Okazaki, remember to go to City Hall for Alien Registration. You will need to contact the Utilities companies about 7-10 days before you leave. The telephone numbers are:

    • Electricity: Chubu Electric Co. (Chubu Denryoku) 51-5911
    • Gas: Okazaki Gas (Okazaki Gasu) 21-2231
    • Water: Okazaki City Water Works (Okazaki-shi Suidokyoku) 23-6350

    You will need to give them your new address, or if you are leaving Japan, a person to pay the remaining bills.

    Telephone - If you are moving to somewhere else in Japan, call 116.

    Postal Mail - Go to a post office and complete a change-of-address form. If you do this, then any mail sent to your old address will be forwarded to the new address for up to one year.

Electricity

Household current is AC100V on 60Hz. The required plugs are flat two-pin, usually with no earth. For appliances using 3 pin plugs, you will need an adaptor (usually available in the larger electronics stores. For transformers, as of 2004 you usually needed to head to the extensive Osu electronics district near Osu Kannon temple in Nagoya (take a train to JR Nagoya/600 Yen or to Meitetsu Shin-Nagoya/650 Yen and transfer to the subway to Osu/200 Yen). If you have an interest in computers or electronics, a day trip to Osu is usually fun.

Light bulbs are the screw type. Battery sizes A, AA, AAA, are common and sold in virtually any convenience stores. Rechargeable batteries (and their chargers) are also often easily obtainable from the convenience stores also. For certain types of camera battery, you may need to go to specialist camera stores.

Coin Laundries

Many Japanese people do not have clothes dryers, or do not have dryers large enough for blankets and other large items. As a result you should be able to find a coin laundry fairly easily. Costs will range from 300 to 800 yen per load depending on the size of the machine. Drying will usually cost 100 Yen per 7-15 minutes, again depending on the size of the machine. As a general rule, the machines are well maintained. Most coin laundries also have coin changing machines (also well maintained) so that you can change 1000 Yen notes into coin. The etiquette is pretty simple, do not leave your laundry in the washing machine or dryer when the washing/drying cycle is completed.

Trash Disposal

Trash
For when you are out and about, there are trash cans located in most parks, near bus stops etc. Please don't litter - the locals leave more than enough litter lying around already. Increasingly the easiest way to find somewhere to dispose of trash is to look for the ubiquitous convenience stores. On the front of the trash cans will be a label explaining exactly what kind of trash the can is for (PET bottles, cans, glass, burnable trash etc), please separate your trash accordingly. If you are a smoker, carry one of the "portable ashtrays" sold in most convenience stores etc.
For household trash the system is quite complicated. Okazaki has an extensive recycling program and just about every conceivable item of trash is covered by a fairly pervasive system. The city already had a flourishing textile recycling industry and most of the manufacturers also have extremely high recycling/recovery methods, so it wasn't surprising when the new laws went into effect in 2002. If you are going to be living in Okazaki for a month or longer, head down to City Hall and pick up a copy of the "Official Guide" - it's in English with helpful illustrations. Without the guide its practically impossible to avoid problems (there will be people checking your trash bags to ensure that you are keeping up with the spirit of things)
You need to use the designated trash bags (purchasable from any supermarket and most convenience stores), and know where your closest kerbside recycling point is (ask your local Chonai-kai - the town association for the part of Okazaki you live in), or your neighbors for details.

Public Toilets

Are usually easy enough to find. Most parks and public buildings have them clearly marked, as do large stores. Depending on how old the facility is, most facilities contain both the Japanese style (squat) "hole in the floor" toilet, as well as the western style (sit) toilets. In terms of cleanliness, as a general rule they are pretty clean, particularly those in major shopping centers. There is nothing worse than discovering an absence of toilet paper, so it is worth carrying a packet (or more) of tissues.

Earthquake Awareness

Like everywhere else in the country, Okazaki is a place where people go crazy over cherry blossoms but earth tremors are ignored. While a tremor won't occasion much comment, most people have through experience, earthquake and fire drills at schools and companies a high level of awareness. The basic things:
Identification: Keep your passport handy, (and in a different location, a photocopy of the relevant pages including Japan visa etc)
Emergency supplies: Keep a small amount of cash, dry food, bottle of water, flashlight etc in your room/apartment
Evacuation: Ask where your local evacuation point is (its usually a school yard, but confirm it)
If and when an earthquake happens, turn off the gas if you are cooking.

Business Hours

In the retail sector, shops and stores in Okazaki have traditionally opened at 10am and closed around 6.30 for 7.30pm. The exception has been the morning street markets, which open very early to sell fresh produce such as fish, vegetables and fruit at the street stalls. The better known street markets are Funa-ichi (in Kosei-cho) and Go-ju-ichi (in Myodaiji-cho) and Shi-ku-ichi (in the street adjacent to the Yamasa Institute's Aoi Hall).

What has turned this orderly system on its head in recent years is the extended trading hours of the larger shopping centers. Whereas most of the shops in Kosei-cho (the older part of town) still close by 7 (including the department stores and including on Saturdays), the shops in the massive AEON shopping complex (includes Seibu and Jusco Department stores, and hundred of specialty shops) are at a minimum open until 8pm, in many cases until 10pm, and in the case of the supermarket, until midnight (in 2004). The large shopping centers also do not need (and cannot afford) to take a rostered day off - which many of the small family run shops elsewhere in the city still schedule. The result has been that a lot of business in increasingly moving to the south-central area of the city (Maps B and C), particular along route 248 between the Police Station and the Seiyu Department store where it is easier to shop using a car than in Kosei-cho. As the General Post Office (open until midnight) has also moved in recent years from Kosei-cho to this area), the city's commercial center has generally been shifting south. The complete redevelopment of the JR Okazaki station area will probably further extend this trend towards car use and extended trading hours.

Places of worship

There is of course no shortage of Buddhist temples of the various Japanese sects and Shinto shrines. If you have just arrived in Okazaki, you may have noticed a larger number of grand looking churches, chapels that until you take a second glance resemble something out of an Italian rennaissance scene, and across the road (in 2004) from the massive AEON shopping complex, a Basilica. As a general rule of thumb, these are not churches, but buildings used by the corporations catering for the lucrative wedding business. As a general rule (with the exception of some brilliantly decorated shrines) the actual places of worship tend to be more low key.

Okazaki Catholic Church
Foreign language masses available, the actual language vary from year to year. A limited amount of parking available.
Myodaiji-cho
Tel: 51-1848

Assembly Shinsho Christian Church
Hashira-cho
Tel: 52-3727

Japan Christian Order Church
Hachiman-cho
Tel: 21-7359

Japan Alliance Christian Atago-yama Church
Iga-cho
Tel: 21-6458

Okazaki Megumi Christ Church
Tatsumi-Higashi
Tel: 53-4578

Allied Gospel Christ Church of Okazaki
Located on Route 248 across the road from Seiyu.
Tosaki-cho
Tel: 54-7610


©Declan Murphy / Frontia Corporation - All rights reserved
1-2-1 Hanehigashi-machi, Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture, JAPAN 444-0832
Tel: +81 (0)564 55 8112 Fax: +81 (0)564 55 8174 Email: info [at] mikawa [dot] cc