Setsubun Around Nagoya

Setsubun is a lunar ‘New Year’s Eve’ event marking the end of winter and the beginning of spring and is celebrated on February 3rd every year. It is celebrated in Japan by throwing beans to chase away evil oni, or ogres. Once the oni are driven away happiness is free to make its way into homes. The phrase “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!” (“Get out, ogre! Come in, happiness!”) is shouted when throwing the beans. In Nagoya, you can see ceremony like these at various shrines and temples.

Osu Kannon Setsubun Ship Parade


Setsubun is the last day before the first day of spring on the old Japanese calendar. Each year at Nagoya’s Osu Kannon Temple a special stage is set up just for a mamemaki bean-scattering ceremony. Prior to this, a parade procession featuring the takarabune (treasure ship) and the seven gods of fortune, departs Sakae Intersection at 13:18 and arrives at Osu Kannon at 15:00.

  • When: Sunday, February 3 (10:00 – 18:00; main event 15:00 – 16:00)
  • Where: Osu Kannon Temple 大須観音
  • Access: A short walk from Osu Kannon Subway Station, exit 2

Iwazu Tenmangu Shrine

  • Where?  Okazaki-shi, Iwazu-cho
  • When?  February 3rd (Sun.)
  • Directions?  Get off at JR Okazaki Station or Meitetsu Higashi-Okazaki Station, transfer to a bus to Iwazu Tenjin-guchi bus stop and walk 8 minutes.
  • Info?0564-45-2525

Inuyama Naritasan

  • Where?  Inuyama-shi
  • When?  February 3rd (Sun.)
  • Directions?  Take the Meitetsu Inuyama Line to Inuyama-Yuen Station and walk 10 minutes.
  • Info?0568-61-2583

Kasadera Kannon

  • Where?  Minami-ku, Nagoya
  • When?  February 3rd (Sun.)
  • Directions?  A 3-minute walk from Meitetsu Main Line, Motokasadera Station or a 20-minute walk from JR Kasadera Station.
  • Info?052-821-1367

Ryusenji Temple

  • Where?  Moriyama-ku, Nagoya
  • When?  February 3rd (Sun.)
  • Directions?  Take the Yutorito Line Guideway bus from JR, Meitetsu, Meijo Subway Line, Ozone Station to Ryusenji-guchi bus stop and walk 3 minutes, or take the city bus bound for Moriyama from Meitetsu Obata Station to Obata-ryokuchi and walk 7 minutes
  • Info?052-794-3647


  • Where?  Higashi-ku, Nagoya
  • When?  February 3rd (Sun.)
  • Directions?  Take Sakura-dori Subway Line to Kurumamichi and walk 10 minutes to the North West.
  • Info?052-935-3845

Arako Kannon

  • Where?  Nakagawa-ku, Nagoya
  • When?  February 3rd (Sun.)
  • Directions?  Take Higashiyama Subway Line to Takabata Station and walk 10 minutes or Aonami Line to Arako Station and also walk 10 minutes.
  • Info?052-361-1778


Winter at Mount Gozaisho

Mount Gozaisho 御在所岳 (1212m) located on the border of Mie and Shiga prefectures is known for its stunning scenery and fantastic views of Ise Bay. Its also home to the Gozaisho Ropeway and the Gozaisho Ski Resort.

Mount Gozaisho Ropeway


The 2 km long gondola ride on the Gozaisho Ropeway takes you up a vertical interval of 780m to the ski resort area offering occupants panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and Ise Bay on the way. The return trip is 2100 Yen for adults and 1050 Yen for children (ages 4 to elementary school). Open all year round – winter hours (until March 31) 09:00 – 16:00.

Photo: Courtesy of the Mie Tourist Association

Gozaisho Ski Resort


At just over an hour’s drive from Nagoya, Gozaisho Ski Resort is one of the closest ski resorts to Nagoya City. The resort can ONLY be accessed by the mountain ropeway and has 3 main areas: 2 ski slopes (novice & experienced), a sledging course, and a snow shoes course. The resort is open each year from January 2 to the end of February. Depending upon the snow conditions the course may be closed on some days and visitors are advised to check the resort website for up to date conditions before coming.

  • Sledging Course ちびっこそりゲレンデ
    • Admission is free. If you don’t have your own sledge, sledge rental is only 600 Yen for the day.
  • Snow Shoes スノーシューコース
    • 1000 Yen for 60 minutes. Take a walk around a special 3000m long walking course ON the snow using special snow shoes.
  • Ski Slopes スキーゲレンデ
    • Novice slope – 210m long, 30m wide – average slope 17°
    • Veteran slope – 220m long, 80m wide – average slope 25°
    • Snowboards are NOT allowed.
  • A ski lift day pass costs 2000 Yen.Rent a full ski set (skis, sticks, boots) for 3000 Yen for adults, 2500 Yen for children; skis/sticks combo, boots only, sticks only also available.


  • By local train & bus:8 minute bus ride from Kintetsu Yunoyama Onsen湯の山温泉 (via Kintetsu Yokkaichi)
    • Sanco bus to Yunoyama Onsen湯の山温泉 takes 8 minutes and costs 260 – 1・2 buses an hour
  • By Highway Bus from Nagoya: The highway bus direct from Meitetsu Bus Center (Nagoya Station) costs 1280 Yen.
    • Schedule: weekdays 08:28 & 09:17, weekend & holidays 07:57, 08:37, 09:17; return at 14:15, 15:15, 16:15
  • By Car: A 30 minute drive from the Yokkaichi exit (四日市IC) on the Higashi Meihan Expressway. If using a sat-nav enter the phone number 059-392-2141. Parking (during the winter season) at the base of the ropeway costs 500 Yen (800 Yen on Jan 2, 3, weekends & holidays).


Aichi Nagoya Snow Festival

2000 tonnes of snow will be brought in from Nagano and Gifu prefectures for this new family festival. Attractions include a snow play area, sledging and an inner-tube slider, stage performances & shows, and a food market. You can also take part in snow sculpture, snowman, and igloo contests. Admission is free. Booths, workshops, and side events require participation fee.

  • When: On Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays between Saturday, January 26 and Sunday, February 24 (10:00 – 16:00) – a total of 15 days
  • Where: Moricoro Park (Nagakute City) 愛・地球博記念公園
  • Access:
  • By Public Transport: From Fujigaoka Subway Station, take the Linimo Line to Ai-chikyuhaku Kinen Koen (Expo Memorial Park) Station 愛・地球博記念公園.
  • By Car: From Nagoya follow Higashiyama Dori / Green Road, extensive car-parking is available; parking costs 500 Yen.


Flower Marche

フラワー マルシェ

Gardening goods, cut flowers, potted plants, flower-derived cosmetics, foods, natural fiber clothing, and other flower-related goods on sale from over 100 flower & gardening related shops under one roof! There are also live demonstrations from artists, gardening lectures, a huge art display, and displays of carnations. For a small fee visitors can try potted plant arrangement, moss ball making, flower arranging, herb craft, and rose candle making in the craft areas. There are also four children’s workshops to choose from florist experience, mini bouquet, potted planting, and candle making; no workshops on Friday.

  • When: Friday, February 8 – Monday, February 11 (09:30 – 17:00)
  • Where: Fukiage Hall 吹上ホール -located next to Fukiage Park, a 5 minute walk from Fukiage Subway Station, exit 5.
  • Admission: Tickets 1000 Yen – includes 500 Yen shopping voucher. Buy by Feb 7 for just 800 Yen with P-code 988-0838 from Ticket Pia, Circle K & SunKus stores or from Lawson (L-code 45630). Free admission for HS & JHS students, and children.


Child Education, Health, and Development Consultations for Foreign Families

Are you worried about your child’s education? The Nagoya International Center will be holding a free seminar, consultation sessions, and peer support discussion workshops for parents of foreign nationality. Children are welcome to attend – there will be activities for children aged 5+ and volunteers carers to take care of younger children.

  • When: Saturday, February 9 (13:00 – 16:00)
  • Where: Nagoya International Center 5F

■Seminar (13:00 – 13:50) – a seminar by a financial planner for parents titled “The Cost of Child-Raising in Japan”. English, Filipino, Chinese, Spanish, & Portuguese interpreters will be in attendance.

■Individual Consultation Sessions (14:00 – 16:00) Get advice and the answers to your questions about early learning & development, child-raising, school-life (including bullying and non-attendance), scholarships and education loans, and high school / higher education admissions from an education specialist. Maximum 30 minutes per family.

■Peer Support Salon (14:00 – 16:00) Talk about parenting and child-raising, and share your problems and advice with other parents. Maximum 10 people per target language (English, Spanish, & Portuguese). Parents with reservations for individual consultation sessions are welcome to participate.

Reservations for the seminar,individual consultation sessions, and peer support salon are required and can be made on the NIC website or at the Nagoya International Center 3F (052-581-0100) from Wednesday, January 9. Scan the QR code (right) with your phone’s camera to take you to the NIC website.


Visa Change – Renewal FAQ – The Self-Sponsored Visa?

As far as immigration is concerned there is no such thing as a self-sponsored visa in Japan. “Self sponsorship” is not an official term, a “DIY visa” is probably closer to the truth.

Instead of relying on a single business or school to fill out forms and sponsor your visa, “self sponsorship” means that you have a part-time job supplemented by one or more part-time positions or private contracts that enable you to make a living.

  • For example, you initially arrived in Japan working for a well-known English school but no longer work there, instead you teach a regular part-time evening class and teach private lessons at various coffee shops during the daytime.

“Self sponsorship” is just like applying for a regular working visa except that you will have to provide all the documentation by yourself using your regular part time employer as your main employer during the application process.

Before you run down to the immigration office there are few things to note:

  • You can only do this when you go to extend your permission to reside in Japan.
    • you have to have a valid working visa to start with.
  • You can only do this for a few “working visa” categories – these include artist, journalist, researcher, engineer, specialist in humanities/international services, and skilled labour.
  • You can also start your own business and obtain an “investor/business manager” visa, but this requires capital, a detailed business plan, and other documentation.
  • You can only do this if you have a business, school, or organization as your MAIN employer. A private individual will not be accepted as your main employer.

What you need to apply

  • Application form– available from http://bit.ly/exsorjp
  • Photo (4cm×3cm) 1copy
  • Passport and residence card (or alien registration certificate deemed equivalent to a residence card) Supporting Documents
  • Documents certifying your activities, their duration, and the positions you hold. If you have several contracts, its probably best to submit a list (with a Japanese translation) showing the type of work, duration, and role for each income source.
  • Documents certifying an annual income and tax payment.
  • Contracts – You’ll need to prove that you can make at least 3 million Yen a year by showing work contracts you have with companies or individuals. If you plan to work with individuals, such as by teaching private lessons, you can arrange contracts with your clients. Contracts should have a Japanese translation, show duration, working hours, and pay rate.
  • Certificate of Employment (zaishoku-shomeisho 在職証明書) from your current (part-time) employer(s).
  • Previous year’s income tax withholding statement (kyuyo-shotoku-gensen-choshu-hyo 給与所得源泉徴収票) or equivalent
  • Certificate / letter of retirement (taishoku-shomeisho 退職証明書) from the last company that sponsored your visa

*If you are applying for a change of status, you will need to provide documents that show your meet the criteria of the new status (for example a college or university degree).

Other Documents You may also be asked to submit document material(s) other than stipulated in the Immigration Control Act Enforcement Regulations, please refer to your regional immigration office or immigration information center for further information. Remember, each individual application is different and the success of the application is at the discretion of the immigration office.

Get Your Taxes in Order It is also recommended that you register yourself as a sole proprietorship (kojin-jigyo個人事業) with your local tax office before you apply at immigration. For further help consult our Civic Advisory Service (see page 2).

★When to Apply You can apply up until your resident status expires, however the immigration office will accept your application up to three months before your stay period expires.

Getting Assistance

Immigration Information Center Hotline Offers consultations on matters related to visas. Inquiries may be made either in person or over the phone.Tel: 0570-013904. Languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean

Nagoya Immigration Office and Information Center

The Information Center located in the Nagoya Regional Immigration Bureau offers consultations on matters related to visas. Inquiries may be made either in person or over the phone.

  • Open: Monday to Friday, 09:30-12:00 and 13:00-16:00
  • Closed: Saturdays, Sundays, all national holidays, December 29-January 3
  • Phone: 052-559-2151 / 52
  • Languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Korean, Tagalog, Italian
  • Access: 1 minute walk from Nagoya Keibajo-mae Station (AN07) 名古屋競馬場前; 13 minutes and 260 Yen from Nagoya Station on the Aonami Line あおなみ線.


Children’s Story Book Time

Children’s Story Book Time

Come and share in the fun at the Nagoya International Center 3F Library and listen to foreign volunteers as they read a selection of books from the library’s vast children’s story book section in their native language.

■No reservations required. ■Participation is free. ■Upcoming Schedule

  • Sunday, January 27 (14:00 – 14:30) in Chinese and English
  • Sunday, February 10 – NO EVENT
  • Sunday, February 24 (14:00 – 14:30) in Portuguese and English
  • Sunday, March 10 (10:30 – 11:00) in English
  • Sunday, March 24 (14:00 – 14:30) in Indonesian and English
  • Sunday, April 7 (14:00 – 14:30) in English


Medical Interpretation Service Program


Many foreign residents who cannot speak Japanese experience difficulty when visiting a medical institution; even if they take a friend who can speak Japanese with them, their friend’s inability to understand and convey technical terms can hamper communication.

To tackle this issue, from April 1, 2012 Aichi Prefecture started providing medical translation services on full-time basis at a number of medical institutions in the Prefecture. Services are available in English, Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish.

About the System

  • There are medical institutions where the service is available and in those where the service is not available.
  • Interpreters are dispatched according to the request of the medical institutions.  Applications are not accepted directly from the patient.
  • For the interpretation service charges, as a general rule, one-half of prices will be charged to both medical institutions  and patients.
    • For interpreter dispatch service, patients will be charged 1500 Yen or 2500 Yen depending on the content.

Inquiry for the use of service

Tel: Aichi Medical Interpretation System Operation Office  050-5814-7263 (weekdays 09:00 – 17:30).

Available Services -requested by the medical institutions as necessary

  • Interpreter dispatch service Upon request from the medical institutions, medical interpreters who have the knowledge and the skill at a certain level will be dispatched according to the course.
    • A course Interpreter dispatch service for daily medical examination 3000 Yen/2hours*
    • B course High leveled interpreter dispatch service such as informed consent etc. 5000 Yen/2hours*
    • C course Punctual interpreter dispatch service for particular day, time etc. 5000 Yen/2hours*
      • *In case if it exceeds 2 hours, one-half of price will be charged for each extra hour.
  • Telephone interpretation
    • Immediate support for the first medical examination, during an emergency, night time, etc.
  • Written Translation
    • Written translation of medical referral form to medical institutions.


Speech Contest for Foreign Students

A Japanese speech contest open to foreign students currently enrolled in a university, graduate school, or Japanese language school in the Tokai area (Aichi, Gifu, Mie)!

There is a top prize of 50,000 Yen (Aichi Governor Prize), 3 other prizes of 30,000 Yen (Nagoya Mayor’s Prize), and 6 smaller sponsor prizes.

Speeches can be about anything, but should be less than 5 minutes (1000 – 1500 characters) in length. Submissions will be divided into 2 groups: less than 2 years in Japan and more than 2 years in Japan. Based on speech scripts, 16 entrants will be chosen to participate in the final in Nagoya on Sunday, May 19.

Scripts can be submitted by e-mail (ryugaku@chuto.co.jp). Include (in Japanese) your name, nationality, address, school name, phone number, and date you arrived in Japan.

The submission period runs until March 31.

Full details are on the official website: www.chuto.co.jp/china


Cirque Éloize iD

Cirque Éloize is a Quebec-based contemporary circus troupe formed by former Circle du Soleil performers in 1993. Since its inception it has presented more than 4000 performances in more than 436 cities and 36 countries. In it’s latest show, iD, fourteen international artists and twelve circus disciplines come together to form a spectacular fusion of new theatrical circus and urban dance!

  • When: Wednesday, February 27 to Sunday, March 3
  • Where: Aichi Prefectural Arts Theater, Large Hall 愛知県芸術劇場大ホール – located in the Aichi Arts Center (connected to Oasis 21 at the basement level) in Sakae.
  • Tickets: All reserved seats. Available with P-code 622-382 from Circle K & Sunkus stores, Seven Eleven, and Ticket Pia; handling charges may apply. S-section 9800 Yen adults & 6800 Yen children, A-section 7800 Yen adults & 5800 Yen children, B-section 6800 Yen adults & 4800 Yen children. Child fare applies for ages 3 to 12 years old (elementary school aged students). Children under 3 do not require a ticket if sit with an adult.
  • Performances
    • Wednesday, February 27 (19:00), Thursday, February 28 (19:00),
    • Friday, March 1 (14:00, 19:00), Saturday, March 2 (11:00, 16:00)
    • Sunday, March 3 (11:00, 16:00)
  • *Running Time: approximately 115 min. (including intermission)
  • *The theater will open 30 minutes prior to the show.


American Landscape: From Niagara to Yosemite

Featuring images of the American landscape from the seashore of New England to the mountains of the west, this exhibition will include sixty-two works from the outstanding collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Paintings by such well-known artists as Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt, Martin Johnson Heade, George Inness, Winslow Homer, Willard Metcalf, Arthur Dove, Georgia O’Keeffe, and others will provide both an overview of the history of landscape painting in the United States and a view of the country’s natural beauty and famous sites. The exhibition also includes 12 stunning photographs from the Ansel Adams and Edward Weston Collection.

Image: Winslow Homer – Driftwood – 1909 – Henry H. and Zoe Oliver Sherman Fund and other funds 1993.564. Photograph © 2012 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
  • When: Saturday, January 12 – Monday, May 6
  • Where: Nagoya / Boston Museum of Fine Arts 名古屋ボストン美術館
  • Open: Weekdays 10:00 – 19:00; weekends & holidays until 17:00; last entry 30 minutes before closing.
  • Closed: Mondays (open if Monday is a holiday and closed next day)
  • Admission: Adults 1200 Yen, students & over 65s 900 Yen, under 16s free.
  • Access: Outside Kanayama Station’s South Exit
  • Website: www.nagoya-boston.or.jp


Takayama Sake Brewery Tour

Pure mountain water, quality local-grown rice and a cold winter are the essential factors in making tasty sake, and Takayama City is blessed with the perfect brewing conditions.

© Gifu Prefecture Tourist Federation

Daily brewery tours run from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 13:00 to 16:00 between January 17 and February 27.

There has been commercial sake brewing in Takayama City since the early 1700’s and there are 6 breweries in the city open to visitors, each selling its own unique variety. Between January 17 and February 27, daily brewery tours run from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 13:00 to 16:00 during the winter production season.

Breweries are open to the public one week at a time and provide a free guided tour that includes sake sampling. All the breweries are within 15 minutes walk of JR Takayama Station and are located within a few blocks of each other. For full access information and other things to do in the area see www.hida.jp/english

  • January 17 to 23 – Kawashiri Brewery 川尻酒造場 (Tel:0577-32-0143)
  • January 24 to 30 – Niki Brewery 二木酒造 (Tel:0577-32-0021)
  • January 31 to February 6 – Hirase Brewery 平瀬酒造店 (Tel:0577-34-0010)
  • February 7 to 13 – Funasaka Brewery舩坂酒造店 (Tel:0577-32-0016)
  • February 14 to 20 – Hirata Brewery 平田酒造場 (Tel:0577-32-0352)
  • February 21 to 27 – Harada Brewery 原田酒造場 (Tel:0577-32-0120)

★How to get there

  • Access By Highway Bus – Express coaches depart for Takayama daily at 07:30, 08:30, 09:30, 10:30, 13:00, 14:30, 16:00, 17:30, 20:30 from bus stop # 7 on the 3F of Nagoya Station’s Meitetsu Bus Center; takes about 2.5 hours and costs 2900 Yen one way or 5000 Yen round trip. Reservations are required and can be made at the bus center, by calling the bus center at 052-582-0489 (Japanese only), or by booking online at www.highwaybus.com.
  • Access By Train: From platform 2 of JR Nagoya Station, take the Hida Express (ひだ) on JR Takayama Line directly to Takayama. Trains depart every 60 to 90 minutes between 07:43 and 19:48; seat reservations are required before boarding. Costs 5670 Yen one-way and takes just over 2 hours.


Disaster Prevention Workshop for Foreign Residents


Would you be prepared if a powerful earthquake struck Nagoya tomorrow? How would you react? What would you need to prepare? Join other foreign residents and learn what to do in an earthquake and how to prepare your home for one. Learn how to cook rice outside of the kitchen and learn first aid to deal with common disaster-related injuries.

  • When: Saturday, February 9 (14:00 – 16:00)
  • Where: Nagoya International Center 3F, Lecture Room 1
  • Only 20 places available. Reservations are required and can be madeon the NIC website,by calling 052-581-0100 or mailing nicbosai@nic-nagoya.or.jp.


Please be aware that all aforementioned event times, locations, and prices are subject to change without notice.


(NIC Event Information)

henri daros

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