It may be a good idea to frequent the JAPAN METEOROLOGICAL WEBSITE often to keep track of the weather. This is also the website to check after a large earthquake. It will be the first to give details about what areas are in danger. This site also tracks typhoons and volcanic activity, and is the official site used by schools to determine closures due to weather conditions.
Japan Meteorological Agency
In the event of a fire or health emergency, call 119.
If you need to call the police, call 110.
For those in Tokyo, the English Police hotline is 03-3501-0110.
If you are having any emergencies regarding immigration, legal, mental, employment issues, or are in need of support due to suicidal feelings, AIDS, alcoholism, domestic abuse, rape, or you just need to talk to someone, then there's a very useful list from the Metropolic Magazine
Tokyo English Life Line (TELL): 03-3968-4099
If you are having a problem and don't know where to find the proper resource for help, don't hesitate to call the TELL hotline. Even if the problem is not in their field, they'll search for the proper resource for you.
Last year, I was having immigration problems and I was afraid to call directly to the immigration office because I wanted to get information without telling my name. The TELL hotline was able to guide me to the right people to help solve my problem. If you need help, ASK!
---DAILY LIFE---DAILY LIFE---DAILY LIFE---DAILY LIFE---
Surviving in Japan is one of the most helpful sites I've been to regarding Daily Life in Japan. She provided around the clock support and news-sharing during the earthquake days in March. Very dependable. Also, she's especially helpful to women's issues. Great site, Ashley!
YOU MAY WANT TO GO THROUGH YOUR BOOKMARKS AND CHECK TO SEE THAT YOU HAVE THESE WEBSITES SAVED. THEY MIGHT COME IN HANDY SOMEDAY.
Clair Daily Living
This site offers a vast source of helpful information about living daily life in Japan.
At the Post Ofice in Japan, you can get information about sending and receiving mail and packages. You can also create a savings account, transfer money home for a 2500 yen charge. You can also pay your bills here.
Kuroneko is a popular Japanese shipping company where you can both ship and receive goods for cheap within Japan. They allow options of paying before you ship, or sending a package where your receiver pays the bill. It's a great way to haul heavy things around Japan without a car. It's also cheap to send your luggage to the airport when you travel. Check it it!
Lloyd's "Sending Money Abroad" is the cheapest and easiest way to send money home. The post office charges 2500 yen to send an international money transfer, however Lloyd's only charges 2000 yen. Also, you can register for a money transfer card at your small, local Japanese bank and quickly make money transfers by simply putting your card in the machine, putting the bills in the slot and pushing a few buttons on the ATM. If you are living abroad, do consider opening an account here. I wish I had done it sooner!
This website allows you to check train routes, prices, times, and transfer spots. It's very convenient, and one of my most used websites.
A traveling resource and information guide for English speakers in Japan
In Japanese, but a site for Long Distance Bus Travel
---NEWS & ENTERTAINMENT---NEWS & ENTERTAINMENT---
The Japan Times
A national Japanese newspaper available in English and online
The Daily Yomiuri
A national Japanese newspaper available in English and online
The Metropolis, Japan
This magazine reports on many current events, as well as events happening in Tokyo, and other places around Japan. It's a good source for concert, recent movie, book, art show, and other events.
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This is the Japanese version of Amazon.com, in which you can order nearly everything, and is available in English.
Kakaku is similar to Amazon, in that it carries a wide variety of items except it's often much cheaper than Amazon. The only downside is that it's all in Japanese.
The Flying Pig
This shopping website allows you to order many of your favorite products from back home.
The Foreign Buyers Club
This shopping website also offers many products that foreigners in Japan many want to buy, which they may not find in usual Japanese stores or markets.
---JAPANESE STUDY---JAPANESE STUDY---JAPANESE STUDY---
My favorite online dictionary is Denshi Jisho It gives many alternatives for words, but shows which translations are commonly used. It rarely comes up empty handed. When entering a verb or adjective, be sure to use the dictionary (simple) form.
You can always use a translation website like Google translate, if you want a wishy-washy translation of an entire website or document, but if you have some working knowledge of reading Japanese and knowing simple grammar, then you might be interested in Rikai kun, which is a plug in on the Google Chrome web browser. I have heard that there is also one for Firefox, but Chrome got to me first. I briefly wrote about how to navigate on Japanese social websites.
Here's an explanation and where you can download the Chrome browser and plug in. Using and Downloading Google Chrome/Rikaikun
If you are working on TRANSLATIONS, this website, called ALC Space is a great resource for finding how often, and in what other forms a phrase is used. It works more than just a dictionary, it's a way to find the word or phrase used in other ways on the web. Thanks, Dominic, it was a great additional to my daily used Japanese sites.
Grammar Questions: I've enjoyed Tae Kim's Guide to Japanese when I need to double check a specific grammar point.
Minna no Kyozai, which translates to "everyone's teaching materials", is a website that can be really useful for those studying Japanese. It has a nice list of grammar points and some good materials for reading comprehension exercises that have furigana above the kanji.
---CLASSIFIEDS and JOB SEARCH
This website provides an excellent source for those who are seeking employment and other resources within Japan.
Dave's ESL Cafe has shifted from being a teacher's reference more to being a job hunting website. It began in Japan but now has expanded into other listing jobs in other Asian countries for ESL teachers.
Being A Broad is a website is for women, about women, written by women.