Are expired alien cards considered valid resident cards?
Sat Sep 01 2012 - Mel

When the new Residence Management System in Japan went into effect last July, the Immigration bureau began issuing resident cards to foreigners but they didn’t require foreigners to immediately obtain them.  The old alien card can be used as a valid substitute for a certain period of time.  For most foreigners, that would be until their visa (period of stay) expires.

Aliens no more
Mon Jul 09 2012 - Mel

We are no longer considered aliens in Japan.  Foreigners living in Japan are now also called residents. That is at least as far as registration card is concerned.

Enikki - Illustrated diary
Sat Nov 12 2011 - Mel

An exhibit of some sort caught my attention as I passed through the Shin-Maru Building on my way home from work the other day. I decided to look closer and found out that it was an exhibition of children’s enikki or illustrated diaries. What’s more interesting is that it featured works of children from Asian countries including the Philippines.

Tokyo (AMF) Plaza Bowl
Sat May 07 2011 - Mel
Our Filipino community here in Tokyo used to hold bowling tournaments at Ikebukuro Hata Bowling Center so it was a little bit sad to hear that it closed last April 20 after 48 years of operation.  I wonder if the recent earthquake had something to do with its closing. Fortunately there are other bowling centers near our church.  One of these is the Tokyo (AMF) Plaza Bowl which is conveniently located near three different train lines.  We were still able to reserve lanes there last Tuesday even though it was a holiday.

Public Holidays in Japan and the Philippines for 2011
Tue Jan 04 2011 - Mel
Here's a parallel list of holidays in Japan and the Philippines for this year: * Schools only

Green mangoes in Japan
Mon Nov 22 2010 - Mel
As Filipinos living in Japan, one thing that we really miss from home is eating unripe mangoes.  The mangoes that are available in Japan are imported from other countries and most, if not all, are already ripe.  There's nothing really wrong with ripe mangoes but for many Filipinos nothing beats the taste of sour, crunchy, mouth-watering green mangoes.  So when Cerg happened to find some green mangoes in a nearby supermarket, she bought them all! (Only two mangoes were left so she took those two.) When Cerg sent me a text message saying she was able to buy big green mangoes, I imagined something like our large Philippine varieties such as carabao and pico mangoes.  I was wrong though because the mangoes looked more like giant Indian mangoes.  Fortunately, they tasted like Indian mangoes too.

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