To Drive the Cold Winter Away: Resource Roundup

Starting to feel the cold? It’s been a (relatively) mild winter so far, but Ishikawa snow and storms can last through March. Brace yourselves–winter’s still here.

Staying Warm

SnJ Guide to Winterizing Your Japanese Apartment

SnJ Guide to Heaters in Japan

Kerosene Heaters: How to Use Them and How to Clean and Store Them

Energy-saving Tips for Staying Warm

How to Dress for Winter

Staying Healthy and Happy

Lifehacker on Avoiding the Winter Blues

Cold Medicine in Japan

Flu Prevention from the CDC

Life Outside the Kotatsu

Driving in Winter in Japan: common sense articles from Fukuoka JET and Japan Info Swap

Upcoming Festivals and Events (Japanese)

Hakusan Snowman Festival, Feb. 8th t0 10th, 2013. If you contact the Hakusan International Association by January 31st, you can reserve a spot on a special tour bus for foreign residents and visitors. The cost of the bus tour is 1,000 yen. See the 2013 Snowman Festival Tour Flyer  for details.

Kanazawa City Residents Marathon 2012

For all the runners out there 😉

The 19th Kanazawa City Residents Marathon (第19回金沢市民マラソン) will take place on November 11th this year.

The races available are: 3km, 5km, and 10km. There is no half or full marathon, despite the name. There are also family races available for families with children of elementary school age.

Race Registration

Entry Period: Now until October 5th 2012
Entry Fee: ¥2000 (+¥200 handling fee). Only one race can be entered per person.
Entry Process: You can enter online via (you need to sign in for free & search the race) or via post office furikomi money form. You can find the form in the first PDF at the bottom of the page here:

The Event

Where: 金沢市営陸上競技場 (Kanazawa-shi-ei Rikujo-kyogi-jo)
Reception: 10 November, 10am – 5pm, and 11 November 6:30 – 7:20am.
Opening Ceremony: 7:20am
Race Start: 10km course @ 8am, 5km course @ 8:10am, 3km course for general public (not school students) 9:49am.
Time Limit (10km course only): Those runners who have not passed the 5km mark 40 minutes after the start (i.e. at 8:40am), and/or the 6.6km mark in 50 minutes, will be disqualified.

Other Information

– Runners who complete their race will receive a completion certificate
– Each runner will receive a DIY health check form, to be handed in at reception when receiving your number cards.
– There is no parking at the event, but there will be allocated parking areas for use, as well as a shuttle bus to the event (from these, presumably).
– There will be a massage tent set up for any muscular inflamation or other sprains
– The 10km race runners will be organized at the start line into blocks according to their self-predicted race completion times

Please see the official site for more information (Japanese only):

So, who`s keen to “enjoying” running together? 😉

The 15th Hyokkori Notojima Road Race 2012

The city of Nanao is hosting another road race this summer – theHyokkori Notojima Road Race. Set to be held around none other than the beautiful Wakura Onsen, this promises to be just as scenic and rewarding a race as the Wakura Manyo-No-Sato Marathon in March this year.

While it might seem a ridiculous idea to run a race in summer (because we all know how cold summer is in Japan;) , it ain’t so crazy. Whether you’re in need of an excuse to whip yourself into summer shape, or just want to get out and enjoy some local cuisine and onsens with that Hokuriku Pass of yours, this is a great way to do it.


The event itself is on July 1st (Sunday), held in Nanao City, at the 生涯学習センター (Shougai Gakushuu Centre).

Reception of participants will take place on June 31st (Saturday) from 13:30 – 16:30, and on Sunday July 1st from 7:30 – 8:30am.

The Centre is about a 15 minute car ride or 20 minute bus ride from Wakura Onsen station. There will be free shuttle buses operating from the station to the Centre on the day, however.


Applications must be sent in via post office furikomi forms, or you can enter online at (or any other Japanese running site) by simply signing up (free and easy) here:

And going to the race page here, and clicking the blue エントリー button:

All entries must be in by 21st May 2012. Both race events cost Y3000. For online entries, you can choose to pay via convenience store machine, or credit card. Postal entries are cash only.

After your application has been received, you will receive your participant information packet in the mail in mid-June. Please be sure to take all of this with you, as you will need it to sign in at reception on the day.


There are 10km and half marathon (21km) events, both of which seem to start at 9am.

The maximum time for each is 3 hours and 4 hours respectively, with the race courses having some minor inclines and declines. Although rainy weather is predicted for the event day, there are more refreshment and aid stations than usual along both race courses due to the heat.

What’s In It For Me?

Each participant will receive an event T-shirt (size selectable at the time of application), sports drinks, pork miso soup, onigiri, and a discounted onsen ticket after the race.

While the distances may seem too long for a casual summer jog, this is by no means an event for marathon pros. As a participant in the Manyo-No-Sato Marathon, I can attest to just how friendly and extremely supportive the locals of Nanao are to the runners. The local food stalls are also drool-worthy. It really is an awesome vibe! So even if you don’t want to run, it’d be well worth going up to Nanao to join in the support party!

So why not dust off your running shoes, grab yourself that Hokuriku Pass, and stride into summer? And hey, who doesn’t like a free T-shirt? 😛

Resource: Gourmet Ishikawa

The Ishikawa Prefecture Tourism League seems to be increasing its efforts to court foreign tourists via the creation of  multilingual tourism websites:  Hot-Ishikawa started producing an English-language quarterly tourism e-newsletter (see prior link), through which I found Gourmet Ishikawa, a new multilingual resource for dining in Ishikawa. The site may be viewed in Japanese, English, Korean, or Chinese (traditional or simplified) and has great information on not just restaurants but also Japanese dining etiquette and Ishikawan food culture.

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Spring Hakusan Super Rindo Walk 2011

This guest post is by Megan Lam, ALT.

Image from the Super Rindo website.

Every year the Super Rindo toll road, which runs from Ishikawa to Gifu, is closed off one weekend so that the public can walk on the roads. It becomes a beautiful trail with a lot of picturesque stops along the way–streams, waterfalls, foot onsens, etc. The scenic walk is about 15.5km, or however far you choose to walk.

This year the event will be held on the weekend of June 11th and June 12th. There’s a 1,500 yen entry fee per person and the Super Rindo will be open from 8:30-16:00 on both days. Anyone can pay on the day of at the Ichirino Ski area.

Those who will be driving can park there for free and then take a free shuttle up to the starting point. For those without a car, you can reserve a bus in advance from Kanazawa or Komatsu for 1000 yen return trip.

What: Super Rindo Walk

When: June 11th or June 12th, 8:00-16:00

Where: Starting point is Ichirino (一里野) in Hakusan

Price: 1,500 yen per person (Payable on the day of the event) (The price is reduced to 300 yen for guests staying at the hotels of the Hakusan Onsen Village  [白山温泉郷]).

Access: Drivers can park at the Ichirino Ski area for free and then take a free shuttle up to the trail.

Buses are available from Kanazawa Station or Komatsu Station, but reservations are required in advance. From both stations the price is 1000 yen for round trip.  For reservations, call the Hakusan City Tourist Information Center at 076-273-4851. Bus reservations can be made until 6 pm on 10 June.

Visual Nutritional Information on Eiyou Keisan

It’s “another day, another omiyage” at the Japanese office. One thing I’ve noticed is that omiyage, and, obviously, food from street vendors rarely have the nutritional content listed.  If you’ve ever wondered about the calories in taiyaki, yokan, or other Japanese foods, the website (「栄養計算」) has the answers.

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16th Annual Kanazawa Green Walk

This guest post is by Sophie, a CIR in Kanazawa.

The annual Kanazawa Green Walk is coming up again!!

Courses: this year for the first time there will be 4 walking courses:
-A: Saigawa walking course, about 5km
-B: Kanazawa’s 3 famous writers course: about 9km
-C: Yuwaku Yuzu-no-Michi course: about 15km
-And new this year: D: Enjoy Yuwaku Onsen Course: 15km + 5km
Basically, you do course C on April 29th, you spend the night at Yuwaku Onsen (湯涌温泉), and on April 30th, you walk 5 more kilometers.

What day: April 29th (Friday, a holiday) for courses A through C,
April 29th (Fri) AND 30th (Sat) for course D
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How to Wash Woolens in Japan

Living with no central heating in one of the rainiest prefectures in Japan has convinced me that wool (uuru, ウール; ke, 毛) is perhaps the most amazing fabric on earth. It keeps you warm even when it’s wet and dries quickly. If you’re like me and didn’t own a lot of woolens or wool blends prior to moving to Japan, proper care and washing of woolens might be new to you.

First, keep all your dirty woolens in the same laundry basket—this will prevent mix-ups and snagging on zippers, etc.

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