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Eco-friendly life in Shiga

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Since long ago, people in Shiga have been living with the largest lake in Japan and the mountains surrounding it, blessed with an environment rich in nature. In recent years, industrialization and our lifestyle have had various effects on nature. Let’s all think about what we can do to protect our beautiful environment and safe lifestyle!

Act on the 3 R's

1. Reduce: Reduce trash

Bring your own reusable bags. Avoid using plastic bags supplied at grocery stores to help reduce plastic trash. Eliminate food waste by only buying necessary ingredients. Starting July 2020, plastic bags at locations such as grocery and convenience stores will no longer be supplied free of charge.

2. Reuse: Reuse items

Use the recycle shop or flea market to dispose of unnecessary items, or give away items to others. Use items with care.

3. Recycle: Utilize the resources

Use items repeatedly as a resource. Unnecessary items may be used effectively by separating the different types of trash and recycling. Materials collected as resources will be reused as raw materials for new products. Separate the different types of trash for disposal and utilize the collection box at grocery stores.
〇Sorting the different types of trash at home
Garbage collection and the way of sorting the things you throw away differ among regions. Ask your city hall or neighbors on how to sort out trash. Follow the garbage collection date, location, and regional rules before throwing things away.

History of Eco-friendly Life in Shiga

  • From long ago, an eco-friendly water culture called “kabata” exists in the district of Harie in Shinasahi-cho, Takashima city. Homes in this district have a system of driving spring water that originates from the mountains for use in the kitchen as shown in the diagram on the right. The spring water is not only used for drinking, but can also be accumulated in a basin called “tsuboike” to be used for cooking, washing, soaking vegetables for storage, and cooling. Water flowing out of the “tsuboike” goes into another basin called “hataike” where koi fish eat the remaining grains of rice and vegetable waste mixed in the water. The water will then flow out of homes into a canal.
  • In 1977, there was an outbreak of red tide in Biwako due to phosphorus used in synthetic detergents. This initiated the “natural soap movement” to use natural powdered soap and to stop using synthetic detergents in order to protect the beauty of Biwako. The Biwako Ordinance was established in 1980 to keep Biwako clean, and to commemorate this day, July 1st was designated as “Biwako Day”. Around this day, all residents in the prefecture take part by cleaning their neighborhood, regions along the lakeside, and waterways. Please take part!

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Bank Accounts and Remittance for Foreigners

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  • Those who are in Japan on a tourist visa or other short stay visa cannot open a bank account in Japan.
  • A residence card, a My Number card or another identity document, a proof of current address and a personal seal (inkan) are required to open a bank account.
  • Banks or money transfer service providers can be used when transferring money to another country.
  • * Companies who transfer money without registration are operating illegally and must not be used.
    * When transferring money abroad, the My Number is required.
  • Contact the financial institution if the address, period of stay, status changes, after leaving the school or work, or if a bank book or cash card is lost. 
  • When the account will no longer be used because of a return to the home country, the account should be closed.

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Do you know the activities in community centers? ~Take on a new challenge!~

Answer

Community and civic centers are facilities that citizens can use for public purposes such as activities for learning and gatherings of independent groups. Personal computer and health classes, yoga, calligraphy, flower arrangement (ikebana), English conversation classes are held and offers a place where children can spend time, where citizens can conduct their club activities and where lifetime courses are held. Joining is easy, inexpensive, and you can even make friends in your community. Let’s inquire on what kind of activities are offered in city halls and community centers! For those who like sports, classes and club activities such as gymnastics, judo, badminton, table tennis, volleyball, swimming, etc. are held at municipal and prefectural gymnasiums. Inquire at city halls and other public facilities for details.

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Before deciding to have a pet

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Pets are sold in pet shops, but dogs and cats without an owner are given protection by animal protection centers, and by registering, one can become a foster parent for these animals (Some animals are banned from being kept as pets, according to the law.) You should discuss about possible allergies with members of the family, and the lifelong responsibility of keeping a pet. Those who live in apartments or rented houses should check the terms of their occupancy, etc. Pets may become ill and grow old, and medical expenses may likewise become costly, so take into consideration the financial burden that you will have to bear. There are private pet insurance companies but there is no public pet insurance system.
Shiga Animal Care Center
℡ 0748-75-1911 136-98 Iwane, Konan City
http://www.sapca.jp/
Otsu City Hall Health Department Health Center Animal Care Center
℡ 077-574-4601 1-chome 24-2 Oginosato, Otsu City
http://www.city.otsu.lg.jp/soshiki/021/1442/

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How to keep a pet (dog)

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Have your pet vaccinated against rabies at a veterinary hospital (mandatory) and get a “rabies vaccination completion certificate”, then submit it to the city hall. (Combined vaccine, microchip implant, castration/contraceptive surgery, filariasis or heartworm disease prevention, and giving medication for flea/tick prevention are optional.)  Register your dog at the city hall and get a tag and registration card (from 91 days to 120 days after birth or within 30 days from the day of ownership). Dogs over 91 days after birth will be vaccinated against rabies once a year.
★Be responsible for your pets: take them for a walk, feed them, and have them vaccinated. Discipline them so as not to cause any trouble to others. Clean up your pet’s feces and dispose of them at home. Letting your dog roam freely and releasing them while taking them for a walk in the park is prohibited.

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My pet got lost! I have someone’s pet in my care…

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Contact the animal protection center or the nearest police station.

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In case my pet dies?

Answer

  1. Contact the city hall.
    *The procedure may be different depending on the city, but some have a place for cremation of animals. In the case of dogs, follow the procedure for cancellation of registration at the city hall. (within 30 days)
  2. There are also private companies dealing with pet funerals and graves.
  3. Burying the body of a dead animal in a private land is allowed, but is forbidden in rivers, parks, etc.

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When leaving, entering the country with my pet?

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When taking a pet abroad or bringing it back home, it is necessary to comply with the requirements to be able to enter Japan and the country of destination. Since the procedure takes time, please contact the Animal Quarantine Service as soon as possible.
Animal Quarantine Service

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Facilities where you can enjoy nature in Shiga prefecture

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Engaging in agriculture

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For those who want to enjoy agriculture

Rent a farm. A rental farm is a small area of land that you can rent at a reasonable price where you can grow your choice of vegetables and flowers. It is your very own small farm.
There are rental farms such as allotment gardens managed by the city hall, JA (Japan Agricultural Cooperative), NPO corporations, private farms, etc. Please contact each one respectively as conditions may vary for each.

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If you experience living difficulties

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Consult at the welfare office of the city hall or at the social welfare council.
Social Inclusion Support Center “Yorisoi Hotline”
Tel: 0120-279-338

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Regarding the Post Office

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The following related pages have guidance in each language.

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Driver's License

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Shiga Prefecture Driver’s License Center
2294 Konohama-cho, Moriyama City
Tel. 077-585-1255

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Acquiring a Driver’s License

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To obtain a new Japanese driver's license for those without a foreign driver’s license, please take the examination in the same way as a Japanese. In this case, you may choose to take the written examination in one of the following languages: Japanese, English, Portuguese or Chinese.
Regarding Japanese traffic rules, the book “Rules of the Road”, issued by JAF, is published in English, Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese.