(English) Live Healthy, Earn Points and Win Prizes from Fukuoka City

(English) Fukuoka City’s Health Promotion Section is set to launch a new “Fukuoka Kenko Mileage Program” this August. The program aims to promote healthy living among citizens and reduce the city’s spending on health services. They are aiming for 1,000 participants aged twenty years and older. In the program, participants set a personal health goal, such as “to eat vegetables every day,” or “to quit smoking.”

Read More 7月. 23, 2014, 11:51

(English) NY Style Cupcakes in Fukuoka

(English) Cupcakes have been a big trend in America and Europe, and now finally they have arrived in Fukuoka. Henry & Cowell, located in Yakuin, began selling very fancy and cute NY style cupcakes in June. While the cupcakes look as decadent as the ones in New York these cupcakes are deliberately less sweet in an attempt to appeal more to the Japanese palate. They currently sell nine different flavors including strawberry, orange, Earl Grey, raisin, blueberry, lemon, apple, red velvet, and coffee!

Read More 7月. 22, 2014, 18:21

(English) Permanent Resident Foreigner Denied Welfare

(English) In a ruling issued by the Second Petty Bench of the Supreme Court, an 82-year old permanent resident woman with Chinese nationality residing in Oita Prefecture was denied welfare benefits. The woman, who was born and raised in Japan, filed a complaint when her first application for benefits was refused by Oita City in 2008. The city later began disbursing benefits at its own discretion in accordance with a health ministry notification from 1954. The issue was narrowed down to focus on whether permanent resident foreigners should be eligible since the word used in the law is “kokumin” (citizens). The Oita District Court ruled that “the responsibility for guaranteeing a person’s right to life lies with the country of nationality”, but the Fukuoka Appellate Court overturned this ruling by stating, “permanent resident foreigners can be considered eligible for protection regardless of the wording in the law”. The Supreme Court’s ruling, in turn, overturned the Fukuoka court’s decision. Source: Nishinippon Shimbun 7/19

Read More 10:37

(English) Sendai Nuke Plant Could Restart by October

(English) On July 16, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) unanimously agreed to provisionally approve the restart of the no. 1 and 2 reactors at the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant in Satsumasendai City, Kagoshima Prefecture. The official approval report will be issued after a 30-day public question period. Since the plants cannot be restarted without the go-ahead from local community, they are expected to resume operation in or after October. Although there was some concern about the possible effects of volcanoes, the NRA agreed that “the possibility of an eruption during the operation of the plant is sufficiently low”. When asked about the possibility of restarting Kyushu’s other nuke plant in Genkai Town, Saga Prefecture, NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said, “expect some progress [on that]”. Source: Nishinippon Shimbun 7/17

Read More 7月. 18, 2014, 14:16

(English) Oita Company Completes Ramune Rainbow Series

(English) Rainbow Ramune, a popular line of soft drinks manufactured by Hita, Oita Prefecture-based Maruhachi, will add its seventh flavor (peach) this August to complete the rainbow series it first launched in 1995. The pink drink joins purple, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. Maruhachi first produced ramune in 1899 alongside its lineup of soy sauces and misos. The Rainbow Ramune series is made by adding natural coloring agents to the company’s original ramune. The lemon-flavored yellow ramune is colored with safflower, the Hawaiian Blue-flavored blue with gardenia and the grape-flavored purple with red cabbage. The apple-flavored red, orange-flavored orange, melon-flavored green and peach-flavored pink all use different combinations of three coloring agents. Special ochugen (mid-year gift) sets of 15 bottles are now on sale for a limited time at Mitsukoshi stores across Japan and the Iwataya in Fukuoka. Source: Nishinippon Shimbun 7/11

Read More 7月. 14, 2014, 10:08

(English) RV Camping in Momochi

(English) What is Fukuoka’s latest summertime activity? Camping on the beach in Momochi! Inner-city beach Jigyohama opened a brand new RV campground on July 1, located inside the landmark Seaside Momochi Beach Park area. Just 15 minutes by car from Tenjin and right next to Fukuoka Yahuoku! Dome and Fukuoka Tower. It’s a great chance to go camping inside city limits, and a good overnight option after a Hawks’ baseball game! The campsite has spaces large enough to pitch a tent with your vehicle closeby. A park administrator said that the campground offers an amazing night view, and the location has great potential as a tourist spot. Each compartment has fifty square meters and includes a wooden deck. There is also a communal kitchen, temporary shower, and even some shops. The barbecue area can accommodate approximately 70 persons and offers a night view of Fukuoka Tower and the sunset on the beach. ¥5,000 per night, with 14:00 check-in and 12:00 noon check-out the next day.

Read More 7月. 11, 2014, 14:22

(English) Australian Rugby Star Moving to Fukuoka

(English) Australian rugby star, Nick “Honey Badger” Cummins, has signed with Coca Cola West Red Sparks. Cummins, a colorful character, well known rugby player and larrikin, will join the Fukuoka team from August for the season finishing February next year. The 15-test winger has selflessly put aside his Australian representative jersey for next year’s Rugby World Cup, to come to Japan to support his family with the lucrative offer made by the Red Sparks. The 26 year old is one of eight children who was brought up by his father Mark, a single parent, who is currently battling prostate cancer. On top of this, one brother and one sister suffer from cystic fibrosis. His current club, Perth based Western Force, in the Super Rugby competition, released him from his contract on compassionate grounds. Cummins has released the following statement, “My family is currently enduring some extremely difficult times in terms of their health and well being. It was a difficult decision to make in the context of a Rugby World Cup next year, but the health and well being of my family is paramount. I must now put my own interests in the world cup aside.” Fukuoka is in for a treat with the Honey Badger’s move. He is recognized as one of the best wingers in the world. And, his wild-haired look is sure to turn heads on and off the field. Fukuoka Now sends out a special welcome to the “Honey Badger – please enjoy your time in our city!

Read More 7月. 10, 2014, 12:25

(English) Jetstar Asia Launches Singapore-Bangkok Fukuoka Service

(English) Jetstar Asia began flights on their new “Singapore-Bangkok-Fukuoka” route on June 26, becoming the first low cost carrier (LCC) to operate the between Singapore and Fukuoka via Bangkok. The new daily service uses the 180-seat Airbus A320. Flights depart from Fukuoka at 10:30 am. and arrive at Singapore at 6:40 pm. via Bangkok. Flights depart Singapore at 22:50, flights arrive at Fukuoka at 9:30am. Jetstar Asia CEO Bara Pasupathi said the airline had seen strong bookings since announcing the route in February. “We’re pleased with how the market is responding and all indications suggest it’s only going to grow in popularity as more travellers learn about our offering,” Mr Pasupathi said.

Read More 7月. 9, 2014, 14:33

(English) Typhoon Number 8 Update for Fukuoka

(English) Strong typhoon “Typhoon Number 8” is moving north from the East China Sea at a speed of 20km/h. Heavy rains and lightning are expected for the whole Fukuoka area from this evening, and into tomorrow morning. Fukuoka, Kitakyushu and Chikugo residents are warned to be careful of violent winds today, and big waves in Fukuoka this afternoon. Parts of Fukuoka may experience strong winds of 15m/s this afternoon, and the Chikugo area is expected to experience violent winds of 25m/s by tomorrow noon (7/10).

Read More 11:37

(English) Typhoon Number 8 Approaches Kyushu

(English) A very strong typhoon “Typhoon Number 8” is moving towards Kyushu, Japan, from the Pacific Ocean in the south Okinawa at a speed of 20km/h and is expected to arrive in Okinawa on July 8 and in Kyushu on July 10. At the core, pressure is measured at 930 hpa, with a maximum wind speed of 50m/s; and violent winds of 25m/s are measured within a 200km radius of the core. The typhoon is expected to gain strength as it moves towards Japan, resulting in strong weather advisories for Kyushu. Fukuoka City has been issued a landslide warning until early morning (7/8), and a flood warning until today evening. Fukuoka City also has a lightning warning that will start in the early morning of 7/8 and continue throughout the day. Those in Chikugo area should also heed a landslide warning until today noon (7/7). More information will become available as the typhoon progresses. It is recommended to monitor weather reports regularly. Source: Japan Meteorological Agency 7/7 10:28 Recommended website: Weather warnings/advsories – Japan Metrological Agency

Read More 7月. 7, 2014, 11:14
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