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Today's Contents:

1. The first bits: Things To Do, Travel destinations, Okazaki Autumn/Fall Festival, San-san-san kippu.
2. Course information.
3. Staff Interview: Tomas Cermak.
4. In the News: "Nobel Prizes for Obata and Tanaka", and "Home"
5. Japan Guide: Yunomine Onsen.
6. About The Yamasa Institute for Japanese Studies.
7. Subscription Information.

1. The first bits.

  • Apologies to everyone who was unable to access Yamasa's hompage during the last week. The problem with our server in Tokyo has now been solved and all areas of the web-site are now accessable as they were previously.

  • We bid farewell to one of Student Affairs' longest serving employees, Yoko Hikosaka who will be finishing working at Yamasa at the end of October to get married. We wish her all the best for the future.

  • Tomei expressway roadworks: It's that time of year again when roadworks on the expressway, from Tokyo to Kasugai (north east of Nagoya), will mean that travel will be restricted from October 30 - 31 (14.00 - 06.00) and from October 21 - November 1 (06.00 - 15.00). Only one lane will be open on the expressway and there are limit controls on the number of vehicles that will be allowed onto the road during these times. If you plan to go to Nagoya or Tokyo by car or highway bus during these times, try to plan your trip around these roadworks!

    (a) Things to do:

  • Okazaki Autumn/Fall Festival: From 10:00am to 4:00pm on Sunday November 3rd and Monday 4th (national holiday) there will be a festival taking place near the Tono-bashi bridge on the banks of the Oto river in Higashi Okazaki. A market including a tabacco fair, recycling workshop and stalls selling a wide variety of products with be held along with a Wa-Daiko (Japanese Drum) performance on the Sunday from 1:00pm to 4:00pm.

  • Nagoya City Marathon: On the 23rd of November the Nagoya marathon (actually just a half marathon) will take place. Applications to take part will be accepted until 31st of October, with a participation fee of 3,500 Yen. Applications are available from DoCoMo shops and branches of Circle K convenience store. All those who sign up will receive a free marathon t-shirt as a souvenir. Call (052) 972-3262 for more information (in Japanese).

  • Free Japanese Classes! - Okazaki International Association holds free Japanese lessons taught by volunteers to non-Japanese living in Okazaki. Every Saturday from 2:30pm to 4:30pm at Tatsumigaoka-kaikan (3rd Floor), a 10 minute walk from Higashi Okazaki Station to Higashi Myodaiji cho. And also every 2nd, 3rd and 4th Thursday and Sunday of the month in Aoi Hall at Yamasa from 10:00am - 12:00am. Call 0564-23-6644 for more details.

    (b) Travel:

    The full tour schedule for Autumn is online. There are day trips as well as overnight runs to various locations throughout the region. Each trip is offering at a lower cost than trains and other transport options, some are "well beaten paths", but many destinations are included that are difficult to get to by public transport and frequently missed by foreign visitors to Japan.

  • On November 2nd there is a one day trip to Tokoname to make ceramics with a master potter, and a walking tour of historic kiln district. Make your own beer mug or sake cups! (Cost: 6,600 yen including tax. Departure from your accommodation NOV/02 at 0800, return at 1800. Includes all transport, instruction, clay & glazes, and lunch.)

  • The following weekend (November 9th) there is another one day trip, this time to the Ruins of Noda Castle, Horai-ji, and the battlefield of Nagashino. (Cost: 6,600 yen including tax. Departure from your accommodation NOV/09 at 0800, return at 1800. Includes all transport, does not include lunch.)

  • On November 16th and 17th there is a two day weekend trip to Nara. On the 16th destinations include: Kofuku-ji, Nara Park, Todai-ji, and Isuien Garden and the Neiraku Museum. On the 17th the trip will visit Yakushiji-ji, Horyu-ji and Chogu-ji, Muro-ji and Magai Buttsu. (Cost: 19,800 yen including tax. Departure from your accommodation NOV/16 at 0730, return NOV/17 at 1830. Includes all transport, all admission fees, dinner/accommodation/breakfast. Does not include lunches.)

    Please check the schedule for more details. Space is limited, for bookings/inquiries please go to the Student Services office, Level 1, Yamasa II Building.

    (c) San-san-san kippu:

    Meitetsu, Kintetsu and Nankai railways are offering a new discount rail ticket until October 31st. This ticket can be used over 3 consecutive days until October 31st and enables to go as far as places such as Kyoto, Osaka and Wakayama. A 'regular' ticket (trains only) costs 5,000 Yen and a 'wide' ticket, which includes unlimited use of trains, buses and ferries run by the 3 companies, costs 6,000 Yen. These tickets can be bought from most Meitestu, Kintestu or Nankai ticket offices.

    (d) The long awaited Online Center:

    The Online Center for Japanese Studies is up and running and can be accesssed at http://www.yamasa.org/ocjs/. Passwords can now be obtained through our new secure server. A big thank you to everyone who assisted, for full information on updates to the Online Center please click here.

    (e) Other bits:

    Admissions Coordinator, International Office
    The Yamasa Institute - Aichi Center for Japanese Studies
    1-2-1 Hanehigashimachi Okazaki
    Aichi Japan 444-0832

    Tel: +81 (0) 564 55 8111
    Fax: +81 (0) 564 55 8174 (admissions)
    Fax: +81 (0) 564 55 8113 (student affairs)
    Email: Admissions
    Email: newsletter@yamasa.org
    URL: http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/
    URL: http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/network/

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    2. Course Information


    All of Yamasa's accommodation is full until the beginning of November unless there are cancellations and accommodation from December is now extremely limited. There are usually some last-minute changes, so check with Admissions for information or see the availability file for details. Please note that accommodation is not reserved until we have received the full tuition fees for your chosen course.

    Accommodation in apartments in the annexe of the Rec World Hotel (near Daijuji Temple) will be used whenever Yamasa's accommodation becomes full. The prices for the "1K-Single" and "2K-Shared" room options have been discounted and are now the same price as the Student Village. For more information on the apartments in the Rec World Hotel annexe, please see the following pages:

    http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/english/hotel.html (for accommodation description)
    http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/english/tankisei.html (for price list of accommodation)

    Message from Yukiko Iijima (Housing Officer): Please also note that it is extremely important that you rank your accommodation preferences clearly. Upgrades are possible in the event of cancellations - so if your first preference is a single room in the village, select "Village single" as first choice, "Residence U" as your second choice and so on.

    Long-term Courses:

    Student Visa: We are now accepting applications for the April 2003 student visa start. Please note that we will take into account a number of factors when considering a student visa application including age, academic background, nationality and so on - automatic acceptance of a student visa application is not guaranteed. If you need more information about dates, please check the deadlines for the student visa listed in each course in the program catalogue. If you wish to apply for the April 2003 start please contact Admissions for more information.

    Short-term courses:

    Discovery Tour starting on December 13th - itinerary at: http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/english/programs/discovery_20021213.html Contact Admissions for details. There are still a number of places available - join a very small private tour: Includes Kamakura Daibutsu, Tokyo: Ueno Koen, Shitamachi Museum, Akihabara Electric town, Shinjuku, Tokyo Disneyland, Okutono Jinya, Enoshima, Sekigahara battlefield site, Hikone Castle, Genkyo-en Garden, Lake Biwa cruise - Chichibu island, Kunizakari Sake, Tokoname, Denpark, Toba, Futamigaura, Ise Grand Shrines, Kyoto - Kinkakuji, Nijo Castle and many other locations.

    Other Discovery Tours all have vacancies - contact Admissions for further information. Tour dates for next year are available at http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/english/programs/discovery_dates.html

    All SILAC start dates have space from November 14th but accommodation is very limited. Contact Admissions as soon as possible for information.

    The AIJP, AJSP, and Acceleration Format 1 programs are full until January 2003.

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    3. Staff Interview: Tomas Cermak (Programmer - OCJS)

    Tomas Cermak
    Tomas Cermak

    I caught up with Tomas whilst he was working on the Online Center for Japanese Studies (OCJS)..

    Jon: Do you have time for a quick interview for this week's newsletter?
    Tomas Yeh, sure.

    J: I can see that you're doing some work on the OCJS at the moment but can you tell me what exactly your job here is?
    T: I'm a programmer. I do a number of different jobs related to computers, not only programming but I also build new PC's and maintain Yamasa's WEB servers. My work at the moment is concentrated on programming the OCJS.

    J: Tell me a bit more about the OCJS and its development.
    T: I`ve been working on this project for 2 years now. I do most of the programming and the contents are developed by our Instruction Coordinators, Erina Kato and Tadashi Sugita. It's programmed in IBM Lotus Domino which means that it can support a multilanguage environment. The first 50 lessons are already finished and these are currently being translated into 5 languages other than the original English version - Chinese (traditional), Czech, German, Korean and Spanish. There are still many things to do though!

    J: How did you come to work in the International Office ?
    T: I first came to study at Yamasa, which I did for about 18 months on AIJP. I was looking for work during and after my studies were finished and I mentioned this to Admissions Coordinator. So when Declan started the OCJS project, he asked me to work on it. I think I was very lucky to get the job at the time.

    J: What was studying at Yamasa like?
    T: I think that the classes were good. I preferred some..............................

    Continued at http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/network/english/newsletter/staff_int_24.html

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    4. In the News: Two new articles

    In this edition we have two new articles. ganbatte!

    The first is a Chunichi Shimbun article regarding the Nobel Prizes for Obata and Tanaka, and the second from AERA magazine concerning a documentary film called "Home".

    About "In the News": This section aims to help you improve your understanding of articles in contemporary Japanese print and web media. Articles are from a wide range of sources including business, fashion, music, lifestyle, entertainment, crime, politics, international relations and so on. All articles are printable, and are accompanied by streaming audio files of the article being read at normal speed by male and female native speakers. Furthermore there are questions from the OCJS faculty that will help you confirm your reading or listening comprehension skills. (If you are an advanced learner, you may wish to attempt the questions after first listening to the audio link only, and then read the article to test your listening comprehension skills).

    In addition, by using the link generator of the OCJS online dictionary with its definitions and kanji animations, you can easily check the meaning of new words, and also the stroke order of any Kanji that are new for you. The titles of the links ARE NOT translations of the headline accompanying the article (we don't want to give beginner level students too many hints to the answers), but are indicative of the subject field.

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    5. Japan Guide: Yunomine Onsen

    Yunomine Onsen is famous as being the oldest of the many hot springs in Japan. It is said to have been discovered in the second century, and by the Heian period (794-1192) it had become well-known amongst pilgrims travelling the Kumano road, who would purify their bodies here before going to the three sacred shrines of the Kumano Sanzen.

    The village basically consist of one narrow street beside a fastflowing stream. The hot springs are located in the center of the valley, mostly in the ryokans and minshuku lining the street. The steep hillsides are heavily forested, and the valley often filled with mist. Especially in the cooler months and winter, white clouds of steam and the rows of old wooden houses recreate a timeless........................

    Continued at http://www.yamasa.org/japan/english/destinations/wakayama/yunomine_onsen.html

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    The Yamasa Institute is committed to providing high-quality education in the Japanese language. We are a non-profit organization, a part of the Hattori Group. We are accredited by Association for the Promotion of Japanese Language Education - APJLE, accreditation number B302 - and "the only Institute in the Mikawa region with the appropriate programs, systems, curriculum and facilities required for quality Japanese language education" according to the Ministry of Justice. Further, in recognition of the excellent quality of our programs, we are in the top tier of 'Appropriately Authorized Japanese Language Education Institutes' - in fact, the only school in the Mikawa area with this prestigious recommendation. For full details see the accreditation section on the homepage at http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/english/accreditation.html

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    C O M M U N I T Y   M E M B E R S

    Hattori Foundation (est.1919) - The Yamasa Institute
    1-2-1 Hanehigashi-machi, Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture, JAPAN 444-0832
    Tel: +81 (0)564 55 8111 Fax: +81 (0)564 55 8113 Email: Inquiries

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