The sake cup in the picture may look pretty shallow, but for two very special days in March, it’s as deep as the sea. That’s right, Sake no Jin is back, and on March 9th and 10th (Sat & Sun) anyone with an official cup can drown themselves in unlimited samples from nearly all 90 of Niigata’s sake breweries. Sake no Jin is the ultimate sake lover’s event, and busloads of sake drinkers come from around the nation to drink their fill.

Emitai Bakery

This time, our spotlight is on a bakery that may be a bit out of the way but is well worth the trip. The name of the bakery comes from Senegalese lighting god. The owner, Mr. Mitsuhiko Kawashima, went to a bakery of the same name in Senegal during his time volunteering with JICA. (more…)




With the arrival of summer comes the Niigata City International Exchange Foundation’s annual Outdoor Sports Festival! Come enjoy a day of team sports and good times by the beach. There will be plenty of time to play, eat, or just stand around talking. Teachers from local clubs will be present to provide instruction for beach volleyball and frisbee.

How to Get Important Documents at Convenient Stores

Beginning March 1st this year, copies of important documents such as your juminhyo (certificate of residence) and proof of personal seal registration can be acquired at convenience stores.

The below is a translation of the information found on the city’s homepage (link below). As far as I know, the process and information is only available in Japanese. This is simply a notice and for your reference.

People eligible for these services

Those who are registered residents of Niigata City (aka have a juminhyo) and have a My Number Card with a PIN (the notification of your individual number will not suffice)

Not available for people under the age of 15 or adult wards of the state.

Types of documents available and their cost

For those who are a registered resident of Niigata City

  1. Certificate of residence: 300 yen per copy.
  2. Proof of Personal Seal registration: 300 yen per copy.
  3. Certificate of Items Stated in Resident Register: 300 yen per copy

(Residence Code and Individual Number cannot be listed on either 1 or 3)

For those who are a registered resident and have permanent residence in Niigata City

  1. Complete family register certificate of registered items: 450 yen per copy
  2. Copy of supplementary family register: 300 yen per copy

Chains that provide these services

Seven Eleven, Lawson, Family Mart, Circle K, Save On, Aeon (not all locations have the machine needed)

Times services are offered

6:30 am until 11:00 pm, not available during the New Year’s holiday (12/29-1/3)

Terms and Conditions

  • Only available if you are the person that is listed on the My Number Card.
  • If you recently submitted a notice of birth, marriage, or divorce, these services may be unavailable temporary while your information is being updated.
  • If you input the wrong PIN 3 times in a row you will be locked out and become unable to use the services.
  • Once issued, refunds and exchanges are not possible. Refunds are only available if the printer messed up.
  • These documents have a processing fee. If you are in some way exempt, please apply for copies at the ward or city office.
  • You will be unable to use these services if you have requested copies not be allowed, if you are no longer registered as a resident in Niigata City, or have started the paperwork for moving-out of Niigata City.
  • My Number Card is needed for these services. It takes about a month after applying for your card before it is ready for pick up from your ward office (Resident’s Division or Citizen Services Division).

Teishoku Yotsuba


Teishoku Yotsuba on a rare sunny winter’s day

Opened in December of 2016, this restaurant has been serving up delicious Chinese food which you know has to be good, not just because I said so, but because the owner is from Harbin in Northern China.

Located on a main street in Higashi Ward with a bus stop nearby, this open and airy restaurant is a great place to eat lunch and I can only assume that it is great for dinner as well, considering their happy hour and drink set menus.


Nakano House Museum

The spotlight this time is on the Nakano House Museum-an absolutely gorgeous place that I am surprised even NEEDS the spotlight in the first place. Not only is it a photographer’s paradise (especially in the fall), but it holds so much history and art that it is definitely worth a visit (or three).