B. Additional Non-academic Information
accommodation is provided for only one
year. You can apply for the same every
September and March.
During summer you can
ride bicycle, however during winter it
becomes inconvenient and even dangerous.
So please consider this in deciding the
location of your apartment.
Japan is a country with
a high cost of living. Nonetheless, there
are things you could find here that are
not so expensive, particularly during
occasional sales and flea markets. You
will be provided with such information
after your arrival here.
Language Courses: Even if you are
attending study program in the English, you
will need Japanese language for daily life.
The best place to learn Japanese language and
to meet foreign friends is the International
Student Center (Ryuugakusei Center),
which is located in the southern end of the
university, you can see the campus map of
Hokkaido University at http://www.hokudai.ac.jp/bureau/map-e/mapindx1-e.htm
can pick the necessary documents and
registration forms for your Japanese language
classes directly from the International
Student Center. There are also other Japanese
courses organized by Japanese volunteers. For
details, see leaflets and advertisements
accessible in the International Student
Center. “What’s on in Sapporo” or
“Handbook for Daily Life” handed out in
the moment of registration in the ward office.
Student Center: For general problems,
the best place to contact is the International
Students Center, where you can find people in
charge like Professor Hiroshi Kanagawa,
Professor Michio Yoneyama and Professor
life: If you want to enjoy life in
Japan and have more Japanese friends you can
get useful information from the monthly
brochure, "What's on in Sapporo" or
“Xena”. You can also read from the
information boards in the International
Students Center or Sapporo International
Information Plaza near the Clock Tower.
If you are not allocated the University
accommodation, you can find the apartments
from many housing agencies in Sapporo. The
first agency that you should go is the
university CO-OP, which can provide various
kinds of apartment with cheaper commission
fee. Examples of the agencies are JOG, BIG,
is also a good accommodation for foreign
students in Toyohira Dormitory (Gakuen-mae).
If they do not have any vacant room, they will
help you find one in the city.
the way to choose the location of the house
consider following points:
Windows should face to
the south (minami-muki) because your room
will not be so cold in winter and not so
hot in summer.
For easy going out in
the winter, the house should be near the
subway station (but it certainly makes
your apartment more expensive).
Because of Sapporo
winter it is better to choose concrete
building rather than wooden one. Many old
wooden houses in Japan have practically no
It is good to ask the
owner of the apartment about a toyu stove.
Toyu (kerosene) is incomparably cheaper
than gas heating, hence more commonly used
in Japanese households. However some
landlords ban this type of heating because
of risk of fire.
Moreover, for the
reason of comfort in winter it is better
to have neighboring apartments on your
sides and above you. It is warmer. Because
of snow in winter it is also better to
occupy a room on higher level than the
the rental payment (yachin), you can also pay
by transferring money to the owner’s account
you move, you have to inform the ward office
and the bank where you have an account so as
to make sure that mails addressed to your
previous address will be rerouted to your new
address. Drop by at any post office to fill-up
the form for the change of mailing address.
as foreign resident: As a person who
will be staying in Japan more than 90 days
(your visa status is "college
student" and is valid for 2 years) you
have to register at the ward office of the
area where you live. This means that first you
ought to have your own address in Japan. So
after you have moved into the university
accommodation or a rented a private apartment,
go to the relevant district ward office to
apply for your Alien Registration card. At
the same place you can also apply for your
Health Insurance; your tutor will help you to
manage everything. You will be given a
temporary document and will have to collect
the Alien Registration Card during a certain
period. Since you do not always carry
your passport, the card is your most important
document in Japan. You should carry this card
all the time and show the same in many
will be asked by the Academic Affairs Office
to pronounce your name so that they can write
it down in katakana correctly. Keep a
copy of your correct name in katana with you.
You should at least practice to write your
name in katakana and pay attention to have the
same name written in all your documents, bank
accounts, etc. Transcriptions made by many
(too many) different persons often vary and it
is troublesome to make corrections once
everything is done.
for bringing your family to Japan: You
will need some documents to get the
Certificate of Eligibility to bring your
family as dependent to Japan as follow:
Alien registration card
(this can be done parallel to the
eligibility form procedure)
Proof of your ability
to support your family (a letter from
university that shows you are receiving
university registration from the academic
affairs office in the first floor.
Proof of relationship
(in English and your own language if
Two photos (3 x 4cm) of
your family members that you plan to bring
office is located along Odori Street, Nishi
and mobile phone (keitai-denwa): If
you want to have a landline, you should buy a
line from NTT. It is cheaper to buy a used
line (e.g. from a graduating student). Most of
the students however use mobile phones since
it seems to be a better option in their case.
are many discount promotions from various
mobile phone companies. You should buy your
mobile phone unit at the mobile phone shop
because in other places the mobile phone
itself may not bet free (depending on the
are many pre-paid international call cards
with relatively cheap rates available at
convenience stores and elsewhere. The rates
differ from company to company and depend on
which country you are calling. You should ask
your senior for more information.
It is easy to travel
around Sapporo, since there are three
subway lines in Sapporo, JR lines.
Except in winter, most
Hokkaido University students use bicycles
in their daily life.
Sapporo is a city where
almost everything is nearby. Sometimes you
need nothing more than a short walk.
There are not so many
banks that Sapporo people use; they are
Hokkaido Bank (Hokkaido-ginkou) and North
Pacific Bank (Hokuyo Bank). For Hokkaido
Bank, it is easy to open an account
because they do not need your inkan or
hanko (name seal).
Bank accounts in Japan
are permanent. You do not need to close
them when you leave.
You should also open
the post-office’s account in case of
traveling outside of Hokkaido because it
is easy to find post-office’s ATM.
Japanese banks are
opened for over the counter services from
9am to 3:00pm. (Post offices work
generally till 5:00pm, but transfer of
money is not accepted after 3pm.)
Administration Center: If you have
any concern about your health, please contact
the Health Administration Center. The
university provides a physical check-up (free
of change) for all students every year (April
to June) at the Health Administration Center.
The date for physical check-ups is assigned by
the faculty and will be announced in advance.
Subsequent to the physical examination, a
health certificate will be issued if
necessary. The certificate is necessary when
you apply for the postgraduate program,
scholarships, and for entering the dormitories
etc. However, it will not be issued to
students who missed regular physical checkup
without legitimate reason.
if you submit your medical bill, after going
to a doctor or hospital, attached to an
application form to the office, you can get
back up to about 80% of your bill.
When you go to a clinic
or a hospital, you should bring your
health insurance card (hoken) with you
because the medical fees here are very
expensive. You can save 70% of total
medical fee when you show your health
Once you have your own
address, your tutor will take you to the
ward office to apply for your alien
registration card and also health
You can also join
Hokkaido University Student Health
Insurance Union. You just need to pay a
membership fee and your medical expenses
at the University’s Health
Administration Center (concerning Internal
Medicine, Orthopedic Surgery, Dentistry,
Mental Counseling) as well as costs of
your medicines will be paid for by the
Time: Aside from studying, you can
also enjoy many activities during your stay in
Sapporo. Different seasons bring different
activities, which will delight you all year
In autumn, you can
enjoy the changing color of the leaves
from green to red (kouyou) in campus and
everywhere in Hokkaido.
In winter, you can
cheer up your life with the winter sports.
There are many big and famous ski area
(ski-jou) such as, Kokusai, Rusutsu,
In spring, there are
many places to view Sakura
In summer, you can
enjoy many activities in Hokkaido such as
rafting, hiking, mountain climbing, etc.
Many flowers bloom such as lavender and
sunflower in this reason.
If you want to enjoy your
holiday or weekend you can get useful
information on the notice board of ISC or
Ryuugakusei center. Some organization, e.g.
"House Friendship" often organizes
tours and trips for foreign students for free
or with minimal charge, while organization
like HIPPO family organizes "home
Hokkaido University campus, you can see
beautiful nature in every season. If you plan
to travel outside Japan, be sure to get a
re-entry visa from the Sapporo Immigration
Rental: There are many rental car
companies, which you can see from the CO-OP (seikyou)
at Clark Kaikan. They have special offers for
students. When you go to rent a car, you
should ask about the insurance (hoken) covered
by the company. Because some companies give
you a cheaper price but the insurance is not
all covered and you have to pay some amount in
case of accident.
Tickets: You can also check the
prices of airtickets at seikyou (CO-OP). There
are many ticketing companies in Sapporo, too.
Some ads are published in “Xena” – free
English magazine which you can pick up at
various places in Sapporo including
International Student Center.
and Trains: Generally buses are a
little cheaper than trains, but trains are
faster. To save time and accommodation cost,
taking an overnight buses (e.g. from Sapporo
to Hakodate) is sometimes a good alternative.
a student you are eligible to discount tickets
for JR trains. Student rate is 20% cheaper
than normal fare but distance should be longer
than 100 km. Before your planned travel you
should take a certificate of your student
status (from the automatic machine in the main
lobby) and give it – showing also your
student ID - to a cashier when buying a
ticket. A certificate is needed for each
markets: In Sapporo like in
many other places all over Japan, there are
numerous organized flea markets selling
second-hand stuffs. Almost every Sunday there
is some flea market somewhere in Sapporo. The
most popular ones are in Nakajima-Koen (Park)
and in winter, in Tsu-domu.
October, "Hokkaido Woman
Association" organizes a bazaar at
Ryuugakusei Center. From there you can get
very cheap dishes (some dishes are given free
of charge), kitchen wares and home appliances,
etc. You can get more information from
these information’s, you can find more
information about life and study in Hokkaido
University is the “Handbook
For International Students”. You
can find the same information in the
to the top
Note: These tips were originally
prepared by EGPSEE students, later it was
modified for new comer Nepalese students.