News

  • 30 Aug 2009 8:34 PM | Deleted user

     

    Mt. Takao Hike and Beer Garden

    By Kuniko Noguchi

     

    IMG_0202-1.JPG

     

     As Mt. Takao was awarded three Michelin stars in 2007, it is getting  

     more bustling with visitors, hikers, and foreign tourists.  “Located fifty

     minutes from the heart of Tokyo, Mt. Takao is covered by a beautiful

     forest that lets visitors enjoy both Japan’s subtropical and temperate

     natural features.  From the summit, there is a panoramic view of Tokyo”

     says Michelin Voyager Pratique Japon, Michelin’s simpler guide to Japan’s

     attractions.

     

     In addition to easy access from Shinjuku, this mountain appeals to

     people with several hiking trails, Yakuoin temple, a scenic cable car & lift

     rides, and particularly seasonal attractions:  Visitors enjoy 

     cherry blossoms in spring, colorful foliage in autumn, and beers in

     summer!  

     

    IMG_0455-1.JPG From July to September, a beer garden  

     called ‘Beer Mount’ opens at the

     observation deck at 500 meters

     from the ground which offers spectacle 

    view of Tokyo.  It is about 3,000 yen 

    for 2 hour all-you-can-eat-and-drink buffet

    and entertains the visitors and weary hikers

     in the mountain retreat.

     

     

     To ensure a pleasant trip, safety should be utmost important as

     is  customary with all of hiking trips.  People should do hiking first,

     then finish the day at Beer Mount, and make sure to do a safe walk or

     take a cable car back to the station after drinking at Beer Mount. 

     

     Mt. Takao: http://www.takaotozan.co.jp/takaotozan_eng1/index2.htm

     Beer Mount:

     http://www.takaotozan.co.jp/takaotozan_eng1/beermnt/index.htm

     

  • 30 Aug 2009 8:10 PM | Deleted user

     

    1.  Changes to Exemption Rules for Foreign Employment Income.

    In the 2009-10 Federal Budget, the government announced changes to the exemption rules for foreign employment income derived by Australian residents.  The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website has information concerning these changes at
    http://www.ato.gov.au/taxprofessionals/content.asp?doc=/content/00201275.htm

    If you would like more information about the legislation behind these changes please refer to the Treasurer’s 2009 media release at: http://www.treasurer.gov.au/DisplayDocs.aspx?doc=pressreleases/2009/066.htm&pageID=003&min=wms&Year=&DocType=0

    If you would like more information about these changes and how they will affect the calculation of your tax please contact the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on +61-2-6216-1111 during business hours of 0830-1645, Monday to Friday (AEST).

    2.  Preparing for Emergencies

    Japan is prone to natural disasters, particularly earthquakes and in some months typhoons and mudslides.  The Australian Government, through its consular officers, endeavours to assist Australians in emergency situations.  This does not, however, diminish the obligation of citizens to prepare for their own welfare.  The Embassy and Consulates are not evacuation centres and are not equipped to serve as refuges for significant numbers of Australians.  

    Your chances of surviving a severe earthquake (or other natural disaster) are enhanced if you make necessary preparations, including assembling an emergency kit to help you through the first days until Japanese Government assistance becomes available.  For more information and suggestions about the contents of emergency kits, please refer to: http://consular.australia.or.jp/pdf/preparing_for_emergencies.pdf

    Prepare now:
    1.        Read an earthquake information booklet - these are available from your local
    ward office
    2.        Assemble an earthquake emergency kit (see list of recommended inclusions in the link above)
    3.        Know the location of your closest evacuation centre
    4.        Learn how to shut off the gas and electricity
    5.        Make sure that furniture items are secure
    6.        Register your contact details with the Australian Embassy or Consulates
    7.        Photocopy passports and other important documents. Store copies away from home (eg. at work)
    8.        Learn how to contact the police, fire and rescue services in Japanese. Be able to provide your address in Japanese.

    If a tremor strikes:
    1.        Immediately turn off any heat sources that could cause fires
    2.        Check your immediate surroundings for fire, gas leaks, broken glass and other hazards
    3.        Take cover under a sturdy table or in a doorway and away from glass
    4.        If possible, open an external door to secure a means of escape after the earthquake
    5.        Don’t rush outside as falling roof tiles, glass and downed electrical wires can cause injury
    6.        If in a public area follow instructions from officials
    7.        Monitor the radio - radio stations in the Tokyo area that will have emergency information in English include the US Armed Forces station at 810AM and InterFM (76.1FM)
    8.        If driving, pull over to the left - keep the road clear for emergency vehicles
    9.        Call your family in Australia and ask them to let others know about your welfare.

    Australian Embassy Tokyo
    2-1-14 Mita Minato-ku
    Tokyo 108-8361

     

     

  • 08 Jun 2009 9:52 PM | Deleted user

     AST Committee   Australia Society Tokyo, eNewsletter, June 2009

     News

    IMG_0015.JPGPresident's Report to the 2009 AGM

    Over the past year, most of us have had a number of unexpected surprises that we could not have anticipated at this time last year. Sadly not all members’ surprises have been as positive as I have experienced in my first term as President of the Australia Society Tokyo. Read more>>>

    Advisory Notice regarding Latest Information concerning H1N1 Influenza

    The Australian Embassy in Tokyo released the following bulletin.  This is an ad hoc bulletin to advise Australians of the latest information concerning H1N1 influenza.  Read more>>>

    Time to renew your membership?

    Though the Society's membership system runs for a year from the date you joined, for many of our long-standing members June is membership renewal time.  Read more>>>

     Events

    Upcoming Events: Coffee Morning, June 25 2009

    A great chance to meet Australian families in Tokyo.  Read more>>>

    IMG_0016.JPGPast events: Annual General Meeting, May 29 2009

    All's well with the Australia Society as of our Annual General Meeting held May 29th. Presided over by President Michael Marlay and Secretary Judy Taylor-Boland, the meeting portion of the evening lasted a brief 10 minutes before moving on to dinner, drinks and discussion.  Read more>>>

     What's on in Japan

    IMG_0036.JPGHydrangea: Seasonal Feature in June

    A rainy season (‘Tsuyu’ in Japanese) lasts for about 40 days from early June through mid-July in Japan.  Surely, this gloomy season is not welcome to people, but there is seasonal feature which delights the eyes of people:  Hydrangea (‘Ajisai’ in Japanese).  Read more>>>

    IMG_5937.jpgAnzan Daruma Doll: A Unique Japanese Gift

    "So what shall we give?"  When we were thinking about a congratulatory gift for our Canadian yoga instructor who was an expectant mother at that time, somebody said "How about a safe delivery wishing daruma doll?"  Read more>>>

     

  • 05 Jun 2009 9:16 PM | Deleted user

     

    By Kuniko Noguchi

    “So what shall we give?”  When we were thinking about a congratulatory gift for our Canadian yoga instructor who was an expectant mother at that time, somebody said “How about a safe delivery wishing daruma doll?”  As you may know, ordinary daruma is red and round Japanese doll to wish for business prosperity, study achievements, election victory, etc, but what is ‘safe delivery wish daruma’?

     

    It is when she unwrapped the gift in front of us that I got to know exactly what it was like, and this moment was highlight of the present as well.  When she took it out of the box, we were curiously staring at the ‘female’ doll with 'Anzan' Japanese letters meaning ‘safe delivery’ written on its underpart.  Well, how did I know that it was a female daruma?  It’s because next moment we saw the baby daruma pulled out of the bottom of the mother, which sparked a peal of laughter.

     

    Needless to say, my instructor later gave birth to a cute baby boy IMG_5939.jpgsafely.  She told me that mother & baby darumas in the picture below had been watching him growing healthy.

     

  • 05 Jun 2009 8:30 PM | Deleted user

     

    By Kuniko Noguchi

     

    A rainy season (‘Tsuyu’ in Japanese) lasts for about 40 days from early June through mid-July in Japan.  Surely, this gloomy season is not welcome to people, but there is seasonal feature which delights the eyes of people:  Hydrangea (‘Ajisai’ in Japanese).  As Japanese people enjoy viewing cherry blossoms and autumn leaves in four seasons, they also love to see hydrangea in June.  There are many famous spots for viewing hydrangea in Tokyo and to name but a few:

     

    >Hakusan Jinja (Shrine)

    http://www.sunnypages.jp/travel_guide/traditional_tokyo/shrines/Hakusan+Jinja/2232

                                                                                                                                        IMG_0057.JPG

    >Rikugien (Park)

    http://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/english/park/detail_08.html#rikugien

     

    >Toshimaen (Amusement Park)

    http://www.sunnypages.jp/travel_guide/tokyo_leisure/amusement_parks/Toshimaen/1771  

                                                                                          

    >Temples in Kamakura                                  

    http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/map/010_Kamakura.html  

     

    >Ajisai Train in Hakone

    http://www.hakone-tozan.co.jp/ajisai/ (in Japanese)

    http://www.hakone.or.jp/english/alacarte/hana_hyaku09_e.html

     

    新しいイメージ.JPGHakusan Jinja (Hakusan sta. on Toei Subway Mita Line) is just one stop away from Rikugien (Sengoku sta.), and so you can visit them on the same day.  Kamakura is also famous as an Ajisai viewing area, and among them, Hase-dera, Meigetsuin, and Jyoujuin are three major Ajisai temples.  The weather forecast says that the rainy season will start soon in Tokyo.  Then it’s that time of the year, when we can enjoy wet Ajisai!

     

     

     

  • 29 May 2009 12:26 PM | Deleted user
    Though the Society's membership system runs for a year from the date you joined, for many of our long-standing members June is membership renewal time.

    Why not take a minute to check your renewal date now? You can extend your membership in advance or if you have missed your renewal deadline, you can reactivate it up to 120 days after your renewal date.

    Renewing your Account
    1. Log into your account at http://www.australiasocietytokyo.com
    2. Click "View Profile" in the upper right hand corner of the page
    3.  Click that button on your profile page that says "Renew until (date)"Picture 2.png
    4. Confirm your details & click Next
    5. Choose your payment method: Online - you'll be sent to the PayPal site to follow the instructions there; Manual - please complete the bank transfer according to the directions.
    6. When your payment is complete, your membership will be active for the year.
    Membership Renewal Initiated Message
    Picture 1.png
    • While your manual payment is being processed, your account will show a message that your membership renewal is initiated. When your bank transfer is received, we will manually update your account status, so please be patient.
    • If something has gone awry with your online payment you will see the Membership Renewal is Initiated message. To try online payment again, please click the Cancel button in that message then start the renewal process over.


  • 29 May 2009 5:24 AM | Deleted user

    May 29, 2009
    Michael Marlay, President
    Australia Society Tokyo


    Introduction

    Over the past year, most of us have had a number of unexpected surprises that we could not have anticipated at this time last year. Sadly not all members’ surprises have been as positive as I have experienced in my first term as President of the Australia Society Tokyo. After serving on the Executive Committee for the past six years, two of which as Vice President, in my first year as President I anticipated hours of additional work with little reward for what was being done. I expected that we would be able to donate little to charity and that our financial position would be challenged.

    Surprisingly none of what was expected happened. Instead we have donated ¥5.8 million to charity and are in a great financial position with just over ¥5.5 million cash balance. And while the hours certainly needed to be put in, the rewards were well worth it.

    I have to sincerely thank the Executive Committee and Ball Committee that served with me this year for facilitating all this. Special thanks also needs to go out to Ambassador Murray McLean, and the Embassy Representative that sits on the Executive Committee, Khadija Haq, without whose support many of our events would not have had a venue.
    Executive Committee 2008-2009
    Maria Palmer - Treasurer
    Kuniko Noguchi – Cultural Tours
    Mary Saphin – Adult Xmas Party
    Jacqui Bayne – VP / Membership
    Mary Hanami – Coffee Mornings
    Alison Reynolds – Kid’s Events
    Jennifer Prowse – Kid’s Events
    Kristen McQuillin – Webmaster
    Judy Taylor-Boland – Secretary / Ball
    Jodie Riley – Melbourne Cup
    Tracey Northcott - BBQ    Tony Sciminello – BBQ / Melbourne Cup
    David Taylor – Editor
    Craig Saphin – Contributor
    Robert Quinlivin – BBQ
    Alison Quinlivan – Kid’s Events
    Ball Chair - Anna Ruepert
    Embassy - Khadjia Haq
    Auditor - Jason Buckley

    Website
    At the beginning of the summer we invested in a new web site and through the outstanding efforts of our webmaster, Kristen, we were able to overcome a number of challenges previously faced by the Executive Committee when hosting events. Unfortunately at the same time we faced challenges with Paypal in the US which impacted the ability of a number of members to renew membership and pay for events. However, thanks to Maria’s determination and negotiating skills this was resolved. The website is now a place where membership can be easily updated and events easily registered for, and we now have a great tool that has the potential to be the hub of information for the Australian Community in Tokyo.

    Newsletter
    David has done an outstanding job putting out our Newsletters throughout the year, recently revamping the format to make it easier for members to read and extract more information as they need.

    Events
    With only two exceptions we were able to successfully host all planned events in the past year. In total, the volunteers on the Executive Committee hosted a total of 18 events, from the monthly Coffee Mornings to the Australia Day Gala Ball.
    April 26, 2009     Family Spring BBQ
    April 23, 2009     Coffee Morning
    April 04, 2009     Australian-style Hanami Picnic
    March 26, 2009     Coffee Morning
    February 26, 2009     Coffee Morning
    January 30, 2009     Australia Day Gala Ball
    December 07, 2008     Children's Christmas Party
    November 27, 2008     Coffee Morning
    November 04, 2008     Melbourne Cup Luncheon
    October 23, 2008     Coffee Morning
    October 18, 2008     Australia Society Autumn BBQ
    October 05, 2008     NRL GRAND FINAL - LIVE
    September 25, 2008     Coffee Morning
    September 21, 2008     Australia Society Family Sausage Sizzle
    July 02, 2008     State of Origin
    June 11, 2008     ANZCCJ: Toutai Kefu
    May 23, 2008     The Willow World (Geisha Dinner)
    May 15, 2008     Annual General Meeting (AGM)

    In general events achieved or exceeded our expected number of attendees, thanks also to our valued sponsors who helped with donations in kind or cash to make each event as affordable as possible. We would particularly like to thank Gito-san and the team at Qantas for continuing as our Principal Sponsor in these challenging times.

    Sponsors 2008-2009

    • QANTAS
    • Allied Pickfords
    • American Airlines
    • ANA Crowne Plaza Hotels
    • ANZ Banking Group
    • Asian Tigers/Euro Japan
    • Banner Financial Services
    • Boudoir Day Spa
    • Coca-Cola Japan
    • Enfour/TangoTown
    • Four Seasons Hotel at Chinzan-so
    • Global Dining
    • Grand Hyatt Tokyo
    • Great Aussie Foods
    • Greenpoint
    • Helping Hand Group
    • Hyatt Regency Hakone
    • Hyatt Regency Kyoto
    • J@pan Inc.
    • Jeroboam    
    • Keyshots
    • Macquarie Securities
    • Meat & Livestock Australia
    • National Australia Bank
    • New Zee
    • North West Shelf Shipping
    • Oakwood Serviced Apartments
    • Peninsula Tokyo
    • Qantas Holidays International
    • Riedel
    • Roti
    • Sheraton Miyako Hotel Tokyo
    • Sheraton Tokyo Bay
    • Sin Restaurant
    • Terabyte Station
    • Tokyo American Club
    • Tokyo International Players
    • Village Cellars
    • WDI Corporation
    • YCAC

    Membership
    We currently have a total of 278 members with several still to renew. Jacqui is now working hard to ensure that all members can renew their membership to ensure that they can continue to be a part of the Australia Society Tokyo.

  • 29 May 2009 5:08 AM | Deleted user
    All's well with the Australia Society as of our Annual General Meeting heldIMG_0007.JPG May 29th. Presided over by President Michael Marlay and Secretary Judy Taylor-Boland, the meeting portion of the evening lasted a brief 10 minutes before moving on to dinner, drinks and discussion.

    The President's report was read and approved, the treasurer's report roundly applauded (we have money in the bank this year), and the election of new officers and committee members quickly dispatched with unanimous elections.

    We said goodbye and thank you to departing treasurer Maria Palmer and to committee members Rob & Allison Quinlivan and Craig & Mary Saphin.

    IMG_0016.JPGThe executive Committee for the coming year has a few new faces and role changes. Willam Young will be our treasurer. Alison Reynolds takes on the role of secretary as Judy Taylor-Boland moves into sponsorship. David Taylor takes a step up from news editor to Vice President, giving Kuniko Noguchi a turn at editorial. And finally, we welcome new committee members Johanna Stratton and Kiren Richardson.
  • 20 May 2009 8:29 PM | Deleted user

     

    The Australian Embassy in Tokyo has released the following bulletin:

    This is an ad hoc bulletin to advise Australians of the latest information concerning H1N1 Influenza.

    On 18 May, the Japanese government confirmed that a domestic outbreak of H1N1 influenza had occurred in Japan.  The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare confirmed that the number of cases in Japan had increased, reaching 159 on 19 May.  The outbreak appeared to be concentrated in the Osaka and Hyogo prefectures.  Newspapers such as the Daily Yomuiri have reported that several thousand educational facilities have been closed in the Osaka and Hyogo prefectures.  Some businesses have also asked their employees to stay at home.

    No confirmed cases have been reported in Tokyo but the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has established a Headquarters for Infectious Disease Control.

    The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare advised on 19 May that so far, symptoms among those infected have been mild and many are recovering.  

    To find out more information about H1N1 Influenza symptoms please refer to the following link: http://www.mhlw.go.jp/bunya/kenkou/kekkaku-kansenshou04/inful_what.html#inful_05   For non-Japanese speakers, more information can be found from the Australian Department of Health and Ageing:  
    http://www.healthemergency.gov.au/internet/healthemergency/publishing.nsf

    If you think that you are displaying H1N1 Influenza symptoms and require medical assistance the Japanese Government has requested that you call special call centres set up by the prefectures.  The call centres will then direct you to a particular fever clinic.  A link to all the prefecture websites has been set up at: http://consular.australia.or.jp/influenzacallcentres.html

    Australians travelling or living overseas should read the H1N1 Influenza 09 (Human Swine Influenza) Travel Bulletin and the travel advice for their destination.  More information concerning the H1N1 Influenza can also be obtained from the Australian Department of Health and Aging and the Commonwealth Health Hotline.  Links are below.

    ·        H1N1 Influenza 09 (Human Swine Influenza):  
    http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/TravelBulletins/Health-Swine_Influenza
    ·        Travel Advice:
    http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/
    ·        Travel Advice – Japan: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Japan
    ·        Department of Health and Ageing:
    http://www.healthemergency.gov.au/internet/healthemergency/publishing.nsf
    ·        Commonwealth Health Hotline (calling from overseas): +61-8-8402-8833

    Australian Embassy Tokyo

  • 08 May 2009 4:34 PM | Deleted user
     

    President’s Update: May, 2009       

     

    This spring has already seen a number of great events hosted by the Society or the Embassy’s Social Club. The Spring Family BBQ in the Embassy Garden was a near perfect day for all, thanks in no small part to Jennifer and Alison, with the support of Khadija at the Embassy. ANZAC Day was an instant sell out and we thank the Embassy for allowing us to participate.

     

    Annual General Meeting

    Now that Golden Week has flashed by I ask myself what is happening to 2009? In fact what has happened to the past year? The Society’s AGM is approaching on Friday May 29, 2009 and for those who cannot be in attendance, I ask you to email me confirming that I can act as your proxy on the night. This is always a challenge and your support is appreciated so that we can conduct the formal part of our evening as efficiently as possible. If you wish to attend please register here.

    Thanks to Maria: Treasurer Extraordinaire

    As I prepare for the AGM and reflect back on the past year, I gain a greater appreciation for all the volunteers who give up their time in making the Australia Society Tokyo what it is. Sadly we have a few volunteers stepping down from the Committee at this AGM, including Maria who has been our Treasurer for the past two years. As she hands over the books to William, our new Treasurer, she does so leaving us in a very sound financial position.

    New Sponsorship Program

    In the coming months you will see us starting to reinvest some of these funds into upcoming events, marketing and our new charity sponsorship program.On this note we are looking for recommendations for a charity that the Society can support on an annual basis for the next two years. If you have a suggestion please email me directly with details. Additionally if you would like to volunteer to help with our new charity sponsorship sub-committee please email Judy directly for more details as to how you can contribute. Likewise if you are interested to learn how you can become a sponsor of the Society and contribute to our new charity please also email Judy.

    Membership

    Jacqui is eagerly updating membership information after having had to be out of the country for several months due to family issues. We apologize if this has impacted our ability to update your status or respond to membership questions; however please email Jacqui directly if you have any outstanding issues. We aim to have these all cleaned up for our report at the AGM.

    Coffee Morning

    Mary Hanami will be hosting our monthly Coffee Morning at the Oakwood T-Cube Residence, Roppongi. If you are new to Tokyo stop by and meet some locals. If you've been here for awhile stop by and give the newcomers the benefit of your experience. It's free, but please register here before the date.

    Other Things for Your Consideration

    Considering international travel? Read Kristen's experience while waiting for the official swine flu all-clear after landing at Narita; To Sneeze or Not to Sneeze.

    Kuniko tells us how the Hanami picnic went, and has put together a few suggestions for how to keep busy with some interesting events happening in May.

    Jacqui, our VP and membership orgniser, is also our in-house footy cheerleader and for those of you interested in signing up for the upcoming State of Origin series or any the footy Grand Finals please email Jacqui and look out for more details on the web site.

    Lastly, for those interested in a bit of Jazz, take a look at the Australian Embassy Social Club Jazz Concert on Saturday 30 May, 2009.

     

    Cheers

    MICHAEL

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