Introducing Kawaguchi City’s Online Living Guide for Foreign Residents | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan
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Introducing Kawaguchi City’s Online Living Guide for Foreign Residents

By Guidable Writers Apr 6, 2023

Kawaguchi City is a city located in Saitama Prefecture, bordered by Kita-ku and Adachi-ku Tokyo wards. With its convenient access points to Tokyo, it’s a popular place to live for both Japanese and non-Japanese residents alike. In fact, the number of foreign residents in Kawaguchi City is currently about 40,000, accounting for 6.45% of the city’s population, which is the highest in Japan (according to Ministry of Justice statistics as of the end of June 2022).

Kawaguchi City Living Guide for Foreign Residents

To ensure non-Japanese residents can enjoy an easier life and get access to the information they need, a portal site for foreign residents, Kawaguchi City decided to create the “Kawaguchi City Living Guide for Foreign Residents,” in August 2022. 

The portal site is a great way of keeping all essential information for life in Japan in one place. I know that as a non-Japanese resident living in Japan, having a website I can easily access with everything I need available to me in my area would be a lifesaver! 

How to Access the Site

You can access the site here!

It can also be accessed quickly by a QR code from your phone. The QR codes are distributed to all residents (both Japanese and non-Japanese) who move to Kawaguchi City. This is to ensure everyone is familiar with and understands the city’s administrative information, living rules, and manners.

Site Language

The QR code is unique in that there is only one QR code – making the process so much easier. The site automatically recognizes the language setting of the viewer’s mobile device and displays the required language.

The portal site is available in seven languages of the city’s many nationalities: easy Japanese, Chinese, English, Vietnamese, Korean, Tagalog, and Turkish. The city’s CIRs (Coordinators for International Relations) and non-Japanese staff members translate technical terms thoroughly, without using automatic translation.

To increase usability the site uses colourful pictograms so visitors can easily identify which information they want to know.

Portal Site Features

kawaguchi living guide

Image credits: Portal Site on Helpful Community Information for Foreign Residents in Kawaguchi City

The first thing you’ll notice when accessing the site are the colourful pictogram buttons dedicated to each service. It’s easy to depict what each button corresponds to immediately – the site is very easy to navigate. Following these buttons will lead you to information on such essential services as:

  • Immigration procedures
  • Learning Japanese
  • Emergency help
  • Disaster prevention
  • Change of address
  • Garbage
  • Health insurance 
  • Tax
  • Pension
  • Resident’s council 

screenshot of the kawaguchi living guide garbage section

Image credits: Portal Site on Helpful Community Information for Foreign Residents in Kawaguchi City

Systems and procedures that are generally quite tricky to figure out, such as tax, national health insurance, pension, garbage disposal, etc. are explained in easy-to-understand videos. Knowing that the information on the portal site comes from official sources means you can use the site with the assurance that it’s genuine.

And it’s not just for new residents. Even though I live in Tokyo and have been a resident for over ten years, a lot of the information on procedures was useful for me too!

As well as essential info on using systems in Japan, the portal site also has information on Japanese language classes. Kawaguchi City has 19 volunteer Japanese language classes and provides wide-ranging support for foreigners to learn Japanese. You can see the schedule, location, requirements etc. for these volunteer (mostly free) classes on the portal. 

Not only does Kawaguchi City provide Japanese language classes for non-Japanese residents, but it also has a Counseling Desk for Foreign Residents in various languages. Information about the desk is available on the portal site too. Learning about the different services offered for foreign residents is a huge plus of the site – it’s so difficult to find this type of local information in Japan. 

What Do You Think About the Kawaguchi City Living Guide?

Whether you live in Kawaguchi, are thinking of moving there, or if you live elsewhere in Japan and want to know more about certain Japanese systems, the Kawaguchi portal site is sure to have something useful for you. Even the presence of this site is a comfort for some of us who have had trouble with certain Japanese procedures. I know I’d love to see a similar site for residents living in my area, how about you? Let us know by sending us a message via Instagram @guidablejapan

Access the portal site here!

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