Rules & Etiquette
It is good to be aware of the social etiquette expected from you in Japan. Following these rules of etiquette will ensure a smooth transition into community life in Hiroshima.
Keep in mind that when living in housing complexes or apartments, the noise you make in your house or apartment might be heard by your neighbors. Try to keep noise to a minimum, especially late at night or early in the morning, as this might annoy your neighbors.
(For example, be careful of the volume of televisions, radios, musical instruments, speaking in loud voices, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, showers/baths, opening and closing doors, etc.)
Use of shared areas in multi-dwelling housing
Hallways and stairs are communal areas. In an emergency, such as an earthquake or fire, these are used for evacuation. Do not leave your personal items there.
Neighborhood community associations
Neighborhood community associations (chonaikai or jichikai) are formed independently by the community to allow residents to help each other and build friendships. Membership is voluntary. Joining such an organization will help you access information about life in the community. They also help you get involved in community events, and share evacuation information and offer help during disasters. To find out how to join your neighborhood community association, ask someone in charge, such as the chairperson. If you do not know who is in charge, contact your local ward office’s Community Revitalization Division.
Learning Japanese and learning about Japanese culture
There are 71 community halls (kominkan) in Hiroshima City and they provide inexpensive (or even free) ways to learn Japanese or about Japanese culture. For the contact information of community halls close to you, contact the Lifelong Learning Division (Shogai Gakushu Ka) of the Citizens Affairs Bureau (Tel: 082-504-2495) or the Management Division of the Hiroshima City Culture Foundation’s Community and Town Network Department (Tel: 082-541-5335).
Information about Japanese classes in Hiroshima City can be found on the Peace Culture Foundation International Relations and Cooperation Division website (http://www.pcf.city.hiroshima.jp/ircd/Japanese/index.html). Please directly contact the provider of the class you wish to participate in.
Rules of the road
In Japan, cars, motorcycles, and bicycles keep to the left, and pedestrians walk on the right. Pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks.
Drivers and all passengers must wear seatbelts. Children under 6 years old in cars must be placed in child car seats. You must wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle.
Also, it is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving or to drive after drinking alcohol. There are particularly strict penalties for driving after drinking alcohol.
Rules about unattended bicycles and motorcycles
Park your bicycle or motorcycle in the designated spaces. Bicycles and motorcycles left unattended in other places not only get in the way of pedestrians, but can also cause accidents and get in the way of emergency services.
The City of Hiroshima has designated several areas as Bicycle and Motorcycle No-Parking Areas. You cannot leave your bicycle or motorcycle unattended there. These areas are marked with the sign to the right. There is one in the Kamiya-cho/Hatchobori area and six more around train stations, including Hiroshima Station.
All bicycles and motorcycles parked illegally in these areas will be removed and impounded immediately.
Claiming impounded bicycles or motorcycles
Hiroshima City West Bicycle and Motorcycle Impound Lot
Hours: Everyday 10:30–19:00 (excluding national holidays and December 29 to January 3)
Fees: \2,200 for bicycles \4,400 for scooters (50cc or less) \5,500 for motorcycles
Required items: The vehicle’s key and some form of identification
(for example, driver’s license, student ID, and health insurance card)
Note: Vehicles are stored for one month. Vehicles not claimed within one month will be disposed of by the City.
To use JR trains and the Astramline, first buy a ticket from an automatic ticket machine in the station, then put it into the ticket gate. Keep that ticket, and put it into the ticket gate in the station where you get off.
For other public transport, take a numbered ticket when you get on. A screen in the front of the vehicle will show the fare for each stop for each number. When you get off, pay the fare shown for your ticket number into the fare box.
When boarding a tram (Hiroshima Electric Railway (Hiroden), Inner-city Line), you do not need to take a numbered ticket, because the fare is the same regardless of distance.
You can also buy a PASPY IC card. You can use PASPY on trams, the Astramline and most buses. For the JR lines, we recommend ICOCA IC cards. For more information, inquire at the nearest Hiroden, JR, Astramline, or other public transport office.
Rail lines in Hiroshima City are run by three companies: JR (Sanyo Line, Kure Line, Kabe Line, and Geibi Line), the Hiroden (Inner-city Line and Miyajima Line), and Astramline. Buses in Hiroshima City are run by 12 companies: Hiroden, Hiroshima Bus, Hiroshima Kotsu, Chugoku JR Bus, Geiyo Bus, Bihoku Kotsu, HD Nishi Hiroshima, Forble, Hiroko Kanko, Angel Cab, Sasaki Kanko, and Sogo Kikaku Corporation.
Registration and vaccination of dogs
If you own a dog that is 91 days or older, you must register them and have them vaccinated against rabies every year.
You can register your dog at the Animal Care Center or any private veterinarian. A license tag will be issued after registration. You must contact the Animal Care Center in the following cases: the dog’s owner changes, the owner’s address changes, the dog dies, or the dog bites someone.
Vaccinate your dog at a group vaccination or at a private veterinarian. Group vaccinations are held every year in Hiroshima City between April and May. Once your dog has received a rabies vaccination, you will receive a vaccination certificate.
Note: Dogs should wear their license tags and vaccination certificates.
Animal Care Center
Address: 11-27 Fujimi-cho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima Tel: 082-243-6058