For those of you who are spending your first new year’s in Tsukuba, please note that MANY businesses and services are closed during this holiday.
The most important things to remember are (1) to withdraw some money before the banks and ATMs close and (2) to make sure you take your garbage out before the trucks stop coming!
The last day of garbage collection is tomorrow (Monday, December 29). The next garbage day will be Saturday, January 3 and burnable garbage will be collected on that day in all parts of Tsukuba. The Clean Center is also closed from December 30 to January 2 so if tomorrow is not a burnable garbage day in your area and you cannot take your garbage to the Clean Center, you have to keep it until January 3.
Every bank is different, so I will just mention the situation for Joyo. The banks will be operating pretty much as normal on Monday (29) and Tuesday (30). They will then be closed from the 31 to the 4th and open up again on the 5th.
ATMs will have limited or no service between December 30 and January 4. All ATMs will be closed on January 1. This includes accessing your Joyo account through an ATM at 7-11. Some ATMs will be in operation on the other dates, but not all, and the ones that are in operation will mostly be on “holiday” hours. Regular ATM service will resume on Monday, January 5.
Online banking will be completely unavailable on January 1 and will have limited availability on December 31, and January 2 to 4th. All online transactions that occur after December 30 will not be processed until January 5. (So if you want to send money to someone by online furikomi and you want it to arrive before January 5, you will have to send it on December 30 at the latest.)
Sources: http://www.joyobank.co.jp/top/20081217.html and http://www.joyobank.co.jp/access-j/info.html
Postal banking will be available as usual on Monday (29) and Tuesday (30). Teller services will not be available between December 31 and January 4. Regular teller services will resume on January 5.
Postal ATMs will be available as usual on Monday (29) and Tuesday (30) and they will close early (between 5pm and 8pm) on Wednesday (31). ATMs will not be available between January 1 and 3. They will open again between 7am and 9am on January 4. They will operate as usual on January 5.
Online banking will not be available from 11:50pm on December 31 to 6:30am on January 4.
Tsukuba City Hall is closed from December 27 to January 4. The Sakura Branch office will be open on Sunday January 4 for limited services relating to issuing certificates such as inkan certificates or certificates of registered matters for foreigners. All branches will resume normal operations on January 5.
Tsukuba Public Library is closed from December 28 to January 5.
All community centers (公民館, kominkan) will be closed from December 29 to January 3.
All children’s centers (児童館, jidokan) will be closed from December 27 to January 4.
The trains will continue to run throughout the holidays, but will be on “holiday” schedules from December 30 to January 4.
Some extra trains have been scheduled on December 31. The last train that will reach Tsukuba on the night of December 31 will leave at 12:40am from Akihabara and arrive in Tsukuba at 1:37am. It will stop at every station. (Three trains will leave after that time, but they will all terminate at Moriya and will not come to Tsukuba.)
The last train to leave Tsukuba will be at 11:47pm and it will arrive in Akihabara at 12:45am, stopping at every station.
TsukuBus will run as usual.
Call an ambulance (119) if there is an emergency where time is of the essence. In case you ever need to call an ambulance, you should memorize how to say your address in Japanese, and keep a copy of your address in romaji posted near the phone or on the refrigerator so others can call from your house.
Call 029-241-4199 to find out where to bring a sick person whose condition is not in need of urgent attention.
There is also a hotline to call for advice about whether your sick child needs immediate medical care or not: 029-254-9900 (or #8000 from a regular phone or cellphone).
In all cases, you will most likely have to speak Japanese.
The following hospitals will have some services available on the following days (but it is probably better to call 029-241-4199 to find out where to bring a person first).
December 30: Tsukuba Kinen Hospital
January 1: Tsukuba Soai Hospital
January 2: Tsukuba Gakuen Hospital, Tsukuba Kinen Hospital
January 3: Tsukuba Chuo Hospital
January 4: Tsukuba Soai Hospital
I hope you have a very happy holiday! (Just don’t forget to get some money out before the banks close!!!)