The Guide The Relevent The Useful

The Useful

The following links contain useful information for living in Shiga: from weather forecasts and exchange rates to national and area news in English, you'll find it here. Descriptions of these links can be found below.

* Note: Some sites require a browser capable of reading Japanese characters. Where this occurs it is noted below. If you have questions about reading Japanese on your computer, please refer to the following page.

Rain or Shine Weather At this site you can check weather conditions and get a five day forecast for locations world wide. If you're looking for something more local, then check out The Daily Yomiuri's weather section.

Exchange Rates As a foreigner working in Japan, perhaps nothing is more important than exchange rates. The Shiga Survival Guide now offers an extensive listing of exchange rates, from the US Dollar and European EURO to the Indonesian Rupiah and Thai Baht, and just about every currency in between. A nice feature of this converter is the ability to set conversion tables completely to your preferences. Want a bank rate? a cash rate? How about a credit card rate? All can be found here.
Three languages available: English/French/German

Checking exchange rates as part of your research for an upcoming trip? Now available: Cheat Sheets for Travelers. You can now generate custom currency conversion cheet sheets to take along with you. These wallet sized "cheat sheets" are currency tables broken down into pratical amounts of the currencies you select-- so you don't have to waste time trying to compute prices in your head. The next time you're haggling over the price of a hotel room you'll be glad you remembered to pack one of these!
Three languages available: English/French/German

the useful
weather 5-day forecast
exchange rates
shiga prefecture
JR shinkansen info
the daily yomiuri
KTO's japan file
lonely planet- Destinations
teaching ideas
Shiga Prefecture Shiga Prefecture's home page. Everything you need to know about Shiga Prefecture, including history, lake and prefecture facts and statistics, photos, and much more. Primarily in Japanese, however, English speakers can use this version.

Biwa-Lobe One of the main ISP's in the area. If it seems like everyone uses it, there's a reason: Biwa-lobe offers the most access points in Shiga--an important factor considering one pays even for local phone calls in Japan--and competitive yearly rates. This site is almost exclusively in Japanese, however, there is an English homepage where you can get an application to subscribe to Biwa-lobe services. Japanese users will benefit from the wealth of links and information this site provides, including links to every school in Shiga with a homepage.
For further information on computing in Shiga, please refer to the section on computers in the survival guide.

COMSIG This site is produced by AJET's Computer Special Interest Group. A great resource, find answers to nearly all your computing questions here.

JR Shinkansen Information This is a really great site. Find complete shinkansen information for all of Japan, including time schedules, fares, and seat availabilty. Japanese only.

The Daily Yomiuri One of Japan's largest newspapers. This site offers full versions in both English and Japanese. This site is good not only for the news, but also weather forecasts throughout Japan, and for trackers of the US Dollar, up-to-date currency exchange information including a three month tracking of previous rates.

Mangajin A partial version of the popular print magazine Mangajin. Includes articles, information on Japan, and links to useful sites.

Kansai Time Out's Japan File Kansai Time Out's WWW offering. A great source of information on what's going on in Kansai, including information on Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Kobe, and even Shiga. A partial version of the print magazine is available here, including articles, classifieds, and links to other useful sites.

TELL-Tokyo English Life Line Tokyo English Lifeline's home page containing information on Japan, counseling services, and links to other useful sites.

The Lonely Planet: Destinations Guide If you're working for the JET Program, then you're probably considering travel, whether in Japan or some exotic locale in South East Asia. Lonely Planet, makers of what are arguably the best travel guides on the market, now offers a WWW version of their guides. Visit this site for extensive information on just about any destination you can find on a map, including Japan of course.

Hotmail If you didn't know already. One of the many, if not the most popular, sites on the web offering free e-mail service. If you have access to the internet, than you have access to free, private e-mail. Head here to set up your own account.

Three Wise Monkeys NEW Next class in five minutes, and feeling hard pressed to find an activity for the past-perfect tense? This is an excellent resource for classroom activities for all levels. Produced by Tochigi ALTs, with activities organized by level, aims, grammar, time, and materials. Worth a look.

Is there a link you use often? Share it!