Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How do I get a document notarized in Japan?

You can get it done through your embassy, or pay a public notary to have it done.

Click here for a map link to public notaries in Sendai.

Q2. What is `school mail` and what can I send with it?

School mail is a special mail system used for sending school and board of education related documents and materials throughout the various branches and departments of the Sendai Board of Education, including all schools, the Education Center, the BOE offices (including Shidoka- the division ALTs are supervised by), and so on.  You will need to use school mail to send forms in to the advisors at Shidoka, and you can also use it to send materials used for class between your school and another ALTs.  School mail is free, but remember you can only use it for work related mailings.

OK to Send: Copies of worksheets to your fellow ALTs,  flags, stamps, stickers, post cards, or other realia to be used as prizes or in self intro and other lessons (did your Australian predecessor leave you umpteen kola stickers but you are from a place lucky to have a kola in the zoo? Pass the kola love on.), education related books or books for storytelling at elementary or special needs, copies of CDs or DVDs for lessons, your Hot 100 CD mix that another ALT asked for a copy of after it was a smash hit at their International Day and they want to use it for the lunch broadcast, bulletin board items, game bits/props (as long as they are not too large), thank you letters from your students to ALTs, and of course forms and other official documents.  

Not OK to Send: Omiyage (souvenirs) you bought for some of your ALT buddies on your last trip, a copy of your Doctor Who DVDs that you want to lend to another ALT, the book that you borrowed from another ALT at the monthly meeting and are returning,  your last copy of Vogue, your Black Sabbath`s Greatest Hits CD (unless someone is going to introduce death metal as an extra extra challenge listening exercise??), as well as things that are big and overly bulky.  School mail has to fit in a standard A4 size envelope.  

Please take caution.  Anything that can be considered another person`s private information (addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, staff rosters, student rosters, anything with the 秘密 stamp on it) should not be sent via school mail.  If you are in doubt, ask your Kyoto-sensei before you send something.

Please see this guide on how to use School Mail at your school!

Q3. I missed a package while I was out!  How do I use the Missed Package Slip to redeliver it?

This depends on the company and type of mail.  Currently we are working on guides for each company.

1: Japan Post: YUPACK and LetterPack Delivery 

2: Japan Post: Small Packet, Registered Post, International Post, etc 

3: Sagawa Express: Home Redelivery Service

4: Kuroneko Yamato Delivery Company: Home Redelivery Service

Q4. I've locked myself out of my apartment, what do I do?

If you lose your physical key during office hours, you can come by Shidoka to pick up the original, make a copy, and then return the original to us.  If you lose your key outside of office hours, or on a weekend or holiday when the office is closed, you will need to contact a locksmith to let you in to your apartment or stay with a friend until you can get the key from Shidoka if you are OK to wait.  Locksmiths can let you into both keyed and digitally locked apartments. 

Digital locks require maintenence.  If you let the battery run too low, your lock will stop functioning.  Please read about digital locks here in the Appliances section.  If you find your lock suddenly stops functioning, even if the change battery light is not on, try changing the battery before you call a locksmith.  Please read the Digital Lock Guide in the applicances section CAREFULLY, as it must be changed in a particular way to avoid freezing up your lock.  If changing the battery doesn`t solve the problem, then your lock might actually be faulty, and will need to be repaired by your landlord.  Please contact the Seikatsu Advisor in this case and we will arrange an inspection.

If you find yourself locked out, here are locksmiths in Sendai that you can contact.  Here are two examples ALTs have used before. They are 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, but the operators will likely only speak Japanese. A locksmith will cost around 8,000-10,000 yen and require ID. 

Kagi no Kyukyusha (The Key Amublance): 

Locations in Kotodaikoen (Tel. 022-711-9948) and Rokuchonome (Tel. 022-288-9969), serving all 5 wards.

Kagi no Hyakutouban (Key Emergency Number)

Serving the general Sendai Area.  (Tel. 0120-3333-99)