Motorbikes, foot-care and clothes


Money & Bikes

Yukari asks the cheapest way to send money home to the States? Also, he has a U.S. motorcycle license and would like to buy a motorcycle here and wants to know about the process for getting licensed in Japan.

The cheapest but above all safest way to send money home is through your bank, or the post office.

Check out www.lloydstsb.co.jp/english/index.asp for one pretty easy-to-use option.

As to being licensed to ride a motorbike, biker neighbor Steve Paydon has a Japanese license obtained here. But he says that as long as you are licensed back home and can get an international license, you can ride here. It’s that simple.

He suggests a Web site that should be helpful. It’s at: embers.tripod.com/~sean_lewkiw/oct_mo_a.htm and has details of trips around Japan and a map suggesting good places to go; also info on where NOT to go.

There are some biker groups around, especially for foreigners.

Dave Garoutte, for example, does a lot of riding with a bunch of Harley enthusiasts. Both Steve (paydo@jcom.home.ne.jp) and Dave (dgaroutte@hotmail.com) will be happy to help.


Charles in Chigasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, needs to visit a podiatrist (chiropodist in British English) to have a callous scraped.

He wants to know where he can find a real podiatrist that takes Japanese health insurance.

Podiatry is not recognized as a speciality in Japan. For foot problems, people go either to an orthopedic surgeon (“seikei geka”) for bone and joint problems, or a dermatologist (“hifu-ka”) for skin problems.

At present there is only one known non-Japanese podiatrist in Japan.

Qualified French foot specialist Josselyne Gourret works privately from a clinic attached to her home in Meguro. She can be reached on (03) 3495-6170. Speaking fluent English and Japanese, she also sees patients at the Tokyo Surgical Clinic every Wednesday morning.

Staying on the medical theme, in Ken’s column last week (Lifelines 6/17), the number of Dr. Shane, an excellent English-speaking doctor, was printed incorrectly. The correct number for Dr. Shane is (03) 5549-9983. Apologies for any confusion.

Japanese clothes

Gillian is about to go home after several years here and wonders where to find patterns here for making traditional Japanese clothing like kimono and “hanten” (padded jackets for winter wear). As a teacher, she believes many of her new students in Australia will be interested in creating Japanese-style clothes.

Luckily for Gillian, there is a book she can order from the publisher Kodansha International.

“Make Your Own Japanese Clothes Patterns and Ideas for Modern Wear,” by John Marshall, provides everything she needs to know to make traditional clothing, from “haori” (jackets over kimono) to “tabi” (socks with separate toes for sandal wear.