As it gets colder, it is a time to be careful in Japan, especially with colds and flu. In contrast to many other countries, homes in Japan are not heated or insulated as well as they should be and it is something to be careful about.

X has been living in Japan for a while now and has passed the "koban" many times. However, he's not exactly sure what its function is.

The koban were first established in 1874 and modeled after the British and other systems of local police boxes. The name koban comes from the word "kobansho," which means the place that the police are designated to be. In 1881, the Metropolitan Police Department began to establish koban in all cities and major neighborhoods and, in 1994, what had been a nickname for many years was formalized when the word koban began to be printed on the front of the police boxes. The koban, or the officers inside, can take care of most minor problems that residents have, though the officers spend much of their time giving directions.