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Kurume City Hall
Price: 0 yen
Kurume City Hall is where I registered when I moved to the city, got free consulting about visa changes, and got married. We've made a few trips here for public services, plus a few more to pick up forms, and a couple trips to apply and interview for a direct hire ALT position through the board of education.
This massive modern building is a landmark in the downtown region of Kurume. It's in between JR Kurume Station and Nishitetsu Kurume Station. The main floor serves as the service area for city information, registering an address, signing up for national health care, changing income or family records, etc. Meanwhile the other floors are mainly offices for the government run departments in the city, like the board of education.
When we enter, we need to take a number for the service we need help with, then wait our turn. It's common to wait for a while, speak with someone, then wait again while they process paperwork. We might also need to speak with employees from a couple different departments (for example register the address, then register for health care). It's recommended to bring a book or something to do. As expected for Japan, the office is clean and efficiently run. Services include introduction to the city for new residents via pamphlets showing local events and landmarks. Locally made products like dyed fabric and tea are displayed.
Services are provided only in Japanese, although consulting for foreign residents is sometimes offered on weekends. Coming with a Japanese friend or prepared with some vocabulary you'll need will be helpful to get done more quickly.
Hours for public services are weekdays, 8:30-17:15, and until 19:00 on Thursdays. Some employees continue to work through the lunch hour so they don't have a closed lunch time during the day.
There is plenty of bike and car parking space and access by bus (Shiyakusho Mae bus stop) on several lines which also stop at the nearby train stations. It's about 15-20 minutes to walk from either station.