When we look at the analytics of our Twitter account, we noticed that the top interest among all of our followers was not physics, but DOGS. No matter where you are in the world, pets really are a member of the family!

That’s why I asked two dog-owners (Hiroshi Chiba in Oshu, and Kyoko Nakadate in Morioka) about what it’s like to own a pet in Iwate.

Q1) Can you tell me your dogs’ names and species?

Chiba: My dog’s name is Koro, and she’s a black shiba inu.

Nakadate: My dog’s called Leo. He’s a miniature dachshund, and he was born in August so we named him Leo.


Q2) What do you feed your dogs?

Chiba: We mainly just feed her dog food.

Nakadate-san: We also feed Leo mostly dog food, but he’s been getting older, so he tends to like softer foods.

Amanda’s note: If you’re curious about different kinds of dog food in Japan, here’s a good article on the subject, complete with Japanese translations of important vocab: “Guide to Dog Food in Japan – Top 10 Brands, Types and Where to Buy

Q3) Where do you buy dog food and other pet goods?

Chiba: We buy dog food periodically online.

Nakadate: We buy ours from home centers (large-scale home goods and appliances shops). Home centers have so many different pet goods so it’s very convenient.

Leo’s dog food

Q4) Tell me your dog’s routine: walks, sleeping, etc.

Chiba: We have a lot of nature surrounding our house, so we take Koro out for walks twice a day (morning and night) on the same course. Koro is mainly an outdoor pet, so she sleeps in a dog house in the yard.

Nakadate: We walk Leo around the neighborhood, but since he’s getting older he doesn’t want to go for walks as often. He’s pretty much an indoor dog, so on rainy or snowy days, he won’t even step outside the foyer. (haha)

Koro’s walking course

Q5) What do you when they get sick?

Chiba: We bring Koro to animal hospitals in Oshu.

Nakadate: One time Leo ate a cigarette butt, so we rushed him to a local animal hospital. But Leo ended up being fine, and doesn’t need to go to the veterinarian much.

Amanda’s note: The word for animal hospital in Japanese is “doubutsu byouin (動物病院)”. There is a word for veterinarian (“juui (獣医)”) but animal hospital is far more commonly used. If you ever need to search in Japanese for an animal hospital near you, get on Google and search the name of the town you live along with 動物病院.

Q6) I think something a little bit surprising about Japan is that most rental properties like apartments forbid pet ownership. There are a variety of reasons, like cleanliness and noise levels in cramped spaces. But it does mean that, unless you own a home, it can be difficult to find a place that will allow you to own an animal. When renting an apartment, have you found places that allow pets?

Chiba: I live in my own house, so I’ve never thought much about it, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of places in Oshu that allow pets. There still are some, though.

Nakadate: I think it’s the same in Morioka.


Nakadate-san (left) and Chiba-san (right) chat about owning a pet

Q7) What do you do with Koro and Leo when you go on vacation?

Nakadate: My friend owns a pet store, so I ask her to take care of Leo.

Chiba: My parents watch Koro whenever we’re away so I’ve never used a pet hotel, but there are some places in Oshu that will take your pets. I’ve never heard of anyone having trouble getting someone to watch their pet when they’re going on vacation.

Amanda’s note: A lot of times, animal hospitals will offer kennel services as well. These are called pet hotels (“petto hoteru (ペットホテル)“).

Q8) What are your favorite and least favorite parts about owning a dog?

Chiba: Koro is so adorable so I always feel relaxed and calm when I’m with her. The hard part would be training her, and having to walk her when it’s raining outside.

Chiba-san playing with Koro

Nakadate: Leo sleeps in our bed, goes out with us, and we love him like a member of the family. But I had a real hard time training him. He’s 14 and he still sometimes goes in the house…

Here’s Leo holding a sign for the ILC!

Q9) Do you have anything else to tell foreign researchers?

Chiba: Iwate is a great place to live for both people and pets. There’s a lot of nature and I think it’s a very good environment for them. We’re waiting for you here in Iwate!

Nakadate: There is a lot of nature to enjoy in Iwate, and they’ve made a lot of parks and facilities where you can be with your dog. You’ll be able to make new memories with your dog every season! Have a great time with your dog at a hot springs bath!



THE KITAKAMI TIMES制作メンバー「アマンダ」のツイッターを見ると、フォロワーの共通事項に“犬”が多いということが分かりました。やはり、多くの皆さんにとってペットは大きな存在であるように思います。

Q1 飼い犬の名前と種類を教えてください。


【写真】                 【写真】
千葉さんの愛犬“コロ”       中舘さんの愛犬“レオ”

Q2 食事はどんなものを食べさせていますか?


Q3 食事のドッグフードやペット用品などはどういった場所で購入していますか?



Q4 散歩の方法や寝る場所などについて教えてください。



Q5 病気になった時はどうしていますか?


Q6 アパートなどの賃貸物件の場合、ペット入居可な物件は結構あるものでしょうか?


Q7 旅行に行くときなどはコロやレオはどうしていますか?


Q8 犬を飼っていて嬉しかったことや大変だったことは?





Q9 海外の研究者に向けてメッセージをお願いします。