Sunday, 6 July 2014

Moving to Japan...

It’s so warm in Japan but not super hot (usually 27 degrees). There’s no shortage of Disney or cute things! It’s tidy! The streets don’t have plastic bags of rubbish or piles of paper (not that NZ does either, but still). The steering wheel is on the same side as it is in NZ (the right) and they follow driving rules here. So I wouldn’t mind driving in Japan. I got my alien card (foreign registration) at the airport! I think this is a new system? I was pleasantly surprised.
You really need a cellphone number for everything: to open a bank account and to find a job. I’ve been using a friend’s.
Some hiccups (I’ve had a lot of help from Mayumi and especially Shiho! ) : When I tried to open a bank account, they required 1) an inkan (Japanese people use name stamps with red ink to verify documents) 2) me to go to the nearby residency office (?) and get them to write my address on the back of my alien card (which they verify with their own inkan).
I got an inkan! I chose 桜木 (sakuragi – cherry blossom tree) it was way cheaper to get a kanji (character) than to get one made with my name in Katakana (plus doing it with katakana would have taken more time). I have a little Sakura 桜 case for it. It’s silver and has the kanji 桜 with cherry blossoms xD love it.  

After all those things were sorted, the bank required that I had to live there for 6 months in order to receive and withdraw money a nearby bank was the same. Wha---? Wtf? Eventually we found Shinsei bank, that didn’t require the 6 months living thing. They didn’t even require me to use my inkan (I wanted to use it!). Anyone got any experience with Shinsei? They gave lots of paper work in English with clear instructions on how to start internet banking etc. So far they seem pretty good!
Nearby where I’m staying, there’s a subway station and a foreign shop that sells Earl Grey tea and things like nachos and kidney beans etc. There’s also an Oceanic café nearby which I’ll probably visit when I get homesick or miss NZ style mochas.
I love the food! Although it’s hard to find meat free options (well, compared to NZ which has vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options). I went to a sushi place and pieces of sushi were on a conveyor belt. You can choose a plate (colour co-ordinated) and they count it up later. They eat a lot of sashimi (raw fish). I found (6 pieces of small) cucumber sushi for 130 yen $1.45. Also vegetable tempura (this was in an Udon place) tastes amazing!! It was about 130 yen too! And it was quite a lot, I couldn’t finish it (was eating Udon with it, mind you). I love that avocado is the same price as it is in NZ – affordable! $1-2. And the vegetables are the same. Actually, capsicums are way cheaper here, like $1.20. It’s like, $5 in NZ right? Wtf?
The people are really polite, if you get knocked into there’s an apology. In saying that, I haven’t been bumped into yet.
I’m finding the subway system a little confusing!! It’s really not easy like the Korean subway system, and it’s way more expensive here. You can pay like $10-$20 a day. I have job interviews next week so I hope I manage to find the interview places! (Jobs are competitive. I saw when making a time, there were like, 30 other people already with a time slot at a company I’ve applied at *gulp*). Still, at least I’m getting interviews right? In NZ I could be job hunting for months with no word back. Seriously, hundreds and barely a reply, or if there is a reply it’s just ‘there were hundreds of applicants…’
Loving Japan so far. I want to stay in this area but I know there are more share-houses in Shinjuku (could do a sort of flat living style here). Or I’m better off finding a place that isn’t far from where I get a job. I love being surrounded by this language. And honestly, I don't know how I would have done this without the help of my friends. Just need to get a job (that pays) and then I can totally see this working out.

Trending in Japan (or just Machida) right now: cube cars, sausage (dachshund) dogs and face masks (well... this is always trending but still)...   

So hard not to shop!!

Outside a DVD store in Machida

My failed attempt at saving money

Check out this bag that came with the magazine!

Ummm... not sure where this place is. But I got some work clothes here. 

Back in Machida.

Tsum tsums at the Disney store

Daiso! It's like in Korea but with Japanese flavour. The logo is pink instead of red and it's slightly bigger. I got tights for 108yen ($1.20)

Cheshire cat!

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