Posts Tagged immigration office

December 15, 2004 – Immigration office master

My Weezer shirt that I bought in Harajuku

My Weezer shirt that I bought in Harajuku

Today I went to the immigration office in Shinyurigaoka to get my re-entry permit for my passport. I now feel pretty confident in my skills at navigating the immigration office, and can usually be in and out in about 10 minutes.

Like most people, my work visa expires after a certain period of time (one year for me), and will also expire if I leave the country. To prevent the visa from expiring when I go home, I needed to buy a re-entry permit. The permits are available as one time permits or unlimited times for the period of one year. Since I am only planning to leave Japan and return once in the next year, I bought the cheaper one time permit.

Immigration officers are not allowed to handle cash directly, which is a nice way to prevent anything shady from happening. I had to go to a small convenience store in the same building to buy a voucher for a re-entry stamp. I then returned to the immigration office, where they exchanged the voucher for a sticker in my passport.

After finishing up at the immigration office, I spent most of my day exploring some cool stores in Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Harajuku. I bought some books for my flight home at Kinokuniya, and a cool Weezer shirt in Harajuku.

In the evening, I met up with Okonomi in Noborito. We went out for Okonomiyaki for dinner and then went to karaoke. Since I was traveling back to Numazu, it was a much more reserved karaoke experience that the last time. After karaoke I gathered up all of the Christmas presents that I couldn’t bring home on my shopping trip to Asakusa, and then returned to Numazu. It was a fun day, but the highlight was explaining to a taxi driver at Numazu station where I lived in Japanese, and having him drive me to the right place!

If you have only ever spoken one language, this doesn’t sound like much of an accomplishment, but trust me, it felt great.

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November 17, 2004 – Shopping in Kawasaki

My alien registration card (aka gaijin card) was set to expire, so I returned to the immigration office in Kawasaki city to get it renewed. Since I am getting quite good at navigating the immigration office, the whole experience went pretty well. I do have to go to Numazu City hall to update my address.

While in the area, I went to the Yodobashi camera near Kawasaki station and bought myself a really cool new toy. It is an up-scan converter called XRGB-2 plus. It allows me to connect all kinds of devices to a computer monitor.

My room in Numazu is small and kind of awkward shaped. I no longer have room for both a TV and a computer monitor. The upscan converter will let me connect my PS2, VCR, and computer to my computer monitor, and sends the sound out through my stereo. It’s pretty cool!

On the way home there were some delays on Tokaido line for reasons that I couldn’t understand from the announcements. The line was stopped and I ended up getting home an hour and a half later than expected on a VERY crowded train.

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March 17, 2004 – St. Patrick’s Day at the immigration office

Happy St. Patrick`s Day, or as it is known here in Japan – just a regular Wednesday.

Today I once again slept too late and then tried to rush to the immigration office. I found it this time and went into to see some great examples of how to fill out the required forms. Unfortunately for me the examples were in Spanish, Vietnamese and Portuguese, all of which are languages I do not understand. I ended up guessing at a lot of things and sat down for a nice long wait.

At noon everyone was kicked out so they could close the office for lunch. At exactly 1:00pm the doors opened again, and they started calling out numbers. I feel bad for the people who came back a few minutes late to find that they had lost their spot in line. When I actually got my turn I received very quick and friendly service, the kind I have come to expect from Japanese civil servants.

As I am updating my website now* I am very happy that I have some computer knowledge. The web interface to upload files and edit html is not working, so I am using Wordpad to edit html and a small ftp program that I brought on floppy disc to upload files. Good times!

(2014 Update)

* The website that I was referring to was my old blog which is no longer online. I used a hosting company based in Vancouver which provided a pretty good web interface. My 10 years later blog (what you are reading now) is all done on WordPress which has a very reliable online interface.

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March 16, 2004 – Where the f**k is the immigration office?

Today’s plan was to go to the immigration office near Shinyurigaoka station to extend my Working Holiday Visa. In case you haven’t been following along, I couldn’t get a full working visa due to a delay in my official graduation (thanks for nothing University of Manitoba). In order to get to Japan, I obtained a Working Holiday Visa which allows me to live and work in Japan for up to one year. For some reason it is offered in 6 month periods, so to stay for a year I need to renew after 6 months.

Instead of getting up bright and early like intended, I kept setting my alarm ahead. After sleeping in for an extra few hours, I pried myself out of bed, threw on some clothes, scarfed down some Frosted Flakes and hopped on a train. Upon reaching Shinyurigaoka station, I realized that I had been given bad directions (a recurring theme). I wandered around for about half and hour, and even went into the wrong government building. Finally I decided to give up and returned home to get a better map and some good natured abuse from the people I live with.

Song of the day is U2 – Where the Streets Have No Name.

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