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Story of a year in Japan

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First steps in Tokyo

Already three weeks since I arrived in Tokyo, time went very fast!
The first 10 days was not very interesting, I had to do some formalities which come with a long stay to do. So I had to declare my address to my ward office, open a bank account in japan, then go back multiple times to the bank (Because nothing never happens as expected) and then find a contract for my smartphone!

Getting a number, we could think that it would be simple in a country like Japan, oh no it is not…
I went to the two main mobile operators, always the same answer, every contract includes a two-year engagement, and prepaid SIM card are not sold alone but only with a phone.
I obviously didn’t want to buy a new phone or to take a two-year contract as I stay “only” a year, so I looked for an alternative and a friend living in Tokyo for some time told me about a foreigner friendly company called GTN, which offer a 7 month contract, so I went there !

Finally, everything was done, I was ready to explore Tokyo and its surroundings!.. However, the weather was not on my side, because of the typhoon season, we had two weeks of rain.
Yeah… Typhoon! Another kind of “made in japan” events are earthquakes. We had some in a few days, nothing impressive, sometimes it moves a bit and nobody cares, sometimes it moves more and people will have a reaction, but that’s nothing unusual here.
Even with this weather, I found an activity to do, I went to the museum of emerging sciences and innovation, or simply Miraikan. That was pretty cool, I liked the demonstration of ASIMO, a pretty impressive humanoid robot, and a group of three robots who stare at you when they talk to you, I found them scary!
Today was a sunny Sunday, so I took the opportunity to go out! I will tell you more in my next post.



Journey to the bed (Part 2 – Japan – Bed)

There I am, finally arrived in Japan!

When I got to immigration with my arrive paper, saying that I want to stay a year, immigration officer seemed really surprised, led me out of the waiting line and told me to wait in the room’s corner. A few moments later, six other people came in this corner too, because they wanted to stay a long time too. Finally, one hour later, he came back. He had just waited for the waiting line to be over. He asks me to fill some documents and give me my… Japanese resident card. I’m now a japan resident until September 2017 !

I take my luggage, a woman of the airport staff was waiting near it, seeming like she didn’t know what to do with this abandoned luggage.

I exchange some European money with Japanese Yen and take my bus ticket to my share-houses office. I have to wait one hour for my bus and it will take two hours to go there, I wasn’t able to sleep during my flight and begin to feel very tired!

But my bed is still far! After walking for 10 minutes (with my two luggages), I arrive to the office.
They ask me to put my signature on some different documents, all endless and looking the same, and check a lot of boxes… Rules, rules and even more rules, if I have to respect each one of them, I think that I will not stay here long.
Some of them are:

  •   We have bags with our name on it for the fridge, if we don’t use it, they simply throw away what is not in a bag.
  •   If we let any personal item outside our room, it’s moved to a container and we have to pay to get it back
  • We cannot connect more than one device to the internet at the same time
  • If we let any equipment in the kitchen (like a toaster), it’s all the same, forbidden.
  • A lot of other rules

Seem like there was not enough paper, so I had to watch a video, saying exactly the same.

Finally, I arrive at the end of all this, and can go to the share-house. However… the way should take 40 minutes, I need more than 2 hours. It was 7 pm, so the night has been here for a pretty long time (haha…) and I had to find my way, with a Japanese address system completely different from the French one, and obviously all written in Japanese…
So I found it, I had to ask my way to Japanese passing by on their bike. In the house, for now, I met only one person, a Chinese, she seems nice but I didn’t understand her name… she repeated it but I don’t get  it.
Oh, last note: No Japanese, a raised futon isn’t a real bed, it’s still just a futon.


Journey to the bed (Part 1 – France – China)

It’s 6 am, perfect time to write my first article! I leaved the 4th of September at 6 am in France (I will use dates because I am lost with the “yesterday” things due to time difference between France and Japan). I learned at the airport that my luggage will not be transferred at my stop in China to the next plane, that I will have to take them by myself and check them in again, meaning that I will have to go through the airport security and everything else. I ask to an employee of my airline company if I will need a visa for China (luggage are outside of international area), he answer that there is no need for a visa for such a short time. My plane takes off from Paris at 2 pm, a bit late, which could be not important without what will come later. Arrived in China around midnight in France and 6 am local time. I expected to have 2 h 50 to go to my next plane, however I have only 2 h 20 due to plane’s late.

A bit hurried, I go to China border security, where we ask me for my visa, which I obviously don’t have. They bring me to the back, where there already is 10 other French from the same flight, in same situation as me. The border security staff seemed really overwhelmed, like if it is the very first time that someone have to cross the border to move from a flight to another. Then we waited 1 h 30, with some questions sometimes, all in Mandarin, like if no one was able to speak English. Hopefully, one of French peoples was able to speak Mandarin. They finally give us our passport back with a Chinese visa inside.

We have only a few time left to take our luggage, check them in and cross again security from the other side of the airport. Arrived at the border security, surprise, they don’t want us to cross, our visas are not valid. After another long time, waiting for them to fix this problem, they finally let us cross the border, just in time to enter our plane at 8:15 am (local time), exact time of our planes take off.



I declare the blog of my travel in Japan open !..
I don’t know at all how I will manage it, or when I will not give up after a month, we will see how It will go.

I go to Japan on the 4th september for a year in working/holiday visa.
On this blog / travel diary I will tell you, from time to time, interesting (or not) moments, that I live during this year in Japan.

First real post when I will be in Tokyo, first city where I plan to stay for two or three months !



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