Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I'm starting my first day living in Japan! I've registered for Alien Registration. I've got a bank account @ UFJ. Got an AU brochure, but not sure which phone to get.

After a loooong transit, I took the midnight plane and arrived in Osaka in the morning. Was a bit worried with the health check thing, since I suddenly has a sore throat (must be the durian's fault). We were given a form in Bali, asking whether we contact any US/Canada/Mexico citizen or have fever and stuff. Wore the mask before we got down the plane, like 1/3 of the people wore them. No problem whatsoever in the custom. Was picked up by a friend. Since they don't wear the mask, we put them off. All of the employees wear masks, but not many people on the street wear. But it does seem important as my friend feels the need for a box of them. They're so so so so nice, we'd be so lost without them.

They picked us up and helped us with our big luggage. We arrived at the apartment around 1-2 hours later. The car doesn't look new, but the GPS is awesome, she used it everywhere she's driving. There, 2 people from the apartment were waiting for us to send the goods for living (maybe a bit expensive for 10,000 yen, but saved us from buying frying pan and stuff). Though I don't really get what use is kettle when we have an electric boiler. For tea maybe? Might as well use it. You know, like in manga, they serve tea to guests... lol. I've always been a bad host.

Anyways. After unpacking those goods, we left our baggage and went to the City Hall for Alien registration. Nothing too difficult. Got my 4.5x3.5cm photo from back home already. Oh, the certificate sent by the uni was eaten at the custom, no more need for it I guess. I just needed to fill up a simple form which also says I'm the head of my own family... which was a bit weird. And remember not to put the name opposite way. Family name first.

Then I was asked to get the health insurance. It was weird that we thought no payment necessary, but apparently, I'll have to pay the insurance when it's mailed to me. After that we picked up the proof of alien registration, which costs 150yen each. Made two, just in case someone decided to keep it. I'll need to pick the ID up at the City Hall 3 weeks later.

After that, bank. The closest to my apartment is UFJ. So we went there. My friend talked to the bank asking to let me open a bank account without inkan. After a long talk, we were asked to go to another branch of UFJ nearby. o_o; And there, I can open an account with just my signature. Another stupid thing was that I had to record a phone number. But I can't get a phone if I don't have a bank account. See? So the bank then recorded my Indonesian number and my friend's number. I don't know what I'd do without her... x_x;

Apparently it's not necessary to register the inkan you use. And it can be dangerous to register your inkan as that means anyone with that stamp can act as you. She said only if I want to buy a car, then I need to get a registered inkan. If not, a normal inkan is just a replacement for signature. The bank employee said that I'll need to get my name in katakana/alphabet in the inkan. Not sure what she said finally, it was confusing. Once I get my inkan, then I can change my signature to an inkan. And since I'd be staying for awhile, it's better to have an inkan. And seems like my unofficial chinese name stamp won't be useful at all. Agh, inkan. Funny system, it's cute but so complicated.

We then pass an AU store on the way back and asked for a brochure. There are a few phones that can be get for free. The CA001 that I want costs 48000yen in that store. And the next candidate, the exilim one, was 35000. Premiere 3 was 45000. Other new Panasonic/Sharp/etc ones were also 40000 yen up. It might be better if I get a Docomo one. But Docomo phones are expensive! Prolly like 20000yen different? So if I don't get the exilim, then I'd get the free one. And maybe change to an iPhone in the future. Not sure if they'd let me get the 2 year plan with just a 1 year visa.

No home phone here. And it'd be quite useless, might as well my parents call my mobile. Home phone would probably cost an extra 3000 yen a month. It's be more expensive to have one unless my parents call me like 10 hours/month. And we also have Skype, if she remembers how to use it. And I don't need to have home phone for internet. It's there already. And most Japanese youngsters don't have home phone, too. Oh well.

Had lunch at a Italian fastfood, called Se-- something. Pretty cheap. Should've gotten the spaghetti, seems yummier. Had the Risotto, but not cheesy enough for me =d The 180yen all you can drink-drink was awesome, too. Only it smelled cigarettes, though not that bad. And this thing... is all ice cream!

Then we went to a drugstore nearby. As usual, they are so wonderful. I didn't check whether they got mask or not, haha. Got an Omron electrical brush. Braun's one was too expensive. And Lion doesn't seem to be that reliable. It runs with a battery and so thin! Agh, remembering thin. I'll really aim for 50kg by this end of year!! Got a point card, since it's prolly useful. Will get soap and stuff from there in the future, too, since it's closeby. Not sure how it works, though.

And PS. My apartment includes electricity bills etc. How 便利!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I'm reaching there tomorrow! I can't believe it!! Me and mom are allowed to bring a total of around 75kg, I think, but "only" bring about 60kg. And since we will be picked up, (very lucky me), I don't have to worry about bringing the luggage up and down the trains.

I'm not too sure with what people give as a thank you gift in Japan. According to my aunt, she gave them jewelries. o_O;;; I have no idea... Wouldn't alcohol be enough? *shrugs* I'll leave those adult matters to mom. I only design the card.

Swine flu, masks. We bought 150 pieces. One piece is about 4 yen over here. Since I heard on the news that they run out of stock. Not sure if I'll wear them. But I heard it's not something to be panicked about. Though seeing the mask matter (out of stock, loooong lines in drug stores, prices x 30) did made me concern. Also about the shops with only few people visit them, or how the online supermarket is having big orders because people don't want to go out... hmmm.

Since my apartment is a furnished one, I don't need to bring/buy most household stuff. But I brought tissues and towels, little chance Japan will be cheaper. Also bowls for cooking, glad wrap, alu foil, medicine, women's stuff, bucket for washing. Clothes of course, and figures can't be forgotten. Though I decided to leave most of them here as it'd pile up over there (I'm sure I'd buy more), only 2 figma boys and L nendo go with me. Eheh.

Plug adaptor. Dad found an adaptor that goes from any country to any country. Awesome. Costs around 900yen. So I don't have to worry finding them in Japan. Couldn't find it last time, and the shop employee had no idea and offered me 2 plugs combined just to convert an Australian one to a Japanese one. =_=;

Anyways. By this time tomorrow, I'd be roaming around in Osaka finding a mobile phone and already registered as an alien, I hope.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Switched to Blogger today.

The other day I received an email from the university and I was introduced to a senpai and she'll act as my tutor while I'm a research student. That's a very delightful news!! And I feel less lost, since I know who to ask to first if I'm in doubt. Like... about being a research student.

Seems like all a research student do is to study for the exam. That just sounds pretty free. But one must not underestimate Japanese exams. But yes, seems like past exams still are the best resource to refer to. I'm just so afraid with the knowledge I'm supposed to know but had been buried these few months... Whatever the case, I must not waste my time there. Must do whatever I can do while in Japan XD

Anyways, almost a week left till my departure. Packing is only half done. As usual, the final packing can only be done on the day. x_x;

Thursday, May 7, 2009

University Application part 2

Since I had to send another form for research student. Since they've got my other documents, I only need to send them the research student application form, which includes a short essay of why I want to enter the university, and also the form for the embassy. And off they go with DHL.

I received the university approval permit through email in February, a couple of weeks after I sent the documents. One month later, in March, I received the permit for the embassy - visa purposes, through mail. So that's when I started the visa application.

However... I received a news that I may have to change department and redo the application. I was told that I can decided that in Japan, but turned out that I needed to decide it soon. Therefore, I decided to change department, and sent in another research student application and fee to Japan. It's basically the same, but I need to write lesser amount of "why this course/university" thingy.

Since the university has received my form and the application fees (10,000 yen) already, the matter's resolved in April. The tuition fee is paid only after reaching Japan. And it's not that much. Research student fee is around 130,000 yen per semester (6 months). Master course is 6-700,000 yen per year. Comparing to how much I paid in Australia per year... it's AUD 24,000. It's more than half. ^_^; The accommodation is much more expensive, though.

Well, next is the packing. =3 Must not bring too many stuff there. Kind of hard to decide which one's more important...

Visa Procedure

Once I received the permit from Japan, I started my visa application. But I had to return 3 times since the requirements were missing/incorrect. Like 4.5 x 4.5cm photo, bank accounts, letter from dad, dad's business permit, family register, ID, permit from university,... While I need guarantor for university's form, I only need to specify the university's name for the guarantor. I was afraid since I thought they need 2 months to process my visa. But actually, they only need 5 working days for it. =) Costs Rp 270,000, I think. It's a bit troublesome to collect all the requirements, but nothing too hard.

1 year single entry visa

07 April 2009
Picked up my passport at the embassy~ I got my visa!

I didn't realize the expiry year until mom pointed out to me. It's in July 2009! Only 3 months while the stay is given 1 year? Stupid me for not checking it first. So I decided to check out. On the internet. orz

Found this on gaijinpot. And it mentions that the date mentioned on a single entry visa is the date you are allowed to first enter Japan. Once you enter, the visa will be stamped used. If you want to go for a holiday in the period of your stay in Japan, you must acquire a re-entry permit. This website has a detail on it. I will post mine when I do it there =3

Now that I get my visa, it really feels like the Japan I've always dreamed of is much closer. XD

What's left is my mom's visa, as the ticket could have some date changes to them now. I have to wait.