Thursday, 19 May 2011

Three Year Visa.. Again!

I received my postcard to come back into the Immigration office on Friday the 13th (lucky for some I guess). I was surprised that it only took 11 days to get my notification. I thought that the best time to go would be on my day off.

I planned to go to the park as well later in the day, so I decided to take my acoustic guitar along for the trip. It was a pretty hot day. It probably wasn't such a good idea as I also decided to walk from Shinagawa like I usually do. Even though it isn't the heaviest instrument, it was more of a burden than anything. The chu-his I put in my pocket probably didn't help too much either.

I arrived at 1pm and was fortunate enough that I was at the front of the line at the Permission Counter A. Before waiting in line I made sure to get my revenue stamps from the AMPM convenience store on the ground level - 4,000 yen for the visa extension stamp, and for good luck I got a 6,000 yen multiple entry stamp.

The approval counter is located on the same second floor as where I put in my application, but is on the right hand side. I followed a yellow A line on the floor. Once I handed in my revenue stamps and passport, I waited patiently for my number to be called. I wasn't feeling lucky. My passport expires before a whole three years is up, so I was figuring I'd only get a one year approved.

After about 35 minutes I went to the counter... and I got another 3 years! (I can see my parents reaction now as "LOL Wut?!?")

Whether I stay that long is probably doubtful, but it made me happy that I HAVE this option if I want it. Another teacher got another one year, so I don't know what it was that made them give it to me. The multiple entry visa (which costs more)? or my happy, smiling face?

As if I needed a reason I wanted to drink, so with a little extra spring to my step I made my way to Yoyogi Park to celebrate my "win". The other guys couldn't make it, but I didn't care. I had a little victory and I wasn't going to waste it.

I got there about 230-3. There's always quite a few people around enjoying the park. I sat down under a bit of shade that looked out onto the pond. This reminds me of Roma St Parklands where I did much the same thing.

I waited a short while to take in the tranquility, then broke open my first chu-hi and took out my guitar to play some tunes.

Although no one came directly up to me, quite a few people came fairly close sitting nearby and listening to me play. Two girls even managed to fall asleep on the grass. I guess my playing has that effect on some girls. A Japanese guy said he liked it, and asked to take my photo. I said ok, but I didn't look at the camera while I played. This definitely didn't happen back home.

As it got much cooler and closer to six I made my way to Shibuya to continue drinking with a friend at a bar. I had an "interesting" confrontation with one of those bad gaijins you hear about, but once they were gone, things were back to normal.

Well normal enough for Tokyo.