Monday, 27 January 2014


I don't know if I forgot to tell you, but as of the 21st of January, 2014 I left Japan. Anyway I thought it'd be nice to leave you with a FUQ, or Frequently Unasked Questions.


Well as you know from reading my blog (you've been reading it? WOW), I've been here close to seven years, and things have been plateauing for a few years. I'm getting older. Over the years a few of my relatives have passed away, and I value the time I have with my immediate family. Recent events have also fast-tracked my planned departure date.


No, not at all! With amazing technologies like Skype, it felt like friends and family were in my room at any time. There are also heaps of free wifi hotspots. It's much better than the bad old days of phone cards and Internet cafes.


Yeah, of course. I'd like to have had more opportunities to advance in the company. I applied for management/training positions and I wasn't considered. I wish I really learnt Japanese. I should've persued my music dreams harder. I'd like if some people were kinder. That'll do. Can't stop 'dem regrets you know!


The SMOKING. I am not a smoker. Japan has it backwards. You can smoke in bars and restaurants but outside you can't. WTF? Tax the f**k out of those cigarettes too!

OLD PEOPLE - Now don't get me wrong I don't hate them per sé. It's just that I think old people generally don't like foreigners "changing" Japan. This goes for a**hole police officers, and is it a coincidence all the taxi drivers are senior citizens? I rest my case. Actually they often leave seats beside me free on the train. I guess it's not all bad.

SPITTING - Is it so hard to f**king swallow? It's worse in winter when your footpath gunk doesn't evaporate. It just stays there forever. Gross.

BLOCKING FOOTPATHS - Do you have to walk/stand in a "wall of stupid" making it difficult to walk or ride past? I used to use my bad squealing brakes to make people sh*t themselves. Hilarious.

BANKS & PHONE COMPANIES - Now I'm sure there were other so-called businesses, but these two really annoyed me. SIM locked phones? docomo changed tack when they got the iPhone. Shame shame shame. Banks charging after hours and transfer fees really sucked. OH, and piss poor bank interest. Thanks for nothing UFJ.

SHOGANAI - This means "it can't be helped". To me this means Japanese people compromise too much so that the above companies and more get what their greedy minds want. Sure, packed trains can't be helped. I'll let you have that one.


Well, it's going to sound horribly cliché but the food is awesome; I hate flowers, but the cherry blossoms "affect" me; the Japanese girls are super pretty and more approachable (gonna miss the bikini girls of Summer); the plentiful cheap and accessible alcohol, and drinking in public; the wonderful music shops with beautiful instruments (new and used). I'm really going to miss my friends AND my best friend :(


YEAH! As a tourist, Japan is unlike any other country I've been to. Actually it's like another planet. Japanese people are very friendly and accommodating to tourists. You'll feel very welcome.


Now this one is harder to answer. WHY do you want to work in Japan? I had someone tell me, "I don't know". Now THAT I see as the wrong reason.  Life will seem better when you are arrive, but it will progressively get worse. Anything that is wrong with your life will be amplified. You'll be looking for substitutes of all the good stuff you'll miss. I say YES if you can speak Japanese or have a very strong will to learn the language. Use the visa to do something BETTER.

Japanese people will treat you differently, or you'll see them differently when you've been here a while too.


I wish I knew, then I might have left earlier! For me, the right time is to go before you end up hating the place.  It's when you realise that you have a job here, not a career. It's before you get "stuck" here either through marriage or being too lax to go. Once the roots start growing it gets harder to cut down the tree.


In the past I think I suggested using Go Lloyds.  GoRemit (Shinsei Bank) took over their services, and should be the equivalent. I actually used Japan Post Bank this time. You can take out cash from your account and do a 口座あて送金 telegraphic transfer (2,500 yen for any amount), which takes a week to get in your account.  Just don't mess up the information! Don't bring lots of cash on the plane. Banks don't like dealing with paper money.


I'm not sure. I wouldn't mind teaching English here but I don't know if my time actually counts for much. I could go back to my old job. I could be a rockstar. LOL. Right now I'm in a bit of limbo. Getting over my "lost weekend" and trying to join the real world.

Well that's all the questions I can think of right now. I want to thank all the people that have stuck with me all these years with my blog. It's nice that it wasn't for nothing. If you have any other questions or want to say hi leave a comment. I'm not dead yet.

I hope I gave you a good FUQ


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Resident Card

Since July 2012, Japan changed their residency management system. Instead of the Alien Registration Card ("gaijin" card), new arrivals would be issued with a new Resident Card. Generally speaking some details are not directly written on the card itself but on an IC chip. Also, things like re-entry permit stamps are going to be a thing of the past.

Now I don't actually need to do this until my visa renewal, but considering what I'll be doing shortly I've decided to take the fun trip down to Shinagawa to get dat card! I arrived at the immigration office at about 11am. I was thinking I was getting there late but surprisingly it only took about 40 minutes! Maybe because it was a day predicted to snow everyone stayed away *booya!*

 You can pick up a form for the new card at the information desk as you walk in. They are actually in a tray so you don't even really need to line up. (If you LOSE your card you have to ask for another kind of form though). Around the corner you can take your photo at a photo booth for 700 yen. I did the photo myself in photoshop and printed it out for 30 yen instead :) Oh, bring a pen when you go. I had a hell of a time asking people to lend me a pen. No one helped me out ^$*#^!!

Once that's done go to the 2nd level D line which you can use the easy to follow guide line on the floor! If you leave Japan you don't have to pretend you lost it to keep the card. They'll actually let you keep it as a present but they punch a hole in the card to invalidate it. YAY!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Two Towers Part 2 - Tokyo Tower

After the Skytree I knew the Tokyo Tower would pale in comparison.

The Tokyo Tower's highest "special" observatory (+600 yen) is still only 250m high. The main observatory (820 yen) is 150m. Even at the top height it's only marginally higher than the nearby Midtown Tower. Unlike the Skytree it's essential to go to the top level.

Built in 1958, the tower is definitely showing its age. The windows look "fuzzy". Taking the best photos was more of a challenge. I was really spoilt by the Skytree's newness :( Still there are some good views out to Odaiba, and like the Skytree you'll be able to see Mt Fuji at sunset.

If you have a choice go to the Tokyo Skytree. The view is MUCH better. Heck, even go to the Metropolitan Government building. It's free! The Tokyo Tower really needs a renewal renovation, a complete makeover.

BUT to say something good about it, the Tokyo Tower is more beautiful than the Skytree even though it ripped off the Eiffel Tower's good looks. It's also substantially brighter lit. Maybe being more residential out in Oshiage they didn't want a "Christmas tree" shining in their windows every night. I kind of wish the Skytree was a bit more central rather than out where it is. They should've knocked this one down ("jokingu").