Getting Stopped by the Popo

If you’re a foreigner in Japan, at some point you’re probably going to have a run-in with the police.   This might be because they think you look suspicious (for justified reasons or not) and want to check your residence card, pulled you over because you violated a traffic law, or maybe you lost your wallet and need to file a lost report/are lost and need to ask directions at the nearest police box (kōban).

Having just gotten pulled over for a traffic offense, and considering the police climate Stateside, I thought I’d write a short bit on what to do if and when you encounter the police in Japan.

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Working in Japan: After the Interview/Getting Hired

The interview is done, yay!  All you need to do is wait.  Or maybe you’ve just gotten notice that they want to hire you.  In that case, congratulations! 😀

Here’s some pointers on how to wrap up the job application process.

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Working in Japan: Finding a Job in Japan

Hey all!    It’s a new year, which means new beginnings and the beginning of the Japanese hiring season!  As I’ve written before, I plan on leaving my current company for something more flexible and less hectic.  So while I’m on the hunt for a new job or string of part-time jobs, I figured why not make it into a series that way someone else might also benefit from the experience.

This first post in the series focuses on where many of us find ourselves at in the very beginning-  trying to get hired from abroad or within Japan.

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Getting a Wire Transfer Returned/Refunded

In Japan, most money is sent domestically or internationally via wire transfer.  If you have any kind of debt (student loans, credit card bills, etc.) accumulated back in your home country, one of the first things you’ll probably be looking for is a way to send money home.  Any bank or post office can do it, but it’s often a little cheaper and faster to use a remittance service like Western Union, Go Remit (previously called Go Lloyds), JTB Money T Global, or SBI Remit.

This isn’t a post about how to send a wire transfer or how to use remittance services per-se, but last week I had trouble with my wire transfer through Go Remit after finally getting my last name changed on my bank account, and it didn’t go through properly.  To solve the issue, I needed to request my money to be returned from their bank to my bank, which is called a kumi modoshi in Japanese.

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Driving in Japan: Getting Your Japanese Drivers License Renewed

© J // Washing Rice Blog

The renewal reminder postcard will look something like this.
© J // Washing Rice Blog

About two months before the date my current drivers license was set to expire, I got the usual postcard in the mail that told me my renewal was due soon and gave me information on the renewal procedure.

This is my second license renewal, so it was pretty straightforward, but you’ll have to allot a full half-day (either morning or afternoon) for the application, sight test, picture taking, lecture course, and finally, getting your shiny new license at the end.

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Making the Big Move: Apartment Hunting (Part 2)

Have an idea of the kind of property you’d like to rent?  If not, check out Part 1!  If so, you’re ready to start tackling some of the hurdles you might encounter when you visit a real estate agency.  These places are called fudōya or fudōya-san in Japanese.

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Making the Big Move: Let’s Talk Visas

There are many ways to move to Japan, but pretty much all of them require getting your hands on a visa.  With the exception of a few special countries, you’ll need a visa if you plan on staying longer than 90 days or 3 months in Japan.

Requirements for applying and being granted a visa depend on what kind of agreement Japan has with the country your passport is issued from.  Requirements also depend on what kind of visa you’re seeking.  The following sites are very useful reading:

During my stay I’ve had three different kinds of visas and all of them required jumping through different hoops to get my hands on. Continue reading