Monday, March 29, 2010

So, um.

I'm not going to Otsuchi. More information to follow.

Monday, March 8, 2010

"I'll be here, but I'm going to think of products I might like to purchase."

So, I'm trying to think of things I'll need once I get to Japan. Since money has suddenly become an even bigger issue than I thought it would be a few weeks ago, I'm trying to carefully budget. Thus, I am going to create a list of things I need/want to buy. Some of them will be purchased as soon as I arrive, some not for months. Some I might not even purchase at all. A few might even, if I'm very very lucky, come with the apartment. But here's a list of some of the things I'm considering:

A futon. About $75. Where I'll sleep.
A fan. Though I'll be further north, I'm sure it gets plenty warm in the summer.
A lamp or other light fixture.
A washing machine. $200. Don't want to stink!
A refrigerator. $200. The whole food thing.
A mirror.
A cutting board.
Some dishes.
A frying pan.
A kitchen knife.
A table/chairs.
A water heater.
A Vacuum. $70.
Or, alternately, an electric cooktop.
A rice cooker.
A Kitchen scale. $10.
A Computer monitor.
Storage boxes.
A bath basket.

And the following consumables: Toilet paper, paper towels, bath towels, umbrellas, soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, hand soap, mouthwash, flouride toothpaste, American deodorant, dish detergent, sponges, kitchen cleanser, a water purifier, trash bags, a mop, and a broom.

Also keep in mind that I can save on some of this stuff by buying it locally/buying it used.
Am I forgetting anything?

Yes, I have a placement.

I'm going to be living in Otsuchi, Iwate.

No, I'd never heard of it either. Apparently, it has all of 15,000 people.
The next largest town is Kamaishi, which is 10 km from Otsuchi.

The town, like everything else and their cat these days, has a website. They even have a section in English!
It does have a shopping center called MAST, which is 10 minutes from the station.

As I get more information on the area, I'll edit this post.

Monday, March 1, 2010

No, no, I'm not -quite- dead yet.

I am, however, in a fairly regular state of panic. (Also New York.) Things just haven't been coming together the way I anticipated, and so progress on Japan-related things hasn't been nearly as smooth nor as quick as I anticipated.
The biggest problems have been mostly unexpected, seemingly minor ones that have snowballed. I'm still hoping to straighten things out, but at the moment I'm worrying quite a bit about various things. Anyone wanna buy a $700 pencil, slightly used?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

CoE ゲット!

Today, my Certificate of Eligibility arrived in the mail.

"A Certificate of Eligibility is issued before a visa application by a regional immigration authority under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice [...] as evidence that the applicant fulfills various conditions of the Immigration Control Act, including those certifying that the activity in which the foreigner wishes to engage in Japan is valid and comes under a status of residence (excluding Temporary Visitor Status).

The Certificate of Eligibility has the advantage of reducing the time required to obtain a visa and complete immigration procedures, since a foreigner in possession of such a certificate can probably acquire a visa at an embassy or consulate without any inquiries being made to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, by showing the certificate to the immigration officer, obtain landing permission more easily."

So, one step closer to going to Japan!

Monday, February 8, 2010


The waiting! The waiting! It's driving me batty! So I wrote a song about it.

The Waiting Game. It's just a draft.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

As an aside....

I took the photo in the top banner there. It's some random town along the Tokaido-sen that I took a picture of as I was travelling from Tokyo to Nagoya over Winter Break in 2008.