Ok, on Wednesday I finally received my alien registration card. That’s the document foreigners here basically NEED FOR EVERYTHING. Actually, most of the information on this little card are provided already with my visa and on my address confirmation paper from the town office... but Japanese sales people etc. are instructed to ask for this card and usually nothing else is accepted. When I tried to make an bank account without it, I was rejected two times.
Now I have an Japan Post Bank account... Maybe I try to get an account at a different bank soon. I think JPB has quite high transaction fees or is it the same with any other bank?
However, some banks will still reject you... sometimes they say they cannot give an account to foreigners who haven’t lived in the country for at least 6 months. This seems to be an excuse, since it sometimes applies and sometimes doesn’t. Basically, it seems like, whether you get an account or not depends also on the mood of your person in charge :)
Next we went to a Softbank-Shop and looked and their prepaid-mobiles...as expected those models aren’t exactly fancy and of course no smartphones. But what bothered me more, where those ridiculous rates for calling etc. No way. I seriously consider getting a two years-contract and just suck it up to pay cancellation fees after one year (I've heard these fees usually run about 10 000 Yen ~95 Euro). Any recommendations here? Whats the cheapest plan right now?
But I'll wait with purchasing a phone until we move, because I don’t want to have the paper work of changing my address on thousands of contracts...
Will we move? According to the guy, who showed us the apartment, it is „80 percent“ sure. But since some days we haven’t heard anything new from him... >_> I am getting impatient !
On Thursday we to Himeji by car in order to meet our friends Kei-san and Mamiko-san. They also brought their three years old son Jin-kun. We went to a japanese-style dining place, where you enjoy your meal in separated rooms/booths. The place was called Usagi (engl. Rabbit), funnily enough about 10 restaurants are called like this in Himeji... but it was this one:
Their lunch sets were nice and reasonably priced! I enjoyed my 豆乳しゃぶしゃぶ (tounyuu shabu shabu) set. You have to boil your pork-meat and vegetables in soymilk broth. There was also sashimi, some mayo-salad, chawanmushi (something like egg custard) etc.
The dessert looked like cake, right? It was ice-cream, in fact!
Thank you for your invitation Kei&Mamiko :)
After saying goodbye to our friends, who were supposed to travel to Tokyo later on, Dai and me wandered through the city of Himeji. We walked up to himeji-castle, where I already had been a few days ago. This time, I wanted to explore the koko-en, a japanese garden.
Entrance fee was 300 yen. Oh well.
It's certainly a nice garden and it's well taken care of, but unfortunately that day was quite grayish. So nothing looked really colorful or beautiful to me. The huge Kois were quite impressive though. Some of them look as if they were almost one metre long !!! Is that even possible?
Friday I spend mostly at home looking up vocabularies for my translation work. In the afternoon Dai and me checked out some local recycle shop and most of the things looked actually QUITE NEW. Therefore many goods were cheap, but not significantly cheaper than the cheapest stuff in stores.
I am looking forward to check out more recycle shops in Kobe though.
I also forced my boyfriend to stop at an slightly bigger shopping mall in Kakogawa. I grew tired of the old, run-down „Sunmall“ in Takasago. And as I expected that one offered a far better selection of stuff...
I even spotted a HUGE deo for 298 yen (3euro), thats by far the cheapest I've seen so far.
Today (Saturday) I started again working on my assignment. In the afternoon we drove to a near-by shrine, because Dais Mother wanted me to see the Ume-trees (Plum) over there. We took Kirato with us.
My boyfriend is always happiest around his nephew (Kirato) and niece (Kyua). (I get a little bit jealous here :D)
Afterwards I wandered around in Sunmall... . Got Shiseido blotting paper, bath salt, etc. .
The bath salt is supposed to be spicy / hot.It contains chilli and ginger ingredients. Maybe a review follows with the next post.
See you <3