We started our day off taking the train one stop up to Ichiago. We walked to the city office in hopes of getting our Alien Registration Cards (ARC Cards) .
When we got to the building we were told to go upstairs to window 22. There was a sign that said in English (non-Japanese Registration) Okay, we were in the right place. Here is the thing, no one at the window spoke English. We are pretty patient people and know living in a foreign country we shouldn’t expect people to speak English. But, we were in the registration office for foreigners…at a City office.
Our immigration stamp from the airport says that we are only allowed to stay for 3 months, our boss is working on getting our working visa which will allow us to stay longer. So, we weren’t really sure of the order of how things worked because now, we are going to get an ARC card valid for only 3 months and have to come back when we have our long term visas. Okay, understood… But, we were told only to bring our passports and 2 pictures a piece. Me, being Ms. Organized and has to have everything in order felt so dumb when on the form it asks for our Address and our work Address…which of course I had neither. And, there was no internet in the building so we couldn’t pull up our Blog with our home address on it. So, we made it up. We guessed. We said it was 25-1 Chigasdai Well, we were wrong of course and it took 3 workers and 2 maps to figure out where our guest house was…and about 35 minutes.
In the end, they stapled a typed up piece of paper into our passport and told us after we had our visa to come back for our permanent card….
When Adam and I accepted the job offer here in Japan…we spent a lot of time looking at the map knowing we wanted to be close to the water. Now we are here and settled into our two month lease and living in the suburbs or mountainy area. We are about 40 minutes by train from Yokohama Sea Shore.
So, yesterday we took two trains, The Denentoshi Line two stops and switched to the Yokohama Subway Line and road it for about 11 stops. When we exited the subway station, we were immediately in awe.
The city itself is beautiful. Most of the buildings are stark white and looked stunning next to to cloudy sky. We walked through the city with no problem, it didn’t seem nearly as crowded as Tokyo, and definitely 3-4 times larger than downtown Orlando and Denver. We headed straight for the waterfront where we found a mall, a ton of restaurants, and an amusement park.
We walked along the water and felt rejuvenated by the fresh air and sea breeze.
We then headed inland about 1/4 of a mile and found ChinaTown. It was quite large and colorful and full of people, but cleaner and quieter than any chinatown we have ever been too.
Adam got suckered into buying a bag of chestnuts from a street vendor for 1,000 yen or almost $11. I do like chestnuts, but we are on a budget until April 11th when we get paid and well, I let it slide 🙂 We laughed about his inability to say no to cute Asian men selling us their nuts..hehe.
Anyway, we also saw a very cute puppy who I sat down to pet and it turned out her owner grew up going to International Schools, just had his reunion in Boulder, is about to retire and spoke perfect English. He invited us back to Yokohama and said he would show us around. We immediately explained how even if living in the city meant a commute of about an hour to work, we would really like it because the location made us feel at home. He gave us his business card (it is as big here as it was in Korea), Adam gave him one of his and we parted ways…only after finding out his dogs name was Nicole! (they call her Nicolishi) I don’t know how I felt about him saying my dog has the same name as you, but it all fell into the fate handing us a moment where we met someone because of yaddah yaddah yaddah…(I do love fate)
We did stop into a realty office and inquire about an apartment we saw a sign out front for. It was 79,000 a month and looked brand new. It was in a high-rise…but because of all of the formalities when you rent an apartment, it seems you have to have 5 times the rent to move in (I have heard that before)…and then we will have to furnish it and pay electric and maintenance and all the rest. So, it looks like we may be in the guest house for a few more months.
All in all, our trip to Yokohama really reinvigorated us. It was what we needed. We found a place where we now know we would like to be. Living in Fujigaoka is nice, but it is a little to rural and suburbia. There isn’t too much we can walk to and make a day out of it. It is nice and close to both campuses of our school, but that part isn’t enough for us. We know that living Seaside in a not too overly crowded city would be best for us.
Today we head back to work to finish our training. Im waiting for Adam to get up and already on cup 2 of coffee from the french press! Oh how I love thee.