This morning I went to city hall to collect my gaijin card. This basically is my permission to live and work freely in Japan and it’s what all foreigners who want to stay here strive to achieve. For foreigners arriving here in the hope of getting a job, the gaijin card can prove a major obstacle; you can’t get a job without it and you can’t get a card without a job! But of course for me it’s been pretty easy thanks to the missus.
The other major acquisition today was my personal seal (hanko) which people here use instead of a signature. I found a place around the corner that produced mine for about £25, complete with a smart black case with built-in ink pad. While I was at city hall I also registered my stamp so I can now do things like opening bank accounts etc.
With these two bits of personal administration sorted out, I feel a lot more settled and it really is starting to feel like home now.