No matter where you live, no matter where you move to, the various procedures involved are always difficult.
I’ve been going through the steps to make myself and all my things legal this week, and it’s not so easy in some cases. First, I registered at city hall. All people who move in Japan, native or foreign, have to tell city hall that they’re in town and where etc. The name of the forms differs, but the main purpose is the same: the city is going to provide you with services so it’s necessary for them to know who they’re serving. Whatever.
This wasn’t. Very difficult thing to do. As I’d already registered as a foreign resident when I was in Toyama, I only really needed to change my address. The lady was super helpful, and explained things simply. I also joined national health insurance at the same time, which was also ridiculously simple.
Afterwards, another lady explained how to sort my trash. I was told by some residents, “Ooh, trash sorting here is very strict!” But it’s not really. Burnables twice a week (and unlike Toyama, plastic IS burnables, not it’s own category) and none burnables once a month, in 4 categories: food glass, other glass, newspaper and cardboard, cans and PET bottles. There’s also the food trash that they use to make compost, but most people I’ve spoken to hide that in their burnables because the food trash bag is troublesome and breaks easily.
It’s not so bad because most of my trash is burnable. The PET bottles and random foam trays can be rinsed and returned to the store. Bottles and cans too, at some stores. Shouldn’t be a problem, I reckon.
Next up is updating the address on my car reg and safety check certificate. This is not so easy. First, I needed a proof-of-parking certificate from the real estate agency (¥3000), and then take that to the police station to say, “Hello! I have arrived and I have brought a car! Please change my address on my license and my something else; also I will be parking here legally.”. Then they do the license while you wait, and give you the forms (¥20) for the other part which I couldn’t figure out, but I luckily had someone to help me. The registration of parking space with the cops was ridiculous. I had to have a diagram of the parking lot with my space indicated; then I had to draw a map to my apartment (which is easy in some places, but which is stupidly difficult for this place); then I had to fill in dimensions of various things (width and length of space, width of lot entrance, width of road, etc.) It was dumb and I made up values because I hadn’t measured that stuff, get out.
Next week I’ll have to pick up paperwork from the police station and then go to a transport office to register the changes that the cops made, register for car tax (boo!) here, and then get my new number plates. Whew! It’s not easy, so I’m glad the lady from my company is helping me.
In other settling-in news, I’m completely unpacked, except for the living room, which can’t be completed until next Wednesday when the last of my furniture comes. Until then, though, I’m pretty free and clear to relax and explore. More on that another time!