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And the “Process” Continues…

Tokyo Travel Blog

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The Road to the Immigration Office

 

Today I set out to acquire my “visa re-entry permit.” A moderately simple task one would assume. Well don’t forget the old adage that “to assume only makes an ass out of you and me.” And in Japan my friend, Gaijin, are always made an ass of and as with everything else in this lovely country there is a process to be followed.

 

Naturally my first instinct was simply to have my passport, gaijin card, and some Yen. Now all I need to do is find the immigration office.  Simple, right? Finding the immigration office wasn’t too hard actually. It only consisted of three train changes, a bus ride and about an hour and a half of my time.

 

This was no ordinary bus ride though.

The Convenience Store
It was filled with other immigrants, just like me, all going to the same place. The trip there was perpetually dreary, as the paint slowly began to fade away on the buildings, the streets strangely became filthier and filthier, and I believe we even drove straight past a prison, or possibly the local public school, I’m still not quite clear on that matter. Regardless, it was not a place I wanted to be for long.

 

Once arriving I assumed I needed to head straight to the Immigration office. Unfortunately, I was an ass and once again the “process” reared its ugly head. Indeed you do not go straight to the Immigration Office. You must first stop at the local convenience store where you buy a stamp, yes a stamp. It looks no different than your average postal stamp and the exact purpose of this stamp, other than the simple indication of a purchase (which I imagine a receipt would do just fine), has yet to be resolved. It’s so simple, yes of course to get a re-entry permit naturally I would purchase it from the convenience store! How could I have not known this? I am such an ass!

 

Now that I had my stamp I could take it to the immigration office and then, and only then, would they process my re-entry permit and place a lovely little sticker in my passport. Yes I said “sticker,” I have no clue as to where the stamp is or what it was used for.

 

Mental Note:  Japanese convenience stores are of much higher regard than American ones. 

 

 

 

 

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The Road to the Immigration Office
The Road to the Immigration Office
The Convenience Store
The Convenience Store
The Immigration Office
The Immigration Office
Tokyo
photo by: maka77