4 min read

Catch-up 4

So the last post didn’t have any pictures, again. Well I hope there will be some here.

Apart from the courses I had (mandatory!) to enroll in 5 different insurances and funds. The National Health Insurance, the national pension system, the personal liability insurance, the personal accident insurance and the renter’s ensurance. It doesn’t matter if you already have some of them.

The part at the ward office included registering my new address, enrolling in the pension system and the national health insurance. We got the forms from the university already alongside the instuctions on how to fill them out. Therefore the procedure at the ward office was faster than expected, although they didn’t speak english there.

Having gotten there by bus I decided I needed a bike. But I’m too large (~187cm) for Japan. All the used bikes you can find either in Second Hand Shops or in the facebook group (Sayonara Sales Kyoto). Are way to small. Even the new bikes stop at 185cm. But they were way too expensive starting at 50.000¥. So I’m still looking around.

On the last weekend (07.10.2016) I decided that I wanted a phone contract. So I went to Yodobashi-Camera (One of the biggest electronic stores in Kyoto) near Kyoto main station with a guy from the dormitory. We both just opened a bank account at the jp post bank the day before (antiquated bank the university recommended. No internet banking and still a bankbook! Don’t need to know more). At the basement they offered a huge range of phones. All the employers of the providers told us that you can’t get a phone contract in Japan without a JAPENESE credit card. WTF? Why? Well, I did my research beforehand, so we found a counter with a guy, with adequate english knowledge who told us that there are other options. The simplest one is getting ocn-mobile, because they accept international credit cards. 980 yen for 3gb of data per month is not that bad. I pay 700 yen per month extra per month to get a phone number (I know I’m crazy, but I wanted one). To call someone I still have to pay 20yen/30sec.

On the next day some other students of the dormitory and I walked around the neighborhood to see some shrines. At the evening we found some carts moving through the city. When we found the source of them we found a kindergarden festival and tried some of the food there. Looking at it retrospectively it sounds kind of creepy. But it was real fun. They even invited us to try out the drums they were playing.

Around 21h00 Alex (living at my dorm) had the brilliant idea to climb daimonji ( mointain to the east of kyoto). Equipped with just our phones and one flashlight we, that’s 4 of us, went to hike to the summit. Having never been there, no one of us knew the way. That wasn’t so much a problem in the city (google maps + new data plan yay!) but an even greater one in the forest. We took a few wrong turns, but eventually ended up at the summit. Alex had brought some popcorn as well. with which we enjoyed the view. Altogether it took about 4 hours from the dormitory up the mountain and back again.

We made a few new friends along the way (at least some of us heh.) The view was breathtaking. Like a river of stars flowing from the mountains into an ocean of light.