Some days after the last post 

I got a ride from my roommate to the 東灘区役所(Higashi-Nada Regional Office (or city hall if you will)), where I applied at the Alien registration. After that I was told I should also join the 国民健康保険(Japanese National Health Insurance), which I did, and which costs approximately 2000円 (about 20 euros) a month. It might be enough so that I don't need the insurance from a private company, which costs more.. I haven't decided yet.

** A side note: I'm basically calculating 円(yen) to € by dividing by 100. It's close, but little bit wrong, since 1€ is about 116円, or was last time I checked. But 100 is easier. **

I then left the 区役所 and went on to find the bank, called Sumimoto Mitsui Banking Corporation. After going around once where it should've been, I asked someone and found it, I had walked right past it. Soon after I was opening an account with help from an enthusiastic bank clerk.

In the evening, I went to check out one mobile phone company (AU) with another roommate. More about mobile phones later!


I went to the university for the first time. It was sunny, rather warm, day, and I had decided my route as walk to train station -> few stations west -> walk to university. I should've taken map with me though. I wandered almost randomly trying to find the first station, although I finally found it. At this point I was sweating a bit, since it was quite warm and sunny day. Well I got to train and off without any problems. Then I started walking towards the university, which I did, in a way, although I walked bit too far at first. It was also uphill whole way, so I was really sweating after I finally decided it couldn't be that far from the station. So I went little bit more east, and finally found it (although I was at wrong department, but there was a campus map outside so it was fine).

Next I wandered around the Engineering department's building trying find the Students Affairs Office until I finally asked where it is and was guided to it. Then, I got my student card, more documents to fill out (like application for host family program), some guidance about following weeks and so on.

So I started my way back, and carefully made notes in my head about the way so I wouldn't get lost next time.

On the way home I went to check other mobile phone companies (Docomo and Softbank).

A word about mobile phones in Japan: They're expensive (I heard they're about the same in USA too later, but I'm of course comparing to Finland). Roughly said, I have to pay about 10 times a month compared to what I pay in Finland. For example, internet without restrictions(eg. able to browse "PC sites") is 5900円 (=almost 60€ !) a month, while in finland you get it for just 5€ a month. Phone calls, well, without a call plan with free minutes, it's 33 cents / minute. With a call plan with 55 minutes free time, it's 15€ a month, and 30 cents per minute of what goes over the free time. Japanese phones, although nowdays also SMS compatible, use E-mail as main text based messaging system. If you take a call plan, using mail will raise the price of the internet fast to about 40€/month, although it won't go any higher ( ei paljon lohduta silti :D ). Oh and one thing is, if you don't make 2 year contract, you have to pay about double per month, and you need to buy the phone itself.


I took a 2 year contract with mail plan at Docomo, meaning I can use mail as much as I want and the monthly pay is around 10-15€, phone calls are 33 cent / minute (receiving is free though) and if I use internet (for example, loading a map to use with gps) it's up to 40€ (or about 55€, if I happen to view "PC sites"). Gotta be careful with this and use mail only..

Well, the benefit of taking 2 year contract was of course the cheaper monthly pay, and also I got the phone for free. Mainly I made the deal with Docomo, because their "0 yen phones" had one over others, it has touch screen, and wireless qwerty-keyboard too. Most japanese phones are able to receive TV broadcast (for free, whew), and this model is able to do it too.

The bad thing with 2 year contract is, that it's 2 year contract, and I'm staying in Japan only for about a year. So, I need to break the contract and that will cost about 95€ at that time.


I went to the university for the second time, to turn in some documents I had filled and to show the National Health Insurance card I got in the post. I found my way nicely this time!

Then I went to a placement test for japanese classes, and the result was upper intermediate, which is actually better than I expected. ^^

Tomorrow there is a bazaar for exchange students, I might go there and try to find a cheap bicycle or/and rice cooker. After that there's orientation, and welcome party for new students.

The post came out bit long, hope you have fun reading it!

I might add a picture later, it's a view from the university over the city.


I tell you, when it rained on Friday I thought about the very words of Sai :D I didn't even have an umbrella, but bought one on way back, for ~1€, and it didn't even break! You need to wait for the pics for a while.. I haven't really even taken much of them. Also I still don't know how to get them to my computer since I don't have memory card.. I could sent them to my own email, although the quality will be quite bad.

Yea yea yea, pics, we demand them!

Suvi wondered if you get enough to eat and stuff, since you haven't mentioned about the weird foods you've been eating.


Also, hope it's gonna stay sunny!
As to why, Sai's comments:

More on MSN!

anne lähdemäki 
Asiat näköjään alkavat lutviutua, jos rahaakin palaa, mutta kuten tällä Suomenpäässä rahapulaiset sisaruksesi,(no ehken voi yleistää)toivovat merkkipäivälahjat rahoina, niin varmaan sinunkin suuntaan vastaavat lahjat ovat mieleisiä. Eikä sitä koskaan tiedä vaikka yllättäisimme jollainn pienellä summallla ihan muuten vaan, joten kyllä yhdestä vuodesta selviät:)


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