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.


[ 3 comments ] ( 334 views )   |  permalink  |  print article  |   ( 3.1 / 62 )

<Back | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | Next> Last>>