F U K U   w a   U C H I

I think I'm turning Japanese

Ready to go

Last Friday I went to Helsinki to collect my Japanese visa. Yes – I finally have my visa to enter Japan! There was again some delay with my Certificate of Eligibility arriving from Japan and it somehow got stuck in the bureaucracy of Finnish customs. I have no idea what the problem was and I don’t know how a piece of paper could cause any problems at the customs. Well, long story short, I got the certificate last Wednesday and begun preparing for my trip to the Embassy of Japan by taking passport sized photos and filling out some essential forms. It took about half an hour at the embassy for them to make and print out my visa. The lady there was super friendly and helpful – she didn’t only give me the visa but she also told me great information about living in Japan and what should I do after I arrive there. She also informed me that in Finland we can’t unfortunately get the multiple entry visa to Japan so if I want to travel to Korea, for example, I have to apply for a re-entry permission in Japan.

Christmas in Osaka.

Last week I finished my courses at JAMK for this semester and I only have one more essay to write before I’m all set to leave to Japan. I can’t believe how fast this semester has flown by. Now suddenly I find myself leaving to Japan just in two weeks. It feels absurd. I keep thinking if I’ve forgotten to do something I should have done before leaving. At least I have my visa, an insurance for myself and my luggage, flight tickets and a place to stay in Japan. I still need to exchange some Japanese yen though. Should do it this week I guess. Noticing that 1 euro is still only 100 yen doesn’t encourage me to go and exchange some though.

SGU Campus area. International House at the upper left of the map is the dorm where I'll be staying.

Last week I got an e-mail from the international office of Seinan Gakuin University containing maps about the campus area, information about the orientation day and the beginning of the semester and some basic information about Japanese currency, plugs etc. Friday 6th of January will be the orientation day for us exchange students and it will be held from 9am to 5pm so again we’ll have a full day filled with information. The orientation day also includes Japanese placement test that will decide which level of Japanese course you’ll get to join to. I wish I could join the advanced Japanese but I’m afraid my insufficient kanji knowledge will drop me to intermediate level. We’ll see.