Monday, November 19, 2012

Moving In Japan: Changing Addresses and Internet Stuff

Hello everyone! It's been awhile, so sorry! I have been quite busy. I will be moving on the 23rd to a new apartment! It was decided that the apartment I am in now is quite old, so a new one was requested, and approved. I have seen many posts about foreigners moving TO Japan from outside the country, but not so many about gaijin moving from one place to another WITHIN Japan. Granted, my company will be providing a moving service, so I don't need to worry about hiring a moving truck, but I am having to do some other stuff on my own. So, I thought I would give some information on what things I have needed to do.

Step one was to get my cellphone mailing address changed. I think it is possible to have it done online, but I wanted to do it myself (I'm trying to force myself to SPEAK Japanese these days...). So last Monday I went to the Docomo Shop in my area to accomplish this. I was not sure if I could do it before I had actually moved, but I thought I should try. So I went there, and when I arrived at the shop, told them my purpose. I made an error though. I said 「アドレスを変更したいです。」(Adoresu wo hennkou shitai desu). Of course I should have thought my wording through a little bit better. They thought I wanted to change my cellphone e-mail address haha. So, instead, I should have said 「住所を変更したいです。」(Juusho wo hennkou shitai desu). I didn't realize they thought this until after waiting for about fifteen minutes and getting to the counter with a store clerk. He was so confused, because I was telling him I needed the address changed in two weeks, and he was thinking I was talking about my e-mail. What saved me in the end, was that I had the address written down for the new apartment. I finally showed it to him and finally he understood what I meant. He said the correct word for address, which I recognized, and then I apologized profusely. So after all our confusion, we were able to accomplish the intended goal. Something to note, TAKE YOUR GAIJIN CARD. I have not renewed mine yet to the new Residence Card (I will do that next Monday, yay! New picture!), but the old one still works fine. Anyway, since my address had not officially changed yet, and I had not reported it to the ward office, he needed to call some people to make sure it was okay for him to change the address before actually moving. Overall, the process took about fifteen minutes. It probably would have taken less time without my very stupid Japanese error. So, he printed out the address, with my info, we double checked the kanji and numbers, and I okayed it. The reason I decided to do this before moving, is because I still receive my cellphone statement in the mail. I have the payment automatically withdrawn from my bank account, but I don't want the next tenant to accidentally receive my bill. If I were moving at the beginning of the month, I would have waited. However, most bills arrived the week of the 20th, and that's my moving time slot.



The next step I have taken is to change my internet. So, setting up internet in Japan can be a real bitch (pardon my language). Especially if your Japanese is somewhere between an N4 and N3 level on the JLPT scale, or lower. When I got internet when I arrived in the country, luckily my English speaking friend works for some kind of company that sets stuff up for their clients. So all I had to do was call him, meet him, and sign some paperwork. He filled everything else out. I even got a pretty nice deal to where if I move, there is no fee (some internet companies charge a location change fee). However, he does not handle moving stuff. I had to actually call up NTT and deal with it on the phone. Luckily, Aki was able to do it for me! This is another case where you really need a fluent Japanese speaker (or close to fluent). And since Aki works for an internet company, he is very familiar with Japanese internet lingo. Once we got on the line with the appropriate department, the nice lady double checked with me to make sure I was allowing Aki to handle the conversation for me (which was easy enough to understand). Once I told her, yes, he has my permission, Aki took over. We had to give her of course, my name, and my account number (which came with all the paperwork). Then confirm some information. We then gave her the new address, and she put us on hold. She was checking the building I'm moving into to see which internet it is compatible with. Once she found out, she took us off hold, and said that I could continue to use BFlets internet. We also asked if we could get rid of Hikari Denwa (which is a house landline). I have a phone number, but don't use it and pay about ¥1000 per month for it. So we could. The only thing is that they are sending me a new bit of equipment this week. Then I will send them back the old equipment. All courtesy of NTT. So free, yay! The lady also said they would cut off the internet in my current apartment the morning of the 23rd, and the new apartment should be ready to go the same day. So if all goes well, I won't have to go without internet for a few days.

Once that was done, we weren't finished though! NTT just provides the equipment and the plans, and the ports. We needed to call Yahoo! BB, my actual internet provider! So we tried calling them, but their message service was really confusing. So we decided to trying changing it online. Turns out we could! You just have to go to the website that is given to you in the paperwork, and log in with your username and password (also provided with the paperwork). It was pretty easy. Just find the new address and the building. Then you select the day you are moving there, and which internet you want to use. Of course, since I'm using the same internet, I selected the same one. After that just finalize it. Piece of cake!


In terms of address changes, that's all I needed to do. My company handles all the other paperwork (new utility bills etc.). The last thing I will need to do is pay my utility bills. My new apartment is pretty nice (I've seen pictures), and is not only bigger, but is MUCH closer to the train station, and Tokyo. I currently live on the south side of Yokohama on the JR. Now I'll be living on the north side on the subway. I currently also have an almost fifteen minute walk to the station. Now it will only be about five. So I'm excited!! That's all for today, but I will be writing a post about change the ARC (gaijin card) to the new one. I was going to go this Friday, but it's a national holiday so it will have to wait until next Monday.

-Rizu






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