Monthly Archives:July 2015

The Mysterious Circumstances of an Irregular Otaku Living in Tokyo — Ep04

21 Jul , 2015,
Edric
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Without a cell phone number, it is would be impossible to open any bank account anywhere in Japan. For a tourist, subscribing for a roaming plan or purchasing some voice-enabled SIM card without a number is easily available at most major electronic stores like LABI Yamada or BIC Camera.

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BIC Camera sells all kinds of electronics goods; not just sell cameras.

But a phone number, that’s the big problem. Fortunately, Softbank has a solution to this riddle.

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A Softbank store at Ikebukuro.

The Softbank Simple Style is a prepaid service where a they package a phone together with a USIM card. Nothing too fancy if it’s a number to work around the administration red tape.

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The phone I got just to open a bank account.

It is quite expensive to make any phone calls using this service; and much more for SMS, Y!Mail and Data plan. But at least, there’s no 2 years contract to service which doesn’t make much sense if you’re not planning to stay in Japan for more than a couple of years.

Find out more about The Mysterious Circumstances of an Irregular Otaku in Tokyo by following The Neo Tokyo Project and Edric on Facebook.

The Mysterious Circumstances of an Irregular Otaku Living in Tokyo — Ep03

14 Jul , 2015,
Edric
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It took me almost a week to get put things into place since arriving in Tokyo. After a luggage delay thanks to some shenanigans from Scoot (I would not patronise them in the future). So what happened?

Living in a country for an extended period of time require a bank account, and a mobile phone. Sounds simple?

Registering for a bank account is a daunting task. Most banks in Japan would only consider your application only if you have been in the country for more than 6 months. Mizuho Bank was my first attempt and was politely shown the door when they found out I arrived the week earlier; and so would most major banks.

Other than Japan Post Bank, Shinsei Bank is the other foreigner friendly with their English speaking staff without the 6 months rule. Moreover, the bank doesn’t charge clients a fee to use the ATM. That’s another perk to leave your hard earned cash with them. A Hanko is optional for registration. If you do not have one made by this point, you are fine.

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Shinsei Bank’s Ikebukuro Branch.

Documents Required:

  1. Residence Card and Passport
  2. Home Address and Contact Number
  3. Hanko (if you already made one; or bad at signing)

Oh wait, they need a local phone number. Not just any phone number but one registered to your name. The “Mobile Phone Improper Use Act” passed in 2006 made it impossible for anyone staying on a short-term visa to register for a phone number. A phone plan requires a bank account or a credit card (which I lack). Right… I’m so $%#@ed…

– To be continued –

Find out more about The Mysterious Circumstances of an Irregular Otaku in Tokyo by following The Neo Tokyo Project and Edric on Facebook.

The Mysterious Circumstances of an Irregular Otaku in Tokyo — Ep02

7 Jul , 2015,
Edric
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Every country has something that makes it special from another. Some (like those toilet bowls that spray water at your butt) are a stroke of genius while others are just annoying.

Despite its readiness to adopt new technologies, Japan still found itself reluctant to let go of old tradition like the common usage of Inkan (official seal) for signing off official documents and various day to day paperwork.

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Some of the more exquisite Hankos on display.

It’s hard to get around Japan without this handy item, just like how we can’t survive the office without our favorite signing pen. There are several shops that have ready made Inkans for sale, and Daiso sells them at 100 yen (+8 yen tax) a pop.

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A wide selection found at Daiso, only with Japanese family names. Too bad Gaijins; oh wait, that’s me.

What if you can’t find your name on one? Make one at your friendly neighborhood store! It takes a few days for them to craft the item.

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A custom made Hanko bearing my last name.

Like your signature, the Inkan can be used to sign off any official documents. If you made one, remember to keep it secret, keep it safe (almost left mine behind at the post office the other day). A custom made Inkan also a great souvenir item if you want something more personalized than a mass produced doujinshi.

Find out more about The Mysterious Circumstances of an Irregular Otaku in Tokyo by following The Neo Tokyo Project and Edric on Facebook.

Summer 2015 Anime Preview – The Heat is On

3 Jul , 2015,
Panther
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Natsu da! Ikou! - Mauve

“It’s summer! Let’s go!” by Mauve. You can find the original piece here.

Summer is upon us, and the heat could not be any less of an indicator for many, I should presume. At the very least, the heat where I am is torturing many. Perhaps because of the heat associated with summer, and the fact that summer vacation is one of the longer school holidays in Japan, the summer anime season is usually the least anticipated season. Nevertheless, gems have appeared in previous summer anime seasons, and perhaps, this one might have one too for some, most, or even all of you.

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