Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Moving: Water and Gas Utilities in Japan

This post continues my chronicle of moving to a new apartment in Japan. I just finished calling the electric company to make sure I have light in the new place (and am not still paying for light in the old place). Now I need to call about the water and gas.

Week 4, Monday:
Now that I've got one call done, I approach the next two with more confidence.

The call to the water company runs a course very similar to the electricity call; What's my name and account number? What's my old address? What day do I want the water turned off at the old place? (two weeks from now) What's my new address? And what day do I want the water running there? (today) They also confirm my bank account details.

Now all that's left is the gas.

I mentioned in the last post my concern about the gas company: I'm worried about the 立ち会い (tachiai), or the in-person appointment with the gas man. Will I have to schedule two of them, one for each apartment? And will the gas company also allow me to have a delay between turning on my new apartment and turning off my old one?

The tachiai employee
better look like this.
I ask about this up front. Turns out that no appointment will be required to turn off the gas at my old place. I don't even have to shut the main off myself: Someone will be sent to the building to do it for me.

But, a 立ち会い will be required at the new apartment. It's a safety requirement. The company needs to show me where the main is and how to correctly hook up and use my gas appliances before they'll turn the gas on. (I'll be really thankful for this appointment later, when they teach me how to hook up my gas stove and use my new, high-tech water heater.)

By the way, the new apartment uses toshi gas. It doesn't haven't a stovetop built into the counter like my last place, so I'm gonna have to go out and buy one. The fact that I have toshi gas will be important in my selection.

So I schedule my tachiai and I'm on to the next task: my real estate agency has called to inform me that they have all my documents in place and they're ready to hand over the key!

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