Monday, September 30, 2013

RTK: The Best Kanji Study Tool I've Used

Heisig-Schmeisig: How I (Wish I'd) Remembered the Kanji

I cannot emphasize enough how important a solid kanji vocabulary is for your progression in the Japanese language. Knowing the jyouyou kanji, or at least a hearty subset of them, will unlock so much of the Japanese world to you. If I could go back in time and change one thing about my early Japanese study efforts, I would without a doubt change the way I handled kanji.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Juki Card and e-Tax

As you may have noticed, LP has been hard at work on articles about the Juki Card (AKA the Basic Resident Registry Card) system that has just been opened up to foreigners.

As we have mentioned before, in addition to containing your registered alias (tsushomei 通称名), the Juki Card can be used as an electronic identifications for official government transactions over the internet. Perhaps the most important of these transactions is the system for electronic tax filing, better known as e-Tax.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Parking Space Registration in Japan

Normally I enjoy writing out DIY instructions for stuff like this in Japan. Unfortunately, parking space registration involves a large amount of dreadfully boring paperwork. Written out in duplicate.

Years ago, Dom wrote us a nice article about getting your residential parking space approved by your local Japanese police department. This is a necessary step in purchasing a car or changing the address on your 車検証 (shakenshou), an automobile registration document that basically functions as the equivalent of a car title in Japan.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Residency Card and Visa Expiration Woes in Japan

Recently I had to renew my landing permission at Japanese immigration. I was a little worried about the process because of my impending expiration dates and some upcoming plans to travel abroad. However, things worked out OK, and I ended up learning a lot from a nice lady at the immigration window. Here's the story:

Friday, September 13, 2013

Possible Rising Tolls and Shrinking Highway Discounts

The Japanese highway system is fast, modern, and very well maintained. But if there is one thing it is not it is cheap.

As long term readers may remember, AccessJ has long extolled the virtues of getting your very own ETC (Electronic Toll Collection) card reader and card if only to take part in the hefty toll discounts that they offer. However, thanks to a change in the government's transportation policy, unhappy drivers can look forward to the possibility of even higher toll and less discounts in the future.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Organic Peanut Butter in Japan

I love peanut butter. And I'm sad that it is not as widely appreciated here in Japan. I mean, yeah, I'd probably think "PB&J sandwiches" or "peanut butter on celery" sounded gross if I had the same archetype for "peanut butter" that most Japanese people do: sickly sweet, peanut-themed sugar spread sold next to bread whiter than an anemic ghost. In the presence of abominations like that, it's no wonder there's no adult demand for nut butters in this country.

Friday, September 06, 2013

The New Re-entry Permit System

As you most likely know by now, there has been a pretty big change in the Japanese immigration system over the past year or so. Gone are the "gaijin cards," replaced with more inoccuous sounding "resident cards." Even better, the expensive and terribly inconvenient "re-entry permit" (sai-nyukoku kyoka 再入国許可)that all resident aliens were required to pony up for before leaving the country. 

But little do many foreigners know, the re-entry permit system is not actually gone; rather, it has just been simplified and stream-lined, thereby removing the trip to the immigration authorities before you travel. Let's take a look.