Today I was back into Tokyo to do more bureaucratic business.

First, I went to the UK Embassy to pick up Mayuki’s British birth certificate. We now have documentary evidence of both her nationalities, which is good, because it means we can apply for both passports. Given that they have expiry dates, and are not cheap, we won’t be doing that until we actually need them, however.

One thing I don’t think I mentioned about the security procedures last week is the fact that you have to search yourself. You pat down your own pockets to demonstrate that you don’t have any dangerous objects hidden in them. Of course, the security staff watch you do that, but they only watch.

Then I had to go to the Miyamae Ward Office to renew my gaijin card. Because it has a photo on, you need to have it redone every few years, so I had to get new photos taken (there was a machine in Shibuya, so that was easy), and take my passport in so that they could double check my visa and passport number. Now I have to wait four weeks for the new one to be issued, but it appears to be free. At least, they haven’t issued a bill yet.

When I first received my gaijin card, I remember looking at the expiry date and thinking, “Well, that’s completely irrelevant to me. I’ll be gone years before that.”. Now I’m looking forward to getting a card that has my current visa status on the front, rather than written in on an already-crowded back. Oh, and my current address on the front, too. And I’m hoping to have permanent resident status before I need to renew it again, which I’m now pretty sure I will need to do.

Other than the hassle of having to go to the offices, both bits of bureaucracy were painless. Mind you, if it took more than one train to get to the UK embassy, that would have the potential to be substantially more painful. I’m thinking that we won’t move out of Tokyo until the necessary visits there are all done.







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