Getting a Wire Transfer Returned/Refunded

In Japan, most money is sent domestically or internationally via wire transfer.  If you have any kind of debt (student loans, credit card bills, etc.) accumulated back in your home country, one of the first things you’ll probably be looking for is a way to send money back home.  Any bank or post office can do it, but often it can be a little cheaper and faster to use a remittance service like Western Union, Go Remit (previously called Go Lloyds), JTB Money T Global, or SBI Remit.

This isn’t a post about how to send a wire transfer or how to use remittance services per-se, but last week I had trouble with my wire transfer through Go Remit after changing some of my account information, and the wire transfer didn’t go through properly.  Therefore I needed to request my money to be returned from their bank to my bank, which is called a kumi modoshi.

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Medical Stuff: Parting With a Couple of My Wisdom Teeth

Last week I had an appointment at the city hospital to have an oral surgeon remove both wisdom teeth on the left side of my mouth while I was put under general anesthesia.  It wasn’t fun, but it was certainly somewhat of an adventure since I’d never a.) had a tooth pulled  b.) had a surgery  c.) been hospitalized before, either in the U.S. nor Japan.

Since this is kind of a major procedure, and I couldn’t find a lot of in depth or recent information about what all it entailed, including hospitalization, or what the cost would be like with national health insurance (kokumin hoken), I’ve noted everything that happened from the first appointment, up until the aftercare appointment in this rather long-winded entry.

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Driving in Japan: Getting Your Japanese Drivers License Renewed

© J // Washing Rice Blog

The renewal reminder postcard will look something like this.
© J // Washing Rice Blog

About two months before the date my current drivers license was set to expire, I got the usual postcard in the mail that told me my renewal was due soon and gave me information on the renewal procedure.

This is my second license renewal, so it was pretty straightforward, but you’ll have to allot a full half-day (either morning or afternoon) for the application, sight test, picture taking, lecture course, and finally, getting your shiny new license at the end.

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Sailor Moon Musical: Petite Étrangère

Last weekend I saw the Saturday evening performance of the new Sailor Moon musical with a good friend of mine.  With the last musical, La Reconquista, based on the first Sailor Moon season, it only made sense that Petite Étrangère was based on the following season, Sailor Moon R.  R is my favorite of the five seasons and I was especially excited to see my favorite character, Black Lady, take the stage!

Somehow the cast managed to top their last musical performance, which was no easy feat!  They completely knocked it out of the park!  This post contains summaries (spoilers?!) and pamphlet scans.  :)

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Sending a Package Within Japan

One of the first services you’ll probably make use of when you arrive in Japan is the Japan Post or any one of the other well known delivery/courier services available, and all of them are easy and convenient after the first time or two.

Lately I’ve been sending out some omiyage (souvenirs) we brought back from Hokkaido, in addition to ochūgen (mid-year gifts) to those we owe our gratitude to.

Unlike many other countries it’s not necessary to visit the post office or the delivery service directly to send mail.  You can practically send mail from anywhere: the convenience store, department stores or supermarkets if sending a gift you’ve bought there, and even the airport.  There many different types of mail services offered, so if you find yourself in a pickle, try this handy guide.

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Traveling: Summer Vacation in Hokkaido!

© J // Washing Rice Blog

© J // Washing Rice Blog

It’s officially Obon break for most folks in Japan!  This year I lucked out and Mr. J was allowed to take a few days off for us to take a trip together to Hokkaido.  Of course, being the holiday week everyone else was traveling, flights and hotels were pretty pricey.  Still it was nice to get away from the heat and the incoming typhoon for a few days, and we had a really nice time.  If you find yourself over that way, here’s some suggestions for sightseeing in the Sapporo/Otaru area of Hokkaido.

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