Anxiety · Decluttering · Japan · Minimalism · Overseas · Travelling · Visas · Yakkan Shoumei

Update on Visas & Preparations for Japan.

The morning Dillon and I were leaving our accommodation in Youghal and travelling to Mullingar, I received an email from the vice-principal of the school I will be working for in Osaka. His email confirmed that our visa application has been submitted successfully, and is now in the process of being approved!

It is estimated that the certificate of eligibility we need in order to get our visas will take between 2-6 weeks to arrive, so we should receive it in the post at some point in February. We will then need to take it to the Japanese Embassy in Dublin, where they will issue our visas, which should only take a couple of days. That means we are on track to travel to Japan in March.

Me being me, I immediately started thinking about all the things we will need to organise before we arrive in Osaka. This is quite an overwhelming process; even though I would describe myself as a very organised person, there always seems to be something else that I haven’t thought of that we will need to sort out. These realisations always seem to have a way of hitting me in the middle of the night when I’m trying to sleep as well!

Something that I have found really helps me deal with my worries and not feel so overwhelmed is to make a list in a Word document of all the things I have to do, and change the bullet points to ticks once I have completed the task. As well as being able to clearly identify what I still have to sort out, it also means I don’t lose track of what I have accomplished already. I can also helpfully group the tasks I have to complete under subheadings based on when I can feasibly achieve them, enabling me to prioritise what I choose to do first.

My priority at the moment is to get together the documentation I require to apply for a Yakkan Shoumei, which is an import certificate that you need in order to bring things like medications and contact lenses into Japan. You can bring a month’s worth of supplies into Japan without one, but realistically this isn’t enough for me. So I need to get a recent prescription for my contact lenses from the optician here in Mullingar, as well as a signed medical note from my doctor confirming that the birth control and medication for IBS that I will be bringing into Japan are for my personal use.

Finally, as Emirates Airlines have a generous baggage policy for long-haul flights, we have decided to get new suitcases with more storage capacity (yay, Blue Cross January sales!). There were a few belongings I mentioned in a previous post that I regretted leaving with my parents, so they will be able to bring these over before we leave Ireland.

By necessity, our situation has meant that I have significantly stripped down the things I own, and by and large this has been a positive experience. It was by chance that I ended up reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, which led me to read a lot more about decluttering, organisation, and the minimalist lifestyle, and in a way I think that mentally prepared me a lot for how much I would have to leave behind. I’ve learnt that simple things like a notebook, or a set of coasters, can hold more value than expensive electronics or so-called ‘status’ items.

Have you applied for a Yakkan Shoumei certificate before and could give me some advice? Are you in the process of moving and trying to declutter or KonMarie your belongings? Let me know in the comments and I will reply to you.

If you would like to keep up-to-date with what’s happening in the lives of two people with four suitcases, please consider following my blog. The link is to the right.


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