A long wait at the Immigration Office

May 2005

So a few weeks ago I had to go renew my visa. Luckily the HR guy at my company was kind enough to organise the supporting documentation to show I was still working. He was also kind enough to point out that the immigration office in Shibuya had closed down and replaced by the Shinagawa office. This added another 20 minutes travel time at an extra cost of over 500円.

He was also kind enough to point out that the immigration office in Shibuya had closed down and replaced by the Shinagawa office. This added another 20 minutes travel time at an extra cost of over 500円. Bugger! I'm not sure if it was intentional but it is located next to the Shinagawa Pier and Minato Garbage Factory. Trying to tell us Gaijin something? ;)

As usual, I got lost trying to work out which one of the rivers surrounding the station exit was the one I had to cross. A couple of mangled Japanese phrases later I was pointed in the approximate direction and arrived at a nice and early 9:00am.

Just like the Shibuya office, they use a ticketing system like you would find in a supermarket when buying meat. Don't ask me why I used that as a reference. To my horror I was number 208, translating into an over 2 hour wait versus half of that at the old office. After watching a couple of episodes of 24 on the PSP I finally got to the counter. The process to accept my application was a breezy 5 minutes! :/ I almost felt cheated.