May 09, 2012

Alien Registration Card and Somewhat Related Aliens

If you're staying in Japan for more than 90 days, you need to register as an Alien at your municipal office and apply for an Alien Registration Certificate. This is called a 外国登録証明書 (gaikokujintourokushomeisho - why the hell is the most difficult word in the Japanese language a word that only foreigners need to use?!) The 'Certificate' is actually a little card, and you're meant to carry it on you at all times. You also have to have one if you want to buy a cellphone, open a bank account, or rent an apartment. It's sort of like a driver's license - this is your license to live in Japan.

Kansai University spoon-fed us through the process, which involved filling in a registration form, providing two photos, our passport, and proof that we were students. We went to Suita City Hall, waited in lines, got papers stamped, signed, photocopied, put in a time capsule, sent to the emperor, etc. We were given a piece of paper to act as a temporary Certificate until the real ones were ready. Then we had to go back to the City Hall about 3 weeks later to pick up the cards. I like mine. It's sparkly. And it has my address in Japanese on it, which I always forget.

My Alien Registration Card!
Registering as an 'Alien' in Japan has resulted in a new-found love of all things alien. You know those little green men aliens from Toy Story? I am obsessed with them. And Japan being Japan, you can buy almost anything with their cute little faces emblazoned upon it. My alien collection (so far), for your viewing pleasure... (why yes, this is the real reason for this post).
At Tokyo Disneyland. We come in peace. All of us.
My alien letter writing set.
Alien hand towel. They are also taking over our apartment.
Alien bento lunchbox.
Little Green Men cup. I suspect this is for children. I don't care.


  1. your middle name is my first name but i spell mine differently :)

    1. It is indeed! I like your spelling more though because I like the name 'Leigh', so it's a perfect combination!

  2. You're turning Japanese real fast. Not only are you collecting goods covered with cute little characters (even the rip-off items like in the last photo), but you've got the double peace-sign going. Keep up the good work.

  3. Your ID photo for your Alien card is a lot better than the photo for your drivers licence lol