My First Car!

久しぶり! Long time no see! (Err, type? Read? Oh, you know what I mean.)

To say that I’ve been busy is an understatement. Since my last post (was that really three weeks ago?), I’ve attended the prefecture-wide Skills Development Conference, had two demo lessons, attended a third demo lesson, been to Tokyo for a weekend – oh, and I bought a car(!).

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First picture in my brand new (to me) car!

When I first e-mailed my predecessor, she told me that buying her car was one of the best decisions that she made. However, I was determined to save the money, so I decided not to buy her car. Instead, I opted to accept my fate and walk/bike everywhere. This was great in the summer/fall, but as soon as my bike got a flat tire during two weeks of near-constant rain, I was Stage 2-ing pretty bad and I was fed up – I wanted the convenience (and warmth! and dry-ness!) of a car. Sempai S took me car shopping one weekend, and we were lucky enough to find my car at the very first dealership we visited.

I loved it as soon as I test drove it! We spoke with the salesman and told him I definitely wanted it. Then, we talked with my supervisor, who would take care of the actual process of buying it.

Buying a car is super easy in Japan, by the way. All I had to do was bring the cash (yes, cash!) and stamp my hanko and – ta-da! – the car was mine. I picked it two weeks after first test-driving it, on November 1, 2013. I am officially a big girl with her very first car!

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There she is! I’m in love. :)

It’s a Daihatsu MOVE, about 12 years old but still looks like new! It’s actually a kei car, which is a class of very small cars (with very small engines) unique to Japan.

I can understand now why my pred loved her car so much. It really does make things so much more convenient! You want to rent a movie? Now Tsutaya is only a 5 minute drive away instead of a 20 minute bike ride! Need to buy groceries? Don’t worry about how you’re going to get them all home, you have a car!!! That being said, having to buy brand new winter tires and having them installed wasn’t fun… or cheap… but that’s the price you have to pay for convenience, right?

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2 thoughts on “My First Car!

  1. Andy says:

    Haha it’s not really that easy, your supervisor must have taken care of a lot of the details. You would have needed a proof of carpark certificate which requires two trips to the police station and a very detailed map.
    I was told I couldn’t use my BoE issued hanko so I had to jump through a lot of hoops to get a new one of those and get it registered with city hall.

    • Christina says:

      As far as I know, the process has been this easy for all of the other ALTs in my city, too! But our supervisor is wonderful, so maybe he did take care of a lot of the details and us ALTs just got lucky, haha. :)

      I didn’t have anything to do with getting a carpark certificate (I live in a semi-inaka city in an apartment building with clearly numbered spaces – not sure if that makes a difference?) and I’ve had a City Hall-registered hanko from the second day I arrived in my city, so I didn’t have to worry about that, either. I also bought my car second-hand from a side-of-the-road used car dealership, not from a company or chain… But maybe this is another instance where the infamous “ESID” comes into play!

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