It was a very busy day today, and still I only got parts of the things done that I had planned. Yesterday, late at night I received an email from my agent telling me that although the paperwork is not yet completed, the owner was fine with me receiving the keys.

So, the first thing this morning, I went to my local post office to get a mail forward. It was very easy – but, to be honest, the people there know me and my shenanigans by now – and, what is the best: it was free, a “service” of Japan Post. Did you hear that, Austria?

Next, I went to the agent to pick up the keys – more paperwork – but he said that this would be the last things I will have to sign. I will get the contract as soon as the landlord has signed it too – which is easy, as he lives next door.

Afterwards, I went to my apartment. What a wonderful feeling to open the door to my own place with my own keys… I spent some time going through all the rooms and letting it sink in: This is mine! Then I took some measurements to make sure I’ll get appliances that would fit into the allotted spaces. When I had all the numbers written down, I went to the management office of the apartment block for – you guess it – more paperwork. Things are rather strict there, for example I need to buy a sort of licence plate for my bicycle to be allowed to park it there. Things get really complicated if I have friends coming over in a car – there are guest parking lots, but even they cost 500 YEN per night… At least the clerk in the office was very friendly and spoke English very well, which will make further interaction much easier.

It was not even noon when I left on the long journey to Yodobashi Camera near Kyoto Station. I wanted to buy the bare necessities: A fridge, a gas range, a small space heater, and maybe a lamp for my nightstand. I asked for a staff member who could help me with all of these things and I got my personal shopping assistant who spoke excellent English. The fridge was quickly bought (although I wanted a larger one, but they would not have fit the space), but the gas range proved interestingly difficult. Apparently there are two types of gas ranges and you have to know which one will be the right one for your apartment. Then there was the question of how the gas was connected – with a thick valve or a thin one – and if I wanted my little fish grill to work on both sides or only on one… The space heater then was a simple decision: I bought a blue Dyson hot & cool. Well, if you do need such a thing, you can just as well make it stylish…

When I left Yodobashi Camera, it was shortly before 3 pm (yes, seriously) and the question was whether to go for lunch or to buy a futon. I decided upon lunch, I figured that buying a futon is more difficult than buying a fridge and would take even longer. Afterwards, with a brief stop at home to pick up the first load of stuff (mostly books), I went to my new apartment again to await delivery of my goods, which arrived at 8 pm, just when it was starting to get really cold…

I’m now in my room again underneath lots of blankets. I have packed more of my stuff and will start early tomorrow again. I hope that by tomorrow evening I will have everything ready in my apartment to move in. The plan is to clean the place here on Friday morning and then leave it for good. We’ll see if it works out as planned for once.