One important thing to do when moving to a new neighbourhood – especially one that is purely residential, like mine – is to go and meet the neighbours. This is formally called “go-aisatsu”. When making this self-introduction, you’re expected to bring a small gift and express your hopes for a good neighbourly relationship.
Ideally, this is done as soon as you move in. In my case, there were several possible times to do my go-aisatsu: Just before the renovations started, the contractor informed the neighbours of the plans, and it would have been possible to come with him. And then, there was the weekend after the move. In the end, I opted to do it after the office renovations were completed. This way, I could introduce myself and at the same time promise that there would be no more noise in the foreseeable future
Thankfully, the neighbourhood to which you have to present yourself is pretty limited. The Japanese term is muko sangen, ryo donari – three opposite and two next door. I met families with kids and retirees. And some of them even speak (some) English. Yes, it will be a good life here.