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Dreams come true!

Aiaiai. Shame on me...

First, a big thank you to all those who read my blog and are still here, even though I haven't written for so long.

I can tell you, that the last half year has been so full of new challenges, changes, and projects that I just haven't gotten around to writing.

Here is a brief outline of what the following post will be about:

- New job

- New visa

- Master thesis


New working place

In my last post, I didn't mention my new job in a single word. In the post "New Ways", I described the application meeting and that I was invited to a second interview with the management. This interview also took place in Japanese and online. The person in charge asked me questions not only to test my Japanese but also to better understand whether the job would suit my ideas and support me in my plan to open a ryokan in Germany. Immediately after the interview, I was given the terms and conditions and everything I needed to know for moving and when I would start working. To this day, I am amazed at how smoothly the arrangements went. The date set for me to start work was 2/6/2022, which allowed me to ask Vicky and José, two friends of mine, to help me with my move.


New visa

Last year, in November, I started with the preparations for my Japanese work visa. Since I had no idea about the matter, and even now, I still have to say: "I'll leave that to the professionals.", I took the help of a Japanese lawyer who specialized in the subject. After the first free consultation, she wrote me a proposal, and we started the preparations. Since a visa application in Japan can take up to three months, and my student visa expires when I finish language school, I was a bit pressed for time. I knew I would get the visa, but the "what if" was still playing quietly in the background. It was just a matter of waiting after I turned in all the paperwork around Christmas, it was just a matter of waiting.

At this point, thanks to the unknown processors of my visa application!!! In just four weeks!!! Which is very fast by Japanese standards. I had my new visa in my pocket and could proceed with my preparations for my move with peace of mind.

After the kimono test ended on Jan. 22, and I picked up my visa a few days later, I focused on packing bags and brushing up on my Japanese in the hotel industry. I read several books, which I will link below for anyone interested, and learned new vocabulary. Also, to qualify for the Hotel Specialty Visa, which I need to work in all areas of the ryokan (restaurant and such), I took what is called the "Specific Skills Measurement Test" (特定技能測定試験). This certificate, along with a job in a Japanese hotel and a language certificate, entitled me to apply for the hotel special visa in May.

When I write down the process here, it all sounds much easier and less complicated than it was. I was lucky with the choice of my workplace and the people who accompanied me on my way through the valleys. At the start of August, my employment contract with the parent company of our hotel, which had hired me for legality reasons so that I could still work with my normal work visa, ended, and my employment contract with Hotel Hakuunsou itself began. Since then, I have been working in the restaurant, learning procedures such as room checks and cleaning the public bathrooms. With each day, I grow, and my experience level increases. In another post, which I will link here when written, I will go into more detail about my new job.


Master thesis

Not all, but some of my readers know that I am still a registered Master's student in Germany. After putting it off for I don't know how long, I decided, three months ago now, to finally dedicate myself to my degree. Language school ticked off, and I more or less arrived at my new job; thus, my head slowly became free for thoughts like: "First, finish open projects before starting new ones!". I worked out my research question, wrote my abstract, and registered my master's thesis on 7/12. I am so grateful that my university (Merseburg) was so flexible that I registered the thesis from Japan, wrote it in Japan, and defended it from Japan as well. I appreciate this significant concession very much.

After everything was arranged with my professors, I started writing myself and still have until Oct. 12. This chapter in my life will also be closed, and I can start looking for new projects.


What's next...

This month, I will focus on finishing the master thesis, and I will start retaking kimono classes in Ginza, Tokyo, from 9/13. I'm trying to post once a week, so I'm slowly working down the list of texts I still want to write.

So, look forward to weekly updates, mainly covering topics from the past year.

I would be happy if you would share the blog with everyone you know who is interested in Japan, and if you want to stay up to date, feel free to subscribe to the newsletter here below.

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