Welcome to the 1st post of the calendar quarter of 2022.
It’s April, and Japan is getting more beautiful with colors everywhere.
This year we had decided to focus on a few other areas of life and hence we had decided to give quarterly updates on our blog, primarily taking our own lives as inspiration and sharing notes related to ourselves, which could become useful for someone far away. Here one would find everything that one would look for while deciding for or being in Japan.
So let us being our journey of 2022…and take a stock of how each month Jan Feb Mar performed for us and Japan.
January brought a milestone achievement for us, something that we had been postponing for years primarily because of our reluctance and laziness. Mrs. Roy Kapur got her Japan Permanent Residency – Hurray! The process had started mid of last year and in about 6 months, we could get the approval news. We had to follow the process as set by the Authorities, but it went smoothly without even visiting once to the Immigration Office ourselves. This is because we took the help of a professional Immigration Lawyer to apply to us. The consulting company of Immigration Lawyers provided great service and timely support to complete the entire process and we could get the approval in 6 months. Getting approval in 6months is a rarity, as it takes much longer as per all available data and we know a lot of people who had to wait much more than 6 months.
Let me talk a bit about Immigration lawyers here – In Japan, immigration lawyers are a category of legal professional called Gyōsei shoshi (行政書士), or ‘administrative procedure specialists. They have specialized knowledge of the paperwork of the Japanese legal world. They know exactly what application forms and supporting documents you need, make sure everything is filled in, signed, and stamped in all the right places, and for PR, they will queue up at the immigration office for you. In case of any problem with the application, they will provide you with the right consultation. Even though our case was a straightforward case we decided to take the service of the Immigration Lawyers keeping in mind the overall COVID-19 situation. Overall, we would personally recommend using the service just to ensure that you can focus on other areas while living in a foreign country. Surely, we would like to document the detailed process in a dedicated post in case it might come in handy for someone else.
Next in January came the JLPT N3 results and…
I couldn’t pass, I failed just short of a few numbers…Not an excuse for not clearing N3 but I do think I studied sincerely for the examination, however when we did the analysis the thing that came out was not at all surprising – Not attempting enough past questions banks was one of the main reasons.
Mrs. Roy Kapur being a professional in the Japanese language did insist to me several times do a couple of full-length question papers for a few years to get the feel of the challenges during the actual exam. I then remembered that earlier during our school days and other competitive exams we used to do this…In the hindsight now I do think I did not attempt full-length “time-bombed” question papers, which could have resulted in doing plenty of silly mistakes. It was disappointing for us, but by now since I am already motivated to continue learning Japanese it gave me a reason to study even harder and more sincerely.
While I couldn’t clear N3, we were proud parents, as our son cleared N2 with flying marks. We were very happy especially as he secured a perfect 100/100 in the listening section. He had focused and attempted several question papers along with his mother in November and that’s why we could understand how important it is to do this exercise.
February arrived and I got back to my studies.
February in Japan marks the beginning of spring but do you know there is the date that declares the Opening of spring – Yes, I mean it and it’s the 4th of February, also called “Risshun”. Though the temperature still makes you chill even during the day, still it is the beginning of spring!
To welcome the spring, a day before on February 2 or 3, an annual ritual is performed to chase away evil spirits, called Setsubun (節分, “seasonal division”). It is celebrated by throwing the roasted beans, and there you are supposed to shout “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!” (“Devils out, happiness in”).
For the RoyKapur family, February also brings Dad and son birthday celebrations – just a day apart – quite a coincidence I suppose… We were able to squeeze some family moments this year too in the middle of the busy session; the ending of the school and our son completing his Chuu Ichi or Grade 1 of the Middle School in Japan. For the past few years, we have always tried to make a small family trip during his birthday as his birthday present however as the pressure of studies and the examinations increase in Japan from Junior High School our son was not willing to take a trip during this time, not even a weekend trip. Hence, we decided to celebrate at home.
February come – Starbucks Sakura drink arrives!
Starbucks has such a fondness for the Japanese culture and especially the Spring Season – We all wait eagerly for the Special Sakura Drink each year…
These drinks are released much earlier than the Sakura blossoms. We did start enjoying these drinks and the spirit of Sakura by frequently visiting Starbucks and this year’s Drink was out and out marvelous, a 5-star drink.
Please enjoy some selected moments from the month.
Day by day it started getting warmer and pleasant, especially during the daytime and we all started eagerly waiting for the Sakura to arrive!
March arrives with much warmer days and stepping out for evening walks and enjoying the meals during the weekend started frequently.
The weather is fantastic in March after the cold winter months, hence I decided to explore some more of Tokyo – On one of the weekends went to Edogawa, which is also famous as an Indian area in Tokyo as a large number of Indians reside here – It would not be a metaphor to call it a “Little India” of Tokyo. Especially the Nishi Kasai area, as once you step out of the station it does feel like a “Little India” space. There are plenty of Indian food supplies stores here and Mithaiwala – An Indian snacks and sweets shop is a must-visit place if you are an Indian in Edogawa! Or anyone craving…
And in a week, Sakura arrived in Tokyo, and this year the cherry blossoms began to bloom earlier than usual. Would you believe Japan has a Cherry Blossom forecast! If you don’t want to miss a single petal, follow the forecast and start planning for a pink-filled spring
The beauty of this season deserves a dedicated post. I will link some of our videos for you to relax and enjoy Sakura beauty anytime and anywhere in the world, please enjoy it.
And here are some selected photos from this year’s Sakura and Hanami moments.
Quarter 1 ended with some developments on the professional front also. More on it in the next quarter’s post.
Have a wonderful new financial year everyone!
The sales heroes of last year have been reset to zero in March end and we begin the relentless pursuit of our revenue target all over again.
If not now, when?