Hello! Emi here. こんにちは!恵美です。

Even though the blog is supposed to be Erich and Emi’s, I have never contributed in writing a post yet. So I decided to update our loyal readers on our preparation progress regarding our move to Japan.


As many of you know, we are leaving for Japan in September. “Isn’t that less than two months away?” Yes. It’s coming up so fast, and we’re slowly (very slowly) preparing for our new chapter of our life. Some things we are working on are:


Visa ビザ

Even though I can enter Japan being a Japanese citizen, there are some paperwork issues we’ll have to resolve. Since I have no control over this, I’ll let God handle this matter.


As for Erich, he was accepted to YMCA’s language school. His student visa is currently in process. We hope to receive the visa in the beginning or middle of September, but we don’t know the exact date. Until then we won’t know when we are leaving either.


Moving 引っ越し

We found two Japanese moving companies in Detroit area: Yamato and Nittsu. The cost of moving is about the same as the value of things we are taking with us, so we decided to bring most of our possessions, such as pots, pans, a Keurig, a blender, a knife set—mainly things we received as wedding gifts. According to Erich’s experience, it’s better to bring them rather than buying from scratch in a new place. We are taking it all!


Living Plan 住居計画

Upon arriving to Osaka, we plan to stay in a short-term apartment for a month to look for a long-term apartment. The living space will be very limited. As otosan (dad) jokes, we’ll be probably sleeping in a room size of our current bathroom. We believe that where we live will be crucial to our ministry, so against the odds, we are looking for a place with bigger and more rooms.


As far as we researched, the rent for apartments is not as expensive as we thought. With 70,000-90,000 yen (about $700-900) per month, two bed rooms + living room apartments are available. Not so bad, right? But there’s a catch. To start a lease, we have to pay “key money”, which is like an appreciation money toward the landlord, and it could range from $1,000 to 2,000. Yikes.


One thing I keep hearing from Japanese people around me is that it will be difficult for foreigners to live in Japan because landlord sometimes don’t trust the foreigners to rent an apartment. Or even finding a job as a foreigner is difficult. Or opening a bank. Overwhelming disadvantages exist, but God is gracious. We know we’ll find a perfect living and community catered to His plan.


God is shaking Japanese people’s hearts. I can’t wait to be there to witness and be a part of what He and His children are doing for the kingdom!