Probably the most important thing that you will have to get before you leave for Japan is your passport. It takes a little while to get, but it lasts you 10 years (at least mine does). The process is pretty strait forward and I’ll go over the basics on this post.

Your first step is to go to the Passport Homepage. This page will give you pretty much all the information you will need. It’s not that user friendly though, so here is what I would recommend you do; first, find a place where you can apply for your passport (usually a post office) by looking it up on this page, all you have to do is enter your zip code and it will show you the nearest facility where you can apply for your passport. When you find where you will apply for your passport it’s just a matter of filling out the application, getting your picture taken and then waiting for several weeks for your passport to come in the mail. You will have to call the location to make an appointment, so make sure that you do this before hand.

Your passport is your key to other countries, it’s what lets you traverse the world (legally). It will take usually six weeks for you to receive it in the mail, which is why I strongly advise you to get this done as quickly as possible, unless you pay an extra fee to get it sent to you quicker. If you are going to Japan to study for the Summer or Winter this may be all you have to do depending on how long you are staying over there. The maximum time you can stay in Japan without having to get a visa is 90 days. Obtaining your student visa will be covered a little bit later.

Next time I will go over orientation, and getting your things in order with your college, until then!