Thursday, July 24, 2008

post office

Not sure about what services your post office has to offer where you live, but in Japan, post offices also provide forms of banking and insurances. Anyway, I recently had to go to the post office to send my passport in for re-newal.

What an expensive thing to do overseas!

700 yen (about US$7)...passport photo
500 yen (about US$5)...special self-addressed envelope
8062 yen (US $75 @ 107.50 yen exchange rate)...international money order (to pay for passport)
2000 yen (about US$20)...handling fee to create the money order
620 yen (about US$6.20)...registered mailing fee (just in case something happens when sending it in...)
Total: 11882 yen (about $118)

passport good for 10 years....priceless!

There is one guy at our post office who is always so nice and patient with me...thank you!

Anyway, while I was waiting for the money order to be made, I noticed that they had these for sale....Hello Kitty stamps.

As some of you know, I am a member of Postcrossing. So, I'm always looking out for Japanese-y postcards and stamps. If you like to send and receive postcards, this is a great way to do it. Most people in Postcrossing have nice profiles and they are easy going, but sometimes you run into a few that are quite demanding, they write things like this in their profiles..."no handmade cards", "please put pretty stamps on the cards you send to me", "no Mt. Fuji cards I'm sick of these"...blah, blah, blah. I think these people should just be happy that someone is sending them a card.

Anyway, these Kitty-chan stamps will soon be making their way around the world. Oh and hopefully my passport will go through smoothly and be back in a couple of weeks.

16 comments:

jasmine said...

Hmm...

I spent $15 on photos (actually twice as the one set was really bad) and the processing fee was $68. I didn't pay the postage as I applied in person. I did get it about two weeks later...but it only lasts five years...

j

Donna said...

Cute stamps!

I'm not sure it would be all that less expensive here in the states, except for the money order fee, I think it's about 3.50. We used to be able to travel to Canada without a passport but that will stop soon, ending our trips--it's just too expensive and right now we just don't travel at all.

Paz said...

Hello Kitty stamps? Cool!

I need to renew my passport. I should have done it months ago. At this point it's probably too late to renew it at the post office. I may have to go in and do it personally. Ugh. Have a good week.

Paz

Chad Edward said...

My passport is in sorry shape, gets curious looks from immigration officials; but, I don't want to exchange it for one of the new, chipped passports.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I don't think they're tracking my every move, but just in case...

Did I spook you?

Lori said...

I went over to that Postcrossing website, very interesting. I imagine you must get some pretty cool stamps and postcards!

K and S said...

5 years is a short time, Jasmine, I guess we are lucky our passports are 10 years.

Yes, travelling is expensive all over, Donna. Hopefully the oil prices will go down so we all can get back in the air :)

Semi-scary, Chad...

Yes, very interesting cards and stamps, Lori, nice program :)

Take care everyone.
Kat

K and S said...

Sorry Paz, I forgot to answer your comment :( Hope you are able to re-new your passport soon :)

Take care and have a good week too.
Kat

Rowena said...

Although I'm doing mine in an even more expensive way (ticket back home is not cheap), would you elaborate on how you had your passport done via mail? Did you send it to be done in the US (Hawaii)? My only other option was to send it to the american embassay here in Milan, which was something that I simply did not want to get into given my distrust of the italian postal system - registered or not. A renewal good for 10 years IS priceless!

BTW, I figured those donut peaches would be in your area. The original came from China (or so I've read) and you guys always have the cutest stuff anyway! ;-)

Gotta check out Postcrossing...sounds neat!

K and S said...

Rowena,
I sent the passport, form, photos and money order to the US Embassy in Osaka. The money order had to be made to the US Embassy Tokyo (but it had an American address). So, I think they send everything to the U.S. to be processed (not sure though), everything gets mailed back to Osaka and then back to me. Kind of lengthy process, so I thought I would do it before I forget to. I can understand your fear of losing it in the mail. Hope it all goes smoothly for you in Hawaii.

I was thinking that donut peaches wouldn't make an appearance here because of its unusual shape, though if a farmer gets hold of the seed, we may actually see the peaches with the hole in the middle ;)

Take care.
Kat

Debinhawaii said...

Ugh--I need to get mine renewed too but keep putting it off. Love the stamps and the Postcrossing sounds like a neat idea.

K and S said...

I think I once saw a "Nightline" story where it was taking longer to get the passports done because of Mexico and Canada visits needing the passport, Deb, is the wait still long?

Hope you get yours done soon, I think to get a new one costs more than the re-newal fee.

Take care.
Kat

Dhanggit said...

oh i would love to have some of those cutey stamps..;stamps here are too serious LOL

P-T said...

Wow this Postcrossing thing is brilliant! But I think I might even like sending postcards more than receiving them!

K and S said...

Not all the stamps here are cute, Dhanggit :)

P-T, it is a nice way to receive and send cards. Sometimes I have a hard time reading some of the handwriting, so that is when I just look at the pictures on the cards :)

Take care you two.
Kat

Lizzie said...

Hmmmm... here in Britain they charge £56 (about $112) and it can take up to 6 weeks, sometimes longer. Annoying!

K and S said...

That is very annoying Lizzie, how long does your passports last for?

Take care.
Kat