Tokyo/Ojiya/Isawa/Hiroshima/Minuma Bound PSKoi Winter 2021

This area is designed to document all trips to Japan.
User avatar
Russell Peters
Site Admin
Posts: 4170
Joined: December 11th, 2016, 9:49 am
Contact:

Tokyo/Ojiya/Isawa/Hiroshima/Minuma Bound PSKoi Winter 2021

Postby Russell Peters » January 7th, 2021, 2:45 pm

It has been almost a full year since I have been to Japan. I am in a small town, Oimachi, in the greater Tokyo area in a hotel doing a 2 week quarantine which, if all goes well, will allow me to stay and go on a Tosai buying trip throughout Japan.
Dealer & US Agent for INC
www.pskoi.com
https://www.facebook.com/russell.peters.984
MATSUNOSUKE GIN

User avatar
Russell Peters
Site Admin
Posts: 4170
Joined: December 11th, 2016, 9:49 am
Contact:

Re: Tokyo/Ojiya/Isawa/Hiroshima/Minuma Bound PSKoi Winter 2021

Postby Russell Peters » January 8th, 2021, 12:24 am

I was planning on attending the AJKS in Tokyo on the 29th and 30th of January but just found out that the show has been cancelled. I guess I now have a couple of extra days to look for Koi.
Dealer & US Agent for INC
www.pskoi.com
https://www.facebook.com/russell.peters.984
MATSUNOSUKE GIN

larryn
Posts: 5
Joined: July 8th, 2019, 7:30 am

Re: Tokyo/Ojiya/Isawa/Hiroshima/Minuma Bound PSKoi Winter 2021

Postby larryn » January 9th, 2021, 6:41 am

Hi Russ, Hope your quarantine is going well. It has to be maddening to be stuck in a hotel for two weeks with nothing to do. Well at least you get plenty of rest before the hunt. What breeder is on your list to visit on this trip?

User avatar
Russell Peters
Site Admin
Posts: 4170
Joined: December 11th, 2016, 9:49 am
Contact:

Re: Tokyo/Ojiya/Isawa/Hiroshima/Minuma Bound PSKoi Winter 2021

Postby Russell Peters » January 9th, 2021, 7:07 pm

larryn wrote:Hi Russ, Hope your quarantine is going well. It has to be maddening to be stuck in a hotel for two weeks with nothing to do. Well at least you get plenty of rest before the hunt. What breeder is on your list to visit on this trip?


Well, the list is being refined each day and once it is finalized I will post it.
Dealer & US Agent for INC
www.pskoi.com
https://www.facebook.com/russell.peters.984
MATSUNOSUKE GIN

User avatar
Russell Peters
Site Admin
Posts: 4170
Joined: December 11th, 2016, 9:49 am
Contact:

Re: Tokyo/Ojiya/Isawa/Hiroshima/Minuma Bound PSKoi Winter 2021

Postby Russell Peters » January 18th, 2021, 3:27 am

I am actually now in Nagaoka and started my first day of buying. I realized that I spent two weeks in quarantine and spent no time documenting anything that I have done until this point. I am going to start from the beginning of the process.
Dealer & US Agent for INC
www.pskoi.com
https://www.facebook.com/russell.peters.984
MATSUNOSUKE GIN

kazikoi
Posts: 2
Joined: January 6th, 2021, 1:54 pm

Re: Tokyo/Ojiya/Isawa/Hiroshima/Minuma Bound PSKoi Winter 2021

Postby kazikoi » January 18th, 2021, 3:36 am

Good to hear from you Russel, stay safe!

User avatar
Russell Peters
Site Admin
Posts: 4170
Joined: December 11th, 2016, 9:49 am
Contact:

Re: Tokyo/Ojiya/Isawa/Hiroshima/Minuma Bound PSKoi Winter 2021

Postby Russell Peters » January 18th, 2021, 4:19 am

After buying all of the Nisai and Sansai, virtually, that I got in October I had no hopes of coming back to Japan in January 2021. Japan had opened up to quite a few Asian countries with what is known as Business Track. All of my research showed, at this point, unless you come from one of the Asian countries on the list I just wasn't going to get in. Then one day in late October I noticed a friend, who is a very large dealer/agent/wholesaler from Europe posted a picture online of his arrival to Nagaoka. I immediately started sending him messages, which he was kind enough to respond to in real time, asking him how he even got in. His response was that he was considered and 'essential' business and that I could do it too. A few more questions yielded links to the program he was in, this one is called 'Residence Track' and he told me to contact the Japanese Consulate in my area.

It was the first thing I did the next morning. I was stunned when someone picked up the phone. I was told that I did qualify, he told me where to look for the information I needed on their site, and said once they have the information that I would have my Visa in 5 - 8 business days. Since it was the beginning of November I asked him if I should wait as I would not be arriving in Japan until January 16th. He said no, that I should do it as soon as possible and this turned out to be the best information I got. I will tell you why later.

Residence Track is fairly complicated and there were quite a few forms that had to be filled out. These forms included one that was an invitation from a business in Japan, a form saying that that business would be responsible for me while I was in Japan and they would be responsible for me leaving, and finally, the Residence Track form which essentially lists where I would be, contact numbers and contact people in Japan. How hard could this be right? Well, I asked Torazo if he would be my 'sponsor' and he said yes so his daughter Yuki filled out all the forms and sent them to me as PDF's.

Once the forms were in my possession, and I filled out what I had to fill out, I got every thing together and drove to Chicago to drop them off at the Japanese Consulate. It was now November 18th. I was not about to trust the mail, especially since I had to send my Passport in and leave it with them, and the forms stated that if anything was left out or filled in wrong the Visa would be denied so I wanted to be there when they looked at all of them. The process was very quick and I was told, since the following week was Thanksgiving that it would take longer. They asked me if it would be alright if I could come back to pick up the Visa on November 30th. I was very quick in answering, "no problem, I am not scheduled to leave until January 15th."

Two days later, I got a call from the Consulate saying the needed the Business Registration Number from Torazo Koi Farm for the application. I asked if it was the same as a Tax ID number and they said yes. Within a couple of days I got a new form sent to me with this Tax ID number and emailed it to the consulate. Within a day Yuki sends me a message saying she thought there was a problem. The Japanese Consulate called her and said that the Business registration Number is not a Tax ID number but rather a number that is given to a business that is a Corporation. Torazo Koi Farm is not a Corporation. I actually thought it was very nice that the consulate called her to talk about it rather than just denying the application. I sent an email to the consulate asking them to put my application on hold as I did have a business that is a corporation that is willing to 'sponsor' me. The response was, yes, they would put it on hold and when I have the correct documents then send attach them to the same email.

Isawa Nisikigoi Center, INC, is a corporation and Miwa Sakai was kind enough to get her fathers permission to fill out the forms and send them back to me. I got all of the completed forms by December 8th. On the 11th of December I got a call from the consulate that my Visa was approved and I could come pick it up. After saying "really????" quite excitedly I was out the door within minutes. I was now in a position to be able to go to Japan for the first time in a year! I booked all my flights and the quarantine hotel. I figured why book all the hotels if I don't make it past quarantine I would probably be coming home. I also figured, and sadly so, that there was no way any of the hotels I was going to stay in would be booked up.

Here is where it takes a turn and gets fun. Remember when I said it was very important that I got my Visa ahead of time? Well, on December 26th I get a message from Yuki saying, "bad hews Russell, it is only a rumor now, but it looks like Japan is closing down again because of the new strain of Covid from the UK." I asked her if they found it in Japan and she said yes. My response was literally...SHIT!. I called immigration at Haneda airport, yes, I actually have the direct number, and asked them if this was true. Their response was, we don't know yet what it happening it is too soon. I am talking to them on December 27th and they are supposed to shut down on December 28th and they did not know about it? There wasn't much to do at this point but I found a lot of updated material on the Japanese Government sites. I started reading it and found a glimmer of hope but then read something that seemed to contradict that glimmer of hope. I sat down with Marilyn and I read through a lot of this information and what we ended with was still very confusing. It seemed that, if you already had a Visa, and were not from a level 3 country and you arrived by Midnight January 4th you could still get in. Wait, the US is a level 3 country, most of the world is level 3 including Japan. If I had not gotten my Visa so early I may not have been issued one in December.

What we decided to do was to wait another day and ask Yuki to call immigration at Haneda and find out the situation. I told her I had the direct number. It was funny, her response was "really???", so I told her I had been communicating with them for quite some time through the process but sometimes it was difficult because it was hit or miss getting someone that spoke enough English. She called me back an hour later and said that they told her my Visa would be honored. She did ask me to wait as she wanted to call back again in the afternoon to see if she could get another person to tell her the same thing. It was also 'yes'.

It was now Monday night December 28th and I figured out, in order to make the entry deadline, I would have to be on a flight, from Los Angeles, on January 1st. I now had three days to change my flights, hotel and reschedule my Covid testing. Easy right?
Mostly. I called United airlines to change my flight to Japan first. The response I got was, "we can't change your flight as it is a non-refundable ticket". I stayed calm and said I had to change it because Japan is closing down again. The response, " we have not been notified of that", so I calmly respond with, "well, OK, let's just leave it as it is and when I have to cancel because Japan shuts down because of Covid then you will have to refund me my money". I got my dates change at no additional cost. The next step was calling the companies that I had my tests scheduled with and they both came though like a charm. I scheduled a PCR test at a hospital, they said it would be 24hrs, and another with a lab that does the rapid antigen test which comes back in hours. I got both results the same day that I took the tests. I was now set to go.
Dealer & US Agent for INC
www.pskoi.com
https://www.facebook.com/russell.peters.984
MATSUNOSUKE GIN

User avatar
Russell Peters
Site Admin
Posts: 4170
Joined: December 11th, 2016, 9:49 am
Contact:

Re: Tokyo/Ojiya/Isawa/Hiroshima/Minuma Bound PSKoi Winter 2021

Postby Russell Peters » January 18th, 2021, 4:29 am

I flew from Indianapolis to Denver and then to LAX. It was crazy as my first two flights were late and I only had 2 1/2 hours, once I arrived in LA to make my flight to Japan. I knew something might go wrong so I packed everything I would need on my trip in one carryon bag and my back pack. This way, no checked bags, no extra delays. I usually carry a back pack for my computer essentials and a camera bag for my camera equipment but I got a slightly biger back pack and combined everything.
Obviously I made all of my flights but it was nerve racking. When I got to LAX to check in the first thing they told me was, "we need to call Haneda to see if you can go" and after telling them that I had called immigration 3 days earlier and they said it was OK the response was, "things change". How terrible would it have been to fly all the way to LAX only to be turned down. When she came back out and told me everything was OK and I could go I really wanted to say, "I told you so". I decided it wouldn't be in my best interests and said thank you.
Attachments
DPP_01.JPG
DPP_01.JPG (368.17 KiB) Viewed 11942 times
Dealer & US Agent for INC
www.pskoi.com
https://www.facebook.com/russell.peters.984
MATSUNOSUKE GIN

User avatar
Russell Peters
Site Admin
Posts: 4170
Joined: December 11th, 2016, 9:49 am
Contact:

Re: Tokyo/Ojiya/Isawa/Hiroshima/Minuma Bound PSKoi Winter 2021

Postby Russell Peters » January 18th, 2021, 4:42 am

The flight arrived at Haneda early and we got in at 5am. I decided to fly to Haneda as it was literally in Tokyo and I could get to a hotel with reasonable ease. The information I read told me I should be prepared to sit around 3 to 4 hours while I get tested for Covid again. I was in the lobby of the airport by 6am and this is when I announced I was in Japan. We had decided not to say anything any earlier so as not to jinx anything.
Attachments
unnamed17.jpg
unnamed17.jpg (245.71 KiB) Viewed 11923 times
134240698_1383465198662426_4677890288721336122_n.jpg
134240698_1383465198662426_4677890288721336122_n.jpg (53.8 KiB) Viewed 11933 times
unnamed2.jpg
unnamed2.jpg (379.5 KiB) Viewed 11933 times
Dealer & US Agent for INC
www.pskoi.com
https://www.facebook.com/russell.peters.984
MATSUNOSUKE GIN

User avatar
Russell Peters
Site Admin
Posts: 4170
Joined: December 11th, 2016, 9:49 am
Contact:

Re: Tokyo/Ojiya/Isawa/Hiroshima/Minuma Bound PSKoi Winter 2021

Postby Russell Peters » January 18th, 2021, 4:51 am

I sat there wondering how I was going to get to the hotel. I was not allowed to take a taxi or the train. No public transportation until after I was done with my two week quarantine. While I was waiting Yoshida-san called me on the phone and asked if I got in and was OK. I said I did but discovered on my GPS that it might take an hour and a half to walk to the hotel. This did not seem like a bad idea when I thought about it while at home but now, being faced with that reality it just didn't seem to appealing. He was full of suggestions including, "why don't I take a train from the airport to the next station and then transfer to a taxi to get to the hotel?" Hmmm...i stumbled on the thought of having to remind him that I could take no public transportation at all and I didn't want to get caught at the airport. I did though. We talked a little while about other things and then he wished me well. BTW, he was in Southern Japan so he could not pick me up, otherwise he would have. He lives in Tokyo. An hour later Miwa Sakai asks me how things are going and I told her about trying to figure out how to get to the hotel. She says why don't you hire a private car. I asked her if she meant a limousine and she said yes, they are allowed to pick up anyone as they went through a Covid certification process. She sent me some links and, as good fortune would have it, the first company I called had someone that spoke English and they were at the airport in 30 minutes and I was at my hotel by 10am.
Dealer & US Agent for INC
www.pskoi.com
https://www.facebook.com/russell.peters.984
MATSUNOSUKE GIN


Return to “Japan Buying Trips”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests