Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How To Buy A Car In Japan When You Speak No Japanese

Everyone had told us that Matt should start the car buying process before I came over. We didn't listen as Matt thought it would be nice for me to get to pick out my car. (see he can be sweet!) Boy do we regret that now.

There are three ways to buy a used car in Japan. 1- A used lot (which there are not that many of) 2- An auction (this is where almost everyone goes) 3- From another person (we have tried this route however have only found a small car for sale) We had been told that the auctions are very stressful and that everyone hates them. We had been told of a dealership on Port Island that had an English speaking salesman and if they didn't have a car on their lot we liked that we could find one in the computer. So we decided to go the dealership route with the English speaking salesman.

Matt and I set out on Saturday morning with high hopes of coming home with a car purchased. After walking an hour looking for the place we arrived to find out that the only person who speaks English is out sick. (Of course) We managed to look at the cars and got a better idea of what we wanted. We were very disappointed, however a trip to Ikea afterwards was a great pick me up.

After leaving the dealership and heading to Ikea (on foot of course) I told Matt my feet were burning in the back. I had decided to go fashionable and wear some cute skinny jeans and ballet flats. Lesson learned from this decision is that you should never, ever wear new shoes when walking vast amounts of distances. (We probably walked 4+ miles that day.) Why not? Because by the time you get home your feet look like this:

Saturday night we got onto a used car site and located 3 cars that we wanted to see. After church we set out to try and find these cars at what we thought were close to each other locations. After having no luck in finding any of them we tried to find the train station home, figuring they were close by because of the Google map we had printed. However the map master (AKA Matt) didn't realize that he had blown up the areas pretty good and the train stations were miles apart, as were all the dealerships. We figured out that we had probably walked a good 7+ miles that day, if not more. Up and down hills. Thank goodness I had slip on shoes that day.

So today Matt is calling the auction consultant and finding out what we need to do. We have given up on doing this our own way and are ready to conform to what everyone else does. Maybe by the end I will have a cute car like this one:

However Matt keeps joking that I will get something more like this. And btw, these are about as long as they are wide.

So after being here 21 days we are still no closer to having a vehicle than we were before I arrived. While a car is not a necessity here as we will train it most places, it would be a huge help in getting Emily home each night from practice, making it possible for us to stay for Sunday school at church (the shuttle doesn't run after Sunday school) and in getting heavier groceries home. And the bigger pain, once we do pick out the car, with the red tape involved here it will still be almost 10 days before we even get the car.

And as far as my feet goes? They may never be the same again. This is what the looked liked this morning after I removed a Neosporin covering from them.


Carey said...

Ouch! I hope your feet heal quickly and stock your purse with band aids and cream, so if you are out and about and you feel one coming on, you can stick it one on at the get go.
Good luck with the car.
Your in my thoughts and prayers.

DeeDee said...

DOUBLE OUCH! But maybe I need to live in Japan...all that walking would get me in shape.

After all Disney at Christmas, helped me loose 3#'s!

So good to get in here and see that you all are doing well! Good luck on a car...pssst, I love the silver car!

Joy, DeeDee

Susan said...

Yuck! You poor thing!

It's funny how many struggles you go through in Japan that we do in Abu Dhabi but in different areas. Cars are soooo easy to get in UAE and we bought a Mercury Mountainer and it works great especially the backup sensors that are a must. But other areas are a major headache like your car shopping and sometimes it just sucks your will to live.

Ang said...

OH MY GOODNESS...OUCH!!!!!!!!!!! Bless your heart!!!! If you haven't already they have that ointment with 'pain' relief in it..maybe that would help some too...Oh goodness..that makes my fee hurt....hope it's better soon :)

Deborah said...

ouch! what a pain (literally!). Hope you get a car soon. And, please...more pix from Japan, but not of your sore feet, okay?

lil ole' me..... said...

Ouch ouch ouch.

Hope the blisters are better.

Can't wait to see what car you choose!!!

Louise said...

Oh my goodness that makes me shudder. Painful!!
I have had my share of blisters and they are no fun...flip flops for you for a little while ;(

Hope you get a car real soon :)

Becki said...

OMG! You feel look painful. I hope they heal quickly.

Good luck on the car search. That is a crazy process to have to go through. Happy hunting and wear comfy shoes next time.

Terri said...