It only cost us a kidney and our first grandchild, but we have bought a car. This has been a long 2+ week process. We attempted a dealership ourselves, looked at used cars online, tried three auction houses (the typical route for ISEs) and came up with a big fat nothing. Yesterday Ire-san (a Japanese person in DHs office) offered to take Matt to a dealership and act as our interpreter and mediator. He came home with three cars picked out and an appointment for today for us both to go and make a decision.
Ire-san met us at the train station and drove us to the dealerships. We right away knew we didn't want the first car. We then drove to the dealership up the street where we had two to choose from. After thoroughly looking over both cars we made a decision.
This cute 2005 Toyota Wish.
The car has 57,000 km (35,000 miles), fits 7 (the third row folds flat), has a navigation system with a back up camera (a must when you have to back into all spots and the spaces are the size of a postage stamp), a DVD/TV/CD player, and a sunroof. It is a robin egg blue, which neither of us are crazy about, but it is cute.
Of course the crazy part is we should get it in about, oh, THREE weeks. I love the red tape of Japan. And they will deliver it to DHs work. This shall be interesting as a)It's about an hour away b)We have no idea how to get home from there c)We have never driven here nor have we driven on the "wrong" side of the road. We are going to ask Matt's boss, who happens to live two blocks away, to drive him home in it. We will pay him in free dinner.
So in hopefully three weeks we will be official car owners in Japan. Then the real fun begins... driving. Until then we get to read a bunch of insurance articles trying to figure out what is required here and what is the best coverage.