What Should You Do If You Lose Your Passport Overseas?

So I had to get my Alien Registration Card updated last Thursday and it was definitely the highlight of my day. My manager, Tomomi Sensei, and were supposed to leave at 3:00 in order to get to City Hall by 3:15. Needless to say we actually left around 3:20 or so and ended up getting the Tsukuba City Hall by 3:30. Luckily there was no line, so the officials were able to just get my passport and Alien Registration Card and just begin the process. It wasn’t as quick as we were expecting…I had a class to teach at 4:00pm and it was about 3:47pm by the time I got my card and passport back. We hopped in the car and I had an embarrassing moment. Winded and little sweaty, we darted through AEON’s doors at 4:01 pm, making me just a little bit late for my 3 & 4 year olds class.

I didn’t notice it at the time but I had actually jumped out of the car, and rushed into the school without my passport…OH NO! I didn’t notice until the weekend when I was trying to take care of more job application stuff and needed a copy of my passport. I looked high and low for it, and I couldn’t find it anywhere, luckily I asked my manager to check her van, and I was so fortunate because she found it. But after I got my passport back safe and sound, I felt SO relieved. In my humble opinion, your passport is probably your most important document while living overseas. Think about the consequences of not having it? You can’t go home, (here in Japan) you can’t get an Alien Registration Card (which is vital to your survival here), and it would make finding a job in Japan quite challenging. I began to wonder, what would I have done had I lost my passport?

Well, I do remember when I got my passport made, that I got a card that I had to write my passport ID on, and it had contact information if my passport was lost or stolen. I don’t know how it works for everybody, but for U.S. Citizens, if you ever lose your passport or get your passport stolen (God forbid), here are several numbers you can call for assistance:

Contact Numbers if You Lose Your Passport (U.S. Citizens)

I’m sure you’ll end up having to go to your nearest U.S. Embassy of whatever country you’re residing in and have another one made. I don’t know exactly because, knock on wood, I’ve never irretrievably lost my passport…and I hope you don’t either. This post is a resource just in case you need it.

Donald Ash

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  • Ricardo

    Good stuff, I’m going to Japan next month and I am very excited. I’ve been reading a lot of your articles this week trying to get a feel for Japan and the culture and I have to say a lot of your stuff is very nice. Being an African-American myself I worry about how I may be perceived once I come over there. Keep up the good work and God Bless!

    • Donald Ash

      Thanks for the positive feedback. I really appreciate it. I just want to keep making things that are useful to people. A huge congratulations on coming to Japan next month! I really think you’re going to enjoy your trip. Do you know where will you be staying?

      It’s not always easy being a foreigner in Japan, but the good far outweighs the bad.

      • Ricardo

        I will be in Tokyo the first part but I dunno what exactly my plans are I just got my JR Pass, so hopefully visit Osaka and Nagano and Kyoto. I will be there for two weeks. I wanna see the culture and also see the extravagant nightlife!!! any tips would be appreciated Do you know if they have any sumo matches going on next month, I would love to see one. Sorry for all the questions I’m just excited

        • Donald Ash

          Nice. There will definitely be sumo matches going on in January, but I don’t know where exactly, but central Tokyo is probably the best area for sumo. If you’re going to Osaka, the castle, Osaka-Jo is pretty nice. If you’re going to Kyoto…think that place is AWESOME! There are SO many temples, and traditional Japanese things to see. When I went, I saw Kinkakuji, Ginkakuji, Sanjusangendo, and Fushimi Inari shrines, all of which were quite nice. Gion (downtown Kyoto) was really cool, too. I haven’t been to Nagano, but I’ve heard it’s pretty amazing, too. Well if there’s any way I can help, just say the word…and I’ll definitely do the best I can.

          • Ricardo

            Yes do you know if there is a barbershop where I can get a edge up just in case in tokyo?

          • Donald Ash

            That’s a REALLY good question, Ricardo. Truth be told I’ve never gotten my haircut in Japan. I’ve been shaving my head bald since college. I’ll look into, though. I’m sure I can find someone who’s gotten a good haircut in Japan without having their head hacked to pieces.

  • Joshua Kramer

    Hi Donald, Sorry about the confusion before. I ended up doing great on my report as well as my final grade in the class. My Teacher is actually in major trouble with another student with a similar problem. I did pretty good on average this semester in all of my classes. I can’t wait to experience Japan, I am coming there for the first time this summer. It is awesome that you are continuing your stay. Random-> I heard that in Disney land that everything is very unusual, It is as if aliens came down to earth and tried to copy and create what they thought Disney land should be like but it is actually weired and extra shiny. I just wondered if you felt that way.
    So anyway, I am big milk drinker. What is the situation with milk? Is it properly pasteurized and treated?
    Thats everything for now thanks

    • Joshua Kramer

      i was talking about milk and disney in Japan

    • Donald Ash

      I don’t know about the super-rural areas in Japan, but here in Tsukuba, milk is just fine. You actually have quite a few options for milk, from soy milk to regular milk, to lowfat (pretty similar to the U.S.). Because I can’t read all of the kanji on the milk cartons, I’ve had to experiment until I found the one that I liked, I also asked a store clerk to help me find lowfat milk. As you probably noticed, I’m a pretty big milk drinker, too.

      Disney? Well, from what I’ve seen it’s pretty similar to the U.S. (wait, I’ve never been to Disneyland in the U.S., only Disneyworld), but it’s no weirder than the ones back home. Adults dressed up in duck, mouse, and dog costumes, dancing in the street to “It’s a Small World After All” while hundreds of people watch… that’s not weird at all, LOL. The only thing that’s weird is that there’s alot more stuff in Japanese, but there’s lots of English, too. It’s pretty fun.

      I wish I could set up something with my readers on this blog, so we could all go when you guys get to Japan. If you’re visiting, even if you don’t like Disney, I think everyone should do it at least once.

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