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Category: Moving to Tokyo

A channel about my journey moving from Okinawa to Tokyo

How to move from Okinawa to Tokyo as suggested by ChatGPT

My family will be moving from Okinawa to Tokyo at the end of 2023. We are two adults plus two toddlers, a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old. It is an overwhelming project with a lot of moving parts. At the time this is written, ChatGPT has just come out for about three months, and it is the talk of the town. I have been playing with it for a while.

I use ChatGPT mainly for content generation, finding books, and coding. I want to see if ChatGPT can be my assistant in moving my family to Tokyo.

I tell ChatGPT about myself and my family, and then I ask ChatGPT to give me suggestions on moving my family to Tokyo. Here is what I get.

Sure, here’s a more detailed explanation of each suggestion:

  1. Research schools in Tokyo: Look into the different schools in the areas where you are considering living. Consider factors such as location, academic programs, extracurricular activities, and school culture. Schedule visits to prospective schools to get a sense of the environment and talk to teachers and staff.
  2. Hire a real estate agent: A real estate agent can help you find a suitable place to live in Tokyo. They can assist you with searching for rental properties that meet your needs, budget, and preferred location.
  3. Plan for the transfer of your small business: Consider the logistics of transferring your business from Okinawa to Tokyo. Research the business climate and regulations in Tokyo, and look into any necessary permits or licenses. You may also want to network with other small business owners in Tokyo for advice and support.
  4. Start packing early: Start packing your belongings several weeks before the move. Make a list of items that you need to take with you and prioritize which items to pack first. Consider what items can be left behind and which items you might need to purchase when you arrive in Tokyo.
  5. Familiarize yourself with the local customs, culture, and laws: Do some research on the local customs, culture, and laws in Tokyo. This can help you adjust to your new environment and avoid any cultural miscommunications.
  6. Plan transportation: Make arrangements for transportation to and from work, school, and other activities. Consider the cost and convenience of different transportation options, such as public transit, biking, or driving.
  7. Join local community groups: Joining local community groups and activities can help you and your family make new friends and adjust to your new environment. Consider joining clubs, sports teams, or taking classes in a subject that interests you.
  8. Update important documents: Make sure to update important documents such as driver’s licenses, insurance, and bank information. Notify relevant parties of your move, including your employer, insurance company, bank, and any other relevant organizations.

It gives me a pretty good framework to start with. In the following days, I will use ChatGPT to assist me in each of these areas.

A new journey

It has been six years since Ai and I moved to Okinawa in January 2016. We came here with two backpacks and now we have an apartment full of stuff plus two kids.

COVID and the new opportunity with the Kadena BX had me grounded on Okinawa for almost three years. In May 2022, we took the boys to Tokyo Disney for the first time. They loved it. We stayed in the Disney resort hotel for two nights. It cost $500 per night to say there, breakfast not included. But it was worth it. 12 years ago, Ai took me to Tokyo Disney for the first time. That was my first Disney land experience. We were still dating at the time and I was making $50,000 a year before tax. While trying to keep my hotel budget under $80 a night in Tokyo, spending $500 a night at the Disney resort was a dream far from reach. Ai and I walked into the lobby, everything looked amazing. I told her the next time we come back to Disney, we will stay in this resort. We did it, as husband and wife, and the parents of our children.

While we were in Tokyo, we went to Costco. Pretty much the same deal as Costco in the US, but we were shocked to find out we can buy imported fresh fruits for a much lower price than domestic alternatives on Okinawa. We ended up buying over $100 of fresh mangos, blueberry, grapes, kiwi and ate most of them while we stayed in Tokyo. We also went to a fancy shopping mall in Ginza. Showered by the buzz and the lights of the city, we felt overwhelmed but also very excited to be in the city again.

Souta is turning five. We need to decide where to send him to pre-school and elementary school. He had spent the last three years with GMA. If we want him to continue attending International school, the options are limited to international schools in Naha or Urasoe, or the religious schools near our area.

We come to realize the purpose of us coming to Okinawa has been fulfilled, which was to escape from corporate America and took a long vacation by the beautiful tropical ocean. In the past five years, I have learned the skills to stand on my own feet, enjoyed the beautiful island life, and double the size of our family. It is time to move on. It is time to take the boys back to the city where the options and the opportunities are.

Here is to a new journey, from Okinawa to Tokyo.