Mozilla · Mozilla Trips

Getting there

This is the first post in a series of posts about my trip to Japan. In this post, I’ll talk about the preparations I had to make to get to Tokyo.

I’m Zimbabwean, which means that I need a VISA to go pretty much anywhere outside the country. Getting the Japan Visa proved to be a big challenge for me. Before I go into that, I’ll give a brief background into my trip.

At the Mozilla Summit in Toronto Canada, I was voted person who had the most positive impact on Summit Delegates and for this, I won an all expenses paid trip to visit any Mozilla Space of my choice. I chose Japan. With the help of Luciana Viana, I planned the trip around April/May since its warm in Japan this time of year.

Visa applications are pretty straight forward, submit application and support documents and get the visa right? In a perfect world, yes. I went through the visa application twice because I hadn’t done it right the first time. Unlike other Embassies, the Japanese require you to produce original copies of all your documents,including guarantor letters and any other support documents. The first time I applied, I submitted printed copies of the support documents and they were rejected. I went back home with a heavy heart that day as I had to go back to Bulawayo empty handed(6 hour bus ride on a good day)

After a few back and forth emails, typo’s here and there, waiting for almost two weeks, the original documents from Japan arrived and I applied again the day after. The visa application was successful and I got on a plane 2 days later.

The flight or flights rather, were all OK, on time, no lost luggage, not too much waiting time between flights and not to much jet lag. I landed in Tokyo yesterday (Tuesday May 6) at 7.40pm and immediately went to the Hotel.

I haven’t seen or done much, but if there’s one thing I’ve noticed, its that the Japanese are extremely friendly, polite and helpful.

The next post will be about Day 1.

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