So I was offered some help by the French and next up surprisingly, my next contact was with the British.
I was doing some research and came across a website dealing with sailing in Japan. I followed a few links and ended up on a webpage by a couple from the UK who had sailed a small boat (27′) from South Africa to Japan. They had taken a route from down under through the Mircroindonesia island up through the Philippines, to Taiwan , and then to Okinawa. I sent them an email and found out they are currently in Osaka/Kobe!!! I received a reply from them saying they would gladly help with any questions I had and it was nice to hear from me.
Totally cool! Not only had they posted a helpful amount of info on dealing with the government but also on making passage there in Japan, now they were in our home town area and offered any advice they could. They seem to be about our age. This is great!!! We know someone already there who is a sailor there in Kobe but he does not want to communicate with us for some unknown reason. No problem the Brits to the rescue. I shot them a bunch of questions first on costs of marinas and any issues living aboard, since that is what we will be coming at first, besides staying with Okasan. Little by little things fall into place. From the Info they posted sounds like the fellow sailors in Japan are very helpful to other yacht persons. There is still not a great number of cruising yachts that pasts through Japan so the few that do are treated well.
This was a good weekend, some rest, sailing, a promotional venue, and some travel info assistance… Cool or what.
Oh and one last piece of great news this week past, I received my documentation papers from the Coast Guard on Zen II. We are now fully legal to operate and leave, after over a year waiting to get the paperwork resolved. That was a big load off my mind… Yosh!!!