For Okinawa, a newish van is uncommon. Many of island vehicles have been around for more than 15 years. This van is a 2008 Mazda MPV, and it has less than 100,000 miles. It also has amazing air conditioning, folding seats and is larger than our previous car (a BB). We are very grateful!
Our car had developed a crack in the engine a little over a year ago and we were told it had six months to a year of life left. We prayed that it would survive until we left this summer and it did, although the motor was really struggling at the end. We couldn’t hear each other in the car to talk!
While we were in the states, the brakes also decided to quit and mold developed in the back seat, a common thing in Okinawa. So it was time to junk the car. We are very thankful for the gift of this van!
A little insight into Japanese culture, in case you are curious…
in order to junk the car,
Jon had to have it towed to the junk yard,
go to the junkyard to receive the junkyard quote
go to city hall for a document that verifies he has an inkon, which is the official signing stamp here.
go to Naha, a city about half an hr away, to deregister the car.
Then our new van…
The dealership took care of much of the paperwork thankfully.
But they also needed a document to verify Jon’s inkon, and then insurance paperwork, etc…, cash deposit as many Japanese businesses do not deal in checks or credit cards.
The Japanese police also needed a hand written map from the police station to our house so that they could verify we had a parking spot to fit our car/van.
Since we have two parking spots, we were asked which spot we wanted to park in, because legally we can only pick one. Ah, the fun of being in a different culture from the familiar.