After yesterday’s whirlwind visits to various authorities here in Choshi, I was becoming rather despondent that the “Free Blossom” campaign might not take off until the latter part of next week. This followed a request from the shipping agents in Tokyo to meet with them in the city, today at 1400hrs local time. Their indication was that Customs would not release the container until next week.
Lizzie and Adrian strongly encouraged me to go to Tokyo first thing this morning to try to bring the meeting forward. In the end, both Adrian & I jumped on the first available train to Tokyo this morning, carrying all necessary paperwork and with fingers crossed that we could meet my shipping agents and bring things forward.
To give you some background, tomorrow is the start of Japan’s Golden Week national holiday, which lasts until Monday (inclusive). That means Customs (like other Government Departments) will be closed. Unfortunately Tuesday is the only day of the week that the marina is closed (it’s open during the holidays), so it was looking like Blossom wouldn’t be arriving in Choshi until Wednesday. Two to three days of preparatory work is still needed to check kit and make Blossom shipshape for the Pacific, so it appeared that time would be slipping away before our eyes.
However, meeting the shipping agents went very well. After discussions with Mr Toshihiko Sahashi, from Mitsubishi Logistics Corporation, and his colleague Mr. Yasuo Horikawa, where we signed paperwork and explained our hope that we could resolve the customs problem sooner, they reassured us that they would do all that they could to free “Blossom” as soon as possible.
Whilst Adrian and I were in Tokyo, my Shore Support & Weather Router Tony Humphreys arrived from the UK. Adrian and I arrived back from Tokyo and, with no news forthcoming, suggested he take a few days off to explore Japan as Blossom may not be free until Wednesday.
But then came the good news we’d been quietly hoping for. Adrian received a call from Sahashi, confirming that customs clearance had been granted and that Blossom will be delivered to Choshi tomorrow, so that I can be reunited with her! Fantastic news – we’re back on track!
Thank you so much to Toshihiko Sahashi for your hard work today and to my sister and Adrian for strongly encouraging me to got to Tokyo first thing this morning, rather than waiting until 1400hrs! This was a wise move.
On a slightly different note, it was great to see Seb and Taka in Tokyo for lunch! Thank you!
Blossom, I will see you tomorrow!