To be able to sign the paperwork next Monday I had to have a Japanese bank account. Kayoko was working and I only had 90 minutes before the Post Office closed for the weekend.
Cycled - in blistering heat - to the the main Post Office here in Takarazuka in the hope that someone might speak English. After all, everybody here studies English in school... No luck, but I did manage to secure a copy of the application form. A single side of B5 paper with only a few boxes to complete.
A hair raising ride home through the afternoon traffic then I allowed Google to work its magic. Success! I found a web page with an identical form and step-by-step instructions. The only tricky part was writing the address in Kanji. The web site suggested the Post Office staff might be able to help with that so, pausing only to change my sweat drenched shirt, back onto the bicycle clutching my almost completed application form, residence card, health insurance card and a crisp 1,000円 note.
Arrived at the Post Office 30 minutes before closing. I was lucky enough this time to find an employee who spoke just a little English and we completed the form, with the shutters closing at the counters on either side of me, only 5 minutes after normal closing time.
I left clutching my account book and offering profuse thanks to the helpful staff!