1. Mizuho or UFJ: which one is less of a hassle to open an account, and which account do I need that I can have my new employer deposit my salary into?
I found Mizuho pretty helpful - not tried UFJ. Get a futsu account but they will probably give you a savings one too
2. where do I go to get a hanko? where do I go to register this hanko for official business?
Many Honko shops around - got mine off the internet, well my wife did. You may have to try a department store depending on your language level. Register it at the ward office.
3. where do I go to change my address on my gaijin card, etc.?
your new ward office
4. where do I go to re-register for the national health care?
you new ward office
I've tried looking all this stuff up on the net, and since I don't know the actual ward Hino is in, it's making it tough.
Thanks for the reply. I've since found the city hall, and have changed my address and gotten the health insurance renewed. Now have ordered an hanko which I'll be picking up within the hour of this message.
As for the bank, went to UFJ in Shinjuku and was told I have to apply near where I live. Odd, but this is Japan. Came back after buying the last overhead light for the new apartment, and Mizuho seemed more than helpful even though I needed a hanko to open the account. I asked for an application, and will have the boyfriend look it over tonight before taking it back.
At least I'm getting more experience in reading these applications. Never leave my dictionary at home anymore. Carry it with me always.
The women at Mizuho near where I live were very helpful, and one spoke a little bit of English. The others were glad I brought my dictionary, and typed everything I didn't know into so we could get my account set up.
BTW, the ATM has English menus, so that won't be a problem until I learn the Japanese.