It is a fascinating prospect to move to Japan. No wonder so many people are choosing Japan for their retirement, careers, or their next adventure. With its delicious cuisine, beautiful natural destinations, some of the world’s most fascinating and modern cities, and ancient culture that intrigues, it’s no wonder.
No matter what your reasons are for relocating to Japan, it can be a daunting task.
Easy way to move Japan
The first thing is look into the legal requirements for living and working in the country. Due to visa restrictions it is not possible for someone with a criminal record or who has spent longer than 3 months outside of Japan in the past 3 years from coming into the country, this includes prison sentences and holidays.
This may affect any prospective expats plans as doing such things could cause them problems during their stay. Though as such time will be deducted from the 24 months they are allowed to spend outside of Japan annually (i.e.: if you have been convicted of a crime, plan on taking one month max off work per year). There are also certain jobs which will not allow those working in them to come into Japan under the country’s visa schemes. For example, teachers are not allowed into the country on a working holiday visa.
Cost of living in Japan
First of all it is important to know that the cost of living in Japan is very high compared to other countries, especially those which are more ‘westernized’ (i.e.: UK). Expats can expect costs such as rent and food to be around 2-3 times higher than their home country. Therefore an individual may need up to six months worth of savings just for their first few weeks in Japan! This research took me about three days during which time I made sure my finances were in order, planned my budget and also made sure I would have enough money for the first few months in Japan.
Finding the job in Japan
It is therefore advised that you stay with friends or family until your financial situation is stable and you can afford your own accommodation. As well as setting up an account where you will be paid (if applicable), it is advisable that an individual opens up accounts which they can use while they are living within the country. These could include a bank account, online bank account and also pay as you go mobile phone. It is also possible to set up utility accounts in Japan but it is likely that an expat will still have to pay their bills back home, unless they are moving there permanently.
Moving Japan is easy vs other countries
Moving to Japan is relatively easy compared to some other countries in the world. It is also very expensive if you do not plan on preparing yourself for the move. The process of moving requires several important steps, one of which includes making sure that you have rented out your house or apartment before leaving it for good.
The first thing that you need to do is get an estimate of how much it will cost to move all your belongings into Japan. Keep in mind that this number does not include a work visa and a ticket from your home country to Tokyo or Osaka. You should expect these expenses to be at least around $2000 US dollars, especially if the distance from your house to the airport is far away.
How much does it cost to move to Japan?
Keep in mind that this number does not include a work visa and a ticket from your home country to Tokyo or Osaka. You should expect these expenses to be at least around $2000 US dollars, especially if the distance from your house to the airport is far away.
Once you have a moving company, ask them as many questions as possible about the process. They can also provide you with information about what it is like to live in Japan and some helpful tips for making the transition smooth.
When you are getting quotes from movers, ask them if they offer a storage service. This may be necessary for those who do not want to give up their home completely or leave behind furniture that is too large to bring on the plane.
Moving with pets
If you have a dog, cat or any other pet, make sure you tell your mover up front so they can handle the animal accordingly during the move. It is important to note that dogs cannot fly inside of airplane cabins because of health reasons.
If you plan on moving to Japan with your pet, you will need to check the rules and regulations for doing so. Pets must be taken care of at any international transit location or port where there is a quarantine office. Your dog or cat will also need their own air ticket to fly into Japan, and they cannot travel by boat unless they are younger than three months old.
Other important things to bring include your household items such as clothing, dishes, furniture and appliances. Expats should keep in mind that Japan’s power supply is mostly compatible with North American plugs so you will only need an adapter if you plan on bringing electronics or any other larger appliances. Plugs can be found at most airports or shopping malls near major cities in Japan.
What not to take
Expats who are moving to Japan do not need to worry about high temperatures because the tropical part of the country has pretty moderate weather for this region. Those who are planning on moving somewhere colder should consider what time of year they want to move first before deciding what clothes and household items to bring.
It is also important not to bring any kind of religious or political symbols because this could be seen as offensive by the Japanese people. Expats should only wear these types of items if they have a special occasion where they are allowed to do so.
Other things that expats should leave behind include their family heirlooms since transporting these kinds of items can prove difficult, especially on an airplane. Expats will also want to avoid bringing anything that has cultural significance in their home country but not Japan, such as flags and national colors.
Expats can also ask their movers for recommendations since they have experience with the customs and regulations of Japan. Moving companies should also provide expats with a list of websites that contain further information on importing that may help them transition into their new life easier. Once everything has been moved into the country, expats will need a place to live before finding a job in the city of their choice.
Renting an apartment is usually not as expensive as owning one, but it will depend on where in Japan you want to live. Before they move into their new homes, expats will need to find furniture for the inside of their apartments since most Japanese citizens do not have much in regards to indoors decorations.
Expats who are taking a trip to Japan during this time of year should expect many people to be dressed formally because it is considered disrespectful to wear casual clothing at certain events and ceremonies. Expats may wish to wear formal clothing around these kinds of events as well, but they can also dress more casually normally without being looked at critically by others.
Interesting facts about living in Japan
- Convenience stores (konbini) are everywhere and offer a wide variety of food and drinks, as well as services such as paying bills, buying tickets, and shipping packages.
- Taking off your shoes before entering someone’s home or certain buildings such as temples and traditional restaurants is common.
- The train system is incredibly efficient and punctual, with trains arriving and departing on time to the minute.
- Japan has a rich culture of onsen (hot springs), which are found throughout the country and offer a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
- Karaoke is a popular pastime in Japan, with many bars and karaoke establishments offering private rooms for groups to sing and socialize.
- The food in Japan is diverse and delicious, with sushi, ramen, udon, and tempura just a few of the many options.
- Recycling is taken very seriously in Japan, with different categories for different types of waste and strict rules for disposal.
- Japanese toilets are advanced and high-tech, with features such as heated seats, bidet functions, and even music or sound effects to mask sounds.