A Comprehensive Guide on Moving to Japan

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  • Edmund Taylor

    Tokyo has so much to offer and InterNations made it much easier to become acclimated to life in this bustling city.

Wondering how to move to Japan? Unlike some Asian countries, relocating to Japan is not difficult as long as you are prepared. This means having all of the right documents together before you even board your flight to the island nation.

What do you need for a Japanese relocation? One of the easiest ways to relocate to the Land of the Rising Sun is by securing a job before arriving. If you visit Japan and secure a job while on a tourist visa, you will still need to leave the country so that your Japanese employer can start the visa process.

Many expats are attracted to Japan because of the high salaries and high quality of life. However, with this high quality also comes steep costs. Japan is one of the most expensive countries for expats, although most agree that the price is worth it. Likewise, other benefits of moving to Japan include superb healthcare, high performing schools, and, last but not least, delicious ramen on nearly every corner.

Connect with like-minded expatriates

Discover our welcoming community of expats! You’ll find many ways to network, socialize, and make new friends. Attend online and in-person events that bring global minds together.

A Comprehensive Guide on Relocating to Japan

All You Need to Know About Relocating Your Household Goods and Pets

The process of moving to Japan is easy as long as you are prepared. In general, expats can move most household goods into the country without a problem. It is a good idea to have an itemized list in both English and Japanese. Items can be brought into the country duty free as long as you can prove ownership for at least six months prior to your relocation.

Moving to Japan with pets is likewise easy, although pet owners may be disappointed to learn that the country mandates a quarantine. For dogs and cats, the quarantine is only for seven days. However, the quarantine is subject to last longer if the owners cannot provide all the necessary documentation such as a titer test results or microchip number.

Vaccinations required for Japan are standard except for one. Foreigners moving to Japan are advised to be vaccinated for Japanese encephalitis, which is spread through mosquito bites. Although the disease is largely found in rural areas, expats planning on traveling throughout Japan and other Asian countries would be wise to get vaccinated.

The Guide to Visa Types and Work Permit Requirements

Want to know how to get a visa or work permit in Japan? One of the easiest ways is by being offered a job before your arrival in the country. Your company in Japan will then start the visa application process for you. They will do this by issuing a Certificate of Eligibility, which is a requirement for all Japanese visas.

The type of job you have will dictate the type of Japanese visa you will apply for. Japan has nearly 30 different visa types, including ones specifically for entertainers, teachers, engineers, etc. Each visa costs the same, but the documents required to apply will vary. For example, those applying for a research visa will need to submit documents defending their research and make a case for why they need to be in Japan.

Everything You Need to Know About Finding a New Home

The thought of accommodation in Japan calls to mind two things: expensive and space. “Expensive” because Japan as a whole is an expensive country, with Tokyo being one of the most expensive cities in the world. The national average rent is 50 to 70,000 JPY (470–650 USD) per month. Be aware that utilities are typically not included. “Space” because Japan is a narrow island nation with a population of nearly 130 million. That is a lot of people in a tiny area.

Housing in Japan includes many different types of houses. Home choices range from high-rise, modern apartment buildings to detached, Japanese-style houses that are equipped with traditional woven tatami mat flooring. It is also possible to find larger, Western-style housing, although these will mostly be out in the countryside rather than in any of the larger Japanese cities.

Want to know how to buy a house in Japan as a foreigner? In general, there are no legal restrictions to expats owning a home in Japan. Like rentals, buying a home is expensive too and average house prices in the country are around 35,760,000 JPY (337,000 USD).

You do not need to have citizenship in order to buy a house. Buying a home also does not guarantee expats a path to permanent residency in Japan either. However, expats without citizenship or permanent residency visa in Japan, nor married to a Japanese citizen, should note that the process to buy a home will be difficult.

Health Insurance and the Healthcare System of Japan Explained

The healthcare system and health insurance in Japan is one of the best in the world. This is probably why the country as a whole has one of the highest life expectancy rates, which is thanks in large part to the strong emphasis on preventative care.

Expats are able to easily take part in Japan’s healthcare system. Once you have your residency card, there are two main health insurance schemes in Japan that you can sign up for: Japanese National Health Insurance, which is available to unemployed people, part-time workers, and students; and the standard Japanese Health Insurance, which is available to full-time employees.

Use this guide as a tool for all you need to know about healthcare in Japan. Whether you need to know how to find a doctor or are looking to give birth in Japan, we have all the information you need to stay happy and healthy.

Connect with like-minded expatriates

Discover our welcoming community of expats! You’ll find many ways to network, socialize, and make new friends. Attend online and in-person events that bring global minds together.

See all upcoming events for expats in Japan

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  • Edmund Taylor

    Tokyo has so much to offer and InterNations made it much easier to become acclimated to life in this bustling city.

  • Marina Salgado

    In such a huge city, InterNations has created great events for expats to meet in Tokyo.

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