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Living in Japan guide

Find out all you need to know to relocate and live in Japan with the expat guide

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Generalities

General information
  • Hyogo is a Japanese city which receives thousands of visitors each year. It is known to be a tourist region. Its economy has been developing over the years

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  • Fukui is known as the green city thanks to its extensive natural beauty. It'd a small city with a developed economy and rich history for expats to explore.

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  • Japan is made up of more than 6,000 islands. Its capital city is Tokyo while its most important cities are Kyoto and Osaka, etc..

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Formalities

Visas, passports and entry requirements
  • To get married in Japan, you are required to apply for a certificate of legal capacity to marry at the embassy or consulate of your country in Japan.

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Visas

Work visas, work permits, working holiday visas and residence permits
  • In order to work in Japan, expats can applyfor a work visa or a working holiday visa. Some expats may be able applicable for a permanent residence visa.

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  • You will need a tourist visa to stay for a maximum period of 90 days in Japan. However, citizens of certain countries are exempt from visa requirements.

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Work

Labour market, how to find a job
  • Japan has a lot to offer expats. If you are trying to find a job in the country, knowledge of local customs and some Japanese will certainly be helpful.

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  • As a leading global city, Tokyo has many job opportunities for expats, particularly in the hi-tech, finance and service sectors.

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  • Yokohama, capital city of the Kanagawa Prefecture, is a maritime region. Its economy is centred on its port, which has job opportunities for expats.

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  • Fukuoka is an important harbour city in Japan and the economic centre of Kyushu Island. Expats can find jobs in manufacturing, services and high tech.

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  • Located on Honshu Island, Shizuoka's economy is based on manufacturing and agriculture. Expats may have difficulty finding a job in Shizuoka.

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Accommodation

How to rent a house or an apartment, leases and rental agreements
  • Expats looking to rent accommodation in Japan will require a residence card and a Japanese guarantor. The most common type of housing is apartments.

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  • Japan's capital city is hugely popular with both locals and expats. However, accommodation in Tokyo is more expensive than other parts of Japan.

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  • Kyoto is Japan's old capital and holds a wealth of Japanese tradition. The price of renting accommodation varies by location and furnishings included.

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  • Osaka is quite densely populated, so expats looking for accommodation in the city should expect smaller housing options than elsewhere.

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  • Hiroshima has both traditional sights and modern amenities, though expats may not find it easy to find long-term accommodation in the city.

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Study

Student visa, University registration
  • International students have a number of universities to choose from in Japan. Those who wish to study in Japan should apply for a student visa.

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  • Tokyo is one of the world's great capitals and if you are looking to study there you will have a great number of impressive institutions to choose from.

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Health care

Public and private health systems
  • Japan has two national protection schemes. But you have to subscribe to a health insurance if you are moving there for less than a year.

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Bank

Open and manage a bank account
  • Expats will require a residence card in order to open a bank account in Japan. Be aware that some local branches may only offer services in Japanese.

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Tax

Tax system, income tax
  • Non residents in Japan are have to pay income tax according to their Japanese income. Residents have to pay tax according to their global income.

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Transports

Train, bus, plane, car rental
  • Japan offers several different modes of transportation. Over long distances, trains and planes are popular. There also buses and taxis available.

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  • Getting around Kyoto. Kyoto Transportation. Walking, riding a bike, trains.

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Driver's licence

Driving requirements
  • You can drive in Japan with your international driver's licence, except if your home country has an exchange agreement with Japan.

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  • Owning a car will let you expand your activities and allow you to explore the country in more depth.

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Removal

moving, formalities and useful tips
  • Moving to Japan: How to find a removal company?

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Communications

Phone line, internet provider, post office
  • Connecting to the internet is quite easy in Japan. The country has several types of connection: narrow band, broadband, wireless and mobile internet.

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  • You have to buy a new mobile phone and a Japanese sim card if you want to make phone calls in Japan. Yours will not be compatible.

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  • Learn a few Japanese words, Japanese for beginners

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Leisure

Sports, leisure and cultural activities
  • A number of different traditional and international sports are practised in Japan. It may surprise expats to learn that baseball is particularly popular.

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  • There are various ways to discover Japan. You can take a walk in the mountains and forests during your free time or visit the ancient palaces and temples.

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  • According to Japanese customs, certain items are duty-free, others can be imported with restrictions, some are prohibited and some require a declaration.

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  • In Japan, you can entrust your children of less than 6 years old to different childcare systems: nursery schools, kindergartens and preprimary schools.

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  • Your pet must be micro-chipped, vaccinated against rabies and have had a check-up by a vet in your home country before you can move to Japan with your pet.

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  • Please type a short description of your article

    Article written by burleydude
  • Just tales of life from an outside view. I talk about children, relationships, funny/embarassing moments, etc.

    Article written by knelsonteach

Moving to Japan

Find tips from professionals about moving to Japan

Travel insurance in Japan

Enjoy stress-free travel to Japan

Flights to Japan

Find the best prices for your flight tickets to Japan