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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General information
  • Japan consists 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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  • 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, one of the most popular Japanese cities, has a thriving economy. The tourism industry is also very developed due to its numerous places of interest.

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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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  • 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.

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Work visas, work permits, working holiday visas and residence permits
  • If you wish to make a professional trip to Japan, you can choose from the work visa, the investor visa or Working Holiday Visa (WHV).

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Labour market, how to find a job
  • Yokohama, capital city of the Kanagawa Prefecture, is a maritime region. Its economy is primarily based on port activities and the automotive industry.

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  • Major recruiters in Tochigi, Japan are the automotive, electronics, pharmaceutical and food processing industries.

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  • There are various job opportunities in Saitama, Japan. The city's main economic pillars are industry, electronics manufacturing, trade and export.

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  • There are numerous job opportunities for foreigners in Nagoya, Japan. The automotive and aerospace industries are the major recruiters.

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  • Sectors with high employment potential in Shizuoka, Japan, are industry, services and manufacturing. There are also many big companies in the region.

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How to rent a house or an apartment, leases and rental agreements
  • In Hiroshima, Japan, you will mostly find traditional and ancient dwellings such as "ryokan". There are also modern hotels and inns in different neighborhoods.

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  • Various types of accommodation are available in Osaka, Japan. You can rent a room, a studio, an apartment or a traditional house.

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  • The city of Kyoto, Japan, offers a wide variety of accommodation. You can rent a house or an apartment. You can also stay in a hotel or in a 'ryokan'.

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  • Tokyo has a wide variety of accommodation for all tastes. You will find not only studios and apartments, individual houses and huge residential complexes.

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  • You can find an apartment or a studio for rent in Japan. In general, you have to pay a deposit which is equal to six months' rent.

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Student visa, University registration
  • You have to apply for a study visa at the Japanese Embassy or Consulate in your home country if you wish to study in Japan.

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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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Open and manage a bank account
  • Expatriates wishing to open a bank account in Japan have to produce their Residence Card which mentions their current address in the country.

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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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Train, bus, plane, car rental
  • Japan offers several means of transport. Train, metro and buses are very safe and comfortable. You can also travel by plane, taxi or rent a car.

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

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Phone line, internet provider, post office
  • Connecting to 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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Sports, leisure and cultural activities
  • 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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  • Several types of sports are practiced in Japan. The most popular sports are football, volleyball, baseball, golf as well as martial arts such as karate.

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  • Alcoholic beverages, perfumes and cigarettes are exempt from tax in Japan. Some products are banned from entering while others are subject to control.

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  • Alcoholic beverages, perfumes and cigarettes in small quantities are exempt from tax in Japan. Some products are controled while others are prohibited.

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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 vaccinated against rabies before traveling to Japan. It must have a passport and a health record which you will have to produce on arrival.

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Questions and answers about Japan

Ask your question
Has anyone here lived in South Korea too?
By bunyukja
Anyone retired to Japan from U.S?
By Nut_Ella
By Vhie02

Expatriate health insurance in Japan

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Japan

Moving to Japan

Find tips from professionals about moving to Japan

Travel insurance in Japan

Enjoy a stress-free travel across Japan

Flights to Japan

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