Updated last year

Moving to Japan can be a tricky and long process, especially if you do not have a strong command of the Japanese language. This does not, however, mean that it is impossible. One of the many things that you will have to do when relocating is to move your belongings to your new home in Japan, and several moving companies can assist you.

Each removal service is different -- some offer services in Japanese only, some offer packing and unpacking assistance while others are open to negotiations. So it is essential to research and pick the removal service best suited to your needs carefully.

Preparing for your move

The first thing you need to do is decide on a removal company. You will then need to either set up an appointment or fill in a detailed form online to receive an estimate of costs.

This estimate is determined by many things including:

  • The origin and destination addresses: this will determine the distance the company needs to travel;
  • the number of items/boxes you are sending;
  • the volume and weight of the items/boxes you are sending;
  • the type of transportation (e.g. by truck, van, train, air, etc.);
  • the nature of the services (terms and conditions plus any insurance damage); and
  • prices and payment plans (in some cases discounts can be applied).

If you request for boxes or packing materials to be sent to you, or for assistance in the packing/unpacking of your belongings, these services will come at an extra cost. It must also be noted that some companies do not deliver to your destination but to a warehouse or a holdings area near to your destination, from where you will have to collect your belongings yourself.

 Good to know:

Prices also depend on the season that you are moving. March/April is considered the “moving season”, so costs tend to be more expensive.

A declaration of value

You must also complete a declaration of value for each of your items, and to notify the company of any items to be handled as delicate or fragile. Without this declaration, an estimate cannot be made, which means your items' relocation may be delayed.

Damage insurance

A damage insurance will be calculated by the removal company to ensure that, should anything happen to your items, you will be compensated. The cost of the insurance depends on the overall value of your belongings.

Moving your belongings to Japan

Once you have received an estimate and set a date and time for your belongings to be picked up, the next step is the actual moving.

You will need to ensure that you are in your property and that everything is already packed when the moving company arrives. The removal company may calculate the costs again after which they will provide a “waybill” to be signed before your items are loaded and relocated. This document ensures that you agree to all terms and conditions.

The payment for the move can be made in a couple of ways – you can pay in full when the company comes to load your belongings or you can pay a deposit and then pay the remainder after your items have been delivered at your new location. In any case, a payment plan must be established before the moving of your items.

 Useful links:

FEDEMAC - Federation of European Movers
FIDI Global Alliance
Yamato Transport
Nippon Express

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.