Living in Japan guide for expats

All the information you need to relocate and live in Japan.

Our selection of articles for expatriation in Japan

Finding a job in Okayama

Ideally located between Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Tottori, Osaka, and Kyoto, Okayama is a hot business spot. It is an excellent ...

Finding a job in Nagoya 

The Nagoya region is one of Japan's three economic pillars. Home to Toyota, it is also a leader in the aviation sector and ...

Accommodation in Hiroshima

You're in Japan, leaving Tokyo, the megalopolis capital, behind and moving further south, towards Hiroshima. You are looking ...

Studying in Japan

Have you always dreamed of studying in the Land of the Rising Sun? Japan is attracting more and more international students ...

Working in Kyoto

Do you dream of working in Kyoto? The ancient capital of Japan is indeed a fascinating place that attracts millions of tourists ...

Working in Osaka

Do you dream of working in Japan? Why not opt for Osaka? The country's third-largest city is known for its dynamism and ...

Accommodation in Osaka

Osaka is the 3rd most populated city in Japan and is only 2.5 hours from the capital Tokyo by shinkansen high-speed train. People ...

Working in Yokohama

Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan after the capital, Tokyo. It is also the capital of Kanagawa Prefecture, has a ...

Finding a job in Shizuoka

The quiet Japanese city is no less dynamic, on the contrary. Shizuoka is an agricultural, fish farming and industrial stronghold ...

Finding a job in Fukuoka

Fukuoka is the capital of its eponymous prefecture, located on the island of Kyushu in southwest Japan, and is the largest city ...

Working in Hiroshima

Hiroshima is a miniature barometer of Japan. Be it the population distribution or economic situation, the socio-economic ...

Getting around Tokyo

Japan's capital city has a well-developed, modern, convenient and accessible transportation system. It is possible to live ...

Moving to Japan with your family

So, you have decided to move abroad with your family. But how do you prepare yourself for this new adventure in Japan? How to ...

Adjusting to the local culture in Tokyo

Saying sorry, thank you, addressing a stranger, your boss or your family, talking, getting around. All these natural things lose ...

Making friends in Tokyo

How do you socialize in Tokyo? How to make friends, and join groups in the Japanese capital? Should you keep doing what you used ...

About Japan

5 main islands

Japan is an archipelago made up of 6852 islands and, more precisely 5 main islands and 6,847 isolated islands, of which only 416 are inhabited. The 5 main islands of Japan are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and Okinawa. Honshû is the largest one and is also the 7th largest island in the world (if we consider Australia as a continent). Most of the inhabitants live on these 5 islands.

47 prefectures and 8 large regions

The 47 administrative prefectures of Japan are located on the main islands. They are grouped into 8 larger regions, namely Hokkaido (the island also gives its name to the region), Tohoku, Kanto (where Tokyo, the capital, is located), Chûbu, Kinki, Chûgoku, Shikoku, Kyûshû-Okinawa.

Japan's climate

With its islands stretching from the far north to the south, Japan is a land of contrasts ranging from the cold climate of Hokkaido in the far north to the subtropical regime of Okinawa in the far south, with a temperate environment in between.

In Japan, seasons are very distinct: spring, summer, autumn and winter. We could even say that there are 6 seasons if we consider the rainy seasons (tsuyu, in June, and akisame, in October).

Politics in Japan

Japan has been a constitutional monarchy since 1947, when the United States imposed a constitution to replace the Meiji Constitution (1889). This new constitution was inspired by the British system. Ever since, the Emperor of Japan has had a symbolic function. Emperor Naruhito became the 126th emperor of Japan. He took the place of his father, Emperor Akihito who was the first emperor of Japan ever to abdicate. Emperor Naruhito was enthroned in October 2019. In the Japanese system, it is the Prime Minister who actually exercises political and executive power.

The Prime Minister is not directly elected by the people, but by MPs who are elected by the people. The current Prime Minister of Japan is Fumio Kishida, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), a right-wing nationalist party.

On July 8, 2022, 2 days before the senatorial elections, the former prime minister and leader of the LDP Shinzo Abe was fatally shot while holding a meeting in support of an LDP candidate. This assassination shook the world and upset the entire Japanese population in a country known for its peace.

The Japanese economy

In 2020, Japan's GDP plunged to -4.5% due to the pandemic. It recovered to 1.6 in 2021, which is nearly $US 5.4 billion. Japan is still the 3rd world power, behind China ($US 16.6 billion) and the United States ($US 22.7 billion).

After shining on the industrial market in the '70s and '80s, Japan has become famous in high-tech, research, robotics, automotive and electronics. Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Honda, Canon and Sony are major Japanese groups that have successfully been implanted worldwide.

Visiting Japan

When traveling to Japan, you will encounter a unique culture and fascinating architecture, where the new and the old meet almost everywhere. That's how you can discover an ancient temple in the middle of the skyscrapers of the business districts or find yourself in a colorful neighborhood next to a posh one, or even in a garden where English, French and Japanese arts meet. For many Japan is a painting in motion, where nature is sublimated in total simplicity.

If Japan can be visited all year round, spring and autumn are particularly recommended seasons to discover all the beauties of the archipelago. In spring, nature is reborn, and with it, the famous sakura, the Japanese cherry trees. In autumn, the Japanese maple leaves, the momiji, enchant the population.

In search of nature? Head to the prefectures of Hokkaido, Ibaraki, Kyoto, Shizuoka or Okayama. Tokyo only is not Japan, and there are a lot of places to discover in the country.

Relocating to Japan

Are you planning to move to Japan? You can choose between the student visa, the Japanese Working Holiday Visa (WHV) and the work visa.

The student visa allows you to study in Japan and to work therein for a maximum of 28 hours per week (1 year, renewable) without age limit. The WHV allows you to work and travel in Japan for 1 year, provided you are between 18 and 30 years old, but it is not renewable. The work visa allows you to work in the category in which you apply (engineer, teacher, medical professions, etc.). This is the most difficult visa to obtain.

Quick Information

Capital : Tokyo
Official Languages : Japanese
Currency : Yen
Area : 377835 Km2
Population : 127288000
Calling Code : +81
Timezone : Asia/Tokyo

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