Detailed Guidelines About How To Move To Japan

Many people have dreamt of living in foreign countries where there are beautiful sceneries, modern infrastructures and a high standard of living. However, it is not easy to live in another country if you are not well prepared. The same happens with the prospect of moving to Japan. Many people wonder how to move to Japan, then research thoroughly on the Internet, ask their acquaintances for advice, or try to find many other ways to fulfill their distant dreams. If you are in the same situation, the useful and practical information presented below is for you.

Instruction On How To Move To Japan

1. Legal Requirements For Moving To Japan

First things first, when moving to any country in the world, the preparation of legal documents is compulsory. And to move to Japan, you also need to get to know the legal procedures of this country. Before going to the nearest Japanese Embassy in your homeland, prepare those documents:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • A photograph
  • A Certificate of Eligibility, the original and one copy. (*)
how to move to Japan

When moving to any country in the world, the preparation of legal documents is compulsory

The procedure of passport application is varied in each country, so are the related documents. However, some mutual steps include fill in the application form, take a passport photo, submit them with other identification or citizenship documents and then wait for about three weeks to receive a newly issued passport. For more detailed application process and requirements, consult the office of the Immigration Bureau in your home country.

Another equally important document is the visa. To obtain a visa for Japan, first, you need to know the category of visa you will get. For the purpose of moving to Japan, you will need a work or long-term visa. This depends on whether you have a spouse who is a Japanese citizen or not, and the job you get in Japan (it’s white – collar or blue – collar work). There are a number of such statuses of residence: working visa (a dozen of professionals), general visa (student, training, family, …) or specific visa (long-term resident). For more detailed information, go to the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan or click here.

2. Make A Financial Plan

One cannot know how to move to Japan if he/she does not know how to make a financial plan. To live in a modern and expensive country like Japan, a sufficient budget is, of course, highly important to help you have a decent life. And when applying for a visa, you also may need a financial proof. To have a good plan, there are two factors that need considering: the living cost of Japan and how to manage the finances.

2.1. The Living Cost In Japan

In order to know how to live in Japan in good condition, we should research and collect enough information about the necessary fees and charges.

Some most expensive lands of the world can be found in Tokyo and other major cities of Japan. Nevertheless, the rental price varies from tiny apartments to luxurious buildings. On the outskirt of the large cities, the housing price is significantly lower. Besides choosing accommodation, the utilities (electricity, water, and gas) need to be included in the financial plan. The average expense of those utilities for a person in one month falls from 11,000 yen to 20,000 yen.

Next is connectivity including mobile phone and internet access. The mobile fees are around 2000 yen, and to have internet access, a wifi device is also a good idea.

Another important expense is transportation fee. The price of public transport is much cheaper than that for a taxi. If you have your own vehicle, you should calculate the petrol price.

Finally, the goods and services such as food, clothes, and recreational activities should definitely be included in the budget.

For a clear illustration, below is the consolidated table (**) of some necessities:

Accommodation and Utilities Monthly rent for a 45m2 in normal area ¥168,361
Monthly utilities for 1 person ¥12,116
Connectivity Internet 8 mbps (1 month) ¥4,225
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff ¥38
Transportation 1 liter of gas ¥152
Monthly ticket public transport ¥12,153
Foods 12 eggs, large ¥299
Combo meal in fast food restaurant  ¥905

2.2. Manage The Finances In Japan

After saving a sufficient budget to move to Japan, the next step is how to utilize this amount of money effectively. To manage the finances, many people choose to open a bank account. People often have two bank accounts: one is registered at their company, and one is registered by themselves for daily use.

how to move to Japan

To live in a modern and expensive country like Japan, a sufficient budget is, of course, highly important to help you have a decent life

When opening a personal bank account, there are two things to remember: choose a bank that allows English language (the most well-known in Japan is Shinsei Bank) and keep an eye on the exchange rate of currency. Some banks offer a good rate, whereas some do not.

After getting a credit card, a money management application on your smartphone may help to keep track of the outflow and inflow of the certain amount of money withdrawn from the bank account. This way also helps you not to spend money on purchasing expensive but unnecessary items.


3. Get A Job In Japan

Finding a job is also a critical factor that affects the plan on how to move to Japan. It is quite difficult, but not impossible. A job is a good way to guarantee you financial support and a colorful life with many professional relationships. Those colleagues can help you someday when you encounter difficulties while living in Japan.

how to move to Japan

A job is a good way to guarantee you a financial support.

First anyone who wants to get a job in Japan must have a valid work visa. Then people can find jobs on many recruitment websites. There are a number of jobs available for foreigners in Japan.

Most of the citizens from the UK, USA or English-speaking countries apply for English-teaching jobs. For other nationals, there are many jobs related to IT, Architecture or Construction.

The following sites are useful for finding jobs in Japan:

  • Jobs in Japan
  • Dai Job
  • Indeed

4. Find A Place To Live

Finding an apartment in Japan is not much difficult. Apartment seekers nowadays can consult a real estate agent. This company will provide them with all the information about the neighborhoods, the rental price, the furniture, ….

However, most expats are not sure where to settle down in Japan. Actually, there are many options: the central Tokyo (expensive but so dynamic and convenient), the Kansai region (Japan’s cultural “heart”), Osaka or Kobe (cheaper alternatives for budget expats), …

5. Integrate Yourself Into Japanese Society

Final but also an important thing to do is become a part of the Japanese community. How to move to Japan if one cannot speak Japanese, or does not have any friend in the country?

5.1. Learn Japanese

Japanese is one of the most difficult languages in the world. Learning Japanese is many people’s fear as there are three Japanese alphabets. However, to live in Japan, expats just need to learn how to communicate in Japanese. This means that they do not have to learn how to read or write. Of course, it is better if you are proficient in all four skills as it will open up more job opportunities in Japan.

5.2. Make Friends With Other Expats

Moving to another country is the best chance to make friends with the native or other expats from many countries.

How to move to Japan

Having a friend will help you recover the homesickness.

When moving to Japan from the US, sometimes you will feel lonely. Having a friend will help you recover the homesickness. Especially if you befriend with a Japanese guy, you also can learn Japanese very fast or when having some difficulties, there is a person to call for help.

Open up and expand the circle of international relationships!

5.3. Remember Emergency Contacts

Living alone in a foreign country sometimes is not safe. In case of being in danger (for example, being attacked by a stranger) or encountering a traffic accident, remembering some emergency contacts is really useful. Below are some contacts in Japan that you should not forget:

  • Fire, Ambulance – 119
  • Police – 110
  • Coast guard – 118


As you can see, the preparation process to move to Japan is the most important. As long as you are well prepared, the dream of living in Japan will come true soon. Make a detailed plan today and save money from right now. Good luck!

(*) “A Certificate of Eligibility is issued before a visa application by a regional immigration authority under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice as evidence that the foreign national meets the conditions for landing in Japan, including the requirements that the activity in which the foreign national wishes to engage in Japan at the time of the landing examination is not fraudulent and is an activity that comes under a status of residence (excluding Temporary Visitor Status) stipulated in the Immigration Control Act. (Application for the Certificate of Eligibility by a proxy in Japan is allowed.”, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

(**) All of the statistics are extracted from this updated site:

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About Hayami Mori

Hayami Mori is an awesome travel blogger & photographer. She was born and raised in Tokyo and have been here for nearly 25 years. She loves traveling and always wants to introduce her beautiful Japan to travelers from all over the world. Therefore, her blog is a great source of information for people looking for what to do in Japan as well as provides some tips to make their trips unforgettable.

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