All You Need to Know About Relocating to Japan

Have you decided that you need a change of scenery? And relocating to Japan seems like a fun adventure?

You are not wrong, the country offers many job opportunities and at the same time, good schools for you or your kids.

And don’t stress too much, moving halfway across the world won’t be that hard, since visa procedure is not confusing as in some other countries.

Relocating to Japan – the First Step Is Getting the Documents Ready

Land of the Rising Sun has a very straightforward procedure when it comes to the visa process. Depending on your reasons for staying in the country, you can apply for a relevant visa at the Japanese Embassy or Consulate-General. You should bring:

  • Passport
  • Visa application form
  • A photograph
  • A certificate of eligibility

Japan’s Strict with COE

The essential document in getting a visa is a Certificate of Eligibility (COE), but it can be pretty tricky to obtain. You should meet the conditions established by the government. You need proof that somebody will support you financially while you are there. The minimum financial support is around 180,000 yen ($1685) per month.

Check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) site. It lists the exact types of activities that can qualify you for a visa.

Is Tokyo Japan’s Best City to Live In?

Most immigrants rarely end up in rural areas. So, if you are looking for a developed and densely populated city, the country has a few to offer besides its capital.

Coastal cities went through a fast process of industrialization following the Second World War. Think about this if you are moving all across the world for a job opportunity.

Tokyo Area and Yokohama – You Can Meet a Robot Here

The nation’s capital is also it’s leading area when it comes to the economy. Logically, the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the third-largest stock exchange in the world and the largest in Asia, is located here. Besides, 38 companies from the Fortune 500 list have headquarters in the city. Relocating here would mean going to one of the most expensive cities in the world, but also one with many career opportunities.

And if you like robotics, know that Japan is one of the leading countries in this field. The capital offers many places where you can actually meet human-like robots.

You can also move to Yokohama, which is pieced together with the capital. It is a commercial hub and a port city. That is why international shipping is essential here, but the area became a center for biotech, IT, pharmaceutical and electronic industries as well.

The Kansai Region

Kansai region is considered the cultural heart of the country. You can live here and have a day filled with tours of castles or watching ninjas demonstrate their techniques.

As a foreigner, you can find work in medical, electronic, robotic, or IT industries.

This region has a large number of international schools, so if you are relocating with kids, you shouldn’t worry about their education.

Japan Has a Manufacturing Hub – Nagoya

Nagoya region is smaller and cozier than Kansai and Tokyo but is still the fourth largest city. This is a port area that is also a manufacturing hub.

If you are an aerospace engineer looking for a job, Nagoya might be a place for you.

Make a Living – Finding a Job

Since the country is on an island, the lack of land means that the agricultural sector doesn’t have a lot of room to grow. Farming is insignificant, except for rice cultivation and fishing.

Having a job in the Land of the Rising Sun means that 70% of the workforce is employed in service-related industries.

When you start thinking about moving abroad, get in touch with large Japan’s trading companies in the USA since those contacts can help you a lot with your job hunt.

There are different ways for people to find work. The easy way would be searching for jobs on websites.

If you are a native English speaker, you can have a shot at getting a teaching job in one of the languages or private schools.

Differences in Work Ethics Might Surprise You 

When you start a career in Japan, you will have to adjust your work ethics. That will help you fit in more naturally and do your job more proficiently.

Have in mind that the Japanese people have a philosophy – the harder we work, the better life will be.

Workers are famous for their endless dedication to tasks. You can try to adopt some of their habits like:

  • Devotion
  • Discipline
  • Strength
  • Thoroughness
  • Spirit
  • Socialization
  • Hard work

Finding a Home

You are relocating to a new country, try to ease some stress and pressure by looking for a new home even before you move. Hire a real estate agent.

When looking for a house, keep in mind that speaking Japanese will go a long way. Make sure to bring somebody fluent to help you negotiate a rental contract.

Houses here tend to be smaller than in the USA, and insufficiently insulated. So, if you are relocating from a warmer American climate, buy fluffy blankets for winter and big fans and ACs for summer.

Education and Healthcare

People that are traveling with children should remember that there are many options regarding their education. But the language barrier could cause problems.

This will get you to send your kids to international schools where teachers and other kids are mostly English speakers. Luckily, there are many institutions to choose from.

When relocating to Japan, know that medical care standards are very high. The public healthcare plan covers both citizens and non-citizens. There is an option for private health insurance, as well.

Cost of Living

The cost of living, like in any other country, varies from place to place. Tokyo is on the top of the list, with the highest costs of living, but it makes up for that with great earning opportunities.

When renting an apartment, remember that utilities are paid separately, and their average monthly cost is around 10,000 yen.

If you are shopping at a local supermarket, you won’t have to spend a lot of money. Stick to seasonal vegetables and see food and your budget won’t suffer.

Owning a car can be pricey, but if you decide not to leave your four-wheeler behind, you will need a trustworthy company to help you with overseas vehicle shipping. But if you choose to leave it behind, know that cycling is a popular method of transport.

Get Familiar with the Japanese Culture

When you move halfway across the world, you should take some time to learn the basics of a nation’s culture.

Japanese customs include a proper way to bow. This can be a simple demonstration of your cultural knowledge.

Food is an essential part of the eastern cultures and civilizations, and the Land of the Rising Sun is not an exception. Don’t worry about your chopstick technique. People are very forgiving when it comes to it. But just in case, practice using them.

There are many things to learn. After all, you are relocating to a place with a history and culture that stretches thousands of years. You are bound not to know everything about it – just keep an open mind and enjoy your new adventure.

Learn the Language – Understand the Funniest Jokes 

When you decide to move to the land of the rising sun, you should know that the language barrier will be a problem if you don’t already speak Japanese.

One of the best tips is to take some time to learn a few useful phrases and words. The process of moving to an unfamiliar, foreign land can be time-consuming. But if you hire a good international moving company to help you with the packing and transport of your belongings, you will have the time to learn a new language.

You don’t need to be fluent immediately, but knowing basic phrases would make your life easier. And when you learn enough, you will be able to enjoy some great eastern humor.


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