Moving To Japan Expat Guide

Moving To Japan expat guide – that will be the topic of today’s article.

Before introducing this article, if you are interested in our core services which are expat financial, insurance and mortgages, you can contact me here

The best time to consider your financial situation is when you are moving to a new country.


Are you thinking of moving to the land of the rising sun? Look no further as we have an overview of all your requirements. In this article, we have uncovered all of the need-to-know topics such as relocating to Japan, finding job opportunities, national public holidays, and many others, to mention a few.

As of today, many expats are attracted to Japan because of the high whooping salaries. Not only that, but their standard of living, high-performing schools, and delicious ramen could make this country the best place for you. Although Japan is one of the most expensive countries for expat, but other benefits make this place worth staying in.

Whether you’re moving abroad for the first time or you’ve relocated multiple times before, the process still raises many questions. For example, what are the visa requirements to Japan? Can I secure accommodation in Japan? It is a good idea to understand all it takes to relocate to Japan.

That way, we have compiled this guide to help you through the process. This is because; there are certain things you must do not to get yourself in the wrong way around. We’ll be busting some myths, teaching some truths, and all the expectancies of this country. Does that sound interesting? Read more!

However, there are several different routes to move to Japan. If you want to decide which option is the best for you, take time to consider what you plan to achieve before moving to Japan. Moreover, stepping into Japanese culture is akin to inhabiting an exciting new world. Now, let’s explore the country.

Step-by-Step Guide to Move to Japan

Moving to Japan is an exciting decision in today’s modern world. Regardless of your reasons for relocation, moving to Japan can feel like a bear of a task. Nevertheless, you’ll be enjoying life on the Asian island in no time with little cost. Without further ado, take a look at the step-by-step guide to relocating.

  • The  money  in Japan is known as Japanese yen (JPY or ¥)
  • The total population in this country (average population)  127  million
  • The Capital City of Japan is Tokyo
  • The Expat population in Japan is 2.23 million
  • The official language in Japan is Japanese
  • The weather in the country is Celsius and the temperature
  • The biggest cities in the country are Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo
  • The Average Salary for a Japanese is ¥9,670,615

Step 1: Know the Legal Requirements

Figuring out the proper legal requirements to move to Japan is the best way to move with ease. Also, Japan is a few countries where the visa process is mainly identical regardless of the one you choose. So, to apply for the relevant visa at the nearest Japanese embassy in your home country, the following documents must be put in place.

  • Your international passport and visa application form
  • A photograph and a certificate of eligibility (both original and duplicate)

The process may seem almost too easy, but it’s the certificate of eligibility that’s difficult to obtain. If that sounds confusing, don’t worry.  All we are saying is that you’ll need a certified letter from a Japanese person (typically an employer) that guarantees to support you financially while you’re in the country.

Additionally, when you want to study in Japan, the visa application is quite similar. This means your eligibility must have been provided by someone at the educational institution or university that you’ll be attending in the long run. Meanwhile, some countries will request additional requirements before you can start the process.

Step 2: Ensure You Have Enough Fund

Living in Japan may be quite expensive in some cities. This way, we advise you to have enough money to afford the cost of living in the country. As an island nation, anything that has to be shipped to the country may be costly. The following table shows an idea of what to expect in Japan.

Cost Of Living To Expect in JapanPrices in Japanese Yen
3-course meal in mid-range Japan restaurant¥5,000
Monthly public transportation pass in Japan ¥12,000
New Toyota Corolla in Japan¥2,050,101
1-bedroom apartment in Japan city¥85,000
Pair of Nike running shoes in Japan¥9,050

Step 3: Get a Suitable Place to Live

If you’re financially buoyant or probably you have some Japanese-speaking skills, finding a Japanese apartment won’t be difficult. While it’s common to work directly with the landlord, first-time emigrants may want to go through the real estate agent. More so, if you’re skeptical as to where you can live in Japan, check out the list below to know the top five cities to live in, according to their quality of life.

  • Inagi City is one of the best places
  • Fujisawa in Japan
  • Nishinomiya city located in the South-East of Hyogo
  • Mitaka City in Tokyo
  • Matsuyama city in Japan

Step 4: Try To Learn the Japanese Language

Even though many Japanese citizens understand English, Japanese culture knows their language is the key to effective communication and becoming part of life in the country. Understanding the Japanese language is easy through sites such as Duolingo, tofugu, and others.

Step 5: Prepare For Emergency Contact

While we’ve all had police emergency numbers in our heads, it’s crucial to remember again when you’re relocating to Japan. The process of moving to Japan isn’t too hard as you’ll be comfortable with just a few steps. Without further ado, below are some important emergency numbers to know.

Important Contacts NamesEmergency Numbers in Japan 
Coast guard in Japan118 – is the code
Police Emergency number110 – is the code
Fire and Ambulance service119 – is the code
American Embassy in Japan The code is (+81) 03-3224-5000
Australian Embassy in JapanThe code is (+81) 03-5232-4111
British Embassy in Japan The code is (+81) 03-5211-1100

Weird and Interesting Facts about Japan

The land that brought you bonsai, sushi, and the bright light has many PRONs and CONs. With these fascinating benefits, getting to know Japanese culture will definitely be an interesting one. With these ten exciting and weird facts about Japan, planning your next trip will be one of a kind. So, check it out!

Japan and Its Unique Culture

Japan has a unique culture that’s difficult to see in any other country in the world. Also, Japan is one of the most technologically advanced nations on the earth planet. Aside from that, the government is famous for its diverse, distinctive cultures and rules. This way, living in Japan is weird and exciting than any country you’ve ever been to in the world.

In addition, Japan is steeped in the deepest of traditions dating back to thousands of years, with its society in a continual state of rapid flux. Moreover, Japanese people are famous for their supposed homogeny, and you can explore Japan’s horticultural arts as you unleash the nation’s exquisite.

You Can’t Be Fat in Japan

You’ll be amazed as to why we said you couldn’t be fat in Japan, right? Of course, you’ll see Sumo wrestlers of Japan that are quite famous but are not obese. Yes, even though they have a well-balanced diet, food isn’t the primary cause of their obesity.

Furthermore, research revealed that the government monitors the waistline of those who turn 40 years and ensures they stay healthy. In fact, from research and methodology, Japanese citizens (within the age of 40 and 74) are supposed o have their waistlines measured every year.

Public Transportation Drama

In Japan, it’s pretty funny to see how people are being employed to push citizens inside the train. Around 57 percent of people in Tokyo use public transportation, thereby creating endless struggles when it comes to commuters entering the public transit. To tackle this situation, the city even hires pushers.

Gambling is Illegal in Japan

In Japan, gambling is utterly illegal, unlike other countries where gambling is half legal and half illegal.  In fact, one has to purchase tiny metal balls that are slotted into machines to replace gambling. The name of the game is called Pachinko, and it’s not officially a gambling one. So, balls that win in this kind of game are later exchanged for tokens and prizes.

You Can’t Wears Shoes at Homes

Wearing shoes inside a house is considered rude in Japan. Instead, you will be given a pair of slippers and ask to take off your shoes while entering the house. This Japanese culture became a thing when the Japanese used to sit on the floor and eat and wouldn’t want their shoes to be dirty.

Celebration of Penis Festival

Japan is one of the first countries in the world to celebrate penis festivals. The Kanamara Matsuri festival that celebrates penis and female fertility are held yearly in the country. This norm and tradition are observed in the Japanese city of Kawasaki every first Sunday in April. Meanwhile, during this time, almost everything, including candy, decorations, and vegetables, is given the shape of the male organ.

Think of Forest in Japan

When you think of Japan, you should probably think of Forest. This is because; forests cover 69 percent of Japan. With this in mind, foreigners should also note that some signs warn visitors to watch out for black bears. This is mainly because; black bears were roaming the forest.

Deep Affection for Nature

It’s no doubt that the Japanese have a deep affection for nature. Moreover, because of the deep-running spirituality of Shinto Religion in the country, you’ll find most Japanese with a deep appreciation for nature. Also, Shinto practitioners believe that everything in nature, from rocks and mountains, is possessed by the spirit.

Abundance of Fish

Again, the Sea of Japan holds an abundance of fish as it has a higher concentration of dissolved oxygen. However, this allows many different species to flourish in Japanese water. That being said, more than 3,500 animal species, including about 1,000 different kinds of fish, call the Sea of Japan their abode.

3rd Largest Economy in the World

You might be wondering why Japan is among the largest country in the world. Well, with research and recent surveys, Japan owns the 3rd largest land in the world.  Besides that, it’s pretty incredible to see how fast the country has grown, especially since it had to recover from the problem it suffered in World War II.

Country of Varying Climates

Since Japan has geographically stretched from the North to the South, it has a varying climate.  Also, the temperatures in some of the big cities like Tokyo ranges from hot summers to mild winters and many others. This means, in Japan, you can expect up to like four seasons.

National Public Holidays in Japan 2021

  • New Year’s Day in Japan – Every first of January
  • Coming-of-Age Day Celebration in Japan – January 11th
  • February 23rd of every year – The Emperor’s Birthday
  • Constitutional Memorial Day – May 3rd of every year
  • Health-Sports day celebration – July 23rd of every year
  • Mountain day celebration – August 9th of every year
  • November 3rd of the year – Cultural day in Japan
  • November 23rd of the year – Labor Thanksgiving Day

Job Opportunities in Japan

With your bachelor’s degree and a bit of experience, you can find a job in Japan. However, some jobs seem to attract more foreigners than any other person. Below is a list of jobs you can apply for in Japan.

English Teacher in Japan

Teaching English in Japan is one of the most common jobs for foreign workers. With a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, you can get a teaching job, while additional skills are a plus. Moreover, without proper teaching credentials, foreign workers may not find it easy to teach in public schools except under the Japanese government, known as a JET program.

IT Professionals in Japan

Many Japanese companies hire foreigners when it comes to IT programs, such as software engineers, programmers, and many others, to mention a few. Moreover, they’ll be quick to tell you that you could make enough money with this profession. This is because; Japanese only have little ability to work in this field.

Interpreter or Translator

There’s always a need for translation and interpreting the Japanese language to English and other languages. That way, the job of an interpreter cannot be overemphasized. Most of these jobs are in the gaming industry, where testing is needed. For these reasons, translators and interpreters could also decide to do freelance work such as assisting visiting businesspersons and more.

Engineering Work

Japan is highly known for its advanced engineering work. This way, they prefer to hire foreigners that can keep the design aspect of their work. In fact, foreign engineers would mainly be needed in the automobile industry.

Skilled Service Staff

As long as you have good Japanese language skills and a valid visa, you can work as a service staff. In Japan, you can find work in the service industry, including the tourism industry, such as hotels and resorts.  Therefore, as a result of the language skills, foreigners can be open to hiring in Japan.

Adapting into Japanese System in 2021

Despite globalization and the widespread use of the internet giving to us, there are many ways to adapt to the Japanese system. Some people don’t quite understand the appeal of going to East Asia to understand the culture.  And this is where the first hardship could pick up.

Many emigrants from America and Europe have found it challenging to adapt to the Japanese lifestyle. Making friends, understanding social norms, integrating yourself into their tradition can take a lot of time.  With time, you’ll learn that typical family influences the Japanese system just like in your home country. Now, let’s quickly explore the cost of living in Japanese.

Flying Cost to Japan

When flying to Japan for the first time, you’ll have to worry about your flight ticket and accommodation. For Airfare, it was disclosed that flights with at least one transfer would be cheaper than others. More so, a one-way ticket (booking in advance) could cost you up to $750.

Housing Cost in Japan

As Japan is considered one of the safest countries globally, the living cost is exceptionally high compared to other destinations. Moreover, if you choose to live in the capital city of Tokyo, you should be expecting nothing less than $500-$800 depending on the kind of apartment you want.

Japan Cost of Transportation

Perhaps in Japan, the sneakiest costs that build up are shopping and even groceries, but the transportation is relatively cheap. Within Tokyo, there are different types of the transit system. For example, we have the Japan Railway, Tokyo Metro, and many others. All these public transit are inexpensive.

Nonetheless, from Asakusa station to Shinjuku station, the journey might take up to twenty minutes, costing you 336 yen which is equivalent to $3.10. Conversely, if you aren’t familiar with train operators in Japan, you can continuously depend on other means of transportation.

Improving Your Chances of Moving to Japan

Ever since I’ve been to Japan, I can’t stop wanting to let my friends relocate to Japan. The food, culture, and history of Japan will make you feel the taste of East Asian countries. Nonetheless, Japan has charms that draw people into the country. Without much talk, below are the ways to improve your chances of relocating to Japan. 

Learn the Japanese Language

 If you want to improve your chance of relocating to Japan, the first thing to consider is the Japanese language. It will take a while to grasp the language fully, but even with that, you should at least struggle to have essential conversation skills to understand it better.

Make Friends and Live Your Dream

There’s nothing more to living well than to explore your new location. While doing this, ensure you make friends.  Stay focus at work and get things done as fast as possible. This will help you work more efficiently in the country.

Appreciate Japanese Culture

There’s a lot to explore in the land of the rising sun. However, you’ll need to explore and appreciate their culture for more chances of moving to the country. Meanwhile, there’s usually a unique experience among foreigners staying in this country. This means if you don’t appreciate their culture, staying in Japan can be more difficult.

Education in Japan

The Japanese system of education constitutes the country’s national pride. With a traditional approach that helps the Japanese people, the country practices the 6-3-3-4 system. Due to this fact, Japanese students have consistently been ranked high among OECD students in terms of performance and quality of education. As an expat, you can travel to this country after being admitted by a higher institution.

Health System in Japan

Understanding the Japanese healthcare system is crucial. As an emigrant, you should know that this is one of the world’s finest healthcare systems. The SHI (known as the Japanese healthcare system) applies to everyone employed full-time in any small or large organization.

The Japanese government pays up to 70 percent of healthcare costs associated with medical appointments and other healthcare-related problems. This applies to both foreigners and the local citizens. At the same time, the price of medical appointments is determined by some Japanese government committees.

Unique Cultural Activity Visa

One of the most surprising things about Japanese culture is this visa application. Don’t be surprised that you’re covered by a cultural activities visa when a student visa is working for you. Besides, the application for this visa includes the list of everyday documents required, just like other types of tickets.

Cleanliness in the Country

This is the last thing we’d talk about while moving to Japan. Moreover, if you love traveling to a place where cleanliness is your priority, Japan should be your favorite. If you wake up early in the morning, you can see Japanese towns, cities, or villages clean compared to other countries you can think of.


Japan is popularly known for the significant export of automobiles, consumer electronics, and computers. If you’re willing to explore all the unique cultures of this country, read through this guide to understand what it takes.  Nonetheless, if you still need helpful things to know when moving to Japan, check this platform for more updates.

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