Moving to Tokyo guide

There is nothing more both equally exciting and scary than moving to another city. And if that city is in a completely different country – like Japan, for example, then this is amplified by a huge margin. There is so much to do during a move – and even more so then when it’s an international one. From finding good packing services Japan to picking your flights, sometimes it might seem like a sea of chores that you cannot swim through. But it does not need to be so! Moving to Tokyo does take effort – but it doesn’t need to be too stressful! All you need is a good moving company and a great guide to help you! This is what we present to you today!

Learn about the city before moving to Tokyo

Before you start planning your move, you need to learn about the city itself first! Knowing where you are going is always useful, but knowing what you can expect in the city will be beneficial to your experience. Still, no matter how much you know about it, prepare for the culture shock! Tokyo can be quite different from anything you have seen before, but you should still learn the basics.

tokyo crowds
Moving to Tokyo brings the risk of culture shock.

Tokyo, or officially Tokyo Metropolis, is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan, as is the capital city. What’s more, it is the most populous metro area in the whole world. The city is also the seat of the Emperor of Japan, as well as the Japanese government and of the National Diet. It sits in the southeast of Japan’s main island, Honshu, and forms what is known as the Kanto region. However, its size means it doesn’t end there. Within the metro area, you will also find the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands, too! A thing to note about Tokyo is that, even though many consider it a city, it is actually a metropolitan prefecture – which is a combination of a city and a prefecture.

The next thing you need is a visa

After you have learned a little about Japan, it’s time to think about getting a visa. One of the best money-saving tips for moving to Tokyo is to start the visa process at least two months in advance. Even though it can be quite fast in Japan (faster than in other countries), you will save on time and money this way. There are a couple of visas you can look into:

Make sure you have a valid vise when moving to Tokyo.
  1. work visa – if you are moving to Tokyo for work, then you are in luck! With the work visa, you can stay in Japan from four months to five years! If you don’t have a job yet, then you can consider looking for English teaching jobs. There are plenty of those in Tokyo, but you need a valid permit! Talk to your Japanese embassy about getting it before starting the process;
  2. tourist visa – if you cannot find a job in Tokyo, then you can go for a tourist visa. However, with it, you can only stay in the country for 90 days. It is risky, but a lot of people use this visa and the time to find a job in Tokyo, and then apply for the work one.
  3. general visa – you can use this visa if you are a student, training in a specific field or similar cases that are taking you to Japan. It is worth checking if you qualify for this visa when moving to Tokyo.

Finding a place when moving to Tokyo might be hard

If you thought these two tasks were hard, you are going to love this one! Finding an apartment in Tokyo can become quite a nightmare if you do not plan it carefully! Actually, finding a suitable lodging space might not be too tough – but securing it for yourself is! This is because of all the prerequisites that you are going to need.

For starters, you will need a hefty amount of money on hand. This is because Japanese landlords need you to pay a lot of fees when renting an apartment. These include deposit fee, agency fee, but also a month’s rent and property insurance, among other things. For example, if you are paying 80,000 yen a month for an apartment ($709), you might have to have about 400,000 yen for the costs before getting the place. Since this is over $3,500, you can see where the problem might occur.

Finding an apartment is easy – securing it is not.

What’s more, the landlords will require you to show them your paperwork for moving to Tokyo. They will want to see your visa and passport, as well as a statement from your bank. They don’t want to give their apartment to someone who cannot cover the costs! And while on the topic, some of them might require you get a Japanese bank account for the payments. So, your best option is to work with a good moving company – they will connect you to an agency that can help find an apartment you need.

Register at the city hall

Finally, after you are done with unpacking and debris removal, you will need to register with the Japanese government. Almost all of the foreigners need to have a residence card if they plan to stay in Japan for a while. Luckily, it’s not a hard task in getting it. You can pick it up at the local city hall, and you can do it within a week of your arrival. To make this easier, the process starts while you are on the plane. Because of it, you should have your residence card documentation, your passport and a copy of your new address with you when moving to Tokyo.


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