move to japan

Relocation, Relocation: Everything You Need to Know Before Making Your Move To Japan

Relocating to a new country can be an exhilarating yet daunting experience. When making your move to Japan, it’s crucial to familiarise yourself with the unique customs, culture, and intricacies involved. This comprehensive guide will equip you with the essential knowledge to make your transition smooth and informed. From visa requirements to housing options, healthcare, education, and everyday life, this article is sure to provide valuable insights to help you navigate this exciting new chapter in your life.

Visa Requirements

Before planning your move to Japan, it’s vital to understand the country’s visa requirements. Depending on the purpose of your visit, Japan offers various visa types, including work, study, spouse, and travel visas. Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria and complete the necessary documentation, supporting evidence, and application forms. The visa process can be time-consuming, so it’s advisable to start well in advance. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan provides detailed information on visa types and procedures, ensuring you comply with the necessary regulations and obtain the correct visa for your intended stay.

Banking & Finance

If you’re planning to move to Japan, it is crucial to familiarise yourself with the banking and finance system to ensure a smooth transition. Japan boasts a robust financial infrastructure, with numerous local and international banks catering to both personal and corporate needs. Opening a bank account in Japan requires a few essential documents, including a valid passport, residence card, and a personal seal (or hanko). It is important to note that cash is still heavily used in Japan, and many shops and restaurants may only accept cash payments. Fortunately, Japan has an extensive network of conveniently located ATMs, which accept international cards and enable easy access to funds.

Taking advantage of the country’s electronic banking services and mobile payment options can also enhance convenience and ease financial transactions during your time in Japan. A prepaid Japanese Payment Card, such as the one from MobalPay, can be obtained without a bank account and used in store and online. The balance can be topped up using cash at convenience stores or ATMs all over Japan. What’s more is that there is dedicated customer support available from native English speakers and every card issued pays for a child’s meal in Africa.

Housing Options

Housing in Japan can range from apartments and houses to shared accommodations called “share houses” or “guest houses.” Tokyo and other major cities may have compact yet stylish apartments, while suburban areas may offer more spacious homes. Renting typically requires a hefty deposit, key money, and agency fees that can add up to several months’ rent. Websites and real estate agencies facilitate the housing search, but be prepared for language barriers and sizeable upfront costs. Alternatively, international schools and companies may provide accommodation, easing the transition for expats. Understanding the housing market and your preferences will enable you to find a suitable residence that aligns with your needs and budget.

Healthcare System

Japan’s healthcare system is highly regarded, providing comprehensive coverage for its residents. It is obligatory to enroll in the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme, which ensures access to affordable medical services. Hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies are readily available throughout the country, offering high-quality care. However, language barriers and a lack of English-speaking doctors may pose challenges. To mitigate this, considering international health insurance or enlisting the aid of an interpreter can be invaluable. Familiarise yourself with local clinics, hospitals, and emergency services in your area to ensure you receive the necessary healthcare support during your stay in Japan.

Education Prospects

For families making their move to Japan, researching and selecting an appropriate education option is essential. The Japanese education system offers public, private, and international schools. Public schools follow the Japanese curriculum, providing a unique cultural experience and an opportunity to learn Japanese at an accelerated pace. Private schools, on the other hand, might offer bilingual programs or utilise different teaching philosophies to cater to expat children. International schools mainly follow curricula similar to their home country and provide a smoother transition for foreign students. Consider factors such as location, curriculum, language of instruction, and costs while choosing the best educational institution for your children.

Everyday Life & Culture

Japan is a country with rich traditions and a unique way of life. While living in Japan is an exciting adventure, cultural differences may require adjustment. The Japanese value politeness, harmony, and respect, and it is essential to familiarise yourself with basic etiquette and societal norms. Learning some basic Japanese phrases can significantly enhance day-to-day interactions. To stay in contact with family, friends or acquaintances, obtaining a phone number is crucial. In order to get a phone number, you must possess a valid visa and be in possession of a residence card. Several network providers offer competitive plans, allowing you to choose a SIM card that aligns with your requirements, but the Mobal Japan SIM card continues to be the most popular as there is availability for free pick up or shipping alongside English language customer support. Furthermore, Mobal has pledged all profits to charity, all with no strings attached!

Transportation in Japan is efficient and punctual, making it convenient to explore the country. Familiarise yourself with local customs, such as removing shoes in certain locations, hot spring etiquette, and table manners. Japanese cuisine is diverse, and experiencing local delicacies is a feast for the senses. Immerse yourself in Japanese traditions and embrace the vibrant culture that Japan has to offer.

In Conclusion

Relocating to Japan is an exciting moment that requires ample preparation and understanding of diverse aspects, ensuring a successful transition. By familiarising yourself with visa requirements, housing options, healthcare, education, and daily life in Japan, you can significantly ease your relocation process. Embrace the unique culture and customs of Japan, connecting with locals, and appreciate the remarkable experiences this beautiful country has to offer. Remember, it’s always advisable to research extensively, seek advice, and stay open-minded throughout your journey.

Welcome to Japan!

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