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My notes on moving to Japan. See also here.


Trying to use indentation to illustrate dependencies, what is required for what, as of MArch 2016. Might depend on the country I come from, Germany, and change over time. Germans can stay for 3 months in Japan without Visa application in advance. This visa is glued into the passport, along with a paper “certificate of eligibility”. Startpoint for the dependency tree here is this work visa for Japan.

  • 1. flight to Japan Upon entering the country, one has to fill out the “landing paper”, as also required when Germans come to Japan as visitors. After leaving the airplane, a “resident card”/在留カード is issued. The cards back is empty.
  • 2. hanko/判子 A stamp/判子 will be required later. It can be ordered at any hanko-shop, producing takes hours/days. Details on the required format.
  • 3. residence A permanent residence/address has to be found, to be reachable. Renting a normal flat is likely to require a guarantor/連帯保証人, who will be asked to cover damages if the renting person moves out without compensating damages. Also companies can do this now, for a fee.
  • 4. receiving post After renting a place, one should visit the next post office/郵便局 and announce the name and address. This is common style. In exchange, it is not required to have a label with the name on the post box.
  • 5. wardoffice/区役所 With the address, one has to be registered at the wardoffice now. The address will be noted on the backside of the “resident card”. Also, the hanko can be officially registered here at the office. Additionally to a certificate about the registration, a magnet stripe card is handed out. The hanko is required for some apartments when renting. At the wardoffice one can also enter the public health insurance. When starting to work, the company will also sign you up for a health insurance, it is common to drop out from the “public health insurance” in that case.
  • 6. phone Even if you did not intend to get a phone, you are asked for a phone number everywhere: renting flat, registering at the wardoffice (which is a deadlock - you need the registration first) and for the bank account. There are no prepaid-cards with phone numbers. One can enter a contract and have the payments for the contract fetched via credit card.
  • 7. bank account/口座 With the hanko, the address, the “resident card” and a phone number one can open a bank account. The account will be required for receiving wages from an employer in Japan. The employer might request you to avoid certain banks, they are not able to interact with all of them.


Comparing my commuting time and other relevant factors, considering a flat in different parts of Tokyo.

恵比寿 麻布十番 世田谷 九品仏駅 大岡山駅 浮間
あざぶ十番 こほんぶつ おかやま
30qm prices -2 -3 -1 -1 -1 0
会社 自転車 10min 20min 36min 45min 35min 90min
会社 電車 0 20min 30min 15min 16min 50min
ジョギング 20min 20min 25min 15min 25min 10min
代々木 皇居 たま川 たま川 たま川 荒川
温泉まで 15min
japan/moving_to_japan.txt · Last modified: 2018/09/30 03:13 by chris