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7 Tips For Living In Japan As A Foreigners

In this article, we would like to share some tips for how to start living in Japan, which is the first struggle every foreigner faces as moving to Japan. If you are considering to live in Japan for a long term or you just started living in Japan, we hope this helps you.

The difficulties the foreigners may face on living in Japan

→Japanese (Especially Kanji)

→The procedures in the city hall office or immigration office in Japan

→Medical insurance system and taxation system in Japan

→Regulations in daily life such as trash separation

→How to start a job

→How to find an apartment

→How to deal with the natural disasters

1. Japanese language study

To study Japanese, you can consider to go to the Japanese language school, which belong to Japanese education institution, or other places. While Japanese language schools charge the fee, the Japanese classes or courses held by Municipalities, International Exchange Association, private organization or volunteer organization usually do not charge any fee and are opened for everyone.

2. Address registration

It is mandatory for all the residence living in Japan to register the address at city hall office within 14 days from the day of taking up the residence.

If a foreigner is born in Japan domestically, it is required to submit the birth certificate at city hall office within 14 days from the date of birth, as well as the residence registration. Also, it is necessary to obtain the statue of residence at local immigration office within 30 days from the date of birth for the foreigner considering to live in Japan over 60 days from the date of birth. Please note that the address registration can only done by the household head (main person of a group who share one house or earn a living together) or the person who takes up the residence himself.

3. Medical service, insurance, taxation

Since some medical institutions are not available for foreign language, and for conveying the symptoms accurately, it is recommendable to let person who speaks Japanese accompany when you go to the hospital. The information of medical institutions in each Municipalities is available on the website, please make sure to confirm if the hospital you will go is available in your language.

There are two types of medical institution in Japan, the hospital which equipped with hospitalization and inspection, and the clinic which provides patient medical counseling service more closely. It is recommendable to visit clinic first and then visit hospital for the further treatment.

If you have any restriction on daily life or treatment due to religious reason or allergy, please make sure to inform reception desk or nurse at the hospital beforehand. Pleas also bring the regular medicine with you, if you have any.

It is required to join one of the public medical insurances for anyone who lives in Japan. There are two types of the public medical insurances in Japan. The health insurance, which is for the employee of company or office, and the national health insurance, which is for the self-employed individual and unemployed. Those who join the public medical insurance only bear 30% of the regular medical fee, however, those who not joining any public medical insurance have to bear the full medical fee.

Also, anyone living in Japan, including the foreigner, is liable to taxation. There is national tax, which is paid for the government, and the local tax, which is paid for each prefecture or Municipalities. Please be aware that you may not be able to receive any administrative service if you do not fulfill the tax liability without special reasons.

4. Local life

Greet to your neighborhood! So that you may get more information about the area you live. You can introduce yourself briefly such as your name or your job to others. If you tell them that you are still getting used to the life here, it may help you to avoid being in troubles.

Loud noise may cause the trouble with neighborhood. Please be carful not be too loud especially during night time or early morning time.

The rules of the garbage may vary depend on each region (Municipalities) including the types of garbage or the schedule of garbage disposal. Please make sure to confirm beforehand.

Normally there are community organizations called “neighborhood association” or “residents’ association” in all the regions in Japan. The activities of these organizations are managed by dues from residence, and these are opened for the foreigner as well. It may be helpful getting more local information if you are involved in.

5. Start a job

For the foreigners who live in Japan legally and have the statues of residence which is permitted to work in Japan, Public employment security office are providing the support for improving the employment management and finding a new job for the unemployed. Of course, it is still important to confirm the labor conditions by yourself. The labor condition is the contract you make as start working. The employer is liable to provide a document specifying the wage (salary), working conditions such as working hours for the employee. If it is written in Japanese only, you may want to ask if it can be translated to your language. Please make sure to confirm its details.

6. Residence

In Japan, there are three types of houses, privately rented housing, public housing and owned housing. It needs to make a contract for renting a rented housing or apartment, which is called “lease agreement”. Normally it is valid for 2 years. In addition to the rent fee, deposit fee, gratuity fee, introduction fee, renewal fee, or insurance fee for insurance company may be charged as well for renting a house. Moreover, it is also required to have a guarantor company (need inspection by guarantor company) sometimes.

Please be careful that any unauthorized subleasing, living together or rent the house to the third party are all in breach of contract. It is not allowed to live with someone expect family. If you are considering to live with friends for a while, please make sure to find your own place as soon as possible.

In some countries, the lease agreement expires automatically. However, the lease agreement usually is updated automatically if there is no special declaration. Please make sure to confirm the procedure of cancellation at the contract document.

The additional necessary documents for renting house would be “copy of Certificate of eligibility”. Please note it is illegal to let your landlord hold your passport, so you need to refuse flatly if you are asked to do so.

7. Natural disasters

Japan is a country with a lot of (natural) disasters. “Natural disasters” refers to the disasters caused directly by abnormal phenomenon such as earthquake, typhoon, flood, eruption and so on. To minimize the damage caused by these disasters, we should cultivate the awareness of disasters regularly.

【Disaster prevention measures】

  • Fix the furniture
  • Store some emergency drink and food
  • Prepare an emergency portable bag
  • Confirm the evacuation shelter or evacuation root
  • Decide the safety confirmation method

8. Summery

Many foreigners may have concerns regarding the procedures or the issues above-mentioned.

As an administrative scrivener company, we provide support regarding visa acquisition, permanent residency, naturalization, start-up business agent , real estate purchase, life support (finding apartment, legal support, translation service, accompanying service).

To maintain our high acquisition rate of visa, naturalization and other fields, we are proud of giving the total support including filing documents and other service such as legal affairs or tax affairs as specialists.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any troubles regarding visa, naturalization, starting a business in Japan or daily life.

We would be happy to support if you make an appointment with us or inform us of your situation via Wechat, Facebook, or via Email. 

Toll free number: 0120-138-552 

For English speaker: 080-9346-2991

For Chinese speaker: 090-8456-6196

For Korean speaker: 090-8448-2133

For Vietnamese speaker: 080-5510-2593

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