Moving to Tokyo | How to relocate to Tokyo

The hustle and bustle of Tokyo attracts millions of visitors to Japan each year and offers a world of opportunities for those wishing to migrate there. The city combines a high-tech urban lifestyle with the charm of traditional Japanese culture and the historic Edo area. There is plenty to discover when you relocate to Tokyo. Are you ready already planning your move? Discover how you can save on your moving costs by booking international removals to Tokyo with Eurosender. Ship your furniture, household belongings and more.

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THE BASICS

Things to know about living in Tokyo

Before you embark on your new life in Tokyo and start planning your move to this fast-paced city from the UK, USA or anywhere else, you should brush up on your basic knowledge about Tokyo. Here a few things you should know about living in Tokyo:
Location
Japan
Timezone
UTC+9
Currency
Japanese Yen (JPY)
Population
13 million
Official Language
Japanese
Dialling code
+81
Emergency number
119
Driving
On the left side

BEFORE MOVING

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Visa requirements | Immigrating to Tokyo

f you wish to relocate to Tokyo long-term, you will need to apply for the right visa. There are three different visas for which you can apply to immigrate to Tokyo, Japan:

  • For skilled workers: Qualifications in areas such as engineering, business or research will allow you to apply for a work visa for Japan, based on a point system. You need 70 points to qualify for this visa.
  • Immigration visas: Including diplomatic visas, student visas and family reunification are more difficult to obtain, but in recent times the visa requirements for immigration visas have been eased, thanks to Japan’s ageing population and shortage of skills.
  • Tourist visas: Japan has a visa waiver program which allows citizens of 70 countries to visit Japan for up to 90 days without a visa and renew this for an additional 90 days. For all other countries exempt from the visa waiver program, you must apply for a short stay visa.

If you need any more information about visa regulations before moving to Japan, visit the Japanese immigration website.

Ship your important immigration documents to and from Tokyo with our express envelope service and have your documents delivered in 48-72 hours, worldwide!
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Should I buy or rent an apartment in Tokyo?

You will no doubt be looking to rent or buy an apartment in Tokyo, rather than a house, thanks to the limited space. Most expats choose to rent an apartment when they first arrive in Tokyo. It is important to know that they usually come already furnished with Japanese furniture which might include a kotatsu (a low table for sitting on the floor). A one-bedroom apartment in the centre of Tokyo will cost around 1000€ per month. Connecting with other expats in Tokyo and sharing your space can be great option to save on the cost to rent an apartment and utilities. However, due to lack of space in most apartments this is not always possible.

If you would prefer to furnish your apartment with western-style furniture, why not ship it ahead to Tokyo with Eurosender instead and save on your moving costs!


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LIVING IN TOKYO

Living expenses in Tokyo

Compared to other capital cities in Asia, the average cost of living in Tokyo is much higher. An interesting way to save on your day-to-day living expenses in Tokyo include dining out at Tokyo’s famous vending machine restaurants which offer a decent meal for only 3€. If you prefer a nicer, restaurant meal, for two in a mid-range restaurant, it will cost around 40€, while a cappuccino in a café will cost around 3€.

Do you need to send documents urgently to Tokyo to help secure a place to stay before moving?

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How do foreigners find employment in Tokyo?

Due to the ageing population in Japan, employment opportunities in Tokyo have improved in recent times and as a result there are more jobs, even for English-speakers, in Tokyo. Areas which are currently experiencing a skills shortage include medical engineering, marketing, design, logistics and the service industries. To give yourself an advantage when looking for employment in Tokyo, try to brush up on your Japanese.


Are there schools for expat children in Tokyo?

Due to the language barrier, most expats who relocate with children choose to send them to one of the many international schools for expat children around Tokyo. International schools offer an English-based curriculum, and can also gradually introduce students to the Japanese language.

The school system in Japan consists of:

Elementary school
Age: 9-12
Compulsory: Yes
Middle School
Age: 12-15
Compulsory: Yes
High School
Age: 15-18
Compulsory: No
Technical College
Age: 18-19
Compulsory: No
Junior College
Age: 18-19
Compulsory: No
University
Age: 19+
Compulsory: No

Healthcare in Tokyo for expats

Once you relocate to Tokyo and have been living there for around a year, you can join the national healthcare plan which offers access to public healthcare in Tokyo for expats and its citizens. Not all treatments are covered, so you might wish to take out additional cover. When you first arrive, you will need to organise private healthcare to cover you in the meantime. Bear in mind that the language barrier might be an issue. To find an English-speaking doctor, contact your nearest embassy covered by public care, for example, pregnancy care and vaccinations may not be included in your plan, so be sure to check this carefully.


Can I drive in Tokyo with my foreign license?

An international driving permit (IDP) will allow you to drive in Tokyo with your foreign license for up to one year. After this time, you will need to switch your license to a Japanese one. If you are moving to Tokyo from the UK, Australia, Canada or parts of the USA, no additional driving test is required and you can simply switch over your foreign license and continue to drive in Tokyo. The full list of exempt countries can be found here.

It might take you some time to adjust to the traffic conditions and Japanese driving style, especially in Tokyo. In particular, pay close attention to the different road signs and try to learn basic Japanese to avoid getting confused.

Send all your important vehicle registration documents and driver’s licenses to Tokyo – fast! Eurosender express document service will have your documents delivered in no time!
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MOVING DESTINATIONS

See the most popular destinations people move from

Immigrate to Tokyo from the UK

More and more British expats are migrating to Tokyo thanks to the popularity of Japanese culture. If you want to immerse yourself in the fast-paced Tokyo lifestyle, Eurosender makes it easy to ship your furniture, personal belongings and more to Tokyo. Book low-cost international removals to Tokyo with us in a few clicks and discover how you can save on your moving costs.

Relocating from the USA to Tokyo

If you are thinking of relocating from the USA to Tokyo, allow Eurosender to do the hard work for you. Instead of spending hours comparing different quotes for international removals to Tokyo, we will save you time by offering you the best priced service available. At the same time, you will be saving on your moving costs. Whether you are shipping household furniture, personal belongings, documents or anything else to Tokyo, discover why thousands of expats choose Eurosender to handle their move.

Moving to Tokyo from Canada

Worried about how much does it cost to relocate to Tokyo from Canada? Stress less. Eurosender will only offer you the best priced offer available to ship furniture and personal belongings to Tokyo. Most importantly, we will match you with the best international removal service. Discover how you can save your moving costs and save on the cost of shipping to Tokyo with Eurosender.


Disclaimer: All information on this page is true and correct as of 11.03.2020 and is subject to change at any time. Eurosender is not responsible for any updates or changes to any information on this page or actions taken by parties as a result of outdated information. Nevertheless, we do our best to keep all information across our website as current as possible.