Japan General

Basic Information of Japan for Expats

Gathered here is a collection of basic information useful to expats who currently live in Japan, or are planning to live in Japan. 

Japan is an easier and more convenient place to live in than you might think. Once you know how things work and what to do, your life in Japan will become stress-free and enjoyable. Our guides cover such things as Money, National Holidays, the My Number System, Age Restrictions, Furniture and Appliances, English TV in Japan, and more.

Japanese vs. Western Clothing Sizes — Finding the Right Fit

Whether visiting a clothing store or buying online, there is an incredible range of fashion apparel to choose from in Japan. However, because Japan uses a different sizing system than most Western countries, shopping can be confusing at times. To make life a little easier, we’ve prepared a comprehe…

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The 2021 Japanese Calendar in English

Track the days of the year with PLAZA HOMES's printable 2021 Japanese calendar in English. For foreigners living in Japan, a calendar showing Japan’s national holidays is indispensable tool for everyday life. Finding one in English however, can be a bit difficult. We here at PLAZA HOMES have created…

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Japanese Addresses: How to Read, Write, Say & Understand Them

Japan’s numbering system can be quite difficult for those from Western countries, where streets are clearly labeled with names or numbers. While Japan does have names for streets, they are never used in addresses (except for some occasions in Kyoto). Keep reading to learn everything you need to kno…

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Consumption Tax Reward Point Program for Cashless Payments

What is the Japanese government’s Reward Point Program for Cashless Payments? This promotion started on the 1st of October 2019 and will continue until the 30th of July 2020. If you make purchases using a cashless payment method, such as electronic money or credit cards, you will receive 2% or 5% o…

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Japanese Consumption Tax (VAT)

In Japan, the current consumption tax was raised to 10% starting October 2019. In this article, we cover the following aspects regarding Japanese Consumption Tax. ・Consumption tax in Japan and how it’s displayed in Shops ・The history of Japanese consumption tax ・Who is eligible to do? Tax free sho…

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E-Money: Prepaid Cards, Debit Cards, and Mobile Payment Methods in Japan

While Japan is still considered a cash-based country, the Japanese government has set a goal of increasing its cashless payment usage rate to 40% by the year 2025. According to the report from Nomura Research Institute, the cashless payment usage rate was 20% in 2016 in Japan (for example, UK was 6…

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Money in Japan: Banknotes and Coins

Despite growth of credit card and e-money use in Japan, you will still find yourself paying by cash in some occasions in your day to day life. It's surprising to many that there are still some restaurants and stores which will not accept credit cards as a form of payment. Japanese currency is quite…

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Opening a Bank Account in Japan

Opening a bank account in Japan could be difficult if you don’t speak Japanese however, in this article we introduce banks which offer English services and you can also open an account online. Most Japanese banks are open from 9:00-15:00, Monday to Friday, except for national holidays and New Year’…

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Public Utility Prices in Japan (Electricity, Gas, Water)

Public utilities such as electricity, gas, and water supply, are basic necessities for everyday life. Here we explain easily the rate structure, payment methods, and a rough average cost per month by the number of household, to assist in gauging your budget for life in Japan. Gas and electricity me…

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Furniture for Expats in Japan – bringing, leasing or buying

When you renting a residence in Japan, typically, rental properties with long-term contracts do not come fully furnished with furniture and appliances. Here is a short guide to inform foreign expats of the different options available in Japan in when it comes to furnishing a home. The options we wi…

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