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.

A change of Japanese Holiday's Date in October, 2021

October 11 (Monday) is a Weekday We would like to share some information regarding a change of the holiday's date in Japan. National Sports Day, which is a Japanese national holiday, was originally supposed to take place on October 11 (Monday), 2021. However, it was already held on July 23 (Friday)…

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An important announcement regarding the changes in Japanese holiday dates in 2021

As a result of the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games to 2021, a number of national holidays have been rescheduled. However, many calendars, diaries, and planners for this year have not been updated and have old dates printed on the pages. As July and August holidays approach, it's now more im…

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Opening a Bank Account in Japan for Foreigners

Opening a bank account in Japan for foreigners 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 holiday…

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Age Restrictions in Japan: Drinking, Smoking, Voting & More

Age matters a lot in Japan. From the earliest school years until a person finds a job and even into retirement, a Japanese person’s age is connected strongly with their status in society. The age of 20, when a person is said to have become an adult, is commemorated in a special celebration called “…

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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…

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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 Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the cashless payment usage rate was 26.8% in 2019 in Japan. Despi…

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