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

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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 wil…

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Household Electronic Appliances in Japan - For Long-term Residents

When a foreigner moves long-term to Japan such as for starting a new life as an expat, you will need to use household appliances in the residence you lease. If you bring appliances from your home country, you will face a lot of cumbersome matters. Here we show below the guidance on the voltage and e…

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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 “S…

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