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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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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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 rental apartment. 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 ele…

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Moving to Japan: 6 Helpful Tips for Getting Settled

Moving to another country is never an easy task, even more so when you are moving to Japan! But no matter how strange, weird or exotic things may seem, life in any country ultimately comes down to basics like how to sort your garbage, how to take care of your pet, and how to get along with the othe…

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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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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 29.7% in 2020 in Japan. Despi…

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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 shop…

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Opening a Bank Account in Japan for Foreigners

You may find it difficult to open a bank account in Japan if you do not speak Japanese however, an increasing number of banks are now offering English-language services and options to open an account online.  Most Japanese banks are open from 9:00am to 3:00pm, Monday to Friday, excluding public hol…

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

A Japanese person's age is significantly linked to their social position from their early school years until they obtain a job and even into retirement. For around 140 years, the age of adulthood in Japan was set at 20 years old and even a special celebration called “Seijin no Hi” (or Coming-of-Age…

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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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