Are you thinking about making the move to Japan? Starting a new life in the land of the rising sun?
We have put together this comprehensive guide to help those who want to learn how to move to japan.
Japan is a great choice, one of the safest and busiest countries in the world full of friendly people and amazing food.
We will cover every subject to help you relocate and start your new life, moving to japan is not as hard as you may think!
To get started you will need to visit the local Japanese embassy in your city or country
The documents that you should bring with you, are:
A certificate of eligibility to basically a document given to you by a Japanese based company or school who are willing to sponsor you living in the country.
The most common way foreigners start their new life in japan is with a work visa. Getting a Japanese work visa means a finding company based in japan that will sponsor your stay. To qualify for a work visa you must be in full time employment.
There are currently 13 different work visas which cover a broad range in careers. Your work visa will depend on your experience & education.
The most common visa type is Instructor, this visa lets you teach English in elementary schools, junior high schools, senior high schools & special schools for disabled.
Many people start their new life teaching English in Japan through programs like JET or ALT which let you teach English to many students in every prefecture.
Activities for research, research guidance, or education as professor, assistant professor etc. at universities, equivalent educational institutions, or technical colleges (koto senmon gakko).
Activities involving art work that provide income, including those carried out by composers, songwriters, artists, sculptors, craftspeople, photographers, etc.
Religious Activities Visa
Missionary and other religious activities conducted by members of foreign religious organizations for a stay of over 90 days.
News coverage and other journalistic activities conducted on the basis of a contract with a FOREIGN BASED media organization, such as a newspaper company, news agency, broadcasting station, documentary movie company, etc. (Specifically, activities carried out by newspaper journalists, magazine journalists, reporters, editorial chiefs, editors, media photographers, television and radio announcers, etc., including freelancers).
Investor/Business Manager Visa
Activities to commence the operation of international trade or other business, to invest in international trade or other business and to operate or manage that business, or to operate or manage international trade or other business on behalf of foreign nationals (including foreign corporations) who have begun such an operation or have invested in such a business. The business in question must meet certain conditions of scale. Applicants who wish to engage in business management must fulfill certain conditions concerning work status and personal history.
Legal/Accounting Service Visa
Activities to engage in legal or accounting business. Applicants must be attorneys or public accountants certified to perform their duties in Japan, or those with other legal qualifications recognized by Japan.
Medical Service Visa
Activities to engage in medical treatment service. Applicants must be physicians, dentists, or those with other medical qualifications, and must be qualified under Japanese law and fulfill certain conditions concerning work status, etc.
Activities to engage in examinations, surveys, research, etc. on the basis of a contract with a public or private organization in Japan.
Instructor (English Teacher) Visa
Activities to engage in language instruction and other education at elementary schools, junior high schools, senior high schools, schools for the blind, handicapped children's schools, miscellaneous schools (kakushu gakko and senshu gakko), or other educational institutions equivalent to kakushu gakko in facilities and curriculum.
Activities on the part of personnel who are transferred to business offices in Japan for a limited period of time from business offices that are established in foreign countries by public or private organizations with head offices, branch offices, or other business offices in Japan. Applicant must fulfill certain conditions concerning personal history and work status.
Humanities Specialist/International Services Visa
Activities to engage in service that requires knowledge pertinent to jurisprudence, economics, sociology, or other human science fields. Activities to engage in service that requires specific ways of thought or sensitivity based on experience with foreign culture, such as interpreting, translation, copywriting, fashion design, interior design, sales, overseas business, information processing, international finance, design, or public relations and advertising based on a contract with a public or private organization in Japan.
Intracompany Transferee Visa
Activities on the part of personnel who are transferred to business offices in Japan for a limited period of time from business offices that are established in foreign countries by public or private organizations with head offices, branch offices, or other business offices in Japan.
Activities to engage in theatrical performances, arts, song, dance, musical performances, sports, or any other show business. Applicants must fulfill certain conditions concerning personal history, work status, and form of entertainment. Activities such as the production of television programs or movies, the photographing of models, etc. It also includes activities as stage crew, coach or other staff necessary for the performance/event.
Skilled Labor Visa
Activities to engage in service that requires industrial techniques or skills belonging to special fields on the basis of a contract with a public or private organization in Japan. Applicants must fulfill certain conditions concerning personal history and work status.
Studying in Japan is another great way to start your new life, you can experience life as a student without the stress of working full time in a new country.
Students are sponsored by their school and must keep attendance up or they risk losing their visa. There are many different language schools available who will happily sponsor your visa and provide accommodation. Prices vary on schools & locations.
Academic or artistic activities that provide no income, or activities for the purpose of pursuing specific studies on Japanese culture or arts, or activities for the purpose of learning about Japanese culture or arts under the guidance of experts (excluding activities as "college student").
To enter language school, college or junior college. (for a stay of over 90 days.)
Activities to learn and acquire technology, skills, or knowledge at public or private organizations in Japan (including not only training in industrial techniques and skills but also administrative training in local governments and other public bodies and clerical training to acquire knowledge).
A short-term work experience in which undergraduate/graduate students receive training and gain experience in a specific field or career area, and which constitutes a part of an academic program.
The working holiday program is based on an agreement between Japan and other countries that lets younger citizens freely travel and work (to cover travel funds) in each country.
If you are under the age of 30 then this is a great opportunity to experience japan but only applies to citizens of the following countries. To start the process visit your country's Japanese embassy page for further details.
House hunting in Japan can be challenging if you do not speak the language. Depending on your situation your school or work may provide housing or at the very least appoint someone to help you find a place that works for you.
For those looking on their own you can
Use an English speaking service that will walk you through the whole process and handle all paperwork for a premium cost.
Go to one of the many real estate agents near the area you would like to live in with a translator or friend
So just how much does it cost to rent in japan?
Prices will vary depending on a few factors
On top of normal renting costs such as security deposits & cleaning fees many Japanese apartments also require something called 'key money'.
Key money is a one time deposit to your landlord as a sort of thank you, it dates back to post ww2 when housing was in short supply. Key money is normally 3x your monthly rent but varies.
The best way to find an apartment in Japan is through a real estate agent. Many agents in Japan share the same database of houses available in your local area.
Once you know which area you are working in you can narrow down your search. Cities such as Tokyo are heavily populated so rent tends to be expensive.
Below are some examples of prices in 2020