Sakura Mentor

Moving to a New Place in Japan
Lai Hung Wei Updated in August 2022

Konnichiwa and salam sejahtera! Moving can be hectic especially when it comes to moving in a foreign country. I have heard many cases where foreigners in Japan often get overwhelmed during the process. The misconception of moving, hikkoshi (引っ越し), is that it doesn’t involve only moving your belongings physically, but also includes registration changes at the municipal office, transfers of utilities companies and internet service provider as well. In most cases, rental agreements in Japan require renewal every 2 years and comes with a pricey renewal fee, so be ready if you are staying for >2 years! But fear not, today we are going to talk about it step-by-step on how to move in Japan!

Moving generally takes up about one month. It is better to do preparations as listed below here. First, obtain quotations from moving companies. The amount of belongings you have and distance travelled will significantly affect the moving cost. You are not allowed to leave anything behind, so be sure to throw everything and consult the company about possibilities of removing the large electrical appliances such as air-conditioner in your current apartment. Second, talk to your current landlord about moving out and undergo move-out inspection on a day you both could agree on. If you have children studying in Japan, don’t forget to visit the school and ask for a school change.

Photo AC
Photo AC

Next comes the interesting part, plan the layout of your new apartment, and prepare a list of things you need right after you move it, for example, internet, gas, water and electric utility services. You may want to start packing your stuff too. After that, go to the municipal office with your identification documents (e.g. residence card, insurance) nearby to ask for a moving-out certificate. After all these are done, just wait till moving day. Don’t forget to clean up before you leave especially if move-out inspection was not done yet!

Once you arrived and move into your new home, go to the nearby municipal office to update your information on residence card, pension and insurance. Your postal address also needs to be change in the post office, vehicle registration and your bank accounts. Don’t forget to enroll your children to their new school too! And there it is! You are done moving in Japan!

Photo AC
Photo AC