What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.
I live on navy base. I have most things but if not I order on line. It does cost a lot to live in Japan. Learn to use the train for getting around Japan. It opens up a whole world to you. Driving a car should be limited. There are tolls on the highways quite expensive $$$$. Mass transit is the way to go. There is a craigslist in every area to find used stuff & cars on cheap. I suggest a IPHONE from the carrier Softbank. It has a GPS on it I rely on & a train app for Japan that will tell you which trains to get on to get where your going. Just FYI. Rugs would help keep the floor warm too.
Moving to Japan
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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
Think small. A lot of American furniture won't fit in the pats here. I would come with my important papers & luggage. get your place then shop & have furniture delivered. Or by used from craigslist or recycle or 2nd hand stores. There are plenty! There are food places all over mexican, Italian, Indian, Outback, TGIF,. I'm an hour from Tokyo. It's easy to find food places you like. Average meal 10-12.00 to eat out, train ride 6-8.00 each way to Tokyo. Plus size clothes are very rare to find. If you a small person you will find your size clothes.
What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?
I lived in a Mansion ( high rise) 10 yrs ago off base. I had a agent find me a place. Its best to have a Japanese represent you to landlords. They will speak for you & if any problems ,can represent you.
How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?
I live on base but I have lived off base before. They don't insulate their homes out in Japan. I would suggest a electric blanket., Space heaters for your rooms for the winter. I know the military use gas ones not elec.
Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?
Electricity is high!!!!! No insulation. Get gas space heaters for the rooms to stay warm in the winter. The stackable washer dryer is what we had but the vent didn't vent to the outside . They had it come back inside which caused a major mildew problem in the bathroom. A lot of Japanese wash their clothes but hang their clothes on the balcony to dry. It is subtropical here so there is a lot of moisture in the air. Bleach will be your best friend to keep down on the mold in your restroom.