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Daikanyama, Tokyo

Moving to Japan

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on May 22, 2023

Summary: Many expats and digital nomads move to Japan for its unique culture, delicious food, and friendly people. Additionally, Japan is known for its efficient public transportation, modern infrastructure, and low crime rate. People looking to move to Japan can find a place to live by searching online for rental properties, or by using a real estate agent. The most popular cities for expats and digital nomads in Japan are Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto. These cities offer a wide range of activities, attractions, and amenities for expats and digital nomads.

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What do I need to know before moving to Japan?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Japan, they said:

"Before moving to Japan, expats should familiarize themselves with the language and culture. It is also important to research the cost of living in the area they plan to move to, as well as the availability of housing. Additionally, expats should be aware of the visa requirements for their particular situation and make sure to obtain the necessary paperwork before arriving in Japan. Furthermore, expats should research the healthcare system in Japan and make sure they have adequate health insurance coverage. Finally, expats should be aware of the customs and etiquette in Japan, as well as the local laws and regulations," commented one expat who made the move to Japan.

"Bring as little as possible. You don't need a lot of stuff and you can find a lot of it here already. The fees to actually move into a place are insane, maybe 3-6 times the monthly rent. So save up, and consider getting a roommate or staying in a sharehouse. Choose a neighborhood that is more residential. You will have more services nearby geared towards you, like gyms, libraries, parks, and grocery stores. Things will feel more calm. You might see some trees, too. Also, find a place that is near the places you will frequent. If you work, find a place where it is easy to commute from. If you have a hobby, find a place that has access to the hobby space you want to use. If you know Japanese, I'd try to find an apartment without a real estate agent. It feels like they do next to nothing for a full month's rent price," remarked one expat in Tokyo, Japan.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Daikanyama, Tokyo

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