Moving to Japan


Delivery timescales

Prohibited and restricted items

Every country has its own rules and regulations surrounding prohibited and restricted items. It’s important to be aware of these prior to the move to avoid any delays.

We can provide further information should you require it – please get in touch and we’ll be happy to advise.


Japan is one of the world’s most powerful economies and a hive of cultural activity. An island state found in the Pacific Ocean – Eastern Asia, Japan has a population of over 126 million and the highest life expectancy of any country in the world.

The official language is Japanese and the currency is the Japanese Yen (JPY). Whilst Japanese citizens are very welcoming of Western cultures, if expats cannot speak the native language then difficulties may arise – particularly in the more rural areas of the country.

Japan has a generally high standard of living with good healthcare, education and transportation links. However, this does come at a price and Japan’s major cities Tokyo and Osaka have been listed within the top 5 most expensive cities to live in on numerous occasions. Utilities and property prices are particularly high within Japan’s cities, but expatriates can find cheaper deals if they are prepared to live outside of the city.

Expats who are looking for a fast-paced city environment should consider living in Japan’s thriving cities such as Tokyo, Osaka and Yokohama. If you are looking for a more rural location in which to settle, Japan has a wealth of scenic countryside and seaside destinations. A particular favourite for those looking to escape the bustling city of Tokyo is Biei and its neighbouring Furano. If you are looking for a quiet, island lifestyle then Tsushima with its small population of less than 40,000 comes highly recommended.

Employment opportunities for expats in Japan are promising as there is still a great demand for English language teachers across the country. There are still various cultural traditions at play in Japan that affect the job market and successfully obtaining employment largely depends upon two factors; firstly, employers will want to see that you are skilled in the line of work you are applying for and, secondly, the fact that many job vacancies are filled via recommendations – so it is advisable to build your network.

Before relocating to Japan you will need to apply for the correct visa (sasho) which can be obtained from the Japanese consulate within your country. Once you arrive in Japan, you must visit your local municipal office for Alien Registration. Each visitor who intends to stay for more than 90 days in Japan must fill out the paperwork for gaikokujin toroku to obtain foreign citizenship. You will then receive a foreign citizenship card which you should carry on you person at all times.

Moving all of your belongings from the UK to Japan can be a complicated process, a professional removals company (like us!) can help you navigate the various procedures for a hassle-free moving experience. For help or advice, simply get in touch.E: enquiries@squab.co.uk T: 0845 4680 160

Don’t forget to take a look at our handy checklist as a guide to help with organising your move. There’s additional space for you to add your own notes, as every move is different.


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