Moving to Japan from Canada

Japans geographic diversity, healthy stable safe society and captivating culture are amazing. Its over 125 million population is over 97% Japanese and only 2% foreign (i.e. Japan unlike Canada does not allow dual citizenship). Its stability and predictability exist based on this monolithic structure. Fitting in to this friendly society is different from standing out in Canada’s multi cultural environment. Japan’s rewards are the pleasures coming from focus on perfection, procedure, professionalism, policy and order.

Japanese etiquette requires respect of social hierarchy and their customs. For example: slurping food is a indicator of enjoyment rather than considered rude. Tipping your waiter is rude and not done. Participating with an eye to Japanese expectations makes your move to Japan successful.

Your list of possessions allows preparing for move documentation and for you to decide on which items not to take. Any unlisted items, whether new or used, put your move and its costs are risk. At the very least, recording errors delay processing and drive up storage costs. More importantly this listing allows you to leave behind or store those items that will bring little joy to your new life in Japan. Replacement cost economies and room sizes that tend to be smaller are considerations. Being taller than 6 feet or over a size 10 in female clothing presents repurchase challenges. The same applies to large furniture like recliners. Monitor local Japanese newspapers to visualize your local options on arrival.

Arrange a Japanese phone number and bank account at your first opportunity. A residence permit (i.e. an ID for foreign residents staying longer than 3 months called a Zairyū Card) is required for your bank account. You will then get a 12 digit “My Number” that acts as your ID for emergencies, tax and social service considerations.

The Canadian Automobile Association provides International Driving Permits that are valid in Japan. It is ID and lets you drive until your Japanese permit (i.e. Gaimen Kirikae) becomes available. Warning: your permit must have 3 months use in Canada before arrival. An official formal Japanese translation of it is required for it to be valid in Japan. Owning or driving a vehicle in Japan requires Japanese Compulsory Automobile Insurance.

Japanese health care is widely considered to be among the best in the world. It is available to all Japanese and foreign residents living there for more than a year. Apply for the National Health Insurance as soon as is practical. During that first year temporary insurance is the best option.

Moving to …

Tokyo …

is a great place to work and experience both traditional and ultra modern elements of Japan, among its almost 10 million inhabitants where over half a million are foreign.

Yokohama …

enjoys a balanced work and quiet life setting for its almost 4 million inhabitants.

Osaka …
is a port city considered both quiet and safe with almost 3 million inhabitants, of which just over a quarter million are foreign.

has almost 2.5 million inhabitants, of which just over a quarter million in Aichi are foreign.

is popular with tourists and has almost 2 million inhabitants.

has just over 1.5 million inhabitants.

has just over 1.5 million inhabitants.

Kawasaki ..
has just over 1.5 million inhabitants.

is popular for retirees with almost 1.5 million inhabitants.

has just over 1 million inhabitants.

has just over 1 million inhabitants.

To make a call to Japan

Emergencies in Japan use:
110 for local police
119 for ambulance & fire
7119 for non emergency ambulance

Bekins packing for international moves supports your move in many ways. Japan requires transfers between truck, rail, ships, customs inspection and storage. A lot to absorb and manage on its way to your new home in Japan. Use the experience Bekins has learned and earned to reduce your risks.