Moving To Japan from Canada
Relocating to Japan
• First consider replacement cost in Japan and importance of each possession you're moving. Japanese accommodations tend to be smaller than many Canadians expect. Visualizing how your belongings will fit is an important consideration.
• Arrange a Japanese bank account at 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 deposti account. More information about a residence permit - click here. You will get a 12 digit "My Number" when you create a resident permit. That number acts as your ID for emergencies, tax and social service considerations. It will take a few weeks to arrive at you new residence and should be kept private.
• Arrange a Japanese phone number and functioning email address. Local communication helps interacting with local organizations. There are options available to secure a Japanese phone number before leaving Canada. Typically you receive a SIM chip for your SIM unlocked phone but it comes without data. Your residence permit lets you arrange a long term SIM card with high perfomrance data.
• The Canadian Automobile Association provides International Driving Permits 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 is the fundamental language. English is not a practical option.
• 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.
Phone Calls to Japan from Canda
Dial 011 to get outside Canada, 81 to get into Japan, the Japanese city code, the Japanese phone number
These city codes are: Tokyo is 3 | Yokohama is 44,45 or 427 | Osaka is 6 or 723 | Nagoya is 52 | Sapporo is 11 | Fukuoka is 92, 93 or 94 | Kobe is 78 or 797 | Kawasaki is 44 or 427 | Kyoto is 726, 75 or 775 | Hiroshima is 82 | Sendai is 22
Tips When Moving To Japan
• While North America tends to be goal driven Japan is process focused. Procedure and quality are important. Japanese social protocols are assumed and expected in all aspects of life. Consideration and grace are the basis of formal, structured ways of interacting. That sense of cooperation brings feelings of convenience and safety to Japanese society. Foreigners are allowed some grace when it comes to being ignorant of expected interaction. Canada is multicultural. Japan's 127 million plus are over 97% Japanese. About 2% are foreign (note: Japanese do not allow dual citizenship like Canada).
• 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. Your behaviour will need to adapt.
• Recording of your possession inventory is critical, for the successful move to Japan. Unlisted, new or unused items, as well as prohibited items, will put your move and its costs at risk. Recording errors will delay processing. Unexpected extended storage in turn adds more demurrage charges. Household items, effects and professional equipment imported within 6 months, is without duty.
• Stay on top of your moving decisions. Monitor the local newspapers and media.