Plans to Move In Japan? Here are Your Next Big Steps

There are so much more to explore in the “land of the rising sun”, a country with one of the highest end technologies compared against ancient and unforgotten traditions.

Before, one can simply hop on a plane to Japan, but today, it’s not easy when it comes to moving in Japan as there are certain types of visa to steer and living costs to consider. But don’t worry, we are here to show you your next big steps.

Visa Options

One best option is a company assignment. An intra-company transfer involves searching for a job at a company at home that has an existing branch office in Japan. After securing the job, request a transfer to work at a branch office in Japan. Upon securing the job, request a transfer to work at the branch office in Japan. Through such transfer, an employee can get a work visa that allows residence in Japan. However, this might take a few years and the chance for a job opening may not even come, but it’s possible though.

Meanwhile, another best option to enter Japan and get a student visa is through Go! Go! Nihon since they accept language students. Whether students are beginner or not, they can work in their language skills and may start traversing the Japanese society as well. Moreover, language students can rent their own apartment and apply for a part-time job while they are studying, though some schools in the country prohibit students to work part time during their first three (3) months. Nevertheless, upon studying for one to two years, students can either start searching for a full-time job or consider moving on to further study higher education. Unfortunately, a foreigner in Japan has quite slim chances of getting a full-time job without either a higher education degree or any special skills in high demand.

Living Costs and Other Expenses in Japan

Depending on the location, accommodation can be the highest expense to have in Japan. For example, in Tokyo, housing can cost a minimum of ¥35,000 per month for a shared room in a shared house, approximately ¥60,000 for a single room in a shared house and an average of ¥80,000 for a small single apartment. Living somewhere in a convenient area in Tokyo can be a 30-40% increase in rent, but in other cities outside Tokyo, accommodation cost can be 20 or even 50% lower.

Moreover, main utilities such as electricity, gas and water usually cost ¥5,000 in a share house, while ¥8,000 to ¥10,000 in a single apartment. But at least internet subscriptions in Japan are fast and affordable. In fact, a fiber optic connection only costs from ¥3,000 to ¥6,000 per month depending on the bandwidth.

Also, depending on your choice, dining out in Japan can sometimes be more affordable than home cooking. In fact, in the country’s urban areas, many people prefer to eat out every day because it’s cheaper and less hassle since there would be no dirty dishes to clean afterward. But wait, there’s still more. There are also some well-priced supermarkets you’ll find in Japan, and for those who live outside the city, you’ll find farmers who often set up small wooden stalls and sell extra fruits and vegetables for as little as ¥100.

As for education, tuition fee for a year will start about ¥700,000 with a student visa. Though this may sound expensive, take note that it includes an entire school year which consists of 3-4 hours a day, 5 days a week of Japanese lessons and a student visa that permits part time job while studying.

Make the Most of Your Time

Generally, there is a big difference in experience among foreigners staying in Japan. Some exert their efforts into learning the Japanese language and customs, thus finding Japanese friends, business opportunities and the chance to experience many things become way easier for them. That is why some never put back the effort into adapting to life in the country. Many foreigners who don’t even bother to learn Japanese language and customs can usually find life here to be much more difficult.

It could be quite stressful for a foreigner who doesn’t know Japanese language to live in Japan, but a totally different world opens up for those who try to learn. Japan is absolutely a great place to live, however, you should exert some effort if you really want to adapt to their society. As with living in any other place, keeping your mind open for new things and continuously learning will definitely open up many rewarding opportunities.

A foreigner can enjoy life in Japan by taking advantage of everything it has to offer – it has a lot! So exert an effort to learn the language, try to talk to locals sitting at the bar or join in local events. It makes a lot difference if you share who you are with your surroundings, as it could make you and the community around you better for doing so.

Aizelle Joe