Domestic moving costs in Japan

Glowing Japanese traditional lamps hung above a street.

Japan is old and very traditional country. Having that in mind, you should know how precise and accurate they are. When it comes to doing business, they are highly professional, due to their work ethics and culture. That is no different when it comes to moving services. Here we will discuss domestic moving costs in Japan, so you can have a bigger picture of what to expect when planning to relocate to Japan.

What to do before moving

There are certain things you should do before moving from your place. As we said before, Japanese people are very precise when doing things. So doing these small steps before moving to a new place will be good for you and your landlord:

  • Tell your landlord about your moving, with an accurate move – out date. Most of the time, the required advance is 1 month.
  • You will need to contact all of your utility companies, such as gas, water, electricity, and internet, to request the date for shutting them off. Also, you have to be present when they arrive.
  • Informing the post office about your moving.
  • Informing your local ward office that you are moving. This is very important because you can not register your new address if you do not finish what you have with them.

These are just small steps to do that can save you a lot of time when it comes to moving. Japan is very, and we do mean very, „by the book“ kind of state. So, make sure you have all the proper paperwork ready for moving. When it comes to planning your relocating, it can be hard with all the things you have to do before. You will be surprised what kind of services domestic movers in Japan can provide you with.

From the packaging, storing, moving etc, these things are done highly professional and accurate. If by any chance you still have some problems finding a good movers company, we suggest you check this guide on how to evaluate moving services in Japan, so you can easily find the best company for your moving.

Domestic moving costs in Japan and what to expect

After you did all of this steps, next big thing is to organize your moving. Make sure you researched the prices and other hidden costs there are. That way you most likely would not get caught by surprise when it comes to domestic moving costs in Japan.  Different than other countries, things are done a bit different in Japan. For example, do not be surprised when you get a bill for throwing away household items. When it comes to throwing away unnecessary items, prices for larger ones can vary between 5000 to 10000 yen each. That does pile up to quite a sum. What we suggest you can do is to organize a sale of unwanted items. That way you can sell what you do not need and lower the overall costs of moving.

Black leather sofa on white background
The size of furniture influences your moving costs

But when it comes to moving companies, there are a lot of factors that influence domestic moving costs in Japan, such as:“

  • Distance
  • Transporting pets
  • Big furniture
  • Instruments
  • Expensive electronics

If we are talking about full service of moving in Japan, it goes somewhere between 200,000 – 300,000 yen. The main reason why Japan’s moving companies are effective is that Japanese people live in small houses and apartments, and do not tend to own a lot of stuff. That being a part of their culture and tradition.

What other factors influence the costs of moving

We already mentioned what main factors take a big part when it comes to prices of moving. As with courier companies, moving companies revolve their prices not in quantity or numbers. But more in the volume of items and working conditions. When it comes to domestic costs of moving in Japan and working condition, same goes as everywhere:

  • Which flor will you live,
  • Acces to the elevator,
  • Acces to parking space.

It is very common practice to put higher prices if your new place does not fulfill these conditions. You may be obliged to pay more if they have to bring your closet by foot on some higher floor if there is no elevator or the sheer size of the item would not allow it to fit in the elevator. Same goes for stairs and corridors if they are narrow and it proves to be hard to carry items through them, the costs rise.

Cars parked on parking spots, areal view
Domestic moving costs in Japan can also depend on having a parking spot

You can never be absolutely sure what to expect when it comes to costs. Yes, the job will be done professionally, but depending on all of this the price can go somewhere between 10,000 – 300,000 yen.

How to save on moving costs

There are also few steps you can do, to avoid those necessary extra costs. They will take time, but trust me, they will help you manage your finances better and even save some money.

  • Moving companies tend to place different costs for different services. Do check what is the most important thing to you, and focus on that.
  • If you can, use used boxes! Moving companies will give you 2000 yen discount for that.
  • There is a difference between price and service focused companies. Service companies will provide you with things more things but they will cost around 30% more than price-focused ones.
  • You can also get a discount if you are willing to move in the afternoon since all movings are done by 2-3pm. They are willing to lower their prices for one extra job.
  • Weekends are more expensive than other days.
  • It pays off if you tell them that you will move whenever they have a free truck (meaning whenever they are ready). Because when they have nothing all day, they will put you in just so they can have anything to do.
  • The most expensive months to move are March and April (due to companies transfers) and July and August (summer vacation) and Golden Week. The cheapest month is June due to the heavy raining season.

Having all that in mind, we sure hope this article helped you in estimating the domestic moving costs in Japan. Follow these steps and you will surely save a lot of money. Please, share with us your moving experiences!

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