Do you feel the need to change your life in a meaningful way? Has your job started boring you? Do you want to experience a completely new culture? If at least some of this is true, then moving to Japan may be a great idea for you. While the cost of relocation to Asia may seem high, don’t worry! We’ve got all of the hottest tips and tricks you’ll need. After reading this article, you’ll be completely ready to make a smooth transition. We’ll make your move a breeze!
Job hunting before moving to Japan
If you’ve made the decision of relocating to Japan – congratulations! However, if you really want to make a smooth transition to this new environment, there’s one thing to do first – find a job. You would do well to scout the job market in Japan before moving. If you’ve got some money saved up that’s fine, but keep in mind you’ll have a lot of overseas transportation costs to think about! Ideally, you’ll want to have a job before you actually step on the plane. So, the question is – will you be able to land a job in Japan with your career?
Luckily, Japan is always on the look-out for high-skilled professionals who would like to move there. In fact, if you’ve got two degrees, you’re basically guaranteed to find a job quite easily. If you’ve got only one degree, then you’ll be happy to hear that there are a lot of options for you as well. The government of Japan issues more than a dozen different kinds of work visas. If you’ve got an academic career, or one in medicine, law, engineering or journalism, chances are high you’ll fit right in!
If you’re from an English-speaking country, even a degree isn’t necessarily a requirement. Japanese private schools are always looking for English teachers, so if you can prove your excellent knowledge of English, you’ll be able to find a teaching job with relative ease.
Choosing a city
If you’ve found a job and secured a steady income for your new home, great! Then there’s another question you must be asking about how to move to Japan – how do I pick a city? Japan is a big place, and not every town is the same. Regardless of how much you know about Japanese culture, this is a hard decision to make. So many choices! Luckily for you, we’ve got some general tips to help you with choosing a place to live in Japan:
- Local demographics – When choosing a new home, the first thing you should take a look at is the local population numbers. Is the population rising, or declining? If people are moving away, then why? There could be local industrial plants polluting the air or water, or perhaps something else. Maybe the job market is declining? Otherwise, a lot of people moving to a city are a sure sign of a healthy economy and a place to live.
- Economy – Speaking of the job market, you should definitely study the regional economies before moving to Japan. There’s a lot of economic data you might not understand if you’re not an economist, but don’t despair. There are a few simple key numbers that can tell you whether a city is worth moving to. The most important one is the city’s GDP – Gross Domestic Product. A big GDP is a certain sign of a healthy local economy in a city.
- Crime rates – While this may be obvious, it’s worth mentioning that this is an important statistic. Low crime rates are something you should definitely look for in a new home. You want to find yourself a safe city when choosing your home in Japan!
Making the move
So you’ve taken care of finding a job, and chosen a city in Japan you’re moving to? Great! But now comes the hardest part – the actual moving. Relocating anywhere can be one of the most stressful things you’ll do in your life – and especially moving across the world! Japan is far away, and transporting your belongings will be complicated. You should choose an international moving company carefully, and try to perfect the art of high-quality moving on a budget. Speaking of your budget, you should bear in mind that most Japanese homes don’t have central heating. Yes, you heard that correctly. While this won’t be a problem in the summer, the Japanese winters are notoriously hard for foreigners and new residents. Wherever you’ve moved, chances are you’ll have to spend money on an additional heating unit.
Lifestyle after moving to Japan
Okay, the hardest part is over! Now that you’ve moved and settled yourself, there are a few things you should know about the Japanese lifestyle. First of all, after moving to Japan, you should definitely take care to avoid being late. And this doesn’t go just for CEOs, this is a basic principle of Japenese culture. If you’re going to work or have a social event planned, you should even be 15 minutes early. Otherwise, people will think you’re sloppy. And no matter how funny this may seem to us, punctuality is a very important thing for the Japanese business community. All the way from the industry billionaires to the people who do the cleaning and driving, there’s one thing in common – everybody arrives on time!
Furthermore, we know it’s obvious, but we’d be remiss not mentioning Japanese food. It’s the most well-known staple of Japan’s culture outside of its borders – everybody knows about sushi! But while the cuisine based around raw fish is an everyday meal in Japan, grilled seafood and vegetables are also quite common. And if you don’t adapt well to Japanese cuisine at first, don’t worry – you won’t starve. Globalization means that these days, in Japan you can find everything from Chinese and Italian food to hamburgers!
We hope our advice will help with making your move to Japan a pleasant experience. If you approach the task carefully and use our little tips, you’ll be bathed in the smell of Japanese cherry trees in no time!