Moving to Japan from US - Earthrelo
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Relocating to Japan from the United States can be an exciting yet challenging experience. The country boasts a unique culture and language, which can take some time to adjust to.

This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of what one needs to know before moving to Japan. It covers vital topics such as visa requirements, housing options, cultural differences, language barriers, and logistics. By preparing and researching appropriately, one can make their relocation to japan a successful and rewarding experience.

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Cost Of Moving To Japan From The US

Obtaining a visa is the first step in the relocation process, and the cost varies depending on the type of visa needed, ranging from $40 to $90. If you plan to bring your belongings with you, you’ll need to pay for shipping, and the cost will depend on the weight of your items, the shipping method you choose, and the distance between the US and Japan. On average, shipping costs can range from $1,000 to $5,000.

Moreover, housing costs in Japan can be quite expensive, especially in major cities like Tokyo, with the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment being around $1,200 per month. If you plan to live in a larger apartment or a house, expect to pay even more. If you hire a moving company in JAPAN to help with your move, you’ll also need to factor in their fees, which vary depending on the size of your move, the distance you’re moving, and the services you require.

Additionally, if you don’t speak Japanese, you may want to consider taking language classes to help you adjust to your new surroundings. However, these classes can be costly, ranging from around $100 to $1,000 per month. Health insurance is mandatory in Japan, and you’ll need to purchase it when you arrive, with the cost depending on your age, health status, and the level of coverage you choose. You should also look for warehousing in JAPAN for extra convenience.

Cheapest Shipping Options
When you move to Japan from the USA, there are several options to consider for Shipping, including drop-offs, international drop-offs, and EMS. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to carefully evaluate your needs and budget before deciding on the best option.

At earthrelo, we specialize in moving services and provide a range of shipping options to help you find the most affordable and reliable solution to suit your needs. We have vast experience and expertise in international shipping. We can assist you in navigating the complex world of shipping and customs regulations to ensure your items arrive safely and on time. Whether you’re relocating to Japan or sending a package, trust earthrelo for all your shipping needs instead of any other Japanese moving company.

Cost of Living in Japan Compared to the USA

Assuming that Tokyo represents Japan and New York City represents the USA, the following comparison is made.

Expense Japan (Tokyo) USA (New York City)
Rent (1 bedroom apartment in the city center) ¥118,700 ($1,074) $3,000
Utilities (electricity, gas, water, etc.) ¥15,000 ($136) $150
Internet ¥4,724 ($43) $60
Food (monthly, per person) ¥60,000 ($545) $350
Transportation (monthly pass) ¥10,000 ($91) $127
Movie ticket (1 person) ¥1,800 ($16) $16
Fitness club (monthly fee) ¥10,000 ($91) $90
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) ¥1,200 ($11) $18

Cost Of Housing In Japan Compared To The USA

Keep in mind that these are only approximations, and the actual costs may fluctuate based on the area, housing type, and various other factors.

Housing Category Japan USA
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center ¥80,000 – ¥150,000 ($730 – $1,370) $1,200 – $2,500
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside City Center ¥50,000 – ¥100,000 ($455 – $910) $800 – $1,500
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center ¥200,000 – ¥400,000 ($1,820 – $3,640) $2,500 – $5,500
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside City Center ¥100,000 – ¥200,000 ($910 – $1,820) $1,800 – $3,500
House (3 bedrooms) in City Center ¥500,000 – ¥1,000,000 ($4,550 – $9,100) $3,000 – $8,000
House (3 bedrooms) Outside City Center ¥200,000 – ¥600,000 ($1,820 – $5,460) $2,500 – $6,000

Visa Process And Requirements

To begin the process of obtaining a visa for Japan, you must first identify the type of visa that suits your needs. Japan has more than 20 distinct visa categories, each with its specific set of requirements. The most frequently used visa categories for people moving to japan from the US include the work visa, student visa, and dependent visa.

  1. Work visa:
    To work in Japan, you must obtain a work visa. To be eligible, you must have a job offer from a Japanese company, and your employer must sponsor your visa application.
  2. Student visa:
    If you plan on studying in Japan, you must obtain a student visa. To qualify, you must first be accepted into a Japanese educational institution and provide proof of enrollment.
  3. Dependent visa:
    You may be eligible for a dependent visa if you have a spouse or parent who is a Japanese citizen or holds a valid visa to reside in Japan.

To obtain a visa, you must first determine the type of visa required and then gather the necessary documents and submit your application. The requirements and processes for each visa type may differ, but you will typically need to provide the following:

  • A valid passport with at least six months left before expiration
  • A completed visa application form that can be downloaded from the Japanese embassy or consulate website in the US
  • A recent passport-sized photograph
  • Additional documentation demonstrating eligibility, such as a job offer letter, enrollment certificate, or proof of relationship with a Japanese citizen, depending on the type of visa
  • Payment of the visa application fee

Once you have submitted your application, you must wait for the visa processing time, which can take weeks to months. Once your visa is approved, you can travel to Japan and obtain your residence card.

Healthcare Options In Japan

Various international organizations consistently rank Japan among the top countries in the world for healthcare, owing to its universal coverage, high quality, and emphasis on preventive care. The Japanese healthcare system offers affordable healthcare to every resident in the country, regardless of income or employment status.

Universal coverage is achieved through mandatory health insurance enrollment for all residents in Japan. Individuals can enroll in a health insurance plan through their employer or the national healthcare system if they are not employed. This guarantees that all citizens have access to affordable healthcare.

Compared to other developed nations, such as the United States, the cost of healthcare in Japan is relatively low. The government’s fee schedule and other cost-cutting measures help to control healthcare costs. In addition, the country strongly emphasizes preventive care, which aids in keeping healthcare costs low by preventing illnesses and reducing the need for expensive treatments.

Jobs For Americans In Japan

The job market in Japan differs from that of the United States and has its unique characteristics. In contrast to the US, where individualism and competition are highly valued, collectivism and teamwork are highly valued in the Japanese job market.

Lifetime employment is a key feature of the Japanese job market and has been a part of Japanese corporate culture for many years. Graduates are hired straight out of college and are guaranteed job security and opportunities for career advancement within the same company for their entire working lives.

Moreover, education and credentials are highly valued in the Japanese job market. Obtaining a degree from a top university is highly regarded, and many companies require applicants to submit their transcripts and standardized test scores as part of the application process.

Banks & Taxes

The bank’s profits are subject to corporate income tax in Japan, with a tax rate of around 30%, comparable to the federal corporate tax rate in the US. Additionally, financial institutions are required to pay a “financial function enhancement tax” of 0.036% on their taxable income to support the financial system, similar to the proposed bank tax in the US after the 2008 financial crisis.

Consumption tax, a value-added tax, is imposed on the sale of goods and services in Japan, with a standard rate of 10%. Banks must levy and collect this tax on their services, including interest and fees on loans and deposits.

Apart from national taxes, banks in Japan are also subject to local taxes, such as property and city planning taxes, which vary depending on the location of their offices and branches.

One key difference between the US and Japan is the tax treatment of interest income. In the US, interest income is typically subject to federal and state income tax, as well as other taxes like the alternative minimum tax. However, in Japan, most individuals, including foreigners, are not required to pay individual income tax on their interest income. This makes Japan an appealing destination for foreign investors searching for tax-efficient investment options.


Japan is known for its high-quality education and strict standards, with a strong emphasis placed on education. Its education system is considered one of the best in the world due to Japan’s long-standing respect for education, which is reflected in the organization and operation of its schools.

Compulsory education in Japan commences at the age of six and continues for nine years, comprising six years of elementary school and three years of junior high school. After completing compulsory education, students have the option of attending high school for three years, with the majority of Japanese students choosing to pursue higher education.

One of the most significant characteristics of the Japanese education system is its emphasis on discipline and hard work. Students are expected to be punctual, attend school regularly, and demonstrate respect for their instructors and classmates. Additionally, Japanese schools prioritize group harmony and teamwork, and students frequently work on group projects and activities together.


Sushi is a well-known Japanese dish that combines vinegared rice with raw fish, seafood, or vegetables. It had its roots in ancient Japan when people used to ferment fish and rice together to preserve them. Nowadays, sushi is enjoyed all around the world, and there are several types of sushi available, including traditional nigiri sushi and modern fusion rolls.

Ramen is another popular Japanese dish that is a noodle soup containing broth, noodles, and a range of toppings such as pork, eggs, and vegetables. Ramen originated in China but was adapted by the Japanese in the early 1900s. Nowadays, ramen is a staple of Japanese cuisine and is available in many different styles and flavors across the country.

Living In Japan As An American

Considering the cultural differences and general trends in Japan is crucial for anyone who wants to live in the country and experience its exciting and rewarding lifestyle. Japan is renowned for its innovative technology, efficient transportation, and strong emphasis on politeness and respect.

One of the major cultural differences that should be taken into account is the importance placed on group harmony. This means that Japanese society values cooperation and conformity, and individuals are expected to prioritize the needs of the group above their desires. As a result, there can be indirect communication and a reluctance to express personal opinions.

It is also important to be aware of the aging population, which has caused a reduction in the workforce and has led to many industries focusing on automation and robotics. Additionally, the high cost of living in major cities such as Tokyo can be challenging for ex-pats.

Best Places To Live In Japan As An American

  1. Tokyo:
    Tokyo is a lively metropolis, and as the capital city of Japan, it is a hub for entertainment, fashion, and business. You can find something to do all day and night in this city that never sleeps. Tokyo has an excellent food scene that is well-known, offering everything from sushi and ramen to tempura at any time of the day or night.
  2. Kyoto:
    Kyoto is a city located in the central part of Japan and is renowned for its rich history and culture. It’s famous for its stunning temples, traditional architecture, and beautiful gardens. The city’s streets still retain their traditional charm, making it feel like stepping back in time when you live in Kyoto.
  3. Hokkaido:
    Hokkaido, on the other hand, is the perfect place to experience a more relaxed pace of life. This northern island offers rugged natural scenery, including mountains, forests, and lakes, that provide plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and fishing.


  • 1.What Are Some Cultural Differences To Be Aware Of When Moving To Japan?

    When you move to Japan, it’s crucial to recognize the cultural distinctions between Japan and the United States. Respect for others is highly important, and social etiquette is highly appreciated.

  • 2. What Are Some Popular Tourist Destinations In Japan?

    Japan is famous for its rich history, unique culture, and stunning natural scenery, and Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Mount Fuji, and Okinawa are among the most popular tourist destinations.

  • 3. What Is The Weather Like In Japan?

    Japan experiences four distinct seasons, with relatively mild winters and hot summers. However, the climate varies greatly depending on the region.


At earthrelo, we understand that moving to Japan can be an exhilarating experience that can change your life. However, we also know that it can be a daunting task to move your belongings from one country to another. This is where we come in as a reliable and trustworthy moving company based in the United States of America that can assist you with your requirements with luggage and storage in JAPAN.

Our company specializes in international relocation and has extensive experience in moving goods and assets to Japan. We have the expertise to provide you with a stress-free and seamless relocation process. Additionally, we offer a variety of storage options that can cater to your specific needs, ensuring the safety and security of your belongings during transit.

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