Guide for Shifting Houses/ Relocating in Japan

Moving in a new place in Japan

Moving in Japan can involve many procedures such as updating residence registration and changing utilities. Below is an overview of what relocating in Japan can involve and some tips to help you move;

Guidelines for Using a Moving Company

It can be helpful to use a moving company, however, there are a lot to choose from. To get an understanding of the average cost of using these services, you should research and compare websites online.

Cost of using service will depend on things such as what floor you're moving out of/in to, whether the location has parking, and whether the place has narrow doorways, to name a few.

  • Here is a list of some information you should confirm before using a moving company;
  • When you want to move
  • Where you move from and to (including the type of building, the number of floors and if you have an elevator
  • The number of large home items and electric appliances you need moved (such as piano/ refrigerator)
  • Whether you wish to do the packing yourself or not

Guidelines for Leaving Your Accomodation

If you have a tenancy agreement, you have to inform your real estate agent in advance of your moving dates. Your obligations depend on your contract. In general, you should inform your agent of your leaving at least a month prior to your moving.

You will also have to stop your utilities such as electricity and gas. You must call electricity, gas, water and Internet utilities to cancel them and also subscribe to new utilities at your new address. Further information can be found at "How to Open and Close an Electricity Account When Moving in Japan".

Guidelines for Changing Your Address

Even if you are a foreign national, you are still subject to the Japanese Basic Resident Registration System. This means you must establish your "resident record" at the municipality in your ward. It is your responsibility to keep the municipality up to date with any changes in your residence. You may need to present different forms depending on where you move. Please note the following points;

  1. If you move into a new ward (for example Tokyo to Kyoto, or from Minato Ward to Shinjuku Ward), you first need to declare that you plan to leave your current ward and file a "Notice of Moving Out". Your current ward will issue you a "Move out Certificate", that you must bring to your new ward within 14 days after you have settled into your new ward.
  2. If you change addresses within the same ward, you do not have to make the certification but have to report your move out with your ward.
  3. If you leave Japan, you must report your move out with your ward.
  4. In all the cases above, you have to bring your residence card with you.