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Moving to a new residence takes a lot of time and energy. Whether you are relocating to Japan from abroad, or moving to a new property within Japan, there are many resources available to help you make the transition to your new life.

Relocation Assistance

If you find yourself overwhelmed by the task of moving to Japan from abroad, consider hiring a relocation company to help you move your possessions to your new home. In addition to moving, experienced relocation companies provide personal assistance in matters such as visa procedures, applications/registrations with municipal offices and public services, setting up bank accounts, finding schools as well as supermarkets, shops and restaurants in your neighborhood.

See also: the list of Relocation Companies and Moving Companies .

At the Time of Your Entry – Please submit the Declaration of Unaccompanied Articles Form. Don’t forget to declare!
The Declaration of Accompanied Personal Effects and Unaccompanied Articles Form (Form C No.5360) is available on the aircraft or at the customs at the arrival airport. Those moving to Japan who have removal items (unaccompanied articles) sent separately must fill out two copies of this form, and submit both copies to the customs officer at the time of your entry to Japan. One copy of the form will be returned to you with a certification seal. Please make sure to keep this copy, and hand it to your mover when asked. It will be required for import customs clearance of your removal items. Failure to comply with customs declaration procedures at the arrival airport may result in difficulties when importing your removal items within the duty exemption allowance written on the reverse side (side B) of the declaration form. For a faster and trouble-free process, please do not forget to present the form when going through customs declaration.

  • The information to fill out in the declaration form is: (1) Flight No./Name of vessel, (2) Point of Embarkation, (3) Date of Arrival in Japan, (4) Your Name, (5) Address in Japan, (6) Contact Phone Number, (7) Occupation, (8) Date of Birth, (9) Passport No., and (10) Number of Dependents.
  • Answer with a “✔” mark to questions 1, 2, and 3.
  • Mark “✔” in “Yes” to Question 3. “Do you have Unaccompanied Articles?” and indicate the exact number of pieces (packages) of your removal items.
  • If you do not remember the exact number of pieces (packages), fill in a larger-than-expected number.
  • On side (B) of the form, fill in the number of personal effects that are taxable items such as alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, and perfume.
  • Please make sure to carefully read through and thoroughly understand the descriptions of prohibited articles, restricted articles, and duty free allowance.

Article by Nippon Express

Moving with Pets

If you are bringing your pet into Japan, or are going on a trip from Japan and coming back to Japan, you need to have certain forms filled out and have your pet vaccinated. It is best to start preparing as early as possible, as the whole procedure of importing a pet to Japan takes at least 7 months. If you own a dog, you should register it at the local municipal office and also have it vaccinated as soon as possible.

When you are moving out of Japan with your pet, you need to meet certain conditions. To export your pet, your pet must undergo inspection at the Japanese Animal Quarantine Station. For this process, you need to contact the Animal Quarantine Station at least 7 days before departure, and submit a form. For conditions for importing animals to the country you are entering, inquire with the country’s embassy or quarantine authorities. For further information, check the Animal Quarantine Services website .

See also: the Keeping Pets section for further details.

Moving Out

When moving out, notify the real estate agent as soon as possible. Terms for ending a lease is usually written in the contract, so check and follow them. Depending on the lease contract, the real estate agent or the landlord will come to your house on the day you are moving out, to see the conditions of the house. The cost for any repairs will be deducted from the Shikikin, and you will receive the remaining balance several days to weeks later. If you are leaving Japan, the conditions for Shikikin refund depend on the contract and real estate agent.

Moving within Japan

When moving within Japan be sure to notify the city hall or municipal office of your change in address to update your residence information (see “Visas & Residency ”), as well as the post office, your bank, utilities companies, mobile phone supplier, etc. (see chapter “Settling In ” for details on each).

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