The process of moving and how to do it



When moving to Japan, there are probably many things you need to know.

Since you cannot move right away, you need to have at least one month to proceed, so this article introduces the flow and method of moving, as well as the necessary procedures at the city office.

The flow of moving and what to do

Moving cannot be done on short notice, such as moving next week; you need at least one month for it. Usually, people move with a minimum of one to two months of preparation. First, let's look at the overall process of moving.

Moving Process

  1. Sign a contract for a new apartment
  2. Apply for cancellation of your current apartment contract
  3. Apply for a moving company (not necessary if you do it yourself)
  4. Apply for cancellation of electricity, gas, and water service at your current apartment
  5. Pack up your belongings to take with you
  6. Sign up for electricity, gas, and water at your new apartment
  7. Apply for moving out at the city office near your current apartment
  8. Apply for moving in at the city office near your new apartment

First, find a new apartment and sign a contract. Then, immediately after that, you need to cancel your current apartment contract. Please note that you usually have to give at least one month's notice to cancel it, so even if you decide to move out next week, you will still be charged rent for the following month. Please refer to our separate article on the procedures for electricity, gas, and water.

4 Ways to Move

Moving costs money. For example, if the rent for a new apartment is 70,000 yen, the initial cost of moving is said to be 4-6 months' rent, which is about 280,000-480,000 yen. This includes the cost of signing a contract for a new apartment and the cost of paying rent in advance.

If you want to keep costs as low as possible, you can save money by doing it yourself instead of using a moving company. Here are four moving methods.

1.Rent a car

If you do not have a lot of luggage, but have some furniture, you can save money by renting a car. The cost of renting a car varies depending on the time you rent and the size of the car, but the market price for a 6-hour rental is about 6,000 yen to 13,000 yen.

However, if you have large furniture, you might help from a friend as you cannot do it alone. You have to do a lot of things by yourself, such as arranging cardboard boxes for packing, renting a car, and showing some gratitude to your friends, but it will save you money.

2.Moving with suitcase only

If you are living in a school dormitory or in a shared house, you probably do not have large furniture. In that case, you can simply pack your clothes and other necessary items in a suitcase and transport them. Since you will not be using a rental car or moving company services, you can save costs.

3.Ask the movers to do it for you

If you have large appliances, such as a refrigerator or washing machine, you often request a moving company to do the work for you. When you request a mover, cardboard boxes are delivered to your house, and you put all of your belongings in the boxes before the moving day, and the mover will carry everything for you.

The service cost of a moving company depends on the distance you are moving, the amount of your belongings, and the time of year you are moving. March and September, when many people move, are the most expensive months, while June and November, when few people move, are less expensive. The standard cost is between 30,000  to  80,000 yen. You can ask your real estate agent to introduce you to a moving company, and we recommend that you ask them when you sign the contract.

4.Use a courier service

If you have the amount of belongings for a single person, Kuroneko Yamato's moving service is highly recommended. The cost will vary depending on how many special boxes are used to hold all the furniture together, it usually ranges from 23,000 to 50,000 yen.

How to get rid of unwanted furniture

Furniture and other items that you no longer need must be discarded at your expense. You must not move out of the apartment without disposing of the furniture you no longer need. If you do not dispose of them yourself, the real estate company will charge you a disposal fee, and you may have to pay a much higher fee than usual.

Also, in Japan, to dispose of bulky waste, you must pay to have it collected by the local government or a moving company. To use the local government service, search for "the name of the area where you live + bulky waste garbage" and inquire.

If you are using a moving company service, you must tell them in advance the type of trash you want to throw away. If you tell them you want to throw it out on the day of your move, they will not be able to accommodate you.

The cost of oversized trash disposalb is about 300 yen to 4,000 yen, depending on the size of the trash to be thrown away. If you don't want to spend much, you can sell them on flea market apps (Mercari or Rakuma) or give them away for free (Jimoty)

 Procedures at government offices

When you move to a new residence, you need to go through procedures at the  office. In Japan, you need to register the address where you live, called "Jumin-hyo" (certificate of residence). Therefore, once you sign a contract for a new apartment, you must submit a "notification of moving out" and a "notification of moving in".

Things to do at the city office

  1. If the city you are moving to is the same as the one you are in now, submit a "notification of moving out" to the city office
  2. If you are moving to a different city, submit a "notification of moving out" to your current city office and submit a "notification of moving in" at the new city office.

Complete the procedures at the city office about two weeks before you move out

Once you have decided the date of your move, you should apply for a notification of moving out at the city office about 2 weeks prior to your move. Notification of moving in should be completed at the new city office within 14 days of moving out. Please note that the change of address procedure is required by law, and you may be charged a fine of up to 50,000 yen if you do not complete the procedure within the time limit.

Documents required for the procedure

The following documents are required for the notification of moving out and moving in.

  1. Residence card
  2. Personal seal (Hanko)
  3. Insurance card
  4. Idenfitication Card(My number card)

Required documents may differ by region, so we recommend that you call the city office before visiting to avoid any inconvenience.

Mail Forwarding Procedures

Finally, we would like to introduce the mail forwarding procedure.

The mail forwarding procedure is free of charge and convenient to do, and we recommend that you do it to avoid inconvenience.

This procedure allows you to have your mail delivered to your new address even if it arrives at your previous address after you move.

You can either go to the post office's Web page or personally go to the post office, get a forwarding form, fill it out, and return it to the post office.


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