Relocating to Tokyo for Work? 5 Essentials for Making the Big Move

    Relocating to Tokyo — it’s a whirlwind of excitement, anticipation, and a smidge of apprehension. You’ve landed a job in one of the world’s most bustling, high-tech cities, home to sumo wrestling, sake, and sushi.

    But how do you navigate this massive metropolis and easily create a new life? Fear not, soon-to-be Tokyoites, we’ve got you covered. Buckle up for some essential tips and tricks to transform this daunting move into a smooth, exciting adventure.

    1. Secure Your Accommodation, Long Term and Short

    Before you dive into Tokyo’s neon lights, you’ll need a place to call home. Tokyo offers a wide range of accommodations, from compact studio apartments to larger family homes in various areas to suit every lifestyle. Research popular areas for ex-pats, such as Minato, Shibuya, or Meguro. Websites like Suumo or GaijinPot can help find rentals.

    Just landed and need a temporary solution for your luggage while apartment hunting? Or you’re moving in steps, bringing in your belongings a few at once. Here’s a lifesaver: luggage storage in Shinjuku Station. With secure, convenient storage facilities, you can explore the city while you wait to move into your new place or keep most of your belongings safely stored while you stay in smaller, temporary accommodations.

    If you want to settle into the city before your job starts but can’t get an apartment in time, temporarily staying in a hostel or hotel can be a lifesaver!

    2. Get to Know the Public Transit Options

    When it comes to Tokyo, you might just find your feet off the ground more often than not — not because you’ve found your zen, but because Tokyo’s public transportation system is that good. Understanding this intricate network of trains, subways, and buses is vital. It’s the city’s lifeblood, taking you from home to work to play in a jiffy.

    Start with the basics. Get yourself a Suica card — a prepaid, rechargeable card you can use on almost all trains, subways, and buses. And yes, during peak hours, it can get crowded. Think sardines-in-a-can crowded. Don’t fret! Off-peak hours offer more breathing space and are often more cost-effective.

    3. Familiarise Yourself with the Culture and Language

    Sure, you can get by with English in Tokyo, but knowing a smattering of Japanese phrases can be a game-changer. It’s more than just convenience. It’s about immersing yourself in this beautiful culture.

    Start with the basics — greetings, asking directions, ordering food — and slowly build up from there. Language-learning apps can help make this process fun and educational, not to mention provide ideal entertainment when you’re spending lots of downtime on public transit. It’s also important to remember that it’s not just the language but also understanding cultural norms, such as bowing to show respect and removing shoes before entering homes.

    Tokyo is a city where ancient traditions blend seamlessly with futuristic visions. From the tranquil Meiji Shrine to the high-tech robotics, it’s a city of contrasts, offering a cultural buffet you’re about to dive into.

    4. Set up Your Finances

    As you embark on your Tokyo journey, setting up your finances is another must-do on your checklist. Opening a bank account may seem daunting with the language barrier, but many banks will offer services in English. If you’re not in Tokyo long term and can function with your original bank account, get a travel-friendly credit card to avoid transaction fees while abroad.

    Understanding the tax system is another crucial hurdle if you make Tokyo your domicile long-term. Yes, it can be confusing. But, resources like the Tokyo Metropolitan Government website provide helpful guides to navigate your way.

    5. Think about How to Stay Connected

    Tokyo is one of the most digitally connected cities in the world, and having reliable mobile and internet services is critical. When it comes to getting a SIM card or setting up internet services, companies like SoftBank, NTT Docomo, and Rakuten are popular choices.

    Just be prepared: Although the city moves at lightning speed, setting up these services can sometimes take a while. Patience, as they say, is a virtue! But be sure you have a plan for communicating with loved ones in your home country until you’re settled.

    Embrace Your New Adventure

    Relocating to Tokyo can seem like climbing Mount Fuji — exciting, challenging, and intimidating. But just like the stunning view from the peak, the rewards of your new life in Tokyo will be well worth it. You’re ready to dive into Tokyo life with the right accommodation, a grasp of the transport system, basic language skills, prepared finances, and ways to stay connected.

    Embrace the sushi, the sumo, the salarymen, and the Shinjuku Station luggage storage. It’s all part of your new journey. Tokyo, here you come!

    Also Read5 Benefits of Interacting with Your Community in a Coworking Space

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    Josie Patra
    Josie Patra is a veteran writer with 21 years of experience. She comes with multiple degrees in literature, computer applications, multimedia design, and management. She delves into a plethora of niches and offers expert guidance on finances, stock market, budgeting, marketing strategies, and such other domains. Josie has also authored books on management, productivity, and digital marketing strategies.

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