Moving to Japan: What You Need Before You Go

Japan has become one of the most appealing destinations to relocate to in Asia in recent years. The reason for this is that the Japanese culture is centuries old and has such innovative and spectacular aspects to witness for foreigners. The fascinating culture aside, the Japanese economy has surely taken over and dominated global commerce, particularly in the technology sector. For expats that are interested in relocating to Japan, it is absolutely worth considering.

Consider the conversation below when trying to ascertain whether relocating to Japan is the ideal choice for you as an expat:

Cultural Differences

Japanese culture is quite different from cultures in other parts of the world. The food, language, history, and arts are quite distinct. For the expat who adores engaging in fascinating cultures around the globe, Japan offers an experience that is truly unmatched in other parts of the world. For expats that are less comfortable with living in cultures that have a substantial linguistic difference, it is wise to contemplate whether the Japanese language would be far too complex. Japanese has two alphabets, which can seem quite intimidating to foreigners. Be sure to take this into account when deciding whether Japan is the ideal fit.

Cost of Living

An important aspect to consider when trying to ascertain whether Japan is the ideal fit for your family as an expat is the cost of living. The Japanese Yen is faring quite well in the global financial markets; however, the Japanese Yen is the least of your worries if you are considering relocating to Japan. The cost of real estate and day-to-day in living is on par with Hong Kong, New York City, and London if you are residing in Tokyo. Additionally, smaller cities such as Fukuoka, Osaka, and Kobe are not much better. Be sure that you are adequately prepared to take on the exorbitant cost of living that exists in Japan. In doing so, you will be prepared to enjoy your experience in Japan with diving into as many cultural events as possible while you are residing there.


If you are considering relocating to Japan with your family, you should know that there are fantastic international schools available there to send your children. These schools have programs that are available in English that have world renown reputations for sending their students to elite universities around the globe. What is important to remember about these programs is that they are quite competitive and they require applying quite early in order to have successful admission.

Employment Opportunities

Multinationals: For those looking for engaging employment opportunities, many of the world’s finest multinationals have offices in Tokyo. For this reason, it is quite prosperous to obtain one of those cultivated international multinational jobs in Tokyo if you have the capability. If you are able to obtain one of these positions, you will likely be afforded a salary that will enable you to live quite well in Japan. Be sure that you plan for this position from your home country. Finding multinational jobs in Japan can be quite difficult if you apply from Tokyo. Usually, the foreigners that obtain these positions are sent directly from their home countries. That being said, if you are able to be placed in one of these assignments you can and will have a spectacular experience that has the potential to change the course of your life and career.

English Teachers: If you are an expat that has decided to not go the corporate route, it is wise to look into becoming an English teacher. Bear in mind that Japan is one of the most competitive markets to find high-quality English teaching positions because the pay is high and the contract standards are reputable. Japan also has the JET program, which allows foreigners to teach in Japan for two years with all expenses paid. This program is a great option for young professionals starting out that want to have their housing covered, experience a wonderful cultural immersion, and come back with a substantial amount of money saved. Be sure that you consider this carefully if you are looking for meaningful employment and are interested in Japanese culture.

Final Remarks on the Subject 

Japan has a great deal to offer a wide variety of expats. The important aspect to take into account when trying to decide whether Japan is the ideal fit is to make sure that you have the proper salary to be able to afford to live well in Japan and also to enjoy the fantastic cultural delights available to you. If you are able to afford to live well in Japan, you absolutely have the potential to experience a divine experience as an expat. Additionally, if you would like to bring your children to Japan, there is absolutely an opportunity for them to not only to do well there but to thrive their due to the sensational educational system available in Japan to expat. Thus, consider Japan when contemplating the ideal place to relocate as an expat and you will surely not regret your decision.

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