Moving Procedures in Japan: 3 Essential Tips to Ease the Process | Guidable
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Moving Procedures in Japan: 3 Essential Tips to Ease the Process

By Margherita Mar 23, 2023

Are you moving apartment, city, ward, or prefecture in Japan? Confused about the process and what you have to do to notify your change of address? Did you know you have to complete the process within 14 days of moving? Here’s all you need to know!

Moving within Japan? 3 Steps to Help Your Journey

In this article, we are going to uncover what you need to do when moving out of your city or ward in Japan, and we will cover:

Moving Out of Your Apartment

If you are moving out from a rented apartment, you will need to leave it completely empty. You’ll need to apply on your ward office for large furniture or trash (called sodai gomi, 粗大ゴミ) to be collected. Please note that collection requires a fee depending on the size and type of object (large piece of furniture, appliances…)

Read more about sodai gomi and other trash in this article.

You also need to set up a meeting with your owner through the agency you signed the contract with for the “leaving inspection”. 

On the decided day, once you have completely moved out from the house (and furniture and appliances have been collected), an agent and the owner will inspect the house to check for serious damages that fall outside of the “reasonable wear and tear” bracket covered by the deposit you paid upon signing the contract. Usually, you will be refunded the remaining amount not needed for the repairs and cleaning. A cleaning fee is always required even if you clean the apartment yourself, so I wouldn’t put too much effort into it!

The agency will notify you how much is determined to be refunded back into your bank account roughly a month or so after you move out.

Remember to contact gas, water, and electricity companies to cancel your contract or to move it to the new location.

Procedures to Complete at the Ward Office

filling the address for moving out

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If you are moving to a different city, ward, town, or village, you will have to submit a “Notification of Moving Out” (tenshutsu todoke, 転出届) at the municipal office of the ward of your former address. You can also submit it by mail: download the form (available in both Japanese and English) from the ward website, fill it in, and send it via mail to the designated address (instructions from Nakano ward as an example here). Check your local ward website for detailed instructions.

After that, submit the “Notification of Moving In” (tennyu todoke, 転入届) at your new municipal office. 

If you are moving within the same municipality or ward, you only need to submit a “Notification of Change of Address” (tenkyo todoke, 転居届) to the municipal office. In all cases, identification documents and a personal seal (hanko, はんこ) are required.

The new address will also be updated on your residence card at the municipal office.

All the 3 above procedures need to be completed within 14 days of moving into a new ward or changing address.

If you are enrolled in National Health Insurance (kokuminhoken, 国民保険) you will also have to notify your change of address to the appointed desk at the ward office, filing a document at the former ward and one at the new ward: you will technically disenrol and enroll again in the new ward or municipality.

What to Do at the Post Office and Bank

signing with japanese hanko

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When moving out, you must also submit a notice of change of address to the local post office. The mail sent to your old address will be forwarded to your new address for one year. You will need to show an ID showing the new address you will be moving to and bring your personal seal and an identification document with you.

The necessary documents can also be retrieved online and then sent to the post office via mail, but the instructions are available in Japanese only.

And last but not least, notify your workplace and bank of the change of address. For most banks, this can be easily done online. 

This Is All You Need to Do When Moving Out of Japan

Phew! Are you almost ready to move out? Book your garbage collection, spend a morning at your local ward office to update your address, and notify the post office of your change of address: this is all you need to do when moving out in Japan.

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