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Moving Procedures in Japan: 3 Essential Tips to Ease the Process
Jan 30, 2024
4 min read
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Are you moving to a new apartment, city, town or prefecture in Japan? Are you confused about the procedure and what you need to do to report your change of address? Did you know that if you move, you must complete the procedure within 14 days? In this article, we have compiled some useful information for you to know when you move in Japan, so please take a look!

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:

  • What to do about your apartment
  • What to do at the local ward office
  • What to do at the post office and bank

Moving Out of Your Apartment

When moving out of a rental apartment, you will need to completely empty the room. Large furniture and oversized garbage will need to be picked up at the ward office or recycle store. Note that there is a charge for large furniture and electrical appliances, depending on their size and type.

You will also need to arrange a "move-out inspection" with the owner through the broker you have contracted with.

Once you have decided to move out (after you have collected your furniture and appliances), the broker and the owner will inspect the house to check for any significant damage that is outside the scope of "reasonable wear and tear" covered by the deposit you paid when you signed the contract.

Usually, any remaining balance not needed for repairs or cleaning will be refunded. However, cleaning fees are always required, even if you clean it yourself. It is best not to expect a refund. 

After you move out, it usually takes about a month for the agency to determine how much money will be refunded to your bank account.

You must also remember to contact the gas company, water company, and electric company to cancel your lease and to inform them of your move.

Procedures to Complete at the Ward Office

If you are moving to another municipality, you must first submit a "notification of moving out" (tenshutsu todoke, 転出届) at the ward office of your former address. Download the Moving-out Notification form from the ward website, write down the necessary information, and mail it to the designated address. For specific instructions, please check the website of your ward office.

After that, submit a "notification of moving in" (tennyu tod 転入届) at the municipal office where you are moving to. If you are moving within the same municipality, you only need to submit a "Notification of Change of Address". In both cases, you will need identification documents and your personal seal (hanko , はんこ) . Your new address will also be entered on your residence certificate at the municipal office.

These procedures must be completed within 14 days of moving in or out. In addition, if you are enrolled in the National Health Insurance (kokuminhoken, 国民保険) , you must submit a notice of change of address to the designated counter at the ward office and submit documents to both the old and new wards.

What to Do at the Post Office and Bank

When you move to a new address, you must submit a notice of change of address to your local post office. Mail sent to your old address will be forwarded to your new address for one year. You will need to bring an ID that shows your new address, as well as your personal seal and identification documents.

You can search the Internet for the necessary documents and mail them to the post office, but that method is only available in Japanese. Please be aware of this.

And finally, you will need to notify your workplace or bank of the change of address. You can easily do this online at most banks.

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

Phew! Are you ready to move out? Make sure you don't forget to make an appointment for garbage collection, change of address procedures at the ward office, or notify the post office of your change of address!

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