Here’s a Checklist of What to Bring If You’re Moving to Japan

Pack all the essentials.

Photo Pakutaso

Moving to Japan? With such a big milestone in your life and your career, there are a lot of things to consider. Packing essential things is one of them. 

Everyone has their own list of essentials to bring, but in this article, our team of foreign writers provided a list based on their own experience. These things definitely made them wonder, “why didn’t I think of bringing this in the first place?” Although experiencing this first-hand is an important life lesson on its own, we give you the advantage of averting regret by providing a list that, at the very least, is tried and tested. 


We all have our preferred medicine brands, which not only do we trust, but we know works best for us. When moving to a foreign country, whether it is Japan or not, it can be daunting to use unknown medicines, especially if it’s labeled in a language that is not your own.

Other people would just find it difficult to find the right pill to address their medical conditions. Bringing a stash of common remedies for usual conditions will put you at ease in case of emergencies. However, keep in mind to bring medicine in moderation to avoid wasting them. (If symptoms persist consult your doctor!) 

Food items 

Sugar, spice, and everything nice. Local ingredients are tough, if not impossible to find. And even if you are able to find it, it would definitely cost higher than the local price. Bringing your favorite ingredients such as spices will not only help you save time and money, but it can also lessen the occasional bouts of homesickness. We recommend you bring ingredients straight from home, making sure to take in mind the different restrictions of importing food items, and expiration dates, too!  

Open-line phone

It was only until recently that sim-only contracts have started in Japan. Before, getting a phone line required getting a contract with a phone. Luckily, low-cost
sim cards are now available for purchase. Best of all, you have the option of using your existing phone, so as long as it complies with the bandwidth standards of Japan and it is not tied to a local telecom! Before coming to Japan, make sure your phone is unlocked, because unlocking services are rare, if not expensive in Japan.

Traditional Clothes

You never know when a situation where traditional clothes are needed will come. In Japan, we guarantee that you might find yourself in a situation just like we did. All of our foreign writers have experienced where they were requested to wear traditional clothes—most of the time in the company setting. Coming to Japan gives you an opportunity to showcase your culture. Just a recommendation: bring more than one set to share with other people as well! 


Important Documents

You would think that after getting your visa, you would no longer need any of your important documents. However, there are cases where you will need to bring documents such as birth certificates, school documents, marriage/divorce documents, especially when renewing your passports. Make sure to bring extra documents to avoid facing the hassle of asking your family members to send them to you all the way to Japan.

If not through our experience of being underprepared, we would not have been able to create this list for you. As this list is based on our experience, feel free to add this to your own list, or better yet share your lists down in the comments below! 

 (31 July 2019)

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