A Japanese language school cultivating global talent for international students. University preparation courses authorized by the Ministry of Education.
Our school is approved by the governor of Tokyo and is appointed by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and
Technology for university preparatory course. We are listed in the Ministry of Justice and recognized as an established education
institute and a proxy for applying immigration procedure by Tokyo Immigration Bureau.
HOME > Living in Japan > Topics on living in Japan
Upon arrival into Narita International Airport or Haneda International Airport you will receive a landing permission seal which will be stamped inside your passport. Those who become a mid-term or long-term resident via the landing permit will be issued a residence card. It is mandatory that all residents who received a residence card file a report with their nearest Ward office or City hall within 14 days from when they began living in their home. It is your obligation to carry your residence card with you at all time. You are required to present your residence card immediately to any one of legal authority upon request.
For the sake of supplementing living expenses and school tuition, the number of foreign exchange students who not only study, but work part time is rather high. However, there are set guidelines and restrictions for those residents who hold status as a student. Therefore, it is required that one first applies for and receives work permission from the immigration office. In the case of those who didn't receive work permission upon arriving to Japan, please apply for work permission and follow the guidelines as listed below. Also, please do not violate any set conditions/laws while working in Japan.
■Part-time work, condition number 1
Those holding residence status registered as “student” and getting work permission from the immigration office are limited as to the amount of hours one can work. While attending school, you are not permitted to work over 28 hours in a single week. (Summer vacation/winter vacation/spring vacation is an exception. You are legally able to work up to 8 hours in one day).
■Part-time work, condition number 2
Along with specifically set weekly working hours, students are strictly prohibited to engage in any sexual field of work. Bars, cabarets, or any sort of service where you sit alongside with customers directly, manners and customs of sexual behavior related jobs, any sort of work involving encouraging customers to gamble is prohibited (such as Pachinko slots, Mahjong, etc…). Even working as a dish washer at these sorts of places is not acceptable.
You are legally able to reenter Japan within one year from the day of your last departure. Please note that it is not possible to extend your legal duration of stay in Japan as listed on your residence card from overseas. If you do not return to Japan within the one year period, your status as a Japanese foreign citizen becomes void, and you are no longer capable of using your residence card as legal permission to stay in Japan.
*Also note that returning to Japan within one year; you are legally able to stay in Japan up till the renewal date printed on your residence card.
Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau
Tokyo Immigration Bureau
Student Inspection Department
5-5-30 Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 108-0075
(1) From the Konan exit (east exit) at JR Shinagawa Station, board the Toei bus (Shinagawa Futo Junkan) from the #8 bus stop. Please continue to ride the bus, and get off at the "Tokyo Nyukoku-Kanrikyoku Mae" bus stop.
(2) Board the Tokyo Monorail or the Rinkai line till "Tennozu Isle" station. The Immigration Bureau is approximately a 15 minutes walk from the station.
Health insuranceNational Health Insurance
When opening a bank account, you will need to present your passport, resident card, student card, and (for those who have one) your signature seal to the bank of your choice, and proceed with beginning the process.
At any Japanese bank, you can do things like break change and exchange currencies, as well as electronic money transfers. When receiving medical bills and any other subsidies, you will be required to pay through bank transfers, so ideally, creating a bank account will become very vital and convenient for you while living in Japan.
Banks in Japan are open weekdays from 9:00 till 15:00. If using a cash card to withdraw money from an ATM by 18:00, you can avoid being charged a small ATM withdrawal fee. Also, there are often ATMs available at convenient stores that you can use at any time. If you choose so, you may also open a bank account at the Japan Post office. If you use a cash card issued by the Japanese post office at any post office ATM, you will not be charged a withdrawal fee. Japan Post office ATMs support the usage of foreign credit/debit cards. This is very convenient for students residing in Japan for short periods of time.
Phones & cellphones
When coming to Japan, you will have most likely only be able to use public telephones. You can only use 10 yen coins, 100 yen coins, or prepaid phone cards when dialing from a public phone. You can purchase phone cards from stores within train stations, vending machines, and places like convenience stores. You can make international phone calls with public telephones that have the words "International phone calls" listed on them (not all public telephones have international calling capabilities). When making any international phone call, it is probably better to make a call paying with a calling card.
As soon as you establish a bank account here in Japan, you can contract your own personal cell phone.
Depending on the cell phone company, phone plans and prices will drastically vary, and some companies even provide student discounted prices if you present your student ID. We suggest that you thoroughly look into each company's phone plans/services, prices, and phones available before making your final decision.
When you have something you want to send or deliver, you have the option to send through the post office services or an alternative delivery company.
The post office provides delivery services for things like post cards, stamps, packages/parcels, and special mailing packages/parcels for sending books. Sending post cards costs 62 JPY and sending letters costs 82 JPY. You have the option to use express mail, which will be sent at much faster of a speed. However, you will be required to pay additional express mail fees. There are three types of international delivery methods: Air mail, shipping, and SAL mail. Depending on the destination and weight of the item you want to send, the price will drastically vary. For more information on international mailing and shipping rates, you can directly ask the post office yourself, or you can look information up on the international shipping and mailing home page regarding the size and weight of the item, and destination in which you want to send it to. All post offices are open Monday through Friday from 10:00 till 17:00. Bigger post office branches may be open as late as 21:00, and some places may even be open on Saturdays and Sundays.
For more details, please visit the Japanese postal service home page (http://www.post.japanpost.jp).
Also, use of any alternative delivery methods can be taken care of at almost any convenient store. There are also services available that will directly come to your house and handle the delivery for you.
Electricity, Water, and Gas
In general, electricity, water, and gas are not included in rent, so you are going to have to make the contract yourself. When making an apartment contract, the real estate agency will kindly teach you how to go about setting up electricity, water, and gas.
Located in east Japan, our school's electrical frequency is 100 volts/50 watts. If you are using any electrical devices that run on a different electrical frequency, they may be unusable here at our school (and in east Japan), so please double check your electrical devices.
There are two types of gas that may be available for use in your home: "city gas", and "propane gas". Depending on the region and location in which you live, the type of gas that you can use will vary. Using certain devices that are not compatible with the gas available in your home can be extremely dangerous, so thoroughly check and confirm the gas in which you use, and the compatibility of the device/s that you want to buy.
Proper garbage disposal & collection
Garbage disposed in each region and location in Japan will not be collected unless it has been separated in a specific way, taken out on a specific day, and thrown out in a specific designated area. Abiding by this proper garbage disposal method is the first step to starting your life in Japan. Garbage is generally divided into three categories: combustible, non-combustible, and over-sized garbage.
Depending on the district/area/location in which you are living, garbage collection days, time, and location will vary. Normally, combustibles are collected twice weekly, and non-combustibles are collected once weekly.
Japan has a very substantial, developed transportation system, with buses and trains that allow for transportation to almost anywhere you need to go.
In Japan, people walk on the right side of the road, but cars drive on the left. Bicycles are treated the same as cars, thus as a general rule, you are required to ride your bicycle in the road as cars do. Pedestrians always have the right of way, and while riding bicycles on the side walk, please ride slower than you would while riding in the road. Riding a bicycle while under the influence of alcohol; riding two people on one bicycle; and riding parallel with other bicyclists is against the law.
What to do when you become sick/ill
When you are feeling sick, take your health insurance card, and immediately go see a doctor. Hours of conducted medical examinations may vary hospital to hospital, but many hospitals are generally open weekdays till the afternoon. Many hospitals and medical clinics are closes on Sunday and holidays, so double check with your local medical facilities ahead of time. Excluding dental offices, scheduling an appointment in advanced in seldom needed. When going to a medical facility on normal hours of operation, you will generally wait in the lobby until you are called (you will be called in the order in which you arrived and checked in with the front desk). In the case of a medical emergency requiring the aid of an ambulance, dial 119 as soon as possible.
Japanese water is safe to drink straight out of the faucet, however some people complain that certain places' water may smell a little chlorinated. If this smell bothers you, simply either boil, or run the water through a purification machine prior to drinking.
Taking off your shoes prior to entering your home
Many homes in Japan have a place called a genkan which is a designated area in which people take off, and put on their shoes prior to entering and leaving their home. Some people have a pair of slippers ready at the front door to slip into after removing their shoes; however people remove even their slippers prior to entering any tatami rooms. There are many offices in Japan that permit wearing shoes inside, but there are also situations where some require you to slip into slippers prior entering the building/office.
Bathrooms & toilets
Please be very considerate of how you use public bathrooms and bath houses, as well as the bathrooms of someone else's home. Before entering the bathtub, wash your entire body of with soap and warm water. Do NOT wash your body off while inside the bathtub. When using soap to wash your body, do so prior to entering the bathtub. The water in the bathtub isn't something that you can easily drain and refill each time someone takes a bath. It is something to be mutually used by everyone, so please do not unplug the bathroom plug after you have finished taking a bath. In Japan, there are two types of toilets: western-style, and Japanese-style. When using a Japanese-style toilet, you will have to crouch down, as they are built directly into the floor. When using a flushing toilet, flushing down anything other than toilet paper may result in toilet clogging, so please avoid flushing any unnecessary object down the toilet.
TV & radio
If you live in a place with a strong enough signal, you may watch tv and listen to the radio as you wish. If desired, cable and satellite tv is also available at a monthly cost. Since NHK provides this public broadcasting service, it is required by law that you anyone who owns a television pay the television reception fee.
Restaurants/places to eat
At many Japanese and Chinese restaurants, you will be provided chopsticks when eating your meals. If you cannot use chopsticks, you can simply request that someone bring you a spoon and/or fork.
Cash-on-delivery restaurants are quite uncommon. Most places in Japan will require you to pay your bill prior to leaving the restaurant after you have finished eating (this includes bars and other places that serve alcoholic drinks as well). Tipping customs do not exist in Japan; however there are occasions where additional service fees will be automatically included in your bill (mainly at hotels and restaurants).
Whenever you purchase something or make a bank transfer nationwide, there will almost always be an extra sales tax in addition to the actual price of what things cost, so please keep that in mind.
The most common method of paying for things in Japan is with cash, but at places like hotels, restaurants, and supermarkets, payment via credit card is often acceptable.
Crime and other potential problems
In the case you experience things like traffic accidents or thievery, immediately dial 110 to contact the police. If there is anyone wounded at the time of a traffic-related accident, it is very important to get them immediate medical attention. When it is necessary to call for an ambulance, immediately dial 119.
Responding appropriately to disasters
In the case of an earthquake, first get under any desk or table nearest you to protect yourself from falling objects. If there are any fires, extinguish them if possible, and proceed to open any closed doors.
Double check any areas of danger near your home, and check and confirm local evacuation areas near your home (such as elementary schools, middle schools, public parks, etc.). You should prepare multiple alternative evacuation areas and ways to reach them in the case that pathways become blocked, or evacuation areas become unreachable.
Also, in the case of a severe earthquake, the possibility of a tsunami occurring is really high. In order to protect yourself from a tsunami, you should escape to an elevated place (such as the 3rd floor of a building, etc.).
In the case of a fire, immediately call 119. Calling 119 from a public phone is free of charge. Simply lift the phone, press the emergency button, and proceed with calling.
Living in Japan
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