Moving/Relocating To Tokyo: 12 BRUTALLY HONEST Advice To Ensure Your Relocation Goes Smoothly

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Moving to Tokyo will surely give you an exciting experience. Tokyo is known for its vibrant nightlife, culture, and economy. There will be many things to do and experience when living in Tokyo.

Life in Tokyo can be challenging if you are not well prepared. Therefore, we’re here to share with you these 12 brutally honest pieces of advice if you plan to move to Tokyo.

One of the critical pieces of advice which we will get into more detail later is to prepare a monthly budget based on the average cost of living in Tokyo. You will know how much money to prepare before your relocation date.

Let’s get started!

1. Make Sure You Know These Basic Facts About What It Is Like Living In Tokyo

Living in Tokyo can be your best experience since it will be far from boring. This city has many charms, from its weather to the daily life of the people.

Below are some fun facts about Tokyo that you’d like to know before starting your relocation.

You’ll Enjoy The Charm Of Each Season

Tokyo experiences a humid subtropical climate, which means it has four seasons with warm summers and mild winters.

The most awaited season in Tokyo is spring since the cherry blossoms will be in full bloom around this time. Many people will go out to enjoy the beauty of cherry blossoms flowers during this time.

Vending Machines

You will be surprised at how many things you can buy through vending machines. These machines sell drinks, snacks, and even meals.

These vending machines are more practical for many people since they don’t have to queue to pay.

Not Many People Speak English

Before moving to Tokyo, it is important to learn the Japanese language because you may struggle to find people who speak English in the event that you are lost or need to ask something.

It will be best to take a Japanese class before moving or soon after you arrive in Tokyo. This language class can also be a place to make friends with locals or other expats.

white and red buss on the middle of crossing street photo

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2. Carefully Pick The Best Neighbourhood For Your Lifestyle Or Risk Regretting

An important thing to do before moving to Tokyo is to find a home. To make your home search easier, you need to determine your budget, the amenities you want, and which area you prefer. This way, you’ll be able to narrow your search. Below are some of the recommended neighbourhoods in Tokyo for your reference.

West Tokyo

West Tokyo consists of several neighbourhoods, such as Nakano, Kōenji, Asagaya, and Nishi-Ogi. This area is fascinating since you will find everything here, from residential complexes and street arts, to nature.

There are restaurants, cafes, bars, and music venues around West Tokyo. This means you won’t get bored while living here.

Shibuya (pictured above)

Shibuya is a neighbourhood perfect for young professionals. You won’t lack entertainment like cinemas, dance clubs, and live music gigs here.

This area is also a hot spot for people in Tokyo to hang out or socialise. Additionally, you will also find that Shibuya has an excellent public transport connection, which will be helpful for your daily commute.

3. Be Well Prepared Or The Cost Of Living In Tokyo Might Crush Your Wallet

Your cost of living in Tokyo will depend on your lifestyle. Therefore, it is crucial to know the average living costs to estimate how much you need to spend monthly.

The average cost of living for a single person in Tokyo is around ¥300,000 (2,351.8 USD) to ¥414,275 (3,247.73 USD). This includes monthly rent in a non-expensive area.

You can use the above information as a reference when you need to negotiate for salary. You also need to remember that health insurance is crucial in Tokyo. Therefore, it is important to clarify with your employer about the health insurance coverage.

4. Better Be Safe Than Sorry! Secure A Job Before Moving To Tokyo

It is best to secure a job before moving to Tokyo. This will enable you to obtain a work visa and secure an income source.

You can find a job in Tokyo by yourself or with the assistance of an agency. If you get a job from an agency, you will need to pay agency fees. This fee can be paid once you receive your salary or beforehand.

The Japanese government also offers working holiday visas for young people who want to temporarily work and live in Japan. The visa holders are eligible to live and work part-time. This can also be your opportunity to work and live in Tokyo.

5. Learn How To Get Around The City By Public Transport Or You’ll Probably Get Lost

The public transport system in Tokyo is well connected and effective. You can go anywhere by taking a train or subway.

Don’t forget to purchase a prepaid card to pay for your public transportation fares. Lastly, the most effective advice to get yourself familiar with the routes is to explore the city by taking public transportation.

empty pathway in between stores

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6. Want To Climb The Corporate Ladder? Pursue Higher Education At Some Of The Top Universities In Tokyo

Tokyo is not only famous for its economy, but also for its education service. Many people also come to Tokyo to study.

This city is an excellent place if you want to pursue higher education. You can find some of the top universities and colleges in Tokyo below for your reference:

  • The University of Tokyo,
  • Keio University,
  • Tokyo Institute Of Technology,
  • Waseda University, and
  • Meiji University.

Students from abroad who cannot speak Japanese yet will usually attend a language school for a year before starting the first semester.

This means you shouldn’t be discouraged from studying in Tokyo even if you are not fluent in Japanese.

7. Several Cultural Things To Know So You Won’t Be Accidentally Rude

Moving to a city with a different culture can be challenging if you do not put effort into learning about the city before your moving trip.

In Japan, etiquette rooted in Japanese culture is highly regarded. Therefore, here are some pointers to help you adjust to Tokyo life:

  • Be respectful when you eat. It is best to not waste food when you eat at a restaurant. If you eat at someone’s house, leaving leftovers is considered rude.
  • Do not tip for service. There will be an additional service fee, so you don’t need to tip. If you want to tip someone for their services, place the money in an envelope. It is impolite to give money directly to tip.
  • Do not eat or drink while walking. If you want to eat or drink, you can stop to stand or sit first.
  • Use both hands when presenting or taking a business card.

pagoda surrounded by trees

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8. Get Out Of Your Expat Bubble By Participating In The Local Celebrations

Even though Tokyo is a modern city with high-end technology, its local residents still preserve the old Japanese culture.

Therefore, you will get the best experience living in Tokyo if you participate in the cultural celebrations. Below are some of the festivals and events in Tokyo to enjoy throughout the year:

  • Tokyo Cherry Blossom Festivals (pictured above),
  • Fireworks Festivals,
  • Local Shrine Festivals (Matsuri),
  • Winter Illuminations, and
  • New Year (Shōgatsu).

9. Explore The Best Recreational Spots In Tokyo For A Work-Life Balance

Tokyo is a beautiful place to live in Asia. Its residents get to enjoy culture, beautiful nature, and other exciting activities to do.

Here is a list of places in Tokyo that you should visit during your free time:

  • Meiji Shrine,
  • Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden,
  • Sensō-Ji Temple (pictured above),
  • Tokyo Skytree,
  • Imperial Palace, and many more.

If you want to have fun and pump your adrenaline, you can visit the local amusement parks like Tokyo Disneyland and Sagamiko Resort.

10. Don’t Regret Not Trying The Iconic Eating Spots Around Tokyo That Will Satisfy Your Taste Buds

Finding various foods in Tokyo is not challenging. You can even find unique restaurants and cafes that serve good food and entertainment.

To start your culinary journey, here are some of the restaurants and cafes in Tokyo you can visit for good food:

  • Nisshin Tasuke,
  • Sushi Katsura,
  • Sushiro,
  • Oreryu Shio Ramen,
  • Connell Coffee,
  • Uni Gyre, and many more.

Of course, there are many more interesting places to dine in when you’re in Tokyo. Your new local friends will be happy to recommend more restaurants and cafes to you.

11. Making A Relocation List Will Save You From Stress

A relocation list is a simple and effective way to ensure your relocation is seamless. All you need to do is write down everything you need before moving to Tokyo.

Some of the items you can include in your list are; important documents, things to pack, things to donate, the contact of your real estate agent and employer, etc.

Please remember to track your progress regularly and check which point needs to be prioritised.

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12. Work Smart And Engage Sanelo To Help With Your Relocation Process

Sanelo is an international moving company. Engaging Sanelo can save you from more stress during your relocation. We will ensure that your relocation, including the shipment of your belongings, runs smoothly.

Even if you are moving internationally, our team will walk you through the process. This includes assisting with the documents and paperwork for the immigration clearance.

Conclusion On Moving To Tokyo

There are many good things you can expect while living in Tokyo. This city offers safety, neighbourhoods which fit any needs and personalities, and an excellent transportation system. Tokyo also has vibrant cultural scenes that you can experience through the food landmarks and festivals.

Before moving to Tokyo, you must prepare a relocation list to track your moving progress.

To make your relocation even more convenient, engage Sanelo to assist you during the process. You can check out information and tips from Sanelo about moving to other major cities such as London, New York, Sydney, and Dubai.

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving To Tokyo

Is Tokyo A Good Place To Live?

Yes, Tokyo is an excellent place to live. It is a safe city that offers exceptional amenities for its residents.

Tokyo also offers entertainment and nightlife that keep this city alive, even after midnight.

Is Tokyo Expat-friendly?

Yes, Tokyo is generally a safe and friendly place for expats. Moreover, this city is one of the international business centres in the world.

If you need a support system from your fellow expats, you can find an expat community. There, you will be able to find people to help you overcome the culture shock or any difficulties while living in Tokyo.

How Much Should I Earn Monthly To Live In Tokyo?

The average salary in Tokyo is ¥325,000 (2,547.85 USD). People who earn this figure can afford a decent lifestyle in Tokyo for a single person.

Can Sanelo Help With My Relocation To Tokyo?

Yes, we can! Our team has years of experience in handling local and international relocations. Contact us for more information, and let us know your needs.

It is best to reach out to us three months before your moving date. This way, our team will be able to prepare and adjust your relocation process.


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