Moving from a small country to Japan

Moving to Japan is as scary as it is exciting. Immersing yourself in an entirely different culture than what you’re used to at home is a daunting process even without the usual hurdles of relocating. Careful planning and prepping are key to moving from a small country to Japan as many things can go wrong but with the correct preparation, you can ensure everything goes smoothly. Choosing a reliable moving company is a must if you want to avoid unneeded stress so instead of worrying about minute details you can sit back and focus on the new chapter in your life.

Getting a valid visa

The first step and most important step you should take care of before embarking on a move to Japan is sorting out your visa and other documents. Japan has a system that favors young and educated people with an ample amount of work experience but there are several different types of visas you can apply to. It’s paramount that you carefully research visa requirements, otherwise you can get yourself in a lot of trouble and even be banned from entering Japan. Overstaying your visit is also a big no-no and will lead to unnecessary trouble.


a grey passport on a desk next to a toy plane
Check visa requirements when moving from a small country to Japan

Getting a work visa when moving to Japan from a small country

Getting a workers visa is amongst the easier ways of securing your residency before your big move. If you’re relocating to Japan from a smaller country, you might find it more difficult to obtain a job because of a lack of available opportunities but do not fret – the internet can aid you in your search. Many sites exist solely for helping foreigners find employment in Japan. Once you land a job and pass the interview, your employer will take care of the rest.

Acquiring a student visa

Another option you can consider is attending a Japanese university. It’s the best way to fully immerse yourself in Japan’s culture from the get-go and one of the easiest ways of obtaining a visa. Tuition costs are low compared to some other countries in the west. Furthermore, if you can score a scholarship this is one of the cheapest ways of moving to Japan as you’ll only have to pay for your accommodation.

Deciding what to bring when moving to Japan

Now comes the trickiest and hardest part of your journey – finding the best way to efficiently pack your belongings. Taking everything you own with you might not be feasible when you’re immigrating from a small country to Japan. Big city apartments are small and cramped without extra room for storage.

a woman sitting on the floor surrounded by moving boxes because of moving to Japan from a smaller country
Moving is a good way of getting rid of unnecessary clutter

Below we have listed some easy ways to declutter items:

  • sell what you have no use for
  • gift sentimental items to friends and family
  • buy a storage unit before moving from a small country to Japan
  • donate any unsuitable clothes to a local shelter
  • get rid of nonessentials, you’ll have plenty of chance to purchase them in Japan

Lastly, you should pack everything in sturdy cardboard boxes and use plenty of bubble wrap to protect your valuables during the shipping process.

Choosing the best way to transport items

Another issue you’ll encounter when relocating from a smaller country to Japan is choosing the right shipping method. Moving furniture across the world is no easy task. Before deciding how to go about this issue, do your research and read plenty of reviews. Additionally, contact companies well ahead of time – this is not a step you should rush.

There’s a variety of different approaches you can choose for your move. Hiring professional help will make your life infinitely easier. It’ll save you nerves, time, and money. A popular service for transporting cargo over long distances is air freight forwarders, renowned not only for their speed but safety as well. A team of highly skilled workers will be able to assist you every step of the way and make sure your items reach their destination in one piece.

Overcoming cultural shock that comes with moving from a small country to Japan

There are many challenges you’ll likely encounter in your new surroundings. Finding your bearings in a foreign country can be anxiety-inducing. Everything around you will seem alien and overwhelming when moving to Japan from a smaller country. Subsequently, you might find yourself feeling lost and even question if the move was the right choice. But these feelings are only temporary and the more you engage with the local culture, the more you’ll feel at home. Here are some ways to get to know Japan after moving to curb your homesickness:

  • learn the language to the best of your abilities
  • explore local cuisine
  • visit museums and art galleries
  • study customs and etiquette
  • meet people via mobile apps
  • find a community of expats
walkway in a shinto temple
Exploring new cultures is fun and broadens your horizons

Once you’re there

First of all, congratulations on the move! Pat yourself on the back for making it this far. Unfortunately, you can’t relax just yet. All your stuff arrived safely and now the last thing left to do is unpack and decorate your new living space. You should always unpack the necessities first, anything you find essential to carry out your daily routine. This includes medications, cooking utensils, toiletries, and so on.

Second on your checklist should be the kitchen, followed by the bedrooms, bathroom, and living spaces. You don’t have to fully organize and decorate your home immediately, this stage is just for getting everything up and running. Take a break and familiarize yourself with your surroundings. Go on a walk through the neighborhood, explore the city, learn how you can get around and what places to avoid. While the Japanese are known to be reserved, introducing yourself to your neighbors won’t do any harm.

Moving from a small country to Japan is going to be frightening at first, and you’ll never fully fit in as a foreigner. Nonetheless, it’s a land full of amazing opportunities for those willing to take the risk. Stay open-minded and soon you’ll be able to truly call Japan your home.


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