Moving House

Essential tasks to carry out before moving house in Japan, from letting relevant authorities know of your change of address to arranging mail forwarding…

Change of Address

Any change of address must be recorded on the resident card/alien registration card within 14 days of moving. Residents must submit a moving out notification at the municipal office (city hall) in their place of residence. They must then submit a moving in notification at the local municipal office in the new area of residency. Proof of the new address will be needed. Notification must be filed in person, although it may be possible to designate an agent with a written letter of proxy. Failure to give notification of a change of address without a justifiable reason can lead to revocation of resident status.

Note: the resident card replaced the alien registration card in July 2012 as part of the new residency management system, although the alien registration card remains valid until July 2015.

Holders of a registered personal seal (inkan), should also update this at the local municipal office of their new place of residence.

  • For further information on seals and seal registration: Click here

Driving licences

The address on a Japanese driving licence must be updated when moving house. This can be done at a police station in the new jurisdiction; a resident card or alien registration card, updated with the new address, is required.

Rented Accommodation

Notice periods can vary and are stipulated in the contract, as are the contract's termination procedures for both the tenant and the landlord. Notice periods are generally one to two months and may, depending on the terms of the contract, need to be given in writing. Leaving a rental property before the end of the lease may incur a penalty fee or losing part of the security deposit.

The property should be left in the same condition as it was initially to have a security deposit returned.

Utilities

Before moving house in Japan all utility companies (electricity, gas, water and telephone providers) should be informed of the move so that the service can be stopped.

Water

The local government's waterworks division (Suido Tanto-ka) should be contacted.

People living in Tokyo should contact the Tokyo Water Service. Applications to stop the water service can be done online, the customer service number is required when cancelling the service.

Electricity

The local electricity provider should be contacted to end supply. Companies include:

Most companies allow clients to cancel their account online, the customer service number is required. The final bill is sent within a few days.

  • For information on closing an account when moving house from TEPCO: Click here

Gas

The local gas provider should be notified of the intention to move.

Telephone

NTT East or NTT West customers should contact the company to arrange the relocation of a landline telephone. Mobile telephone and Internet service providers should also be contacted to inform them of the change of address.

Insurance

People should update their contact details on their National Insurance or Social Insurance scheme before moving. Anyone enrolled in the National Insurance scheme should visit their local municipal office to inform them of the move. Once at the new residence they must update their address details within 14 days of arriving at their new local municipal office. All other insurance providers, for example home insurance, should also be contacted.

Post and Banks

Japan Post provides a mail forwarding service for up to one year, which can be arranged at the post office or online. To apply for the service, fill in a mail forwarding application form (tenso todoke) form at any post office, indicating the date of the move.

Alternatively the service can be requested online, although the service is only available in Japanese.

All necessary banks should be informed of a new address.

Further Information

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs guide to living in Japan: Click here (PDF)