Every year in Japan there is a time in which people move companies and that means that they will move houses as well. Check out our article to learn more about the moving season in Japan.
The Japanese calendar has many holidays and special times of the year to celebrate such as New Year’s, the Emperor’s birthday, and Golden Week to name a few. One time of the year that isn’t celebrated, but is very important, is moving season. Every year in March companies go out to find new hires or to let old workers go to rotate a fresh batch of workers. This means that people will be getting ready to pack up their things and move to new areas to accommodate their new employment. This is the start of the moving season and some things change during this time that can make aspects of moving more difficult than they would be at any other time. We will go over the times that it happens and some of the new problems that may arise from the influx of people moving.
When Should you Move?
Living costs in Japan are always a big factor in moving to a new apartment, but another factor is the time of the year. Since March is the hiring and firing time it becomes extremely busy during that time. People are changing positions and bringing their entire family along. It becomes a massive hassle to try and find an agency that will have time to spend on you and get your best Japanese apartment. April is also busy since it includes late hires and people settling into their new places. Another busy time is after December and New Year’s. It isn’t as busy as March and April, but it is busier than normal.
If you want to face the least amount of traffic and crowds, you should look for other times of the year. The summertime and the beginning of fall are some of the best times to plan your move within Japan. Most people are still trying to work hard at their jobs and trying to spend time with their families. Students are on break, so families are content to stay where they are at.
August to November is a great time to begin looking, as you will beat the rush of people and there will be open appointments at realtor agencies. You can find your Japanese apartment with ease if you plan accordingly.
What Places will be the busiest?
One aspect that some people may forget is that the prefecture, city, and area will have a huge impact on your cost of living in Japan.
Big cities like Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto will have the most traffic when looking for a place to stay during the spring. Popular areas in those cities will also be more expensive than normal. The countryside will have its busy areas, but it will be easier than the inner cities.
If you want less pricey Japanese apartments, then you should stay near the outskirts of the city. The suburbs are a great place to apartment hunt. The cost of living is lower in those places and there may be more choices of apartments available to you. Look closely at the city you are trying to move to and you can find the best apartment for your needs.
What are the biggest changes?
During March there are a few things that change about the moving process. The biggest change is the price of moving in general. The moving companies are under a lot of pressure and are the busiest they will be all year. They tend to charge more than usual for the same kind of moving services they would provide any other time of the year.
They do offer special packages for people moving to nearby cities or prefectures. Any distance further than that will become much more expensive. A simple move could cost you up to 300,000 yen. That doesn’t include cleaning fees for your old apartment either.
Landlords are more likely to raise the prices on their properties as well. The same apartment that would be 60,000 yen a month to live in will increase by 10,000 yen if there is enough interest. Your realtors will have fewer properties to show you and may be less willing to try and help foreigners find a good apartment. Japanese apartments can be difficult for foreigners at normal slow times of the year, but during the moving season, it can be even harder to find one. Finding a good realtor can help you at this time but being a foreigner will work against you more during peak moving season. The good thing is that your cost of living in Japan will not go up during this time since it only involves moving your worldly items.
Can my Company Help?
Some companies will offer some perks to come and work for them. They can provide Japanese apartments, help with moving costs, serve as your guarantor, and cover some basic utilities. Many companies will try to offer moving incentives or try to give you some relief in one area of the process.
Standard practice is to be the guarantor for your apartment, and they will set up your basic utilities and talk to your landlord for you. You will need to contact your company to try and work out the basics of what they will give you. Be careful, as some companies have made promises that they do not keep when the workers fly over to Japan. Make sure to do as much research as you can on your new company before agreeing to a contract.
The cost of living in Japan will fluctuate depending on your lifestyle and the area you will inhabit. You will have to look ahead of time and beat the rush to get the best place. Japanese apartment hunting can be difficult in general and trying to get it done during the busiest part of the year will decrease your chances of getting the apartment you want. Save up your money and start looking during the slow part of the year and you will do fine.