If you’re moving in Japan and need some guidance on moving out, recycling in Japan, moving companies in Japan, and large garbage collection, please read on!
If you’ve been living in Japan for a while, you’ve probably figured out how to do the recycling in Japan and sort your trash for your garbage collection. Moving in Japan, however, is a whole other experience, since you will probably have a lot of bulky items, you’ll be needing to get rid of.
When moving out of somewhere, we often come to some realization of just how much stuff we’ve accumulated, unless you can live like Marie Kondo – if that’s the case, good for you! If not, it can take quite a while to organize all your bits, so make sure to get started as soon as possible, please don’t let the moving out day creep up on you!
Large Garbage Collection
Once you’ve sorted out all your bits that can be given to second-hand shops, you’ll probably still be left with some large things that you can’t dispose of in your normal garbage collection.
Sodai gomi is the bulky trash that’s over 30cm. It doesn’t include appliances or electronics. Depending on where you are moving out of, there is usually a sodai gomi collection day once every month – so please make use of it! It’s usually a specific day every month, for example, the second Monday of every month, so it can be helpful to make a note of it somewhere so that you’ll be able to remember!
The sodai gomi garbage collection costs money – a few hundred yen for each item. You’ll have to submit an application to the garbage center at least 2-3 weeks in advance of the collection day. If you can’t find your local garbage center, ask for help at your city hall. The service might only be in Japanese so your city hall may be able to help you with this too.
You then purchase disposal stickers at your nearby supermarkets or convenience stores. There are normally two types of stickers that are different prices, depending on the size of each thing you are disposing of. Each item needs its own sticker.
Second-hand shops are a great option for anyone moving in Japan who is needing to get rid of a lot of goods that are in decent condition. It’s a fairly easy way to get rid of your stuff and it’s better to do recycling in Japan, rather than just binning your perfectly fine goods.
Second-hand shops will normally pay you some money for your goods, but it will probably be a fairly small amount. If you want to get more money back from your belongings, it’s better to try reselling them yourself, but that will also be more time-consuming.
For really large goods, like fridges and large furniture, you can often arrange for second-hand shops to collect them from your house. In this case, you might not get any money back, but it’s an easy way of getting rid of your things and it’s good to know it won’t just go to waste.
For more recycling in Japan options, you can give any clothing that can’t be re-sold to H&M or Uniqlo, where the materials can be recycled.
Mercari and Facebook Buy and Sell Groups
Another way to offload your bits that can be reused is by selling them or giving them away over the internet. This has become increasingly popular around the World, and Japan is no exception.
In fact, you can expect an influx of furniture and other goods being sold for cheap or given away for free around the ‘moving season’ in March and April. It’s worth bearing this in mind whenever you’re moving in Japan or looking to purchase something.
These websites can make recycling in Japan much easier, and it feels much better knowing that the things you no longer need are being used by someone who will make good use of them! Selling and giving away your things over the internet is much easier if you are living in a big city, or if you have smaller items that are easy enough to post.
On Facebook, you can find groups such as ‘Mottainai Japan’, and ‘Sayonara sales’ such as ‘Kansai Sayonara Sales’. If you are arranging to meet people in person to exchange goods, please make sure to be careful and do it somewhere public where you can feel safe.
Mercari is a popular website for selling used clothing and other miscellaneous goods. On Mercari the items are posted to the purchaser rather than arranging to pick them up. It’s best to try these websites far ahead of moving out so that there’s time for people to consider the items.
Moving companies in Japan
If you’re considering moving companies in Japan, they may also be able to help with getting rid of your unwanted items. Various moving companies in Japan do offer services where they also dispose of unwanted goods, as well as packing services too.
Moving companies in Japan can be a good option if you are wanting to make your move as smooth and easy as possible. The price reflects this of course!
If you’ve not got around to understanding how recycling in Japan and garbage collection work, please do read our guide on sorting the trash. If you are moving in Japan, it will be helpful to figure out your local garbage collections and the sorting system for recycling in Japan as soon as possible so that you can avoid accumulating as much stuff. Good luck with moving out!