Whether it is for the love of manga, culture, language or new job opportunities, moving from western Europe to Japan will come with many perks to it. Safe and clean living environment, great transportation system and delicious food are just some of them. Even though moving to Japan will be an amazing and fun adventure, relocating to a different continent always brings a certain amount of the cultural shock. Therefore, being prepared in advance and getting to know the culture you will soon be apart of, can help you settle in quickly.
Preparing for the relocation to Japan
The moving process can always get a bit complicated if you don’t prepare properly. Even more so when you are looking to relocate to a completely different country, like Japan. There will be many things you will need to figure out. From finding the perfect housing option to saying goodbye to your friends and family and dealing with the paperwork. In order to stay on track and avoid getting stressed out, you should create a moving plan and stick to it. Making the plan will also help you to cut down the moving costs. The best time for creating the plan is ASAP. Having more time for planning will help you stay organized and not overlook any important tasks. Therefore, even though your move might be scheduled for more than a few months from now start creating your relocation guide today. However, if the moving date is close don’t worry it’s all about prioritizing!
While planning in advance, start writing down any important tasks that cross your mind. Cleaning your old home, canceling utilities or finding warehouse units in Japan should be scheduled and done in advance. Even though, you should have a step-by-step plan in order, having an additional list as a reminder may come in handy.
The moving when moving to Japan from Europe
Ask any frequent mover about the plan and they will tell you that every move is different. Even though that is true, there are a few universal guidelines you can follow in order to have a stress-free relocation to Japan. Moving to a different country is something that you most likely won’t be able to do on your own. Therefore one of the most important steps is to find a reliable moving company and start planning further. Dealing with the paperwork will be much easier if you find reliable third-party logistics companies from Japan. Let’s take a quick look at what your plan should look like:
- Find a reputable moving company when moving from western Europe to Japan.
- Create a packing plan.
- Create a pre-departure tasks list.
The moving companies
There are more than 2 million expats living in Japan right now. Therefore, you can guess that Japanese moving industry is constantly growing. The bad side of having many moving companies to choose from is that you can easily become a moving scam victim. Not be overdramatic, just having your items broken during the transport will be a stressful situation. Therefore, make sure you research your movers and check their reputation. Contact a few moving companies and compare their quotes. Ask them for the letters of recommendations and look online for the reviews. Create a list of questions and don’t forget to ask about the moving insurance. Find a reputable moving company which can help you with unpacking, transport, and deals with the necessary paperwork for you. This will save you a lot of time and you can focus on planning your new life.
The packing plan when moving from western Europe to Japan
As you will have an intercontinental move, you will need to make sure that your belongings are safe during the transport. Invest in quality packing material and label your boxes properly. This will allow your mover to take special care of the fragile items. Create a packing list and follow it. This will, also, allow you to unpack in no time!
Is there anything left to do?
Don’t get carried away by daydreaming of your new life. People often tend to focus on their move so much that they forget to inform some of their friends or clients about the relocation. In order not to forget any important tasks create a to-do list. Write down literally everything. From canceling your utilities to throwing a goodbye party. Check your ticket reservations as well as visa requirements and paperwork one more time. This way you will make sure you have everything ready for the moving day.
The cultural shock of moving from western Europe to Japan
Made it through the moving day? Well done! Welcome to your new life! It will be fun and exciting to meet new people, get to know your new neighborhood and go see sighting. Even though you will probably love the Japanese culture and politeness, adjusting to a new carrier and lifestyle may bring some cultural shocks. Let’s take a glimpse into the ones we find the most interesting and you can let us know the ones you explore yourself:
Technology, technology everywhere! Is it really so?
Japan is well known for its love for the high tech gadgets. Even though, you will be surrounded by vending machines (not robots as you might expect) be prepared to use a fax machine. Also, note that banks usually keep their ATMs indoors and that buying a midnight snack with a credit card won’t be an easy task.
The customer service and people
Besides being one of the safest countries in the World, Japan is also one of the most polite ones. People will always treat you with great respect. Keep in mind that they will expect you to adapt their ways. Excellence is a cultural norm in Japan and the same goes for the educational system. Therefore, if you are moving to study in Japan, you will be expected to study hard and have good grades.
There is no “I” in “Japan”
The group mentality may come as a shock at first for western European citizens. There is a great sense of community. The best part about it that you will feel included. Therefore, expect that you will be asked about your opinion and to participate in the decision-making process at work. Don’t be afraid to speak up and enjoy being a part of the group.
No shoes indoor rule!
Expect restaurant with traditional tatami flooring to have the no shoe rule
If you are visiting a Japanese friend, don’t forget to take off your shoes as soon as you enter the house. Also, if you are not wearing matching socks, avoid the restaurants with the traditional tatami mats.
Don’t be rude! No tipping! Don’t point! And do not refill your own glass!
Tipping a waiter after moving from western Europe to Japan, may come off as rude. The same goes for pointing at people. Also, if you are having drinks with friends, refill their glasses but not yours. They will do it for you but doing it yourself will strike out as rude.