Reply To: Moving to Japan.

  • Joan Pahisa

    November 22, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    Hi Tanya,

    I came to Japan last January for one year to study Japanese. In my case the school made all the paperwork to get the hokensho (national healthcare card), which is different from the disability card (I didn’t go through all the paper work, as the school didn’t have any experience there). Once I got to Japan, I had to register at the Ward Office of my neighborhood to get the residents card sealed and the hokensho (I can’t remember if I got a provisional one at the airport).

    As for apartments, my school had some agents with whom they would have acted as guarantors, but my accessibility needs are down to no stairs, no steps and doors wide enough for the wheelchair, so their agents had a couple of “manageable” apartments. I don’t need an accessible bathroom, but even with this I didn’t have many options. One of this “manageable” apartments had a couple of steps at the entrance. I ended up with an AirBnB apartment for six months (as I could ask the accessibility info directly to the owners). Nevertheless, I’m based in Osaka, so I don’t know how things are in Tokyo, but I wouldn’t expect many differences.

    Another important aspect is to know whether your classes are in the morning or in the afternoon. I decided to rent something as close as possible to the academy to avoid rush hour, but it reduced the options even more and made the rent quite expensive.

    Anyway, I hope that you have a great stay in Japan. Don’t let the paperwork put you off!

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