6.Moving in
1.Making arrangements

Once you move in, there will be lots of red tape to cut your way through:

1)Turning on your electricity, gas, and water

Contact each utility office in your city. Because most of these offices will not employ any English speakers, we suggest you to get a Japanese speaking friend to help.


2)Application for a Certificate of Alien Registration and change of address

Go to the municipal office of the city you have just moved to and register for your Gaijin Card. You will be able to get all the information and materials for applying at the office.


3)Opening a bank account and changing your address

Go to the bank of your choice, and take with you your passport, signet/seal stamp(if you have one), Certificate of Alien Registration, or Certificate of Items Stated in Alien Registration Original Slip. Some banks will allow you to sign your name instead of stamping your seal. However, if your bank does not allow this, you can buy and use a stamp which has any Japanese name. Be careful not to lose it, though, since it will be required whenever you withdraw cash (not including ATM) or when you close your account..
When you move, you'll need to visit your bank with your bankbook and your seal, and register your new address with them.


4)Changing the address on your driver's license

This can be done at the local police office in the town you have just moved to.



2.Meeting your neighbors

When you move in, it is common courtesy to greet your landlord. Especially in Japan, first impressions are very important.


When moving into a new apartment, introduce yourself to your nextdoor neighbors on both sides, and also those above and below you. When moving into a new house, you should introduce yourselves to your neighbors in the three nearest houses to your right, and the three nearest houses to your left. Traditionally, this area (three houses in any direction) was called the Muko Sangen Ryodonar. It was an organized group of neighbors who help each other in various ways.


It's best to introduce yourself to your neighbors on the day you move in. It's nice to bring a small offering or gift, such as postcards, or some sort of candy or sweets. The standard amount spent on this sort of token gift is \500~\1,000. Although gift giving in this situation is a Japanese tradition, if you fail to do it, your neighbors will probably understand considering you are a foreigner.


In case of emergency, it is your neighbors that help you most. Having a good relationship with your neighbors is important. If they like you, they are more likely to tolerate whatever you may do.


It's a good idea to send postcards to friends and relatives letting them know that you have moved, and telling them your new address and phone number. Try to do this sooner than one month after you move.


Some simple Japanese phrases:
konnichi wa Hello
gomen-kudasai Excuse me, is anybody home?
hajimemashite How do you do?
yoroshiku onegai shimasu I'm Pleased to make your acquaintance.
watashi wa ( ) desu My name is ( )
arigatou Thank you
sayounara Good bye
sumimasen I'm sorry/Thank you/Excuse me
ogenki desuka How are you?
genki desu I'm fine, thank you.
dou itashi mashite You're welcome.
hikkoshi te kimashita I've just moved into ・・・

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