Everything you need to know about school entrance ceremonies in Japan.
Tokyo is an enormous city that stretches on seemingly forever until it merges with Saitama, Kanagawa and Chiba. With real estate in the city centre at a prime price, many people choose to live one or two hours away in exchange for larger or better housing […]
Learn what to do when your child gets a fever in Japan.
As many people are aware, leaving your money sitting in the bank as savings isn’t the smartest way to store your savings. This especially applies to Japan, where you gain essentially zero interest on your bank savings. The best thing to do, if you’re lucky enough […]
After you move into a new house or apartment in Japan, one of the most important things to do is set up your internet. After all, you need the internet for almost everything these days. How do you set up your internet in Japan if you […]
When you move your family to Japan, there are many things to consider when enrolling your child in school or daycare. One of the biggest decisions is whether to go for the international system or to enrol your child in a local Japanese school. Many people […]
For many people, we are approaching one of the longest holiday periods of the year – Golden Week. Many companies give from April 29 to May 8 as a holiday, and people tend to make the most of this and plan travels all over Japan or […]
We have already written about how to get a Japanese driver’s license, so now we will talk about how to renew your driving license in Japan. There are several places where you can renew your license in Tokyo. There are the main driving centers: Samezu Driver’s […]
Let me introduce you to an excellent aspect of life in Japan – “Furusato Tax”. What is it? You choose a regional town to donate money to. Once you donate this money, the town will send you a present in return. The money you donate is […]
Have you moved to Japan with an older child, or are you thinking about making the switch to a Japanese school in order to integrate in your local community, or save on the cost of international school fees? Enrolling in a Japanese elementary school may seem […]
Whether you have suffered financially during the pandemic or not, everyone will be feeling the latest price increases in Japan. What is going up? Utilities Seven out of 10 of Japan’s major electricity suppliers have raised their household rates, citing soaring prices for liquified natural gas […]
For students studying in Japan, or those overseas who wish to move to Japan, you may be interested in applying for a job at a Japanese company. In general, unless you are in the IT field, you will need strong Japanese skills. However, there is more […]
Where is a good place to live in Tokyo? There are several areas in Tokyo known to be “expat havens”, with many international food shops, global restaurants, and English support. These areas are great, but they come with a high price tag so you will not […]
Having pets is not as common in large cities like Tokyo as it is back home, however many people still keep dogs, cats, hamsters and other beloved pets. When searching for a pet-friendly apartment there are several things to take into account, such as size of […]
If you are hoping to make a career in Japan, then you will likely need to apply to a multitude of Japanese companies before you find your ideal job. Some companies with a more international mindset will accept an English CV, however many companies will look […]
You have probably read articles proclaiming things like “FREE houses in the Japanese countryside” or similar. Although you can get old houses for free or near free, these are often in deep countryside, up a mountain, inaccessible, with no running water or just too far from […]
Recently due to the latest strand of the Coronavirus “Omicron”, the government is requiring everyone coming to Japan from countries with Omicron cases to quarantine in a government designated hotel or facility for 3-10 days before completing the rest of their quarantine period at home. It […]
Now it is December, and time to file your end-of-year taxes in Japan. You must submit documents in order to calculate the difference between the income tax that is withheld from your salary over the year, and the actual amount of tax you should owe. You […]
What is involved in applying for daycare in Japan? How long does it take? This article will explain everything about applying for nursery school in Japan. Step 1 – Figure out when you want to enter the daycare The school year in Japan runs April to […]
While vaccination is not compulsory in Japan, you may need a vaccine passport in order to travel abroad. This article tells you how to claim your vaccination passport. What format is the passport and what does it contain? Currently the passport is available in paper format, […]
Whether you are moving within Japan, or moving to Japan from abroad, there are several procedures that must be followed. They are as follows. If you are moving within Japan -> Submit a moving out notice to your current landlord You must give a certain amount […]
Want to drive in Japan? An international driver’s license is valid for only 12 months. After that time, you need to get a Japanese license. How do you do so? Read on. Option 1: Convert your foreign license You can switch your foreign license to a […]
The Expat Expo is an exhibition held every November and is exclusively for international residents in Japan. The aim is to connect local businesses and services to the expat community, and help the expats discover which businesses are English and foreigner friendly.  You will find stalls […]
Hotel quarantine seems to be a regular part of travel these days, much to our dismay. In Japan, visitors have to quarantine for a certain amount of time depending on where they came from. Those coming from Indonesia and Kyrgystan must quarantine for 10 days in […]
Are you planning to send your child to a nursery school or kindergarten in Japan? Many things may be quite different than in your home country. For example, in many daycares, even five-year-old children take a two hour nap! We asked parents with children already in […]
Our service Omakase Helper provides expats with help in many different areas of their lives in Japan, from enrolling kids in a Japanese daycare to filling out tax forms. This blog will focus on one of our key services – finding a place to live. Perfect […]
Maybe you are just starting a new business, or maybe your already established a company. Either way, one important factor in the success of your business is advertising. There are many ways to advertise, but most of them are quite expensive. Here are some ideas for […]
The State of Emergency is extended in Tokyo until June 20th. However from June 1st, the restrictions upon facilities have been loosened. The following applies until midnight on June 20th: Large shopping centres: Allowed to re-open on weekdays onlyShortened hours (5am – 8pm) Small shopping centres: […]
If you’re living in Japan, chances are you’d like to experience and celebrate some Japanese traditions. Here are eight festivals that Japanese people celebrate every year. Shogatsu New Year’s in Japan is the most important holiday of the year, similar to Christmas for many of us. […]
A hot topic these days is the Covid-19 vaccine. Japan got off to a slow start but vaccinations for the general public have now started. Let’s see where we’re at. Total doses given: About 5.5 million, which is between 4-5% of the population. The US vaccine […]
Something you may be worried about before moving to Japan is earthquakes. Japan lies on several fault lines and is one of the most earthquake prone countries in the world. Therefore it is best to be prepared for “the big one”. Here is a list of […]
What happens if I forget to renew my visa?                If you forget to renew your zairyu card (residence card), this is a serious mistake and needs to be dealt with ASAP, as the authorities do have the right to deport you. However if you rectify the […]
It can be challenging to find a job in Japan which has both decent wages and a good work-life balance. This is especially hard if you are not fluent in Japanese. If you have years of experience, or work in IT, you may find job hunting […]
As exciting as it is to move to Japan and try all the new Japanese products, there are some things that we recommend you bring from home, based on our experiences along with those of other expats. DeodorantIt seems to be quite difficult to find nice […]
Many people have been asking when they will be able to receive their vaccinations. While things are still somewhat unclear, the following information is available. Mass vaccines for the elderly (65+) should start from April 12. Initially in the first week 250,000 doses will be available […]
Every ward in Tokyo will offer very cheap Japanese lessons led by volunteers. Many are free talk sessions, while others use a textbook. For a beginner it is best to find a structured class. Although I live on the opposite side of Tokyo, I found the […]
Renting a new apartment in Japan can be quite costly. Unlike in other countries, there are a myriad of hidden expenses to consider when you move. It is a general rule that you will need four-six months rent to cover all the moving costs. You may […]
It’s good to adapt to the country we live in and eat the local food, but sometimes we want to make dishes from home, and it is surprisingly hard to find some common ingredients in Japan, such as lentils or black beans. Here are some stores […]
If your child is entering a Japanese kindergarten (yochien) then you will know that they have kinds of supply requirements. A bag to carry shoes, a bag for chopsticks, a bag for sports uniform, a bag for books, and so on. And they ask you to […]
As expats in Japan, we don’t have the usual family and friend support network that we would have in our own countries. Social networks can be a crucial support for us – a place where we can ask questions such as “what does this kanji on […]
Right now is tax season in Japan. Most people do not need to file their own tax return, it is taken care of by your company. The company withholds income tax from your salary every month and an adjustment is made with the final salary of […]
Moving to Japan? This is what to expect. There are three main types of housing in the rental market in Japan – mansions, apartments and houses. A mansion (マンション) tends to be a good quality concrete apartment complex with three or more floors. They can be […]
Having a newborn is hard anywhere, but for those of us living in a foreign country without a support network, it can be a lot harder. No grandparents to babysit, the medical system is foreign and everything is in a language we may not understand. Luckily, […]
Last year I opted to move my daughter from her international nursery into a Japanese public daycare. It was quite a complicated process, but after two months on the waiting list we were successful in entering into a public “ninka” hoikuen. It is only ¼ of […]
Here is Omakase Helper’s directory of useful English-speaking services for expats living in or near Tokyo. Of course this list is not exhaustive, but a helpful starting point. General Doctor International Health Care ClinicWebsite: www.ihc-clinic.jpPhone: 03-3501-1330Address: Sueyoshi Bldg 3F, 2-10-5, Shimbashi, Minato-kuNational Health Insurance: AcceptedNotes: Make […]
Tokyo is a megapolis of almost 40 million people, therefore finding the right place to live for your family can be a challenge. We will list some of the best places Tokyo has on offer. If you’re moving to Japan, read on! 1. Minato-ku The majority […]
There are two options for mobile phone plans in Japan. You can go with the “big three” – SoftBank, NTT Docomo and au, or you can go with a cheaper MVNO provider. You can sign up with many companies online if you have a credit card, […]
The Japanese childcare system can be quite confusing. Maybe you’re not sure what is best. I will cover the options in basic detail. 1) International school – These operate in English so joining them will be simple. They are quite expensive, with even daycare usually costing […]